Battle of Saltanovka

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Battle of Saltanovka (known as Mogilev in the West)
Part of the French campaign in Russia
Raevsky saltanovka.jpg
General Rayevski bravely leading his men into combat at the battle of Saltanovka.
Date July 23, 1812
Location Near Mogilev, Belarus
Result French victory
Russia Russia France France
Commanders and leaders
Russia Nikolay Raevsky France Louis Nicolas Davout
20,000[1] 28,000 (9,000 engaged)
22,000 infantry
6,000 cavalry [1]
Casualties and losses
2,500 - 5,200 dead, wounded or missing [1] 1,000 - 4,134 dead, wounded or missing [1]

The Battle of Saltanovka (French: Bataille de Mogilev) was a battle of the 1812 French invasion of Russia.[1]

The Russian 2nd Army, led by Pyotr Bagration aimed to join the main Russian army under Barclay de Tolly after the French forces took Mogilev and blocked the Dnieper river crossing. Bagration sent General N.N. Rayevski against 5 French divisions led by Louis Nicolas Davout, who was between the 2nd Army and Barclay's main army. The French Corps had over 28,000 troops present, including 3 infantry divisions under generals Compans, Dessaix and Claparède and a numerous cavalry under generals Bordesoule and Valence, but only a fraction of the French Corps was engaged in this battle. Meanwhile, the Russians had deployed around 20,000 troops but engaged only a single corps, the 7th corps under Nikolay Raevsky.[1]

Davout was able to repulse the Russian attackers throughout his line, despite the determination of Rayevski's men. The French then launched a counterattack and pursued the Russians for about a league. The battle prevented Bagration from joining the main Russian army under Michael Andreas Barclay de Tolly at Vitebsk, forcing Bagration to retreat to Smolensk. The Russians lost between 2,500 and 5,200 soldiers, with the higher estimate being provided by Marshal Davout and including 1,200 dead and 4,000 wounded. Estimates of the French losses vary between 1,000 men, which include 100 prisoners from the 108th line regiment and a higher estimate of 4,134 killed, wounded and missing.[1]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 Pigeard, p. 551-552.


  • Pigeard, Alain. Dictionnaire des batailles de Napoléon. Tallandier, Bibliothèque Napoléonienne, 2004. ISBN 2-84734-073-4

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