The re-enactment for the events of 1812
About fifty military history clubs from Belarus, Russia, France, Poland and Belgium took part in the re-enactment for Napoleon’s army crossing the Byarezina river in 1812.
The action took place in the territory of the memorial ‘Bryleuskaye Pole’ near the Belarusian town of Barysau.
Up to 300 participants of the makeshift fighting were present on the battlefield.
Crossing the river, the French army came under fire from the Russian artillery. As a result, there was a stampede which led to Napoleon’s retreat and suffering heavy losses on 26-28 November.
During the campaign, the ancestors of Belarusians were on the two sides of the conflict. Many of natives of the divided Grand Duchy of Lithuania supported Napoleon in the hope of his restoring their state; others had to fight in the army of Tsarist Russia:
1812. A Different War. Report by Kasya Rastotskaya, Belarus, 2016
Napoleon’s coming was sort of a chance for our greatgrandfathers; the same happened during the First and the Second World wars – the people who wanted the revival of independent statehood were trying to an armed conflict to weaken rivals and gain powerful allies, historian and military expert Alyaksandr Helahayeu says.