The battle fought at Borodino, about 75 miles (120 km) west of Moscow, was part of Napoleon’s Russia campaign and involved between 130,000 French troops and 120,000 Russians. The Russians, under General Kutuzov, had been instructed by Tsar Alexander I to halt the French advance into Moscow. Fortifications were built at the town of Borodino and the Russians were mobilized, ready to block the French. Napoleon initiated the battle at 6.00 am by bombarding the Russians with artillery. The day consisted of charges and counter charges, with canons and musket fire creating a continuous barrage, which did not relent. There were huge losses on both sides, with the Russians finally giving way. Although the Russian army was defeated, it was not destroyed; Kutuzov managed to withdraw with his army in reasonable order at around 2.00 pm.
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