What was the First Battle of Polotsk (1812)?

Introduction In the First Battle of Polotsk, which took place on 17-18 August 1812, Russian troops under the command of Peter Wittgenstein fought French and Bavarian troops led by Nicolas Oudinot near the city of Polotsk, halting Oudinot’s advance toward Saint Petersburg. The First Battle of Polotsk should be distinguished from the Second Battle of… Read More

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What was the Second Battle of Polotsk (1812)?

Introduction The Second Battle of Polotsk (18-20 October 1812) took place during Napoleon’s invasion of Russia. In this encounter the Russians under General Peter Wittgenstein attacked and defeated a Franco-Bavarian force under Laurent Gouvion Saint-Cyr. In the aftermath of this success, the Russians took Polotsk and dismantled Napoleon’s operations in Belarus. Wittgenstein’s victory set the… Read More