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 to heroes of the Patriotic War of 1812 in Maloyaroslavets, along the rim the circular inscription, divided by two dots, above BATTLE OF MALOYAROSLAVETS, below THE PATRIOTIC WAR OF 1812.

The Battle of Maloyaroslavets took place on 24 October 1812, between the Russians, under Marshal Mikhail Illarionovich Kutuzov, and part of the corps of Eugène de Beauharnais, Napoleon's stepson, under General Alexis Joseph Delzons which numbered about 20,000 strong.

Dokhturov entered the town from the south and found the French spearhead had seized a bridgehead. Fierce fighting began; the town changed hands five times. General Raevski arrived with 10,000 more Russians; once more they took the town, though not the bridgehead. De Beauharnais threw in his 15th (Italian) division, under Domenico Pino (Minister of War of the Kingdom of Italy), and by evening they had again expelled the Russians. During the course of the engagement the town changed hands no fewer than eight times and it was quoted that the French and in particular the Italian Royal Guard under Eugène de Beauharnais 'fought like lions'. In fact, this battle is remembered as the "Battle of the Italians". Marshal Kutuzov arrived and decided against a pitched battle with the Grand Army the next day, and to retire instead to the prepared line of defense at Kaluga. The mainly French and Italian forces won a victory on the day, only to realize that "unless with a new Borodino" the way through Kaluga was closed. This allowed Kutuzov to fulfill his strategic plans to force Napoleon on the way of retreat in the north, through Mozhaisk and Smolensk, the route of his advance that he had wished to avoid. French casualties were about 5,000, including Delzons killed, while the Russians lost 6,000.

Artist: L.A. Evdokimova

• МАЛОЯРОСЛАВЕЦКОЕ 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)

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