From the Niemen to Smolensk. Central direction

From the Niemen to Smolensk.  Central direction

The Russian command had no defect in the disk imaging that on the left bank of the Neman River collected by Napoleon's troops. In fact, once a day at headquarters received reports about the movement of the French forces. But the main apartment is not waiting for the start of the war in these days are.

French government tried until the last moment to conceal their troops, the Niemen only allowed to approach the Polish sidings, other forces are hiding in forests. French forces crossing the Russian army did not interfere. 1st Infantry Division Moran, who first crossed the Niemen on the right-sparing, met only patrols Guards Cossack Regiment, who departed after a small skirmish. By the evening of 14 (26) June crossing of the main forces of the left wing of the army was majestically over. French troops began to cross the center of debate shall not be earlier than 15 (27) — 16 (28) June, and the right hand side — 17 (29) — 18 (30) of June. So Makar, the coming of the army carried majestically along the shoulder of the left-wing forces with a lead center and the right wing.

13 (25), the French emperor was told that the army of Barclay de Tolly is concentrated in Swieciany, Pyotr Bagration and the army remains in place. Napoleon puts damper on the likely impact to the rear of the left flank of the advancing troops. Bypassing Russian armies began to produce the 1st and 3rd Infantry and the 1st and 2nd Cavalry Corps. June 16 the French without a fight took Vilna. Napoleon once hurried part of the center and the right flank, to complete the ambiance. The governor wanted to cut off the Russian troops from the Dvina, to stretch their forces around the right flank and prinevolit for a decisive battle.

The Russian Emperor Alexander received the news of the crossing of the French troops in the estate Benningsen where the ball was arranged for the Lithuanian nobility. First army troops were ordered to concentrate Swieciany. Second army of Bagration was ordered to go to and coming to attack the flank of the advancing French army at Vilna. Cossack Corps MI Platov was ordered to co-operate with the army of Bagration (he was part of the 1st Army). However, how could Bagration, who had a 45-thousand. army, lead to the coming of the enemy forces were located twice superior forces of the two Russian armies, taken together, this is not Alexander loaf.

The commander of the 1st Army Barclay de Tolly was in no hurry to depart. He wanted to set the number of enemy troops, and then to act on incidents. Army retreat began, only 16 (28) of June. Bagration got the attention of the enemy to move the Niemen on June 13 and wrote to Barclay de Tolly, that will not be able to stop the French, when the 1st Army will not be collected from Vilna. In the case of the withdrawal of the 1st Army to Sventsyanam 2nd army be subject to the threat of being cut off not only from her, and from her assigned lane deviation. On the second day of the war Bagration received a letter from Barclay de Tolly, in which stated that from Swieciany 1st army can move in coming, in this case, the 2nd Army must also be ready to storm. June 18 Bagration was ordered by the governor to join up with the 1st Army. True, he was wearing an indefinite nature, leaving an opportunity for a flank attack. Bagration takes a decision to retreat to Slonim, then turn north to Nikolaev and then — at Vileika to get out on the line Vilnius — Smolensk.

Joining in Vilna, Napoleon sent the cavalry of Murat to clarify the situation. June 19 (July 1) Murat said that the main forces of the Russian army pushed to the north-east. In addition, the sub-revealed significant Russian forces. Napoleon moved against the 1st Army cavalry of Murat and the 2nd Corps Uda and 3rd Corps Ney. Against the army of Bagration were oriented 3 columns. As a part of the right-hand column were the 4th Division (Desse), 2 Cavalry Brigade and Infantry Regiment from the 5th Division (Compay). She was under the command of Pears and had a puzzle to advance from Vilna, Lida. Average Column: 5th Division (Compan) Cuirassier Division (Valons), 2 Cavalry Brigade, under the command of Davoust, was to intercept the street from Lida on Oshmjany. Left column: 1st Division (Moran) Cuirassier Division (Germain), 2 Brigade of the Polish Lancers, under the command of Nansouty, had to go through a puzzle on Mihaylishki deepest. All three columns submitted to Davoust. Napoleon planned to put these forces attack on the wing 2nd Russian Army.

By June 19 (July 1), 1st Army Barclay de Tolly was concentrated in Sventsyanah. At this time, housing Udin came to Vilkomiru, body Ney — Gedroits, Murat's cavalry — to Beuren. All against 1st Russian army was centered 110 thousand people. Grouping Dokhturov: 6th Infantry Corps and the 3rd Cavalry Corps emergency Palena, went to Ashmyany. Housing Platov went to Lida. Second army of Bagration concentrated in Slonim, in the rear of the Cavalry Brigade were Vasilchikova and 2nd Grenadier Division. By Novogrudok out of 27 th Division Neverovskiy: it went from Moscow to join up with the 2nd Army. Against the army of Bagration act of the 1st Corps Davoust, to June 19, they were in a 2-transitions from Vilna.

French troops of the right wing (grouping the King of Westphalia Jerome Bonaparte) reached the Niemen with significant delay and, after crossing at Grodno delayed for another day or 4. As a result, the grouping of Jerome started coming until June 22, (July 4).

Already by this time Napoleon began the task in the army. Corps commanders have been asking for a short rest stop, it was necessary to pull carts stragglers. Calculation for resupplying of Russian stores do not materialize, the Russian troops, leaving, destroying warehouses. Shortcomings of forage began dying horses. In some parts, especially the German, began mess (Württemberg team even had to disband). French government takes a decision to stop acts against 1st Russian army, confining the task environment of the 2nd Army. Davoust government has strengthened the group one division from the Young Guard. In addition, there were also political conditions in the suspension coming — Napoleon placed his hopes that Alexander will ask the world.

At this time, Barclay de Tolly, getting more clear information on the number of enemy forces, decided to completely abandon the struggle and the general retreat to the Drissa camp. The withdrawal began on June 21 (July 3). June 22 1st Army defected to Disney and braked in Vidzy. With the exception of minor skirmishes on June 23, the Russian forces withdrew without hindrance. Retreat to the Drissa camp shows that initially the 1st Army tried to translate the plan of Charles Pfuel. Emperor Alexander had not yet realized the fact that the vast Advantages forces of Napoleon, the fortified position of the Drissa camp lost all meaning. The camp became a trap for the army. By June 29 (July 11), the army of Barclay de Tolly was concentrated in the Drissa camp. Soon came here as housing Dokhturov and Palena. In addition, in this camp 1st army received reinforcement of about 10 thousand people.

June 25 (July 7), Murat took Vidzy. He acted very cautiously and lost contact with the Russian troops. Ney and Oudinot's corps acted without the help of others, leading to incoherence. Only 3 (15), Murat, Napoleon proclaimed commander of all forces against the 1st Russian army.

Acts of the 2nd Army took place in a challenging environment. June 20 (July 2), the army of Bagration came from Slonim to Novogrudok. Bagration time to accelerate the movement, left with only the regular army convoy, was heavily targeted by Shults to Bobruisk. By June 21, the army, having passed 80 km, came to Nikolaev, where engineers built bridges. June 22 began crossing the Niemen. June 23 (July 5) Army was to speak at the Volozhin. But in the evening of the order of JS Dorokhova (he was to link up with the 1st Army), it was reported that he was unable to break through and stayed in Volozhin. Directly from Platov received the news of the skirmishes with the enemy in Vishneva. It became clear that the enemy is going to cut off escape routes to the north. Bagration decided to push through. He gave an indication Platov delay Vishnev and Dorokhov — Volozhin, before the approach of his troops. The army was ready to act with 2 trains: 7th Infantry Corps Raevski him 8th Infantry Corps Borozdina, in the rear 4th Cavalry Corps. At night June 23 Bagration told about the origin of the enemy in Slonim. Insecurity has significantly increased. Army could get involved in a fight and get hit from the rear. Bagration gives up the idea of changing the direction of the breakout and retreat to Minsk. Bagration June 24 report that the road to Minsk cut. The commander of the 2nd Army decides to retreat to the overthrow of the newcomer, and then to Minsk. He is obliged to disrupt the order of Alexander the connection with the 1st Army in Drissa and make decisions on the direction of travel.

June 23 column Dawa came to Cherry and Volozhin. French Connection came to Minsk and took Oshmjany. Dorokhova squad retreated Ivianiec and power Platov to the village Bakst (Bakshty). At this time, the army of Bagration there was a threat from the flank: the west to Bielice Polish cavalry came, and moved to Wolkowiski of the 7th corps. As a result, the 2nd Army forces were targeted, the number of which is twice the number of Russian troops.

Bagration, knowing that Minsk is occupied by the enemy, continue to move in this direction. He orders Dorokhov delay Ivianiec and Platov to put pressure on the flank of Davoust, so to stop the advance of enemy troops on Minsk. The commander of the 1st Army in Nikolaev expect an answer Dorokhova and Platov to 16 pm on June 23. Without waiting for news, he sent a request to Platov of the decision, and Dorokhov — the order to go to the Columns to connect to the 2nd Army. Departing from Nikolaev, Bagration Bridge left untouched, so that part of Platov could make the crossing. By the end of the day or were in the army of Bagration Karelichah. Happy June 24 troops were Bagration in the World. June 25, Platov said he crossed the Niemen and goes on Kamyanov to cut to the 1st Army. Dorohov said that the French have cleared Volozhin. Bagration thought Davout refused the motion on Minsk and focuses force to Cherry for coming to Nikolaev. He orders Dorokhov go to Volozhin and delay his departure until the 2nd Army to Kaidanov. Platov he gave instruction to cover the Minsk road from the west, going through Volojin on Ivenets Cancers Radoshkevichi. But the board could not comply with this order, since it is the night of June 25, crossed the Niemen in Nikolaev and by destroying the bridge, moved to Koledzinu, so once again cross the Niemen and reach the Kaidanov. But then the crossing was destroyed, and the dress turned town Mir, moving vosled 2nd Army.

June 25 (July 7), Bagration is ordered Alexander to go through Minsk. But the order was late, Minsk was already occupied parts of Davoust, and the troops were in Jerome Navahrudak and Slonim. Bagration takes the decision to go to Bobruisk. The departure took place in the army of Bagration heavy criteria troops without moving day stay and were very tired. June 26, the army stopped to rest in Nyasvizh, Bagration delay place orders Platov world and make a flanking role rearguard.

The battle of the World June 27-28 (July 9-10)

Matvei Platov advanced outpost in the village of sand, hid in the copses surrounding the road to peace, the two weave. In the world he had left only one regiment VA Sysoev. Other shelves and horse artillery (12 guns), situated in the castle Radziwill and Yablonovschina grove. Platov has decided to apply the method lure the enemy into a trap and the following environment, and liquidation ("Venter"). Under the command of Ataman Matvei Platov had half of the Don Ataman Regiment Kirsanova, Don Regiment Ilovaisky 5th, Don Regiment Sysoev third, Mongolian regiment Prince Hunkalova, Kolyma regiment Diomede, Bashkir Regiment and 12 guns. Platov support provided two Cossack regiments of Major-General Karpov, from the Cossack troops, attached 2-Army.

From the Niemen to Smolensk.  Central direction

Matvei Platov.

At dawn on June 27 (July 9), from the beginning of the movement Karelich Turno Cavalry Brigade (three Lancers), which came in the 4th Cavalry Corps under General Latour-Maubourg. Walked in the forefront of the 3rd Lancers (3 squadrons), has brought down the Cossack Zastavnyi hundred and broke into the world. Then his regiment stormed Sysoev, lure in place an advanced weaving, and then ambush weave. Joined other regiments. Polish Lancers were defeated, scattered, only part could break free and escape.

Cossacks rushed to chase fleeing Polish Lancers and drove them to the village of Tan. At this time, the other two teams Turno Lancers Regiment (15th and 16th) are still being followed to the little town of Mir. In passing river sand Poles saw the fleeing remnants of the third regiment, the Cossacks who were persecuted, and took positions there. The brigade commander Turno sent to the aid of three squadrons of Uhlans running. Showing the Polish reinforcements stopped the Cossacks. But realizing that the enemy forces are insignificant, Ataman Platov ran into a decisive offensive. The battle resumed, and squadrons of Polish lancers did not survive the attack of superior forces of the Cossacks, and after a heated battle Lancers were defeated. Turno arranged the rest of their own forces behind the dam the river sand. Running Polish Lancers headed to the dam, but the part was pulled by the Cossacks to the swampy shore. Part of the Poles was broken, some were taken prisoner. In the first battle of World Poles lost about 300 men killed, wounded and captured, the loss of the Cossacks — 25 people.

Bagration, learned about the ensuing fight a rear-guard, reinforced body Platov 3 shelves from the IV Brigade Vasilchikova and ordered a delay before World. The enemy command, having received information about serious resistance, sent from all Navagrudak 4th Polish cavalry division of General Alexander Rozhnetskogo (in the 2-teams — Turno and Dzevanovskogo).

From the Niemen to Smolensk.  Central direction

Alexander Rozhnetsky

Platov decided to repeat the reception luring the enemy forces ambushed. He gave the order to highlight the rearguard 3 Cossack regiment. The main forces positioned in the copses south-west of the village Simakovo, which was south of the village Mi
r. At dawn on June 28 Poles started coming. Cossacks left the world. Having stood there until the afternoon, Rozhnetsky decided to start a movement to Shults. His intelligence has found the Cossack posts and he placed Turno Brigade (3rd, 15th, 16th Lancers) south Simakovo and Dzevanovskogo Brigade (2nd and 11th Regiments) north-east of the village. 7th Lancers Brigade received Dzevanovskogo puzzle to explore, but not to enter into battle. 7th Lancers found themselves in front of significant force of Cossacks and braked.

Platov, realizing that the Poles are not going to repeat a past mistake, decided to change strategy. Ataman ordered the rearguard to storm the shelves of the 7th Lancers regiment, and the main forces brigade tour. 7th Lancers were fired artillery and then stormed his Cossacks. Polish Lancers survived two attacks best regiment of Cossacks, after the third attack they began to retreat to the major powers. Then the Cossacks Brigade stormed the tour. The first attack on a brigade of Cossacks Turno was repulsed. Subsequent attacks of Cossacks followed one after the other. It was the angry cavalry battle. Polish ranks thinned, but Rozhnetsky received the message that he is going to help the team Tyshkevich stubbornly held on. He covered the left flank of the brigade Turno 11th Lancers and reinforced squadron of the 2nd Regiment. After two hours of fighting came a little break, with both sides expected reinforcements. Around 9:00 pm came the Cossack Brigade Kuteynikova and immediately slammed on the 11th Lancers Brigade Dzevanovskogo. Immediately power Platov brigade stormed the tour. 1st team Dzevanovskogo was overturned, right behind her began to retreat team tour. The last in the reserve 2nd Lancers countered, but to correct the situation is not managed. Poles retreated to a place World. There retreating 4th Division A. Rozhnetskogo met a belated reinforcement of teams Tyshkevicha with 3 guns. The artillery fire of the enemy halted the imminent coming of the Cossacks. Polish division was saved from complete destruction. Cossacks moved to Simakovo.

So Makarov, for the second day fighting the Poles had lost up to 600 people. Platov, with 6.5 million people, defeated the 4th Polish Cavalry Division, defeated the Polish Lancers 6. Irregular Cossack cavalry showed the highest courage and skill in battle against the constant cavalry of the enemy. Movement of the French troops was delayed. French ruler Napoleon Bonaparte was furious when vyznat of this defeat. Polish division in trouble, he accused his own younger brother, Jerome Bonaparte, the commander of the right wing of the army is stately, and he was relieved of his command and returned to the kingdom of Westphalia. Jerome command of the troops took over the Marshal Louis-Nicolas Davout. This success has permitted Peter Bagration to continue the march to Bobruisk.

From the Niemen to Smolensk.  Central direction

Painting VV Mazurovsky "It Cossack Platov at the World 9 July 1812."

We Timkovichi Bagration was ordered Alexander to break the connection with the 1st Army through Minsk. Pyotr Bagration replied the emperor that having himself against Davoust from the 60 th. Jerome Bonaparte and his army with the same forces and the army, exhausted 10-day march, it can not make its way through Minsk. Continuing to waste, 2nd Army 1 (13) arrived in July Sluck.

To be continued …

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