Unpopular or in the Russian army, or in society in retreat strategy Misha Bogdanovich Barclay de Tolly, leaving significant enemy terrain forced the emperor Alexander I organize the commander in chief of all Russian armies and 8 (20) of August to appoint her 66-year-old general Misha Golenischev-Kutuzov. Army received the message about the purpose of Kutuzov 15 (27) of August.
Extraordinary selection committee unanimously supported the candidacy of Chief Kutuzov. The meeting was also specified candidacy Bennigsen, Palena, Tormasov and others. Almost immediately a meeting of the special committee received a letter from Moscow Rostopchina, where he told the emperor that Moscow lust led Kutuzov's army. The military commander, had no military experience and little has been popular in the society and the army. Kutuzov was made king not only at the head of the army, in addition to it subordinated the reserves, militia and civilians administration on the war-affected areas of the empire. Alexander Kutuzov did not like, but was obliged to give way to the views of the army and the nobility.
By assigning Kutuzov commander in chief, the governor did not give him instructions about the upcoming prosecution of the war, there was no plan of operations. Virtually none of Alexander, nor the coming of his entourage had no idea about the real state of affairs. Kutuzov gained full independence in determining the forthcoming strategy. Without a full picture of the situation, Kutuzov initially planned to stop the coming of the enemy forces and prevent them from Moscow.
At the headquarters of the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and Western armies of the Danube from St. Petersburg were sent messengers with news of the mission chief. In the evening 17 (29) August commander arrived in placing 1st and 2nd Armies. When the French government vyznat of the occurrence in the Russian camp commander in chief, so well known to him on the campaign in 1805, he uttered a phrase that eventually became prophetic: "Kutuzov could not come in order to continue the retreat." Mikhail Kutuzov was greeted with great animation of the army. Born a saying: "He came to thrash the French Kutuzov." The soldiers and officers believed that the battle now acts perceive a completely different character. In the army, we talk about short pitched battle with the enemy, and that was the end of the retreat.
But Kutuzov considered a position at Tsarevo-Zaymishche feeble and gave the order to withdraw the army. 19 (31) of August the main body 2-Russian armies left the position at Tsarevo-Zaymishche and the day on August 22 (September 3) came to the village of Borodino. Was selected for a lengthy battle field near the village of Borodino. The position allows you to immediately cut off an old and Moscow For the latest road.
Fight for Shevardinsky redoubt
The prologue was the battle of Borodino battle for Shevardinsky redoubt August 24 (September 5). Fieldwork was located on the top left of the Russian position. In the battle with the French army entered the 27th Infantry Division, Major-General Dmitry Petrovich Neverovskiy and 5th regiment of Chasseurs. In addition, in the second band was stationed 4th Cavalry Corps of the 2nd Army under the supervision of Major General Karl Karlovich Sievers. In total, these forces who were under the command of Lieutenant-General Andrei Ivanovich Gorchakov was eight thousand infantry, four thousand cavalry, with 36 guns.
In the unfinished land pentagonal building erupted angry fight. Shevardinsky redoubt stormed three infantry divisions of the 1st Corps Marshal Louis Nicolas Davout's corps and cavalry generals Etienne Nansouty and Louis-Pierre de Montbrun. The enemy tried to take over the course of consolidation. A total of Shevardino occurred about 30 thousand bayonets, 10 thousand swords, fire and collapsed 186 guns. So Makarov, first Shevardino fight the French command had complete an advantage in the number of fighter and guns.
Evenly in the battle were drawn more and more new units. Rifle and machine-gun shoot-crossing the fierce and bloody melee. Entrenchment three times per day passed from hand to hand. Twice broke into French redoubt, but the infantry Neverovskiy knock them out. The advantage of taking advantage of a number, the French troops after an angry four-hour battle to 8 o'clock in the evening still took almost completely destroyed redoubt. But keep him away could not. Bagration, who made the control of the fight, organized a night counterattack. He led the 2nd Grenadier and 2nd Grenadier Division of the Combined and tipped strengthening. French suffered significant losses.
In the process of fighting the stubborn Shevardinsky redoubt was actually completely destroyed. Russian commanders realized that strengthening can not solve puzzles to deter the enemy, gave the order to withdraw part of the 2nd Army to Semenovsky flush. Russian troops had left the redoubt and took the gun (only three guns with broken gun carriages were trophies French).
Lofty army Napoleon lost the battle in Shevardino about 5 million people, roughly the same loss suffered Russian army. Fight for Shevardinsky redoubt given the opportunity to win the time of the Russian army to end engineering work on the Borodino position has permitted commanders to refine the data by grouping the direction of the enemy and their cerebral stroke.
Dmitry Petrovich Neverovsky.