Battle of the century redux: Grand Napoleonic battle reenacted
Two hours of clanking swords, firing canons, hundreds of horses, tons of armor and pure fun for spectators. The famed 1812 Battle of Borodino has been reconstructed in the Moscow region, marking its bicentenary jubilee.
The cavalry, infantry and artillery were all identical reproductions of what’s written in the chronicles about the most famous battle of Napoleon’s disastrous invasion of Russia.
Napoleon attacked the Imperial Russian Army, lead by General Mikhail Kutuzov, near the village of Borodino on September 7, 200 years ago. The real battle lasted 12 hours, and left over 45,000 Russian soldiers dead and around 30,000 dead on the French side. This weekend's reconstruction featured the key episodes of the battle.
Among hundreds of cavalrymen and thousands of infantrymen dressed in 19th-century military uniform, more of them wore the French uniform – just as it was back in 1812.
“We will win this battle today. And probably it will be the biggest victory in the history of France… I expect victory,” a US actor playing the role of Napoleon I said before the first shots were fired.
“Though it is only a reenactment, we will fight in the memory of those who threw back Napoleon on the approaches to Moscow,” the man who played Kutuzov told Channel 1.
With 3,000 men, 300 horses and almost 50 pieces of ordnance, this year's Borodino reenactment has already been labeled the most ambitious one ever put on.