The battle of Borodino was one of the most costly clashes of the entire Napoleonic Wars, and indeed one of the bloodiest single days in all of military history. A narrow French victory, it was followed by the occupation of Moscow, but Napoleon's failure to destroy the Russian army eventually forced him to begin the disastrous retreat that ended in the destruction of the Grand Army.
The author has used some very detailed research, and gives us valuable tables on the composition of the two armies and the length of service of their NCOs and officers. He also examines the main points of controversy that have developed since the battle, looking at the alternative theories, the sources for each one, and the influence each has. In some cases he also provides his own theory, while in others he suggests that no firm conclusions can be made.
Enough background information is provided to make it clear how the two armies reached Borodino, and what both thought was as stake during the battle. This is a superb examination of a crucial battle, clearly written, readable but detailed and backed by very high quality research.
The Road to Borodino
Preparing for Battle
2-7 August: Mutiny of the Generals
7-14 August: Offensive at Last!
14-19 August: Napoleon Strikes Back
20-29 August: The Retreat Continues
29-31 August: Looking For a New Commander
1-4 September: Arrival at Borodino
5 September: Prelude to Borodino
Armies and Leaders
6 September: Eve of the Bloodbath
7 September: The Battle of Borodino Phase One (6am to 12am)
The Battle of Borodino Phase Two (12am to 6pm)
The Battle of Borodino Phase Three (6pm to 12pm)
Author: Alexander Mikaberidze
Publisher: Pen & Sword Military
Year: 2010 edition of 2007 original