Monday, August 13, 2012

Russian Counteroffensive - two centuries ago

From the first, however, ths operation was dogged with difficulties.  Barclay and Bagration were already on the worst of terms, and consequently their armies failed to cooperate to the best advantage.  When Platov reported his limited success at Inkovo, the Russian war minister's nerve paradoxically began to fail him, and fearing massive French retaliation he swung his line of advance to the northwest and virtually abandoned the forward movement.For six days his offensive hung in abeyance, and when on the 13th he again ordered an advance, its extent was very limited, and before the day ran out, the Russian army was again halted a short way to the east of Rudnia.  By this time Bagration was simply not cooperating with his colleague, the bulk of the Second Army remaining in the vicinity of Smolensk.  Thus the last spark of the Russian offensive was allowed to die away.

~ D. Chandler, The Campaigns of Napoleon, p. 783

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