- Sep 2016
Napoleon didn't even plan to capture Moscow in the beginning of his campaign. His goal was to destroy Russian army and sign a new peace treaty with Alexander I. He even prepared to fight Russian army in Poland, at first.Moscow was probably much more important for logistics in 1941 than in 1812 due to the widespread adoption of railroads during these 129 years, though
Russians themselves retreated towards Moscow and that is why Napoleon followed them. He understood that in order to win the war, he would have to destroy armies of Barclay and Bagration.
Besides, Napoleon took Vienna in 1805 and 1809. However, Austrians still continued to fight and war ended only after victories at Austerlitz and Wagram.