Battle of Borodino

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Coat of arms of the Duchy of Warsaw Duchy of Warsaw
Kingdom of Italy (Napoleonic) Italy
France Confederation of the Rhine[3]

The Battle of Borodino (Russian: Бородинская битва, Borodinskaya bitva; French: Bataille de la Moskowa), fought on September 7, 1812,[9] was the largest and bloodiest single-day action of the French invasion of Russia, involving more than 250,000 troops and resulting in at least 70,000 casualties. The French Grande Armée under Emperor Napoleon I attacked the Imperial Russian Army of General Mikhail Kutuzov near the village of Borodino, west of the town of Mozhaysk, and eventually captured the main positions on the battlefield, but failed to destroy the Russian army. About a third of Napoleon's soldiers were killed or wounded; Russian losses, while heavier, could be replaced due to Russia's large population, since Napoleon's campaign took place on Russian soil.

The battle itself ended with the disorganized Russian Army out of position and ripe for complete defeat. The state of exhaustion of the French forces and the lack of recognition of the state of the Russian Army led Napoleon to remain on the battlefield with his army instead of the forced pursuit that had marked other campaigns that he had conducted in the past.[10] The entirety of the Guard, however, was still available to Napoleon and in refusing to use it he lost this singular chance to destroy the Russian army.[11] The battle at Borodino was a pivotal point in the campaign, as it was the last offensive action fought by Napoleon in Russia. By withdrawing, the Russian army preserved its combat strength, eventually allowing them to force Napoleon out of the country.

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