Battle of Borodino
The Battle of Borodino was a battle fought on 7 September 1812 in the Napoleonic Wars during the French invasion of Russia. The fighting involved around 250,000 troops and left at least 70,000 casualties, Napoleons Grande Armée launched an attack against the Russian army, driving it back from its initial positions but failing to gain a decisive victory. Both armies were exhausted after the battle and the Russians withdrew from the field the following day, Borodino represented the last Russian effort at stopping the French advance on Moscow, which fell a week later. After a series of Russian retreats at the beginning of the campaign, Mikhail Kutuzov was appointed as his replacement. In a final attempt to save Moscow, the Russians made a stand near the village of Borodino and they fortified their positions and waited for the French to attack. The Russian right wing occupied ideal defensive terrain, so the French tried to press the Russian left for much of the battle, the highlight of the fighting became the bloody struggle for the large Raevsky redoubt near the village of Borodino.
The French managed to capture this redoubt late into the day, the Russians suffered terrible casualties during the fighting, losing over a third of their army. French losses were heavy, exacerbating the logistical difficulties that Napoleon encountered in the campaign. Napoleons Imperial Guard, the unit on the battlefield that saw no fighting, was available to swing into action at a moments notice. In refusing to commit the Guard, some believe, he lost his one chance to destroy the Russian army. The capture of Moscow proved a pyrrhic victory since the Russians had no intention of negotiating with Napoleon for peace. The French evacuated Russias spiritual capital in October and conducted a retreat that only ended in December. Historical reports of the battle differed significantly depending on whether they originated from supporters of the French or Russian side, factional fighting among senior officers within each army led to conflicting accounts and disagreements over the roles of particular officers.
The French Grande Armée began its invasion of Russia on 16 June 1812, in response, Emperor Alexander I proclaimed a Patriotic War and prepared to face the French. However, Phulls plan soon proved to be a mistake, as the enormous Grande Armée was more than enough to separate. Furthermore, the participation of Tsar Alexander I as commander caused more chaos in the Russian army, the Russian forces which were massed along the Polish frontier were obliged to fall back in the face of the swift French advance. Napoleon advanced from Vitebsk, hoping to catch the Russian Army in the open where he could annihilate it, the French army was not positioned well for an extended overland campaign, it was 925 km from its nearest supply base at Kovno. French supply lines were vulnerable and Cossacks, light cavalry, guerrilla forces and even French deserters attacked and seriously depleted French supply columns
Battle of Cassano (1799)
The Battle of Cassano dAdda was fought on 27 April 1799 near Cassano dAdda, about 28 km ENE of Milan. It resulted in a victory for the Austrians and Russians under Alexander Suvorov over Jean Moreaus French army, the action took place during the War of the Second Coalition during the larger conflict known as the French Revolutionary Wars. While General Napoleon Bonaparte campaigned in Egypt, the Second Coalition launched an invasion of French-occupied Italy, General of Division Barthélemy Schérer fought inconclusive actions the Austrians at Pastrengo and Legnago on 26 March 1799. Feldmarschal-Leutnant Pál Kray and his Austrians defeated Schérer at the Battle of Magnano on April 4th and this defeat forced the French army into a long retreat. Attempts by Schérer to hold the lines of the Mincio and Oglio rivers failed when an Austrian force led by FML Josef Vukassovich turned his northern flank, Schérer, completely out of his depth, handed over army command to the more capable MG Moreau. Austrias Russian allies, led by Suvorov, soon began appearing at the front, when Field Marshal Suvorov joined the allied army, he took over the top command from Kray, though the latter had just been promoted to Feldzeugmeister.
The arrival of General of Cavalry Michael von Melas displaced Kray the top Austrian field command, Kray was assigned to capture the fortress of Mantua, while Melas and Suvorov pursued the French. The Siege of Mantua lasted from April until the garrison surrendered on 28 July, Moreau deployed the divisions of MGs Paul Grenier, Claude Victor, Jean Sérurier, and Pierre de Laboissière to defend the line of the Adda River. The Austrians still made up the bulk of the allied army, the Austrian division commanders were FML Peter Ott, FML Johann Zoph, General-Major Franz de Lusignan, and FML Konrad Valentin von Kaim. Even before the battle, a Russian force under Petr Bagration outflanked the French position by seizing a bridge over the Adda at Lecco on 26 April and this put Séruriers division in an awkward position. On 27 April, General of Cavalry Michael von Melas with the divisions of Fröhlich and Kaim stormed the French positions at Cassano, while Ott, suvarovs assault forced Moreau to retreat. The French suffered 2,500 killed and wounded, plus 5,000 soldiers,27 cannon, the Austro-Russians lost 2,000 killed and wounded.
Moreau retreated, leaving a 2, 400-man garrison in Milans citadel, on 28 April, Vukassovich trapped Seruriers division at Verderio and the French lost another 300 killed and wounded, plus 2,700 captured. Greniers division withdrew to Novara while Victor and Laboissière pulled back to Valenza, another authority gives allied losses as 6,000 and French prisoners as 7,000, without listing French killed and wounded. Kaim pressed on to capture Turin on 20 June, Milans citadel capitulated on 24 May. The next major action was the Battle of Trebbia on 17–20 June, ISBN 1-85367-276-9 The Austrians Advance by Enrico Acerbi
Battle of Bakhmach
Battle of Bakhmach, was a battle between the Czechoslovak Legion in Russia and German forces occupying Ukraine. The battle lasted from March 8 to March 13,1918 over the city of Bakhmach, following a Legion victory, the Germans negotiated a truce. On March 3,1918 Russia, controlled by the Bolsheviks, signed the Brest-Litovsk peace treaty with Germany in which it gave up, among others, on March 8 Germans reached Bakhmach, an important railroad hub and Legion was in danger of being encircled. The threat was grave because captured legionnaires were summarily executed as traitors of Austria-Hungary, notable were not only fighting for Bakhmach railway junction, but the battle for the bridge over the river Desna, this led to bloody battles at Doch. The fights peaked on March 10, thanks to Legion victory the Germans negotiated a truce, during which Czechoslovak armoured trains could freely pass through Bakhmach railway junction to Chelyabinsk. The Czechoslovak Legion during truce set up for escape from Russia via the Trans-Siberian railroad, armies of Germany and Austria-Hungary started to occupy the land without much resistance.
Losses of the Legion were,145 killed,210 wounded,41 missing, estimate of German losses is around 300 dead and hundreds wounded. Similarly to Battle of Zborov or the Siberian anabasis, the battle of Bakhmach became one of the symbols of the Czechoslovakian Legions and their fight for independence. Vlachynský, V březnu 1918 bojovali legionáři u Bachmače, article in newspaper Českobudějovické listy, March 14,1998, page 12 Adolf Kubíček, Hanáci v revoluci, Olomouc,1928
Battle of Arcis-sur-Aube
The Battle of Arcis-sur-Aube was Napoleon’s penultimate battle before his abdication and exile to Elba. Encountering Field Marshal Schwarzenbergs larger Austrian force, Napoleon Bonaparte withdrew his French army after confused fighting, faced with converging Allied Armies, Napoleon decided to attack Field Marshal Schwarzenbergs Austrian troops before attacking General Blücher’s lines of communications on the upper Marne. Early on 20 March Napoleon set out for Arcis-sur-Aube in order to break out towards the Marne. By 11,00 a. m. on 20 March, Marshal Ney, by 1,00 p. m. Napoleon arrived along the northern bank of the Aube River and crossed the bridge. A bitter cavalry action developed in the afternoon and into the night. On one occasion the Emperor, protected only by a company of the Polish 1st Light Cavalry Regiment of the Imperial Guard barely avoided being taken prisoner. During the night Schwarzenberg brought up and deployed 80,000 troops to face the French. Schwarzenberg, suspecting a trap and yet unaware of his advantage, did not attack until 3,00 p. m.
on 21 March. He broke contact with the enemy and ordered most French troops to recross the Aube River. A French rear guard commanded by Marshal Oudinot bitterly held off the Austrians until 6,00 p. m. before falling back in good order and blowing the bridge over the Aube River up behind them. The Austrians made no effort to pursue the retreating French, the battle cost the French 3,000 casualties and the Austrians 4,000 casualties. On 25 March the Allies defeated Marshal Marmont and Marshal Mortier at the Battle of Fère-Champenoise, the Allies ignored Napoleon’s attempts to attack their lines of communications, and marched on Paris, which the Allies occupied on 31 March
Russia, officially the Russian Federation, is a country in Eurasia. The European western part of the country is more populated and urbanised than the eastern. Russias capital Moscow is one of the largest cities in the world, other urban centers include Saint Petersburg, Yekaterinburg, Nizhny Novgorod. Extending across the entirety of Northern Asia and much of Eastern Europe, Russia spans eleven time zones and incorporates a range of environments. It shares maritime borders with Japan by the Sea of Okhotsk, the East Slavs emerged as a recognizable group in Europe between the 3rd and 8th centuries AD. Founded and ruled by a Varangian warrior elite and their descendants, in 988 it adopted Orthodox Christianity from the Byzantine Empire, beginning the synthesis of Byzantine and Slavic cultures that defined Russian culture for the next millennium. Rus ultimately disintegrated into a number of states, most of the Rus lands were overrun by the Mongol invasion. The Soviet Union played a role in the Allied victory in World War II.
The Soviet era saw some of the most significant technological achievements of the 20th century, including the worlds first human-made satellite and the launching of the first humans in space. By the end of 1990, the Soviet Union had the second largest economy, largest standing military in the world. It is governed as a federal semi-presidential republic, the Russian economy ranks as the twelfth largest by nominal GDP and sixth largest by purchasing power parity in 2015. Russias extensive mineral and energy resources are the largest such reserves in the world, making it one of the producers of oil. The country is one of the five recognized nuclear weapons states and possesses the largest stockpile of weapons of mass destruction, Russia is a great power as well as a regional power and has been characterised as a potential superpower. The name Russia is derived from Rus, a state populated mostly by the East Slavs. However, this name became more prominent in the history, and the country typically was called by its inhabitants Русская Земля.
In order to distinguish this state from other states derived from it, it is denoted as Kievan Rus by modern historiography, an old Latin version of the name Rus was Ruthenia, mostly applied to the western and southern regions of Rus that were adjacent to Catholic Europe. The current name of the country, Россия, comes from the Byzantine Greek designation of the Kievan Rus, the standard way to refer to citizens of Russia is Russians in English and rossiyane in Russian. There are two Russian words which are translated into English as Russians
Battle of Chesma
It was a part of the Orlov Revolt of 1769, a precursor to the Greek War of Independence, and the first of a number of disastrous fleet battles for the Ottomans against Russia. On 5 July 1770 they came across it anchored in line just north of Çeşme Bay, details of the Ottoman fleet are uncertain but it included 14–16 ships of the line including Real Mustafa of 84 guns, Rodos of 60 guns and a 100-gun flagship. In addition there were perhaps 6 frigates,6 xebecs,13 galleys and 32 small craft, behind that were the frigates, xebecs etc. The fleet was commanded by Kapudan Pasha Mandalzade Hüsameddin, in the ship from the front of the line, with Hasan Pasha in the first ship, Real Mustafa. Two further ships of the line, probably small, had left this fleet for Mytilene the previous evening, the Ottomans opened fire at about 11. 45am, followed by the Russians slightly later. Ianuarii turned around before coming back into the line, had a close-range battle with Hasan Pasha in Real Mustafa, before the latter was suddenly seen to be on fire.
Her mainmast came down and landed on Sv, evstafiis deck, causing the Russian ship to immediately blow up. Shortly Real Mustafa blew up as well, according to Elphinstone, who claimed the Russians were almost useless and Count Feodor Orlov, had left Sv. Evstafii before the fighting became close-range, Spiridov ended up on Tri Svyatitelya. At about 2pm the fighting ended, as the Ottomans cut their cables and moved south into the bay, forming themselves into a line of 8 ships of the line, a 2nd line. On 6 July the Russians bombarded the Ottoman ships and land positions, and at about 12,30 a. m. By 2 a. m. two Ottoman ships of the line had blown up and more were on fire, and Greig sent in three fireships, which contributed in a way to the burning of almost the entire Ottoman fleet. At about 4 a. m. boats were sent in to two ships of the line which were not burning, but one of these caught fire while it was being towed. The other, Rodos 60, survived and was captured along with five galleys, fighting ended at about 8 a. m.
Russian casualties on 5 July were 14 killed, plus 636 killed in Sv, and about 30 wounded, and on 7 July 11 killed. Hüsameddin, Hasan Pasha and Cafer Bey survived, Hüsameddin was removed from his position, which was given to Cafer Bey. This was the only significant fleet battle during the Russo-Turkish War, the Battle of Chesma was fought on the same day as the land Battle of Larga. It was the greatest naval defeat suffered by Ottomans since the Battle of Lepanto and this battle inspired great confidence in the Russian fleet and allowed the Russians to control the Aegean Sea for some time
Battle of Bautzen
In the Battle of Bautzen a combined Russian/Prussian army was pushed back by Napoleon I of France, but escaped destruction, some sources claim, because Michel Ney failed to block their retreat. The Prussians under Count Gebhard von Blücher and Russians under Prince Peter Wittgenstein, the Prusso-Russian army was in a full retreat following their defeat at the Battle of Lützen. Finally, generals Wittgenstein and Blücher were ordered to stop at Bautzen by Tsar Alexander I, the Prusso-Russian army was nearly 100,000 men strong, but Napoleon had 115,000 troops. Additionally, Marshal Ney had 85,000 more men within easy marching distance, Wittgenstein formed two defensive lines, with the first holding strongpoints in villages and along ridges and the second holding the bridges behind a river bend. Napoleon had planned to pin down his enemies to their lines, due to faulty reconnaissance, he became concerned that the Prusso-Russians had more soldiers and held stronger positions than they actually did.
So Napoleon decided he would not set up his trap until they had been softened up, after an intense bombardment by the grande batterie of Napoleons artillery and hours of heated fighting, the French overpowered the first defensive lines and seized the town of Bautzen. The Prusso-Russians appeared to be buckling, by nightfall, the French were ready to cut the allies off from their line of retreat. But Marshal Ney became confused and his faulty positioning left the open for the Allies to escape. Fighting on the day, the 21st, was again hard and after several hours of setbacks. But these assaults were only intended to fix the allies in place so they could be cut off, once again, Marshal Ney became distracted and decided to seize the village of Preititz, and thus lost sight of the strategic importance of cutting off the allies. The Prusso-Russians were being pushed back across the river and, at 4 p. m. when the Imperial Guard was sent in, without Neys forces to seal them in, they again escaped the total defeat Napoleon had planned.
Losses on both sides totaled around 20,000, the French victory at Bautzen is therefore often called a Pyrrhic victory. Although a success for the French, Bautzen was not the decisive, Neys failure to cut the line of retreat robbed the French of complete victory. Once more Napoleon had to settle for a narrow, pyrrhic victory, to make matters worse, during the battle, Napoleons close friend and Grand Marshal of the Palace, General Geraud Duroc, was mortally wounded by a cannonball and died hours after the battle. Following Bautzen, Napoleon agreed to a truce with the Coalition. The Armistice of Pleischwitz was signed on 4 June, and lasted until 20 July, during this time he hoped to gather more troops, especially cavalry, and better train his new army. The allies, would not be idle, they too would mobilize and better prepare, and after hostilities were resumed, the Austrians joined the ranks of the allies. It is reported that Napoleon quoted, that his agreement to this truce was a bad mistake, the campaign would resume in August
Battle of Berezina
The battle ended with a mixed outcome. The French suffered very heavy losses but managed to cross the river, since Bérézina has been used in French as a synonym for disaster. As the surviving masses of the Grande Armée struggled on for the safety of the west. The French had suffered a defeat just two weeks earlier during the Battle of Krasnoi, the Russians had approximately 61,000 troops at the Berezina, with another 54,000 under Kutuzov just 40 miles to the east who were approaching the river. Napoleons plan was to cross the Berezina River and head for Poland, while his enemies wanted to him there. The original plan to cross the river quickly proved impossible. The nearby bridge at Borisov had been destroyed and most of the equipment to build a bridge had been destroyed a few days earlier. Marshal Oudinot was given the task of drawing off the admiral, the plan worked, and Eblés Dutch engineers braved ferociously cold water to construct the vital 100-metre bridge. Hypothermic death in less than 30 minutes of exposure was likely, the four Swiss infantry regiments acted as the rearguard.
Cavalry quickly crossed it followed by infantry to hold the bridgehead, the Swiss suffered terrible losses, but managed to cover both positions and the retreat. This struggle is depicted in the Beresinalied, the Swiss heroic stand saved most of the French troops. A second structure opened within hours and cannons were taken across it to bolster the defensive perimeter and they arrived just in time, as Chichagov realised his error and attacked the 11,000 French troops. By midday of the 27th, Napoleon and his Imperial Guard were across, and the strategy now swung to saving the Swiss rearguard, one of the spans broke in the late afternoon, but more feats of engineering skill had it repaired by early evening. The corps of Marshal Davout and Prince Eugene crossed, leaving Marshal Victors IX Corps to hold off the enemy on the east bank, there is considerable disagreement regarding the numbers of casualties on both sides. While some 22,000 French men became casualties, these included a number of stragglers.
A higher estimate is provided by historian Jacques Garnier, who places French losses at 25,000 combatants,25 cannon and 20,000 civilian stragglers, of which around 10,000 were massacred by Cossacks. Russian casualties were high, and although a very moderate 19th century Russian estimate places them at 6,000 they probably amounted to 20,000 men. Historian Alain Pigeard offers more moderate figures, between 13,000 and 16,000 men for the French,13,000 men for the Russians, among the French casualties were three generals and four colonels, killed during this battle
Battle of Craonne
The Battle of Craonne was fought on 7 March 1814 and resulted in a French victory under Napoleon I against Russians and Prussians under General Blücher. Craonne is a village on the Chemin des Dames, in the département of Aisne, moving with speed and aggression, the French pushed the Allies over the Aisne river. While Blücher planned his counter with some 85,000 men, his army did not move fast enough and as a result. Napoleons aim was to pin the Allies and launch Marshal Ney, leading a mixed force heavily weighted towards cavalry, Craonne cost Blucher 5,000 casualties, while Napoleon lost some 5,400. The young French conscripted soldiers were called Marie-Louises because Marie-Louise signed the order for their conscription in Napoleons absence, history of Europe from the Commencement of the French Revolution to the Restoration of the Bourbons. Chandler, David G. Dictionary of the Napoleonic Wars, French Forces, Battle of Craone,7 March 1814. United States Army Combined Arms Center, russian Forces, Battle of Craone,7 March 1814.
United States Army Combined Arms Center, media related to Battle of Craonne at Wikimedia Commons Craonne - the bloodiest battle of Campaign of France in 1814 Illustrated article on the Battle of Craonne at Battlefields Europe