Everyone warned him not to do it. But by 1811, the few voices to whom he truly listened were gone. Josephine was gone. Talleyrand was gone. The great foreign minister was the only independent thinker left within the government. He told Napoleon not to do it, so Bonaparte simply pushed Talleyrand out of his inner circle. Napoleon was more and more isolated, surrounded by weak servants who did what he ordered. His new wife was a sweet child who had no influence on her husband's policy. Josephine had had good impulses especially in matters of personnel. And so the Emperor plunged ahead with one of the most disastrous military campaigns in all of history.
Diary of a Napoleonic Soldier,
War and Peace,
Anthony Briggs, Translator,
Penguin Classics; Deluxe edition (November 28, 2006),