Battle of Borodino
|Battle of Borodino|
|Part of the
Battle of Moscow, 7th September 1812, 1822
|Commanders and leaders|
587 guns 
|Casualties and losses|
|28,012–35,000 dead, wounded and captured  (inc. 47 generals, 480 officers)||40,000–45,000 dead, wounded, and captured   (inc. 23 generals, 211 officers)|
The Battle of
The fighting involved around 250,000 troops and left at least 70,000 casualties, making Borodino the deadliest day of the Napoleonic Wars. Napoleon's
After a series of Russian retreats at the beginning of the campaign, the nobility grew alarmed about the advancing French troops and forced the Czar to dismiss the army's commander,
The highlight of the fighting became the bloody struggle for the large Raevsky
The capture of Moscow proved a
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The French Grande Armée began its invasion of Russia on 16 June 1812. In response, Emperor
Napoleon advanced from
Infighting between Barclay's subordinates repeatedly prevented the Russian commander from committing his forces to battle.
 Barclay's fellow generals and the Russian court viewed the constant retreat as a reluctance to fight; consequently, he was removed from command and replaced by Prince
After taking over the army, Kutuzov organized a strong rearguard under the command of General Konovnytsyn and then ordered the army to prepare for battle. Kutuzov understood that Barclay's decision to retreat was correct, but the Russian troops could not accept further retreat. A battle had to occur in order to preserve the morale of the soldiers.
 The new commander had still not managed to establish a defensive position when the armies were within 125 kilometres (78 mi) of Moscow. He then ordered another retreat to
Napoleon's Grande Armée made its final approach to Moscow from the WSW along the Smolensk Roads with the Moscow River on its left flank. A defensive line was established in the best available position along this path before Moscow near the village of Borodino.
 Although the Borodino field was too open and had too few natural obstacles to protect the Russian center and the left flank, it was chosen due to the protection provided by the Kolocha river, because it blocked both Smolensk–Moscow roads and because there were simply no better locations.
 Starting on 3 September, Kutuzov strengthened the line with earthworks, including the
The initial Russian position, which stretched south of the new Smolensk Highway (Napoleon's expected route of advance), was anchored on its left by a pentagonal earthwork redoubt erected on a mound near the village of Shevardino.
 The Russian generals soon realized that their left wing was too exposed and vulnerable.
 So the Russian line was moved back from this position, but the Redoubt remained manned, Kutuzov stating that the fortification was manned simply to delay the advance of the French forces. Historian
The Chief of Staff of the Russian 1st Army,
The conflict began on September 5 when Marshal
The unexpected French advance from the west and the fall of the Shevardino redoubt threw the Russian formation into disarray. Since the left flank of their defensive position had collapsed, Russian forces withdrew to the east, constructing a makeshift position centered around the village of Utitsa. The left flank of the Russian position was thus ripe for a flanking attack.[