With all the French Lancers and other cavalry charging about at present we didn’t want to forget the forces of mother Russia:
A Campaign History
Napoleon’s Russian campaign includes major battles such as when Napoleon’s Grande Armée crossed the Neman River in June 1812, the battle of Smolensk in August, or September at a small town called Borodino 70 miles West of Moscow.
The battle at Borodino was the largest and bloodiest single-day of action throughout the Napoleonic Wars, involving more than 250,000 soldiers and resulting in 70,000 casualties. The French gained a tactical victory, but at the cost of 49 general officers and thousands of men. The Russian army, under Field Marshal Barclay, made a tactical withdrawal, leaving the French without the decisive victory Napoleon sought.
Having taken Moscow, Napoleon’s position grew worse with each passing day. By mid October it was decided to advance the French army toward Kaluga. Checked by a Russian corps, the French tried once more to engage the Russian army for a decisive action at the Battle of Maloyaroslavets. Despite holding a superior position, the Russians retreated following a ferocious engagement, dragging the French yet further into the heart of Russia. His troops exhausted, with few rations, no winter clothing, and his remaining horses in poor condition, Napoleon was forced to order the retreat.
In the weeks that followed the Russian winter gathered toward its full fury – the Grande Armée starved and suffered. As the French army retreated past burnt Russian villages, lack of food for both men and horses, hypothermia from the bitter cold, and persistent attacks upon isolated French troops led to a loss of discipline and cohesion. When the remnants of Napoleon’s army crossed the Berezina River in late November, only some 27,000 effective soldiers remained; the Grand Armée had lost a staggering 380,000 men dead and 100,000 captured.
Tsar Alexander I of Russia with his commanders, Field Marshal Barclay and later Prince Mikhail Kutuzov, had won a major victory that changed the politics of Europe. The Grande Armée, made up of French and allied invasion forces, over the 6 month campaign was reduced to a fraction of its initial strength and France’s ally Prussia, soon followed by Austria, broke their alliance with France and switched sides.
Your Russian Army
Gathered together to defend Russia is this starting force for your Napoleonic campaigns, the bravest of Russia’s men:
Or, as Marshal of your own destiny, choose to build your own Russian Army in which you can include 2 regiments, a commander, artillery, and your choice of a FREE item such as casualties or a defensive position.
You may need a few of these poor souls of course to demoralize your opponent before your battles begin:
We recently posted this fantastic guide to quickly paint your Russian forces by Laurens Vannijvel of Abrushwithbattles fame, as he takes you through the steps to completing a battalion in a weekend: