From the Niemen to Smolensk. Central direction. Part 3

From the Niemen to Smolensk.  Central direction.  Part 3

Davoust, taking Minsk, suspended the promotion of their own troops to reduce the gap with a group of Jerome. Cavalry, he advanced to Berdichev, Hegumen and Kaidanov. He has received an order from the governor, to prevent attempts to unite with Bagration Barclay de Tolly through Orsha — Vitebsk or near Smolensk, why it was necessary to take a first Borisov. Davoust sent to Borisov squad Bordesulya (2 cavalry regiment, one infantry battalion and one artillery company), and from Vileika Cavalry Brigade Colbert. June 30 (July 12), the French occupied Borisov. After receiving the news of this, Davoust ordered to continue coming. By Hegumen sent four divisions — Compay, Dessa, Valence and Chastel, brigade Pazholya (30 thousand infantry and five thousand cavalry). Borisov moved to the Cavalry Corps Pears (Division Claparede and Lyagusse). In Borisov, under the command of Pears passed Colbert Bordesulya and, as a result of his power grew to 20 thousand infantry and cavalry.

2 (14), the main force Davoust were concentrated at the Abbot. Then he waited for the troops Jerome. But Jerome, received the order to guide his forces Davoust, resigned as commander of the possibilities. As a result, the grouping of Jerome stood in inaction and 7 (19) of July. By 6 (18), Pears took Kokhanov, for the next day Orsha. The main forces Dawa came to Ragachou. 8 (20) July the French occupied Mogilev. Russian detachment of Colonel Gresser, which was located in Mogilev, did not have time to kill warehouses and a bridge across the Dnieper and pressure the enemy retreated to an old Bykhov.

Quest of Saltanovka 11 (23) July

Bagration initially decided to step out of Bobruisk, Mogilev through to team up with the 1st Army. At the forefront was the body Platov, 7 (19) July 2nd Army began moving through an old Byhov to Mogilev. The army was with 2 trains: the first — the 7th Infantry and the 4th Cavalry Corps, 2nd — 8th Infantry Corps. He has not changed his own solutions, even after receiving the news of the approach of the French to Mogilev. Army on the march is very spread out, when the vanguard came to Mogilev, Bobruisk rearguard was at. 7th Infantry Corps Nikolai Nikolaevich Raevskogo housed in ancient Bykhau when Cossack vanguard VA Sysoev (2 million people) was close to Mogilev.

Learning from the squad Gresser to join the enemy forces in Mogilev, Sysoev continued movement. At 8:00 am the Cossacks faced by the Old-Bykhovskaya road with the 3rd cavalry regiment of Chasseurs corps Davoust. Sysoev poruha wanted to ambush the enemy, but the French were behaving cautiously. Then he stormed the enemy. After the attack of the Cossack regiments friendly horse huntsmen were prokinut and ran up to the town, which has already stopped by the French infantry. Cossacks repulsed by artillery fire. The Russian captured in this battle more than 200 prisoners, and the commander of the regiment of Chasseurs as well. Sysoev went to a place Buinichi and sent a message to Bagration. The commander of the 2nd Army, takes a decision to carry out a reconnaissance in force with force housing Raevskogo (15 million with 72 guns). In the case of Fortune seize Mogilev, and if it turns out that in the town are the main forces of Davoust, to organize a crossing south of town and move to Smolensk.

10 (22) July 7 th Infantry Corps Raevskogo (12th and 26th Divisions) stood at Dashkovka have Bykhov — 8th Corps. Davoust had on July 10 in Mogilev 24 thousand infantry, four thousand cavalry, with 56 guns. French marshal has prepared a position 11 kilometers south of the town, the village Saltanovka. The position of the French under Saltanovka was well protected natural terrain. From the front it covered creek in a deep ravine, through which the main road on the dam was built of fallen trees and constructed a bridge. On the left flank Dnieper flows, the area adjacent to the river, was swamped and almost impassable for the troops. The right flank of the French position that ran to the village of fops (fops), was protected forest. Dams and river crossing, the only available transitions through marshy banks of the stream, was on the instructions of Davoust either destroyed or barricaded. At the front of the marshal put the 4th Infantry Division of General Desse and horse battery, situated deep in the 61st Infantry Regiment of the 5th Division of General Compans and 5th Cuirassier Division.

From the Niemen to Smolensk.  Central direction.  Part 3

Nicholas Raevskii.

Fight. 11 (23) July vanguard of the 7th Corps — 6 th and 41 th Jaeger Regiment (12th Division) began coming to Saltanovka. The French advanced units were forced out of the dam, but failed to capture it. French artillery and infantry heavy fire suspended head of the Russian infantry. Raevskii sure the front of the impossibility of a breakthrough so insignificant forces also saw the danger of a blow to his left-wing of the village fops. Because, in the latest attack on Saltanovka was sent to the entire 12th Division Peter Mikhailovich Kolyubakin (he was wounded in the battle), and the 26th Infantry Division Ivan Paskevich sent to bypass fops.

Paskevich Division captured the fops, but trials Kolyubakin seize the main position in the French Saltanovka not met with success. The battle was fierce. Thus, during the critical moment — the Smolensk Infantry Regiment, the advancing of the dam was not safe to counter-attack the flank of the French, Raevskii personally led the attack, the convoy turned and threw his opponent by the creek. Enemy well appreciated, but because of the narrowness of the battlefield terrain and the difficulties it was impossible to increase the attacking forces to use cavalry.

As a result, the fight Bagration sure that in Mogilev are the main forces of the enemy. In addition, for the wrong messages captured the French had the exaggerated representation of the forces of the enemy. The prisoners were told that Davoust had in Mogilev to 5 divisions and was expecting more reinforcements. In the end, it was feared that the troops of King Jerome fit during the fight and stormed the 2nd Army from the rear. All this together has been the cause of the Russian command of indecision. Bagration gave the order to retreat to the countryside Shawl Dashkovka. Part Raevskogo retreating under the pressure of the enemy. The French stormed to the front and tried to circumvent the division Paskevich. But the enemy's attacks were repulsed. Davoust also acted cautiously, fearing for the right flank at the fops, holding back reserves. Davoust also multiplies the strength of the enemy, and was waiting for the Russian army will repeat sample breakthrough.

In the course of this struggle 7th Corps had lost 1.4 million men killed and wounded (by other sources — 2.5 million), the French — 3.5 million people (4.1 million).

Bagration takes a decision on the crossing of troops from New Bykhov, where fighting has recently been bridged. 8th Corps was sent to the crossing, and the 7th left with Dashkovka showing willingness to continue fight. 12 (24), to link up with the 1st Army Corps sent Platov. Davoust in motion Platov saw workaround Bagration and continued to prepare for battle newcomer. 14 (26) July Platov's Cossacks were in
Gourock, the 15th took Dubrovnaya which crossed the Dnieper. July 17th Corps Platov was in Lubavitch, and established contact with the 1st Army. Began to move and the main force 2nd Army: 14 July forced the Dnieper 8th Infantry, 4th Cavalry Corps and the whole convoy. Then he went to Byhov 7th Corps and the rest of the cavalry, they were on the same day across the river. 15 (27) July rearguard crossed the Dnieper. The main forces of the 2nd Army marched through Smolensk through Propoisk, Cherikov, screaming and Mstislavl. From flank movement of the army covered Zahav of the Cossack regiments. While on the march Bagration vyznat the abandonment of Vitebsk and the movement of the 1st Army to Smolensk. July 22 (August 3) both joined the Army in Smolensk.

From the Niemen to Smolensk.  Central direction.  Part 3

The movement of the 1st Army. Fight under the island (13 -15 (25-27) in July 1812)

11 (23) July 1 st army Barclay de Tolly came to Vitebsk. 12 (24), the French troops approached Beshenkovichi. Having learned from the survey data that Russian forces already in Vitebsk, Napoleon ordered to speed up output columns to this small town, about to start a general scramble. In the vanguard of the French army were two cavalry and one infantry corps (25 th fighter at 70 guns). In turn, Barclay de Tolly, received word of the French on the left bank of the Dvina, ordered the commander of the 4th Infantry Corps, Alexander Ivanovich Ostermann-Tolstoy advancing to Beshenkovichi. The case, which had in the two infantry divisions (11th and 23rd), was reinforced with 2 hussar regiments, one brigade of dragoons and a company of horse artillery, resulting in the total number of troops it has grown to 14 thousand people at 66 guns. The case had to close the road to Vitebsk and delay the enemy until the arrival of the 6th Infantry Corps Dokhturov and 3rd Cavalry Corps Palena.

From the Niemen to Smolensk.  Central direction.  Part 3

Alexander Ostermann-Tolstoy.

13 (25),. Ostermann-Tolstoy's forces began to move in the night of 12 (24) 13 (25),. At 7 km from Vitebsk marching in the vanguard of the Life Guards Hussar Regiment of Dragoons and Nijinsky met French patrols of the housing Nansouty, upset and chased them to the island (about 25 km west of Vitebsk). But Ostrovno retreating French cavalry brigade supported the PIDE. She knocked Russian cavalry and captured six guns mounted battery. Ostermann-Tolstoy introduced to battle another regiment of hussars and infantry deployed, the enemy was driven back to the island. At this time, arrived in the island with the main forces of Murat — under his command was the 1st Hussar Division of General Brewer and the 1st Cuirassier Division of General Saint-Germain.

Count Ostermann-Tolstoy took the position, 1 km from Ostrovno by deploying their forces in two strips across the road to Vitebsk. The first band was 11th, while in the second the 23rd Infantry Division and the cavalry. The wings were rested in a swampy forest, besides the right wing covered the Western Dvina. Marshal Joachim Murat, not having the ability to bypass maneuver forces arrayed in the most profound order of battle and went on the attack. Began a fierce battle that went all day. Russian artillery sweep the road, causing significant losses piled along its cavalry of the enemy. The advanced part of Russian housing is also very obsessed by the enemy artillery fire. Because of the narrowness of the position and the lack of infantry French marshal could not quite bring the numerical advantages, because he had to commit a series of violent attacks front. French cavalry attacks were carried out on the road, where two battalions of Russian infantry were built on both sides of the road in a square head and held off the enemy. SN Glinka in "Notes of 1812" report:

"Fiercely enemy artillery thundered and tore the whole series of brave Russian regiments. It was hard to carry our guns, charges shot, they fell silent. Asked Earl, "What?" "Nothing, — he says, — to stand and breathe!" Russian troops also tried to counter-attack through the forest, but their attacks were constrained by artillery fire. The French lost for that day 4 guns. Of success has not brought the French came up, and the 13th Infantry Division of the Corps Delzona Beauharnais. By the final day or come cavalry units of the 1st Cavalry Corps Uvarov. Under the guise of the Russian infantry moved to the village Kakuvyachina (Kukovyachino).

From the Niemen to Smolensk.  Central direction.  Part 3

Lithograph on rice. A.Adam. 1830s. Fight at Ostrovno July 25, 1812

14 (26) of July. The battle of the Island delayed the promotion of French army, which allowed to concentrate all the forces of the 1st Army. Barclay de Tolly decides to turn away from the flank march to Orsha to connect to the 2nd Army. That's 2nd Army Bagration had time to link up with the 1st Army, Barclay de Tolly was going to give the general scramble near Vitebsk. For the preparation of positions and deployment of the army was necessary to hold the enemy. His replacement housing Ostermann-Tolstoy's chief sent a 3rd Infantry Division Lieutenant General Pyotr Konovnitsyn (from the 3rd Infantry Corps). At dawn on July 14 there was a change parts. Ostermann-Tolstoy's forces now formed the rearguard.

Konovnitsyn of the division took position behind a ravine near the village Kakuvyachinoy (8 km from Ostrovno). Ahead of the position was the deepest ravine, covered the right flank of the Dvina, and left a thick swampy forest. At 8:00 am Division Nansouty Delzona and went to the offensive. The main blow was dealt to Russian left flank. Promotion of the French, despite the double an advantage capable of holding back the Russian artillery fire and rugged terrain hampered the cavalry. In addition, Russian troops on the right wing counter-attacked and overthrew the French left flank. Murat himself had to fight to keep the Polish Lancers and the French generals to straighten ran part.

Barclay de Tolly was sent to strengthen the rearguard of the 1st Grenadier Division. The command of the commander of the rear guard ran across the 3rd Infantry Corps Nikolai Alexeyevich Tuchkov. At about 2:00 a day or corps de Beauharnais and Murat, Napoleon appeared in person, he took command of themselves. By 3 hours of day or the French overcame stubborn resistance to Russian troops, who started to retreat to the village of mosquitoes. The withdrawal of Russian troops almost turned into a mess because of the flight-in-command — Konovnitsyn, irritable that in the midst of battle command over the forces transferred Tuchkov not fussed about the restoration of order, and the commander of the 3rd Corps, according to the Chief of Staff of the 1st Army Ermolova — "… did not heed the significance of events and activities had no need of you." The battle near the village of Mosquitoes lasted until 5:00, and then Russian troops retreated to the village Dobreyk
a. After Tuchkov withdrew his troops across the river Luchesy (Luchosy), the connection with the main forces of the 1st Army.

Barclay de Tolly was at that time preparing for the decisive battle: the troops of the 1st Army took up positions behind Luchesy, resting his right flank in the Western Dvina and closing the wood on the left flank. But of early day 15 (27) camp July 1st army of Bagration rushed a messenger from the message that he is going to Smolensk. In addition, prisoners notified about the origin of the Russian command of Napoleon, which meant that 75 million against the Russian army is 150 thousand Frenchmen. Barclay de Tolly, convenes a council of war, at which the decision to retreat to Smolensk, the need to detain position in Vitebsk zhdya Bagration was no more. 1st Army changed its position by clicking on the banks Luchesy on the road to Babinovichi, that is, ready to sail, but continued to show the preparation to the general combat.

15 (27) of July. Covered the evolution of the Russian army detachment under the command of Peter Petrovich Palena (commander of the 3rd Cavalry Corps). Under his command were 7 thousand infantry and cavalry (about the same number of infantry and cavalry) with 40 guns. He took the position, 8 km from Vitebsk, near Dobreyki. Position was wide enough because forces were placed in two bands without reserve.

Napoleon introduced the battle cavalry division and Nansouty Delzona (23 thousand people, with 70 guns). The rear guard of General Palena fought 5:00 am to 3:00 day or after that went beyond p. Luchesy, where shortly before the positions were 1st Russian army. According to the views of Clausewitz, who personally was in the headquarters of the Palena, head weak opponent explained by the fact that Napoleon wanted to prepare for a general engagement. The stubborn resistance of the Russian troops forced the French ruler imagine that Barclay de Tolly was going to give the general scramble near Vitebsk. On the other bank of the river Luchesy lights were Russian fires. All the talk about the fact that the Russian army will fight. But in the afternoon on June 15 and NIGHT MODE the 16th Russian Army secretly moved with 3 columns in the direction of Smolensk, as the French had no idea. Forest rearguard and Palena, hid the withdrawal of Russian troops, which Napoleon Bonaparte vyznat only am 16 (28) of July. July 22 (August 3) joined the Russian army in Smolensk. It was a great strategic success of the Russian command.

Results of contractions at Vitebsk. The three-day battle, both sides have lost approximately 3.7 million people. Napoleon again failed to impose a decisive battle of the Russian army and prevent the connection 2-Russian armies. Barclay de Tolly was able to pull back to Smolensk combat-ready, fully prepared to continue the war. The French army was in the worst condition. Thus, the French were not even able to prosecute the Russian army. General Belliard to a question on the status of the ruler of cavalry units responded simply: "Another six days of the march, and the horsemen will disappear." After the military council, Napoleon decided to stop the imminent coming into Russia. June 28 organized in Vitebsk headquarters, he said: "Here I will! Then I have to look around, to give rest to the army and organize Poland. Campaign 1812 is over, the campaign 1813 graduate from the rest. " But in Vitebsk Napoleon stayed only until July 23 (August 4).

From the Niemen to Smolensk.  Central direction.  Part 3

Subsequent acts of Napoleon

Napoleon in Vitebsk received a message on attacks against troops from the Army Tormasov Rainier (the battle of Kobrin). It has become evident that it is impossible to remove troops from the flanks, if it is decided to continue straight ahead for Russian troops. I had to abandon the idea of incorporating the Austrian subsidiary block Schwarzenberg (30 million people) in the shock group, which occurred in the central direction. The Austrians had to step out of the 7th Corps (Saxon) Rainier to the south. In principle, and without housing Schwarzenberg central grouping majestically army outnumbered the two Russian armies, it was necessary only prinevolit Russian command to the general scramble. Napoleon did not hesitate in his talent leader.

But when Napoleon said to his marshals and generals of his decision to continue coming, he suddenly met the objection. Only one of Naples Joachim Murat lord supported his idea. Chief of Staff of the Army Lofty Louis Alexandre Berthier, Quartermaster-General Pierre-Antoine Daru, the coming ruler of associates — Gerard Christophe Duroc and Armand de Caulaincourt — all of them were against the coming Advent. Berthier and Caulaincourt pointed to the unreliability of the allies (first Austria and Prussia), to the middle of defeatism against the will of the mobilized troops. Duroc and Berthier expressed concern about the "lure" Lofty army deep into the expanses of Russia. And the chief quartermaster of the army said, I give directly to the emperor, that neither the army nor the people do not understand the circumstances because of which there is a war, "Not only will your troops, sir, but we are also not aware of any purpose or necessity of this war." "This war is not clear to the French unpopular in France, folk song" — read it. In addition, I give points to the fact that communication is stretched and hard to provide and it will be very hamper the supply of the army. Higher military government encouraged Napoleon wait proposals for peace in Vitebsk. But Napoleon did not listen to good advice of their own marshals and generals. "Conclusion of the world is waiting for me at the Metropolitan gate" — he said.

At the same time, Napoleon Gimp, waiting for news of clear action against the 2nd and 3rd Russian armies. Worried him the news of the event third of the Russian army on his right flank. It is not allowed to weaken the forces stationed there. Even more disturbing is brought reports of an alliance between the Russian Empire and Great Britain, Sweden, the movement of Russian housing Steingel to Riga. These incidents were forced to keep a large force not only on the right wing, and on the left.

Like this post? Please share to your friends: