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Location: 130 km (80 mi) Southwest of Moscow     Map

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Description of the Borodino Battle Site

Borodino (Бородино) is situated 130 km (80 mi) Southwest of Moscow in Russia. It is famous for bloodiest battle of the 19th century between armies of French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte and Russian Emperor Alexander I in 1812. General M.I. Kutuzov was in charge of Russian defenses. Three days of bloody battle left the no clear victors. Napoleon failed to destroy Russian army and Kutuzov failed to drain the French armies. After counting his losses Kutuzov retreated from a battle field.

In 1941 the field of Borodino became a battle site once again. This time new invader from the West under leadership of Adolf Hitler tried to make their way to Moscow. German Wehrmacht purposefully sent French SS troops to this part of the front. Adolf Hitler hoped that historic parallels will help him defeat the Russian defenses. Remains of Soviet defenses and trenches are visible among monuments dedicated to heroes of War of 1812.




Reenactment of the 1812 Borodino battle



Reenactment of the 1941 Moscow Battle


  Image of Borodino




Archaeological data indicate the settlement of these places in the second half of the 1st millennium by Finnish and then Slavic tribes. Well-preserved earthen ramparts of the 1st-2nd century AD e. located near the village of Gorki can be considered the first time military-historical monument of the Borodino field.

However, the first written records of the village of Borodino date back to the 17th century.

The lands on which the village of Borodino was located were annexed to the Moscow principality at the beginning of the XIV century and were located on the territories bordering on Lithuania through which the ancient Smolensk road passed. The peasants on these lands were engaged in arable farming - they cultivated winter rye, spring barley, oats, ice-cold wheat, flax, hemp and buckwheat. Their condition was assessed as "fair" and "average". Women, in addition to field work, were engaged in spinning flax and wool, weaving and knitting "for their own use." However, their possessions often suffered "from all sorts of vagabonds and rebels and from the Poles." Many villages after this invasion, even at the end of the 18th century, were considered wastelands.

According to some reports, the village of Borodino was first mentioned in the Mozhaisk Scribes in 1601. Before the Time of Troubles, the area where the village of Borodino is located was listed as "the Vozdvizhensky churchyard on the Tsar's land on the Veyne river with the Church of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross and the side-altar of St. Nicholas" near the village of Borodino on this churchyard "in the church there were images and candles and books and every church building worldly incoming people. "

Before the construction of their own church in Borodino, residents of the entire district were parishioners of the Church of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, which was located on the other side of the Kolocha River at the confluence of the Stonets and Prudka streams (Ognik). This church with a side-altar (lower church) in honor of St. Nicholas, Archbishop of Myra in Lycia was destroyed during the Time of Troubles, most likely in 1609. After that, local residents became parishioners in the Church of the Ascension of the Lord in the village of Semyonovskoye, which also had a lower chapel in the name of Nicholas the Wonderworker. News of this temple ends in the middle of the 17th century.

Since the beginning of the 17th century, the village was known as the possession of the first Russian tsar from the Romanov dynasty, Mikhail Fedorovich, which after 1613 was presented to him as the "Tsar's royal salary" to the "hawk" (position in the "tsar's hunt") Mozhaisk city nobleman Fyodor Konoplyov, son of Vasily Konoplev, who owned a neighboring village - Shevardino. He belonged to a service family, whose representatives are mentioned in documents of the late 16th century.

In 1626-1627, this territory is mentioned in the Mozhaisky Scribe books of letters and measures of Nikifor Neplyuev and clerk Alexei Berestov, as "a church place, arable land overgrown with forest", and Borodino itself, as a village of Kolotsky camp of Mozhaisky district. Then half of the village of Borodino - "a place in the courtyard of his votchennikov and four places of household peasants" was recorded for Bogdan Vasilyevich Konoplyov, who in 1595-1598 was a laborer and had a yard in Mozhaisk, and the other half - "four places for peasants and bobyls" for his cousin (according to other sources - nephew) Dmitry Mikhailovich Konoplyov. The village was given to them by Fyodor Vasilyevich Konoplev in exchange for the contribution given by his brother Bogdan during the tonsure of Fyodor, in the monks of Fedosey, in the Pafnutevo-Borovsky monastery.

In 1646, after Bogdan Vasilyevich Konoplev, "half a village of Borodin" was behind Lyubim (Onufriy) Mikhailovich Konoplev, brother of Dmitry Mikhailovich, and in 1666 half of the village with the master's yard was owned by his son Dmitry Onufrievich, then his grandson - Bogdan Dmitrievich.

In 1666, Dmitry Mikhailovich Konoplev gave his half of the village as a dowry to his daughter Evfimia Dmitrievna, who married the future devious Timofey Petrovich Savyolov (Savyolov-Vereisky) brother of the future Patriarch of Moscow Joachim (Ivan Petrovich Savyolov).

Five years later, in 1671, the second half of Borodino also passed to Timofey Petrovich, which Bogdan Konoplev pledged as a pledge of his debt and was unable to redeem. In the Scribes of 1678, the village was fully registered with Timofei Petrovich Savyolov and was a manor house and four courtyards where 23 people lived.

As the brother of Patriarch Joachim, Timofey Petrovich Savyolov held ever higher posts at the court: in 1676 he was a steward, in 1678 he was a Duma nobleman, and in 1689 he was a clerk. In addition, during the period of the patriarchate of his brother, he was the patriarchal boyar and was the voivode in Trubchevsk and Suzdal. According to some reports, he was also the governor of Mozhaisk and adjutant of field marshal Count Boris Petrovich Sheremetev, a member of the court over Tsarevich Alexei. At the same time, Pyotr Timofeevich expanded his possessions in the Mozhaisky district, buying from Lavrenty Grigorievich Usov half of the Semyonovsky village, and in 1696 - and part of Semyonovsky belonging to Semyon and Yakov Anufrievich Konoplev.


In 1697 (1698?) Pyotr Timofeevich Savyolov began to build a church in Borodino; On March 15, 1699, he died and was buried in the Mozhaisky Luzhetsky monastery. The construction of the church was continued by his son Pyotr Timofeevich. In 1701, "On February 18, on the 18th day, the Antimins was issued with a blessed letter from the Mozhaisky district of the village of Borodino to a newly built church in the name of the Nativity of Christ," soon after which the temple with the chapel of St. Sergius of Radonezh was consecrated.

According to S. R. Dolgova, after the death of Timofei Petrovich, the ownership in the Mozhaisk district passed to his son Timofei Timofeevich Savyolov (1668-1741). He was a steward since 1689, in 1700 - Adjutant General A.A. Veide, from 1703 - Adjutant Wing of BP Sheremetev, from 1709 - Lieutenant Colonel; at the end of his life he was a member of the Workshop and the Armory.

He managed to somewhat increase his estates in the Mozhaisk district: in 1712 he exchanged with Ivan Bibikov the part of the village of Gorki that belonged to him. Under him, in the revision tales of 1723 in the village of Borodino, the already existing Church of the Nativity of Christ was first mentioned. The only heir to Timofei Timofeevich was his son, Pyotr Timofeevich, who served in the stables department, had estates in the Moscow, Vladimir and Saratov provinces, and was the owner of 8000 serf souls. In Mozhaisky district, he inherited the village of Borodino and the villages of Semyonovskoye and Gorki from his father. Pyotr Timofeevich continued his father's activities to expand the estate, acquired the village of Maslovo, which had previously belonged to his great-uncle - Captain Ivan Ioilievich Konoplev.

After the death of Pyotr Timofeevich, the Borodino land dacha with the villages of Gorki and Semyonovskoye was repeatedly split up, passed from hand to hand between his descendants and other owners. Since 1746, the village was owned by his widow Afinya Semyonovna and his brothers Timofey and Afanasy, then their children Pyotr Timofeevich, Avtomon and Alexei Afanasyevich, then their children Nikolai Petrovich and Vasily Avtomonovich.

"In 1766, August 31, a first-class surveyor, collegiate assessor Alexander Kolobov" carried out a land survey. Its materials were used in the 19th century for a special demarcation, in particular, the demarcation of the Borodino imperial estate in 1838. In the village of Borodino then there was a "manor house on a stone foundation", a horse farm, two water mills, as well as 16 peasant households, where 78 men and 74 women lived, a pole road from Moscow to Smolensk (New Smolensk road) passed through the village.

In 1768, the part of the village that belonged to the last of the Savyolovs' descendants was sold at an auction for debts to Evdokim Alekseevich Shcherbinin, whose daughter, Elena, married Vasily Denisovich Davydov.

The "Economic Notes" of 1774 contain only general information about the owners of the Borodino dacha: "The village of Borodino with the villages and wastelands of the common possession of the gentlemen Shcherbinin, Kolychev and the Life Guards Cavalry Regiment of Second Lieutenant Nikolai Petrov, son of Savyolov 1912 dec., 712 sozh., 199 souls ", The common possession of which belonged to the" Vozdvizhensky graveyard ".

In 1798 (according to other sources, in 1799), the retired brigadier Vasily Denisovich Davydov (1747-1808), an associate of Suvorov, bought an estate with a manor house in the name of his daughter Alexandra Vasilievna, married Begicheva. Here passed the childhood of his son - the hero of the Patriotic War of 1812 Denis Davydov and his brother Evdokim, who became famous in the Battle of Austerlitz.

By 1800, the village had grown, according to the data given in the "Economic Notes", which were compiled to the materials of the General Survey of 1797-1798, it contained: "the stone church of the Nativity of Christ. The house is a wooden master. Two flour mills with two stoves, the first on the Kolocha River, the second on the Voine River ”, as well as 25 peasant households, 114 “ male ”and 123“ feminine ”souls. It is also indicated here that 10 households - "part of the deceased Major-General and Chevalier Evdokim Alekseevich Shcherbinin and his wife Alexandra Osipovna are in the inventory on promissory notes." For other owners in the village. Borodino - the actual state councilor Ivan Gavrilovich Voeikov and the guard of the second-captain Nikolai Petrovich Savyolov - recorded seven and eight courtyards.

In 1801, Denis Davydov left the village, entering the military service: first as a cavalry guard, then as a hussar.


Battle of Borodino (1812)

In 1812, fate returned Denis Davydov to the places where he spent his childhood. Here is what he wrote about preparations for the Battle of Borodino in his Diary of Partisan Actions of 1812: “... We approached Borodin. These fields, this village were more familiar to me than others! There I spent the carefree summers of my childhood and felt the first impulses of my heart for love and glory. But in what form did I find the shelter of my youth! The fatherly house was dressed with the smoke of bivouacs. Rows of bayonets glittered amid the harvest that covered the fields, and masses of troops thronged their native hills and valleys. There, on the hillock, where I once frolicked and dreamed ... there Raevsky's redoubt was laid ... Everything had changed! ... I lay under a bush behind Semyonovsky, not having a corner not only in my own house, but even in the barns occupied by the chiefs. I watched as noisy crowds of soldiers dismantled the huts and fences of Semyonovsky, Borodin and Gorki for building bivouacs and making fires ... ”.

Fyodor Nikolayevich Glinka describes the bridgehead chosen for military operations as follows: “Our battle line stood on the right bank of the Kolocha, facing the Kolotsky monastery, towards the side of Smolensk; right wing to the Moscow River, which meanders in the form of a ribbon at the foot of the Borodinsky heights ... The river Voynya, streams - Stonets, Ognik and other nameless ones flow into Kolochu. All these rivers and streams have rather high banks, and if you add to this a lot of potholes, ravines, mostly wooded, and various spring precipices, gullies, it will be clear why Borodinskaya's positions on a detailed plan seem to be hilly, cut, dug. Forests have overlaid the edges, frequent shrubs and copses are rough along the entire front length, and two large (old and new Moscow) roads cut the position, like two hoops, in the direction from Smolensk to Moscow ... In the middle of our battle line, two points are noticeable and important: Gorki and the village of Semyonovskaya. Between them stretches a sloping height with a slight slope to the Koloche river ... Following with your eyes the length of the main line to the left side, you rest on the left flank into a swamp covered with dense forest. The village of Utitsa is located here. Through it, from the village of Yelnyi, the old Smolensk road goes to Mozhaisk, long abandoned. "

It is likely that on August 22, the day the Russian troops occupied the position for a general battle, MI Kutuzov stayed for some time in the Davydovs' house. However, despite a number of documents marked "Borodino village", signed by him on the eve of the battle on August 23-24, his main apartment was located not in Borodino, but in the neighboring Tatarinovo estate.

In preparation for the battle, the buildings of the village of Borodino were burned down by Russian soldiers before the start of the battle. According to the memoirs of N. Ye. Mitarevsky: “Out of nothing to do, we officers first walked in the grove, then went to the Kolocha River, saw behind it a large manor’s wooden house and decided to visit it out of curiosity. The soldiers were already in charge there. Entering the hall through the garden porch, we saw two broken mirrors, one on the floor, the other on the wall; chairs and tables were scattered around the room and mostly broken; the sofas and armchairs are tattered; one soldier beat a crystal chandelier with a stick and amused himself as the fragments flew. “Why are you doing this?” We asked. "Yes, so, your honor, so that the Frenchman does not get it." All other rooms had the same destruction. Even before the battle began, this house was on fire. "They said that they had lit it on purpose so that the French would not settle there." On the eve of the battle, houses in the western part of the village were also dismantled or burned by the life rangers located in it.

During the Patriotic War of 1812 on August 26 (September 7), 1812, a fierce battle of Borodino took place on the Borodino field near the village of Borodino, located on the New Smolensk road to Moscow. As Mikhail Illarionovich Kutuzov wrote, it was "a battle ... the bloodiest of all known in modern times."

During the battle and artillery firefight, the remaining houses in the village. Borodino were destroyed. The Borodino church was badly damaged - the head was pierced by a cannonball, the walls were beaten with bullets, traces of which were noticeable back in 1848, the bell tower was damaged by the fire of the French artillery, the covered gallery, the iconostasis and the holy thrones were burned, the doors and window frames were knocked out and broken.

At the onset of winter, the dilapidated church served as a refuge for the inhabitants of the village who returned from the forests to the ashes.

In the "Bulletin of Mozhaisky uyezd burned by the enemy, now not completely built up, and about those who are uninhabited by ruin with remarks", compiled by the general of the cavalry Tormasov on January 4 - February 19, 1816, it is indicated that the village of Borodino with the villages of Semyonovskaya and Gorki were burned.


Great Patriotic War (1941-1945)

Before the start of fighting on the Mozhaisk defense line, in 1941, the former Borodino palace and cavalry corps were used as a hospital.

The village of Borodino and the Borodino field were one of the places of fierce battles in the defense of Moscow during the Great Patriotic War. The main hostilities in the area of ​​the village unfolded on October 13, 1941. The Soviet troops were opposed by the 40th motorized German corps, in particular the elite SS Reich division, whose advance was delayed for six days, and the 7th Bavarian infantry division.

Defeated, the Red Army retreated, but some of the wounded could not be evacuated. The villagers helped the remaining wounded soldiers, hiding the soldiers and officers who were surrounded. The archives contain a description of the following case. In October 1941, Lieutenant Denisov and three soldiers were seriously wounded in a battle near the village of Borodino. The collective farmer of the village of Bezzubovo, VT Revkov, picked up the wounded, took them to his daughter's house in the village of Borodino, where they hid and were treated for three months. Food was collected with the help of schoolchildren from the village. When the Red Army liberated the village, the wounded soldiers were transferred to the hospital.

After three months of occupation, Borodino was liberated on January 21, 1942.

Before the retreat, German troops Wehrmacht soldiers burned down all the houses in the village of Borodino, including the palace building