At dawn on August 27 (September 8), the Russian army left the position at Borodino and departed for Mozhaisk, sitting near the village of Zhukovka. To cover the withdrawal of the army Kutuzov formed a strong rearguard under the Platov. In the rearguard were: Cossack Corps, part of the 1st Cavalry Corps Uvarov, Maslowski detachment of General PP Passek within 3 Jager and one of the Cossack regiments (at the time of the Borodino battle, he was placed on the tip of the right wing position in the flash near the village of Maslov) , 4th Infantry Division from the 2nd Corps and the 2nd Cavalry squadron Don artillery. These forces remained on the Borodino position a few hours after leaving the army and started moving around in the afternoon.
When Napoleon reported the withdrawal of the Russian army, the message is not prompted him to act energetically. The governor was in a state of apathy. In addition, offensive ability, «Grand Army» were very undermined: the best of French infantry, who were part of the body Davoust, Ney and Junot, suffered huge losses in Semeynovsk flushes. In particular, the French suffered heavy losses cavalry. Only 31 August, Napoleon decided to tell Europe about the latest «brilliant victory» (released this eighteenth bulletin). He will exaggerate the scale of its own «success», said the Russian had the numerical an advantage — 170 thousand people (later stated that he 80 thousand army stormed the «Russian, consisting of 250 000, armed to the teeth and broke them …» ). In order to justify its own success Napoleon was necessary to come to Moscow. It proposes to retreat to Smolensk, to fill the army, to strengthen communication. Napoleon and refused the offer of Murat immediately resume the battle.
Fool the European public was easier than the army. «Grand Army» Battle of Borodino quickly apprehended as a defeat, discouragement soldiers and officers have noted many of Napoleon’s entourage. Defeat Russian army in a pitched battle failed, she moved in order, and it is threatened by new battles in the not to distant future, the loss was terrible.
Kutuzov also did not have the ability to immediately go to the coming of the army has been bled dry. He decided to retreat to Moscow and received reinforcements to fight the new enemy. Arriving in Mozhaisk, Kutuzov did not find any reinforcements or ammunition, nor carts, horses, entrenching tools, which he requests that the Military Governor of Moscow Rostopchina. Kutuzov wrote a letter to the governor, where the latter expressed surprise at this and said that it is «the salvation of Moscow.»
August 27-28 (8-9 September) 1812 Platov led a rearguard action. He could not resist Mozhdysk west and by the end of day or started to retreat under the pressure of Murat’s cavalry. It was fixed at the village Modenova and Kutuzov was required to strengthen the rearguard with 2 infantry brigades of the 7th and 24th Divisions, 3-Jaeger Regiment, the rest of the 1st Cavalry Corps, the 2nd Cavalry Corps and artillery company. Kutuzov, dissatisfied with the actions of Platov, changed it to Miloradovicha, who by this time was the commander of the 2nd Army instead of leaving Bagration.
August 28 (September 9) Kutuzov expressed gratitude to all the troops who participated in the battle of Borodino. In order to the army to speak of love of country, typical of Russian warriors courage, and expressed confidence that «inflicting terrible defeat our enemy, we’ll give him the help of God the final blow. To do this, our troops are going to meet the freshest troops, burning with the same zeal to fight the enemy. » August 28-29 Kutuzov distributed militiamen between troops of the 1st and 2nd Armies. DI Lobanov-Rostov, which the beginning of the Russian war in 1812 he was appointed military commander on the ground from Yaroslavl to Voronezh, commander gave the order to bring to Moscow all its available reserves. AA Kleinmikhel had to lead three regiments that were formed in Moscow. In addition, Kutuzov sent orders to Major General Ushakov in Kaluga for immediate dispatch to Moscow on 8 infantry battalions and 12 squadrons of cavalry.
August 29 to Alexander Kutuzov said that the battle is won, but the «extraordinary loss» and wounded, «the most suitable generals», forcing him to move on the roads of the capital. Commander informed the emperor that he must retreat further, because I do not get reinforcements. Kutuzov expected to increment the army to 40-45 thousand infantry and cavalry. But he did not know that the governor does not notice him, he rebuked Lobanov-Rostov and Kleinmichel pass at his disposal provisions to special order. The governor even before the battle of Borodino ordered Lobanov-Rostov put things created in Tambov and Voronezh shelves to Voronezh and Kleinmichel — in Rostov-on-Don, Petrov, Pereiaslavl-Zaleski and Suzdal. In addition, the troops sent from St. Petersburg moved to Pskov and Tver, but not in Moscow. It says that Alexander I fussed over the fate of St. Petersburg, not Moscow. His orders were impartial to the disruption of the old capital of the Russian defense of the country. Kutuzov did not know about these orders and make their plans based on the arrival of spare troops.
August 28 main forces of the Russian army made the transition from village to village Krutitsy Zemlin. The rear guard to fight for the basic forces retreated, the Russian troops were fighting the vanguard of Murat. The battle lasted from dawn until 5:00 pm, when it became clear the successful withdrawal of the army. By August 30 the army has made a new transition and began the night at the St. Nicholas (Big Vyazemy). Rearguard and in this day depart from the fight. Kutuzov sent for the village Mamonov (there Benningsen elected position for the fight) The Chief Engineers 1st Western Army Christian Ivanovich Trussona with supplies for the fortress works. Kutuzov Rostopchina also sent several letters, repeating previous requests commander sought immediately send all the guns that are in the Metropolitan arsenal, ammunition, shovels and axes.
On the same day Kutuzov came from the direction of Alexander on August 24, where it was said that the shelves Lobanov-Rostov will not be attached to the army, they will be used for the preparation of a new conscription. The governor promised to supply recruits as they become available, and Moscow’s troops, whose number was increased Tipo Rostopchina to 80 thousand people. It was a serious blow to the Kutuzov, but he still placed his hopes to defend the city. August 31 army received orders to move to Moscow, and the brakes, take a position three miles away. Kutuzov said Miloradovich that of Moscow «must fight a decisive success of the campaign and the fate of the state.»
1 (13) September, Russian army went to Moscow and is located at the position selected Bennigsen. The right flank of the position rests on the wriggle of the Moscow River near the village of Fili, the center position was in front of the village of Trinity, and the left flank belonged to Vorobiev mountains. The length of the position was about 4 km, and its depth of 2 km. The position became proactively prepare for the coming battle. But when Barclay de Tolly and some other generals acquainted with the position and they assailed her. In their opinion, position was very awkward to fight. Kutuzov’s determination to give the s econd bout of «Great Army» Napoleon was shaken. Also received the news of the enemy flanking maneuvers — significant French forces were to Ruza and Medyn. Was covering this area detachment forces Wintzingerode 3 Cossack, 1st Dragoons and several infantry regiments held back the enemy in Zvenigorod few hours, then he was obliged to withdraw.
Kutuzov not having the ability to separate the important from the military strength to reach toward committing a workaround enemy corps, expected approach promised by the militia of the Metropolitan (Metropolitan squads). But were available to him militias Rostopchin sent to the army before the battle of Borodino, more people he did not have, not just the governor notified the commander in chief.
Council at Fili and the abandonment of Moscow
1 (13) in September was assembled a council of war, which was to decide the fate of Moscow. In Fili met the Minister of War Barclay de Tolly, the chief of the Head of Staff of the 1st Western Army Ermoloff, quartermaster-general Toll, generals Benningsen, Dokhturov, Uvarov, Ostermann-Tolstoy, Konovnitsyn, Raevskii, Kaisarov. Miloradovicha at the meeting was not, because he could not throw the rearguard. Kutuzov raised the question about whether or not to wait for the enemy position and give him a fight or give Moscow without a battle. Barclay de Tolly said that in the position where is the army, the struggle to accept unrealistic, because you need to move on the way to Nizhny Novgorod, where it joins the southern and northern provinces. Alignment commander of the 1st Army supported Osterman Tolstoy Raevskii and Tol.
General Bennigsen, who chose the position of Moscow, considered it a comfortable and offered to fight the enemy, and expect to give him a fight. His position was supported by Dokhturov. Konovnitsyn, Uvarov and Ermoloff agreed with the views of Bennigsen to fight for Moscow, but was considered uneconomic elected position. They offered an active strategy battle — by going to storm the enemy, and it in stride.
Field Marshal Kutuzov (His Serene Highness Prince August 30 (September 11) was promoted to General Field Marshal) has summarized the result of the meeting, and said that with the loss of Moscow is not yet lost our home and his first duty to save the army, together with reinforcements. He gave the order to retreat in the Ryazan road. Kutuzov took full responsibility for the move itself. Taking into account the strategic environment and the need for it was heavy, but the right move. Each new day led to the strengthening of the Russian army and to weaken the forces of Napoleon.
Alexander was not satisfied with the decision of Kutuzov, but he did not dare to remove it from the post of commander in chief. He referred the matter to abandon Moscow to the Committee of Ministers. But at a meeting of the Committee of Ministers on 10 (22) September, where Kutuzov open a discussion report, none of the ministers came the question of change in chief. Some generals were also dissatisfied with the actions of Kutuzov. Benningsen Arakche’ev sent a letter in which he expressed his disagreement with the decision of the commander in chief. It became the center of intrigues against Kutuzov. Barclay de Tolly believe that the General scramble should have been given earlier — at Tsarev, floodplains and was confident of victory. And in case it was necessary to avert disaster troops to Moscow, and to Kaluga. Expressed his displeasure and Ermoloff. He blamed Kutuzov of hypocrisy, considering that «Prince Kutuzov demonstrated intent short of Moscow, in fact to save it to another battle … in reality, he did not even think about it.» Alignment of duplicity Ermolova Kutuzov popular in the historical literature to this day.
On the night of 1 September 2, French avant-garde was on the outskirts of Moscow. Right behind him in the 10-15 km were the main forces of the French army. The Russian rearguard at dawn on September 2, was 10 miles from an old city. Around 9:00 the French troops knocked on the troops and Miloradovicha to 12 hours pushed him to the Poklonnaya Hill. Miloradovich took that line, which previously were the main force. At this time the Russian army took place in Moscow. First column went through Dorogomilovskiy bridge and the center of town, the second — in Zamoskvorech’e and Stone Bridge. Then the two columns headed to the Ryazan outpost. Coupled with the army left the citizens (out of 270 million population of the town has less than 10-12 thousand people), convoys of wounded — 5 tyschah carts were evacuated about 25 thousand people (some seriously wounded did not have time to take out of town). Kutuzov Ermolova passed through Miloradovich indication by all means to delay the enemy until removal of the wounded in Moscow, supply wagons and artillery.
Rearguard could hardly contain the enemy. In particular Miloradovicha troubled by the fact that the detachment Wintzingerode failed to keep the forces of General Beauharnais and the enemy came to the Moscow River and could be in town earlier than the Russian rearguard. Kutuzov received the order to restrain the enemy, Miloradovich sent to Murat truce — the staff captain Akinfova. He suggested to the king of the kingdom of Naples to suspend the coming of the French avant-garde for four hours to allow Russian troops and the population to leave the city. Otherwise, Miloradovich promised to conduct combat actions in the town itself, which could lead to severe destruction and fire. Murat took condition Miloradovicha and suspended coming. Miloradovich said this Kutuzov and Murat offered to extend the truce until 7:00 am on September 3. French agreed with this condition. Apparently, the opponent did not want to destroy the city, where the brakes going on for a long time and cause excessive irritation in Russian on the eve of the World (Napoleon was confident that negotiations will begin soon on the world). As a result, Russian Army was able to finish the relaxed retreat.
2 (14), Napoleon arrived at Poklonnaya Hill and long look at the city through the telescope. Then he gave the order to join forces in city. French government braked at the Collegiate Chamber shaft in anticipation of the delegation of city residents with keys from Moscow. But soon he was informed that the city is empty. It is very amazing to the governor. It is well remembered meeting (similar to prazdnichek), which he staged in Milan, Vienna, Berlin, Warsaw and other towns in Europe. Deathly silence and the emptiness of the town were of tremendous character, who predicted a terrible end to the «Grand Army.»
Before Moscow. Waiting for the deputation of boyars. Napoleon on Poklonnaya Hill. Vereshchagin (1891-1892).
French avant-garde came to town once a Russian rearguard. At that time, the town came out of the last part of the main forces of the Russian army. At this point, people heard several artillery shells in the town. These shots were made at the gates of the Kremlin by order of Murat — stuck in the fortress of a handful of Russian patriots who fired on the French. French gunners struck the gate, nameless defenders were killed. By the end of the day or all the city gates were occupied by the enemy.
Rostopchin and the Russian command did not have time to take out of town stores big guns, ammunition and food. Were able to evacuate only a small part. Managed to burn up to half of gunpowder and artillery ammunition to undermine, bullets were drowned in the river. Were destroyed and storage of food and fodder (barge sank with bread). Military equipment to eliminate a huge amount — 4.8 million rubles. Most terrible of all was the fact that almost all of the supplies guns that were in the Kremlin arsenal, arsenal, were the enemy. The French got 156 guns, about 40 thousand guns and other suitable tool, ammunition. This allowed the French army to fill shortage of arms and ammunition, which they felt after the battle of Borodino.
In Europe, by the news about joining the «Great Army» in Moscow as a sure sign of the defeat of the Russian Empire in the war with Napoleon’s France. Part of the court was to advocate for peace with Napoleon. Namely, for peace appeared majestic Duke Constantine Pavlovich.