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The Beresina Crossing

Engagement/Skirmish Name : The Beresina Crossing

Date(s) : 25 November 1812 - 29 November 1812

Part of : The French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars , Napoleon's Russian Campaign , Crossing the Beresina ,

Outcome : An inconclusive engagement between Grande Armée and Russian forces

Type of battle : Land


General Eblé's engineers constructed and heroically maintained two bridges from Studianka on the east bank to Brili on the west. On the 26th Oudinot [II Corps] crossed first followed by Ney [III Corps] . Other elements followed. The movement continued the next day and Napoleon crossed at 1300hrs on the 27th followed by the Imperial Guard. Victor's IX Corps formed the rearguard. Valiant fighting held off the Russians from both ends of the bridges until the last elements of Victor's Corps crossed at dawn on the 29th.
Interspersed with all the formal movements were the actions, conditions and fates of the many stragglers attached to the Grande Armée. One indicator of the horrors they suffered was that the river was blocked by frozen corpses for weeks after the event.


On the river Beresina around the town of Studienka, near Borisov in modern day Slovakia (Slovakia)