On the eve of the anniversary the city held three-day festivities in commemoration of that battle.
It may seem strange but this quiet town, which lies 140 km to the south west from Moscow among picturesque hills and forests became a stumbling block on the way of Europe’s Conqueror, Lada Miroshenkova, head of the research and information department of the “Borodino Battle” museum in Moscow says.
"Napoleon wanted to head to the south of Russia, still untroubled by the war. He planned to seize food and ammunition reserves of the Russian army stored in the cities of Kaluga and Tula. He also wanted to take a break and spend the coming winter in more comfortable climate conditions than those of central Russia. He had an opportunity to start a new campaign against Alexander I next year."
The French Emperor was not destined to carry out those plans because near Maloyaroslavets he faced the Russian army’s decisive offence. The battle for the town of 150 wooden houses lasted for 18 hours. The town changed hands 8 times, each army lost 7,000 people. The town was burned down but it did not surrender. If the Battle of Borodino undermined the spirit of the Grand Armee, the battle of Maloyaroslavets put an end to Napoleon’s invasive policy. After encountering such strong resistance, Napoleon decided to retreat west, along the Smolenskaya road that had been devastated by the original French advance. Later, Napoleon confessed that the entire Russian campaign was a fatal mistake.
In the days of celebrations of the 200th anniversary of the battle of Maloyaroslavets the town streets were full of people dressed in Russian and French uniforms of 1812. The main street was freed from traffic for a cavalry march. The city welcomed members of military-historical clubs who came for the reconstruction of the battle. After the battle reconstruction was finalized by a great firework show.