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 Battle of Czasniki (1812)?

The Battle of Chashniki (Russian: Бой под Ча́шниками, Belarusian: Бой пад Ча́шнікамі), sometimes called the Battle of Czasniki (from the Polish spelling – Polish: Czaśniki), was fought during Napoleon’s invasion of Russia, on 31 October 1812, between Russian forces under General Wittgenstein, and the French army, commanded by Marshal Victor. This battle was a failed… Read More

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

What was the Battle of Smoliani (1812)?

Introduction At the Battle of Smoliani (November 13-14, 1812), the Russians under General Peter Wittgenstein defeated the French forces of Marshal Claude Victor and Marshal Nicholas Oudinot. This battle was the last effort of the French to re-establish their northern flank in Russia, known as the “Dwina Line”. Previously, the French had been defeated in… Read More