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Napoleon is a torrent which as yet we are unable to stem, Moscow will be the sponge that will suck him dry.
— Mikhail Kutuzov, on the War of 1812

Prince Mikhail Illarionovich Golenishchev-Kutuzov was a Field Marshal of the Russian Empire.

He was born in Saint Petersburg in 1745 to a family of Novgorod nobility. His father was a Russian general and senator. Kutuzov began military schooling at age 12 and joined the Imperial Russian Army in 1759. Three years later Kutuzov became a company commander in the Astrakhan Infantry Regiment under Alexander Suvorov. He took part in crushing the Polish Bar Confederation rebellion. During the Russo-Turkish War of 1768–1774 he served in the staff of Pyotr Rumyantsev at Moldova for the battles of Larga and Kagul. In July 1774 at Crimea, Kutuzov was severely wounded by a bullet that went through his temple and out near his right eye, which became permanently scarred. He returned to Crimea in 1776 to assist Suvorov and conducted negotiations with the last Crimean khan Girey, convincing him to abdicate and submit to Russia.

After Kutuzov became Governor-General of Crimea in 1787, the Russo-Turkish War of 1787–1792 began. He was again severely wounded in 1788 during the Siege of Ochakov when a bullet was shot through both of his temples. Kutuzov came back a year later, taking part in the Battle of Rymnik and Siege of Izmail. Near the end of the war, he led a decisive charge at the Battle of Măcin. Kutuzov was on good terms with Tsar Paul, but had disputes with his successor Tsar Alexander. In 1805, he led Russian forces alongside Austria during the Napoleonic Wars. The allied Russo-Austrian army was defeated by Napoleon at the Battle of Austerlitz. Alexander blamed Kutuzov and demoted him to Moldova for the Russo-Turkish War of 1806–1812. Kutuzov vanquished a four-times larger Turkish army at Rousse and brought an end to the war with a decisive victory at the Battle of the Danube. For his achievements, he was awarded the titles of count and prince.

Kutuzov returned at the request of Alexander for the French invasion of Russia. He was appointed Commander-in-Chief, succeeding Barclay de Tolly and continuing his scorched earth policy up to Moscow. Under Kutuzov's command, the Russian army faced the Grande Armée at the Battle of Borodino. He allowed Napoleon to take an abandoned Moscow, which was set on fire. Kutuzov counter-attacked once Napoleon retreated from Moscow, pushing the French out of the Russian homeland. In recognition of this, Kutuzov was awarded the victory title of Prince Smolensky. He stepped down from command due to deteriorating health soon after the French left Russia. Kutuzov died in 1813 at Bunzlau and was buried at the Kazan Cathedral in Saint Petersburg. Kutuzov was highly regarded in the works of Russian and Soviet historians.

(From Wikipedia)

Battle vs. Arthur Wellesley (by Battlefan237)[]

Bolkonsky carefully steadied himself behind a heap of hay, peeping through the crack, fixing his eyes tightly on the small hill in the east, on which a few shadows had emerged. Although blurred by sunlight, it was still not hard to tell that those shadows were colored in dark red.

As an experienced infantryman, Bolkonsky had been through a lot. From the bloodbath of Austerlitz to the bombardment of Borodino, and through the harsh winter of 1812, nearly had he participated in every major clash of fists between Alexander I and Bonaparte. He had worked under commands of Barclay de Tolly and Bennigsen. When Bagration perished under artillery shells, he was meters away, sheltered by a wooden board. However, this time was different, different from all the battles and campaigns he'd experienced. First it was that mysterious voice that echoed around the total darkness that he suddenly found himself bathed in, telling him about some sort of test of skills and guts. Then he found himself end up in this village, with eight other vigorous Russian soldiers like him, and a legendary man that he hadn't been fortunate enough to work under.

It didn't take long for all the other men to recognize the general standing before them from the long scar engraved on his right cheek and the wooden eyeball hanging within. After a few words of introduction, they were told that duel of death was in store. A duel of death between them and a force of ten from across the Channel.

With all that kept in mind, he was assigned here, watching the direction which the enemy force was supposed to be coming from. Now that he had a task in hands, it was imprudent for him to continue wondering about the oddness of the voice. With Model 1808 tightly grabbed, he prepared himself for combat. The soldiers hidden in the bushes and abandoned farmhouses around did the same, as more Redcoats appeared on the hill.

It was a strain on the nerves to remain steady and silence, as the British troops drew closer and closer. The moment the first Redcoat set feet on the cobblestone path leading to his spot, Bolkonsky opened fire, followed by his teammates hiding at other spots nearby. Two of the redcoats were immediately taken downRedRed.

"Браво!" Thought Bolkonsky, as he reloaded his musket. The remaining Redcoats, stunned by the sudden ambush, seemingly began to retreat. Overwhelmed by the success,his fellow soldiers burst out of the abandoned farmhouse and bushes, drawing out their Shashka and kicked off their pursuit. However, Bolkonsky was hesitant. Something buried in his senses in tingling, something not right. He could only see four Redcoats in his sight, with the two dead bodies counted. If he had figured it out right, their opponents and them should be roughly even in number to say the least. Gradually, he decided to follow his charging friends. As the Russian soldiers made their way to the hill, one of the Redcoats was not fast enough to climb up. Tripping over a branch at the foot of the hill during his hasty retreat, he had no chance to stand up before getting hacked on the back by a Cossack sabreRed.

Having just putting an end to an enemy, the Russian with the sabre waved the blood-stained sword at the top of the hill in a defiant manner. Hardly had he continued climbing up when another figure appeared on the hill, holding something in hands. The metallic gloss of the round-shaped thing combined with the afternoon sunlight, beaming out a halo that forbade the man from identifying the mysterious object. Still intoxicated in his temporary victory, the poor man remained still at his position. Scarcely had he recovered from the joy of triumph when the bomb was tossed out and landed right next to his spot, blowing him apart in secondsBlue. The Russians were forced back, as more Redcoats emerged from the hill, pumping their brown bess towards the escaping troops. Another Russian was hit on the backBlue, as he made his way back in a desperate attempt to shelter himself behind a slab of stone. It didn't take long when the other remaining Russia was shot on the shoulder as he struggled to escapeBlue. Bolkonsky,who had kept a discrete distance with the hill, was lucky enough to barge into the empty farmhouse and keep himself out of the enemy's sight.

"Forward." Ordered the Duke of Wellington, as he followed his troops down the hill, watching the Russians running away. "Had this been a campaign between armies, I should have claimed victory already." The Duke thought to himself.

Meanwhile, back inside the village, staring his remaining eye into the telescope, Mikhail Kutuzov figured out that his initial plan of ambush had failed miserably, and the obvious choice that lay before him was to gather his remaining strength and go toe-to-toe with the British force.Now that he only had a total of five men around, he was not quite sure whether this was the wise thing to do. However, the situation had left him with no other possible options, as it was pretty clear that another ambush was totally out of the question due to the sheer lack of shelters on his part of the village.

Minutes later, the two sides, with each of the men tightly clutching at the muskets and fierce light gleaming inside their eyes, came down to a clash at the center of the small village.The moment they came into each other's sight, erupted was an immediate exchange of gun powder, which canceled out one man on both sidesBlueRed. The duel of muskets went on, as both nation's finest soldiers positioned themselves around the arena. A brown bess was also applied to Arthur Wellesley, while Kutuzov plunged himself into the fight by firing his Flintlock pistol. The timbre of muskets and chilling tune of bullets brought his memory back to the old days in Ukraine, where he lost his eye, where he first witnessed the thrill of war.

Another Russian was pulled down as a bullet blew apart his shoulder, sending him backwards and crashing to the ground as an arc of blood splattered outBlue. However,before the British could take time celebrate the masterful aiming of their teammate, one of the Redcoats felt an heart-piercing pain in the back. With his remaining strength and energy, the man struggle to turn back, only to face a glaring Bolkonsky, with a blood-stained bayonet in his right handRed.

Using the dead British soldier as a shield, Bolkonsly succeeded in blocking two musket rounds as his sudden act drew the attention of the rest of the Redcoats. Taking the distraction as an opportunity, one Russian soldier ventured forward. With his Model 1808 out of bullets, he detached the trenching shovel from his back and darted at one of the Redcoats, smashing his skull with the improvised toolRed. Hardly had he landed a second hit on the stunned soldier nearby when a round from the First Duke of Wellington's Flintlock Pistol made a nice hole on his chestBlue.

Motivated by the shovel man, out charged the two remaining Russians, with Kutuzov trying to follow their pace behind as the British were busy settling down themselves. The last grenadier made an attempt to fend off the attack with his bomb, only to be pinned to the ground by the leading Russian. The grenade went off, nevertheless, shattering both of them apartRedBlue.

The temporary blow of wind generated by the explosion sent the dust accumulated on the ground flying around in the sky, forcing individuals on both sides into covering their eyes. Seconds later, when a remaining Redcoat was finally able to open his eyes as the dust storm faded away, what came into his sight was a figuring wildly waving a woodcutter's ax, charging at him. Scarcely had he readied the musket when the Russian chopped of one of his arms. Petrified, he didn't have a chance to murmur out his last words before a second hack was applied to his face, putting an end to his career as Great Britain's finest infantrymanRed.

The ax-wielding Russian, however, didn't last much longer, as Wellington's lieutenant pumped the final round of his brown bess into the berserker-style warrior's stomach, putting a full stop to his ax-crazy demonstrationBlue.

With bodies left around the arena, both sides had been reduced to two individuals.With the Duke facing Bolkonsky and the Kutuzov facing the lieutenant.

With his alertness affected by the joy that his sudden attack reversed the situation for his squad, Bolkonsky wasn't fast enough to react when the Duke drew out his officer's sword and lashed out at him. Almost instantly the bayonet was raised but even as he exerted himself to stab back he was way too slow to avoid the sword that pierced into his stomach and stuck out at the other side. Trembling in anger and pain, he managed to gave the duke a final glare of defiance before dropping his bayonet, kneeling down on the ground and succumbing to his woundBlue.It was seconds later when the Duke turned back to witness his most trusted subordinate meeting his own doom. The poor man stood no chance against Kutuzov's sabre, with only a blunt musket to defend himselfRed.

There was a brief moment of pause as the two legendary general stared at each other with a mixure of hatred and respect."So you, the man that gave the demon a final push to demise ?" Said Kutuzov, in English with heavy Russian accent."Indeed." Replied the Duke."And it occurs to me that you are the rival of Bonaparte in that harshest winter of all." Hearing this, Kutuzov nodded back.

With the courtesy granted to each other, the clash of swords kicked off. The Duke, utilizing his advantage in terms of vigor, was able to land a stab on Kutuzov's shoulder as the old man did his best to catch up. Pulling out his sword, the Duke was up to a second stab as Kutuzov blocked his attack with a solid blow from his Shashka, breaking apart the brittle sword. The block was followed by an instant slash across the Duke's stomach that fractured several of his ribs, forcing him to drop his broken sword and collapse down, unable to fight.

Kutuzov, struggling with his wound, was about to make a final slash before collapsing next to the Duke, with bloods gushing out of his shoulder. The two generals, both struggling against their wounds, now lied on the ground hopelessly, with no rescue nearby, facing a fate of unknown.


Expert's opinion[]

The votes were tied because experts could not reach a consensus on which of the generals will claim victory. Wellington's supporters claimed the better training and experience of the British Army would secure their victory, while Kutuzov's supporters regarded Kutuzov's expertise in guerrilla warfare and the Russian Army's better arsenal as Mikhail's key to triumph. However, regardless of the result, there's no doubt that both of them are genius generals in real life and should receive their fair share of respect as two of Napoleon's most iconic nemesis.

To see the original battle and votes, check it out here.