10,000 of Napoleon’s men make it out of Russia. In an army that started out with over half a million men, what exactly happened? Was it, as this article proposes, a result of one of the greatest wardrobe malfunctions in history?

Napoleon Crossing the Alps
Image: Bonaparte Crossing the Alps by Hippolyte Delaroche

…The bonding structure of tin atoms starts to change when temperatures drop below 56°F (13.2°C), and this process speeds up as the temperature decreases. Tin was the main metal used to make the buttons of French uniforms. As the temperature approached -30°C, the tin buttons may have turned to dust.

That can’t be a good thing when you’re in the snow.

Read the full story at Big Think.

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