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OUR LADY OF KAZAN
Russia 1812, west of Smolensk - the retreating Russian forces stream past the monastery of Our Lady of Kazan.
The abbot comes to the gate to bless the marching men - the Russian generals have orders to destroy all in the French path, but that cannot include Our Lady
French Hussars and Chasseurs chase off the cossacks. The weary Russian rearguard must turn and fight as troops of Victor's Corps, a polyglot of Italians, Germans and Poles move up.
Voltiguers and tiralleurs go forward to pin the enemy while Davout's 1st Corps shakes out into battle order.
The Emperor himself arrives with The Guard and Reserve Artillery inevitably in his wake - a Grand Battery is soon pounding the Russian lines
Davout's battalions move forward
The Russians unleash their heavy cavalry to break up the attack
Davout counters with the Carabiniers and the Grenadiers a' Cheval - a swirling sabre melee ensues
As the dust settles Napoleon judges that the moment of decision has arrived - time to unleash the ultimate weapon - MOZART, as played by The Guard's Band - backed up by 'Les Grognards' themselves of course. Realising the game is up the Russian commander orders a retreat in the face of the merciless racket!
Skirmish over, the long columns begin to move again, on toward Moscow
Meanwhile the courtyard of Our Lady is tranformed into a charnel house as Surgeon Larrey deals with the debris of the battle
The Guard's Band plays in the courtyard to encourage people to get back to their regiments and lull the wounded
The Emperor meets with the abbot to thank him for his help - bespectacled and bald Davout at his right hand, the gaudy Murat behind and Rastoum the Emperor's Mameluke in close attendance
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