How was Bonaparte escorted
Today is the anniversary of the glorious battle of Vyazma, in which Russian troops under the command of General Miloradovich and the Cossacks Ataman Platov defeated the rearguard of Napoleon’s army, retreating from Moscow. The French infantry corps of Marshals Ney and Davou, the Italian corps of Marshal Beauharnais and the Polish corps of General Poniatowski were hit. It should be noted that the Russians attacked the French convoy, being in the minority, there were only 24 thousands against 37 and a half thousand enemies. It would seem that this is a deadly risk, but ours, as they say, having caught courage in the previous victorious battle for Maloyaroslavets, felt that the enemy was weakened and psychologically broken down. Therefore, the risk paid off.
On the morning of November 3, 1812 of the year (in a new style), Russians from the southern flank attacked the corps of Beauharnais as the least resistant. The Italians quickly "broke down" and fled in a panic to the north, to the surrounding fields, while ours blocked the Old Smolensk Road, along which the French retreated. At the same time, Davout’s hull, which was last in the column, was cut off from the main forces. The marshal fell into a trap: behind him on the heels of the division Paskevich was marching, and Miloradovich and Platov were already waiting for him in front.
Attempt to break through failed. Davout had to turn off the road and let his battalions bypass the blocked area, over snow-covered fields and ice swamps, where many soldiers froze to death. At that time, the Poles of Poniatowski and the remnants of the Beauharnais corps, still retaining their combat capability, after learning of the plight of Davout, turned around and went in the opposite direction to "break the cork" and open the way to the allies. Ours managed to install artillery batteries along the road, and this “offensive” was taking place under rapid fire, which caused great losses to the Poles and Italians.
Having passed several miles and never met Davout, who, as already mentioned, moved around, Poniatowski and Beauharnais turned back again. By the middle of the day, both marshals and the general, with their heavily-thinned troops, approached Vyazma, where Ney's corps held positions. At an emergency meeting, Ney promised to restrain the Russians until the soldiers of Poniatowski, Beogarna and Davout, who due to fatigue and frostbite could no longer fight, would pass through the city and cross the bridges to the western bank of the Vyazma river.
But Nei overestimated his strength. When the Russians approached Vyazma and attacked his troops on the move, the French were able to hold out for a very short time. After about two hours, they could not stand the next attack and rushed to run, and the Russians on their shoulders rushed into the city. She and her retinue hurriedly left the river and ordered the bridges to be burned behind him, although many of his soldiers remained on the east bank. All of them were waiting for death or captivity.
At around midnight 6, when it got dark, the battle was over. About three thousand soldiers and officers of Napoleon died in it, more than a thousand were missing, and another four thousand were taken prisoner. Thus, the total irretrievable losses of the French and their allies were eight thousand people, and no one considered the wounded, contused and frostbitten. The Russians lost only about 800 people killed and about 1000 wounded, capturing many trophies, including several dozen guns and hundreds of wagons with various cargoes.
After Vyazma, it became clear to everyone that the fate of the "Great Army" was predetermined, and its soldiers could only desperately fight for life with the Russian troops, partisans, famine and the "general frost." But few of them managed to prevail in this fight.
On the screen saver - the soldiers of Miloradovich attack Vyazma, a picture of Peter von Hess.
Map of the battle of Vyazma. Above - the actions of Russian (blue) and French-Polish-Italian (red) troops on the Old Smolensk road in the morning. Below are the positions of the Russians and the French by two o'clock in the afternoon, before the start of the storming of the city.
Napoleon's army retreat along the Smolensk Old Road at the beginning of November 1812.
The camp kitchen of the Ney is one of the Vyazma trophies of the Russian army.
Subscribe and stay up to date with the latest news and the most important events of the day.