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Battle of Borodino-Napoleon Enters Moscow
The continued rivalry of Napoleon and Alexander made war between Russia and France all but inevitable. Napoleon organized an army of nearly 600,000 men. Napoleon's prime allies were the Prussians and the Austrians, both of whom supplied significant armies. In June of 1812 Napoleon's army set off. The Russian army fell back without significantly opposing Napolean's forces. By August the French led army had made its way to Smolensk on the Dnieper River. On September 7th the Russian army finally gave battle at the Battle of Borodino. Napoleon defeated the Russian army there and they were forced to withdraw, opening the road to Moscow before Napoleon. On September 14th, the French occupied the nearly deserted city. Between September 15th-19th Moscow burned as result of a fire initiated by the retreating Russians.