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Berezina Battle Map 1Berezina Battle Map #1

Shown here are the French and Russian army dispositions in the Studianka/Borisov area as the Berezina bridges were being built. Since being pushed back across the Berezina River by Oudinot, Russian General Chichagov had been idle on the west bank opposite the town of Borisov, having burned its bridge before giving up the crossing. Most of his units were spread out to the south, where he thought the French would try to cross. Russian General Wittgenstein was arriving from the Northeast, moving against Borisov which was eventually held only by the French rear guard division under General Partouneaux. The main French army was covering the Studianka crossing. Russian General Chaplits had been watching the suspicious French force at Studianka, but was ordered south by Chichagov. This singular act saved the French Army by allowing General Éblé's mostly Dutch pontonniers to assemble the bridges in relative peace.

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  Copyright © 1996-2003 by The War Times Journal at www.wtj.com. All rights reserved.
Jakob Walter quote courtesy of Doubleday Publishers. Caulaincourt quote courtesy of Grosset & Dunlap.
Ségur quotes courtesy of Time Life Books. Paintings of General Éblé and the Berezina crossing courtesy of The French Army Museum, Paris.