Military Review

"Kremskoy massacre"

Kremskoe battle

Having crossed over to the left bank of the Danube, Kutuzov first of all collected information about Mortier’s corps. The French, who captured Miloradovich, reported that Mortier, with one infantry division, was at Dirnstein, on the march to Krems. The rest of the troops were behind. October 29 (November 10) 1805 scouts confirmed the information of the captured Frenchmen, specifying that the second French division is located at Spitz, within miles of 12 from Mortier.

Kutuzov decided to break the Mortier corps. Miloradovich, having an Absheron musketeer regiment, one battalion of the Little Russian Grenadier, Smolensk musketeer and 8th jaeger regiments, 2 squadrons of the Mariupol hussar regiment, was instructed to deter Mortier from the front. Dokhturov, with the 6th Jaeger, Moscow, Yaroslavl, Vyatka musketeer regiments, battalions of the Bryansk and Narva regiments (16 battalions in total), two hussar squadrons, was to bypass the enemy and cut off his retreat. He was supposed to go to Dirnstein, in the rear to Mortier. Bagration guarded the rear and watched the roads leading to Krems. The remaining troops covered the flank and were in reserve. Batteries were installed on the banks of the Danube to attack the enemy flotilla.

Thus, the Russian troops were prepared to attack. To calm Mortier, Kutuzov spread rumors that our army is in a hurry to Moravia and stopped in Krems only for a short rest, and Miloradovich at Stein covers the retreat. Mortier believed disinformation and, without sending intelligence to the left flank, hurried from Dirnstejn to Krems.

On the morning of October 30 (November 11) 1805, the French avant-garde came to Stein and began a shootout with our posts. Soon, Mortier arrived with a brigade and attacked. Miloradovich went to meet with two columns: one was on the shore, the other mountains. A fierce battle ensued. The left column broke into the village of Unter-Loiben, started a bayonet battle. The French drove our soldiers out of the village. Having received reinforcements from the reserve, Miloradovich again took the village. The attack of the troops of Mortier on our right wing in the mountains did not lead to success. Gathering the whole division of Gazan, Mortier went on the offensive along the line. The French again drove the soldiers of Miloradovich out of Unter-Loiben.

Waiting for Dokhturov to arrive at Dirnstein, Kutuzov ordered Miloradovich to slowly withdraw. Mortier followed him. Not reaching Stein, he was met with a canister and counterattack by fresh Russian troops. Seeing significant enemy forces, Mortier realized that he was not in front of a weak rear guard, but a significant part of the Russian army. It was dangerous to advance further with one division. Mortier stopped and ordered Dupont's division to speed up the march.

"Kremskoy massacre"

Marshal Edouard Mortier

Dokhturov's column was late. The troops marched practically across impassable mountains, covered with forests, where two people could hardly walk alongside. Rain worsened terrain. Our soldiers barely wade through the mountains and the forest, greatly stretched. Local guides made mistakes in the calculations of the movement of troops. Hearing the sounds of battle, the soldiers hurried to complete the task. Dokhturov, to accelerate the movement, left the artillery and cavalry, moving one infantry. At 5 hours of the evening, instead of 8 in the morning, as planned, our avant-garde finally descended from the mountains. It was the 6 th Jäger Regiment and the Grenadier Battalion of the Yaroslavl Regiment. The leader of the troops, Ulanius, captured Dirnstein, having dispersed a small French detachment with three guns standing there. The guns were captured.

Ulanius set up his unit in the direction of Krems, towards the troops of Mortier. At this time, the Vyatka regiment approached. His Dokhturov put the front to Spitz, from which came the division of Dupont. At the first news of the appearance of the Russians in the rear, Mortier sent the dragoons to Dirnstein. They are easily knocked over. Realizing that he was blocked, Mortier gathered a council of war. Considering the defeat to be inevitable, senior officers offered Mortier to swim in a boat across the river Danube so that the marshal of the French Empire was not captured. Mortier refused, considering it his duty to share the fate of the troops that were under his command.

Leaving the rearguard to restrain Miloradovich, the rest of the forces of Mortier led to a breakthrough in Dirnstein. Noticing the departure of the French, Miloradovich began the pursuit. Dokhturov detachment at this time led a stubborn battle with the DuPont Division, which was trying to break through to help Mortier. The French attacked the Vyatka regiment, which blocked their way. Dokhturov reinforced the Vyatka regiment with other units as they descended from the mountain. However, the night fell, and the movement in the mountainous terrain became even more difficult.

Soon a fierce battle ensued. Dokhturov was between two fires. From the right flank he was attacked by Dupont's division, which was trying to help his comrades. Mortier made his way into Dirnstein from the left flank and overturned the forward detachment of Ulanius. Mortier himself from the rear was attacked by Miloradovich, who fought off two French guns. No less brutal battle boiled on the slopes of heights, ravines and paths, where DuPont sent part of the division, trying to keep our troops in the mountains.

The fight was fierce. The tightness of the place aggravated the bitterness of the battle. Kernels and canister cut trees and crushed stones. People were beaten with stones and boughs. When the French, Mortier broke into Dirnstein, the soldiers were cut off on bayonets, fighting with rifle butts. One of the best generals of Napoleon Dupont wrote: “The most deadly fire was boiling on the Danube coast and in the mountains. Wherever the place allowed, the troops rushed into hostility. The hardness of the Russians was equal to the courage of the French. Those and others mixed in desperate melee. ”

The fight lasted until 9 hours of the evening. For more than three hours the troops fought in the dark, illuminated only by cannon and rifle volleys. Marshal Mortier himself was surrounded several times and paved the way with his saber. Gazan's division was completely upset. Many Frenchmen panicked and tried to flee. Until the late evening, our batteries bombarded the ships of the French flotilla, which took out the wounded and artillery.

However, it was not possible to completely destroy the troops of Mortier. Dokhturov was in a difficult situation, under the pressure of Mortier and Dupont, without artillery and cavalry, not having time to prepare defensive positions and having barely passable mountain trails for departure. As a result, he was forced to withdraw the troops and miss the remnants of the troops of Mortier. Marshal Mortier retreated to Spitz, where he received a late order from Napoleon to ship the entire corps to the right bank of the Danube as soon as possible.

Dmitry Sergeevich Dokhturov

Mikhail Andreevich Miloradovich

The loss of the French amounted to about 4 thousand killed and wounded. Russian troops captured more 1500 prisoners, 5 guns, a banner and a lot of military equipment. Gazan's division was so drained of blood that it no longer participated in the battles in this campaign. Our losses are unknown. Approximate losses - about 2-3 thousand people.

The defeat of the French at Krems was Napoleon’s first serious failure. This battle the French emperor called the "Kremis battle." Kutuzov forced the enemy to withdraw to the other side of the Danube and gained complete freedom of action. He could stay where he was, waiting for Bucksgeveden, go to meet him or to Vienna. The Russian commander disrupted Napoleon’s plan for the encirclement of the Russian army and created favorable conditions for its connection with the Buksgevden corps. For the first time in many days, Russian soldiers, tormented by battle and hardship, could take a little breath.

I must say that this battle caused great joy among Napoleon's enemies, because before that no one could stop his victorious troops. The news of the victory of Kutuzov over Mortier was taken with great joy as a guarantee of future success. The Austrian emperor marked Kutuzov with the Order of Maria Theresa of the 1 degree.

To be continued ...
Articles from this series:
War of the Third Coalition

England vs Russia. Drawing into war with france
England vs Russia. Getting involved in a war with France. Part of 2
"I won the battle with some marches." How Napoleon defeated the III anti-French coalition
The catastrophe of the Austrian army near Ulm
How England became the "mistress of the seas"
Trafalgar defeat
Ulm-Olmutsky march maneuver Kutuzov
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  1. D-Master
    D-Master 6 November 2015 06: 48
    Thanks so much for the article. It is very pleasant to read about the victories of Russian weapons, especially against such an enemy as Napoleon. I did not know anything about this battle and the article was a pleasant discovery for me ... Thanks again
  2. parusnik
    parusnik 6 November 2015 07: 32
    The news of Kutuzov’s victory over Mortier was received with great joy, as a guarantee of future success. The Austrian emperor marked Kutuzov with the Order of Maria Theresa of the 1st degree. ..Austrians interfered more than fought ...
  3. timyr
    timyr 6 November 2015 08: 28
    The joke is true from another time: Why do we need the Italian army, so that the Austrian could at least defeat someone
  4. dvg79
    dvg79 6 November 2015 10: 18
    As far as I remember, Tolstoy expressed doubts in the leadership talents of Kutuzov in War and Peace, but this article in my opinion proves that he was an excellent strategist.
    1. The comment was deleted.
    2. Aleksander
      Aleksander 6 November 2015 11: 43
      Quote: dvg79
      As far as I remember, Tolstoy expressed doubts in the leadership talents of Kutuzov in War and Peace, but this article in my opinion proves that he was an excellent strategist.

      Kutuzov proved himself to be a brilliant strategist even in the defeat and withdrawal of the Ottoman Port from the war in 1812, and in many ways ensured this victory in the Patriotic War of 1812 ...
    3. victor
      victor 6 November 2015 23: 10
      Excuse me, who did Tolstoy defeat in the war, and with whom did he make peace ??? A great writer may not necessarily be a great commander, diplomat, mathematician ... This article proves your ignorance of history ... By the way, read about Suvorov - especially his contemporaries. ... Opixylurite.
  5. xan
    xan 6 November 2015 10: 40
    Poor Miloradovich attacked from the rear. In theory, the French all had to surrender or perish. Victory, but not complete. It looks like the battle of Tarutino, where ours could not completely destroy Murat, Kutuzov was furious with the sluggishness and inconsistency of the generals. So fight is not buzzing.
  6. dudinets
    dudinets 6 November 2015 11: 03
    but I’m generally amazed: how was it possible under such conditions to coordinate the actions of units in battle without any means of communication (even the most primitive telephone!), except for messengers.
    1. xan
      xan 6 November 2015 15: 25
      Here the question is simple, someone can, and someone not. Who can win.
      Napoleon lost the battle of Waterloo, because the courier sent by the chief of staff of Pear with an order to return the troops pursuing Blucher fell into the hands of the Prussians. Napoleon to the excuses of Pear that he had sent a courier, noted that the former chief of staff Berthier would have sent not one, but twenty, in different ways.
      Knowledge of military history is not only interesting, but also useful.
  7. chunga-changa
    chunga-changa 6 November 2015 12: 11
    Our losses are unknown.
    What is it like? Did not know how much it was? Or could not calculate how much is left?
    1. victor
      victor 6 November 2015 23: 14
      Yes, they simply were not reflected in individual battles, but usually at the end of the company ...
  8. moskowit
    moskowit 6 November 2015 17: 48
    Thank you, informative article ... Almost off topic. To the great regret, the hero of the Napoleonic wars, the glorious Son of Russia, General Miloradovich, was killed on December 14 of 1825 of the year on Senate Square by the conspirator Kakhovsky, when his appeal and speech to the deceived soldiers had already taken effect. That's from what times began to kill those who carry the word, meanly, stealthily.
  9. Olezhek
    Olezhek 8 November 2015 18: 40
    Did not know about this battle. Thank.
  10. The Burglar
    The Burglar 12 November 2015 14: 52
    Thank you for opening another page of our military history.