第一课 The Icy Defender课文翻译如下：
1、In 1812, Napoleon Bonaparte, Emperor of the French, led his Grand Army into Russia. He was prepared for the fierce resistance of the Russian people defending their homeland. He was prepared for the long march across Russian soil to Moscow, the capital city. But he was not prepared for the devastating enemy that met him in Moscow -- the raw, bitter, bleak Russian winter.
2、In 1941, Adolf Hitler, leader of Nazi Germany, launched an attack against the Soviet Union, as Russia then was called. Hitler's military might was unequaled. His war machine had mowed down resistance in most of Europe. Hitler expected a short campaign but, like Napoleon before him, was taught a painful lesson. The Russian winter again came to the aid of the Soviet soldiers.
3、In the spring of 1812, Napoleon assembled an army of six hundred thousand men on the borders of Russia. The soldiers were well trained, efficient, and well equipped. This military force was called the Grand Army. Napoleon, confident of a quick victory, predicted the conquest of Russia in five weeks.
4、Shortly afterwards, Napoleon's army crossed the Neman River into Russia. The quick, decisive victory that Napoleon expected never happened. To his surprise, the Russians refused to stand and fight. Instead, they retreated eastward, burning their crops and homes as they went. The Grand Army followed, but its advance march soon became bogged down by slow-moving supply lines.
5、In August, the French and Russian armies engaged at Smolensk, in a battle that left over ten thousand dead on each side. Yet, the Russians were again able to retreat farther into Russian territory. Napoleon had won no decisive victory. He was now faced with a crucial decision. Should he continue to pursue the Russian army? Or should he keep his army in Smolensk for the approaching winter? 到了8月，法俄两军在斯摩棱斯克交战，这一战役中，双方各有上万人阵亡。可是，俄国人仍能在自己的国土上继续后撤。拿破仑未能取得决定性的胜利。此刻他面临着一个重要抉择。是继续追击俄国军队，还是把军队驻扎在斯摩棱斯克，在那儿度过将到的冬天?
6 、Napoleon took the gamble of pressing on to Moscow, 448 kilometers away. On September 7, 1812, the French and Russian armies met in fierce battle at Borodino, 112 kilometers west of Moscow. By nightfall, thirty thousand French and forty-four thousand Russians lay dead or wounded on the battlefield.
7、 Again, the Russian army retreated to safety. Napoleon had a clear path to Moscow, but the occupation of the city became an empty victory. The Russians fled their capital. Soon after the French arrived, a raging fire destroyed two-thirds of the city. Napoleon offered a truce to Alexander I, but the Russian czar knew he could bide his time: "We shall let the Russian winter fight the war for us."
8 、Napoleon soon realized he could not feed, clothe, and quarter his army in Moscow during the winter. In October 1812, he ordered his Grand Army to retreat from Moscow.
9、 The French retreat turned into a nightmare. From fields and forests, the Russians launched hit-and-run attacks on the French. A short distance from Moscow, the temperature had already dropped to minus 4 degrees Celsius. On November 3, the winter's first snow came. Exhausted horses fell dead in their tracks. Cannon became stuck in the snow. Equipment had to be burned for fuel. Soldiers took ill and froze to death. The French soldiers dragged on, leaving the dead along every mile.
10、 As the Russian army was gathering its strength, the French had to flee Russia to avoid certain defeat. At the Berezina River, the Russians nearly trapped the retreating French by burning the bridges over the swollen river. But Napoleon, by a stroke of luck, was able to build two new bridges. Thousands of French soldiers escaped, but at the cost of fifty thousand dead. Once across the Berezina, the tattered survivors limped toward Vilna.
11、 Of the six hundred thousand soldiers Napoleon had led into Russia, less than one hundred thousand came back. The weakened French army continued its retreat westward across Europe. Soon, Britain, Austria, Russia, and Prussia formed a powerful alliance and attacked these stragglers. In March 1814, Paris was captured. Napoleon abdicated and went into exile, his empire at an end.