Description

The French invasion of Russia, known in Russia as the Patriotic War of 1812 and in France as the Russian Campaign, began on 24 June 1812 when Napoleon's Grande Armée crossed the Neman River. Through a series of long marches Napoleon pushed the army rapidly through Western Russia, winning a battle at Smolensk in August. Napoleon hoped the battle would mean an end of the march into Russia, but the Russian army slipped away from the engagement and continued to retreat into Russia while leaving Smolensk to burn.

On 7 September, the French caught up with the Russian army which had dug itself in on hillsides before a small town called Borodino, seventy miles west of Moscow. The battle that followed was the largest and bloodiest single-day action of the Napoleonic Wars, involving more than 250,000 soldiers and resulting in 70,000 casualties. The French gained a tactical victory, but at the cost of 49 general officers and thousands of men. The Russian army was able to extricate itself and withdrew the following day, leaving the French without the decisive victory Napoleon sought.

Napoleon entered Moscow a week later. The loss of Moscow did not compel Alexander I to sue for peace. The French advance toward Kaluga where Napoleon tried once more to engage the Russian army for a decisive action at the Battle of Maloyaroslavets. Despite holding a superior position, the Russians retreated following a sharp engagement, confirming that the Russians would not commit themselves to a pitched battle. Napoleon was forced to retreat. Lack of food and fodder for the horses, hypothermia from the bitter cold and persistent attacks upon isolated troops from Russian peasants and Cossacks led to great losses in men, and a general loss of discipline and cohesion in the army. When the remnants of Napoleon's army crossed the Berezina River in November, only 27,000 effective soldiers remained; the Grand Armée had lost some 380,000 men dead and 100,000 captured. The campaign effectively ended on 14 December 1812 with the last French troops leaving Russian soil.

Obverse

Denomination 5 RUBLES in two lines, lower the inscription BANK OF RUSSIA and the issue year, to the left and to the right a stylized twig of a plant, to the right at the rim the Moscow Mint's trademark (MMD).

Artist: E. V. Kramskaya

5
ММД
РУБЛЕЙ
БАНК РОССИИ
2012

Reverse

The relief image of the monument to heroes of the Patriotic War of 1812 in Smolensk, along the rim the circular inscription, divided by two dots, above BATTLE OF SMOLENSK, below THE PATRIOTIC WAR OF 1812.

The Battle of Smolensk, the first major battle of the French invasion of Russia took place on August 16–18, 1812, between 175,000 men of the Grande Armée under Napoleon Bonaparte and 130,000 Russians under Barclay de Tolly, though only about 50,000 and 60,000 respectively were actually engaged. Napoleon attacked Smolensk occupied by Russian General Bagration's corps and captured two of the suburbs. To save the army, Barclay de Tolly abandoned the city destroying all ammunition stores and bridges leaving a small force to hold out for two days to cover his retreat. Technically the battle of Smolensk was a victory for Napoleon as he captured the city. However his soldiers were already running short of food and its destruction denied him a useful supply base, adding to the logistics problems caused later by the Russian scorched earth tactics.

Artist: L.A. Evdokimova

• СМОЛЕНСКОЕ СРАЖЕНИЕ •
ОТЕЧЕСТВЕННАЯ ВОЙНА 1812 ГОДА

Edge

12 sections by 5 corrugations.

Characteristics
Type Commemorative Issue (Circulating)
Material Nickel Plated Steel
Weight 6.45 g
Diameter 25 mm
Thickness -
Shape round
Alignment Medal
Mint
Moscow Mint (MMD)

Related coins

Emblem of the Celebration

200th Anniversary of Patriotic War Victory (1812)

Nickel Plated Steel, 5 g, ⌀ 23 mm
Warlords and Heroes: Mikhail Kutuzov

200th Anniversary of Patriotic War Victory (1812)

Nickel Plated Steel, 5 g, ⌀ 23 mm
Warlords and Heroes: Michael Andreas Barclay de Tolly

200th Anniversary of Patriotic War Victory (1812)

Nickel Plated Steel, 5 g, ⌀ 23 mm