MD09 Borodino - Shevardino Redoubt & Utitza "La Grande Battle" (5 September 1812)
Borodino (Shevardino Redoubt & Utitza) "La Grande Battle"
5 September 1812
The Russian force at Shevardino was under the command of General Prince Andrey Gorchakov and consisted of 8000 infantry, 4000 cavalry and 194 guns. He had deployed his Jagers in the woods and villages while the Russian Grenadiers and Cuirassiers were held in reserve. The French advance guard under Compans consisted of his 5th Division of Davout’s I Army Corps.
The initial French attack was against Doronino and the nearby woods. Russian cavalry attacked the advancing infantry and were counterattacked by French cavalry, which forced the Russian cavalry back. The French advance continued and pushed to the foot of the Redoubt, while the Poles were pressing hard against the Russian left. The Redoubt was charged and the guns were forced to retire. The Russian Grenadiers were ordered to advance to take back the Redoubt and the field works changed hands a number of times. Friant’s redoubtable French infantry had advanced during this fighting and were threatening to turn the Russian right. A desperate cavalry charge momentarily stopped Friant’s advance. Night was approaching when Kuruzov gave the order for Gorchakov to abandon the Redoubt and fall back.
The village of Utitza was at the southern end of the Russian left flank positions at Borodino. The Utitza woods, however, were very dense—well suited for Tutchkov’s Russian Jaegers that were deployed there in some numbers. All total, Tutchkov had some 23,000 troops, but many were untrained Opolchenye (militia). Poniatowski had about 10,000 trained Polish soldiers, very eager to fight.
The first attempt by the Poles, did capture Utiza, but Tuchkov’s Grenadier Division and the 3rd infantry division advanced and ejected the Polish forces in short order. General Junot then joined the attack and again captured Utiza, but as the Russians departed, the village was set on fire and no longer could be defended. After this, the Russians and Poles continued to skirmish for the rest of the day without much progress.
The stage is set. The battle lines are drawn and you are in command. Can you change history?
• The Russians gain one Temporary Victory Banner at the start of the turn, when a Russian unit occupies the Shevardino Redoubt (Temporary Victory Banner Turn Start)
• The French gain two Temporary Victory Banners at the start of the turn, when a French unit occupies the Shevardino Redoubt (Temporary Victory Banner Turn Start)
• The French gain one Victory Banner for each French unit that exits the battlefield from any Russian baseline hex.
• Pre-Battle Mother Russia Roll rule is in effect. Saber and cavalry rolls have no effect.