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War of 1812: Battle of Borodino

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on 22 October 2014

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Transcript of War of 1812: Battle of Borodino

War of 1812: Battle of Borodino
Presented by: Cadet Sanjurjo

Russian's led by: General Mikhail Kutuzov
French led by: Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte
Borodino Russia
(70 miles west of Moscow)
September 7, 1812
Weather: Cool temperatures (low: 30's high: 60's) and mostly clear with some morning fog
Terrain: Some hilly areas (about 20feet high) with scattered woods and open fields between the town/roads/river

French Size:
133,000 (86,000 Infantry, 28,000 Cavalry, 16,000 Artillerists)

Russian Size:
155,000 (115,000 Regulars, 40,000 Cossacks)
French Weapons:

587 Artillery Guns
French Musket and Bayonet
Infantry Sabers
Russian Weapns:
640 Artillery Guns
Russian Musket and Bayonet
Rifle and sabers

Russians firepower were inferior to the French and their weapons weighed considerably more.
French Doctrine:

Napoleonic Doctrine

Russian Doctrine:
Skirmisher Doctrine
*Russian doctrine focused primarily on offensive positions.
French had more military expertise and experience under Napoleon.

Russians had limited military training and a large portion of their troops (Opelchenie) were insufficient on the battle field.
French Logistics:
French military had supply trains that traveled into Russia, however the supply trains often broke down leaving French militaries unequipped.

Russian Logistics:
Russian militaries were fighting a homefront war and had supplies readily available and easy to access.
French morale was low due to weather conditions, disease, and lack of supplies. Many starved to death and lacked appropriate clothing for the harsh winter months.

Russian morale was high even after evading French militaries and being pushed back as far as Borodino, the Russian military still stood strong.
Communication was strictly through messengers and drum/bugle calls between military units and command.


Advance through Russia and gain control over territory

Maintain control of territory and expel the French from Russia
Initial Disposition:

Entered Russia with a force of 600,000 men, expected to brutally out-maneuver Russian forces, however, ended up advancing to Borodino.

Continued to fall back deeper into Russia in order to avoid confrontation with France. French military caught up with them at Borodino and marked the first full scale battle between France and Russia in 1812.
Action in Battle
Russian military had been retreating since the advancement of France into Russia. Borodino was the first location General Kutuzov halted his troops to build fortifications to prevent French advancement to Moscow.
Napoleon feared a failed attempt to outflank the Russian military was at hand, so he lead a frontal engagement against the Russian military at Borodino.
Key Events
3) Napoleon calls all reinforcements upon Bagration's Fleches and upon the 8th advancement Russian defence at Bagration has been wounded and fall-back.
4) Suffering the loss of Bagration's Fleches, The Russian military on the right flank maneuver behind the French frontline and conduct an attack that prevents the French from maintaining a stronghold on Bagration's Fleches.
5) French military fights off opposing Russian forces and focuses attention on center towards Raevsky's Redoubt. Fierce resistance is met and Napoleon refuses to use reserve military forces after the significant losses met by taking Revsky's Redoubt. Russian forces fall back.
2) Napoleon focuses forces to start on Bagration's Fleches, however Russian morale and herosim continues to prevent French advancement.
1) Russian forces fortified left flank with Raevsky's Redoubt and Bagration's Fleches.
Russian's lost about 45,000 men

French lost about 30,000 men
French pushed to Moscow, however, not before the Russians had set fire to most of the supplies and buildings to prevent French use.
Russians may have been defeated however, Borodino marked a turn in the War of 1812 for Napoleon and led to the French removal from Russia.
The lack of confidence Napoleon had in his military force led to his indecisive victory at Borodino. Had he used his reserve forces, he may have been able to attain the decisive victory he wanted. He also avoided flanking the Russian forces at Borodino leading to a large casualty engagement with Russian forces.
Russian forces maintained high morale and courage during the battle leading to the decisions made by Napoleon that prevented his decisive victory at Borodino. Russian forces pushing the French military all the way into Russia allowed for French morale and forces to be reduced due to harsh winter conditions. Russian forces also burned down all the major cities along the way preventing French from utilizing Russian supplies.
Cause and Effects
Lessons Learned
Don't trust the Russian's
Don't enter conditions in which you are not prepared for (French in summer attire in Russia during winter months)
Maintain morale even in times of defeat
Prevent opposing military forces from gaining access to personal supplies
BRANDT, A. (2013). 1812: THE BITTER END. Military History, 30(4), 34.

Fremont-Barnes, G. (2006). The Encyclopedia of the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars : A Political, Social, and Military History. Santa Barbara, Calif: ABC-CLIO.

Kuehn, J. T. (2008). The Battle of Borodino: Napoleon Against Kutuzov. Journal Of Military History, 72(4), 1295-1296.

Niderost, E. (2012). NAPOLEON IN MOSCOW, 1812. History Magazine, 13(6), 49-52.

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