Battle of Maloyaroslavetz
Arc de Triomphe: M.JAROSLAWIETZ
October 24, 1812
Napoleon had ordered the retreat of the army from Moscow and intended to march west along a more southerly route. The advance guard under Napoleon's stepson, Eugene de Beauharnais, encountered Russian General Doctorov's corps at Maloyaroslavetz. Intending to secure the path forward, Eugene launched his men forward and fierce fighting occurred inside the town and at the bridge. By nightfall the French and Italian forces were in control of the town, but the next day Napoleon decided the more southerly route was too risky, and instead redirected the army to return along the more northerly route that they had used when approaching Moscow. This decision would hurt the army in supplies as the northern route had already been devastated by the armies' march to Moscow.
- Chandler, David G. Dictionary of the Napoleonic Wars. New York: Macmillan Publishing Co., Inc., 1979.
- Smith, Digby. The Greenhill Napoleonic Wars Data Book. London: Greenhill Books: 1998.
Updated March 2014
© Nathan D. Jensen