General Gudin Discovery

for Le Point, France 2019


Few days ago in Smolensk, the remains of Napoleon’s General Gudin were discovered. General Charles Etienne Gudin was a friend and ally of Napoleon. He died in a battle of Valutino near Smolensk in August 1812. For 200 years his burial place remained unknown. Passionate researcher in military history Pierre Malinowski, president of French-Russian historical initiatives foundation, organized in collaboration with Archeology Institute of Russian Academy of Science, «Reconciliation» foundation, military-historical society and archeological expedition. According to his words, he read in memoirs of Napoleon’s officer one sentence indicating that the burial place was on a hill of Lopatinsky garden in Smolensk. Arriving in Smolensk, he tried to imagine how Napoleon would feel and think, where he could bury one of his best friends who had died in his arms. The center of an ancient King Bastion was an exact hit.In Soviet times there was a dance floor, then a place with a beer kiosk, then a flower bed… By miracle, the remains of General Gudin were not destroyed by constructions, chemicals from fertilizers and could be discovered. DNA test will be made for the identification. Remains of General Charles Etienne Gudin will be moved to France and buried in Les Invalides in Paris.