November 01, 2010

The Napoleon Code

Six months ago, a French document containing the key to a lost treasure fell into the hands of Alexander Seregin and Vladimir Poryvayev. This unpublished document led Seregin and Poryvayev to conclude that 80 tons of gold and valuables hauled out of Moscow in 1812 by Napoleon’s retreating soldiers had been carefully buried in a secret location.

In October 1812, while Napoleon’s army was fleeing Moscow, his soldiers became walking treasure chests: each carried no less than ten kilograms of gold. Approximately 200 wagons were used to transport the booty. But they never made it to France…
Old Smolensk Road, along which the French retreated, had been destroyed. The French themselves were responsible for making it impassable by the course of their invasion.

Then the frost struck. Hungry and freezing soldiers ate fallen horses. Russian troops and partisans repeatedly harassed the retreating army. The weight of the stolen treasure slowed the army’s retreat. Wagons fell apart even as they rolled. They had to get rid of the loot: dump it in water or bury it along the way…

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