Battle of Valutino


Battle of Valutino

Infobox Military Conflict
conflict=Battle of Valutino
partof=French invasion of Russia (1812)


caption="Battle of Valutino", by Piter von Hess
date=August 18, 1812
place=Near Smolensk, Russia
result=Marginal French victory; successful Russian retreat
combatant1=
combatant2=
commander1=Ney
Junot
commander2=Barclay de Tolly
strength1=30,000
strength2=40,000
casualties1=7,000Alan Palmer, "Napoleon in Russia". p. 81]
casualties2=6,000
The Battle of Valutino took place on August 18, 1812, between Marshal Ney's corps, about 30,000 strong, and a strong rear-guard of General Barclay de Tolly's army of about 40,000, commanded by the General himself. The Russians were strongly posted in marshy ground, protected by a small stream. The French, attacking resolutely, carried the Russian position in the face of enormous natural difficulties.

The battle

Napoleon's hopes of trapping General Barclay's army were dashed when he discovered that the Russian force awaiting the French was a rearguard under General Tutchkov. Barclay's main force of three infantry and one cavalry corps was strung out near Smolensk, trying to get away from the French after the Battle of Smolensk. They then turned around to fight the French on the Stragan river. After a heavy bombardment, Ney launched an assault against the Russians, crossing the Stragan but failing to capture the crest. Murat's cavalry attacks were bogged down in marshy ground and accomplished nothing either. General Junot's force was close to the battlefield and was urged to attack the Russians by Murat, but Junot did nothing and the opportunity for a decisive victory passed.

A few hours later, Ney launched the last attack. General Gudin led the assault and was killed when a cannonball removed his legs. The French managed to capture the crest after hard fighting, but by that point the majority of Barclay's army had escaped and was heading towards Lubino.

Aftermath

French casualties stood at around 7,000; the Russians had lost about 6,000. Napoleon was furious after the battle, realizing that another good chance to trap and destroy the Russian army had been lost.

ee also

References and notes

ources

* Palmer, Alan. "Napoleon in Russia". New York: Carrol & Graf Publishers, 1967. ISBN 0-7867-1263-5

Further reading

External links


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