The Bagration flèches (
The flèches were constructed by infantry divisions of the 2nd Army and militiamen to give an opportunity to the artillery of firing not only to the
The Bagration flèches were occupied by the 11th and the 32nd Russian Battery Companies. The left work had twelve guns, the middle one had seven and the right five. Each work also had one battalion from the 2nd Combined Grenadier Division. Twenty eight guns were stationed near the flèches. On August 26 / September 7, about 6
In the second attempt, the French dragged their artillery closer to the Kamenka Brook and strengthened the troops with three extra infantry divisions from
Before the third attack, Lieutenant-General Aleksandr Tuchkov was ordered to send reinforcements, the 3rd Infantry Division of Pyotr Konovnitsyn. At about 8 a.m., after a bombardment, the French stormed the flèches again, some being eliminated with canister shot. Compans' infantry retook the left flèche while Francois Roch Ledru des Essarts' troops rushed into the spaces between flèches. The offensive was repulsed by a bayonet counter-attack of soldiers of the 2nd Combined Grenadier and 27th Infantry Divisions.
At about 9 a.m. Napoleon ordered the fourth assault. The French succeeded in taking the flèches one hour later, but were driven out soon after.
During the fifth attempt, at 11 a.m., the French took the right and the left fortifications, and general Tuchkov was killed. However, Konovnitsyn's division managed to counter-attack and repelled the French again.
An attempt to gain the flèches' rear through the forest failed.
The seventh assault was made futile by the Brest, Ryazan, Minsk and Kremenchug Infantry Regiments, while Ney's and Davout's offensives were warded off once more.
The last storming was so powerful that the Russian artillery failed to stop the French columns. Bagration ordered the infantry to counter-attack and not to wait till the French approached the flèches. The fierce combat lasted about an hour. General Bagration fell from his horse when hit by shell splinters while leading the counterattack and got evacuated from the battlefield. From 60,000 men assembled for storming the flèches, up to 30,000 were lost. Historians have marked the slaughter as the "grave of the French infantry". This had been the biggest battle ever recorded in terms of the casualty rate, around about half the people on the field of battle ended up as casualties. The number of the dead remained the highest until the first day of the