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Old March 22nd, 2012, 12:10 PM   #1

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The Battle of Borodino


was there anything that the french could have done that they could get a better victory out of Borodino or was there ever a chance that they could destroy the russian army there.
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Old March 22nd, 2012, 12:13 PM   #2

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was there anything that the french could have done that they could get a better victory out of Borodino or was there ever a chance that they could destroy the russian army there.
I think the battle was going to be a sanguine affair, the Russians had 2 enormous fortified areas in thier line. It proved to be a massive slogging match.
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Old March 22nd, 2012, 12:20 PM   #3
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was there anything that the french could have done that they could get a better victory out of Borodino or was there ever a chance that they could destroy the russian army there.
Not deeply invading Russia in the first place (jut IMHO).
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Old March 22nd, 2012, 12:25 PM   #4

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I think the battle was going to be a sanguine affair, the Russians had 2 enormous fortified areas in thier line. It proved to be a massive slogging match.
with such defences and the number of troops involved it was certainly going to be a bloody confrontation however it was conducted yet could the french have tried a flanking maneuver or anything else as they way they fought it there was little chance of getting the decisive victory they were after.
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Old March 22nd, 2012, 12:28 PM   #5

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with such defences and the number of troops involved it was certainly going to be a bloody confrontation however it was conducted yet could the french have tried a flanking maneuver or anything else as they way they fought it there was little chance of getting the decisive victory they were after.
I think some of this can be answered by looking at French tactics,which hardly changed throughout the napoleonic Wars. Any line in front of them with fixed fortifications, seemed to have them stumped (Waterloo for instance)

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Old March 22nd, 2012, 12:52 PM   #6

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Two primary points come to mind. First, as has already been pointed out, Napoleon could have attempted to flank the redoubts that the Russians had constructed. Napoleon was not feeling well the day of the battle, however, which likely had a negative effect on the French deployment and strategy.

Second, Napoleon coould have committed the Guard. His decision (well founded) not to has been highly controversal. Had he attacked with the reserve, he could have destroyed the Russian army. Who knows if that would have caused Alexander to come to terms....my thoughts are unlikely.
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Old March 22nd, 2012, 01:27 PM   #7

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Some historicians upheld that Napoleon should have used the Imperial Guard, however it was the Imperial Guard that allowed Napoleon to successfully withdraw then.
Moreover, inspite losses, Russians wouldn't surrend anyway in my opinion.
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Old March 22nd, 2012, 01:35 PM   #8

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Two cents: to commit ones reserves and an elite one like the Guard would've been risky, especially if anything went wrong(like at Waterloo). And being so deep in Russian territory, things going wrong would've been a great disaster. Forgive me for missing out on any details here - just a thought I've always had on this issue.
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Old March 22nd, 2012, 01:47 PM   #9

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Two cents: to commit ones reserves and an elite one like the Guard would've been risky, especially if anything went wrong(like at Waterloo). And being so deep in Russian territory, things going wrong would've been a great disaster. Forgive me for missing out on any details here - just a thought I've always had on this issue.
That was essentially what Napoleon said. "When you are 800 leagues from France you do not wreck your last reserve."
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Old March 22nd, 2012, 02:23 PM   #10

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That was essentially what Napoleon said. "When you are 800 leagues from France you do not wreck your last reserve."
Committing the Imperial Guard was always a 'last resort' for Boney. His army within an army concept was always uppermost in his mind. With the imperial Guard standing at around 60000 men at the time of this battle, Buonaparte could always fight a seperate battle with them if necessary.
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