Lieutenant General Miloradovich’s Report to General Kutuzov on the Battle of Austerlitz


Translated By Alexander MikaberidzeFINS

 

No. 76, 15 December 1805

On 20 November [2 December] 1805, I was assigned with the regiments: Malorossiiskii Grenadier, Apsheron, Smolensk and Novgorod Musketeer, Colonel Kudryavtsev’s battery company and forty Elisavetgrad hussar to the Austrian troops in the 4th Column. I broke the camp according to the disposition at around 8:00 a.m. and organized column’s advance guard from both musketeer battalions of the Novgorod regiment and grenadier battalion of the Apsheron regiments with two guns under command of Lieutenant Colonel Manakhtin with orders to occupy the village of Schlapanitz, located one mile from the camp.

As soon as this advance guard passed through Schlapanitz located at close proximity from the camp, it encountered two enemy columns advancing directly against it with heavy musket and artillery fire. Battalions were hastily organized in front [frunt] and, launching a bayonet attack, they overwhelmed the foremost enemy column.

However, nine enemy columns suddenly appeared and, having deployed in check board formation, they increased their fire, turned our flanks and resumed attack, which we could not repulse; both our guns were already damaged. Facing superior enemy forces protected by strong artillery and musket fire, I immediately dispatched Major General Repninsky with the grenadier battalion of the Novgorod [regiment] to occupy a hill on this side of the village [of Schlapanitz] so that the retreating musketeer battalions of the Novgorod regiment could join it there.

Two Caesarian [Austrian] battalions also arrived to this hill. [Meantime], having received Your Excellency’s orders, I gathered the Malorossiiski Grenadier, Smolensk [Musketeer] Regiments and the Apsheron [Musketeer] Regiment with a grenadier battalion and led them in an attack against the [French] advancing directly at us, with intention either to overwhelm them or at least to halt their advance and give the Austrians enough time to occupy position behind me; a battery company was deployed in the middle of the hill.

Thus began a battle in which four [Russian] regiments mustering some five thousand men and two Austrian battalions resolutely fought 28,000 enemy troops (as it was later established); the grenadier battalion of the Apsheron Musketeer made two bayonet attacks and the last one led by Captain Morozov almost succeeded in capturing two guns. Taking advantage of their numerous guns, [the French troops] deployed in four lines, replaced disorganized columns with fresh troops, directed most of their forces to this direction and passed on both sides of our small position, occupying heights behind it.

In the meanwhile, General Repninsky fought courageously but was wounded; Major General Berg was captured. The Austrians, who occupied position behind us, abandoned it and retreated back. Such disastrous circumstances, extreme fatigue of troops, lack of ammunition, difficult terrain and the enemy fire from all directions had disorganized troops that fought so valiantly before.

But this disorder continued only before we reached His Imperial Majesty’s battalion of the Life Guard Izmailovsk Regiment, which held ground in excellent order and exchanged artillery fire with the enemy. Taking advantage of the respite, I rallied my troops that adeptly gathered around despite artillery fire. When the Guard battalion finally retreated, I led my column to the village of Austerlitz, intending to get ammunition there and reinforce any regiments still fighting the enemy on the other side of the village; however I received His Imperial majesty’s order to occupy Austerlitz and, after the battle was over, His Majesty ordered me to reinforce the army rear guard on its retreat to Golitzy.

Our casualties were not high since the enemy, content on occupying the battlefield, did not pursue us, while its artillery fire was not as effective. Our casualties comprise of:  ober officers – 4 killed, two missing in action; killed and missing 24 non-commissioned officers, 8 musicians, 662 privates, 25 other troops [nestroevoi]. The [French] suffered much higher casualties which easily deduced from their necessity to [frequently] replace fighting columns.

Having mentioned officers who distinguished themselves through their gallantry, I have the courage to present to Your Excellency’s particular attention and consideration [the following officers]: Major General Berg, Major General Repninsky, who was wounded in the leg and bruised in the side; in the Malorossiisk Grenadier Regiment, Major Kristafovich, who was wounded in the abdomen, and Lieutenant Stepanov; In the Apsheron Regiment, Captain Morozov, who almost succeeded in recapturing guns, Staff Captain Skalsky I and Ensign Gutkov; in the Smolensk Musketeer Regiment, Major Chichagov; Staff Captain Miliutinov of the Novgorod Regiment, Major General Repninsky’s Chef Adjutant Berezovsky, my Chef Adjutant Arakcheyev and Ensign Bravkov of the Malorosiiski Grenadier [Regiment], who was assigned to me as an adjutantm; Regimental Adjutant Glinka of the Apsheron Regiment and Portupey Ensign Tulaev of the same regiment, who were dispatched to the most dangerous places [during the battle]

Writing this report, I cannot but remember with sadness His Imperial Majesty’s Flügel Adjutant Count Tizenhauzen [Kutuzov’s son-in-law], who was mortally wounded. This excellent officer fought with remarkable gallantry, was always in the midst of the most dangerous spots, exceeded himself on this day of battle and was of great assistance to me. With him, the army had lost an officer of particular merit.

Lieutenant General Miloradovich

Source: Central State Archive of Lithuania, file 378, opis 13, delo 213. Printed version is available in M.I. Kutuzov: sbornik dokumentov [M.I. Kutuzov: Compilation of the Documents], (Moscow, 1954) volume II.

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One thought on “Lieutenant General Miloradovich’s Report to General Kutuzov on the Battle of Austerlitz

  1. Pingback: But what happened, and where where the troops? Austerlitz « The Big Board

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