The Battle of Berezina is one of the most memorable and significant events in course of the War of the 1812. And it took place on the territory of Belarus, and in particular in Borisov district of Minsk region, in close vicinity to the village of Bryli. The well-known battle happened on November 26-29, and all sorts of public events, which can equally interest both adults and children, take place here every year roughly on these days. However, before describing the entertainment, we will dwell on tragic part of the unforgettable crossing.
What it was like
Several events preceded a large-scale defeat of French commander. First, on November 16, Chichagov’s allied troops besieged Minsk, where one of the main supply bases of Bonoparte’s army was located, and also the main direction of retreat. Borisov being the second in importance strategic point was seized after that. Secondly, only the army under the head of Chichagov was the main barrier to the French troops at that moment, therefore Napoleon managed to cross the western bank of the river Berezina without serious casualties.
However, the allied forces arrived on November 28-29, which cut the number of French soldiers to a great extent during their crossing (altogether a couple tens of thousands of people perished or were wounded during that operation). Later, casualties had risen even more due to attendant frost, and weakened and emaciated fighters. Thus, according to numerous reliable sources, Napoleon’s army enumerated about 9 thousand people against the initial rate of about 60 thousand men by the end of the third day after the crossing. There is no doubt that the casualties of the French army were truly incredible and led to the defeat of the whole campaign later.
In relation to such a grand event in history, it was decided to create a kind of memorial complex not far fr om the battlefield. It has been located near the village of Bryli. The visit to this place is included into several excursion programs, providing for the tour to the village of Studenka as well, wh ere all comers can get to know all the details of the large-scale event.
It is interesting that every year real costumed festivals, called to restore the events of the years gone by in memory and to show full tragedy and significance of the battle to the viewers, are held here. Historical clubs from around the world participate in such events, including France, Germany, Poland and surely Russia. As a result, a common performance turns into a real reconstruction.
If you are seriously interested in history, and in particular in the event of the war of 1812, then you ought to pay due attention to the memorial complex, cozily located near Bryli village, along with visiting the famous museum of local lore. Especially if you are lucky to visit these lands at the end of November.