If a man does not know to what port he is sailing, no wind is favourable. — Seneca

Napoleonic Wars

1804-1815
France — versus — Monarchies of Europe

Campaign of the Danube — Oct-Dec 1805      Campaigns of Jena and Friedland — 1806-1807     
Naval and Colonial Campaigns — 1804-1810      Campaigns of Wagram and Walcheren — Apr-Oct 1809     
Invasion of Russia — Jul-Dec 1812      Leipzig Campaign — May-Oct 1813     
Allied Campaign in France — Jan-Apr 1814      Hundred Days War — Mar-Jun 1815     

The Napoleonic Wars were fought on an even larger scale than those of the French Revolutionary Wars. The earlier conflicts were primarily between Austria, Britain and France, the three great European powers, who had been fighting each other on and off for generations over long disputed territories. When Napoleon arose to the throne of France however, the situation changed considerably.

During most of the French Revolutionary Wars, Napoleon was merely a general, and later a consul who directed armies but had limited control over the actual government. By the time of the Napoleonic Wars, he was emperor of France and essentially a dictator, with vastly more power over the government than any king had ever had. Having achieved the ability to reshape France according to his own dictates, he conceived of the idea of reshaping all of Europe according to his own preferences. Undoubtedly he had some excellent ideas for reform, and undoubtedly much of Europe was badly in need of reform, but the arrogance with which he conducted his campaigns, essentially brushing aside, or crushing all opposition, won him enemies everywhere. Towards the end of his reign even some of those who had originally supported him, with high hopes of great improvements in government, turned against him. Years of disruptions, dislocations, warfare, and arbitrary rule made even the worst critics of the ancient regimes look longingly back to the corrupt and inefficient monarchies, which were at least stable and predictable in their decrepitude, and limited in their ambitions.

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Napoleon Bonaparte  in  Stories from French History  by  Lena Dalkeith
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Napolean Bonaparte Becomes Emperor of the French  in  European Hero Stories  by  Eva March Tappan


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Story of Napoleon  by  H. E. Marshall
Story of Napoleon  by  H. F. B. Wheeler
Josephine  by  John S. C. Abbott

Campaign of the Danube (Third Coalition) : Oct-Dec 1805

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'SOLDIERS, THIS BATTLE MUST BE A THUNDERCLAP
The Treaty of Amiens did nothing to improve the relationship between France and her enemies. Britain was Napoleon's chief nemesis because she still dominated the seas and all of his imperial possessions were at risk. Finally, in 1805, a new coalition was formed against France, and Austria attempted to reclaim some of its territories lost in previous wars. Napoleon, however, was expecting just such an attack and had already anticipated its course. Between early October and December of 1805 he fought a series of battles against Austria and Russia, mostly in the region of the Danube, culminating in his brilliant victory at Austerlitz. Within a month he had taken over the Austrian capital of Vienna and was in a position to dictate terms.

For those who opposed Napoleon, the only bright side of 1805 was the Naval campaign. Britain already dominated the seas, but by destroying the combined French-Spanish fleet at Trafalgar, she made it impossible for Napoleon to even contemplate an invasion of Britain, or even do much to defend France's existing colonies and possessions.



DateBattle Summary
1805  
Battle of Wertingen (Campaign of the Danube ) French victory
Fought October, 1805, between the cavalry of Murat's corps, and nine Austrian battalions, strongly posted in and round Wertingen. The Austrians were defeated, losing 2,000 prisoners and several guns, and had the French infantry been nearer at hand, it is probable that the whole force would have been captured.
  
1805  
Battle of Gunzburg (Campaign of the Danube ) French victory
Fought October 9, 1805, when Ney's corps carried the three bridges over the Danube, at or near this town, driving off the Austrians with a loss of 300 killed and wounded, and 1,000 prisoners.
  
1805  
Battle of Haslach (Campaign of the Danube ) French victory
Fought October 11, 1805, when General Dupont, with 6,000 French, marching upon Ulm, was suddenly confronted with an army of Austrians, 60,000 strong, strongly posted on the Michelberg. Dupont at once seized and entrenched the village of Hanau, which he held until dark against 25,000 Austrians, under the Archduke Ferdinand. After nightfall he withdrew, carrying off 4,000 prisoners.
  
1805  
Battle of Elchingen (Campaign of the Danube ) French victory
Fought October 14, 1805, when Ney's corps, after repairing the bridge of Elchingen under fire, stormed and captured the convent and village, driving out 20,000 Austrians, and taking 3,000 prisoners and a number of guns.
  
1805  
Battle of Michelberg (Campaign of the Danube ) French victory
Fought October 16, 1805. Ney's corps stormed the heights of the Michelberg at the same time that Lannes carried the Frauenberg, driving the Austrians back into Ulm, where on the 17th General Mack capitulated with 30,000 men.
  
1805  
Battle of Amstetten (Campaign of the Danube ) French victory
Fought November 5, 1805, when the Russians retiring on Vienna fought a rear-guard action against Murat's cavalry and a portion of Lannes' corps, in which they were defeated with a loss of 1,000 killed, wounded, and prisoners.
  
1805  
Battle of Maria Zell (Campaign of the Danube ) French victory
Fought November 8, 1805, during the French advance on Vienna, between Davoust's corps, and the Austrian corps, under General von Meerfeld. The Austrians were defeated and driven off in disorder, leaving 4,000 prisoners in the hands of the French.
  
1805  
Battle of Dürenstein (Campaign of Wagram ) French victory
Fought November 11, 1805, during Napoleon's advance on Vienna, when Mortier, with one French division, was attacked by 30,000 Russians, and would have been overwhelmed but for the timely arrival of another division. The French lost 3,000; the Russians about the same number.
  
1805  
Battle of Hollabrunn (Campaign of the Danube ) French victory
A rearguard action to protect the retreat of the main Russian army, under Kutusoff, November 16, 1805, between 7,000 Russians, under Prince Bagration, and the French, under Lannes. Bagration did not retire until he had lost half his force.
  
1805  
Battle of Austerlitz (Campaign of the Danube ) French victory
Fought December 2, 1805, between 50,000 Russians and 25,000 Austrians under Kutusoff, and 75,000 French under Napoleon. An attempt to turn the French flank failed, and led to the left of the allies being entirely cut off from their centre. Their left and centre were thus beaten in detail, and the right, which had at first held its own, was surrounded, and driven in disorder across a partially frozen lake, where many perished. The allies lost 20,000 killed, wounded, and prisoners, and a large number of guns. The French lost about 5,000. The battle is called the Battle of the Three Emperors, those of Russia, Austria, and France being all present with their respective armies.
  


Commander
Short Biography
Napoleon Victorious general who rose to power during the French Revolution. Crowned himself Emperor and restored France to greatness.
Michel Ney One of Napoleon's most trusted generals and hero of many French battles. Executed for treason after Waterloo.
Joachim Murat Marshal of France and King of Naples. One of Napoleon's top Generals.
Alexander I Leader of Russia during the Napoleonic Wars.
Mikhail Kutuzov Field Marshall of the Russian Army during the Napoleonic Wars.
Horatio Nelson Great Naval hero of his age; victor at the Battle of the Nile, Copenhagen, and Trafalgar.
Admiral Villeneuve French Admiral during the Napoleonic Wars. Defeated by Nelson at Trafalgar.


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Austerlitz  in  Boys' Book of Battles  by  Chelsea Curtis Fraser
The Sun of Austerlitz  in  The Story of France  by  Mary Macgregor
Napoleon as Emperor  in  The Story of Napoleon  by  Henrietta Elizabeth Marshall
Second Charlemagne  in  The Struggle for Sea Power  by  M. B. Synge


Campaigns of Jena and Friedland (Fourth Coalition) : 1806-1807

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NAPOLEON AT THE BATTLE OF JENA
Prussia had made a separate peace with France since 1792, but after the battle of Austerlitz she recognized the threat Napoleon posed, and prepared to defend herself. Within the year Napoleon's army marched upon Prussia and defeated her at Jena-Auerstadt, two battles fought separately on the same day. After installing his own government in Berlin, Napoleon continued his campaign in the region. At this time in history, Poland had been completely carved up between Russia and Prussia, and in this campaign Napoleon had the support of many Polish nationals. His Friedland campaign, culminating in a battle with Russia on the Baltic coast of modern day Poland, was concluded by signing terms of Peace with Russia. The terms agreed to were fairly favorable to Russia, but they included a provision which prohibited trade with England. This agreement would later cause great difficulties for Russia, and was later the major point of contention between France and Russia.

Britain did little to supply her allies with troops in Europe during the Friedland campaign, but she continued her naval campaign, by capturing the strategic island of Majorca and, after the peace treaty was signed, attacking Copenhagen to prevent its fleet from falling into the hands of Napoleon.



DateBattle Summary
1806  
Battle of Saalfeld (Campaign of Friedland ) French victory
Fought October 10, 1806, between 7,000 Prussians, under Prince Louis of Prussia, and a division of Lannes' corps, under the Marshal himself. The Prussian infantry was broken and driven under the walls of Saalfield, whereupon the prince put himself at the head of his cavalry, and charged the advancing French. The charge was repulsed, and the Prince refusing to surrender was cut down and killed. The Prussians lost in this action 400 killed and wounded, 1,000 prisoners, and 20 guns.
  
1806  
Battle of Jena (Campaign of Friedland ) French victory
This name is generally given to the two battles fought October 14, 1806, by the two wings of the French army under Napoleon, at Auerstadt and Jena. At Auerstadt the Prussian left, 70,000 strong, under the Duke of Brunswick, was encountered by the French right, under Davoust, with slightly inferior numbers, and after very severe fighting, were defeated, the Duke of Brunswick being killed. Napoleon, on the left, with 100,000 men, attacked the Prince of Hohenlohe with 70,000 Prussians, and after a sternly fought engagement, drove him from the field. The two defeated armies, retiring by converging routes upon Weimar, the retreat became a rout, and Napoleon's pursuing cavalry caused them further heavy losses. The Prussians in the two actions lost 22,000 killed and wounded, 18,000 prisoners and 300 guns. Twenty generals were killed, wounded or captured. The French lost 11,000 killed and wounded, 7,000 of whom fell at Auerstadt.
  
1806  
Battle of Czarnovo (Campaign of Friedland ) French victory
Fought December 24, 1806, between the French under Napoleon, and the Russians, about 15,000 strong, under Count Tolstoy. Napoleon, with Dayoust's corps, crossed the Ukra, and made a night attack upon the Russians, driving them out of Czarnovo with a loss of 1,600 and several guns. The French lost 700.
  
1806  
Battle of Pultusk (Campaign of Friedland ) French victory
Fought December 26, 1806, between 43,000 Russians, under Bennigsen, and 18,000 French, under Lannes. Lannes endeavoured to pierce the Russian left and cut them off from the town, but he did not succeed in getting through, and in this part of the field the action was indecisive. On the left the French did little more than hold their own, but the Russians retired during the night, having lost 3,000 killed and wounded, 2,000 prisoners, and a large number of guns. The French admitted a loss of 1,500 only, but this is probably an understatement, Russian accounts estimating the French losses at 8,000.
  
1807  
Battle of Mohrungen (Campaign of Friedland ) Russians victory
Fought January 25, 1807, between 10,000 French, under Bernadotte, and 14,000 Russians, under General Marhof. The French were defeated with a loss of about 1,000 killed and wounded.
  
1807  
Battle of Bergfried (Campaign of Friedland ) French victory
Fought February 3, 1807, when Leval's division of Soult's corps forced the bridge of Burgfried, and carried the village, driving out the Russians after a short and sharp encounter, with a loss of about 1,200 men. The French lost 700.
  
1807  
Battle of Waltersdorf (Campaign of Friedland ) French victory
Fought February 5, 1807, between the French, under Ney, and the Prussian corps of Lestocq. The Prussians were defeated with a loss of about 3,000 killed, wounded and missing.
  
1807  
Battle of Eylau (Campaign of Friedland ) French victory
Fought February 8, 1807, between 90,000 French under Napoleon, and 80,000 Russians under Bennigsen. Napoleon attacked at daybreak, all along the line, but could at first make no impression on the Russian infantry. Later in the day Davoust all but succeeded in turning the Russian left, but the opportune arrival of a Prussian corps under l'Estocq enabled the Russians to repulse him, and after a sanguinary engagement, which lasted till ten p.m., both armies retained their original positions, On the following day the Russians retired unmolested. The French lost about 30,000; the Russians about 20,000 killed and wounded.
  
1807  
Siege of Dantzig (Campaign of Friedland ) French victory
On March 19, 1807, Marshal Lefebvre, with 18,000 French, laid siege to the city, which was defended by a garrison of 14,000 Prussians, and 4,000 Russians under Marshal Kalkreuth. For complete investment it was necessary for Lefebvre to encompass a circuit of about 17 leagues, for which purpose his numbers were too few, and he made little progress. Receiving reinforcements, however, he opened his first parallel April 1, while on the 12th an important outwork was carried. On the 23rd the batteries opened fire, and on May 15 a determined effort to relieve the place was made by a force of 8,000 Russians, who were repulsed with a loss of 2,000, the French losing 400 only. From this point the city was left to its fate, and an assault was ordered for the 21st. Before this date however, Marshal Kalkreuth signified his readiness to parley, and on May 26 the place was surrendered, the garrison being then reduced to 7,000 effectives.
  
1807  
Battle of Heilsberg (Campaign of Friedland ) French victory
Fought June 10, 1807, between 30,000 French, under Marshal Soult, and 80,000 Russians, under General Bennigsen. The Russians occupied the heights on both sides of the Alle, and the plains below, being in greater force on the left bank. The French attacked and drove the Russians into the entrenchments, but could make no further progress, and night put an end to an obstinate but inconclusive conflict, in which the Russians lost about 10,000, the French, 8,000 killed and wounded.
  
1807  
Battle of Friedland (Campaign of Leipsic ) French victory
Fought June 14, 1807, between 80,000 French under Napoleon, and 70,000 Russians under Bennigsen. The battle began at 3 a.m., at which time only Lannes' corps was on the field. Bennigsen at first contented himself with an artillery duel, and did not attack in force till 7 a.m., when 26,000 French were in position. These held their ground till the arrival of Napoleon, who with his fresh troops launched an attack against the Russian columns massed in a bend of the river Alle, drove large numbers of them into the river, and occupied Friedland after hard fighting. It was 10 p.m. before the Russians were finally driven from the field, having lost 5,000 killed and wounded and 10,000 prisoners. The French lost between 9,000 and 10,000. This victory was followed by the signature of the Peace of Tilsit.
  
1806  
Battle of Majorca (Naval Wars-4th ) British victory
This island was captured from the Spaniards in 1706, by a small British force under Sir John Leake.
  
1807  
Siege of Copenhagen (Naval Wars-4th ) British victory
The city was captured September 5, 1807, by 20,000 British troops under Lord Cathcart, after a four days' bombardment of the forts and citadel by 27 ships of the line. The Danish fleet of 18 sail of the line, which was surrendered, would otherwise, under a secret clause of the Treaty of Tilsit, have been placed at the disposal of Napoleon.
  
1807  
Battle of Heligoland   British victory
This island was captured, August 31, 1807, from the Danes, by a small British squadron, under Admiral Thomas Russell.
  


Commander
Short Biography
Napoleon Victorious general who rose to power during the French Revolution. Crowned himself Emperor and restored France to greatness.
Michel Ney One of Napoleon's most trusted generals and hero of many French battles. Executed for treason after Waterloo.
Prince of Hohenlohe German prince, and military leader in the Napoleonic Wars. Abdicated throne rather than serve Napoleon.
Count Tolstoy Russian General during the Napoleonic Wars. (Relative of the 19th century author).
Louis Davout One of Napoleon's foremost Generals. Governor-General of Warsaw after the Friedland Campaign.
Count Bennigsen Russian General during the Napoleonic Wars.


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Napoleon and Prussia  in  The Story of Napoleon  by  Henrietta Elizabeth Marshall


Naval and Colonial Campaigns:
South Africa, Senegal, Indonesia, Latin America  : 1804-1810

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"THEY HAVE DONE FOR ME AT LAST, HARDY," SAID NELSON.
For all of its wealth and resources, Britain could not field an army that could beat Napoleon on land. Napoleon therefore, hoped to maintain a fleet strong enough to launch a naval invasion of Britain, and thereby vanquish his most persistent enemy. Knowing these intentions, Britain's navy, led by Nelson, its most famous naval hero, aggressively pursued France's navy in hopes of giving battle. The French wanted only to preserve their resources and sought to avoid battle, but were finally cornered at the Battle of Trafalgar, and most of the French fleet was destroyed. This put an end to Napoleon's hopes of invasion, and gave Britain firm control of the sea. She used this advantage throughout the war, not only to aid her allies on the continent, but also to take control of many of France's colonial possessions. Since by early in the war, the Netherlands appeared irretrievably lost to the French Empire, Britain wasted no time in taking ambitious measures to take over their colonial possessions also. These included the colony of Cape Town in South Africa, (which had been won in the French Revolutionary wars, but returned by the treaty of Amiens), and the entire Dutch colony of Batavia (modern Indonesia). In addition, Britain attacked many Spanish and French colonies in Latin American, and the French colony of Senegal on the west coast of Africa.

On Napoleon's part, he used his ever expanding influence to try to destroy British trade, by forbidding any of his 'allies', or countries that he had conquered, to carry on any commerce with Britain. Since the economies of many coastal towns depended on trade with Britain and her colonies for their livelihood, this restriction was extremely unpopular.



DateBattle Summary
1747  
Battle of Cape Finisterre (Austrian allies vs. France ) British victory
Fought October 14, 1747, when a British fleet of 14 ships under Admiral Hawke attacked a French fleet of 9 battleships under Admiral de Letendeur. The French were signally defeated, losing four ships. The British lost 598 killed and wounded.
  
1805  
Battle of Trafalgar (Naval Wars-4th ) British victory
Fought October 21, 1805, between the British fleet of 27 sail of the line and 4 frigates, under Nelson, with Collingwood second in command, and the combined French and Spanish fleets, numbering 33 sail of the line and 7 frigates, under Admiral Villeneuve. Nelson attacked in two lines, and destroying the enemy's formation, completely defeated them, 20 ships striking their colours. Nelson fell in the moment of victory, while the Spanish Admiral was killed, and Villeneuve captured. Most of the prizes were lost in a heavy gale which sprang up after the battle, but the destruction of Villeneuve's fleet put an end to Napoleon's scheme for an invasion of England. The British lost 1,587 killed and wounded, the losses of the allies being far heavier.
  
1806  
Battle of Blaauwberg (Colonial-African ) British victory
On January 8, 1806, a British force 6,600 strong, under General Baird, which had just landed at Saldanha Bay, was attacked by the Dutch and French under General Janssens, issuing from Cape Town. The British gained a signal victory, in which they lost 212 killed, wounded and missing, while their opponents' losses amounted to about 300. Baird at once occupied Cape Town.
  
1809  
Battle of Senegal (Colonial-African ) British victory
The French garrison of this place surrendered, July 13, 1809, to a British force of 1 frigate and 2 brigs, with some transports-carrying troops, under Captain G. H. Columbine.
  
1810  
Battle of Bourbon (Colonial-Indonesia ) British victory
On July 8, 1810, this island was captured by a British squadron of five ships under Commodore Rowley, with a detachment of troops under Colonel Keatinge. The British lost 22 killed and 79 wounded.
  
1811  
Siege of Batavia (Colonial-Latin America ) British victory
This town (Djakarta) was captured by the British under Sir Samuel Auchmuty, with 10,000 troops, August 26, 1811. The French and Dutch garrison had abandoned the town, and occupied a strong position at Fort Cornelius, in the immediate neighbourhood. The British stormed the entrenchments, with a loss of 872 killed and wounded, whereupon the survivors of the garrison laid down their arms.
  
1804  
Battle of Surinam (Colonial-Latin America ) British victory
This place, held by a Dutch garrison, was captured, May 5, 1804, by a British squadron, under Commander Hood, together with 2,000 troops, under Sir Charles Green.
  
1806  
Siege of Buenos Ayres (Colonial-Latin America ) Spanish victory
This city was captured June 27, 1806, by a coup de main, by a British force, 1,700 strong, under General Beresford, aided by a small squadron under Sir Home Popham. Beresford, however, was not strong enough to hold the place, and before reinforcements could arrive he was defeated by the South Americans under General Liniers, with a loss of 250 killed and wounded, and compelled to surrender with his whole force.
  
1806  
Battle of Maida (Colonial-Latin America ) British victory
Fought July 4, 1806, between the British expeditionary force in Calabria, 5,000 strong, under Sir John Stuart, and the French, in equal strength, under General Reynier. The British charged with the bayonet, and the French, though veterans, failing to withstand the onslaught, broke and fled, losing very heavily in the pursuit.
  
1807  
Siege of Montevideo (Colonial-Latin America ) British victory
This city was taken by assault February 3, 1807, by 3,000 British troops, under Sir Samuel Auchmuty. The capture was preceded by an action outside the town, in which the Rifle corps, now the Rifle Brigade, especially distinguished itself. The British losses amounted to about 600.
  
1807  
Battle of Buenos Ayres (Colonial-Latin America ) Spanish victory
Fought July 5, 1807 when 9,000 British troops under General Whitelocke assaulted the city. They penetrated into the streets, but suffered terrible losses from the defenders' fire from windows and roofs, and, General Whitelocke proving a most incapable leader, were forced to surrender and evacuate the whole of the River Plate region.
  
1807  
Battle of St. Thomas (Colonial-Latin America ) British victory
This island was captured from the Danes, December 21, 1807, by a combined British naval and military force, under Admiral Sir A. J. Cochrane and General Bowyer.
  
1807  
Battle of Madeira (Colonial-Latin America ) British victory
This island was occupied without bloodshed by a combined naval and military force, under Admiral Sir A. J. Cochrane and General Bowyer, December 26, 1807.
  
1807  
Battle of Ste Croix (Colonial-Latin America ) British victory
This island, held by a small Danish garrison, was captured by a British naval and military force, under Admiral Sir A. J. Cochrane and General Bowyer, December 25, 1807, but little resistance being offered.
  
1809  
Battle of Martinique (Colonial-Latin America ) British victory
Having been restored to France at the Peace of Amiens, Martinique was again taken by the British, February 24, 1809, the force engaged being under Admiral Sir A. J. Cochrane, and Lieut-General Beckwith.
  
1810  
Battle of Isle de France (Hundred Days ) British victory
This island, now known as Mauritius, was captured from the French, December 3, 1810, by a fleet of 19 ships, under Admiral Bertie, convoying a number of transports, carrying 10,000 troops, under General Abercromby. The British lost 167 killed wounded and missing. Seven frigates and ten sloops were taken, as well as 21 French and 3 captured British merchantmen.
  

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Second Conquest by the British  in  South Africa  by  Ian D. Colvin
Lord Horatio Nelson  in  Boys' Book of Sea Fights  by  Chelsea Curtis Fraser
Napoleon  in  The Hanoverians  by  C. J. B. Gaskoin
Horatio Nelson  in  Famous Men of Modern Times  by  John H. Haaren
Story of Nelson  in  Back Matter  by  books/lord/stpauls/_back.html
England Expects That Every Man Will Do His Duty  in  Our Island Story  by  H. E. Marshall
Trafalgar and the Death of Nelson  in  Historical Tales: English  by  Charles Morris
At the Cape of Good Hope  in  The Struggle for Sea Power  by  M. B. Synge
Trafalgar  in  The Boy's Book of Battles  by  Eric Wood


Campaigns of Wagram and Walcheren (Fifth Coalition) : Apr-Oct 1809

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UPRISING OF THE TYROLESE IN 1809
By the end of 1807 Napoleon had virtually all of Western Europe under his heel, and was on peaceful terms with Russia. Only Britain remained a sworn enemy. In retaliation for Britain's dominance of the sea, Napoleon tried to cut off all trade between all of Europe and Britain, which caused great economic dislocations for all concerned. The livelihood and economy of much of Europe depended on international trade, and Portugal openly refused to comply. This breach between Portugal and France, combined with a rebellion in Spain, led to the Peninsular War, in which Britain, allied with Spain and Portugal, opened a front on the Iberian Peninsula to oppose Napoleon. Britain also did everything possible to support rebel and subversive movements in the continent and kept some unofficial trade open through smuggling.

With the distractions of Napoleon's power consolidation on the continent, a trade war with Britain, the Peninsular War in Spain, and pockets of discontent throughout Europe, Austria conceived the idea of re-igniting hostilities in order to prevent the Austrian empire from being partitioned. Since its defeat four years previously, Archduke Charles had made major reforms of the Austrian army. He himself opposed the new campaign, but was over-ruled. The Wagram campaign was fought in Italy, Bavaria, and (modern day) Poland, Hungary, and Austria. Meanwhile, the British did all they could to support the Austrians by opening up a front in the Netherlands called the Walcheren Campaign. The Austrians performed better than in previous campaigns, and won several victories against the French, but were at length defeated again. Except for the ongoing Peninsular War in Spain, this was the last major campaign in Europe until the ill-fated expedition to Moscow.

It was during this period also that the famous Tyrolese rebellion led by Andreas Hofer occurred. The mountain folk refused to submit to French rule and heroically held out for many weeks after the Austrian government had capitulated.



DateBattle Summary
1809  
Battle of Sacile (Campaign of Wagram ) Austrians victory
Fought April 16, 1809, between 45,000 Austrians, under the Archduke John, and 36,000 French and Italians, under Eugene Beauharnais, Regent of Italy. After hard fighting, in which little generalship was shown on either side, a flank movement of the Austrians, which menaced the French line of retreat, forced Eugene to retire, victory thus resting with the Austrians. The losses were about equal on the two sides.
  
1809  
Battle of Raszyn (Campaign of Wagram ) Austrians victory
Fought April 19, 1809, between 30,000 Austrians, under the Archduke Ferdinand, and about 20,000 French and Poles, under Poniatowski. The Archduke was marching on Warsaw when Poniatowski, to whom the defense of that city had been entrusted, came out to meet him, and after a stubborn fight in the woods and marshes round Raszyn, was driven back upon Warsaw, with a loss of 2,000 killed and wounded. A few days later he surrendered the city to the Austrians to save it from a bombardment.
  
1809  
Battle of Abensberg (Campaign of Wagram ) French victory
Fought April 20, 1809, between the French and Bavarians under Napoleon, about 90,000 strong, and the Austrians, 80,000 in number, under the Archduke Charles. On the French left, Lanne's corps drove back the Austrians, after a feeble resistance. In the centre the Bavarians were hard pressed, but eventually Napoleon succeeded in turning the Austrian flank, left exposed by the defeat of their right, and Charles was forced to retreat. The Austrians lost 7,000, the French and Bavarians about 3,000 killed and wounded.
  
1809  
Battle of Eckmühl (Campaign of Wagram ) French victory
Fought April 22, 1809, between 90,000 French, under Napoleon, and 76,000 Austrians, under the Archduke Charles. The Austrians occupied a position on the high ground above Eckmühl, from which they were dislodged after severe fighting, but the approach of night enabled the Archduke to draw off his troops in tolerable order towards Ratisbon, with a loss of about 5,000 killed and wounded, and 3,000 prisoners. The French loss is stated at 2,500. By this victory Napoleon cut the main Austrian army in two.
  
1809  
Battle of Ebersberg (Campaign of Wagram ) French victory
Fought May 3, 1809, when Massena's corps stormed the bridge and castle of Ebersberg, which was held by about 30,000 Austrians under the Archduke Charles. After the bridge was captured, a terrible conflict followed in the streets of Ebersberg, and finally the Austrians were driven out, with a loss of about 3,000 killed and wounded, 4,000 prisoners and many guns. The French admit a loss of 1,700 only.
  
1809  
Battle of Aspern (Campaign of Wagram ) Austrians victory
Fought May 21 and 22, 1809, between 36,000 French under Napoleon, and 70,000 Austrians under the Archduke Charles. The battle commenced about four p.m. on the 21st by an attack on the French position at Aspern, and at nightfall the Austrians had established a lodgment in the village. On the 22nd, both armies having been reinforced during the night, the combat was renewed round Aspern, which was taken and retaken ten times, while Essling was the scene of an equally desperate conflict. Towards evening the bridge by which Napoleon had crossed the Danube was swept away, and Napoleon was compelled to retire. Each side lost about 20,000 men, and both claimed the victory. Among the French who fell were Marshal Lannes and General St. Hilaire.
  
1809  
Battle of Raab (Campaign of Wagram ) French victory
Fought June 14, 1809, between. 44,000 French, under Eugene Beauharnais, and about 40,000 Austrians, under the Archduke John. The French attacked the Austrian position, and driving them successively from the villages of Kismegyer and Szabadhegy, totally defeated them. Under cover of night, however, the Archduke was able to make an orderly retirement, with a loss of about 3,000 killed and wounded and 2,500 prisoners. The French lost something over 2,000.
  
1809  
Battle of Wagram (Campaign of Wagram ) French victory
Fought July 6, 1809, between 150,000 French, under Napoleon, and 140,000 Austrians, under the Archduke Charles. Napoleon crossed the lesser arm of the Danube from the Island of Lobau, on the night of the 4th and 5th July, and driving the Austrian advanced posts before him, prepared to attack their main position. An attack upon them on the evening of the 5th was repulsed. On the 6th the Austrians attacked the French right, under Davoust, but were unsuccessful; later, however, the French centre and left were compelled to give ground, but Napoleon bringing up the artillery of the Guard and Macdonald's corps, checked the Austrian advance, while Davoust carried the heights on the Austrian left, outflanking them, and rendering their position untenable. By three o'clock they were in full retreat, having lost about 24,000 killed and wounded, 9,000 prisoners, including 12 generals, and 20 guns. The French lost 18,000 killed and wounded.
  
1809  
Battle of Znaim (Campaign of Walcheren ) French victory
Fought July 14, 1809, when Massena, with 8,000 French, attacked 30,000 Austrians, under the Prince of Reuss, and drove them into Znaim with considerable loss, including 800 prisoners.
  
1809  
Siege of Flushing (Colonial-African ) British victory
This town was besieged by the British under Lord Chatham and surrendered after a feeble defense, August 16, 1809.
  


Commander
Short Biography
Archduke Charles Younger brother of Francis II. Important general of the Austrian army during the Napoleonic Wars.
Napoleon Victorious general who rose to power during the French Revolution. Crowned himself Emperor and restored France to greatness.
Eugene de Beauharnais Stepson of Napoleon, who accompanied him on all his early campaigns. Later Prince of Italy.
Jozef Poniatowski Polish patriot who allied with Napoleon and became a Marshall of France.


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Under the Heel of Napoleon  in  The History of Germany  by  Henrietta Elizabeth Marshall
Peasant Hero of Tyrol  in  The Struggle for Sea Power  by  M. B. Synge


Invasion of Russia : Jul-Dec 1812

napoleonic
NAPOLEON'S RETREAT FROM RUSSIATHE PASSAGE OF THE BERESINA.
There were several points of contention between France and Russia, but the most important was the trade Embargo with Britain that Napoleon insisted on. He wanted to destroy England economically if he could not destroy her militarily, so he disallowed trade between any of the countries under his influence and Britain. This was unpopular throughout Europe, especially in the port cities. Russia had carried on illicit trade with Britain from the beginning, but in 1811 she openly disregarded her treaty obligations and opened her ports to Britain. Napoleon feared that if he allowed the situation to continue, other cities under his control would demand the right to trade with Britain and her colonies. He therefore made ready to invade Russia.

Russia was an enormous and populous country, so the size of the forces raised by Napoleon for this campaign were unprecedented. At least 700,000 men, as well as camp followers, crossed the Neiman river (in modern day Lithuania) on their trek to Moscow. The Russian commander at the time was Barclay de Tolly and he advocated from the beginning the idea of retreating before the French, and leaving a burned, and deforested route before them, otherwise known as a "scorched earth policy." When this proved unpopular, he resigned his command to Kutozov, who followed precisely the same tactics, but submitted to give battle a few times to delay the march, and appease those who favored a strong resistance. Finally, the colossal battle of Borodino was fought only miles outside of Moscow, involving over 300,000 troops and immense slaughter. Napoleon was victorious, and marched to Moscow expecting to meet a delegation suing for peace. Instead he found a city deserted except for a few merchants and westerners, and stripped bare of virtually all foodstuffs, and anything of value that could be easily carried. Shortly after Napoleon's arrival, the city was set on fire and nearly completely destroyed, depriving the French soldiers even of shelter and fuel for the coming winter.

Napoleon did not retreat immediately from Moscow, but instead tried to seek out and destroy the Russian army's camp. When this failed, he realized the impossibility of wintering in the deserted, destroyed city, and began his famous retreat. The objective of the Russian army was to prevent the French from seeking a southern route, and instead force them back on the same road they came, where the food supplies had already been destroyed. After engaging the Russians at Malo-Jaroslavetz, Napoleon decided that any further engagements would slow down his retreat too much, and so he resumed his retreat on the northerly, and more direct route, rather than seeking a more temperate southern route. This required abandoning enormous amounts of supplies, wagons, and cannons, since no forage was available for the horses. Within a month, Napoleon's remaining army was virtually all on foot, with only such supplies as they could carry on their backs. In this condition, and in freezing winter snows, they marched over 700 miles, constantly harassed on all sides by Cossacks and the Russian army. The most devastating attack occurred at the Beresina river, where the Russians waited for half the army to cross and then attacked both sides. The rear guard was almost annihilated, the bridge collapsed and thousands died trying to cross the frigid river. Yet starvation and freezing weather killed far more men on the retreat than were killed in skirmishes with the Russian army. It is estimated that of the 700,000 men who originally set forth on the march to Moscow, less than ten percent survived the campaign.

The effect of the Moscow campaign on all of Europe was tremendous. The enemies of Napoleon were everywhere encouraged. There were rebellions even in France, upon rumors of the death of Napoleon. Only about half of the men killed in the Moscow campaign were French, but they included many of Napoleon's most experienced soldiers. Most of Napoleon's top generals survived the march but thousands of his lower level officers were killed. In short, it was a dramatically weakened, and far less popular Napoleon who returned to Paris in the winter of 1812, and the fight to hold onto his empire commenced the following spring.



DateBattle Summary
1812  
Battle of Mohilev (Moscow Campaign ) French victory
Fought July 23, 1812, between 28,000 French, under Davoust, and 60,000 Russians, under Prince Bagration. Bagration attacked Davoust in a strong position, which counter-balanced the great disparity of numbers, and the Russians were repulsed with a loss of about 4,000. The French lost barely 1,000.
  
1812  
Battle of Polotsk (Moscow Campaign ) French victory
Fought August 18, 1812, between 33,000 French and Bavarians, under General Saint Cyr, and 30,000 Russians, under Count Wittgenstein. The Russians were taken by surprise, and after an action which lasted two hours only, were driven back with a loss of 3,000 killed, 1,500 prisoners and 14 guns. The French lost a little over 1,000 killed and wounded.
  
1812  
Battle of Valutinagora (Moscow Campaign ) French victory
Fought August 19, 1812, between Ney's corps, about 30,000 strong, and a strong rear-guard of Barclay de Tolly's army, about 40,000 strong, under Barclay de Tolly in person. The Russians were strongly posted in marshy ground, protected by a small stream. The French, attacking resolutely, carried the Russian position in the face of enormous natural difficulties. Each side lost about 7,000 men.
  
1812  
Battle of Borodino (Moscow Campaign ) drawn battle victory
Fought September 5, 1812, between 120,000 Russians under Kutusoff, and the French in equal force under Napoleon. The Russians, who were entrenched in a very strong position, were attacked soon after daybreak, and their first line of redoubts was carried and held by the French till the end of the day, but the victory was far from decisive, as at nightfall Napoleon retired to his original position, leaving the Russians in possession of the field. The French lost 10,000 killed, including 8 generals, and 20,000 wounded, including 30 generals. The Russians lost about 45,000. This battle is also called the Battle of the Moskowa.
  
1812  
Battle of Polotsk (Moscow Campaign ) Russians victory
Fought October 18, 1812, when General Saint-Cyr, with 30,000 French and Bavarians, was attacked and defeated by the Russians, in slightly superior force, under Count Wittgenstein, and forced to evacuate Polotsk.
  
1812  
Battle of Winkovo (Moscow Campaign ) Russians victory
Fought October 18, 1812, when Murat, with 30,000 men, forming the advance-guard of the retiring French army, was attacked by the Russians, under Count Orloff Dennizoff, and driven from his position, with a loss of 2,000 killed, 1,500 prisoners, and all his baggage and artillery.
  
1812  
Battle of Malo-Jaroslawetz (Moscow Campaign ) drawn battle victory
Fought October 24, 1812, between 24,000 Russians, under General Doctoroff, and a portion of Eugene Beauharnais' corps, 15,000 strong, under General Delzons. After a sanguinary engagement, in which Malo-Jaroslawetz was taken and retaken seven times, the action ended in a drawn battle, but the strategical success lay with the Russians, who obliged Napoleon to abandon the southerly line of retreat he had projected. The French lost 5,000, including General Delzons killed, the Russians about 6,000.
  
1812  
Battle of Wiazma (Moscow Campaign ) Russians victory
Fought November 3, 1812, when the corps of Eugene Beauharnais and Davoust were attacked during the retreat from Moscow, by the Russians, under Kutusoff, and suffered a loss of 4,000 men.
  
1812  
Battle of Krasnaoi (Moscow Campaign ) French victory
Fought November 17, 1812, when the Russians, 50,000 strong, under Kutusoff, after a series of combats on the two preceding days, during which they had inflicted heavy losses on the retreating French army, were defeated by the corps of Davoust and the Young Guard. The French losses amounted to 5,000 killed and wounded, and about 8,000 missing.
  
1812  
Battle of Beresina (Moscow Campaign ) Russians victory
On November 28, 1812, the French Grande Armee, in retreat from Moscow, was attacked by the Russians under Tchitchakoff and Wittgenstein. The former on the right bank, assailed Napoleon, who had already crossed the river, while Wittgenstein attacked Victor's corps, which formed the French rear-guard. The attack on Napoleon was repulsed, but on the other side of the river the Russian onslaught caused a panic among those who were waiting to cross, and though the rear-guard made a brave resistance, the losses among the stragglers and others were enormous. The official Russian report says that 36,000 bodies were recovered from the Beresina after the thaw.
  
1812  
Battle of Ostrowno (Moscow Campaign ) French victory
Fought July 25 and 26, 1812, between the French corps of Ney and Prince Eugene, with Murat's cavalry, and the Russian corps of Count Osterman and General Konownitzyn. The Russians were defeated and driven back on both days, with a loss of 3,000 killed and wounded, 600 prisoners and 8 guns. The French loss was about the same.
  
1812  
Battle of Gorodeczno (Moscow Campaign ) French victory
Fought August 12, 1812, between 36,000 French and Austrians, under General Reynier and the Prince of Schwartzemberg, and the Russians, in equal force, under General Tormazoff. The Russians were defeated and driven from their positions, with a loss of 4,000 men. The French and Austrians lost about 2,000.
  
1812  
Battle of Smolensko (Moscow Campaign ) French victory
Fought August 17, 1812, between 175,000 French, under Napoleon, and 130,000 Russians, under Bagration, of whom about 50,000 and 60,000 respectively were actually engaged. Bagration's corps occupied the town of Smolensko, which Napoleon attacked, carrying two of the suburbs. During the night the Russians set fire to the place, and evacuated it, having lost in the action about 10,000 killed and wounded. The French lost 9,000.
  
1813  
Siege of Dantzig (Naval Wars-3rd ) Allies victory
After the Moscow retreat, General Rapp, with 30,000 French, mostly survivors of the Moscow campaign, was besieged in Dantzig, January 1813, by the allies, 30,000 in number, under the Duke of Wurtemberg. Rapp made a strenuous defense, but his works were mastered one by one, and, finding his garrison dwindling rapidly from starvation and exposure, he surrendered November 29, 1813, by which date the defenders numbered only 18,000 men.
  


Commander
Short Biography
Alexander I Leader of Russia during the Napoleonic Wars.
Kutuzov Field Marshall of the Russian Army during the Napoleonic Wars
Barclay de Tolly Leading Russian General during the Napoleonic Wars. Mastermind of the 'scorched earth' policy.
Napoleon Victorious general who rose to power during the French Revolution. Crowned himself Emperor and restored France to greatness.
Michel Ney One of Napoleon's most trusted generals and hero of many French battles. Executed for treason after Waterloo.
Joachim Murat Marshal of France and King of Naples. One of Napoleon's top Generals.
Louis Davout One of Napoleon's foremost Generals. Governor-General of Warsaw after the Friedland Campaign.


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Russia During the Wars of Napoleon  in  The Story of Russia  by  Robert van Bergen
Retreat from Moscow  in  The Story of France  by  Mary Macgregor
Napoleon in Russia  in  The Story of Napoleon  by  Henrietta Elizabeth Marshall
Burning of Moscow  in  Historical Tales: French  by  Charles Morris
Napoleon's Retreat from Moscow  in  The Struggle for Sea Power  by  M. B. Synge


Leipzig Campaign (Sixth Coalition) : May-Oct 1813

napoleonic
SABRES FLASHED, HORSES PLUNGED, MEN FELL IN HEAPS, TO BE TRAMPLED BENEATH IRON-SHOD HOOFS.
As soon as Napoleon returned to France he began to raise another army. Russian troops were amassed near the border of Germany ready to join forces with the Prussians who were prepared to rise against him. The first several conflicts were all in Germany, between Napoleon's new army and the combined Russian and Prussian forces. Although hard fought, with heavy casualties, these early battles were not particularly decisive, and a short armistice was declared. Over the next six weeks, the allies raised fresh armies in Austria, and Sweden. Napoleon had some difficulty in raising levies from the already heavily conscripted areas which were known to be loyal to his rule, but he ultimately succeeded in raising thousands of mostly raw recruits. Many of the battles during the Leipzig campaign were on an enormous scale, with hundreds of thousands of combatants. The battle of Leipzig itself, involved over 500,000 troops, and was likely the largest battle in history up to that time. The allies were victorious in the end, probably due to sheer numbers, and the French were compelled to retreat to west of the Rhine.



DateBattle Summary
1813  
Battle of Lützen (Campaign of Leipsic ) French victory
Fought May 2, 1813, between the French, 70,000 strong, under Napoleon, and the Russians and Prussians, 65,000 strong, under Wittgenstein and Blucher. The King of Prussia and the Russian Emperor were present on the field. Napoleon held five villages in front of Lützen, round which the battle centered. They were taken and retaken several times during the day, but at 8 p.m., in spite of the remonstrances of Blucher, the two sovereigns ordered a retreat, and the honours of the day rested with the French. The allies lost about 20,000; the French about 18,000.
  
1813  
Battle of Koenigswartha (Campaign of Leipsic ) Russians victory
Fought May 19, 1813, when General Peyri's Italian division, about 8,000 strong, was attacked and defeated by 15,000 Russians, under Barclay de Tolly, with a loss of 2,000 killed and wounded. The opportune arrival of the cavalry of Ney's corps saved the division from destruction.
  
1813  
Battle of Bautzen (Campaign of Leipsic ) French victory
Fought May 20 and 21, 1813, between 150,000 French under Napoleon, and the Prussians and Russians, 100,000 strong, under Blucher and Count Wittgenstein. The allies were strongly posted in and around Bautzen, while their front was protected by the Spree. On the 10th Napoleon forced the passage of the Spree, and seized Bautzen after severe fighting, driving the allies from their first line of defense. On the 22nd he attacked the second line, while a flank march of Ney's corps drove in their right flank, and captured all their positions. The allies retired in good order, lack of cavalry preventing Napoleon from pushing his advantage. The allies lost 15,000 killed and wounded in the two days; the French, 1,300.
  
1813  
Battle of Löwenberg (Campaign of Leipsic ) French victory
Fought August 21, 1813, between 130,000 French, under Napoleon, and 80,000 Prussians, under Blucher. Blucher being vigorously attacked, retired behind the Haynau without offering any serious resistance to the French advance. The Prussians lost 2,000 killed and wounded.
  
1813  
Battle of Katzbach (Campaign of Leipsic ) French victory
Fought August 22, 1813, between 130,000 French, under Napoleon, and 100,000 Prussians, under Blucher. Blucher, who had on the previous day retired behind the Haynau, was pressed hard by Napoleon, and driven across the Katzbach, with considerable loss.
  
1813  
Battle of Gross-Beeren (Campaign of Leipsic ) Allies victory
Fought August 23, 1813, between the French army of the north, under Oudinot, and the allies, 80,000 strong, under the Crown Prince of Sweden, who was covering the road to Berlin. Regnier, whose corps formed the centre of Oudinot's army, captured Gross-Beeren, which was retaken by the Prussians under von Bulow, and again recovered by Fournier's and Guilleminot's divisions, but Oudinot was not sufficiently strong to press his advantage, and retired with a loss of 1,500 men, and 8 guns.
  
1813  
Battle of Katzbach (Campaign of Leipsic ) Allies victory
Fought August 26, 1813, between the French, under Macdonald, and the Prussians, under Blucher. Macdonald crossed the Katzbach, and while waiting for his left wing and cavalry under Souham, was attacked by Blucher, and driven back. As Macdonald was retiring Souham appeared on the field, but before he could deploy he was attacked and routed with great slaughter, while the centre under Lauriston also suffered severely in recrossing the river. The French lost 15,000 killed and wounded, and over 100 guns.
  
1813  
Battle of Dresden (Campaign of Leipsic ) French victory
Fought August 27, 1813, between 130,000 French under Napoleon, and 200,000 Russians, Prussians and Austrians, under Count Wittgenstein, Kleist, and Prince Schwartzemberg, respectively. The Emperors of Russia and Austria, and the King of Prussia., were present on the field. Napoleon, who was in possession of Dresden, made his main attack upon the Austrian left, which was separated from the centre by the ravine of Planen. This attack, which was entrusted to Murat, was completely successful, and the Austrians were driven with heavy loss into the ravine. Meanwhile, the centre and right of the allies had been attacked with equal success, and finally they were driven from the field with a loss of 10,000 killed and wounded. 15,000 prisoners, and 40 guns, The French lost about 10,000.
  
1813  
Battle of Leitskau (Campaign of Leipsic ) Prussians victory
Fought August 27, 1813, between 5,000 French, under General Girard, and a Prussian division, under General Hirschberg, aided by some Cossacks, under Czernitcheff. Girard was defeated, losing heavily in killed and wounded, besides 1,500 prisoners and 6 guns.
  
1813  
Battle of Kuhn (Campaign of Leipsic ) Allies victory
Fought August 29 and 30, 1813, between the French, under Vandamme, and the Austrians, and Russians, with a small force of Prussians, under the Prince of Schwartzenberg, who were retreating after their defeat at Dresden. To check the pursuit they occupied Kulm, from which they were driven by Vandamme on the 29th. On the 30th, however, not having received his expected reinforcements, Vandamme was compelled to remain on the defensive, and being attacked in front by the Austrians and Russians, and in the rear by the Prussians, he was totally routed, with a loss of 6,000 killed, 7,000 prisoners, and 48 guns, being himself wounded and captured. The allies lost about 5,000.
  
1813  
Battle of Dennewitz (Campaign of Leipsic ) Allies victory
Fought September 6, 1813, between the French army of the north under Ney, and the allies under the Crown Prince of Sweden. Ney had detached Bertrand's division to mask Dennewitz, while his main body marched past the position on the road to Berlin, but Bertrand delayed so long before Dennewitz, that what was intended for a demonstration became a serious action, in which the full force of both sides was engaged. The French were defeated with a loss of l0,000 men and 43 guns.
  
1813  
Battle of Wartemberg (Campaign of Leipsic ) Allies victory
Fought October 3, 1813, when Blucher, with 60,000 Prussians, defeated 16,000 French, under Bertrand, posted in a very strong position, protected by a dyke and a swamp. Aided by the ground, the French withstood the Prussian attack for over four hours, but finally Blucher turned their right flank and drove them from their position. The Prussians lost about 5,000. The French admit a loss of 500 only.
  
1813  
Battle of Leipsic (Campaign of Leipsic ) Allies victory
Fought October 16, 17, and 18, 1813, between the French, under Napoleon, and the forces of the Great Coalition. Napoleon, who held Leipsic with 155,000 men, was faced by 160,000 Austrians and Russians, under the Prince of Schwartzemberg, and 60,000 Prussians, under Blucher. On the 16th Schwartzemberg attacked, being faced by Napoleon with 115,000 men, and, after an obstinate engagement, which lasted till nightfall, the French had gained a little ground. At the same time Blucher attacked Marmont, who, with 24,000 men, held his own throughout the day. The French lost 27,000; the allies about 35,000. Both sides receiving reinforcements during the night, Napoleon on the morning of the 17th was at the head of 150,000 troops, while the allies numbered nearly 300,000, including the Swedes under Bernadotte. Little was done on the 17th, but on the 18th Napoleon moved out to drive back the allies, and leave a road of retreat open. He was repulsed at all points, and driven back into Leipsic, whence during the night of the 18th to 19th, the French retired by the only serviceable bridge. The corps under Poniatowski left to cover the retreat was almost annihilated, and Poniatowski killed. The French lost in the three days over 60,000 men, while the losses of the allies were also enormous.
  
1813  
Battle of Hanau (Campaign of the Danube ) French victory
Fought October 30 and 31, 1813, between 80,000 French, the survivors of Leipsic, under Napoleon, and 45,000 Austrians and Bavarians, under General Wrede, who had occupied a position at Hanau, barring Napoleon's retreat to France. On the 30th, Napoleon attacked Wrede's left, which was astride of the road, and driving it back continued his retreat with the main body, leaving three divisions, under Marmont, to secure his rearguard. On the 31st, the rearguard, under Mortier, attacked Hanau, and Wrede being dangerously wounded, his successor, Fresnel, drew off, leaving the road clear. The French lost 6,000, the allies 10,000 men in the two days.
  


Commander
Short Biography
Napoleon Victorious general who rose to power during the French Revolution. Crowned himself Emperor and restored France to greatness.
Michel Ney One of Napoleon's most trusted generals and hero of many French battles. Executed for treason after Waterloo.
Joachim Murat Marshal of France and King of Naples. One of Napoleon's top Generals.
Marshal Blucher Prussian Field Marshall who opposed Napoleon at Leipzig and Waterloo. (At age 72!)
Barclay de Tolly Leading Russian General during the Napoleonic Wars. Mastermind of the 'scorched earth' policy.
Alexander I Leader of Russia during the Napoleonic Wars.


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Rise of Germany  in  Germany: Peeps at History  by  John Finnemore
Downfall of Napoleon  in  The History of Germany  by  Henrietta Elizabeth Marshall
Fall of the Empire  in  The Struggle for Sea Power  by  M. B. Synge


Allied Campaign in France (Sixth Coalition) : Jan-Apr 1814

Once Napoleon had been forced back into France, the allies were divided on whether or not to pursue. Those who favored an aggressive strategy however, prevailed, and in Jan 1814 allied troops crossed into France. French losses in the Leipzig Campaign had been heavy, and France was being hard pressed by Wellington in Spain, so there were not a great number of troops available to resist the allies. On the other hand, it was much easier to maneuver in friendly territory, with secure supply lines, and Napoleon's excellent generalship made the French very formidable even in significantly reduced numbers. The France won many of the initial battles but were unable to push the allies out of French territory. The forces of the allies were constantly increasing while every man lost by the French was difficult to replace. By the end of March the allies had advanced all the way to Paris. Napoleon was not present at the time, and the city of Paris surrendered peaceably. Napoleon, who opposed the surrender, was forced to resign as emperor a few days later, and was exiled to the Island of Elba.



DateBattle Summary
1814  
Battle of Brienne (Allied Campaign in France ) French victory
Fought January 29, 1814, between 18,000 French under Napoleon, and about 30,000 Russians and Prussians under Blucher. The allies were driven from their positions, and the Chateau de Brienne taken. After nightfall a determined attempt to retake the chateau was made by the Russians under Sachen, but they failed to dislodge the French. The allies lost about 4,000; the French 3,000 killed and wounded.
  
1814  
Battle of La Rothière (Allied Campaign in France ) Allies victory
Fought February 1, 1814, between 32,000 French, under Napoleon, and 100,000 Prussians, Russians, and Würtembergers, under Blucher. Napoleon held a strong position, where he was attacked by Blucher, whom he succeeded in holding at bay till late in the afternoon, when Blucher captured the village of La Rothière. Napoleon with the Young Guard retook the village, and the battle ended with the French in possession of the field. The French lost 5,000, the allies about 8,000, and Napoleon was enabled to continue his retirement without molestation.
  
1814  
Battle of Champ-Aubert (Allied Campaign in France ) French victory
Fought February l0, 1814, when Napoleon with his main army, by an extraordinary forced march through a difficult country, fell upon Blucher's army marching upon Paris, via Chalons. Blucher was advancing in three divisions, and Napoleon attacked the second of these, under Alsusieff, and completely dispersed it, taking 2,000 prisoners and all the guns. On the following day he encountered Sachen, who with 20,000 men formed the advance guard, and defeated him at Montmirail, with a loss of 6,000, forcing him to abandon the main road and retire on Chateau Thierry. On the 13th he encountered General d'York, with 30,000 Russians and Prussians at Château Thierry, driving him out with heavy loss, including 3,000 prisoners, while finally on the 14th he turned on the main body under Blucher himself, who, not being sufficiently strong to face the main French army, was compelled to retire, which he did in good order, after losing 3,000 in killed, wounded, and prisoners. This flank march is considered one of Napoleon's most brilliant achievements.
  
1814  
Battle of Mortmant (Allied Campaign in France ) French victory
Fought February 17, 1814, between the Russian advance-guard, under the Count de Pahlen, and the French rear-guard, under Victor. The Russians were repulsed with a loss of 3,000 killed and wounded, and 11 guns.
  
1814  
Battle of Montereau (Allied Campaign in France ) French victory
Fought February 18, 1814, between the rearguard of the French army, under Napoleon, and the Würtembergers, under Prince Eugene of Würtemberg. Eugene attacked Napoleon's position, but was repulsed with a loss of about 2,000 killed and wounded and 4,000 prisoners.
  
1814  
Battle of Craonne (Allied Campaign in France ) French victory
Fought March 7, 1814, between 55,000 French under Napoleon, and about 90,000 of the allies under Blucher. Blucher occupied a very strong position on the heights about Craonne, which was attacked and carried by Victor's and Ney's corps at the point of the bayonet. The French lost 9,000, the allies 7,000 killed and wounded.
  
1814  
Battle of Laon (Campaign of Friedland ) Allies victory
This fortress, held by the allies under Blucher, was attacked March 9, 1814, by the French under Ney and Marmont. Ney seized two of the suburbs, but Marmont, failing to support him as promised, he could not make good his footing. During the night the allies attacked and routed Marmont, and on the 10th Ney, after hard fighting, was forced to yield the ground he had gained. The French lost about 6,000 men; the allies 5,000.
  
1814  
Battle of Arcis-sur-Aube (Allied Campaign in France ) Allies victory
Fought March 21, 1814, between 23,000 French under Napoleon, and 60,000 allies under Schwartzenberg. The French made a gallant stand against superior numbers, and in the end effected an orderly retreat, with a loss of about 2,000. The allies' losses were considerably heavier.
  
1814  
Battle of La Fere Champenoise (Allied Campaign in France ) Allies victory
Fought March 25, 1814, between Marmont's and Mortier's corps, 30,000 strong, and the allied army marching on Paris. The French were defeated and forced to retire, with a loss of about 5,000 men and many guns. This was the last action fought in the north before the first abdication of Napoleon.
  
1814  
Siege of Paris (Allied Campaign in France ) Allies victory
On March 30, 1814, Paris, which was defended only by 20,000 regulars and National Guard, under Marmont, was attacked by the Grand Army of the allies, under Schwartzemberg. Three columns assaulted the French positions at Vincennes, Belleville and Montmartre, while a fourth attacked the extreme left of the French line in order to turn the heights of Montmartre. The two first positions were carried, and Montmartre turned, whereupon Joseph having fled, Marmont surrendered. The French lost over 4,000 men; the allies about 8,000.
  


Commander
Short Biography
Napoleon Victorious general who rose to power during the French Revolution. Crowned himself Emperor and restored France to greatness.
Michel Ney One of Napoleon's most trusted generals and hero of many French battles. Executed for treason after Waterloo.
Marshal Blucher Prussian Field Marshall who opposed Napoleon at Leipzig and Waterloo. (At age 72!)


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Hundred Days War : Mar-Jun 1815

napolenoic
WATERLOO
'NEXT A FOOT-SOLDIER FIRED AT ME, AND THEN CHARGED ME WITH HIS BAYONET.'
While the allies were disputing exactly how to reconstitute the borders of Europe after their victory over Napoleon, the emperor himself was plotting his escape from Elba. On March 20, 1815 he arrived in France and easily succeeded in overthrowing the unpopular Bourbons. He claimed to have no further ambitions other than running France as a constitutional republic, and showed no immediate signs of military aggression. The allies however, recognized this as a serious problem. Their forces had been dispersed, while those of Napoleon had been greatly increased by the return of thousands of prisoners of war, and they did not believe for one minute that he had given up his designs on the Rhine Valley or the Netherlands. They therefore declared war, and began to make preparations. Napoleon's strategy was to move quickly and fight whatever allied armies were already nearby, rather than to wait for the allies to amass their forces. The two armies already deployed were the Prussian army under Blucher, and an Anglo-Dutch force under Wellington. Napoleon attacked them first separately at Quatre Bras and Ligny, and succeeded in prevailing over the Prussians, but fighting at Quatre Bras to a costly draw.

Undaunted, he prepared almost immediately for another attack on the Anglo-Dutch forces, with the intention of concentrating his forces before the Prussians, under Blucher, could recover from their loss and join Wellington. There resulting battle was fought at Waterloo in Belgium. Napoleon postponed his attack until 11 am, and after four hours of hard fighting Wellington's troops were hard pressed. On the arrival of Blucher's fresh troops, at around 3:00, the tide turned in favor of the allies, and the French were routed. Napoleon escaped from the field, but was caught several weeks later, and exiled to St. Helena, where he died a few years later.



DateBattle Summary
1815  
Battle of Ferrara (Hundred Days ) Austrians victory
Fought April 12, 1815, when Murat, with 50,000 Italians, endeavoured to force the passage of the Po in the face of an Austrian army, under General Bianchi. He was repulsed with heavy loss, and forced to retreat southward.
  
1815  
Battle of Tolentino (Hundred Days ) Austrians victory
Fought May 2, 1815, between 50,000 Italians, under Murat, and 60,000 Austrians, under General Bianchi. The Italians were routed and dispersed, and Murat compelled to flee from Italy.
  
1815  
Battle of Quatre Bras (Hundred Days ) British victory
Fought June 16, 1815, between the advance guard of the British army, under Wellington, and the left wing of the French army, 16,000 strong, under Ney. Napoleon's object was to prevent the junction of the British and the Prussians, and Ney's orders were to drive back the British, while Napoleon, with his main body, engaged the Prussians. Ney attacked at 3 p.m., but the British held their own till evening, when Ney, not receiving the reinforcements he expected, began to fall back. Wellington then attacked vigorously all along the line, retaking all the positions occupied by the French during the day.
  
1815  
Battle of Ligny (Hundred Days ) French victory
Fought June 16, 1815, between 84,000 Prussians under Blucher and 60,000 French under Napoleon. The French attacked Blucher's position, and met with a stout resistance, especially at the village of Ligny, but by sundown the Prussians had exhausted their last resources, and Napoleon, bringing up the Guard, and a division of heavy cavalry, drove them from their positions, with a loss of about 12,000. The French lost 8,000 killed and wounded.
  
1815  
Battle of Waterloo (Hundred Days ) Allies victory
Fought June 18, 1815, between 24,000 British, and 43,500 Dutch, Belgians and Nassauers, in all 67,655 men, with 156 guns, under the Duke of Wellington, and the French, 71,947 strong, with 246 guns, under Napoleon. Wellington posted his troops along the line of heights covering the road to Brussels, with advanced posts at the farms of Hougoumont and La Haye Sainte. Napoleon attacked this position with the utmost resolution, but the British squares held their ground against the French cavalry and artillery throughout the day, and though the French captured La Haye Sainte, and obtained a footing in Hougoumont, the arrival of Blucher, with the Prussian army, on the French right, enabled Wellington at last to assume the offensive, and drive the enemy headlong from the field, utterly routed. The British lost about 15,000, the Prussians 7,000 in the battle. The losses of the Dutch and Belgians were very small, as they left the field early in the day. The French loss was never officially stated, but it was doubtless enormous, and the army practically ceased to exist as an organized force.
  
1815  
Battle of Wavre (Moscow Campaign ) French victory
Fought June 18, 1815, between the French, under Grouchy, and the Prussians, 27,000 strong, under Thielmann, who had been entrusted by Blucher with the task of containing Grouchy, while the main Prussian army marched on Waterloo. Grouchy, who was anxiously expected at Waterloo, mistook his instructions, and wasted the day in attacking Thielmann, whom he defeated, but uselessly.
  


Commander
Short Biography
Marshal Blucher Prussian Field Marshall who opposed Napoleon at Leipzig and Waterloo. (At age 72!)
Duke of Wellington Napoleonic war general who fought in Spain and Portugal. Defeated Napoleon at Waterloo.
Napoleon Victorious general who rose to power during the French Revolution. Crowned himself Emperor and restored France to greatness.
Michel Ney One of Napoleon's most trusted generals and hero of many French battles. Executed for treason after Waterloo.
Joachim Murat Marshal of France and King of Naples. One of Napoleon's top Generals.


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Story Links
Book Links
Waterloo  in  Stories from English History, Part Third  by  Alfred J. Church
Waterloo  in  Boys' Book of Battles  by  Chelsea Curtis Fraser
Waterloo  in  The Hanoverians  by  C. J. B. Gaskoin
Batttle of Waterloo  in  The Story of France  by  Mary Macgregor
George III—The Battle of Waterloo  in  Our Island Story  by  H. E. Marshall
Napoleon's Last Battle  in  The Story of Napoleon  by  Henrietta Elizabeth Marshall
Napoleon's Return from Elba  in  Historical Tales: French  by  Charles Morris
Waterloo  in  The Struggle for Sea Power  by  M. B. Synge
Waterloo  in  The Boy's Book of Battles  by  Eric Wood


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Image Links


The death of Nelson
 in Cambridge Historical Reader—Primary

French Troops in Action
 in Stories from English History, Part Third

Napoleon's retreat from Russia; the passage of the Beresina.
 in France: Peeps at History

Battle Map: Austerlitz
 in Boys' Book of Battles

The Battle of Austerlitz
 in Boys' Book of Battles

Battle Map: Waterloo
 in Boys' Book of Battles

The Battle of Waterloo
 in Boys' Book of Battles

Battle Map: Trafalgar
 in Boys' Book of Sea Fights

The Battle of Trafalgar
 in Boys' Book of Sea Fights

The Battle of Trafalgar, October 21, 1805
 in The Hanoverians

The Death of Nelson
 in The Hanoverians

The castle of Fontainebleau, where Napoleon signed his abdication
 in The Hanoverians

Heroes of Waterloo
 in The Hanoverians

The entrance to Hougomont
 in The Hanoverians

The farm of la Haye Sainte
 in The Hanoverians

Plan of Waterloo, showing the position of the French and the Allies
 in The Hanoverians

Ruins of Hougomont after the battle
 in The Hanoverians

Death of Nelson
 in  The Story of the English

The Meeting of Wellington and Blucher
 in  The Story of the English

Napoleon at the battle of Jena
 in Famous Men of Modern Times

Nelson in the Battle of Trafalgar
 in Famous Men of Modern Times

Uprising of the Tyrolese in 1809
 in Famous Men of Modern Times
Nelson at trafalgar
Nelson at trafalgar
 in Back Matter

Soldiers, this battle must be a thunderclap.'
 in The Story of France

They have done for me at last, Hardy,' said Nelson.
 in Our Island Story

Not till after the battle did Blucher and Wellington meet.
 in Our Island Story

Retreat from Moscow
 in The Story of Napoleon

Waterloo
 in The Story of Napoleon

The Old Temeraire
 in Historical Tales: English

Battle of Friedland
 in Historical Tales: French

The last day of Andreas Hofer
 in Historical Tales: German

They have done for me at last, Hardy.'
 in The Story of Nelson

Napoleon receiving news of the breaking down of the bridge
 in Brave Men and Brave Deeds

The Sawdust is floating down the river
 in Brave Men and Brave Deeds

Wellington at Waterloo
 in Great Englishmen

Napoleon retreats from Moscow
 in The Struggle for Sea Power

Napoleon a the Battle of Waterloo
 in European Hero Stories

Waterloo: 'Next a foot-soldier fired at me, and then charged me with his bayonet.'
 in The Boy's Book of Battles

Trafalgar: The soul-stirring, ever-to-be-remembered message was sent to the mizen top-gallant masthead.
 in The Boy's Book of Battles

Waterloo: Sabres flashed, horses plunged, men fell in heaps, to be trampled beneath iron-shod hoofs.
 in The Boy's Book of Battles
Waterloo: 'The whole line will advance!' cries the Duke, waving his hat above his head.
Waterloo: 'The whole line will advance!' cries the Duke, waving his hat above his head.
 in The Boy's Book of Battles