The crossing place of Napoleon in Studenka village

The crossing place of Napoleon in Studenka village


Sculpture, monuments, memorials

November 1812. Napoleon retreated. The huge, once great army-victor still did not seem defeated (and done), but the emperor took it away from the Russian Empire lands. The army was burdened with wagons; numerous echelons, supply services, rear brigades, convoys with wounded were retreating with it. Napoleon was irritated and ashamed of what was happening. The conquest was not successful.

The Moscow route is the main way from Europe to Moscow, which went through Borisov. Passing along this road in Moscow direction, the emperor took the town without a fight, but at that time he had Russian troops hung "on the tail", trying not to let the French invaders leave.

By the arrival of the retreating French in Borisov, there was not a single bridge left, but it was necessary to cross the Berezina. The commanders of the Russian squads carried out "monitoring" of the territory, trying to understand where the enemy would cross.

But the French managed to divert the attention of the Russians by false maneuvers (in addition, scientists believe that the Russian army made some tactical mistakes). Napoleon chose not a very famous place - a randomly discovered ford near the village of Studenka for the organization of the crossing. The Russians didn’t consider Studenka as a potential place of crossing.

So, it turned out that, when the Russians recovered, the two bridges - the upper and lower one – had been erected by the French engineering units, and the crossing had begun.

Since that moment events, that made it into history as the most bloody battle, had begun(even a set expression appeared in French language: "as near the Berezina", which is an equivalent to a crash, a catastrophe), one of the largest humanitarian catastrophes in the history of mankind.

At the same time, several story lines developed: artillery, cavalry and battle-worthy French infantry were crossing the upper and lower bridges. The rear guard of the French had already been fighting with the Russians recovered and arrived. Panicked civilians, who accompanied the French, were creating a cork on the approach to the crossing. By this time the bridges had already been burned (most historians believe Napoleon did that in his desire to cut the Russians from the way across the river). People were rushing into the cold autumn water in desperation, few of them managed to cross the river. At the same time, Emperor Napoleon made it to the other side successfully and escaped the persecution, taking the army remnants with him.

There are several results interpretations of this odious crossing:

The first - Napoleon lost, because he suffered such losses, from which he couldn’t recover any more;
The second - Napoleon won, because he managed to deceive the Russian military tactics and got away with part of the army.

Napoleon's losses amounted about 35 thousand people, and Russian - about 4 thousand. In 1813, 40,296 bodies of the dead were buried, 8,052 of which sunk in Studenka. There is evidence that the river was full of corpses of people and horses up to the surface in some places.

Those events go back into the past still further. But there are memoirs, and artistic paintings, costumed performances, reconstructing military actions are held. This is all in memory of that terrible crossing.

There is also a memorial near the village of Studenka. Here you can see: the locations of both bridges that played a fatal role in those events (marked with signs); pyramids with inscriptions dedicated to the French and Russian fallen soldiers separately; the sculpture of a defeated ancient warrior, creating the feeling of a necropolis, which is a symbol of the fact that death of any person is a great irreparable loss. It does not matter which side the deceased belonged to. After all, he left his life prematurely.

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