Battle of Maloyaroslavets

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Battle of Maloyaroslavets
Part of the French invasion of Russia (1812)
Hess maloyaroslavets.jpg
Battle of Maloyaroslavets, by Peter von Hess
Date24 October 1812
Location
Result

Franco-Italian tactical victory [1]

  • French abandon march toward Kaluga despite victory [1]
Belligerents
Flag of France.svg First French Empire
Flag of the Napoleonic Kingdom of Italy.svg Napoleonic Italy
Flag of Russia.svg Russian Empire
Commanders and leaders
Flag of the Napoleonic Kingdom of Italy.svg Eugène de Beauharnais
Flag of France.svg Louis-Nicolas Davout
Flag of the Napoleonic Kingdom of Italy.svg Domenico Pino
Flag of Russia.svg Dmitry Dokhturov under supervision of Mikhail Kutuzov
Strength
24,000 [2] 12,000 infantry
3,000 cavalry
84 guns
10,000 reinforcements later on
Casualties and losses
6,000 [2]

7,165


4,412 killed and wounded
2,753 missing [2]

The Battle of Maloyaroslavets took place on 24 October 1812, between the Russians, under Marshal Mikhail Illarionovich Kutuzov, and part of the corps of Eugène de Beauharnais, Napoleon's stepson, under General Alexis Joseph Delzons which numbered about 20,000 strong.

Marshal is a term used in several official titles in various branches of society. As marshals became trusted members of the courts of Medieval Europe, the title grew in reputation. During the last few centuries, it has been used for elevated offices, such as in military rank and civilian law enforcement.

Eugène de Beauharnais French general and adoptive son of Napoleon I

Eugène Rose de Beauharnais, Duke of Leuchtenberg was the first child and only son of Alexandre de Beauharnais and Joséphine Tascher de la Pagerie, first wife of Napoleon I.

Alexis Joseph Delzons French general

Alexis Joseph Delzons was a French general of the French Revolutionary Wars and the Napoleonic Wars. He was killed in the Battle of Maloyaroslavets. His surname is one of the names inscribed under the Arc de Triomphe, on Column 16.

Contents

Prelude

On 19 October, Napoleon evacuated Moscow and marched south-west to Kaluga, Eugene de Beauharnais leading the advance. Unaware of this, and believing the force sighted at Fominskoye, 40 miles south-west of Moscow, was a foraging party, Kutuzov sent General Dokhturov with 12,000 infantry, 3,000 cavalry and 84 guns to surprise it. While on the road, Dokhturov learned this force was the Grande Armée and decided to hold out until reinforcements came at the road junction and town of Maloyaroslavets, on the Luzha River.

Kaluga City in Kaluga Oblast, Russia

Kaluga is a city and the administrative center of Kaluga Oblast, Russia, located on the Oka River 150 kilometers (93 mi) southwest of Moscow. Population: 324,698 (2010 Census); 334,751 (2002 Census); 311,319 (1989 Census).

Dmitry Dokhturov Russian military commander

Dmitry Sergeyevich Dokhturov was a Russian Infantry General and a prominent military leader during the Patriotic War of 1812.

Maloyaroslavets Town in Kaluga Oblast, Russia

Maloyaroslavets is a town and the administrative center of Maloyaroslavetsky District in Kaluga Oblast, Russia, located on the right bank of the Luzha River, 61 kilometers (38 mi) northeast of Kaluga, the administrative center of the oblast. Population: 30,392 (2010 Census); 31,606 (2002 Census); 26,582 (1989 Census); 21,200 (1970).

The battle

Dokhturov entered the town from the south and found the French spearhead had seized a bridgehead. Fierce fighting began. General Raevski arrived with 10,000 more Russians; once more they took the town, though not the bridgehead. De Beauharnais threw in his 15th (Italian) division, under Domenico Pino (Minister of War of the Kingdom of Italy), and by evening they had again expelled the Russians. During the course of the engagament the town changed hands no fewer than eight times and it was quoted that the French and in particular the Italian Royal Guard under Eugène de Beauharnais 'fought like lions'. In fact, this battle is remembered as the "Battle of the Italians". [3] Marshal Kutuzov arrived and decided against a pitched battle with the Grand Army the next day, and to retire instead to the prepared line of defense at Kaluga. The mainly French and Italian forces won a victory on the day, only to realize that "unless with a new Borodino" the way through Kaluga was closed. This allowed Kutuzov to fulfill his strategic plans to force Napoleon on the way of retreat in the north, through Mozhaisk and Smolensk, the route of his advance that he had wished to avoid. French casualties were about 6,000 [2] including Delzons killed, while the Russians lost 4,412 men killed and wounded, 2,753 were missed in action. [2] More than half of Russian infantry units who fought in the city were inexperienced recruits and militiamen, which accounted for the high casualty rate among them. [4]

Domenico Pino Italian General in Napoleon’s Grande Armée

Domenico ("Dominique") Pino was an Italian soldier. He served as General of Division in the Kingdom of Italy and in Napoleon's Grande Armée.

Kingdom of Italy (Napoleonic) kingdom on the Apennine Peninsula between 1805 and 1814

The Kingdom of Italy was a kingdom in Northern Italy in personal union with France under Napoleon I. It was fully influenced by revolutionary France and ended with his defeat and fall. Its governance was conducted by Napoleon and his step-son and viceroy Eugène de Beauharnais.

Smolensk City in Smolensk Oblast, Russia

Smolensk is a city and the administrative center of Smolensk Oblast, Russia, located on the Dnieper River, 360 kilometers (220 mi) west-southwest of Moscow. Population: 326,861 (2010 Census); 325,137 (2002 Census); 341,483 (1989 Census).

Aftermath

After the withdrawal of Kutuzov it became clear to Napoleon that he would be unable to force the Russian army into a decisive battle. Though a victory, Napoleon did not feel it was on a large enough scale to counter the news of Murat's earlier defeat at Vinkovo. [5] Following the battle Napoleon turned the Grande Armée west to Borovsk where the greater part of the artillery and wagons were located. This would be the first step in a retreat away from the Russians, with hoped-for winter quarters for the army potentially at Smolensk.

Battle of Tarutino battle

The Battle of Tarutino was a part of Napoleon's invasion of Russia. The battle is sometimes called the Battle of Vinkovo or the Battle of Chernishnya after the local river. Many historians claim that the latter name is more fitting because the village of Tarutino was 8 km from the described events. In the battle Russian troops under the command of Bennigsen defeated French troops under the command of Joachim Murat.

Borovsk Town in Kaluga Oblast, Russia

Borovsk is a town and the administrative center of Borovsky District of Kaluga Oblast, Russia, located on the Protva River just south from the oblast's border with Moscow Oblast. Population: 12,283 (2010 Census); 11,917 (2002 Census); 13,405 (1989 Census); 12,000 (1969).

Notes

  1. 1 2 Chandler, p. 1041.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 Clodfelter, M. Warfare and Armed Conflicts: A Statistical Encyclopedia of Casualty and Other Figures, 1492-2015, 4th ed. McFarland. 2017. P. 164
  3. Commission française d'histoire militaire (1991) L'influence de la Révolution française sur les armées en France, en Europe, et dans le monde: actes. Fondation pour les études de défense nationale, p. 64
  4. "Васильев А. А. Сражение при Малоярославце 12.10.1812 // Малоярославец (очерки по истории города): К 180-летию Отечественной войны 1812 года. Малоярославец, 1992. С. 16-87, 143-148" (PDF).
  5. Caulaincourt 1935, p. 177.

Sources

Coordinates: 55°01′18″N36°27′30″E / 55.02167°N 36.45833°E / 55.02167; 36.45833

Geographic coordinate system Coordinate system

A geographic coordinate system is a coordinate system that enables every location on Earth to be specified by a set of numbers, letters or symbols. The coordinates are often chosen such that one of the numbers represents a vertical position and two or three of the numbers represent a horizontal position; alternatively, a geographic position may be expressed in a combined three-dimensional Cartesian vector. A common choice of coordinates is latitude, longitude and elevation. To specify a location on a plane requires a map projection.

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