Tarutino Camp

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Tarutino Camp


a fortified camp near the village of Tarutino, approximately 80 km southwest of Moscow, which the Russian Army, after abandoning Moscow, occupied from September 21 (October 3) to October 11 (23) during the Patriotic War of 1812.

The front and the left flank of the Tarutino camp were protected by the Nara and Ist’ia rivers; the rear bordered on a dense forest, where abatis were set up. The army was positioned on both sides of the Old Kaluga road. Between the villages of Gladovo and Dednia were the advance guard (the II and IV Cavalry Corps) and troops of the first line (the II and VI Infantry Corps); located behind them were troops of the second line (the IV, V, III, and VII Infantry and I Cavalry Corps). The VIII Infantry Corps and some cavalry occupied the third line, and two cuirassier divisions and artillery reserves made up the fourth line. The flanks were protected by seven chasseur regiments.

Field Marshal M.I. Kutuzov located his headquarters in Tarutino and subsequently in the village of Letashevka. The time spent at the Tarutino camp was used by Kutuzov to replenish his manpower and armaments and to prepare the army for the offensive. The First and Second Western armies were consolidated into one main army, the strength of which increased from 85,000 to 120,000 men. The cavalry was strengthened and new field-engineer and mounted field-engineer units were formed; the command staff was reinforced, staff service and battle training were organized, and supplies and medical facilities were improved. While in the Tarutino camp, Kutuzov gave considerable attention to the organization of the army’s partisan detachments and to their deployment, assigning them an important role in the operations against Napoleon’s army.

Supported by the Tarutino camp, the Russian troops defeated the French advance guard under Marshal J. Murat at the Chernishne River and subsequently advanced to Maloiaroslavets, barring the way to the south for Napoleon’s army, then in full retreat from Moscow.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.