About 120 Russian and French soldiers, who fought in 1812 during Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte’s campaign against Russia, were reburied on Saturday in the Russian town of Vyazma. The remains of three cooks and three drums have also been reburied.
The remains were discovered about 12 years ago in a mass grave near Vyazma, some 200 kilometers west of Moscow, where a battlefield occurred on November 3, 1812. At the time of the campaign, the French were already withdrawing.
The funeral was accompanied by gun shots of salute, and was attended by an additional hundred people in historical attire.
There were also descendants of the “great generals” of the Napoleonic era, such as Marshal Joachim Murad. His older nephew of the same name said that he was so emotional that he was allowed to attend this tribute to Napoleon’s soldiers.
Soldiers were identified by metal uniform buttons
Only years after the bodies were discovered, in 2019, Russian and French archaeologists excavated and examined the remains. The buttons of the metal costume made it possible to determine that some of the remains were ex-soldiers of Napoleon.
The campaign to Russia cost hundreds of thousands of Napoleon’s large multinational army: 300,000 French, 70,000 Poles, 50,000 Italians, 80,000 Germans, and also thousands of Dutch. On the Russian side, perhaps 450 thousand people were killed.
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