Military Review

The defeat of Napoleon under cabbage soup and porridge - food for the Russian army in 1812

41

A well-fed soldier is a victorious warrior. A hungry soldier - beaten and defeated ... Not always, but more often than not.


Napoleon's trip to Russia proved the persuasiveness of this postulate. In many respects, Russia won the war also due to the fact that the supply of food to the current Russian army was better organized than that of the uninvited guests who appeared in 1812 - for a number of reasons. Let's consider in detail how it was.

First of all, I will mention that such an incredibly useful thing as a field kitchen simply did not exist in that war. Hot food was prepared, as a rule, on bivouac fires, while the soldiers were distributed among the so-called artels, for which portions were calculated. Let's remember this word, we will meet it again. The main dishes that made up the diet of the Russian soldier were traditional cabbage soup and porridge. The obligatory readiness of "marching" cabbage soup by noon of every day was even spelled out in the military regulations!

At the same time, fasting and slow days were clearly observed: in the first case, cabbage soup was cooked with smelt (small river fish, when fresh, and when dried or dried) and exclusively with vegetable oil. When there was no ban on eating meatballs, fat and / or meat went into the cauldron. Most often it was beef, and during the cooking process it was crushed to the maximum possible limit - so that it spreads evenly throughout the boiler, and everyone got at least a piece.

Also, according to the researchers, it was during the Patriotic War that such a wonderful dish as kulesh firmly entered the diet of the Russian army. Millet groats, seasoned with lard and onions and boiled until balancing on the brink of soup-porridge perfectly satisfied hunger and gave strength. Especially in winter - and it was on this, as we remember, that a significant part of the campaign fell. Buckwheat porridge, familiar to everyone, was an alternative to this dish. Its soldiers cooked on their own, receiving cereals "from the treasury."

It is clear that it was not always possible to please the hot ones - the war is still not a pleasure trip: either the baggage train will lag behind, then there is simply no way to make fires. Then they saved crackers - in full accordance with the saying: "bread and water - soldier's food." However, there were clever people who managed to build a stew even from rusks crumbled into water, flavored with some kind of butter. Anything is better than dry water. Fortunately, the soldiers received bread regularly - before the war, the so-called "Petrovskaya Dacha" (the food distribution rate introduced by Peter I), which certainly included 1,2 kg of bread or 800 grams of crackers.

On the eve of the outbreak of war, in the spring of 1812, in addition to this, a "meat ration" was introduced, which was initially set at 200 grams twice a week (in the guards - three times), and with the outbreak of hostilities increased by one and a half times. The Russian army also had its own "People's Commissar's 100 grams." Not 100, to be precise, but 150 before the start of the war and 250 after the cannons rumbled. By the way, it was strictly forbidden to give out vodka to soldiers on an empty stomach - only immediately before eating.

Bread and "bread wine", groats and rich cabbage soup - that is, in fact, all that a soldier was obliged to pay for a state-owned soup. For the rest it was necessary to spend the artel money. Here we, in fact, come to an explanation of what kind of artel it was, and what role it played in military nutrition. Officially, the company commander was considered the head of this informal association, but in reality it was "ruled" by sergeant-major or corporals, who were really old-timers (who had retreated under arms for about 15 years), who were a very accurate analogue of modern foremen and warrant officers.

Where did the money come from in the artel box office? For the most part - not from the soldiers' salary, which, in truth, was scanty. Serious funds came for the most prosaic, but vital needs of the army from the Imperial House. Merchants, nobles, ordinary bourgeois donated - as much as they could. Wine and meat portions were also supplied to the common artel "cauldron", which were refused in favor of their subordinates by conscientious officers, who were more at ease with food.

By the way, money from work for which the fathers-commanders could dispatch their own personnel was a good means of replenishing the artel "capital". The percentage of soldiers bending their backs was required. What was bought with this money? Meat and lard for porridge, salt, pickles, preserves (Russian soldiers, as a rule, did not see sugar at all). Seasonal - herbs, condiments, horseradish, onions, garlic. Could, if funds allowed, pamper yourself with eggs, sour cream and butter.

As you can see, during the war with Napoleon, of course, the table of the defender of the Fatherland, who wore a soldier's greatcoat, did not differ in particular sophistication and variety. Simple and satisfying, rough but nutritious. But, we admit - certainly better than the "dishes" of rats and crows, as well as soup from candles, which were forced to feast on by the end of that war, the "conquerors of the world" who came to us from Europe. As a result, Napoleon was defeated under the heroism and courage of a Russian soldier, and also under cabbage soup and porridge.
Author:
Photos used:
Wikipedia / Memorial sign "Bread of our memory" - a sculptural composition dedicated to the 200th anniversary of the Patriotic War of 1812
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  1. Mavrikiy
    Mavrikiy 19 December 2020 06: 30
    +6
    The defeat of Napoleon under cabbage soup and porridge - food for the Russian army in 1812
    Cabbage soup and porridge are our food. (old adage) The healthiest food. And on the hike there is no time for pickles.
    1. Kote Pan Kokhanka
      Kote Pan Kokhanka 19 December 2020 06: 57
      +13
      Hello!
      On the one hand, the author's conclusions are correct, on the other hand?
      Napoleon was one of the reformers of the logistics and logistics of the army. For example, the French were the first to use canned products in their campaigns.
      Discussing the superiority of our supply of the army, the author forgot that in 1812 we fought on our territory and where our forager received supplies "so that the French did not get it" - he received the "enemy" with a pitchfork in his side.
      Near Vyazma, Smolensk and Mostovaya landowners often burned crops on the vine or in barns. Grain was hidden everywhere. There were cases when Barclay de Toli and Kutuzov's officers asked time off to take relatives and household members out of the invasion zone of the army of twelve languages. Peasants followed the "bars".
      It is not uncommon for landowners to put together partisan detachments, and vice versa, the peasants acted as an organized force in confronting the enemy.
      The church came out against Napoleon.
      What to paint, it is not in vain that the war of 1812 was reflected in our history as Patriotic!
      1. Elturisto
        Elturisto 20 December 2020 18: 12
        -4
        Yes, yes, the landowners and the church overpowered the foe. If it were not for these two parasitic estates, then it was not necessary to drag out the service for 25 years. And so without them nowhere, what a war without balls and Orlov trotters, but priests with chandeliers, no. ..
        1. Kote Pan Kokhanka
          Kote Pan Kokhanka 20 December 2020 18: 26
          0
          Do you oppose me or the Author?
          If I then re-read the end of my post
          What to paint, it is not in vain that the war of 1812 was reflected in our history as Patriotic!

          There are a number of wars in which it will be detrimental to determine the role of estates, peoples, classes and other formations that have contributed or endured hardships, which served as a common victory.
          The Patriotic War of 1812 is one of them, where the people, or rather the peoples of the Russian Empire, won.
          1. Elturisto
            Elturisto 21 December 2020 01: 47
            -3
            The Patriotic War was for the French and English capitalists. You can read, I wrote to you about parasites - the nobility and priests, they had a different fatherland with the peasantry - to whom quinoa, to whom champagne ...
        2. datura23
          datura23 20 December 2020 22: 20
          +1
          mental retardation in every word
          1. Elturisto
            Elturisto 21 December 2020 01: 48
            -3
            What an accurate self-diagnosis ...
            1. datura23
              datura23 21 December 2020 06: 18
              0
              a tourist in life does not understand the indigenous
        3. Nikon OConor
          Nikon OConor 22 December 2020 20: 24
          0
          Well, yes, you are right, the war is done by the peasants who have broken away from the plow and have taken the pitchfork. Vivat scythe against guns !!!
          Do you really care?
      2. 89268170588
        89268170588 20 February 2021 16: 48
        -1
        Do not. Learn the mat part. Napoleon was not a reformer of logistics. The basis of his supply was the food of the occupied territories. Canned food was just being developed. Margarine is definitely Napoleon. Ask for a personal need in those days, how hello. And the commander could not ignore such an excuse to help relatives in the battle zone. Other concepts, not proletarian solidarity.
  2. Pessimist22
    Pessimist22 19 December 2020 06: 45
    +1
    Of course, after 25 years of service you get used to everything, I wonder where how much did you serve?
    1. Vladimir Volk
      Vladimir Volk 19 December 2020 08: 49
      -2
      On wikipedia
    2. 89268170588
      89268170588 20 February 2021 16: 53
      0
      Everywhere and where and for life.
  3. rotmistr60
    rotmistr60 19 December 2020 06: 47
    +4
    Bread and "bread wine", groats and rich cabbage soup - that is, in fact, all that a soldier was obliged to pay for a state-owned soup.
    The Russian soldier was not whimsical in food, but with such a government ration and "artel" supplement he was well fed, cheerful and ready to fight the enemy. I remember one of the works of V. Kurochkin (who wrote "In War, As in War") "Iron Rain", where a war veteran recalls his call to the army from a remote village in the 30s. Service in the army, he recalls, was good for me because three times a day they were fed excellently, and even a military specialty could be purchased for free. And the doctor's catchphrase from the movie "The Formula of Love" is that the doctor is full and the patient is feeling better.
    1. Alexander K_2
      Alexander K_2 19 December 2020 08: 15
      +1
      You can imagine from which hole the recruits were called
      1. rotmistr60
        rotmistr60 19 December 2020 08: 27
        +2
        From a remote village, and besides, in the 30s, a famine also swept through the Russian Little Russian provinces. But in the army, even in difficult times, the soldier was not left hungry.
        1. Alexander K_2
          Alexander K_2 19 December 2020 09: 26
          -6
          If it was possible, then they would not feed, this applies to all countries with armed forces.
    2. Elturisto
      Elturisto 20 December 2020 18: 14
      -4
      You would be sent to the army for bread and porridge yourself, unpretentious ...
  4. Alexander K_2
    Alexander K_2 19 December 2020 08: 13
    +2
    War is not only blood and death, it is also hunger, they fed when they could!
  5. Stas157
    Stas157 19 December 2020 08: 27
    +15
    ... Especially in the winter - namely, as we remember, it was a significant part of the campaign.

    Company 1812 lasted six months from June and captured the first month of winter, and even then not full. And hunger and cold acted the same on any soldier, regardless of which side he was on.

    The main problem of the French was not directly in hunger, but the fact that Kutuzov made Napoleon to walk the old ruined road.

    ... But, we admit - certainly better than the "dishes" of rats and crows, as well as soup from candles, which were forced to feast on by the end of that war, who came to us from Europe

    The pursuit of Napoleon was not an easy road. The Russian army also suffered from hunger and disease. The size of Kutuzov's army was greatly reduced, if you look at it from the departure of Napoleon from Moscow and by the time he was expelled from Russia.
  6. Alexander Vorontsov
    Alexander Vorontsov 19 December 2020 11: 01
    -1
    What's the difference how they ate in 1812, if Alexander unleashed the war solely out of personal ambition, betraying Napoleon and breaking his promises.
    The graters went between England and France and Russia did not make sense at all to flattery and to fight.
    And in fact they got in defending the interests of England.

    As a result, the defeat of Napoleon took place.

    At the cost of tens of thousands of Russian soldiers' lives for the interests of England.

    People are simply told that they have come to our land, so the war is right.
    And the fact that they came to our land only because Alexander himself betrayed his own treaty with Napoleon, according to which no one would touch Russia in exchange for neutrality and non-interference, is nonsense.
    1. Narak-zempo
      Narak-zempo 19 December 2020 18: 56
      -6
      Quote: Alexander Vorontsov
      What's the difference how they ate in 1812, if Alexander unleashed the war solely out of personal ambition, betraying Napoleon and breaking his promises.
      The graters went between England and France and Russia did not make sense at all to flattery and to fight.
      And in fact they got in defending the interests of England.

      As a result, the defeat of Napoleon took place.

      At the cost of tens of thousands of Russian soldiers' lives for the interests of England.

      People are simply told that they have come to our land, so the war is right.
      And the fact that they came to our land only because Alexander himself betrayed his own treaty with Napoleon, according to which no one would touch Russia in exchange for neutrality and non-interference, is nonsense.

      Oh, another freak who read Ponasenkov.
      Napoleon was the Hitler of his time.
      1. Alexander Vorontsov
        Alexander Vorontsov 19 December 2020 19: 29
        0
        Quote: Narak-zempo
        Oh, another freak who read Ponasenkov.

        Do you know other historians besides Ponasenkov (who is not a historian at all)?
    2. Sergey Sfiedu
      Sergey Sfiedu 19 December 2020 22: 10
      0
      England was our main trading partner. Due to the continental blockade, Russia suffered colossal losses, which forced the king-father to turn away from Buonaparte.
      1. Alexander Vorontsov
        Alexander Vorontsov 20 December 2020 11: 04
        0
        Quote: Sergey Sfyedu
        England was our main trading partner. Due to the continental blockade, Russia suffered colossal losses, which forced the king-father to turn away from Buonaparte.

        She was not only a trading partner but also a lender.
        This is how Ukraine now believes that the IMF is its "ally" together with the whole of Europe.
        Although it is obvious that being friends with Western elites is beneficial only to oligarchs.

        It is curious that long before Tilsit, the government of the Russian Empire began to lean, if not towards a blockade, then towards a more independent policy. The Manifesto of Alexander I of January 13, 1807 "On the Granting of New Benefits to the Russian Merchants" prohibited foreigners from trading within Russia and becoming members of merchant guilds. Hit the British first. Some noble publicists welcomed this Manifesto, and the well-known educator, publicist and public figure V.V. Parrots (1778/1779 - c. 1816) even considered the manifesto to be a hidden support for Napoleon [103].
        Let me not be understood as an ardent supporter of the continental blockade. The continental blockade simply would not be a catastrophe if there was political will for economic independence and a desire to develop the country. And the worst of all from her was the nobles, and precisely those who owned land and serfs. 1-2% of the total Russian population.


        Those. the same people who had killed their tsar - father Alexander before.
        And he silently "closed his eyes."

        So the question becomes very slippery - are the interests of the country the same as the interests of the elites?
        If the answer is yes, then you are right. Certainly. What are the lives of 40 illiterate slaves worth?

        If, however, the "interests of Russia" are understood somewhat differently, then the situation ceases to be so unambiguous. But let's remember that the previous tsar had already lost his life as a result of a conflict of interests with the elite, and his son "not knowing about the attempt" forgave everyone who slaughtered his father like a pig.

        A worthy leader with independent politics.

        In Ukraine I will repeat something similar now.
        Someone sells their chocolates in the aggressor country.
        And about someone, films are made as heroic as a kid's legs were torn off near Debaltsevo. What a bad Russia. And what are the good Europeans who give loans, driving the country into bondage and instilling their own interests.
        1. Elturisto
          Elturisto 20 December 2020 18: 19
          0
          A very correct position. Aleksashka is a bastard, without any doubts. By the way, Kutuzov offered to agree to the peace proposals of Napoleon (when he was still in Moscow), but Kutuzov was looked after by an English bloodhound, a messenger (it seems Wilson). to Paris.At the same time, they helped Prussia, Austria and England, how it ended is known ...
        2. 89268170588
          89268170588 20 February 2021 17: 00
          0
          How missed you at the beginning of the 19th century. After the fire and ...... the pump.
  7. Avior
    Avior 19 December 2020 11: 50
    +1
    such a wonderful dish as kulesh. Millet groats, seasoned with lard and onions and boiled until balancing on the verge of the soup-porridge perfectly satisfied hunger and gave strength. Especially in the winter

    On sorties we cook everyone quite often. Only potatoes need to be added, and sometimes mushrooms, according to the season. The simplest and most convenient dish for the field.
    good
    1. Gvardeetz77
      Gvardeetz77 19 December 2020 12: 40
      -2
      Quote: Avior
      such a wonderful dish as kulesh. Millet groats, seasoned with lard and onions and boiled until balancing on the verge of the soup-porridge perfectly satisfied hunger and gave strength. Especially in the winter

      On sorties we cook everyone quite often. Only potatoes need to be added, and sometimes mushrooms, according to the season. The simplest and most convenient dish for the field.
      good

      No matter how hungry I was, but since kindergarten I don't eat millet and semolina in any form. Even at the school, where millet was 3-4 times a week, the loads were rather big and eternal hunger in the first year, I never tasted this delicacy, I was hungry and angry. If there was also a conditional "millet with beef" in the dry ration, then it’s definitely a letter of dismissal for gastronomic reasons)).
      Although this suggests that I did not experience real hunger ...))
      1. Avior
        Avior 19 December 2020 19: 25
        +2
        Theoretically, any porridge is suitable for kulesh, as long as it is boiled.
        In the process of cooking, it is boiled down to the consistency of a soup puree or cream soup. I heard it is made from peas, but I am a supporter of the classic millet.
    2. Narak-zempo
      Narak-zempo 19 December 2020 19: 02
      0
      Quote: Avior
      and, it happens, and mushrooms, according to the season

      To make it more interesting wassat
    3. Maxim Aranson
      Maxim Aranson 8 February 2021 19: 42
      0
      One remark - classic kulesh is made not from millet, but from wheat. But it takes much longer to cook, usually 4-5 hours. Remember the cartoon "how the Cossacks went for salt"? while the Cossacks found salt, the kulesh was not cooked yet! Of course, for the army on the march, this is too long: for comparison, buckwheat is cooked for 20-30 minutes. However, if you soak the grain with water in advance. the cooking time decreased.
      1. Avior
        Avior 8 February 2021 22: 09
        0
        Anything can happen in a cartoon, but usually the classic Cossack kulesh is considered millet all the same.
        Well, the cheaper option is millet.
        And wheat is also different. Crushed is cooked much faster and you do not need to soak, the grinder has long been known. They could cook from wheat, of course. It's hard to understand in a cartoon, she could cook from millet for a long time.
        But from it, rather, straw was made from flour or dumplings.
        In general, they often used dried fish for soup and broths as the basis of other dishes. There was no need to buy fish, but then there was a lot of it. And, I heard, there was a drying technology practically without salt, which was not cheap then.
        hi
  8. Undecim
    Undecim 19 December 2020 15: 44
    +9
    Well, you can’t let the propagandist go into history. To paraphrase Stanislav Lec, propagandists are deprived of the gift of telling the truth, but what kind of sincerity their lies breathe.
    First of all, I will mention that such an incredibly useful thing as a field kitchen simply did not exist in that war.
    The author, you will not believe, already "existed", moreover, just in the French army.

    The cooking tank was hung inside a large tank filled with water, under which was a wood-burning firebox. Thanks to the "water bath" food did not burn during cooking and remained warm for a long time. It was possible to cook food both at a break and on the go. In addition, the set included roasting surfaces and a coffee pot.
    1. Doctor
      Doctor 19 December 2020 18: 17
      +1
      The author, you will not believe, already "existed", moreover, just in the French army.

      Only 60 pieces in the Davout case. The rest of the old way ...
      1. Undecim
        Undecim 19 December 2020 19: 25
        +5
        Only 60 pieces in the Davout case.
        Does this somehow cancel their existence?
    2. Senior seaman
      Senior seaman 19 December 2020 21: 27
      +1
      Outstripped :)))
      Another thing is that there were not many of them.
  9. BAI
    BAI 19 December 2020 18: 59
    +3
    The nutrition of any army rests on one problem - the supply of the required allowance to the troops. Otherwise it will be like in a joke - Eat, then he will eat, but who will give him?
    This is not to say that the food of the Napoleonic army was poor (provided that all the products were delivered):
    The daily diet of a French soldier of 1812

    BREAD
    750 grams and 550 grams of crackers.
    MEAT
    250 g of fresh meat or salted beef, or 200 g of salted wine (lard, bacon, bacon, loin).
    VEGETABLES
    30 g of rice or 60 g of beans, peas, lentils as a substitute.
    SALT
    89 g of salt per month, or about 16 g per day.
    ALCOHOL
    Alcohol - 58 ml of vodka, 250 ml of wine, but only as a bonus by special order of the commanding general.
    VINEGAR
    1 liter of vinegar for 20 people, or 47 ml per person, but only during extreme heat, on the orders of the commanding general or on the advice of doctors.


    Soup recipe - the main food of the French army

    (from the work of the famous military reformer and practice of the Empire E.-A. Barden (1774-1840)

    It is necessary to put meat in the pot in the ratio of 250 g of meat to 1 liter of water, simmer for 4 hours, then add vegetables and / or rice and cook until tender. This soup turned out to be very thick, before eating, bread was added to it on top. The soldiers (with the exception of the guards) did not have plates, the soldiers approached the kettle in turn in seniority - a more or less permanent community of 8-9 people formed around each kettle - and ate one spoonful of this thick brew. When the turn came again, they came up again and ate again ...
    1. Sergey Valov
      Sergey Valov 19 December 2020 19: 31
      -1
      Judging by the memoirs, the French in 1812 had problems with bread. Meat in the first half of the war was in abundance, but there was not enough bread. The wild losses of the French during the retreat were largely associated with the huge number of soldiers who abandoned the formation and fought back from their units, they did not have to rely on a centralized distribution of food.
  10. Understanding
    Understanding 20 December 2020 09: 49
    +2
    One-sided, tendentious and kvass-patriotic.)
  11. Nikon OConor
    Nikon OConor 22 December 2020 20: 20
    0
    At the same time, fasting and slow days were strictly observed: in the first case, cabbage soup was cooked with smelt (small river fish, when fresh, and when dried or dried) and exclusively with vegetable oil. When there was no ban on eating meat, lard and / or meat went into the cauldron.

    The Russian Church has long introduced: "In particular, the rules do not apply to military personnel or combatants. In a war, indeed, there may be no time for restrictions."
    Source: https://vn.ru/news-5-dopustimykh-poslableniy-vo-vremya-velikogo-posta/
    Simply, when the convoy was regular (and most often plundered by the intendants), it was natural to economize, but in the case when the battlefield remained with the Russian soldiers, the decree of the church on the weakening of the post came into law.
    I apologize for the source, I just read a lot about this, and I do not consider it necessary to look for the official "bull" of the church.
    Otherwise, the article is correct, and reflects the state of the troops at the beginning of the 19th century.