Battle of Saltanovka
|This article relies largely or entirely upon a single source. (July 2011)|
|Battle of Saltanovka (known as Mogilev in the West)|
|Part of the French campaign in Russia|
General Rayevski bravely leading his men into combat at the battle of Saltanovka.
|Commanders and leaders|
|Nikolay Raevsky||Louis Nicolas Davout|
|20,000, of which only the 7th corps engaged||28,000
|Casualties and losses|
|2,548 killed and wounded||4,134 killed and wounded|
The Russian 2nd Army, led by General Pyotr Bagration aimed to join the main Russian army under Barclay de Tolly after the French forces took Mogilev and blocked the Dnieper river crossing. Bagration sent General Nikolay Raevsky against 5 French divisions led by Marshal Louis Nicolas Davout, who was between the 2nd Army and Barclay's main army. The French Corps had over 28,000 troops present, including 3 infantry divisions under generals Compans, Dessaix and Claparède and a numerous cavalry under generals Bordesoule and Valence, but only a fraction of the French Corps was engaged in this battle. Meanwhile, the Russians had deployed around 20,000 troops but engaged only a single corps, the 7th corps under Nikolay Raevsky.
Davout was able to repulse the Russian attackers throughout his line, despite the determination of Rayevski's men, who inflicted nearly twice as many casualties as they suffered. The French then launched a counterattack and pursued the Russians for about a league. The battle prevented Bagration from joining the main Russian army under Michael Andreas Barclay de Tolly at Vitebsk, forcing Bagration to retreat to Smolensk. The Russians losses were 2,548 men killed and wounded, although Marshal Davout officially declared that they lost 1,200 dead and 4,000 wounded. Davout admitted to only 1,000 casualties, which include 100 prisoners from the 108th line regiment and were officially reported by him, but there is a higher estimate of 4,134 killed, wounded and missing.
- Pigeard, p. 551-552.
- Clodfelter M. Warfare and Armed Conflicts: A Statistical Reference to Casualty and Other Figures, 1500-2000. McFarland, 2002. P. 184
- Mikaberidze A. Russian Officer Corps of the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars. Casemate Publishers, 2005. P. 320
- Pigeard, Alain. Dictionnaire des batailles de Napoléon. Tallandier, Bibliothèque Napoléonienne, 2004. ISBN 2-84734-073-4
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