The name Borodino Field resonates with patriotism and Mother Russia for Russians. The battle in September 1812 is known to most as one of the epic climaxes in Tolstoy’s War and Peace. Napoleon’s pyrrhic victory there took the French Grande Armée to the gates of Moscow and on to catastrophe during the subsequent winter. Another lesser known, but equally bitter battle was fought at Borodino Field in October 1941.
Posts by Tim Mitchell:
This tour covers the Market-Garden Operation in September 1944, which was an attempt to lay an airborne carpet of parachute and glider landings across the last major remaining waterways barring access to the Germany’s industrialized Ruhr.
This tour deals with the human story of D-Day on 6 June 1944 and the Paris insurrection and liberation the following August. It explores what it was like to parachute in the night skies over Normandy, land by glider behind enemy lines, climb the cliffs at Pointe du Hoc and wade ashore on the British and American beaches under fire.
This tour forms part of The Cultural Experience The Invasions of Belarus tour, covering Napoleons invasion in 1812 and Hitler in 1941.
This tour is about the battles that occurred along the famous Raate road from the Russian border to Suomussalmi, and follows another Soviet invasion route to Kuhmo further south.
This is an epic tour, covering the three turning points of the Second World War: Hitler’s failed winter offensive against Moscow in 1941, the defeat and loss of the German Sixth Army at Stalingrad, now Volgograd, in 1942-3 and the climactic clash of armor around the Kursk salient in 1943.
This book covers the near abortive American landings at Omaha Beach on D-Day 6th June 1944, utilizing the ’24 Hours’ format of the experience through sight, sound and smell of the American and German adversaries with helpless French civilians caught up in between. This is perhaps the first time all three perspectives have been juxtaposed together. Tracking individuals from midnight to midnight exposes new ground and disentangles many previously held myths about what happened on that fateful day.
Balaclava was the cavalry battle, and this book deals with the three cavalry actions that took place that day. Russian, Turkish and British individuals are followed throughout the 24-hour period, from the siege lines around Sevastopol, Russians suddenly emerging from the dawn mist of the Crimea, to eight minutes of ‘cut and slash’ by the Heavy Brigade and the Light Brigade running a two-way horrific gauntlet of fire through the Valley of Death. New material has been extracted from letters, diaries and after action accounts from all sides.
24 Hours on the Somme describes that catastrophic day hour by hour through the differing perspectives of both sides. The British trench view is juxtaposed against the German parapet and dugout alongside the backdrop of their staff commands, who, ensconced in chateaus to the rear, could see nothing. The book charts this dreadful day through the eyes, ears and senses of the soldiers themselves, through eye-witness accounts, diaries, unit logs and a mass of supporting material exhaustively harvested from across Europe.
This tour, conducted by Robert Kershaw in the past, begins at London with visits to Churchill’s Cabinet War Rooms, the Imperial War Museum and HMS Belfast.