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GENERAL EDITOR DAVID G. CHANDLER



LEIPZIG 1813
THE BATTLE
OF THE
NATIONS

       PETER HOFSCHROER       






Blücher leads men of the Silesian Militia forward at the Battle on the Katzbach, 26 August 1813. By Richard Knotel.



First published in Great Britain in 1993 by OSPREY, an imprint of Reed Consumer Books Limited, Michelin Mouse, 81 Fulham Road, London SW3 6RB and Auckland, Melbourne Singapore and Toronto.

1993 Reed international Books Limited.


ISBN 1-85532-354-0

Colour bird's eye view illustrations by Gilla Eurich
Cartography by Micromap.
Wargaming Leipzig by Arthur Harmnn.
Wargames Consultant Duncan Macfarlane.
Mono camerawork by M&E Reproductions, North Cambridge, Essex.



AUTHOR'S NOTES

The armies involved in this fateful campaign consisted of troops from all over the continent of Europe. On the one side stood those forces available to Napoleon Bonaparte, the Emperor of France. His army consisted of men from not only France but its empire, allies and vassals, particularly of Germans, Italians and Poles. The German contingents came from a number of states, notably Saxony, Bavaria and Württemberg. For the sake of convenience, these troops are normally referred to in this text as 'French' so as to distinguish them from their Opponents, the Armies of the Allied Coalition. These consisted of contingents from Austria, Russia, Prussia, Sweden and certain other German states and are normally referred to in this text as the 'Allies'. Town names are usually given in the original language, names in parentheses being the modern equivalent, Polish, Czech or Slovak.



This bird's eye view graphically illustrates the salient features of the battlefield of Leipzig. Control of the Kolmberg, Liebertwolkwitz, the Galgenberg and Wachau were essential. The two mound-like hills were ideal artillery positions and also provided dead ground in which reinforcements could he safely hidden. The two villages were ideal strongpoints, which were prepared for defence and turned into mini-fortresses.


CONTENTS

Introduction 6 The Opposing Armies 9 The French Army and its Allies 9 Training 15 The Russian Army 17 The Austrian Army 21 The Prussian Army 22 The Swedish Army 23 The Anglo-German Forces 27 The Mecklenburg Contingent 27 The Campaign 37 French Strategy 37 Allied Strategy 40 The Opening Moves 41 The Battle of Grossbeeren, 23 August 1813 41 The Battle of Dresden, 26-27 August 1813 44 The Battle on the Katzbach, 26 August 1813 51 The Battle of Kulm, 29 and 30 August 1813 54 The Battle of Dennewitz, 6 September 1813 58 The Battle of Wartenburg, 3 October 1813 61 The Road to Leipzig 62 The Battle of Leipzig, 14-19 October 1813 64 The Cavalry Battle of Liebertwolkwitz, 14 October 1813 64 The Situation on 16 October 1813 70 The Battle of Wachau and Donnewitz, 16 October 1813 71 The Battle of Lindenau and Möckern, 16 October 1813 74 Results of the Combats of 16 October 1813 77 The Day of Decision, 18 October 1813 81 The Battle for Leipzig, 19 October 1813 85 The Battlefield Today 90 Chronology 91 A Guide to Further Reading 91 Napoleon Bonaparte. His period of rule in Europe in the early 19th century was marked by a series of wars, the scale of which were unprecedented. Not to be forgotten however are the benefits this regime brought, particularly wide-scale reforms of administration throughout Europe. From a painting by David, drawn by Bourgeois and engraved by Bertrand.

INTRODUCTION



The fact of the matter is that in October 1813, Napoleon met his real Waterloo at Leipzig. Those events in and around the city of Leipzig in Saxony amounted to the greatest battle of the Napoleonic Wars and resulted in the most devastating defeat suffered by the Emperor of the French. Not for nothing was this great clash of arms known as the 'Battle of the Nations'. Approximately half a million men from most of the nations of Europe took part in this battle, and decided the fate of that continent for a generation and more. Moreover, in terms of numbers involved it was the greatest battle in history, until overshadowed by the global conflicts of this century. The events in the Low Countries in June 1815 were of lesser significance and the result of the Battle of Waterloo merely underlined the decision made by force of arms two years previously.

   This brief outline of the Leipzig Campaign is written in the hope of stimulating the minds of those interested in the Wars of the French Revolution and Napoleonic Empire and awaken their interest in a battle that, thanks to the fateful events of autumn 1989 in which Leipzig again played a major role, is now open to the visitor from the West.

   The destruction of Napoleon's Grande Armee of 1812 in Russia, which had been until then the largest force of arms ever assembled, was a blow that would have finished most mortals. For Napoleon it proved merely a temporary set-back. While the rest of Europe paused to consider how to fill the power vacuum that had occurred as a result of the retreat from Moscow in the sub-zero temperatures of the winter of 1812/13, Bonaparte returned to France and set about filling it. Within weeks he had a new army ready to take the field against the coalition of forces preparing to confront him.

   Meanwhile some of his reluctant allies had deserted him, notably Prussia, ruled by Frederick William III, the first to throw in his lot with Tsar Alexander of Russia. Austria, under Emperor Francis, sat on the fence and hesitated, waiting to take sides with whomever offered the best terms and prospects. 'Perfidious Albion' was behind the scenes everywhere, offering encouragement and golden guineas to whomever would risk his throne to overthrow the arch-enemy.

6

INTRODUCTION
The Grande Armee
returning from Russia at
the beginning of 1813.
This contemporary
engraving showing the
sorry state of the
remnants of Napoleon's
largest army was pro-
duced by Geissler, a resi-
dent of Leipzig at that
time and an eye-witness.










A later painting show-
ing an artistically more
realistic impression of
the Grande Armee of 1812
on its way home.
Painting by Arthur Kampf.
















The rulers of Germany's smaller states were caught between popular discontent and a desire for self-preservation and loyalty to the man who had after all, made them a present of regal status. The lesser princes of Germany vacillated. Events soon forced them to make a decision and most considered loyalty to the Emperor of France expedient, at least for the time being.
   The armies of the King of Prussia and the Tsar of Russia took the field in the spring of 1813 against the hastily mobilized but highly motivated force of raw recruits fielded by France. Sweden, her Crown Prince a former Marshal of Napoleon's, joined the war in favour of the Allies and hoped for territorial gain. It is possible that Sweden's king-to-be even had a hankering for the crown of France. The other great European power, the Austrian Empire, awaited events. Vienna, as so often in her history, was a hotbed of spies and conspiracies.
   The first major clash of arms of this spring campaign came within a whisker of being the decisive battle of the Napoleonic Wars. On 2 May 1813 a Prusso-Russian Army under the command of Kutusov's successor, Wittgenstein, moved against the flank of the French Army

7


INTRODUCTION

marching towards Leipzig. Ney's Corps was caught asleep around the village of Gross-Gorschen. His command could have been wiped out, but a determined defence and the confusion that prevailed at Allied Headquarters saved him. The chance to defeat the French corps in detail as it marched up the road from Weissenfels to Leipzig was lost and the Allies, heavily outnumbered, were compelled to retire from that corpse-strewn field in Saxony, leaving the French claiming victory even though they failed to launch a pursuit of the Allies and had suffered twice the number of casualties.
   Gone was the opportunity for a Prusso-Russian alliance to defeat France unaided. The Prussian General Scharnhorst, wounded at Gross-Gorschen, departed for Vienna in the hope of pushing the Austrians off their proverbial fence. The French now had the initiative, but their lack of cavalry caused by the enormous loss of horses suffered during the Russian campaign, meant that they could do little with it. Gross-Gorschen (otherwise known as Lutzen) was not an easy contest. It was clear that Napoleon, despite having the larger army, was not going to defeat this Prusso-Russian alliance with the relative ease of 1806-7.
   The second major battle of this campaign took place at Bautzen in Saxony on 21 and 22 May 1813. A total of 96,000 Prusso-Russian troops held their ground against more than 150,000 French before being compelled to retire into Silesia.
Napoleon planning a
battle. This painting is an
interesting indication of
how the Napoleonic command
system functioned.
He is sitting alone making
his plans. Orders are then
given to the cleric on his
left who transcribes them
and passes them on to the
aides in the background.
The orders are then
delivered to the various
subcommanders. Such a
system worked well with the
smaller armies Napoleon
commanded in his earlier
campaigns but by 1813 it
was shown to be outdated.
Napoleon's system was
simply too inflexible to
cope with warfare on such
a massive scale.
Painting by Armand-Dumaresq.

   Both sides had now exhausted themselves and needed time to take stock of the situation and bring up fresh forces. At Napoleon's suggestion the protagonists agreed to an armistice which was eventually extended into August. The French, twice victorious on the field of battle, were too weak to make anything of their favourable position. The Allies, exhausted by these two battles and lacking the strength to offer a third, welcomed an opportunity to lick their wounds and recover. Their ability to take on a larger French force and not suffer a decisive defeat gave them the moral victory and increased the chances of Austria joining this coalition, which would shift the weight of numbers from the French side to the Allies.
   That summer Vienna was a hive of diplomatic activity. Austria joined the Allies and tipped the scales in their favour. Sweden put an army into northern Germany to assert her claims to a role in Europe, and the stage was set for the Campaign of Autumn 1813, for Leipzig, the Battle of the Nations, and one of the decisive battles in history.

8


THE OPPOSING ARMIES



The French Army and its Allies


The Grande Armee of 600,000 men that went to Russia in 1812 was virtually entirely destroyed. The Viceroy of Italy, acting as Napoleon's representative in Germany, was able to put together a holding force of 15,000 men, 1,600 horses and 28 cannon while Bonaparte, having returned to Paris on 18 December 1812, set about building a new army. He was fortunate in that he still had 20,000 officers and NCOs who would form the backbone of his new army. In his depots he had at least 10,000 men with a certain level of training. Then there were the 98 companies guarding French warships in their harbours, a total of about 7,000 men. The naval artillery regiments, some twelve battalions, provided him with 12,000 veterans and 4,000 new recruits from the class of 1812. The Municipal Guard of Paris (two battalions) and the Reserve Companies of the Departements (116 companies) provided another 4,050 trained men, and 3,000 men of the Gendarmerie were also available plus about 40,000 veterans of the Peninsula campaigns. Not counting the men already deployed in Germany, Napoleon had a total of approximately 100,000 trained men around whom he could form a new army. This task was to be his main objective during the coming weeks.
   Immediately to hand were the 78,000 men in the cohorts of the National Guard, a kind of para- military police force. These were young men between the ages of 20 and 27 who had not already served in the field. Having been called up in March 1812, they were already clothed and equipped in the same way as the line infantry. By the spring of 1813 they had one year's service behind them and were transferred to the army to form 22 infantry regiments of four field battalions of six companies each and one depot battalion of four companies together with three artillery regiments each of 22 companies.
   Raw recruits were formed into an army of about 567,000 men around this core: 137,000 men of the class of 1813. Their mobilization had commenced in September 1812 and by the end of November these 19-year-olds were in their training depots; 100,000 men of the classes of 1809-1812 not called up previously.

French Honour Guard.
These volunteers came from
the wealthier classes of
French society. They provided
their own uniforms and
equipment as well as horses.
They formed several mounted
units which helped to
alleviate the great
shortage of cavalry in
the French Army.
Drawing by Russet.





















9



10

THE FRENCH ARMY AND ITS ALLIES

They were aged between 20 and 24; 150,000 men of the class of 1814 were called up early. They were aged 18 to 19 and started to arrive in the training depots in March and April 1813; 80,000 men of the classes of 1807-1812. Aged 20 to 27, they arrived in their training depots in May 1813; a further 90,000 men of the class of 1814; 10,000 men of the so-called Guards of Honour. These were volunteers from the wealthier social classes who provided their own mounts and a minimum sum of 1,000 francs.
   The total of men thus available in the spring of 1813 was some 745,000. Of these, a considerable number still needed to be trained and equipped. About 20 per cent of this total would either desert or would not be fit for service.

   In addition to this came the armies of those nations and states allied to the French Empire. Hitherto troops from Italy and Naples had provided a significant part of the forces available to the French Empire, but for this campaign, with few exceptions, this usual source was not available, being needed to defend Italian soil. A more readily available source of reliable manpower was the so-called Confederation of the Rhine, those German states organized under French hegemony. At the beginning of 1813 this source was already providing 25,000 men and by the time of the summer armistice the number had risen to about 75,000. This figure included 25,000 Bavarians who fought as an ally of the French but unlike other Confederation armies, under its own command. They changed sides just before the Battle of Leipzig. Furthermore, some 16,000 Poles fought under French command, and Denmark raised an auxiliary corps of 10,500 men. The bulk of these troops became available during the course of the armistice or thereafter.
   It was fortunate for Napoleon that he was continuing to raise new forces throughout 1813. His losses during the spring campaign at the battles of Lutzen and Bautzen and from a high rate of desertion were considerable. For instance, French losses at Lutzen were about 18,000 men, and an equivalent number is thought to have left the army of their own volition by that time. French losses at Bautzen were some 25,000 men. This rate of attrition could not be sustained without a breathing-space to bring up reserves. Napoleon had started the Spring Campaign with about 130,000 men under his personal command, and reinforcements were constantly on the march to the front. At Bautzen he had nearly 160,000 men at his disposal, but his losses were high, affecting mainly his veterans, troops he could ill afford to lose. The troops in the campaign of autumn 1813 were thus of a lower calibre. The forces at his disposal in mid August 1813 were as shown in Table 1. IX and X Corps are missing from this list because the Bavarian Corps under Wrede was designated as IX Corps, but this number was later given to the Corps under Augereau which was still in the process of formation when the armistice came to an end. The garrison of Danzig consisted of X Corps under Rapp and is listed in Table 2. The garrisons on the River Elbe should also be considered as part of the field army during the opening phase of this campaign because at that time they were in a position to influence operations in the field.

Marshal Macdonald. This Napoleonic
marshal also proved unable to
obtain success when given an
independent command. Badly
mauled by Blücher on the
Katzbach, he fought bravely
with the rearguard at Leipzig
and had to swim the Elster to
escape capture. Engraving by
Carl Meyer.




















Marshal Ney. One of the
most famous of Napoleon's
marshals. A romantic figure
remembered best for bravery
on the field of battle. His
performance in 1813 clearly
indicated that an independent
command was beyond his
capabilities; his corps came
close to destruction at Gross-
Gorschen, his attempt to
outflank the Prusso-Russian
army at Bautzen was a flop, he
suffered a heavy defeat at
Dennewitz. Drawing by Maurin,
etched by Delpech.










A highly experienced soldier,
poor Oudinot is best
remembered in this campaign for
his defeat at Grossbeeren at the
hands of Bülow and his failure
to offer Ney sufficient support
at Dennewitz. He was twice
given the chance by Napoleon
to capture Berlin, the capital
of Prussia, and failed on both
occasions. Painting by Le Fevre.






















Table 1. Forces (Field Army) at Napoleon's
      disposal in mid-August 1813         
Corps  Commander                 Men
Guard                           58,191
I      Vandamme                 33,298
II     Victor                   25,158
III    Ney                      40,006
IV     Bertrand                 23,663
V      Lauriston                27,905
VI     Marmont                  27,754
VII    Reynier                  21,283
VIII   Poniatowski               7,573
XI     Macdonald                24,418
XII    Oudinot                  19,324
XIII   Davout                   37,514
XIV    St.Cyr                   26,149
Cavalry
I      Latour-Maubourg          16,537
II     Sebastiani               10,304
III    Arrighi                   6,000
IV     Kellermann                3,923
V      l'Heritier                3,000
Girard's Corps
Division Dombrowski              4,000
Division Lanusse                11,000
Reserve  Artillery and Engineers 8,010
Corps of Observation of Leipzig
under Margaron                   7,800
Total strength of French
Field Army                     442,810

11


THE OPPOSING ARMIES


  Table 2. French Garrisons on the River Elbe   
Hamburg                                   12,000
Bremen                                     1,500
Magdeburg                                  3,250
Wittenberg                                 2,318
Torgau                                     2,000
Dresden                                    5,000
TOTAL:                                    26,068
Formations in the Second Line
Division Lemoine at Minden. Seven
battalions, 500 horses, eight cannon       5,400
Augereau's Corps (still being fitted out) 10,000
Milhaud's Cavalry Corps, ditto             2,500
Wrede's Corps (Bavarians)                 25,000
TOTAL:                                    42,900
Garrisons of Fortresses in Poland and Germany:
Danzig (Gdansk)                           25,000
Zamosc                                     4,000
Modlin                                     3,000
Stettin (Szczecin)                         8,500
Kustrin (Kostrzyn)                         4,000
Glogau (Glogow)                            5,500
Erfurt                                     1,874
Würzburg                                   2,500
Total:                                    55,374

12

THE FRENCH ARMY AND ITS ALLIES

   These men were largely veterans of the 1812 campaign with experienced officers. The fact that they were cut off and could not return to Napoleon's field army proved a great loss to him. It is true that these garrisons did tie down a large number of Allied troops in observation corps, but most of those corps consisted of very second-rate formations such as Tauentzien's Prussian IV Corps which was made up of poorly trained and equipped militia.
   Taking into account those formations still in the process of mobilization, Napoleon had about 700,000 men available for use in the Autumn Campaign. One can admire the organizational

Bavarian Hussars 1813.
One of the major states
of the so-called
Confederation of the
Rhine. Bavaria
remained an ally to
Napoleon until only a
matter of days before
the Battle of Leipzig.
Drawing by Anton Hoffmann.










French soldiers billeted
in Germany. To many
victims of the Napoleonic
Wars, this is how the
period of French
occupation was often
perceived - arrogant
foreigners lording it
up and plundering
wherever they went.
Painting by Henseler.









13

THE OPPOSING ARMIES



14

TRAINING

General Vandamme.
The most unfortunate
French commander of the
campaign. Entrusted with
the pursuit of the Army
of Bohemia after Dresden,
he had the opportunity of
deciding the campaign in
his master's favour.

However, more by accident
than design, the pursuer
was surrounded and
his command wiped out.
A brave man but the one
who turned the victory at
Dresden into a major
defeat for Napoleon,
Painting by Rouillard.

General Bertrand
commanded IV Corps in
the Grande Armee in
this campaign. Always
loyal to Napoleon, his
performance in 1813 was
satisfactory, but then he
was never trusted with an
independent command.
He was defeated
by Yorck at Wartenburg
after a determined fight.
Painting by Delaroche.






achievement in producing such a large army in a matter of months after having an equivalent force wiped out virtually to a man in Russia. On the other hand, one should bear in mind that significant numbers of these troops were poorly trained and equipped, although it should be pointed out that much of the preparations of raising this new army had been started even before Napoleon left for Moscow in 1812. Finally, Napoleon was now using up his veterans faster then he could replace them. He was running out of time and resources with which to retain his Empire.


Training


Training of this army was largely a rushed and improvised matter. Much training was done on the march while new units were being moved from their depots in France to the front in Germany. One has to admire the rationality and minimal use of resources of manpower in this system. Cannon-fodder was being turned out within a matter of weeks.

   A recruit's training programme ran roughly as follows. The first four weeks were spent in the recruitment depot where he was kitted out and did his basic training. After having fired four blanks and two live rounds from his musket, he was considered fit for service and marched off to the front in a group of about 100 men with requisite officers and NCOs. Further training was given on the march. These companies of recruits marched for six hours in the morning and received two to three hours of additional training in the afternoons. In this fashion, platoon - and

15


THE OPPOSING ARMIES

company-level manoeuvres were practised. After a time, four to six of these march columns were united to form a battalion de marche, a provisional tactical formation. A battalion commander, normally from one of the Paris depots or from the army in Spain, would then be posted to this formation. The march to Germany continued, the afternoons being spent practising battalion manoeuvres. By the time Mainz was reached the battalion was expected to be fully trained. Here, Marshal Kellermann (the elder) would inspect the battalion and deal with any deficiencies of clothing or equipment. Several such battalions were then amalgamated to form provisional regiments which were then sent to the front in Saxony, if possible accompanied by artillery and cavalry formations so that inter-arm training could be undertaken. Once in Saxony, the Emperor would conduct a final inspection, the provisional formations were disbanded and the men were posted to their allocated units.

   That was the theory, but this superficially remarkable machine broke down under the massive demands made upon it. The first link in the chain to snap were the depots themselves. They soon ran out of kit with which to supply the new recruits.
   Moreover there was insufficient room in the depots to house the recruits for their four weeks' basic-training and this led to its being cut to a mere two weeks. As there were insufficient firearms, these formations were often sent to Germany without ever having fired a musket. There was also a chronic-shortage of officers. Even stripping the army in Spain of every available officer failed to produce enough to provide the provisional companies with one captain and one lieutenant each. This led to officers of dubious quality being called up and for individuals being promoted to officer rank without necessarily having the ability to perform its functions.
   If that were not enough, the low average age of the recruits - two-thirds of the army was aged between 18 and 20 - gave rise to a higher rate of sickness as a consequence of physical immaturity. It was not unknown for 50 per cent of a formation to be on the sick list. The battalions arriving in Mainz were thus of varied size, quality and with different levels of equipment. Even the energetic Kellermann could do little but deal with the most glaring deficiencies.
   France was a populous country so manpower was an appreciable resource, but horsepower was not. The French cavalry had been wiped out in Russia. A good deal more time was needed to train a cavalryman than an infantryman. France was not a horse country so the military normally purchased their mounts in Germany, but those horse-rich provinces were largely in the hands of the enemy. Those trained riders available in France were sent on foot to Germany where it was hoped they would find mounts. It should also be remembered that not only the riders but also the horses needed training to make proper cavalry mounts. The quality of these formations was very poor. The best cavalry units available to the army in Germany came either from Spain or Poland, but there were precious few of these and the performance of the entire French Army was to suffer because of this. Without good cavalry the enemy could not be out-scouted or pursued. Without good Intelligence, one could not determine the strength and dispositions of the enemy - a positive disadvantage when making the decision to give battle or not. Furthermore one characteristic of the Napoleonic battle was the determined pursuit following it. With insufficient and inadequately trained cavalry. Napoleon might win battles but without the destruction of the enemy army at its most vulnerable - on the retreat -he could not win the campaign.
   Napoleon relied on his artillery to compensate deficiencies elsewhere. Experienced gunners were available and draught horses were easier to obtain than cavalry chargers, and there was an adequate supply of ordnance, even if older pieces had to be brought into service.
   All in all, the Grande Armee of the autumn of 1813 left much to be desired. The corps commanders had their hands full trying to overcome some of the deficiencies. That summer had been spent constantly drilling the new formations. Even during the armistice, food supplies were irregular and the young recruits, growing lads all, were found to need substantially more nutrition than was normally to be expected. The army approached the reopening of hostilities with 90,000 on the sick list. Desertion was rife. There was, however, a hard core of veterans who would soon take the bit between their teeth and drag the rest of army forward with them.

16


THE RUSSIAN ARMY

   At senior levels, the French officer corps consisted of highly experienced and well motivated men - arguably the best senior officer corps the French Army had ever had. The lower ranks, on the other hand, consisted in too many cases of inexperienced and unsuitable men.

   The French Army may have been in a sorry state at this time, but its opponents were in not much better case.

The Russian Army


The theoretical strength of the regiments mobilized for the 1812 campaign was 1,476 men in two field battalions. The Russian battalions present at the Battle of Bautzen in May 1813 averaged 150-200 men each. Even though 70,000 reinforcements arrived in Germany during the summer of 1813, this was insufficient to bring the battalions up to strength.

Tsar Alexander of Russia. Generally regarded as a
benevolent and liberal ruler, Alexander spent the
campaign of autumn 1813 at the headquarters of the
Army of Bohemia. His skill as a soldier tends not to he
highly regarded, but it should not be forgotten that his
intervention at a critical moment in the battle on l6
October stabilized the situation for the Allies. Etching
by Katzler.



Most battalions were brought up to 500 to 600 men, but many regiments could muster only one battalion. The vast losses sustained in 1812 were replaced by calling up men of the older classes. They marched from their depots in Russia to the front in Germany thereby accustoming themselves to life in the open and the hardships facing a soldier. They were well clothed and equipped but lacked the tactical subtleties of western armies. Only the Jäger (light) regiments showed any expertise in skirmish tactics.
   The cavalry had been reorganized at the end of the 1812 campaign, each branch being mustered in divisions. Including the Guard Cuirassiers, there were three cuirassier divisions, two of chasseurs, three of hussars and three of lancers. Each division consisted of two brigades each having two regiments. The Guard Cavalry (excluding the Guard Cuirassiers) formed a separate division.

   The theoretical strength of a cavalry regiment was seven squadrons of 208 men and 179 horses, the 7th Squadron acting as a reserve for the others, but despite having received 14,000 reinforcements, most regiments consisted of only two to four squadrons of 120 horses, although of the best quality, well trained, and with good kit. Together with a sabre, the dragoons and chasseurs were armed with muskets, the cuirassiers, hussars and lancers with pistols and sixteen men per squadron were armed with short carbines so that they could be used as flankers or skirmishers.
   The irregular cavalry formations that accompanied the Russian Army - Cossacks, Bashkirs, Kalmucks, Tartars, etc. - were somewhat controversial. German eye-witnesses describe them as being well mounted and armed but undisciplined; incapable of carrying out an orderly attack on formed troops, lacking proper military training, and unreliable as scouts. Eye-witnesses on the French side mention the effect these hordes of wild tribesmen had on them. And one should not forget that the citizens of towns and villages in Prussia, an allied state through which these troops passed, had to take special security measures to prevent looting by what was generally known as the 'Cossacks'.
   The Russian artillery had a good reputation for its guns, equipment and training. Although sources do not agree on the number of artillery companies,


17

THE OPPOSING ARMIES



18

THE RUSSIAN ARMY

The popular view of
Cossacks. At times, they
plundered friend and foe
alike with no regard for
their victims. At other times,
they overwhelmed their
hosts with their friendliness
and honesty. Their name
alone inspired fear in the
hearts of the French who
had suffered terribly at
their hands during the
retreat from Moscow. Of
limited military value, their
effect was largely
psychological.






Hetman Platow and his
Cossacks. This is a most
interesting painting that
shows details of the arms
and equipment carried by
the Cossacks.
Schadow/Jugel

















it is known that each served twelve pieces. A so-called position battery consisted of four 20pdr howitzers, four medium and four light 12pdr cannon. A light battery consisted of four 12pdr howitzers and eight 6pdr cannon. A horse battery consisted of six 12pdr howitzers and six 6pdr cannon.
   The Russian officer corps was a mixed bunch. Native officers tended to be poorly educated. The Guard, however, drew its officers from the higher nobility and certain cavalry regiments also had a solid officer corps. A good number of officers were foreigners, for the most part German.
   An army corps normally consisted of two infantry and one cavalry corps. An infantry corps normally consisted of two divisions each of three brigades of four infantry and two Jäger (light) regiments. A cavalry corps consisted of two brigades each of two regiments. An infantry division also had an artillery brigade of one heavy (position) battery and two light, a total of 36 pieces.

19

THE OPPOSING ARMIES

Russian soldiers.
Left to right: Cossack,
Kalmuck and Militiaman.
Contemporary drawing by
Schadow, etched by Jugel.

A Bashkir. From this
picture, it is clear why
these astatic tribesmen
inspired fear in both friend
and foe. Schadow/Jugel.































General Count Wittgenstein.
Replacing Kutusov as
senior Russian commander
in the of spring 1813,
Wittgenstein was a mere
44 years old. He commanded
a corps during the autumn,
fighting at Dresden and
Leipzig. Painting by
Dahling.















20


THE AUSTRIAN ARMY

   Towards the end of the armistice, the Russian Field Army was organized as shown in Table 3. The total strength of the Russian forces in Germany and Poland was thus about 296,000 men.


       Table 3. Organization of the Russian Field Army      
Corps                                                    Men

In Silesia
Langeron                                              34,551
Sacken                                                18,353
Wittgenstein                                          34,926
St. Priest                                            13,586
Guards & Reserves                                     44,347

In Brandenburg
Corps Wittgenstein. Woronzow and
Detachment Tschernitschew                             29,357
With III Corps                                         1,160
With IV Corps (Prussians)                                318

In Mecklenburg attached to Wallmoden's Corps
Tettenborn                                             1,495
Russo-German Legion                                    4,475
With Dornberg's Cavalry                                1,192
Russo-German Artillery                                   363

Total Field Army                                      84,123 men

In Reserve
Bennigsen's Reserve Army near Warsaw                  59,000
Roth's Corps blockading Zamosc                        15,000
Kleinmichel's Corps blockading Modlin                  9,000
Before Danzig under Duke Alexander of
Württemberg                                           29,100

TOTAL RUSSIAN RESERVES AND BLOCKADING TROOPS:        112,100

Count Hieronymus
Colloredo. Austrian Corps
commander with Army of
Bohemia. His corps was in
the thick of the fighting at
Dresden, Kulm and Leipzig.
Colloredo continued to
serve his Emperor after
Leipzig, advancing with his
troops into France in
1814. Painting by P.
Krafft.
















The Austrian Army


The Austrian Corps under Prince Schwarzenberg that went to Russia in 1812 returned relatively intact. In January 1813 this corps consisted of four divisions with 25 battalions and 44 squadrons, about 29,000 men and 7,000 horses. In addition to this was the Reserve Corps under the Prince of Reuss raised in 1812. This had been deployed in Galicia (on the border of the Austrian Empire and the Grand Duchy of Warsaw) to act as a reserve for Schwarzenberg. It consisted of four divisions with 28 battalions and 42 squadrons, some 30,807 men and 5,129 horses. The Austrian Army at this time consisted of about 60,000 men and 12,000 horses. Further forces were raised during the early part of 1813 so that by the commencement of hostilities with France in August 1813, the Austrian Army consisted of the forces shown in Table 4. In addition to this, a reserve army was being formed under Duke Ferdinand of Württemberg in Vienna and Pressburg (Bratislava).
   At the commencement of hostilities in August 1813 the army was formed into three light divisions consisting largely of border troops (Grenzer); the right wing consisting of five infantry and two cavalry divisions; the left wing consisting of two infantry and one cavalry divisions; and the reserve corps of two infantry divisions and one brigade of cavalry.


                Table 4. Austrian Army, August 1813         
With the Army of Bohemia (or Main Army) 107 battalions,
117 squadrons, 290 guns, 127,345 men.

Between the Ens and Traun under Prince of Reuss:      30,079
The Army of Inner Austria under Hiller:               36,557
TOTAL STRENGTH OF THE FIELD ARMY:                    193,981

Fortress Garrisons:
Prague                                                 7,320
Koniggratz (Hradec Kralove)                            9,424
Josefstadt (Josefov)                                  10,800
TOTAL STRENGTH OF FORTRESS GARRISONS                  27,544

21


THE OPPOSING ARMIES

Joseph Count Radetzky. Chief-of-Staff
of the army of Bohemia, a very capable
officer who helped form the successful
Allied strategy of avoiding a battle with
Napoleon in person until all forces had
been concentrated. Engraving by H.
Mansfeld.




In September, the army was reorganized into corps after the fashion of its allies. Two-thirds of this army consisted of recruits with three months' service. They were poorly trained, the more so because of a shortage of junior officers. Sufficient firearms were available but there was a shortage of greatcoats and footwear which became particularly noticeable during the rains of that August.
   The Austrians lacked the enthusiasm of the Prussians and the determination of the Russians, which is understandable given that it was not until shortly before the commencement of hostilities that they knew on whose side they were going to fight. The Prussians were fighting to free their homeland and saw this campaign as part of their war of liberation; for the Russians, the campaign was a continuation of the patriotic war of 1812. The Austrians were merely playing power politics. Although they wanted to end the period of French domination of their affairs, they also wanted to prevent a power vacuum arising which the Russians and their junior partner, the Prussians, would fill. For the Prussians and Russians, the overthrow of the Bonaparte dynasty was paramount. For the Austrians, curtailing it was sufficient, its overthrow undesirable. Their involvement in this campaign was half-hearted and, generally speaking, their performance reflected this fact.


The Prussian Army


The Prussians started the year of 1813 with a core of 56,000 experienced soldiers. To this, a further 33,642 reservists were added, and 42 new battalions were formed from these men and new recruits. Volunteers from the middle classes were formed into detachments totalling about 5,000 infantry, 3,000 cavalry and 500 gunners. Then came the so-called free corps, of limited military value. The bulk of the rapid expansion of the Prussian Army for the campaign of autumn 1813 came from the militia (Landwehr), adding about 100,000 infantry and 10,000 cavalry to the field army and blockading forces. In total, the Prussians raised a force of approximately 271,000 men of which some 142,000

22


THE PRUSSIAN ARMY


Austrian Cuirassiers. Contemporary painting by J. A. Klein in the Albertina Collection in Vienna, Author's photograph.


THE SWEDISH ARMY

were with the field army. It was broken down as shown in Table 5.
   The Royal Guard and II Corps were attached to the Army of Bohemia under the Austrian Schwarzenberg, I Corps was attached to Blücher's Army of Silesia, III and IV Corps to the Army of the North under the Crown Prince of Sweden, IV Corps was used to blockade various French garrisons behind Allied lines.



                  Table 5. Prussian Army            
In Silesia                                     7,091
Royal Guard                                   38,484
I Corps Yorck                                 37,816
II Corps Kleist

In Brandenburg
III Corps Bülow                               41,135
IV Corps Tauentzien                           33,170

In Mecklenburg attached to Wallmoden's
Corps Free Corps Lutzow, Reiche and Schill     4,068

Total Field Army                             161,764
Blockading Corps
Before Kustrin under Hinrichs                  7,122
Before Stettin under Ploetz                   10,548
Besieging Danzig under Count Dohna             8,000
Besieging Glogau                               5,000
Total of Blockading Corps:                    30,670

Total of Prussian forces mobilized:          192,434

The Swedish Army


The Swedish Army consisted of Swedes and Germans, the latter coming from areas of Germany then under Swedish control. The latter were organized into two regiments of infantry, a militia which was not used in active service and two small volunteer detachments. The ethnic Swedish troops were partly volunteers, men performing military service to the crown in return for a grant of farm land on completion of their service. The army's

23

THE OPPOSING ARMIES

King Frederick William III of Prussia. Regarded by
some as a weak and vacillating monarch, his main role in
this campaign was to persuade Tsar Alexander and
Emperor Francis to stand and fight at Dresden despite
Napoleon's presence. Although not the right decision, it
nevertheless shows a determined streak in his character.
Painting by Franz Kruger.



















General von Bülow. Prussian corps commander under Crown
Prince of Sweden with the Army of the North. Bülow
earned his reputation for his role in the Battles of
Grossbeeren and Dennewitz. On these two occasions,
Bülow prevented Berlin falling into French hands,
inflicting, heavy defeats on Oudinot and Ney.
Engraving by Hullmann

















24


THE OPPOSING ARMIES

Gehhard Leberecht von Blücher.
Commander of the Army of
Silesia and no doubt the most
famous Prussian general of the
Napoleonic Wars. Blücher had a
passionate hatred of Napoleonic
Imperialism. This wily warhorse
steered clear of Napoleon in
the early part of the campaign,
defeated Macdonald on the
Katzbach and Bertrand at
Wartenburg before joining forces
with the Crown Prince of Sweden
and inarching on Leipzig.
Painting by P.E. Gebauer.











General von Kleist.
Commander of the Prussian corps
attached to the Army of
Bohemia. He is best
known for his role in the
Battle of Kulm which
resulted in the
destruction of
Vandamme's Corps.
Kleist was able to move
on the rear of the
French, thereby
surrounding them. The
Battle of Kulm more
than cancelled out the
gains made by
Napoleon at Dresden a
few days earlier.







Gneisenau. With
Scharnhorst, a leading reformer
of the Prussian Army, Gneisenau
spent this campaign in the role
of chief-of-staff to Blücher,
the beginning of a team which
pressed on to Leipzig from
Silesia, crossed the Rhine in
the depths of a hostile winter
to carry the war deep into
France, capturing Paris in 1814
and which then staged a 'repeat
performance at Waterloo in 1815.
The staff work for which
Gneisenau was famous became the
basis for all modern general
staffs and showed that the
lessons of the Napoleonic Wars
had been analysed and learned,
at least in Prussia.


Scharnhorst. A
German patriot and Prussian
general whose military
reforms helped shape the
face of modern Europe.
Together with Gneisenau
and others, he founded the
general staff system on
which all modern military
command systems are based.
Mortally wounded at Gross-
Gorschen, he never lived to
see the final results of his
labours. Painting by
Gebauer.







Charles John, Crown
Prince of Sweden.
Commander of the Army
of the North and also a
Marshal of Napoleon's,
the then Jean Bernadotte
accepted an offer of
succession to the Swedish
throne on the death of its
childless holder.
Bernadotte was always a
controversial character
who certainly knew how
to look after his own
interests best. Unpopular
among his peers,
regarded as a traitor by
the French and an
upstart by the Prussians,
his successors still hold
the crown of Sweden, the
only surviving family to
have received royal
status during the
Napoleonic Wars.




















25



   Table 6. Swedish Forces in Germany     
In Brandenburg
Corps Stedingk                      23,449

In Mecklenburg as part of
Wallmoden's Corps Brigade
Bergenstrohla                        3,814

The Baltic port of Stralsund was garrisoned with 2,452 men.


Silesian Militia, August
1813, by E. Rabe, produced
early in the 19th century.
Note the anachronism - the
models are carrying the 1839
pattern percussion musket
which was, however, apart
from the lock, identical with
the flintlock used in the
Napoleonic Wars.

















































26


THE ANGLO-GERMAN FORCES - THE MECKLENBURG CONTINGENT

discipline, equipment, kit and armament were of good standard. The officer corps was considered mediocre because of its lack of experience in the field.
   About half the army remained in Sweden, deployed along the border with Norway which, being under the Danish crown at that time, was fighting in alliance with the French. The corps deployed in Germany was as shown in Table 6. The Corps consisted of three divisions of six brigades and reserve artillery.
   The Swedes too were unenthusiastic partici- pants in this war. Their small force was participating largely for political reasons so that the Crown of Sweden could claim representation at the peace talks, hoping for territorial aggrandisement.

The Anglo-German Forces

Britain deployed or subsidised in northern Germany the following troops:
King's German Legion                                     4,506
With Cavalry Division Dornberg                           1,322
With Wallmoden's Reserve Artillery                         412
Hanseatic Legion                                         3,043
   The only ethnic British with the above were a hussar regiment of five squadrons, one rocket and two horse batteries. There were a further six battalions of British in the garrison of Stralsund. These troops were still in the process of formation and were lacking equipment.
   In terms of manpower Britain's contribution to this campaign was minimal. Her efforts came mainly on the diplomatic front and her contribution was largely financial and material. 'Perfidious Albion' was behind the scenes conspiring, manipulating and putting together an alliance while her naval and industrial dominance allowed her to move supplies, arms, ammunition and golden guineas to her allies in Germany. During 1813 Britain sent her allies nearly 1,000,000 muskets and pledged them more than £11,000,000 in subsidies.

The Mecklenburg Contingent


   This consisted of four battalions, four squadrons and two cannon, a total of 6,149 men. The only veterans were in the Grenadier Guard Battalion.

           Table 7. Total Allied Forces Available            
Russians                                              184,123
Prussians                                             161,764
Austrians                                             127,345
Swedes                                                 23,449
Anglo-Germans                                           9,283
Mecklenburgers                                          6,149
Total                                                 512,113
Including the troops in reserve, the Allies had about 860,000
men at their disposal.

27

THE OPPOSING ARMIES

ORDER OF BATTLE: FRENCH ARMY, OCTOBER 1813
The figure in parentheses after a unit's name indicates the number of battalions, squadrons or guns in that formation.

FRENCH ARMY

NAPOLEON

OLD GUARD Friant
BRIGADE CURIAL: 1st Chasseur Regt (2); 2nd Chass Regt (2);
BRIGADE MICHEL: 1st Grenadier Regt (2); 2nd Gren Regt (2); Velites of Turin (1):Velites of Florence (1);
1 foot battery

YOUNG GUARD 1st Division Dumoustier
BRIGADE ROUSSEAU: Fusilier-Chasseurs (2); Fusilier-Grenadiers (2)
BRIGADE TINDAU: 1st Voltigeur Regt (2); 2nd Volt Regt (2)
BRIGADE COULOUMY: 3rd Volt Regt (2); 6th Volt Regt (2); 7th Volt Regt (2):
3 foot batteries; 1 coy engineers
2nd Division Barrois
BRIGADE ROTHEMBOURG: 1st Tirailleur Regt (2); 2nd Tir Regt (2)
BRIGADE PORET (?): 3rd Tir Regt (2): 6th Tir Regt (2); 7th Tir Regt (2)
BRIGADE BOYELDIEU: Flanqueur-Chasseur Regt (2); Flanqueur-Grenadier Regt (2);
3 foot batteries; 1 coy engineers
3rd Division Decouz
BRIGADE GROS: 4th Voltigeur Regt (2); 5th Volt Regt (2)
BRIGADE COMBELLE: 8th Volt Regt (2); 9th Volt Regt (2): 10th Volt Regt (2)
BRIGADE DULONG: 11th Volt  Regt (2); 12th Volt Regt (2);
3 foot batteries
4th Division Roguet
BRIGADE BOYER DE REBEVAL: 4th Tirailleur Regt (2); 5th Tir Regt (2)
BRIGADE MARQUET: 8th Tir Regt (2); 9th Tir Regt (2); 10th Tir Regt (2)
BRIGADE PELET: 11th Tir Regt (2); 12th Tir Regt (2);
3 foot batteries
Guard Cavalry Nansouty
1st (Polish) Lancers (7); 2nd (Polish) Lancers (10); Berg Chevauxlegers (6); Chasseurs a Cheval (10);
Dragoons (6); Grenadiers a Cheval (6); Gendarmes d'Elite (2); 4 regts Gardes d'Honneur (12);
4 horse batteries.
Reserve Artillery:
5 foot batteries of the Old Guard; 4 foot batteries of the Young Guard; 2 horse batteries; 1 Berg battery;
1 coy pontonniers; 1 coy Guard engineers; 3 coys sailors.
TOTAL IMPERIAL GUARD: 30,000 infantry, 8.000 cavalry, 202 guns.

I CORPS formed the garrison of Dresden and did not participate in the Battle
of Leipzig; its order of battle is not included here.

II CORPS Victor
4th Division Du Breton
BRIGADE FERRIERE: 24th Light Regt(3); 19th Line Regt (3)
BRIGADE BRUN: 37th Line Regt (3); S6th Line Regt (3);
2 divisional batteries (16)
5th Division Dufours
BRIGADE D'ETSKO: 26th Light Regt (3); 93rd Line Regt (3)
Brigade ?: 46th Line Regt (I);  72nd Line Regt (I);
1 divisional battery (8)
6th Division Vial
BRIGADE VALORY: 11th Light Regt (2); 2nd Line Regt (3)
BRIGADE BRONIKOWSKY: 4th Line Regt (3): 18th Line Regt (3);
2 divisional batteries (16).
Reserve Artillery: 1 horse, 2 foot batteries; 3 coys engineers.
II Corps total: 17.241 men, 32 batteries, 55 guns.

III CORPS Souham
8th Division Brayer (French)
BRIGADE BARON ESTEVE: 6th Light Regt (2); 16th Light Regt (2); 28th Light Regt (2); 40th Line Regt (2)
BRIGADE CHARRIERE: 59th Line Regt (2); 69th Line Regt (2); 22nd Light Regt (3);
2 batteries (12)
9th Division Delmas (French)
BRIGADE ANTHING: 2nd Provisional Regt(4); 43rd Line Regt (2); 136th Line Regt (3)
BRIGADE VERGEZ DES BAREAUX: 138th Line Regt (3); 145th Line Regt (3);
2 batteries (13)
11th Division Ricard (French)
BRIGADE VAN DEDEM VAN DEGELDER: 9th Light Regt (3); 50th Line Regt (3); 65th Line Regt (2)
BRIGADE DUMOULIN: 142nd Line Regt (3); 144th Line Regt (3);
2 batteries (12) 23RD
LIGHT CAVALRY BRIGADE BARON BEURMANN (mixed nationalities): 10th Hussar Regt (French) (6); 1st Dragoon Regt (Baden) (5).
Reserve Artillery: 2 12pdr batteries (16).
(Two 6pdrs arrived in mid September but it is not known to which formation they were attached.)
III CORPS TOTAL: 42 battalions 13.034 men. 11 squadrons 1,065 men. 61 guns.

IV CORPS Bertrand
12th Division Morand (French)
BRIGADE DE BELAIR: 8th Light Regt (4); 23rd Line Regt (4)
BRIGADE BARON HULOT: 23rd Line Regt (3); 137th Line Regt (2); Provisional Croatian Regt (2):
2 divisional batteries (12)
5th Division Fontanelli (Italians)
BRIGADE SANT' ANREA: 1st Light Regt (2); 6th Line Regt (I)
BRIGADE MORONI: Milan Guard (I); 7th Line Regt (I): 1st Line Regt (I); 4th Line Regt (I);
1 divisional battery (6)38th
Division Franquemont (Württembergers)
1ST BRIGADE STOCKMAYER: 1st Combined Bn (Inf Regt No.1); 4th Comb Bn (both light inf regts)
2ND BRIGADE DORING: 2nd Comb Bn (Inf Regt No. 4); 3rd Comb Bn (Inf Regt No. 6);
1 foot battery (4).
This division had been reduced to three battalions by mid October, but it is not known which battalion was disbanded.
Cavalry Division Briche
24TH LIGHT CAVALRY BRIGADE JETT (Württembergers): Chevauleger Regt Prince Adam No. 1 (1); Jäger Regt Duke Louis No. 3 (1)
Cavalry Division Beaumont
29TH LIGHT CAVALRY BRIGADE WOLF (Germans): Hessian Chevauleger Regt (1); Westphalian Guard Chevauleger Regt (1).
Reserve Artillery: 1 battery (French) (8).
IV CORPS TOTAL: 26 battalions 6,124 men, 4 squadrons 349 men, 26 guns.

V CORPS Lauriston
10th Division Albert
BRIGADE BACHELET: 4th Provisional Light Regt (2); 139th Line Regt (3)
BRIGADE BERTRAND: 140th Line Regt (3); 141st Line Regt (3):
2 divisional batteries (10)
16th Division Maison
BRIGADE MONTENELLE: 151st Line Regt (3); 152nd Line Regt (3)
BRIGADE MONTESQUIEU: 153rd Line Regt (3); 154th Line Regt (3);
1 horse, 2 foot batteries (10)
19th Division Rochambeau
BRIGADE HARLET: 135th Line Regt (3); 149th Line Regt (3)
BRIGADE LAFITTE: 150th Line Regt (3); 155th Line Regt (3);
2 divisional batteries (10)
6TH LIGHT CAVALRY BRIGADE DERNONCOURT: 2nd Chasseur Regt (3); 3rd Chass Regt (2): 6th Chass Regt (3).
Reserve Artillery: 3 foot batteries (15); 1 horse battery (8); 3 coys engineers.
V CORPS TOTAL: 35 battalions 14,892 men, 8 squadrons 3,056 men, 53 guns.

28

VI CORPS Marmont 20th Division Compans (French) BRIGADE PELLEPORT: 32nd Light Regt (2); 1st Naval Regt (5) BRIGADE JOUBERT: 3rd Naval Regt (3); 20th Provisional Regt (2); 25th Prov Regt (2); 2 divisional batteries (16) 21st Division Lagrange (French) BRIGADE JAMIN: 37th Light Regt (4); Regt Joseph Napoleon (Spanish) (1); 4th Naval Regt (3) BRIGADE BUQUET: 2nd Naval Regt (6); 2 divisional batteries (16) 22nd Division Friedrichs (French) BRIGADE VAN COEHORN: 23rd Light Regt (2); 11th Provisional Regt (2); 13th Prov Regt (2); 15th Line Regt (2) BRIGADE DE CHOISY: 16th Prov Regt (2); 70th Line Regt (2); 121st Line Regt (2); 2 divisional batteries (16) 25TH LIGHT CAVALRY BRIGADE (Württembergers): Life Chevauleger Regt No. 2 (4): King's Jäger Regt No. 4 (4) Horse Battery Fleschmann (6). Reserve Artillery: 2 horse batteries (12); 2 I2pdr batteries (16); 4 coys engineers. VI CORPS TOTAL: 42 battalions 15,342 men, 8 squadrons 935 men, 82 guns. VII CORPS Reynier 13th Division Guillemot (French) BRIGADE GRUYER: 1st Light Regt (4); 18th Light Regt (2); 7th Line Regt (1); 42nd Line Regt (1); 156th Line Regt (2) BRIGADE LEJEUNE: Illyrian Regt (1); 52nd Line Regt (1); 67th Line Regt (1); 101st Line Regt (2); 1 divisional battery (6) 24th Division Von Zeschau (Saxons) 1ST BRIGADE von Brause: Light Inf Regt Lecoq (1); Inf Regt Rechten (1); 1st Grenadier Bn (1); Inf Regt Prince Frederick (1); Inf Regt Steindel (1): Field Jäger Coy 2ND BRIGADE Von Ryssel: 2nd Grenadier Bn (1);Light lnf Regt Sahr (1); Inf Regt Niesemeuschel (1); Inf Regt Prince Anthony (1); Inf Regt Low (1) ARTILLERY BRIGADE von Roth: 1st Foot Battery (8); 2nd Foot Battery (8) 32nd Division Durutte (French) BRIGADE DEVAUX: 35th Light Regt (1); 131st Line Regt (1); 132nd Line Regt (1) BRIGADE JARRY: 36th Light Regt (1); 133rd Line Regt (1); Wurzburg Regt (1); 1 divisional battery (6) 26th Light Cavalry Division Lirdenau (Saxons) Hussar Regt (8); Uhlan Regt Prince Clemence (5); Horse Battery Probsthain (4). Reserve Artillery: Horse Battery (Saxons) (4); Reserve Battery (Saxons) (6); Reserve Battery (French) (6). VII CORPS TOTAL: 28+ battalions 11,587 men, 13 squadrons 684 men, 48 guns. VIII CORPS Prince Poniatowski (Polish) 26th Division Kaminiecki BRIGADE LINAWSKI: 1st Inf Regt (2); 16th Inf Regt (2) BRIGADE MALACHOWSKI: 8th Inf Regt (2); 15th Inf Regt (2); 3 foot batteries (?) 27th Division Dombrowski BRIGADE 7OTOWSKI (attached to Ney's command); BRIGADE GRABOWSKI: 12th Inf Regt (2); 1st Combined Regt of Vistula Legion (2); 1 1/2 foot batteries (?) 27th Light CAVALRY BRIGADE UMINSKI: 14th Cuirassier Regt (2); 1st Comb Vanguard (4). Reserve Artillery: 2 foot batteries (?); 1 coy engineers. VIII CORPS TOTAL 12 battalions, 6 squadrons approx. 6,000 men, 44 (?) guns. IX CORPS Augereau 51st Division ? 32nd Provisional Regt (2); 63rd Line Regt (I) BRIGADE AYMARD: 34th Prov Regt (2); 35th Prov Regt (2); 1 battery (?) 2nd Division Semele BRIGADE BAGNERIS: 37th Provisional Regt (2); 39th Line Regt (1) BRIGADE GODARD: 121st Line Regt (1); 122nd Line Regt (1); 86th Line Regt (1); 1 battery (?) IX CORPS TOTAL: 13 battalions 8,647 men, 14 guns. XI CORPS Macdonald 31st Division Ledru des Essart (mixed nationalities) BRIGADE FRESSINET (French): 5th Line Regt (2); 11th Line Regt (2); 20th Line Regt (I); 102nd Line Regt (1) BRIGADE D'HENIN (Westphalians): 4th Light Bn (1); 8th Une Regt (2) BRIGADE MACDONALD DE KLOR RENALD (Neapolitans): 4th Light Regt (2); Elite Regt (I); 1 foot battery (French) (8); 2 foot batteries (Westphalians) (12) 35th Division Gerard BRIGADE SENECAL (French): 6th Line Regt (3); 112th Line Regt (4) BRIGADE ZUCCHI (Italians): 2nd Light Regt (2); 5th Line Regt (4); 1 foot battery (Italians) (8); 1 horse battery (Italians) (6) 36th Division Charpentier (French) BRIGADE BARON SIMMER: 22nd Light Regt (4); 10th Une Regt (2) BRIGADE MEUNIER: 3rd Light Regt (2); 14th Light Regt (3); 2 divisional batteries (16) 39th Division Marchand (Germans) BRIGADE VON STOCKHORN (Badeners): 1st Inf Regt (2); 3rd Inf Regt (2) BRIGADE PRINCE EMIL OF HESSE (Hessians): Fusilier Guards (I); 2nd Line Regt (2); Guard (2); 1 battery (Badeners) (4); 1 battery (Hessians) (8) 28 LIGHT CAVALRY BRIGADE (mixed): 4th Chasseur Regt (Italian) (2); 2nd Chass Regt (Neapolitan) (4); Wurzburg Chevauleger (1) Reserve Artillery (French): 1 horse battery (6); 2 12pdr batteries (16); 1 or 2 engineer coys (French); 1 engineer coy (Italian). XI CORPS TOTAL: 45 battalions 19,405 men, 7 squadrons 496 men, 52 guns. This corps lost 16 guns on the Katzbach but it is not known from which batteries, so it has not been possible to make the correct deduction from individual batteries. Division Dombrowski (Polish) INFANTRY BRIGADE ZOTOWSKI: 2nd Inf Regt (2); 4th Inf Regt (2) CAVALRY BRIGADE KRUKOWIECKI: 2nd Lancer Regt (4); 4th Lancer Regt (4); 1 horse artillery battery (4); 1 foot artillery battery (4); 1 coy engineers. TOTAL 4 battalions. 8 squadrons 3,250 men, 8 guns. Division Margaron 2nd Baden Line Regt (2); Baden Light Bn (1); 35th French Light Regt (1); 132nd Fr Light Regt (1); 96th Fr Light Regt (1); 103rd Fr Light Regt (1). Total: 7 battalions 4,670 men. 29 Column Lefol 7,116 infantry, 2,733 cavalry, 6 guns. I CAVALRY CORPS Latour-Maubourg 1st Light Cavalry Division Berckheim 1ST BRIGADE PIRE: 6th Hussar Regt (2): 7th Huss Regt (3); 8th Huss Regt (3) 2ND BRIGADE MONTMARIE: 16th Chasseur Regt (2); 1st Chevauleger Regt (2); 3rd Chevleg Regt (2) 3RD BRIGADE PIQUET: 5th Chevleg Regt (2); 8th Chevleg Regt (2); 1st King's Chasseurs (Italians) (4); 1 horse battery (French) (?) 3rd Light Cavalry Division Chastel 4TH BRIGADE VALLIN: 8th Chasseur Regt (2); 9th Chass Regt (2); 25th Chassr Regt (2) 5TH BRIGADE VIAL: 1st Chass Regt (3); 19th Chass Regt (3); 1 horse battery (French) 1st Heavy Cavalry Division Bordesoulle 1ST BRIGADE SOPRANSI: 2nd Cuirassier Regt (2); 3rd Cuir Regt (2): 6th Cuir Regt (2) 2ND BRIGADE BESSIERES: 9th Cuir Regt (3); 11th Cuir Regt(3); 12th Cuir Regt (2) 3RD BRIGADE LESSING (Saxons): Guard Cuir (4); Zastrow Cuir (4) 3rd Heavy Cavalry Division Doumerc 1ST BRIGADE D'AUDENARDE: 4th Cuirassier Regt (3); 7th Cuir Regt (3); 14th Cuir Regt (2); Italian Dragoons (4) 2ND BRIGADE REISET: 7th Dragoner Regt (2); 23rd Drag Regt (3); 28th Drag Regt (2): 30th Drag Regt (2); 1 horse battery (Italian). Reserve Artillery: 2 horse batteries. I CAVALRY CORPS TOTAL: 78 squadrons 6,480 men, 27 guns. This number of squadrons is as at campaign beginning: it is likely to have decreased by October. II CAVALRY CORPS Sebastiani 2nd Light Cavalry Division Roussel d'Hurbal 7TH BRIGADE GERARD: 11th Chasseur Regt (3); 12th Chass Regt (3); 5th Hussar Regt (3) 8TH BRIGADE DOMMANGET: 9th Huss Regt (4): 2nd Chevauleger Regt (3): 4th Chevleg Regt (3) 4th Light Cavalry Division Exelmans 9TH BRIGADE Maurin: 6th Chevauleger Regt (2); 4th Chasseur Regt (2); 7th Chass Regt (3) 10TH BRIGADE Wathiez: 20th Chass Regt (4); 23rd Chass Regt (4); 24th Chass Regt (3); 11th Hussar Regt (2) 2nd Heavy Cavalry Division Saint-Germain 1ST BRIGADE Davrange d'Haugeranville: 1st Carabineer Regt (2); 2nd Carab Regt (2); 1st Cuirassier Regt (2) 2ND BRIGADE Thiry: 5th Cuir Regt (3); 8th Cuir Regt (2); 10th Cuir Reg: (2). II CAVALRY CORPS TOTAL: 52 squadrons 5,679 men, 12 guns. III CAVALRY CORPS Arrighi 4th Heavy Cavalry Division Defrance 1ST BRIGADE Avice: 4th Dragoon Regt (1); 5th Drag Regt (1); 12th Drag Regt (1); 14th Drag Regt (1); 24th Drag Regt (1) 2ND BRIGADE Quinette: 16th Drag Regt (1): 17th Drag Regt (1): 21st Drag Regt (1): 26th Drag Regt (1); 27th Drag Regt (1); 13th Cuirassier Regt (1) 5th Light Cavalry Division Lorge 12TH LIGHT CAVALRY BRIGADE Jaquinot: 5th Chasseur Regt (2): 10th Chass Regt (2): 13th Chass Regt (2) 13TH LIGHT CAVALRY BRIGADE Merlin: 15th Chass Regt (1): 21st Chass Regt (1); 22nd Chass Regt (I); 1 horse battery (6) III CAVALRY CORPS TOTAL 27 squadrons 4,000 men, 6 guns. V CAVALRY CORPS Pajol 5th Heavy Cavalry Division I'Heritier BRIGADE QUCUNOT: 2nd Dragoon Regt (3); 6th Drag Regt (4) BRIGADE COLLAERT: 11th Drag Regt (4); 13th Drag Regt (2): 15th Drag Regt(3) 6th Heavy Cavalry Division Milhaud BRIGADE LAMOTTE: 18th Dragoon Regt (2); 19th Drag Regt (2); 20th Drag Regt (3) BRIGADE MONTLEGIER: 22nd Drag Regt (3); 25th Drag Regt (4) 9th Light Cavalry Division Subervie BRIGADE KLICKY: 3rd Hussar Regt (3); 27th Huss Regt (4) BRIGADE VIAL 14th Chasseur Regt (3); 26th Chass Regt (3|; 13th Huss Regt (4); 1 horse battery (6). V CAVALRY CORPS TOTAL:47 squadrons approx. 5,000 men, 6 guns. The loneliness of command. Napoleon dictating orders to his clerk while the clock ticks away in the comer. A rather symbolic view of Napoleon's position and another illustration of the major flaw in his system of command. Painting by J. I. Meunier.

30

THE FRENCH FORCES

31


THE OPPOSING ARMIES
 ORDER OF BATTLE: ALLIED ARMY, OCTOBER 1813 
The figure in parentheses after a unit's name indicates the number of battalions, squadrons or guns in that formation.

ARMY OF BOHEMIA

Commander Charles, Prince of Schwarzenberg

AUSTRIANS
1st Light Division Maurice, Prince of Liechtenstein
BRIGADE PRINCE OF HESSEN-HOMBURG: Jäger Bn No. 1 (1); Jäger Bn No. 2 (1); Emperor's Chevauxlegers (6);
1 6pdr horse battery (6);
BRIGADE SCHEITHER:
1 Bn Brooder Border Troops (1); Jäger Bn No. 7(1); Levenehr Dragoons (4); Vincent Chevauxlegers (6):
1 6pdr horse battery (6).
1st Light Division total: 4 battalions 16 squadrons 4,98 8 men, 12 guns.
2nd Light Division Bubra
BRIGADE ZECHMEISTER:
Peterwardein Border Troops (1); Jäger Bn No. 6 (1); Liechtenstein Hussars (6);
1 6pdr horse battery (6)
BRIGADE WIEIAND:
Militia (4); Blankenstein Hussars (6); 13pdr battery (6) Brigade Neiperg: Jäger Bn No. 5(1); Emperor's Hussars (6);
1 6pdr horse battery (6).
2nd Light Division total: 7 battalions, 18 squadrons 9,993 men, 18 guns.

IV CORPS Klenau
Division Mohr
BRIGADE PAUMGARTEN:
1st Walachia Border Regt (1); Walachian-lllyrian Border Regt (2); Hohenzollern Chevauxlegers (6);
Palatinal Hussars (6); Archduke Ferdinand's Hussars (6); 1 6pdr horse battery (6)
Division Prince Hohenlohe
BRIGADE SCHAFER: Josef Colloredo Inf Regt (2): Zach Inf Regt (3)
BRIGADE SPLENYI: Württemberg Inf Regt (3); Lindenau Inf Regt (3); 2 6pdr
batteries (16)
Division Mayer
BRIGADE ABELE: Alois Lichtenstein Inf Regt (3); Koburg Inf Regt (3)
BRIGADE BEST:
Archduke Charles Inf Regt (2); Kerpen Inf Regt (2) Division Desfours Emperor's Cuirassiers (6);
Oreilly Chevauxlegers (6); 2 6pdr batteries ( 16).
Reserve Artillery: 16pdr, 2 12pdr batteries (18).
IV Corps total: 24 battalions, 30 squadrons, 24,354 men, 56 guns.

III CORPS Gyulai
Division Crenneville
BRIGADE HAECHT:
Warasdine Crusaders Border Regt (1); Warasdine St. George's Border Regt (1); Klenau Chevauxlegers (7);
Rosenberg Chevleg (6); 1 6pdr battery (8)
Division Murray
BRIGADE SALINS Archduke Ludwig Inf Regt (3): Wurzburg Inf Regt (2) Brigade Weigel: Mariassy Inf Regt (2);
Ign. Gyulai Inf Regt (2): 2 6pdr batteries (16)
Division Prince of Hessen-Homburg
BRIGADE CSOLICH: Kotulinsky Inf Regt (3); Emperor's Inf Regt (2) Brigade Grimmer Kolowrat Inf Regt (2);
Frelich Inf Regt (2); 16pdr battery (8).
Reserve Artillery: 1 12pdr, 2 6pdr batteries (18).
III Corps total: 20 battalions, 13 squadrons 18.698 men. 50 guns.

II CORPS Merveldt
Division Lederer
BRIGADE SORBENBURG (Prince of Saxe-Coburg):
Gradiskan Border Regt (1); Kienmayer Hussars (6): Archduke John's Dragoons (4)
BRIGADE LONGUEVIILE: Strauch Inf Regt (2); Bellegarde Inf Regt (2): 2 6pdr batteries (16)
Division Alois, Prince of Liechtenstein
BRIGADE KLOPPSTEIN: Kaunitz Inf Regt (2): Wenzel Colloredo Inf Regt (2)
BRIGADE MECZERY: Reuss-Greitz Inf Regt (2); Vogelsang Inf Regt (3): Militia (1); 2 6pdr batteries (16).
Reserve Artillery: 1 12pdr, 2 6pdr batteries (18).
II Corps total: 15 battalions, 10 squadrons 12,129 men, 50 guns.

I CORPS Colloredo
Division Hardegg
BRIGADE RAIGECOURT: German Banat Border Regt (2); Hessen-Homburg Hussars (6); Riesch Dragoons (6)
Division Wimpffen
BRIGADE GIFFING: Froon Inf Regt (2 +1 militia); De Vaux Inf Regt (2 + 1 militia)
BRIGADE CZERWENICA: Argenteau Inf Regt (2 + 1 militia); Erbach Inf Regt (1 + 1 militia):
2 6pdr batteries (16)
Division Greth
BRIGADE WURMB: De Ligne Inf Regt (3); Czartoryski Inf Regt (3);
BRIGADE Quosdanovich: Albert Gyulai Inf Regt (2); Reuss-Plauen Inf Regt (2); 2 6pdr batteries (16).
Reserve Artillery: 1 12pdr. 2 6pdr batteries (18).
I Corps total: 23 battalions, 12 squadrons 20,735 men, 50 guns.

ARMY RESERVE Hereditary Prince of Hessen-Homburg
Division Weissenwolf
BRIGADE FURSTENWARTHER: Grenadier Bns Czarnotzay; Obermayer; Berger
OKLOPESTA BRIGADE vacant: Grenadier Bns Habinay; Portner; Fischer; Rueber:
2 6pdr batteries (16)
Division Bianchi:
BRIGADE BECK: Colloredo-Mannsfeld Inf Regt (2); Hiller Inf Regt (2)
BRIGADE HAUGWITZ: Hessen-Homburg Inf Regt (2); Simbschen Inf Regt (2)
BRIGADE QUAUENBERG: Eszterhàzy Inf Regt (2); Davidovich Inf Regt (2); 3 6pdr batteries (24)
Division Nostitz (under Freiherr von Klebelsberg)
BRIGADE ROTHKIRCH: Archduke Francis Cuirassier Regt (4); Crown Prince Ferdinand Cuir Regt (4)
BRIGADE AUCRSPERG: Hohenzollern Cuir Regt (6); Sommariva Cuir Regt (6) (under Count Gvalart)
BRIGADE KUTTALEK: Duke Albert of Saxony Cuirassier Regt (4); Lothringen Cuir Regt (4)
ARMY RESERVE TOTAL: 20 battalions, 28 squadrons 19.771 men. 40 guns.

Army Artillery Reserve Reisner
2 3pdr, 2 6pdr, 8 12pdr. 2 18pdr batteries: 4 6pdr horse batteries, total 18 batteries, 112 guns.

TOTAL AUSTRIAN TROOPS
THE ARMY OF BOHEMIA:
113 battalions, 127 squadrons 110,569 men, 388 guns.

RUSSIANS AND PRUSSIANS
Commander Count Barclay de Tolly
COMBINED CAVALRY CORPS Pahlen III
Neumark Dragoon Regt (Prussians) (4) (attached)
1st Hussar Division Pahlen III
BRIGADE RUDIGER: Sumy Hussar Regt (5); Grodno Huss Regt (5)
BRIGADE SCHUWANOW: Lubny Huss Regt (4); Olwiopol Huss Regt (2)
Combined Uhlan Division Moller
SAKOMELSKY BRIGADE

32

THE ALLIES FORCES

LISSANEWISCH: Tschugujew Uhlan Regt (6); Serpuchow Uhlan Regt (4) (detached for police duties)
Brigade Knorrig: Eupatoric Tartar Horse Regt (1); Tartar Uhlan Regt (4)
Division lllowaiski
Rodiorow II Don Cossack Regt (2); jaroslawsk Coss Regt (2); Grekow VIII Coss Regt (3); lllowaiski Coss Regt (4)
Corps Artillery Niktin
Horse Battery No. 6 (8); Horse Battery No. 7(12)

COMBINED CAVALRY CORPS TOTAL 27 squadrons. 11 Cossack squadrons 4.136 men, 20 guns.

CORPS WITTGENSTEIN
I INFANTRY CORPS Gortschakow
5th Infantry Division Mesenzow
BRIGADE LUKOW:
Perm Inf Regt (2); Sewsk Inf Regt (1) Brigade Wlastow: Kaluga Inf Regt (2); Mogilew Inf Regt (2); Brigade ?:
Bn of Grand Princess Catharina; Jäger Regt No. 23 (2); Jäger Regt No. 24 (2)
14th Infantry Division
Helffreich BRIGADE LJALLIN: Tenginsk Inf Regt (2); Estonian Inf Regt (2)
BRIGADE ROTH: Tulsk Inf Regt (2); Nowoginsk Inf Regt (2) Brigade Wusrow: Jäger Regt No. 25 (2): Jäger Regt No. 26 (2);
Battery No. 3(12); Light Battery No. 6(12); Light Battery No. 7(12)

II INFANTRY CORPS Duke Eugene of Württemberg
3rd Infantry Division Prince Schahowskoj
BRIGADE SCHALRNSKY: Murom Inf Regt (2); Deval Inf Regt (2)
BRIGADE ?: Tschernigow Inf Regt (2); Selenginsk Inf Regt (1) Brigade ?: Jäger Regt No. 20 (2); Jäger Regt No 21 (1)
4th Infantry Division
Puschnitzky BRIGADE ?:
Tobolsk Inf Regt (1); Volhynia Inf Regt (2) Brigade ?: Krementschuk Inf Regt (2); Minsk Inf Regt (1)
BRIGADE WALKOW: Jäger Regt No. 4 (2); Jäger Regt No 34 (1); Battery No. 5 (12); Light Battery No. 27 (12)
GUARD DUTIES STAFF AND TRAIN
Dragoon Regt Ingermanland (2); 2nd Bug Cossack Regt (2?); Coss Regt Zolotaref (1); Militia Bns Olonetz and Wologda (2).

ARMY CORPS WITTGENSTEIN TOTAL: 45 battalions, 29 squadrons, 13 Cossack squadrons 20,067 men, 80 guns.

PRUSSO-RUSSIAN RESERVE CORPS Grand Prince Constantine

Grenadier (III Infantry) CORPS RAJEWSKI
1st Grenadier Division
TSCHOGLOKOW BRIGADE KNIASAM (?): Araktschejew Grenadier Regt (2); Ekaterinoslaw Grenadier Regt (2)
BRIGADE ACHT: Taurien Gren Regt (2); St. Petersburg Gren Regt (2)
BRIGADE HMELIANOW: Keksholm Gren Regt (2); Pernau Gren Regt (2)
2nd Grenadier Division
Sulima BRIGADE LEWIN: Kiev Grenadier Regt (2); Moscow Gren Regt (2)
BRIGADE DE DAMAS: Astrachan Gren Regt (2); Fanagoria Gren Regt (2)
BRIGADE HESSE: Siberian Gren Regt (2); Little Russian Gren Regt (2);
Battery No.33 (12); Battery No. 14 (12); Light Battery No. 13 (12)
GUARD (5TH INFANTRY) CORPS Jermolow
1st Guard Infantry Division Rosen
BRIGADE PRINCE POTEMKIN: Preobraschensk Guard Grenadier Regt (3), Sejmenow Guard Gren Regt (3)
BRIGADE BISTROM: Ismailow Guard Gren Regt (2); Life Guard Jäger Regt (2)
2nd Guard Infantry Division Udom
BRIGADE SCHELTUCHIN: Lithuanian Guard Grenadier Regt (3); Life Gren Guard Regt (3)
BRIGADE KRISCHANOFFSKY: Tsar Paul Guard Gren Regt (2); Guard Jäger Regt (3)

RESERVE CAVALRY Prince Gallitzin V
1st Cuirassier Division Preradowitsch
BRIGADE ARSENIUS: Chevalier Guard Regt (6); Horse Guard Regt (6)
BRIGADE PRINCE KOBURG: Tsar's Life Cuirassier Regt (4); Tsarina's Life Cuir Regt (4)
2nd Cuirassier Division Kretow
BRIGADE KARATEJOW: Ekaterinoslaw Cuirassier Regt (4); Astrachan Cuir Regt (4)
BRIGADE LEONTEW: Glukow Cuir Regt (5); Pskow Cuir Regt (5)
3rd Cuirassier Division Duka
BRIGADE GUDOWITSCH: Military Order Cuirassier Regt (4); Little Russian Cuir Regt (4)
BRIGADE LEWATSCHOW: Starodub Cui' Regt (4); Nowgorod  Cuir Regt (4)
Guard Light Cavalry Division Schaewitsch
BRIGADE TSCHAKUKOW: Life Guard Dragoon Regt (6); Life Guard Hussar Regt (6); Life Guard Uhlan Regt (6);
Life Guard Cossack Regt (4); Guard Horse Battery No. 1 (8); Guard Horse Battery No. 2 (8)

PRUSSIAN GUARDS
BRIGADE ALVENSLEBEN (attached to Russian Guard Infantry):
1st Foot Guard Regt (3); 2nd Foot Guard Regt (3); Guard Jäger Bn (1/2);
Guard 6pdr Foot Battery (8)
BRIGADE WERDER (attached to Reserve Cavalry Corps):
Regt Guard du Corps (5); Combined Guard Light Cav Regt (6); Guard Horse Battery (8).

Prusso-Russian Reserve CORPS TOTAL; 51 1/2 BATTALIONS, 87 squadrons, 15 Cossack squadrons 35,718 men, 104 guns.

COSSACK CORPS Platow (under Prince Kudascheff)
Don Cossack Regt Grekow V (3); Don Coss Regt Kostine (3); 1st Teptjaer Coss Regt (2?);
Don Coss Regt Tschikilew 1 (3?); Don Coss Regt Tschernobusow V(4?) (under Colonel von Bergmann)
Don Cossack Regt Schaltanowka (5?); Don Coss Regt Elmurusin (5?);
1st Black Sea Coss Regt (5) (under Prince Schtscherbatow) 3rd Orenburg Cossack Regt (2);
3rd Urals Coss Regt (3); 2nd Teptjaer Coss Regt (3);  Don Horse Battery No. 1 (10);
attached: Don Coss Regt Grekow XXI (3?); Don Coss Regt Wlassow X (4?); Don Coss Regt Platow V (3).
COSSACK CORPS TOTAL: 47 squadrons 4,541 men. 10 guns.

RUSSIAN RESERVE ARTILLERY Hune
Guard Battery No. I (12); Battery No. I (12); Battery No. 14 (12): Battery No. 29 (12); Battery No. 36 (12);
Horse Battery No. 3 (12); Horse Battery No. 23 (12); Horse Battery No. I (2); Horse Battery No. 10 (6);
3 coys engineers.
Total: 339 engineers, 94 guns.
33

THE OPPOSING ARMIES



ORDER OF BATTLE: ALLIED ARMY, OCTOBER 1813 continued
II ARMY CORPS Kleist (Prussians)
9TH BRIGADE KLUX: Silesian Schutzen Bn (1/2): 1st West Prussian Inf Regt (3); 6th Reserve Inf Regt (3);
7th Silesian Militia (2): 1st Silesian Mil Cavalry (1); 6pdr Foot Battery No. 7 (8); Horse Battery No. 10 (8)
10TH BRIGADE Pirch I: 2nd West Prussian Inf Regt (3); 7th Reserve Inf Regt (2): 9th Silesian Mil (2);
1st Silesian Mil Cavalry (1); 6pdr Foot Battery No. 14 (8)
11TH BRIGADE ZIETHEN: Silesian Schutzen Bn (1/2): 1st Silesian Inf Regt (3): 10th Res Inf Regt (2). 8th Silesian Mil (2):
1st Silesian Hussar Regt (2 1/2); 2nd Silesian Mil Cavalry (1): 6pdr Foot Battery No. 9 (8)
34


THE ALLIED FORCES

12TH BRIGADE Prince August Ferdinand of Prussia: 2nd Silesian Inf Regt (3); 11th Res Inf Regt (2);
10th Silesian Mil (2); Silesian Uhlan Regt (4 1/2); 1st Silesian Hussar Regt (2); 2nd Silesian Mil Cavalry (1);
6pdr Foot Battery No. 13 (8)
Reserve Cavalry RODER
BRIGADE WRANGEL East Prussian Cuirassier Regt (4 1/2); Brandenburg Cuir Regt (4 1/2); Silesian Cuir Regt (4 1/4);
BRIGADE MUTIUS: 1st Silesian Mil Cav Regt (2); 7th Silesian Mil Cav Regt (2); 8th Silesian Mil Cav Regt (2);
Horse Battery No. 7 (8): Horse Battery No. 8 (8)
Reserve Artillery Braun 12pdr Battery No. 3 (8); 12pdr Battery No. 6 (8): 6pdr Foot Battery No. 9 (8);
6pdr Foot Battery No. 14 (8); 6pdr Foot Battery No. 21 (8); Horse Battery No. 9 (8); 7pdr Howitzer Battery No. 1 (8).
PRUSSO-RUSSIAN ARMY TOTAL: 129 1/2 battalions, 156 squadrons. 83 Cossack squadrons 75,122 men, 402 guns.

ARMY OF THE NORTH Crown Prince Charles John of Sweden.
CORPS WINTZINGERODE (Russians)
Vanguard Woroncow Pawlograd Hussar Regt (6); Volynia Uhlan Regt (3), Djatschln Cossacks (?); Horse Battery No. II (12)
COSSACK BRIGADE MELNIKOW IV: Cossacks Melnikow IV (?) Coss Melnikow V (?) Coss BRIGADE STAAL:
COSS Andrejanow II (?); 1st Bashkir Regt (?) Cossack Brigade Prendell: 1st Bug Regt (?): 3rd Urals Regt (?)
INFANTRY BRIGADE KNIPER: 13th Jäger Regt (2); 14th Jäger Regt (2): 2nd Jäger Regt (1)
CAVALRY BRIGADE MANTEUFFEL: St. Petersburg Dragoon Regt (4); Elisawetgrad Hussar Regt (6); Yachontow's Volunteers (2);
Horse Battery No. 4 (8)
CAVALRY BRIGADE MAGNUS VON DERPAHLEN: Riga Dragoon Regt (3): Finland Hussar Regt (2); Izium Huss Regt (4);
Horse Batteries Nos. 1 & 5 (6)
CAVALRY BRIGADE ZAGRJZSKII: Nezin Chasseur Regt (2): Poland Uhlan Regt (6)
COSSACK BRIGADE ILOWAISKII IV: Coss Ilowaiskii IV (?); Coss Gregow IX (?); Coss Barabanscikow II (?); Coss Loscilin I (?)
21st Infantry Division
Laptew Newa Inf Regt (1);  Petrowsk Inf Regt (1);  Lithuanian Inf Regt (1); Podolian Inf Regt (1); 44th Jäger Regt (2);
Light Battery No. 42 (12); Heavy Battery No. 31 (12)
24th Infantry Division
Sirwan Inf Regt (2); Butyrki Inf Regt (2); Ufa Inf Regt (2); Tomsk Inf Regt (1): 19th Jäger Regt (2); 40th Jäger Regt (1);
Light Battery No. 46 (12)
Provisional Division Harpe
Tula Inf Regt (2); Nawaginsk Inf Regt (2); Combined Grenadiers (3); Combined Heavy Batteries Nos. 21 & 26 (12):
Horse Battery No. 13 (12).
CORPS WINTZINGERODE TOTAL: 28 battalions, 38 squadrons, 11 Cossack Regiments 24.739 men, 86 guns

III CORPS Bülow (Prussians)
3rd Division Prince of Hessen-Homburg
2nd East Prussian Grenadier Bn (1); 3rd East Prussian Inf Regt (3): 4th Reserve Inf Regt (3);
3rd East Prussian Militia Inf Regt (3); 1st Life Hussar Regt (4); 6pdr Foot Battery No. 5 (8);
East Prussian Jäger Bn (1/2)(detached from 4th Division)
5th Division Borstell
Pomeranian Grenadier Bn  (1); 1st Pomeranian Inf Regt (3): 2nd Reserve Inf Regt (3);
2nd Kurmark Militia Inf Regt (4);  Pomeranian Hussar Regt (4); West Prussian Uhlan Regt (4): 6pdr Foot Battery No. 10 (8)
6th Division Krafft
Colberg Inf Regt (3): 9th Reserve Inf Regt (3); 1st Neumark Militia Inf Regt (3); Pomeranian National Cavalry Regt (3);
6pdr Foot Battery No. 16 (8)
Reserve Cavalry Oppen
BRIGADE TRESKOW: Queen's Dragoon Regt (4); Brandenburg Drag Regt (4); 2nd West Prussian Drag Regt (4)
BRIGADE SYDOW: 2nd Kurmark Militia Cavalry Regt (4); 4th Kurmark Mil Cav Regt (4); 2nd Pomeranian Mil Cav Regt (1);
Horse Battery No. 5 (8); Horse Battery No. 6  (8).
Reserve Artillery: 12pdr Battery No. 4 (8); 12pdr Battery No. 5 (8): 6pdr Foot Battery No. 19 (8); Horse Battery No. 11 (8)
RUSSIANS ATTACHED TOBülow'S CORPS:
Heavy Batteries Nos.7 & 21 (22); Don Cossack Regt Bychalow II (?); Don Coss Regt Ilowaiskii V (?); Engineer Coys Nos.4 & 5.
III CORPS (PRUSSIAN) TOTAL: 30 battalions, 36 squadrons. 2 Cossack Regiments 22,684 men, 74 guns.

SWEDISH CORPS Stedingk
1st Division Posse
1ST BRIGADE SCHULTZENHEIM: Svea Life Guard Regt (1): 2nd Ufe Guard Regt (1): Grenadiers of the Life Guards (1);
Life Gren Regt (2);Queen's Regt (1) 2nd BRIGADE LCONHARD VON REUTERSKIOLD: Upland Regt (2); Sbdermanland Regt (2);
Nord-Schonen Regt (1); Pomeranian Foot Legion.
Cavalry: Mounted Life Guard Dragoon Regt (5); Pomeranian Mounted Legion (1). Artillery:
Gotha Artillery Division Edenhjelm, 2 6pdr batteries (14)
2nd Division Sandels
3RD BRIGADE BRANDSTROM: Westgoiha Regt (2); Westmanland Regt (2); Nerike Regt (2)
4th BRIGADE CASIMIR VON REUTERSKIOLD: Skaraborg Regt (2) Elfsborg Regt (2); Field Jäger Regt Wermland (1)
6TH BRIGADE BOIJE: Kronoborg Regt (2); Calmar Regt (2)
Artillery Division Geist 2 6pdr batteries (14)
Cavalry Division Skjoldebrand
Cuirassiers from Brigade of Ufe Regiments (4); Smaland Dragoon Regt (6); Schonen Hussar Regt (6); Morner Huss Regt (5);
Horse Battery (6).
Reserve Artillery: 12pdr battery (8); 6pdr battery (6); rocket battery (British) (32); Don Cossack Regt Rebreew (?).
SWEDISH CORPS TOTAL :  25 battalions, 27 squadrons, 1 Cossack Regiment 17,014 men, 46 guns, 32 rockets.

Army OF THE NORTH TOTAL: 48,941 Infantry. 11,665 cavalry, 5,087 Cossacks, 226 guns.
35


THE OPPOSING ARMIES

ORDER OF BATTLE: ALLIED ARMY, OCTOBER 1813 continued

ARMY OF SILESIA Blücher
I CORPS Yorck(Prussian)
Vanguard Katzeler Life Grenadier Bn (1); West Prussian Gren Bn (1); East Prussian Jäger Bn (1/2);
2nd East Prussian Fusilier Bn (1): Guard Jäger (1/2): Brandenburg Inf Regt (1); 12th Reserve Inf Regt (1);
13th Silesian Militia Inf Regt (1): 14th Silesian Mil Inf Regt (1): 15th Silesian Mil Inf Regt (1);
2nd Life Hussar Regt (2); Brandenburg Huss Regt (2); Brandenburg Uhlan Regt (4); East Prussian National Cav Regt (4):
5th Silesian Mil Cav Regt (4); 6pdr Foot Battery No. 12 (8); Horse Battery No. 2 (2)
1ST BRIGADE STEINMETZ 1st East Prussian Grenadier Bn (1); Silesian Gren Bn (1); 5th Silesian Mil Inf Regt (3);
13th Silesian Mil Inf Regt (3); 2nd Life Hussar Regt (3); 6pdr Foot Battery No. 2 (8)
2ND BRIGADE PRINCE CHARLES OF MECKLENBURG 1st East Prussian Inf Regt (3); 2nd East Prussian Inf Regt (1);
6th Silesian Militia Inf Regt (1); Mecklenburg Hussar Regt (4); 6pdr Foot Battery No. I (8)
7TH BRIGADE HORN Life Inf Regt (3); Thuringian Inf Bn (1); 4th Silesian Militia Inf Regt (3); 15th Silesian Mil Inf Regt (2);
3rd Silesian Mil Cav Regt (2); 10th Silesian Mil Cav Regt (2); 6pdr Foot Battery No. 3 (8)
8TH BRIGADE Hünerbein Brandenburg Inf Regt (2); 12th Reserve Inf Regt (2); 4th Silesian Mil Inf Regt (2);
Brandenburg Hussar Regt (2); 6pdr Foot Battery No. 15 (8)
Reserve Cavalry Jürgass
Lithuanian Dragoon Regt (4); 1st West Prussian Drag Regt (4): 1st Neumark Mil Cav Regt (4); Horse Battery No. 1 (8);
Horse Battery No. 2 (8)
Reserve Artillery 12pdr Battery No. 1 (8); 12pdr  Battery No. 2 (8); 6pdr Foot Battery No. 24 (8);
3pdr Battery No. 1 (8); Horse Battery No. 12 (8).
I CORPS (PRUSSIAN) TOTAL: 32 3/4  narrations, 42 squadrons  19,546 men, 104 guns.

CORPS SACKEN (Russians)
BRIGADE USCHAKOW: Smolensk Dragoon Regt (2); Courland Drag Regt (5) (detached from 3rd Drag Division)
2nd Hussar Division
Lanskoi Alexandria Hussar Regt (5); Mariupol Huss Regt (6); White Russian Huss Regt (4); Achtyrka Huss Regt (6)
Cossacks: 4th Ukranian Regt (3): St Petersburg Coss (4); Don Coss Regts Karpow II: Lukowkin II; Grekow; Kuteinikow IV;
Semencikow IV; llowaiskii IX; 2nd Bashkir Regt; 2nd Kalmuk Regt
1Oth Infantry Division Lieven III
BRIGADE ?: Yaroslaw Inf Regt (2)
BRIGADE SASS; Crimean Inf Regt (1); Bialostok Inf Regt (2)
BRIGADE ACHLESTYSCHEW: 8th Jäger Regt (2); 39th Jäger Regt (1);
BRIGADE RACHMANOW: Ochotsk Inf Regt (1); Kamtschatka Inf Regt (1) (from 16th Infantry Division Repninskoi)
27th Infantry Division Newjerowski
BRIGADE STAWITZKI: Odessa Inf Regt (1); Vilna Inf Regt (1)
BRIGADE ALEKSEJEW: Tarnopol Inf Regt (1); Simbirsk Inf Regt (1)
BRIGADE KOLOGRIWOW: 49th Jäger Regt (2); 50th Jäger Regt (1)
Artillery: Horse Battery No. 18(12); Heavy Battery No. 10(12); Heavy Battery No. 13 (12); Light Battery No. 24 (12);
Light Battery No. 35 (12); 1 coy engineers.
CORPS SACKEN TOTAL: 17 battalions, 28 squadrons, 10 Cossack Regiments 12,726 men, 60 guns.

RUSSIAN CORPS Langeron
Vanguard Rudzewitsch
Kargopol Dragoon Regt (4); Kiev Drag Regt (4); Kinburn Drag Regt (2); Dorpat Chasseur Regt (2) Livonian Chass Regt (2);
1st Ukraine Coss Regt (3); 3rd Ukraine Coss Regt (3); Don Coss Regt Kuteinikow VIII; Don Coss Regt Seliwanow II
9th Infantry Division Udom II
BRIGADE POLTARATZKI:
Nascheburg Inf Regt (1); Apscheronskoi Inf Regt (2) BRIGADE JUSCHKOW n: Rjaschsk Inf Regt (2); Yatutsk Inf Regt (1)
BRIGADE GRIMBLADT: 10th Jäger Regt (1); 38th Jäger Regt (1).
Artillery: Heavy Battery No. 15 (12); Horse Battery No. 8(12)
Main Body Cavalry: Sjewerskoi Chasseur Regt (2); Arzamas Chass Regt (2)

IX INFANTRY CORPS Olsufjew
15th Division Kornilow
BRIGADE TERN: Vitebsk Inf Regt (1); Kozelsk Inf Regt (1)
BRIGADE ANENSUR: Kura Inf Regt (2); Kolywan Inf Regt (2)
BRIGADE TICHANCWSKI I: 12th Jäger Regt (2); 22nd Jäger Regt (1)

X INFANTRY CORPS Kapzewitsch
8th Division Urussow
BRIGADE SCHENSCHIN: Archangel Inf Regt (2); Old Ingermanland  Inf Regt (2)
BRIGADE REHREN: Schlnsselburg Inf Regt (1); 7th Jäger Regt (2); 37th Jäger Regt (1)
22nd Division Turtschaninow
1 BRIGADE SCHKAPSKI: Wjatka Inf Regt (2); Starii-Oskol Inf Regt (2);  Olonetz Inf Regt (1)
BRIGADE DURNOW 29th Jäger Regt (2); 45th Jäger Regt (2).
Artillery: Heavy Battery No. 2 (7); Heavy Battery No. 18 (12); Heavy Battery No. 34 (12); Heavy Battery No. 39 (12):
Light Battery No. 3 (12); Light Battery No. 19 (12); Light Battery No. 29 (12); Don Cossack Battery No. 2 (7);
2 pontoon coys; 2 engineer coys

ARMY CORPS ST. PRIEST
Cavalry Borozdin: New Russian Dragoon Regt (4);  Mitau Drag Regt (4); Karkov Drag Regt (4)

VIII INFANTRY CORPS
11th Division Prince Gurjalow
BRIGADE KARPENKO: Yeletz Inf Regt (I); Polotzk Inf Regt (1)
BRIGADE TURGENJEW: Yekaterinburg Inf Regt (2); Rylsk Inf Regt (1)
BRIGADE BISTRAM II: 1st Jäger Regt (1) 33rd Jäger Regt (2)
17th Division Pilar
BRIGADE KERN: Rjasan Inf Regt (2); Bjelorsk Inf Regt (2)
BRIGADE TSCHERTOW I: Brest Inf Regt (2): Wilmanstrand Inf Regt (2)
BRIGADE CHARITANOW: 30th Jäger Regt (2); 48th Jäger Regt (2).
Artillery: Heavy Battery No. 32(12); Light Battery No. 32(12); Light Battery No. 33(12).
Cossacks: Don Cossack Regt Grekow XXI; Don Coss Regt Eschow II; Stavropol Kalmucks.
RUSSIAN CORPS LANGERON TOTAL: 53 battalions, 38 squadrons, 5 Cossack Regiments 29,164 men. 146 guns.

ARMY OF SILESIA TOTAL: 52,717 man, 310 guns.

36

THE CAMPAIGN

French Strategy


Napoleon's position in August 1813 was as follows: his troops held three fortresses in the Vistula theatre, namely Danzig (Gdansk), Modlin and Zamosc. Along the River Oder he held Stettin (Szczecin), Kustrin (Kostrzyn) and Glogau (Glogow). Along the River Elbe he held Torgau, Wittenberg and Magdeburg. The bulk of his forces were concentrated east of the Elbe in Saxony and Silesia with Dresden forming his base of operations, his main magazine and bridgehead. The right flank of his position was secured at a distance by the Bavarian corps on the Inn and Prince Eugene de Beauharnais' army on the Isonzo. Davout's corps in Hamburg secured his left flank.
   His Intelligence of Allied dispositions was as follows: in Brandenburg there was a Russo-Prusso-Swedish force under his former marshal Bernadotte, now the Crown Prince of Sweden; in Silesia he was opposed by a Prusso-Russian army and in Bohemia by the Austrians.
   Strategically on the defensive and outnumbered, Napoleon needed to go on the offensive tactically to gain the military victories needed to restore his fortunes. For this, he enjoyed the benefit of a central position and central command. Using these he would be able to screen off two of the enemy armies with light forces and concentrate his efforts on destroying the remaining one. With one army destroyed, the coalition facing him would have the choice of either continuing the war against a stronger enemy or suing for peace. A defeat would lead to the coalition squabbling among themselves and breaking up. In any case, having defeated one army, Napoleon would be in a position to pick off the others at will. This strategy depended on Napoleon's subordinate commanders possessing sufficient skill and initiative to act independently of their master and for his staff system to be sufficiently developed to allow him to co-ordinate their actions. The fact is that neither of these prerequisites were fulfilled. For all its imperial trappings, the Bonaparte regime was basically a dictatorship established by a coup d'état after a bloody revolution and sustained by military conquest. Napoleon could brook no competition for domestic political power. His regime had come close to being toppled after the previous year's military fiasco. He had to ensure that the military success was his and his alone. He therefore chose subordinates who were loyal but lacked the stature to achieve anything of significance without his close personal supervision. His best marshal, Davout, whose dramatic success at Auerstedt in 1806 showed where real military genius lay, was placed in a secondary theatre, in Hamburg on the lower Elbe. Napoleon had no real general staff, at least as we understand it today and as was being developed in Prussia at that very time, but rather a series of clerks who wrote down his orders and passed them on. Initiative by his subordinates was frowned upon by the man who feared for his political survival, but it was that very attribute that would be required to win this campaign.
   The question that faced Napoleon was, which of the three Allied armies should he attack? Let us consider what he had to gain and lose by his choice.

Table 8. Summary of the forces involved in the Leipzig Campaign
French                        Commander
Army of Berlin                Marshal Oudinot,
                              later replaced by Marshal Ney
Army of the Bober             Marshal Macdonald

Allied                        Commander
Army of Bohemia               Schwarzenberg (Austrian)
Army of the North             Crown Prince of Sweden (Swedish)
Army of Silesia               Blücher (Prussian)

37


THE CAMPAIGN

  Leipzig 1813: Starting Positions mid-August 1813 & Movements to early September  

1. Advance towards Berlin by Oudinot's Army of Berlin to 23 August. Defeated by Army of North at Grossbeeren 23 August.
2. Girard's advance in support of Oudinot. Defeated by Hirschfeld's Division of Prussian militia at Hagelberg on 27 August.
3. Army of Bohemia under Schwarzenberg advances towards Napoleon's base at Dresden to 26 August.
4. With Napoleon at its head, the Army of the Bober advances on Blücher. Blücher retires but Napoleon rushes back to Dresden to deal with Schwarzenberg. Wins Battle of Dresden, 26/7 August.
5. Army of Bober under Macdonald takes up defensive position on Bober. Blücher attacks and defeats him on the Katzbach, 26 August.
6. Vandamme pursues defeated Army of Bohemia. Is surrounded and wiped out at Kulm, 29/30 August.
7. Oudinot, beaten at Grossbeeren, falls back. Army of the North follows up.
8. Ney, given command of the Army of Berlin, advances, is defeated by the Prussian Bülow at Dennewitz on 6 September.
9. Ney withdraws. Army of North follows up.
10. Napoleon advances to engage Blücher.
11. Blücher withdraws to avoid him.

38


FRENCH STRATEGY

   First, the Army of the North, concentrated in rhe province of Brandenburg, in and around Berlin. To attack this army he needed to seal the Bohemian passes to prevent the Army of Bohemia from entering Saxony and threatening his rear. This could be done with relatively few troops, particularly as Schwarzenberg was not likely to act aggressively. The Army of Silesia would have to be held off with a substantial force because Blücher was likely to be aggressive. A former marshal of his, Napoleon knew his characteristics well. The Crown Prince of Sweden was unlikely to want to get involved in a serious confrontation with his former master, but the Prussian corps under his command was not likely to give up its capital Berlin without a fight and it could count on the support of the Russians. Napoleon's line of communications for such an offensive was covered by the fortresses on the Elbe which were in his hands, and his flank could count on support from Davout's corps on the lower Elbe. Once a divided Army of the North was defeated before Berlin, Napoleon could then move on the flank and rear of the Army of Silesia which would be moving on Dresden. This army could be pushed back

39


THE CAMPAIGN

into the mountains of the Bohemian border and defeated in detail. The Austrians would then gracefully accept the situation and Napoleon would be restored to his coveted position as master of Europe. But what if the Prussians were to accept the necessity of abandoning Berlin in favour of linking up with the Army of Silesia in the East? With supplies and reinforcements coming from Russia, the combined Armies of the North and Silesia would be too strong for Napoleon to defeat.
   Secondly, the Army of Silesia, under the Prussian Blücher. He was a wily old bird who was not going to be an easy catch. As he had shown in his retreat to Lübeck in 1806, he would not give up easily. Even the bloody nose he had got that spring at Lutzen had not stopped him turning; for another fight only days later. An offensive against this army was likely to be a protracted affair leading ever deeper into enemy territory, towards Russian reinforcements and putting Napoleon's forces into ever greater danger from flanking moves by the Armies of the North and Bohemia who, slow as their reactions were likely to be, would be in a position to cut Napoleon off from his communications and his base in Dresden. This course of action was unlikely to be fruitful.
   Finally, the Army of Bohemia under the Austrian Schwarzenberg. This was the main Allied army and the infliction of a major defeat on this would be likely to cause the coalition to fall apart. Napoleon could either attempt to draw it out into Saxony and crush it there or himself move through the Bohemian passes and deal a blow there. He would need to deploy a substantial force to hold off Blücher from his base at Dresden while the Army of the North would merely have to be observed. Napoleon could then link up with his forces in southern Germany and realign his lines of communications through safer channels while still holding northern Germany through his fortress garrisons. Even if Blücher moved through the passes of Silesia to link up with Schwarzenberg, it was unlikely that he could arrive in time to influence the outcome. However, this would mean giving up the precious supplies in Saxony, his important base in Dresden and it would take too long to establish the new lines. Whatever he did, he needed to be sure that the Army of Bohemia did not slip away into southern Germany and threaten his communications with France. He had to tie it down somehow.
   Napoleon was on the horns of a dilemma. He was too tied to his precious magazine at Dresden and could not operate so deep in enemy territory without it. He was too weak to defeat the combined forces of the Allied armies, yet to be able to defeat them in detail he would need to abandon his base. A negotiated peace might well leave him with the crown of France but how long could he hold that against his domestic opposition who would be challenging the cost and end result of all those years of war? He needed a brilliant and rapid victory and had to rely on his star to bring it.

Allied Strategy


After considerable discussion, the Allies decided on the 'Trachenberg-Reichenbach Plan', named after the towns in which the planning conferences were held. The planning process was drawn-out and altered on numerous occasions but this was the nature of the beast. This coalition was formed of different nations with differing interests and different war aims. The Swedes were there for whatever pickings they could get at minimal cost. The Russians, although wanting the overthrow of Napoleon, had already liberated their motherland and would have settled for a reasonable peace. The Prussians were fighting for their very existence and needed a rapid and decisive victory. The Austrians did not make up their minds whose side to fight on until the last minute and were as much worried by the Russian threat as the French. Without a single command and a single aim, the Allies were not likely to act decisively unless events left them with no choice. Their plan reflected this fact. They did not set their amalgamated forces the prime task of totally destroying the enemy, but set themselves a series of limited objectives and principles, the adherence to which included the following:
1. Any fortresses occupied by the enemy were not to be besieged but merely observed.
2. The main effort was to be directed against the enemy's flanks and lines of operation.
3. To cut the enemy's communications, forcing him to detach troops to clear them or move his main forces against them.

40


ALLIED STRATEGY - OPENING MOVES - BATTLE OF GROSSBEEREN. 23 AUGUST 1813

4. To accept battle only against part of the enemy's forces and only if that part were outnumbered, but to avoid battle against his combined forces especially if these were directed against the Allies' weak points.
5. In the event of the enemy moving in force against one of the Allied armies, this was to retire while the others would advance with vigour.
6. The point of union of the Allied armies was to be the enemy's headquarters.

The Opening Moves


Napoleon's opening offensive was against the Army of Silesia. Over-estimating the size of the forces available to Blücher and knowing his aggressive nature, he perceived the greatest threat to be from this quarter.
   He placed himself at the head of the Army of the Bober. To deal with the Army of the North, he formed the Army of Berlin from IV, VII, XII Corps and III Cavalry Corps, a total of 63,600 men and 216 cannon. He appointed Marshal Oudinot its commander. In support was Girard's Corps and Davout in Hamburg. Estimating that whatever course of action it chose, it would take the Army of Bohemia roughly five days to manoeuvre to a threatening position, he remained on the defensive on that front. He instructed II and VIII Corps, IV Cavalry Corps and various other smaller formations to take up covering positions.
   Blücher responded to the French offensive in the manner prescribed by the Allies' strategic plan; he withdrew, leaving Napoleon striking out against air. Meanwhile Oudinot advanced on Berlin and the Army of Bohemia moved to threaten the French magazine at Dresden. Napoleon rushed back to Dresden to conduct its defence personally and appointed Macdonald commander of the Army of the Bober. It looked very much as if the campaign were approaching its climax and that Napoleon had victory within his grasp. Indeed, he won a resounding victor) over the Army of Bohemia in two days' fighting in and around Dresden, but his subordinates proved unable to conduct independent command and snatched defeat from the jaws of victory.

Grossbeeren, Heavy rain
made it difficult to fire
muskets. The issue was
often decided by the butt
and bayonet; even so, this
late 19th century painting
by Röchling exaggerates a
little and is typical of the
romantic views held later in
the 19th century.
Nevertheless, Röchling's painting
of the fight for the churchyard
shows the uniforms and
equipment of the time -
virtually all the infantry
wore covered shakos and
greatcoats, leaving little to
distinguish friend from foe,
in this case, Saxons and
Prussians.



The Battle of Grossbeeren, 23 August 1813


Although there had been several skirmishes to date, Grossbeeren was the first major action of the campaign. Oudinot, commander of the French Army of Berlin, was ordered to push the enemy back quickly, take Berlin, disarm its inhabitants and disperse the militia. If Berlin resisted it was to be destroyed. He was to advance with the support of Girard's Corps with Davout moving from Hamburg towards Berlin. Oudinot's army consisted of three corps, Oudinot, Bertrand and

41


THE CAMPAIGN


Russian Guard Infantry: (1) NCO Life Guard Regiment Preobrashenski, summer sentry uniform; (2) Grenadier, Life Guard Regiment Semjonowski, winter sentry uniform: (3) Regimental Drum Major, Life Guard Regiment Ismailowski, winter walking out dress (4) Jäger of 1st Battalion, Life Guard Regiment Jägerski, winter service dress; (5) Collar of NCO, Semjonowski; (6) Collar, Preobrashenski; (7) Cuff patch, Pawlowksi; (8) Cuff patch, Finlandski; (9)Shako badge. Guard; (10) Cartridge box, Guard.

42


THE BATTLE OF GROSSBEEREN. 23 AUGUST 1813

Reynier, together with Arrighi's Cavalry Corps; a total of about 70,000 men including 9,000 cavalry and 216 guns. Napoleon had underestimated not only the size of the Army of the North but also its quality. Oudinot's force was simply not strong enough to accomplish the task in hand. The quality and reliability of the Army of Berlin was questionable. The infantry consisted in bulk of Italians and Germans and the training of the cavalry was woefully inadequate. Girard's Corps was in better condition, with one division of reliable Poles, but the other of raw recruits. This force advanced towards Berlin and the Army of the North which was stronger not only in numbers (c. 98,000 men) but also in morale, being composed in part of Brandenburgers - defending their very homes.

   The 'Legend of Phillipsthal', invented by certain German historians, has it that the Crown Prince of Sweden wanted to pull back in the face of Oudinot's advance and leave Berlin to the mercy of the enemy but was forced to stand and fight by the Prussian Bülow. However, documented fact (a message from the Crown Prince to Blücher dated 2.30 a.m. 22 August) states: 'My outposts were attacked yesterday by the troops of the Duke of Reggio (Oudinot). His army is about 80,000 men strong ... I am marching to give battle.' The Crown Prince of Sweden has always suffered from a bad press and this false legend is but one instance.
   Oudinot was handicapped by faulty Intelligence, his cavalry being insufficiently skilled to gather correct information as to the enemy's strength and dispositions. On 22 August, he sent a message to Napoleon stating that he expected to enter Berlin without serious resistance on the 24th. His army was not deployed for battle but advanced in three march columns in the direction of Berlin. At Blankenfelde Bertrand's Corps on the right blundered into Dobschutz's Division of Prussian militia, at 9 o'clock on the morning of 23 August. Dobschutz had about 13,000 men and 32 guns. Bertrand had about 20,000 men and 66 guns but was unable to deploy all of these. The Prussians threw out their vanguard into the woods to the south of Blankenfelde and after several hours' combat in these woods, managed to throw back the French. At about 2 p.m. the French withdrew. Both sides lost about 200 men each.
   At roughly the same time, Reynier's Corps reached Grossbeeren with Sahr's Division of Saxons to the fore. After a short artillery duel, the four Prussian guns limbered up and withdrew. The Saxons then stormed the burning village and ejected the three battalions defending it. Believing the battle to be over, Reynier started to pitch camp. Hardly had his rear divisions moved up when the real battle started with Bülow's artillery firing into the camp. Bülow's troops had been marching in the pouring rain since 7 a.m. and were exhausted. They wanted to pitch camp for the day at Heinersdorf when the report on Grossbeeren arrived. A reconnaissance of the area revealed that Reynier was still moving through the woods and that an attack on him would more than likely be successful. The Prussians went over to the offensive.
   Screened from observation by the heavy rain, the Prussians advanced with the Divisions Hessen-Homburg and Krafft in the front line with Thümen and the cavalry and artillery reserves in the second. As speed was of the essence and the rain prevented a detailed reconnaissance, the Prussians plunged forward when a flanking move would have been less costly. This stage of the battle was opened by an artillery duel lasting 1 1/2 hours. As the Prussians brought up guns from their reserves, they enjoyed the advantage of numbers. Bülow's infantry was formed up 300 paces to the rear of the artillery. Borstell's Division pressed forward and moved on Grossbeeren from the east. As the fire of the French artillery weakened, the Prussians went over to the offensive. The enemy was driven back and broke once the windmill was threatened by Krafft from the rear. The Saxon Regiment Low formed the rearguard and was involved in close combat with the advancing Prussians. The

43


THE CAMPAIGN

bayonet and butt were used, the weather making firing difficult. Reynier brought up Divisions Durette and Lecoq to recover the situation. Durette's troops were panicked by the retreating Saxons and broke without coming into action. Lecoq fared little better.
   Bülow had started to pitch camp in the darkening evening when it was his turn to be surprised. The third French column had marched towards the sound of the guns in Grossbeeren and arrived at Neubeeren at about 8 p.m. Here, the French vanguard met the Prussian Life Hussars and a confused cavalry battle took place in the dark. The French eventually withdrew, leaving about 100 prisoners behind. Because of the bad weather and their exhaustion, the Prussians were unable to launch a pursuit.
   Next day the French continued their retreat. Total losses were about 3,000 men, thirteen guns and 60 ammunition wagons on the French side and about 1,000 Prussians. In terms of physical losses this was a relatively minor affair, but news of this defeat and the others that were to come in the following days had a demoralizing effect on the French. The Prussians were uplifted by the fact that unaided they had won their first victory since the dark days of 1806.

The Battle of Dresden, 26-27 August 1813


The Battle of Dresden was to be Napoleon's one great victory of the entire campaign. On hearing the news that the Emperor was with the Army of the Bober, marching against Blücher into Silesia, the Army of Bohemia advanced through the Bohemian passes towards Dresden. On the right flank, Wittgenstein advanced along the Elbe leaving behind Duke Eugene of Württemberg to watch the fortress of Konigstein; next to him, between Leubnitz and Maxen were Kleist's Prussians; the Austrians under Colloredo and Chastler were advancing in two columns between Racknitz and Plauen; Kleinau was in Freiberg; the Russian Guards and the reserves were between Kulm and Dippoldiswalde. On 25 August the Allies had 80,000 men at the gates of Dresden. St.Cyr had 20,000 men with which to oppose them. A bold move by the Allies and Dresden would have been taken. Instead, a council of war was held. One should not be too critical of the apparent sloth of the Army of Bohemia. Its command structure was decidedly cumbersome because the three Allied monarchs, Emperor Francis of Austria, Tsar Alexander of Russia and King Frederick William III of Prussia had burdened Headquarters with their presence. Added to that was the Austrian policy of wanting to come out of this campaign with a draw in their favour. Poor Schwarzenberg was compelled to fight the battle with at least one hand tied behind his back.
   Decisions were made in committee. Schwarzenberg's orders for the coming battle reflected the lack of decision and leadership at Allied Headquarters. There is no mention of an attack on Dresden, but rather talk of a demonstration against the French positions. The five columns which were to mount this demonstration did so without co-ordination and without the necessary equipment to cross the ditches and climb the walls that formed the French defensive line.
   On 22 August Napoleon had been warned by St.Cyr that the Allies were advancing towards his main base in Germany so he left the Army of the Bober with Macdonald and returned with his Guards to Dresden. Not having been given the opportunity of achieving a decisive battle with Blücher, the Emperor looked forward to making up for this in Saxony. He moved towards Dresden on the evening of the 25th after receiving reports that the fall of the town and its precious magazine were imminent. He entered it at 9 o'clock the next morning with a total of about 90,000 men. If the Allies had known of his proximity they would not have given battle.
   The town of Dresden was fortified to a certain extent. The suburbs had been prepared for defence by loopholing walls and putting firing platforms behind them, palisading the holes and linking up the paths. Moreover, there were five lunettes which protected the exits from the town. This defensive line was eight kilometres long and St. Cyr simply did not have the men to defend it; at the critical points he had one man per ten paces of front; and this fact could not have escaped the Allies as Wittgenstein had been facing it for two days. Given good leadership and preparation, the Allies would have had every chance of success.

44


THE BATTLE OF DRESDEN. 26-27 AUGUST 1813

The Battle of Dresden
opens. This contemporary
print gives a good
indication of skirmish
tactics of the period.
The Russian infantry to
the fore are skirmishing
in pairs, one loading
while the other gives
covering fire. This line
is supported by Cossacks.
The French skirmishers,
also operating in pairs,
are clearly supported by
a line of formed troops
to their rear.

The charge of the
Saxon Cuirassier
Regiment Jung-Zastrow
on Austrian infantry at
Dresden on 27 August.












Austrian Jäger storming
a fortification in the
Moschinsky Gardens in
Dresden on 26 August.
The lack of scaling
ladders which severely
handicapped the Allied
assault is very apparent
in this coloured
lithograph.












45


THE CAMPAIGN

At 5 a.m. on 26 August Kleist's column of Prussians began the attack and pushed through most of the Royal Gardens despite heavy resistance. Wittgenstein, on his right, found the going tougher. Flanking fire from across the Elbe and from the lunettes to his fore made his gains untenable and forced him back to his starting positions. The Austrians also pushed forward, gaining ground on the left flank, but withering fire from lunettes III and IV prevented headway in the centre. By midday, most of the Allied

46

THE BATTLE OF DRESDEN, 26-27 AUGUST 1813

            Dresden, Day 2, 27 August 1813: The Emperor's only Victory            

1. Napoleon launches his counter-attack. Two divisions of Young Guard commence their assault on Russians shortly after 6 a.m., pushing them back to Reick by 11a.m. 2. St. Cyr assaults Strehla, taking it by 8 a.m. At noon, Prussians launch counter-attack which is beaten off 3. French centre holds it position and engages Allies with its artillery. 4. At 2 p.m., Victor launches his attack, driving back Aloys Liechtenstein's Austrians. 5. Latour-Maubourg's cavalry pursue beaten Austrians.

front line was within cannon shot of Dresden. It was apparent to them, however that, as the French resistance was so strong, St.Cyr was being reinforced. Cries of Vive l'Empereur! coming from enemy lines indicated that Napoleon himself was present and there was a general feeling at Allied Headquarters that a withdrawal was now due. Only Frederick William of Prussia spoke against this, asking why with 200,000 men the Allies should run away from the name 'Napoleon'? The attack continued at 4 p.m. Wittgenstein pushed forward and took the three farms of Antons, Lämmchens and Engelhards. All attempts to take the farm of Hopfgartens were broken up by the murderous artillery fire from across the Elbe. Wittgenstein formed up his last reserve at 5 p.m.
   By 2 p.m. the Prussians had taken the Royal Garden and by 5 p.m. had forced their way forward to the edge of town. They were likely to break in at any time. The Austrians too had pushed forward, a grand battery of 72 pieces

47

THE CAMPAIGN

supporting their advance in the centre. Along the whole front, the Allies were on the verge of storming the town of Dresden itself. It was at this point that Napoleon ordered his 70,000 reinforcements on to the offensive.
   Wittgenstein was driven back step by step. By 8 p.m. the French had reached Striesen and after four hours of bitter fighting, finally drove out the Russians. The French advance stopped here once Klux's Prussians arrived.
   The French Guard stormed the Royal Garden and after two hours ejected the Prussians. Led by Ney, Divisions Harrois and Dumoustier fell upon the Austrians in the centre, forcing them back. Here the fighting continued until midnight. On the lull, the Austrians fared little better, being

A rather romantic portrayal of French hussars at
Dresden but nevertheless one of interest. Note the
officer to the fore commanding his bugler to sound the
charge. Painting by A. Lalauze.






















Napoleon on the Strehlen Heights during the Battle
of Dresden, 27 August. A clear illustration of how
Napoleon commanded on the field of battle. Selecting
a good vantage point, his generals would visit him for
instructions while his aides wailed to receive
messages for forward ing. To the right of this painting
by Friedrich Schneider, his Old Guard rest in the
presence of then Emperor.






















48

THE BATTLE OF DRESDEN. 26-27 AUGUST 1813

outnumbered by Murat's troops. To the rear of the Allied position, Vandamme's Corps crossed the Elbe at Konigstein. Württemberg fought a determined holding action, delaying the French advance despite their superior numbers. Early next day, 27 August, Headquarters of the Army of Bohemia reacted to his messages and sent him reinforcements.
   During the night, the Allies had the opportunity to reflect upon their current position and consider their course of action. Their failure to capture Dresden was due in part to a lack of clear leadership. Over a front of eight kilometres it had proved impossible to co-ordinate their attacks. They had no equipment for crossing ditches and climbing walls. The French had the advantage of a prepared position, central command, fresh troops constantly arriving, and did not need to spend yet another night in the rain and mud. It was clear that the French would continue their offensive the next day. The Allied troops were demoralized and lacked confidence in their leadership. Also, Vandamme was threatening their rear. Even though it outnumbered the French forces, the Army of Bohemia had little chance of success and the prudent course of action would have been to fall back. The course of action chosen was to renew the attack on 27 August.
   Napoleon's plan of action for the next day was to attack the enemy's flanks thereby denying him the best lines of retreat, forcing him instead to fall back over difficult country lanes. Reinforced during the course of the night by Victor and Marmont, his troops had spent this wet night under cover. In the presence of their Emperor, morale was high. Napoleon's troops were deployed as follows.
   Right flank: 39,000 men under Murat with Victor's Corps and Teste's Division in front of the Lobtauer Schlag (exit), Latour-Maubourg's Cavalry-Corps and Pajol's Cavalry Division in front of the Priessnitzer Schlag.
   Centre: 80,000 men. St.Cyr's Corps south of the Royal Garden, Marmont in front of the Südvorstadt, Divisions Dumoustier and Barrois of the Young Guard in front of the Falken and Freiberger exits, Old Guard between lunettes III and IV, Guard Cavalry Division between the Streisen ditch and the Royal Garden.
   Left flank: 25,000 men under Mortier. Divisions Decouz and Rouget of the Young Guard between the Elbe and the Pirna road, Cavalry Divisions Lefebvre and Ornano between the Landgraben and the Elbe.
   From midnight it rained heavily. The ground turned to mud, making movement away from the roads difficult. Shortly after 6 a.m. two divisions of the Young Guard launched an attack in the area between the Elbe and the Royal Garden. Roguet's Division, having no opposition, pressed forward, outflanked the Russians and had pushed them back to Reick by 11 a.m. By 8 a.m. St.Cyr had forced the Prussians to evacuate Strehla. From 10 o'clock his artillery bombarded Zschernitz and Leubnitz. In the centre Marmont's Corps and two divisions of the Young Guard made little progress and this sector of the front went over to an artillery duel. On the right flank Victor's Corps gained ground. At midday the Prussians staged a counter-attack on St.Cyr, but this was beaten off. The situation at 1 o'clock was decidedly in favour of the French. Their right flank under Murat was close to achieving victory, the centre was holding well and the left flank, having made gains earlier, was getting bogged down.
   The Allies decided on a counter-attack against the French left flank, but events prevented this plan being carried out. The Russian General Barclay de Tolly hesitated to carry out his orders as he was unsure of getting his artillery out of the mud in the event of an unsuccessful attack. Just when he was about to express his concern, General Moreau (at one time a rival to Bonaparte in the struggle for power in Revolutionary France, and currently in the company of the Tsar) was fatally wounded at the side of his patron which distracted the attention of those present at Allied Headquarters. Then came the news that Vandamme had taken Pirna, endangering the rear of the Allies. The opportunity for a counter blow was thus lost.
   At 2 o'clock Victor moved forward again, driving back the Austrians from Aloys Liechtenstein's Division and ejecting them from Ober-Gorbitz. Latour-Maubourg's cavalry charged these retreating Austrians, cutting down some of them and taking the remainder prisoner. This charge split the Allied position on this flank into two. The Austrians were caught in the open, stuck in the mud, unable to fire their muskets because of the rain and surrounded by French cavalry; 9,000 of them surrendered. By 3 p.m.

49


THE CAMPAIGN

                           Leipzig 1813: Movements to 11 October                           

1. At end of September, Blücher moves to join forces with the Army of the North, crossing Elbe on 3 October at Wartenburg.
2. Army of North crosses Elbe on 4 October. Two Allied armies are now in a position to unite and force Napoleon to fight decisive battle.
3. Napoleon abandons Dresden and moves to challenge Blücher and the Crown Prince of Sweden.
4. Blücher side-steps Napoleon and avoids battle.
5. Army of Bohemia advances again in face of weak opposition.
6. Murat falls back.


50

THE BATTLE ON THE KATZBACH, 26 AUGUST 1813

the Allied left flank was totally beaten, but the situation in the centre was stable and the French were making no progress in their attempts to take Leubnitz. Mortier, on the French left, was finding it even more difficult to make progress and some of his battalions had taken a mauling at the hands of Prussian cavalry.
   The French had achieved a local victory on their left. To achieve a total victory Vandamme's Corps would have to come into play in the Allied rear, but the corps was held up. At Allied Headquarters it was now clear that the wisest course of action would be to withdraw and at 4 o'clock they did so, intending not merely to move away from Dresden but of retreating back into the safety of Bohemia.
   The victor of Dresden reviewed the situation. He had taken 12,000 prisoners including the Austrian Field Marshal Lieutenant Meszko, two generals, 64 senior officers, several hundred junior officers, fifteen Colours, 26 guns and 30 ammunition wagons. Only the poor weather had prevented a greater catastrophe from befalling the Allies. Moreover, Vandamme, having crossed the Elbe at Pirna, was in a position to pursue and turn Napoleon's victory into a rout. Here we return to the Army of the Bober under Macdonald, facing Blücher's Army of Silesia.

The Battle on the Katzbach, 26 August 1813


When Napoleon left Macdonald with the Army of the Bober and rushed to Dresden, he left him with three infantry corps (III - Souham; V - Lauriston; XI - Gerard) and one cavalry corps (II - Sebastiani) and orders to cover the Emperor's rear by throwing the enemy back across the River Bober (Bobra) and then to take up a defensive posture. Macdonald's

51

THE CAMPAIGN

General von Yorck.
Commander of I (Prussian)
Corps. Described as
being an awkward
subordinate but a tough
opponent who could be
counted on to get stuck
in when the going was
tough. His corps was
known as Blücher's
'Fighting Corps' and
played a significant
role in battles such
as the Katzbach and
Warienburg before being
virtually destroyed at
Möckern. The remnant
marched to the Rhine,
crossing in
mid-winter at Kaub
before continuing on
to Paris.





army was a pretty mixed lot, his infantry consisting of French, Italian and German conscripts and his cavalry of young, inexperienced troopers who were no match for the cavalry of the Army of Silesia.
   Blücher's forces consisted of the Russian Corps of St. Priest, Langeron and Sacken and Yorck's Prussian Corps. He had about 95,000 men at his disposal.
   Macdonald proceeded to carry out his orders with Lauriston moving into Goldberg (Zlotoryja) on 23 August, Gerard fighting at Niederau then striking camp between Niederau and Neudorf, Souham reaching Liegnitz (Legnica) and Rothkirch, and Sebastiani Rothbrunning and Liegnitz. Ney was recalled by Napoleon and because of an imprecise order took his III corps with him. By the time the mistake was noticed and countermanded, Macdonald's movements had suffered a delay of two days. On 26 August the French continued their advance towards Jauer (Jawor) which led to the Battle on the Katzbach (Kaczawa).
   Early on the morning of 26 August Yorck broke camp to take up position in alignment with Sacken and Langeron. Because of the very heavy rain, this manoeuvre was performed with some difficulty and it was not until 10 o'clock that Yorck was in position between Brechtelshof and Bellwitzhof. Blücher had ridden to Brechtelshof that morning where he had received Intelligence reports indicating the enemy's positions. As the French had moved since 24 August, Blücher assumed that they had gone over to the defensive. He thus chose to launch an attack; Sacken was to move on Liegnitz; Yorck was to cross the Katzbach at Dohnau and Kroitsch (Krotoszyce) and thence to Steudnitz (Studnica), cutting off the French corps in Haynau (Chojnów) from Liegnitz; Langeron was to cross the Katzbach at Riemberg, occupy the heights at Hohberg and Kosendau, and cover the flank of the advance on Liegnitz.
   Before these manoeuvres could be executed, however, news of the French advance was received. Both sides advanced into contact with each other and started an encounter battle. Lauriston and Gerard moved on Seichau (Sichow). Langeron just had time to deploy between Hermannsdorf and Schlaupe (Slup), completing this by about 12.30 p.m. Yorck's vanguard was also in action by this time, but his riflemen were unable to fire because of the heavy rain and they were driven back by Sebastiani's horse artillery.
   At about 2 p.m. Macdonald advanced towards the sound of the guns. On the way he met General Souham who reported that because all the bridges over the Neisse between Liegnitz and Dohnau had been destroyed, he was moving towards Kroitsch. Macdonald ordered Division Braver to occupy the heights above Nieder-Crayn which it did by 2.30 p.m. A reconnaissance by Gneisenau and Muffling established that the French were indeed advancing towards the heights above Nieder-Weinberg. Blücher resolved to push them back into the rivers at their back which were flooding because of the heavy rain. Sacken's Corps had already commenced its attack before receiving this order. Yorck

52


THE BATTLE ON THE KATZBACH, 26 AUGUST 1813

deployed with Horn and Hünerbein to the fore, the Prince of Mecklenburg in support and Steinmetz in reserve.
   Hünerbein's Brigade advanced first, its left flank resting on the Neisse, fired on by half a battery of French artillery on the Kreuzberg and opposed by three battalions of infantry. Two of these withdrew quickly behind the cover of the hill, the third held its position. The II Battalion/Brandenburg Infantry Regiment (Prussians) wiped it out, using the bayonet and butt. The artillery and a supporting cavalry regiment were beaten back by two other battalions.
   In the meantime Exelmann's cavalry division (French) moved up and Division Braver climbed the heights in front of it. The bridge at Kroitsch was blocked by cavalry, so Braver had to leave his artillery behind. For the same reason, Cuirassier Division St. Germain remained in Kroitsch and did not come into action on 26 August.
   Yorck continued his advance. On hearing that the French seemed to be about to break, Jürgass' reserve cavalry was committed. With seven squadrons in his first line, three echeloned to the left, Jürgass advanced, the three squadrons on the left wheeling to capture a battery of artillery before being forced to withdraw by Brayer's advancing infantry. His front line advanced through several squadrons and batteries before stumbling into the mass of the French cavalry who pushed him back to his starting position and captured part of his horse battery. The crisis of the battle had arrived. Exelmann's troopers flanked Yorck's artillery and charged the front of his infantry. With drums beating, four battalions from Yorck's second line threw Exelmann back while six Prussian and four Russian squadrons took his left flank and front, driving him back to the valley.
   Sacken's Corps advanced through Eiehholtz, his artillery deployed on the Taubenberg. Blücher ordered the general advance and committed his reserve cavalry. Braver was driven back, as was the French cavalry. The infantry managed an orderly withdrawal to Kroitsch via Nieder-Crayn, leaving behind however its wagons and cannon. The exhausted Allies staged only a token pursuit. Souham's Corps arrived later that afternoon. Division Delmas crossed the Katzbach below Kroitsch towards Dohnau, dragging his cannon up the hill but to no avail as the Allied artillery soon forced a withdrawal. Unsupported, Delmas fell back on Kroitsch. Divisions Albert and Ricard crossed the Katzbach at Schmogwitz and were confronted by part of Sacken's Corps. These divisions withdrew once news of the French defeat was received.
   Langeron's Corps had a less easy time. Faced by Gerard's and Lauriston's Corps, he was driven back with Hennersdorf falling at about 4 p.m. The French corps was unable to co-ordinate its actions and advanced no farther. Blücher saw that Langeron was having difficulties and ordered Steinmetz to cross the Neisse to attack the French in the flank and rear. The French were forced to give ground. At nightfall part of Hennersdorf was again in Allied hands and fighting went on there until midnight.
   Casualties on both sides are a little hard to determine but it is known that the French lost 36 cannon, 110 ammunition wagons, two ambulances, four field smithies and as many as 1,400 prisoners.
   This was an encounter battle which neither side was really anticipating. Blücher quickly seized the initiative but his victory was not as great as some writers of the time claim. Legends of thousands of French being driven into the raging waters of the Neisse bear little resemblance to fact. Losses of matériel was of more concern to the French.
   Poor weather, bad conditions and general exhaustion prevented a rapid pursuit by the Allied forces, but Langeron took 2,200 prisoners and six guns from Lauriston while he was falling back to Goldberg. The Army of the Bober retired in two columns towards Bunzlau and Lowenberg and started to disintegrate on the way. Blücher urged his men on, but to little avail; they were tired, hungry and soaked through. His Prussian militia battalions suffered particularly and his horses were hungry.
   On 29 August Langeron clashed with Puthod's Division which was withdrawing across the Bober at Lowenberg; cut off and surrounded, it surrendered. The Russians took 4,000 prisoners, sixteen guns and three Eagles. The pursuit continued.
   However, on 31 August Blücher received news of the Battle of Dresden. Assuming that Napoleon would leave the pursuit to his subordinates and return to Silesia to regain control of events there, Blücher ordered caution. The French having fallen back to the Lausitzer Neisse, the Allies took up positions on the Queis (Kwisa).

53


THE CAMPAIGN


   In all, the Army of the Bober had lost more than 30,000 men including 18,000 prisoners, 103 cannon, 300 wagons, three generals and three Eagles, It was on the point of total collapse. The Army of Silesia had fared little better, losing more than 22,000 men, but its morale, despite lack of supplies, remained unbroken.

The Battle of Kulm, 29 and 30 August 1813


We left the Army of Bohemia on the retreat after its defeat at Dresden. Vandamme was instructed to conduct the pursuit. The remainder of the army followed up, moving south towards Bohemia. There was every chance for the French totally to destroy the main Allied army and thereby decide the campaign. Napoleon, believing the matter to be very much in his favour, sent his Old Guard back to Dresden and had the Young Guard halt at Pirna. Then he heard the news of Macdonald's defeat on the Katzbach. He had already been informed of Oudinot's fate at Grossbeeren. A successful pursuit of the Army of Bohemia would more than reverse these set-backs.
   Vandamme, moving along the road from Pirna through Peterswalde (Petrovice) and Tellnitz (Telnice) was getting into a position where he could cut off the Allied retreat. They had to do something to stop this. An improvised but successful defence


54


THE BATTLE OF KULM, 29 AND 30 AUGUST 1813

                  Battle of Wartenburg, 3 October 1813: The Breakthrough                  
Forces Involved.
   FRENCH:                       PRUSSIANS:
A. Division Morand.           E. Brigade Steinmetz.
B. Division Franquemont.      F. Brigade Mecklenburg.
C. Brigade Beaumont.          G. Brigade Horn.
D. Division Fontanelli.       H. Brigade Hünerbein.

1. Once Mecklenburg crosses the Elbe, Steinmetz moves up and ties down Morand frontally. 2. Mecklenburg forces Franquemont (B1) back and then out of Bleddin (B2). 3. Mecklenburg then continues his manoeuvre on the rear of the French position. 4. Beaumont tries to stop him but is thrown back. 5. Meanwhile, Horn storms the dykes, the lynchpin of the French position, which are held by Fontanelli (D2). 6. Hünerbein moves up in support. 7. Mecklenburg turns the French rear, forcing them to withdraw. 8. French withdraw

55


THE CAMPAIGN

The Russian Guards
at Priesten on 29 August,
1813. This was a delaying
action fought the day
before Kulm. The terrain
is worth noting. The
French were advancing
down a narrow pass
where a small force could
hold them up. The valley
side shown was very
steep and that on the
other side of the
river in the centre
of the picture was almost
as steep. There would he
no chance of escape to the
sides, one could only
move forwards or
backwards. Now when
Kleist's Prussians
appeared at Vandamme's
rear, the stage was set.
The fighting on this day
was to be a victory for the
French. Contemporary
lithograph.


was made at Priesten (Prestanov), Vandamme's pursuit was checked and the remaining passes into Bohemia were kept free. If this could be done for another day, the Army of Bohemia would be able to escape the pursuit. In the meantime Kleist's Corps of Prussians had gone missing. He had found all the roads through the woods and hills of this part of Saxony blocked except the one which he knew Vandamme had used. Taking a great risk, he moved on Vandamme's rear.
   On 30 August, the battle between the Austrians and Russians on the one hand and Vandamme's Corps on the other started up again. The Russians held Priesten, the French Kulm (Chulmec). The Prussians marched from Nollendorf (Naklerov) on Kulm and the rear of the French. A cannonade from Prussian guns made it clear to Vandamme what his situation was. He chose to abandon his wagons and artillery and cut his way through Kleist. Only part of his men managed to do that. His corps ceased to exist but went down with honour. It lost about 10,000 men, two Eagles, five Colours and 82 guns in a confused but dramatic fight. All the gains made at the Battle of Dresden were wiped out in one fell swoop.
   The first phase of this campaign was now over. Let us now look at the results to date.
   Napoleon's strategy was, fighting from a central position, to engage one enemy army with the bulk of his forces, holding off the other two, and thereby achieve a decisive victory. This strategy came close to success at the Battle of Dresden but eventually failed. The Allied strategy was for each of the armies to retire when faced by Napoleon in person, to engage and

56


THE BATTLE OF KULM. 29 AND 30 AUGUST 1813

defeat his subordinates when confronted by them only and eventually to unite their three armies for the decisive battle. On the whole, this strategy had succeeded. In fact, the only defeat suffered was when the Army of Bohemia challenged the Emperor in person.
   French losses of men and matériel were large. The Armies of Berlin and the Bober had been mauled. Vandamme's Corps had been wiped out. Although the Army of Bohemia had suffered a major defeat at Dresden, the subsequent destruction of Vandamme's Corps had more than made up for this.
   The inherent weaknesses of the Napoleonic military system were largely to blame. Where Napoleon in person fought, the chances of victory were good; where his personal guidance was lacking, the chances of success were low. One of the main lessons of warfare in the age of mass conscript armies learned by the Prussians was that a uniformly trained general staff was necessary to command armies of this size. The Napoleonic command system was too inflexible to learn this lesson. The Emperor could broach no successful rivals, but without them he was unable to win this campaign. As time went on his

Kulm, 30 August, 1813.
With the battle raging in
the centre background of
this lithograph by F.
Hofbauer, King Frederick
William III of Prussia
orders an Austrian
dragoon regiment into
the fray.









The capture of General
Vandamme at Kulm by
Cossacks and Russian
Jäger. His aide General
Huxo (background) was
also taken prisoner. The
generals were in the middle
of a column of retiring
French infantry when a
small group of Cossacks
boldly rode up and
plucked the two
unfortunate commanders out.
The infantry were so
surprised by the Cossacks
that they did not fire.






57


THE CAMPAIGN

chances of victors were diminishing. The decisive battle he sought was eluding him. With a growing number of victories to their credit, the Allies were growing more confident. With the threat of reinforcements arriving from Russia, Napoleon urgently needed to regain the initiative. He decided to head for Berlin again, crush the Army of the North and relieve his garrisons at Kustrin and Stettin. He was on the point of setting off when news of Vandamme's defeat at Kulm came in. He could not leave Dresden unguarded. How could he now obtain the success he needed?

The Battle of Dennewitz, 6 September 1813


The Emperor decided to send Ney off in the direction of Berlin, leave Macdonald on the Bober, remain in Dresden with his reserves and await an opportunity lo strike at Blücher or the Crown Prince of Sweden as and when possible. He then chose Blücher for his coup de grâce and moved towards Silesia. Blücher withdrew. Napoleon now realized that this was a stratagem and decided not to follow.
   Meanwhile, the Army of Bohemia advanced towards Dresden. Napoleon rushed back there. Ney continued his advance on Berlin and was confronted by Tauentzien's Prussians at Dennewitz. Tauentzien's force consisted largely of militia formations. Although driven back by Fontanelli's Division in a short fight that morning, Tauentzien had held out long enough for Bülow to move up. He used his cavalry to cover the withdrawal and rallying of his defeated infantry and prevented a pursuit by the enemy.
   The battle began that afternoon with some of the most bitter fighting of the campaign. Thümen was driven back by Morand's artillery and left two guns behind. Hessen-Homburg then moved up, throwing Morand back, thereby gaining the higher ground above Nieder Gorsdorf where he deployed his artillery. Morand took up a new position, his artillery deployed on higher ground to his fore, his infantry with its backs against a wood and the town of Dennewitz. Hessen-Homburg decided that it was pointless to assault this position.
   In the meantime Reynier moved up. His Saxons were deployed from Gohlsdorf to Dennewitz. Durette took up positions at Dennewitz. Krafft and parts of Hessen-Homburg stood in opposition to them. A battalion of Prussians was driven out of Gohlsdorf. The Saxon artillery was deployed but the Prussians opposite them got the upper hand.
   Bülow, assured support from the Swedes and Russians in the Army of the North, decided on the offensive before more French arrived. He committed everything he could cobble together, knowing that Borstell was close to hand and more of the Army of the North were on their way. Supported by Swedish artillery, he captured Gohlsdorf.

58


THE BATTLE OF DENNEWITZ, 6 SEPTEMBER 1813


The capture of General Vandamme by Cossacks at Kulm, 30 August 1813. (By K.H. Rahl).
Borstell arrived but the Allies could make no further head-way against Reynier. At about 3.30 p.m. Oudinot arrived in support. The French counter-attacked, recapturing Gohlsdorf and driving back Borstell. The situation was now critical for Bülow; his infantry was exhausted, his artillery unable to get the upper hand and his reinforcements still someway off. Ney saved him. An order arrived telling Oudinot to move his troops to Rohrbeek in support of Ney's right flank which was being pushed back. Oudinot carried out his orders despite Reynier's objections and pleas for support. Bülow attacked again, driving the Saxons back and recapturing Gohlsdorf. On the other flank Thümen and Hessen-Homburg were having some success against Bertrand, forcing him back to Rohrbeck. The Prussian advance came to a halt for lack of ammunition, but fresh Russian artillery broke Bertrand with salvoes of canister fire. Shortly alter 5 o'clock the Allies had won a victory on the French right.
   The situation remained stable on the French left until fresh Russian and Swedish troops arrived, forcing Reynier to retreat on Ochna. The entire retreating Army of Berlin met here and order broke down completely, the retreat becoming a rout. Only the Russo-Swedish artillery and some cavalry were fresh enough to pursue and the latter brought in a wealth of trophies. The Russo-Swedish infantry were too exhausted to pursue after their forced march to the battlefield.
   At Dennewitz the Württembergers, among Bertrand's best troops, were mauled. Reynier's Saxons, so long a faithful ally of the Emperor's,

59


THE CAMPAIGN



60


THE BATTLE OF WARTENBURG. 3 OCTOBER 1813

were shattered. Ney, not having expected or desired a battle that day, nevertheless got carried away, and sabre in hand on his charger, led attacks personally instead of commanding his army. Oudinot, still smarting from his defeat at Grossbeeren, was ultra-careful in executing his orders, arrived late and failed to use his initiative. Raglowich's Bavarians, part of his corps, were thus only on the periphery of the battle. They did not share the same fate as Napoleon's other German allies.
   Ney's army was totally defeated. His attempts to rally his routed forces were to no avail. The Prussians lost more than 10,000 men. The French lost about 22,000 with 53 guns, 412 wagons and four Colours.
   Dennewitz was the last major battle in this campaign for a month. The following weeks were characterized by indecision on both sides. Napoleon's situation was deteriorating daily. Except for certain bridgeheads, he abandoned most of his positions on the right bank of the Elbe. In doing so, he indicated that he no longer hoped to free the besieged garrisons on the River Oder and beyond. Saxony was slowly running out of food and supplies for his army. He was no longer in a position to achieve a decisive victory. The correct military decision would have been to cut his losses, fall back to the Rhine, gathering the garrisons to his rear, obtain fresh supplies of men and matériel and resume the offensive again in 1814. However, Napoleon the politician took precedence over Napoleon the general. To abandon Germany might well endanger the survival of his regime. Having given up Germany, would he ever get it back? He sat in Saxony awaiting events while the Allies considered what, if anything, to do next. It was Blücher's actions, as always, that shook everyone out of their lethargy.

Duke Charles of
Mecklenburg-Strelitz.
Commander of a brigade
in Yorck's Corps, Duke
Charles played a signifi-
cant role at the Battle of
Wartenburg. A man of
great personal courage, he
was severely wounded in
the fighting at Möckern on
16 October. Drawing by
Franz Kruger.













The Battle of Wartenburg, 3 October 1813


To achieve a decisive victory over Napoleon, the Allies needed to concentrate their forces. Currently, only one army, the Army of Bohemia, was on the left bank of the Elbe, the other Allied armies being on the opposite bank. A crossing of the Elbe needed to be secured, a manoeuvre both dangerous and difficult when attempted in the face of the enemy. The points at which such a manoeuvre could be attempted were limited by the fact that the French had garrisons at Dresden. Torgau, Wittenberg and Magdeburg. All bridges were guarded so the Allies needed to build pontoon bridges at points where the French would be unable to intervene. Blücher took this highly risky venture upon himself, crossing the Elbe with his Army of Silesia in close proximity to Bertrand at Wartenburg. Despite ferocious resistance the manoeuvre was successful and precipitated the Battle of Leipzig later that month. It was, in effect, the decisive strategic move of the campaign and, as with so many such manoeuvres in military history, it was favoured by a disproportionate amount of good fortune; had Allied Intelligence and French deployment been better, it might not have been achieved.
   Once across the Elbe Blücher's troops would have to cross marsh, ditches, dikes and woodland before reaching Wartenburg and the relatively open country beyond. Bertrand was waiting, his

61


THE CAMPAIGN

troops deployed to hinder am attempt at staging a breakout. Yorck's Corps of Prussians crossed the Elbe and was used to secure the bridgehead. Langeron's Russians followed. The subsequent contest was characterized by determined and bitter fighting.
   Mecklenburg was the first to cross the pontoon bridges. Pushing back the French skirmish line in the Hohe Holz, he made slow progress through broken country. Once the morning fog had cleared it became apparent that it would not be possible to storm the town of Wartenburg frontally, so he decided to take it from the rear, deploying part of his brigade to the front of the French position to cover this manoeuvre. The strongpoint on the French right was the town of Bleddin. This was occupied by Franquemont's Württembergers who would offer a determined defence. Mecklenburg's flank guard in front of Wartenburg was taking heavy casualties so reinforcements were moved up to assist him. Steinmetz's Brigade took up the position in front of Wartenburg, relieving Mecklenburg who could now unite his brigade for the assault on Bleddin. Horn's Brigade moved up in support, Hünerbein's Brigade crossed the bridges and remained in reserve.
   At Bleddin, the Prussians forced the Württembergers back and pushed them away from the main French position around Wartenburg, thus exposing their rear. Horn's Brigade stormed the French position to the south of Wartenburg, engaging Fontanelli's Italians. They were thrown back at bayonet point. Wartenburg was now no longer tenable and Bertrand withdrew. Horn's assault was the decisive blow. His brigade had to move through a densely planted orchard, cross a stream and a well-defended dike while under flanking fire from artillery before crossing a second dike. Fontanelli was defending a natural fortress and it is no surprise that Horn was almost defeated. The first assault came to a halt and was on the point of being broken when Horn himself rode to the fore and personally led the attack of the II Battalion/Prussian Life Regiment against five enemy battalions. This charge carried the position. The Prussians lost 67 officers and 1,548 men from a total of about 12,000. The French sustained fewer casualties but lost about 1,000 prisoners, eleven guns and 70 wagons. Next day the Army of the North crossed the Elbe and joined forces with Blücher's Army of Silesia. All three Allied armies were now on the same bank of the Elbe and Napoleon's position in Saxony was no longer tenable.

General Yorck doffs
his cap to the II
Battalion of the Prussian
Life Regiment in recognition
of their heroic role in the
Battle of Wartenburg.
Led by their brigade
commander General von
Horn, this battalion
stormed the main French
position, a natural
fortress, with the
bayonet and thereby
decided the battle.









The Road to Leipzig


After the successful crossing of the Elbe by the Armies of Silesia and the North on 3 and 4 October Napoleon was faced with only two

62


THE ROAD TO LEIPZIG

opponents. He would have to strike at one with as much of his army as he could afford to take with him while leaving sufficient troops to hold the other in check. At Dresden he had 116,000 men and 389 guns available (Macdonald, Lobau, St.Cyr, Sebastiani and the Guard). Souham, deployed along the Elbe between Strehla and Meissen, gave him another 16,000 men and 61 guns. Between Eilenburg and Bitterfeld were the remains of the Army of Berlin together with Marmont and Latour-Maubourg, some 72,000 men and 203 guns. Along his southern front, from Altenburg to Freiberg, were Victor, Lauriston, Poniatowski and Kellermann, 44,000 men and 156 guns. Leipzig was defended by 7,000 men and 22 guns.
   Lefebvre-Desnouettes' Cavalry Corps, covering the western approaches to Leipzig, consisted of 5,000 sabres and six guns. On the march to Leipzig were the troopers of Milhaud's Cavalry Division (in part veterans from Spain) and Augereau's Corps, a total of 13,000 men and fourteen guns.
   Napoleon had two choices. Within three days he would have been able to concentrate 180,000 men against the Army of Bohemia (itself of similar strength) while holding Blücher and the Crown Prince of Sweden in check with Ney, Marmont and Souham, a total of 87,000 men. Within four days he would have been able to concentrate 200,000 men against the Armies of the North and Silesia while having Murat (67,000 men) hold up the Army of Bohemia. In either event Dresden would have to be abandoned, but at this stage of the campaign it was of less significance as the magazines had been run down and the surrounding countryside was exhausted.
   There could be little doubt as to which was the best choice. To advance south against Schwarzenberg, who was only just moving through the passes from Bohemia, would have resulted in his backtracking and avoiding battle. Blücher and the Crown Prince of Sweden were only two to three days' march from Leipzig and the loss of this important town would have cut Napoleon off from France. For them to withdraw across the Elbe in the face of the enemy would be a difficult manoeuvre; they had committed themselves at last. He gathered his forces and moved north.
   In the face of this advance, however, Blücher fell back in a westerly direction towards the Army of the North. After conferring with the Crown Prince it was decided to move jointly towards Leipzig. News that Napoleon was advancing towards them with the bulk of his forces started to arrive at their Headquarters from 8 October. On the 9th Blücher's forces, let down by faulty reconnaissance, only just managed to escape being surprised by the French. Blücher and the Crown Prince were clearly in great danger of being forced to fight Napoleon alone with their backs to the Elbe. The Crown Prince, turning down Blücher's request to take up a joint position over the Saale, preferred to stay nearer the Elbe for safety's sake. Blücher, true to character, was itching to advance on Leipzig, risking all so as to give the Army of Bohemia every chance of fully deploying in Saxony. The Crown Prince erred on the side of caution; he was not going to engage Napoleon alone. Blücher fell back towards the Crown Prince. Napoleon again struck out against air. He was never to get the decisive battle he wanted. His chances of winning this campaign continued to diminish.
   In the meantime the Army of Bohemia, facing less opposition, was slowly making its way north. News that the Bavarians had changed sides on 8 October and were indeed about to join the Allied side with 50,000 men changed the political and military situation. This army was astride Napoleon's lines of communication and could cut off his retreat. News also came in that Blücher had occupied Halle and that the French had abandoned Dresden. All the indications were that Napoleon was going to fall back to the Rhine and evacuate Germany. A determined advance now would be to Austria's advantage. Opposition from the French was likely to be minimal and Austria's prestige and position at the peace negotiations would gain from such an advance.
   Again Napoleon had two choices. One was to fall back to the Rhine. The other was to strike at the Allied armies individually and immediately. News of the advance of the Army of Bohemia clarified his thoughts. He gathered his forces and moved south with the Guard, Bertrand and Latour-Maubourg's cavalry to join Murat. Ney and Macdonald were also to join him, while Reynier, after destroying the bridge at Aken, was also to move on Leipzig. The scene was set for the decisive battle of the campaign.

63


THE BATTLE OF LEIPZIG,
14-19 OCTOBER 1813


The autumn of 1813 had been rather wet and river levels were higher than normal. The countryside was muddy, hindering movement. South and east of Leipzig ran a line of hills which, although not impassable, provided good defensive positions for all arms. The outlying villages, with their solid buildings, firm roads and walls, could become fortresses. The area to the north of Leipzig was flatter, the major obstacles being the rivers and marshes. To the west the land was so marshy that it was virtually impassable. The road west, to France, ran along a causeway to Lindenau. Possession of this was vital to Napoleon's communications. Leipzig itself was a rectangle with four main points of access - the Grimma Gate, Peter's Gate, Neustadter Gate and the Halle Gate. Parts of the old fortifications were still there but no works of significance were left. Leipzig had not been prepared for defence.

The Cavalry Battle of Liebertwolkwitz, 14 October 1813


This great conflict opened with what became the largest cavalry battle in history, at Liebertwolkwitz, south of Leipzig. Murat was in overall command of the French forces which consisted of the Corps of Poniatowski, Victor, Lauriston and the Cavalry Corps of Kellermann and Pajol (who had replaced Milhaud on 12 October). He was opposed by the Russian General Wittgenstein commanding the vanguard of the Army of Bohemia.
   The terrain surrounding Murat's position consisted largely of gentle slopes coming up to flat-topped hills. Thanks to recent heavy rain the ground, particularly in the hollows, was wet and muddy which hindered movement. The plateau stretching from Liebertwolkwitz to Güldengossa and Wachau was about 1,400 paces wide. The highest point, the Galgenberg (Gallows Hill) was an excellent artillery, position and the hill itself had the additional advantage of hiding everything behind it. Murat had a strong position with villages and hills along his front. The Allies would have to advance uphill in open ground against artillery.
   Napoleon was advancing towards Leipzig. He needed to buy time to allow his troops to concentrate while keeping the Army of Bohemia as far away as possible from Blücher and the Crown Prince. His instructions to Murat were to hold up the Allies for as long as possible but not to get involved in heavy fighting.
   Wittgenstein was under the impression that all he had in front of him was a rearguard protecting the French withdrawal. He moved his forces forward quickly in an attempt to delay the French. Little did he know that they were there in some force with every intention of offering a fight. Thus Liebertwolkwitz was an encounter battle into which the Allies blundered. Wittgenstein's vanguard under Count Pahlen III (Russian), was ordered to move on Liebertwolkwitz via Crobern and Güldengossa. Prince Eugene of Württemberg (commander Russian II Corps) was ordered to deploy his force into two lines and advance from Magdeberg through Güldengossa towards Liebertwolkwitz. Prince Grotschakow II was ordered to march through Stormthal and then deploy. Kleist's Reserve Cavalry under Roder was ordered to Crobern in support of Pahlen. His main body was to remain in Espenhain in reserve. Later on, 3rd Russian Cuirassier Division would follow Roder. Rajewski's Grenadier Corps was also in reserve.
   Murat deployed Victor between Markkleeberg and Wachau. Lauriston covered the Galgenberg and Liebertwolkwitz. A grand battery was deployed on the Galgenberg with the cavalry hidden behind it. A division of the Young Guard was in Holzhausen and Augereau's Corps was on the Thornberg.

64


THE CAVALRY BATTLE OF LIEBERTWOLKWITZ, 14 OCTOBER 1813

Wachau drawn
shortly after the
battle. This village
formed an important
point on the French
defensive perimeter
and was hotly
contested during
the battle.









Murat at Liebertwolkwitz. This flamboyant
French marshal came close to being taken
prisoner twice during this cavalry battle.
Lieutenant von der Lippe of the Prussian
Neumark Dragoons had the honour of being
the first to die trying! The charge Murat
led at Eylau in 1807 did much to enhance
his reputation. However, Liebertwolkwitz
was not a repeat performance. He led good,
experienced cavalry formations, but his
tactical dispositions were poor and his
inflexibility cost him the battle. The
irony is that the lessons the French
marshalate had taught their opponents by
1813 were the very lessons that Napoleon's
generals had forgotten - namely tactical
flexibility. Painting by W. Camphattsen.


The Neumark Dragoons in
action during the cavalry
battles fought around
Wachau on 14 October.
This regiment played an
important part in the
flowing action of that
day. Painting by C.
Becker.









65


THE CAVALRY BATTLE OF LEBERTWOLKWITZ 14 OCTOBER 1813



66-67


THE BATTLE OF LEIPZIG, 14-19 OCTOBER 1813



68

THE CAVALRY BATTLE OF LIEBERTWOLKWITZ 14 OCTOBER 1813


   Pahlen sent his Cossacks to reconnoitre the enemy's dispositions. They reported that the area between Markkleeberg and Wachau was occupied in strength. The Grodny Hussars were sent up in support. The advance continued until it became clear that the French were going to resist. By now the Allies had committed themselves to battle. The French grand battery forced the Sumy Hussars to fall back and the first French cavalry attack started with Division l'Heritier moving forward in column supported by Division Subervie. The Sumy Hussars charged the leading French regiment and forced it back. The second regiment then threw back the Russian hussars but its advance was halted by the Prussian Neumark Dragoons who in turn were thrown back by the next French regiment. In the meantime the Sumy Hussars had rallied, the Silesian Uhlans had moved up and the East Prussian Cuirassiers were preparing to charge the French column. While the French were rallying they were hit by the East Prussians frontally and the Silesians in the flank. They were thrown back to the starting-point with the Prussians in hot pursuit. At the Galgenberg the French reserves saw off the Prussians and in turn launched a pursuit which drove the Prussians back to their starting-point. This pursuit was halted and thrown back by the Neumark Dragoons who had just rallied from their first action; an officer of this regiment almost taking Murat prisoner. There was now a pause in the action.
   The detailed studies of this action give a clear indication of how cavalry fought at this time - a charge followed by a counter-charge and pursuit by reserves which was broken off once the enemy brought his reserves into play. Meanwhile the first wave would be rallying for use later. It is worth noting here that the Allies were able to take on and hold their own against a larger French force because the latter favoured attacks in columns while the Allies tended to tie the French down frontally and decide the issue by gaining the flank of the unwieldy French column before it had a chance to deploy.
   After a short clash on the Allied left, the affair degenerated into half-hearted skirmishing. On the Allied right the Austrians were moving up with the intention of assaulting the town of Liebertwolkwitz. The French defences were such that this attack ground to a halt. It was now about midday. Wittgenstein ordered Klenau to take Liebertwolkwitz, the key to the French position. Once this town was in Allied hands the French would have to withdraw their grand battery from the Galgenberg, leaving the entire position to the Allies. Klenau deployed his men skilfully, border troops to the fore in skirmish order, cavalry on the flanks protecting his infantry drawn up in assault columns. The Austrians stormed Liebertwolkwitz and, after bitter street fighting lasting two hours, it fell to them. The French artillery drew up outside the town and prevented the Austrians advancing further.
   The way was now clear for the Allies to resume their advance on the centre of the French position. The French launched another attack which was driven back. Flanking attacks by the Prussian cavalry broke open the French formations and again Murat was almost taken prisoner. The pursuit continued to the Galgenberg where French gunners were cut down by Prussians attempting to drag off their guns. This proved their undoing because the French brought up reserves of cavalry and infantry, surrounding the Silesian Cuirassiers who had to hack their way out, suffering heavy losses. They fell back to their starting-point under pursuit. The French counter-attack was in turn beaten back. The action degenerated into skirmishing.
   Murat's orders had been to hold off the enemy and not to get heavily involved in battle. Once his initial attempt to throw back the Allies on their approach march had failed, he should have conducted a fighting withdrawal. Instead, he became deeply involved in the fighting and committed more and more troops. At 2.30 p.m. he launched his final charge, deploying his cavalry into a long column which charged right into the heart of the Allied position before being thrown back by flanking charges supported by Klenau's Austrians. The French were broken and were pursued well over the Galgenberg. They were unable to launch any more attacks that day. Meanwhile the battle for Liebertwolkwitz continued. Wittgenstein failed to provide Klenau with any support and left him out on a limb in the town while Murat brought up fresh infantry. At 4 p.m. he attacked Liebertwolkwitz. This assault was successful and some Austrians were trapped and slaughtered in the church. The Austrians withdrew from the southern outskirts of the town after nightfall.

69


THE BATTLE OF LEIPZIG, 14-19 OCTOBER 1813

Prince of Schwarzenberg,
commander of the
Army of Bohemia. A good
soldier who was in the
unenviable position of
having three monarchs
present at his headquarters.
What made his task
even more difficult was
the foreign policy of his
government. Austria
was not looking for a
decisive victory in this
campaign. Poor
Schwarzenberg had not
only to play the
diplomat and politician
but to do it all on a
soldier's pay!
Engraving by M. Steinla.





   Total Allied losses were 80-85 officers, 2,000-2,100 men and 600-650 horses. Details of French losses are unreliable but were probably greater. It is known that they lost two generals and 96 officers as well as 800 prisoners to the Austrians.
   The battle itself ended rather inconclusively. With greater determination and commitment, Wittgenstein could have inflicted a defeat on Murat and possibly have brought the Battle of Leipzig to a conclusion more quickly. Murat was wrong to get so involved in the fighting and could have held the Allies off for just as long without losing so many men, particularly his precious mounted veterans. Significantly, the Army of Bohemia was now committed to fighting the decisive battle of the campaign.
The Situation on 16 October 1813


The Allied forces were drawn up as follows:

1. Along the line Fuchshain-Grosspösna-Güldengossa-Crobern under Wittgenstein's command, Corps Kleist, Wittgenstein, Klenau and Pahlen. In reserve, Grenadier Corps Rajewski and Russian Cuirassier Brigade Gudowitsch, the Russo-Prussian Guards and Reserve at Rotha.

2. At Gautzsch, between the Rivers Pleisse and Elster, Corps Merveldt and the Austrian reserves under the Prince of Hessen-Homburg.

3. Deployed against Lindenau, Corps Gyulai, Division Liechtenstein and the raiding parties of Thielmann and Mensdorff.

4. At Schkcuditz, the Army of Silesia. The total forces available to the Allies for the first day of the battle consisted of 202 3/4 battalions, 348 1/2 squadrons and 918 guns. Including Cossacks, about 205,000 men.

   Napoleon gathered his forces. Believing Blücher was not in a position to threaten him that day and that the Crown Price of Sweden was still some way off, he decided to launch an offensive against the Army of Bohemia. For this, he had the following at his disposal: 1. South of Leipzig, either already in position or on its way, Division Lefol, Corps Poniatowski, Cavalry Corps Kellermann in echelon along the line Connewitz-Lossnig-Dölitz-Markleeberg. Corps Victor and Lauriston deployed between Wachau and Liebertwolkwitz. Behind Lauriston the Young Guard and Division Curial of the Old Guard. Corps Augereau behind Zuckelhausen. At Probstheida, Division Friant of the Old Guard, the Cavalry of the Guard and Cavalry Corps Latour-Maubourg. Marching to Holzhausen, Corps Macdonald and Cavalry Corps Sebastiani. To oppose the Army of Bohemia, Napoleon had: 488 guns and about 138,000 men. 2. At Lindenau, part of the garrison of Leipzig under Margaron and Brigade Quinette of III Cavalry Corps, a total of 3,200 men. 3. On the northern front, Corps Marmont and the rest of III Cavalry Corps at Breitenfeld and Lindenthal. Division Dombrowski marching to Klein-Wiederitzsch. Corps Bertrand at Eutritzsch. Divisions Braver and Ricard marching to Mockau. Division Deimas of Corps Souham marching up from

70


THE BATTLE OF WACHAU AND CONNEWITZ, 16 OCTOBER 1813

Duben. On the northern front. Napoleon had 186 guns and about 49,400 men.
   In all, on 16 October Napoleon had 690 guns and about 190,000 men, excluding men guarding his baggage parks but without deduction for losses incurred on 14 October because no precise figures are available.
   Taking into account Napoleon's position, strength and dispositions, the chances of victory on 16 October were in his favour. The line of hills to the south and east of Leipzig made ideal artillery positions from which he could launch an offensive. They also hid his troop movements. The villages on the main roads were strong positions against which Schwarzenberg could not deploy easily and the muddy land between these would hold up any attack. In the decisive area to the right of the Pleisse, Napoleon had 138,000 men against 100,000 Allies who could expect the arrival of a further 24,000 men that afternoon. Napoleon now had his final chance to decide the campaign in his favour.

The Battle of Wachau and Connewitz, 16 October 1813


The weather was cold, wet and foggy. Wittgenstein had divided his forces into four columns. Column 1 under Klenau consisted of IV Austrian Corps and Prussian Brigade Ziethen which was to deploy between Fuchshain and the Universitatsholz (University Woods) and assault Liebertwolkwitz. Column 2 under Prince Gortschakow - Russian Division Mesenzow: and Prussian Brigade Pirch would advance between Stormthal and the Universitatsholz to support Klenau to the south and west. Column 3 under Duke Eugene of Württemberg - II Russian Infantry Corps and Prussian Brigade Klux - was ordered to attack Wachau from the east, from Güldengossa. Column 4 under Kleist - Russian Division Helffreich, Prussian Brigade Prince August, Russian Cuirassier Brigade Lewaschow and Lubny Hussar Regiment was to advance from Crobern to between Markkleeberg and Wachau, take the heights between the villages and the villages themselves. Cavalry Corps Pahlen together with the Prussian Reserve Cavalry was to support Columns 2 and 3. In reserve were Grenadier Corps Rajewski and Cuirassier Brigade Gudowitsch. They formed up on the main road south of Gruhna.
   At 8 a.m. the attack began with Duke Eugene advancing on Wachau which was quickly abandoned by the small occupying force. Attempts to break out of the village were halted by strong French artillery fire. Victor moved in for a counter-attack and threw out the Russians at the point of the bayonet. Wachau was in French hands again by 9.30 a.m. An artillery and musketry duel lasted until 11 a.m. when the Allies staged another assault on the village, driving the French out as far as their gun line to its rear. Allied losses were too high to pursue any further. The French counter-attacked and cleared Wachau but were unable to advance any further because of the Prussians and Russians engaged to their front. The fighting here was of such ferocity that of the 31 Allied cannon that opened fire at 8 a.m., only nine were still in action by 11 a.m.
   Kleist meanwhile was slowly forcing Poniatowski's Poles out of Markkleeberg in bitter street fighting. He had been forced to commit most of his reserves to get this far and by 11 o'clock his situation was critical. Because Klenau had yet to engage his column, Gortschakow contented himself by opening up with his artillery against Lauriston. His infantry, which was drawn up behind his guns, suffered terribly from the French counter-battery fire.
   Klenau started his advance at 10 o'clock. The Kolmberg, an ideal vantage point, was unoccupied by the French so Klenau placed a detachment there. Liebertwolkwitz itself was occupied by only a small force of French who were quickly driven out except from the church and the northern end of the village. They soon counter-attacked and made the Austrians retrace their every step.
   By 11 o'clock the situation on this sector of the front was becoming critical. The initial gains had been repulsed and it was clear that strong French reserves were approaching. Wittgenstein could not expect much help that day. Tsar Alexander reacted to this situation by committing Grenadier Corps Rajewski as well as the Russo-Prussian Guards. Moreover Schwarzenberg was ordered to move his reserves from the left to the right bank of the Pleisse. Merveldt was having no luck. Moving through the broken terrain on the

71


THE BATTLE OF LEIPZIG. 14-19 OCTOBER 1813

Connewitz drawn
shortly after the battle of
Leipzig. The village
played an important role
in the fighting on 16
October, being the site
of a bridge over the
Pleisse.











Probstheida. This
strategically important
village was defended by
Victor on 16 October.
Situated on the lower
slopes of a mound at a
major road junction,
possession of this village
determined mho was
master of the southern
entrance to Leipzig
itself.




The storming of the
sheep farm at Auenhain on
16 October. This farm
changed hands several
times during the course
of that day. Drawing by
C.W. Strassberger.














72


THE BATTLE OF WACHAU AND CONNEWITZ 16 OCTOBER 1813

left bank of the Pleisse was proving difficult. The bridge at Connewitz was barricaded and well defended. No other crossing was available. His only success was to take the Manor House at Dölitz.

   Napoleon visited Murat's headquarters on the Galgenberg at 9 o'clock to be briefed on the situation. The Allies had stolen a march on him and he had to deploy those reserves immediately to hand before he could bring up the remainder of his forces and take the offensive. Victor and Lauriston were reinforced by the artillery of the Young Guard, and at 9.30 a.m. Augereau was sent to support Poniatowski. The infantry of the Young Guard and Division Curial of the Old Guard were sent to support Liebertwolkwitz. Division Friant of the Old Guard moved up to the sheep farm at Meusdorf. As the fight for Wachau intensified, he had two divisions of the Young Guard under Oudinot and the mass of his cavalry move up to its rear. French losses were very heavy and Napoleon waited impatiently for the arrival of fresh troops. As the morning fog was lifting his advantage in numbers was evident and he itched to take the offensive. Macdonald cleared the Kolmberg and approached Seifertshain to take the Allied right flank. Once he had done this, Napoleon was going to advance along the whole of the centre of this front with the intention of breaking the enemy front entirely. Macdonald's attack went well. He achieved his objectives and was prevented from advancing further only by the timely intervention of several squadrons of Prussian cavalry. Klenau's Austrians were in full retreat. Sebastiani's cavalry threw back the Austrian cavalry to their front and again it was the Prussians, Roder's Reserve Cavalry, that prevented further pursuit. Platow's Cossacks appeared on Sebastiani's left, indicating the approach of Bennigsen's army. The French desisted from any further advance so Klenau had time to rally his men between Grosspösna and Fuchshain.
   Liebertwolkwitz had fallen to the French. The Austrians fell back to the Niederholz where the Baden artillery and men of Lauriston's Corps engaged them and pushed them back yet farther. Gortschakow and Pahlen fell back to realign with Klenau's new position. Augereau was thrown in against Kleist who was still holding his forward positions at Markkleeberg. Seeing the approach of Rajewski's grenadiers, Kleist committed his last reserve in a vain assault on Wachau. He was driven back but managed to hold most of Markkleeberg. By 2 p.m. the Allies, except for Kleist, had been driven back to their starting positions.
   Napoleon now formed his army up for the decisive attack. He deployed all his artillery reserves to the fore for the bombardment. Victor, the Young Guard, Lauriston and the Old Guard supported to the rear by the mass of the French cavalry formed up for the assault. Marmont had yet to arrive. In fact he was currently fighting Blücher at Möckern. Ney was unlikely to appear and Bertrand had been sent off to defend Lindenau. At 2 o'clock the Emperor could wait no longer. He ordered the general advance without Marmont.
   Nostitz's Austrian troopers charged and saved Kleist's Prussians from destruction. A counter-charge by Saxon cuirassiers stabilized the position again for the French. At 2.30 p.m. Bordesoulle's cavalry charged the Allied grand battery in the centre, broke through Württemberg's infantry and, with eighteen squadrons, a total of 2,500 sabres, took 26 guns. The charge continued into Schewitsch's Russian Guard Cavalry Division which was also thrown back. The French attempted to continue their advance to the Allied Headquarters but a timely flanking charge by a Russian cuirassier regiment together with a counter-charge by the Russian Life Guard Cossacks saved the Allied monarchs from capture. Ten squadrons of Prussian cavalry joined the melee and the situation in the centre turned in favour of the Allies, the French cavalry being driven back all the way to their own grand battery. The French infantry continued their advance but met determined resistance along the entire front. Klenau's Austrians barricaded themselves in Seifertshain and held the village until nightfall. A flanking attack by Bianchi's Division threw back the Young Guard and Lauriston. Markkleeberg was recaptured. Division Weissenwolf pushed on, with the situation on the French right becoming so critical that Napoleon had to commit part of the Old Guard as well as Corps Souham.
   By 5 p.m. the situation had clearly turned in favour of the Allies. Napoleon's cavalry had been thrown back, his main assault on the Allied

73


THE BATTLE OF LEIPZIG, 14-19 OCTOBER 1813

Emperor Francis I of
Austria. The geographical
position of the Hapsburg
Empire in the centre of
Europe always meant that it
had to fear several enemies-
the Russians to the east,
Turks to the south,
Prussians to the north and
French to the west. Never
strong enough to 'go it
alone', it was essential
for every ruler of this
Empire to have the right
allies at the right time
to ensure the balance of
power in Europe. Despite
several military defeats
in the Napoleonic Wars,
the Austrian Empire came
out on the winning side
and made sure that no one
else gained too much power.
In this respect, Francis I
was highly successful.
centre defeated and the bulk of his reserves committed to shore up his front. It was evident that the Allies still had uncommitted reserves and Napoleon saw little point in trying a further assault with the last of his.

The Battle of Lindenau and Möckern, 16 October 1813


Gyulai's situation was self-evident. With the forces available to him and in the terrain in which they would have to fight, it would be impossible to win a decisive victory and occupy Leipzig. Instead, his strategy was to threaten the French line of retreat and draw as many of their forces upon himself as possible, in which he was successful. Bertrand's Corps, so desperately needed by the Emperor on the southern front, had to be detached to secure Leipzig itself. Napoleon had come so close to victory over the Army of Bohemia that just one more Corps at his disposal would probably have settled the matter. Gyulai was ready for action at 7 a.m., but waited until the sound of cannon fire from the direction of Wachau began at 8 o'clock, before commencing his attack. He succeeded in driving the French out of several villages around Lindenau before the appearance of Bertrand's Corps at 11 o'clock put an end to his offensive. A counter-offensive by Bertrand at 5 p.m. was driven off. Gyulai had played his part in ensuring Allied victory at Leipzig.
   Napoleon had not expected the Army of Silesia to become involved in any serious fighting on 16 October. He had ordered Marmont to join him at Liebertwolkwitz and might well have won the battle that day had he been able to leave the northern front. But reports of Blücher's approach from Halle forced Marmont to turn back. He drew his forces up between Möckern and Lindenthal The village of Möckern was the key to his position. He had 19,500 men at his disposal.
   At 6 a.m. Blücher's cavalry marched off to reconnoitre the French dispositions. Shortly after 8 o'clock a report from the Crown Prince of Sweden arrived which made it clear that he was not going to participate in any fighting that day. Cannon fire could be heard coming from Lindenau and Wachau so Blücher decided to take the offensive alone with the intention of drawing enemy forces on himself so that they could not be used elsewhere in the battle. Again, this was a crucial decision which prevented Marmont joining his master on the southern front thereby facilitating a French victory.
   Shortly after 10 o'clock Blücher's troops moved forward for the attack. Marmont withdrew his outposts. Langeron moved on Gross and Klein Wiederitzsch while Yorck advanced towards Lindenthal and Möckern. Yorck was quick to recognize the strategic significance of the village of Möckern and from 2 p.m. he assaulted it. Time and again the village changed hands and losses to both sides were fearsome. Reserves were brought up. An equally bitter struggle for possession of Gross and Klein Wiederitzsch was taking place between

74


THE BATTLE OF LINDENAU AND MÖCKERN. 16 OCTOBER 1813


75


THE BATTLE OF LEIPZIG. 14-19 OCTOBER 1813

Lindenau in 1813.
This village was at the
end of the causeway
across marshy ground to
the west of Leipzig. Its
possession was essential
to cover the French line
of communications and, if
need be, retreat. The
Austrian Gyulai success-
fully leased the French
here and forced them to
commit precious reserves
when their use on the
southern front might have
brought victory.

General Yorck sends
in his cavalry reserve in
one last desperate
attempt to take Möckern.
The struggle for this
village was probably the
most desperate, bitter
and bloody of the entire
campaign. Yorck's Corps
was mauled here and
remained 'hors de
combat' for the
remainder of the battle.
His sacrifice relieved
pressure on the southern
front. Painting by Werner
Schuh.


The Brandenburg
Hussars at Möckern.
A rather dramatized
impression of events
that certainly were
dramatic. Yorck's
cavalry took 35
cannon, two Colours
and 400 prisoners
in their final charge
at Möckern on 16
October. Painting
by O. Gerlach.








76


RESULTS OF THE COMBATS OF 16 OCTOBER 1813

Russians and Poles. At nightfall, the French fell back to Eutritzsch.
   Yorck brought up 88 guns to support a further assault on Möckern. Brigade Mecklenburg successfully stormed the village. Division Compans counter-attacked and drove the Prussians out of the village again. Yorck was down to his last infantry reserve, Brigade Steinmetz, which he committed at 5 o'clock. It broke against the determined defence of Marmont's troops. Yorck now had only his cavalry left. In desperation he threw in his horsemen against the village. Such was the force of their charge that they swept aside all resistance, capturing 35 cannon, two Colours, five ammunition wagons and 400 prisoners. Marmont was able to fall back to Gohlis unmolested. Losses in this battle were fearful. Yorck's Corps, which had borne the brunt of the fighting, had started the day with 20,800 men. At the end of the day 5,600 had become casualties. Next day his four brigades were amalgamated to form two divisions. He had, however, taken 2,000 prisoners, one Eagle, two Colours, 40 cannon and numerous ammunition wagons. Langeron had lost about 1,500 men and had taken one Colour, thirteen cannon, numerous baggage wagons and several hundred prisoners. Marmont gives his losses at between 6,000 and 7,000 men.

Results of the Combats of 16 October 1813


The battle on the southern front had been a close-run affair. But for the timely intervention of the Tsar and the correct use of the reserves, the Army of Bohemia might well have suffered a decisive defeat. Had the Allies been able to force the crossing at Connewitz, they would have gained the French flank and rear and might well have used this to force a decision in their favour.
   Napoleon might have had victory in his grasp but for the fact that the Allies had staged a surprise attack early that morning, forcing him to commit his reserves immediately. Moreover the fighting at Lindenau and Möckern had deprived him of the numbers he needed for a clear decision. Napoleon had no new forces to bring into play. The Allies could rely on the


An impression of Leipzig by Johann Adam Klein.
This painting features a mixture of French, Prussian,
Austrian and Russian troops, and would appear to
represent fighting on the southern front. Albertina,
Vienna.

77


THE BATTLE OF LEIPZIG. 14-19 OCTOBER 1813



78-79


THE BATTLE OF LEIPZIG. 14-19 OCTOBER 1813

1. Losnig. A village to
the south of Leipzig.
Held by Augereau on the
morning of 18 October,
it was eventually
captured by Hessen-Homburg
whose men suffered severely
in the process.

2. Holzhausen. Held
by Macdonald on the
morning of 18 October,
it fell to the Russians
under Bennigsen.

3. Paunsdorf. It was at
this village that the
Saxon Army finally gave
up fighting for the French
Emperor.

4. Stötteritz. Once
Paunsdorf had fallen to
Bülow's Prussians,
Stötteritz became the
centre of the French
defence on the southern
front.

5. Zmeinaundorf
Defended by Lauriston on
18 October, it was
stormed and captured by
Bennigsen's Russians.


appearance of Bennigsen, Colloredo and the Crown Prince of Sweden. Napoleon had no hope whatsoever of a victory now. Retreat was the only sensible option. If he were to move his baggage train immediately, withdraw his troops through Leipzig and along the causeway through Lindenau, a rearguard deployed in Leipzig could hold up the Allies long enough for the manoeuvre to be accomplished. The rearguard itself could then withdraw and prevent any pursuit by blowing the bridge at Lindenau.
   But Napoleon could not leave without a victory. A retreat would no doubt result in his remaining allies deserting him. His army might well fall apart on the retreat. He would be abandoning the 140,000 men in his fortress garrisons. Perhaps he could now negotiate an armistice? He sent an ambassador to the Allies and formed his troops up in pouring rain, ready for battle on 17 October. He waited in vain. No attack came that day. Instead, the Allies brought up their reinforcements, rested their men, distributed fresh supplies of ammunition. Time was on their side. French losses the previous day

80


THE DAY OF DECISION. 18 OCTOBER 1813

had been horrific. Poniatowski had lost about a third of his men, Augereau a half; Marmont, Dombrowski, Bertrand and Macdonald had great holes torn in their ranks. Ammunition was running low. The men were exhausted.
   During the night of 17 October Napoleon shortened his front by withdrawing his troops to positions nearer Leipzig, deployed as follows: Right wing under Murat - Corps Poniatowski, Augereau and Victor deployed from Connewitz to Probstheida, supported by the Guard and the bulk of the cavalry. Centre under Macdonald - XI Corps deployed from Zuckelhausen through Holzhausen to Steinberg supported by Lauriston and Sebastiani. Left wing under Ney - in and around Paunsdorf Saxon Division, Division Durutte and Corps Marmont supported by Souham and l 1/2 divisions of Arrighi's Cavalry Corps. In Leipzig - Division Dombrowski, the garrison of Leipzig, Cavalry Division Lorge. In Lindenau two divisions of the Young Guard under Mortier. Taking into account losses on 16 October, Napoleon had about 160,000 men and 630 guns at his disposal.

Bennigsen. The commander of
a corps of Russians. This
corps was the entirely fresh
reserve formation which was
committed on 18 October.
Being the one and only
significant reserve held by
the Allies, the commiting
of Bennigsen tipped the
scales decisively in the
favour of the Allies.
Contemporary etching.













The Day of Decision, 18 October 1813


Schwarzenberg formed his men up for the final assault. Column 1 under Hessen-Homburg consisted of Corps Colloredo and Merveldt, Divisions Bianchi and Weissenwolf and Cavalry Division Nostitz. Its orders were to secure Connewitz and move through Markkleeberg on Leipzig. Column 2 under General Barclay consisted of Corps Kleist and Wittgenstein, the Russo-Prussian Guards and Reserves. This column was to advance through Wachau and Liebertwolkwitz on Probstheida. Column 3 under General Bennigsen consisted of the Polish Reserve Army, Division Bubna, Corps Klenau, the Prussian Brigade Ziethen and Platow's Cossacks. Its orders were to move round the enemy flank and move on Zuckelhausen and Holzhausen from the direction of Fuchshain and Siefertshain. Column 4 under the Crown Prince of Sweden consisted of the Army of the North together with Langeron and St. Priest. This column was to cross the Parthe at Taucha and link up with the Army of Bohemia. Column 5, the remainder of the Army of Silesia, was to advance on the north-west of Leipzig. Column 6 under Gyulai, consisting of Corps Gyulai, Division Moritz Liechtenstein and Detachments Mensdorff and Thielmann, was to advance on Lindenau from Klein Zschocher. Estimated strength of the Allied forces was about 245,000 men with 1,360 guns.
   For once, the sun started shining. At 9 o'clock the columns were formed up, ready to march. Napoleon's request for an armistice was ignored. Even in the face of such odds, the French put up a determined and bitter resistance. Hessen-Homburg pressed forward, taking Dösen and Dölitz. A French counter-attack threw him out of Dölitz. The Young Guard, Poniatowski and Augereau pushed him back and Hessen-Homburg was severely wounded. Colloredo assumed command. Schwarzenberg took such a serious view of the situation that he threw in Rajewski's grenadiers and 3rd Cuirassier Division. He even recalled Gyulai. Dölitz was recaptured but the advance ground to a halt.

81


THE BATTLE OF LEIPZIG. 14-19 OCTOBER 1813


82-83


THE BATTLE OF LEIPZIG. 14-19 OCTOBER 1813

French soldiers
gathering supplies at
Paunsdorf during a lull in
fighting at Leipzig. The
great burden that this
campaign placed on the
economy and civilian
population of Saxony
should not he forgotten.
Although Napoleon had
his admirers in this part
of Germany, the bulk of
the population were
simply very war weary
and were wailing in hope
for peace. Geissler.


Sellerhausen. Ney's
second line of defence
once Paunsdorf had
fallen. It was captured by
Bülow's Prussians.











Friccius leads his East
Prussian militia
battalion into Leipzig
itself. This act broke the
final French line of
defence of the town on 10
October. The church in
the background is St.
Nicolas', focal point for
the demonstrations of
October 1989. Painting
by Fritz Neumann.









84


THE BATTLE FOR LEIPZIG. 19 OCTOBER 1813

French 6 pdr artillery
piece. This particular gun
was captured by Swedish
forces during the Leipzig
campaign and can he seen
at the Armemuseum in
Stockholm. (Photograph
Armemuseum Stockholm).










   Barclay marched off at 8 o'clock and achieved his objectives without any great difficulties. Within cannon range of Probstheida, he halted and awaited the arrival of Bennigsen who had the farthest distance to cover. To his delight the French were withdrawing and offered little resistance. By 10 o'clock he was in position. Holzhausen and Zuckelhausen fell to determined assaults. Gerard was pushed off the Steinberg. Division Bubna moved on Paunsdorf which was strongly defended. At 2 p.m. the French still held Zweinaundorf, Mlkau and Paunsdorf. Bennigsen awaited the arrival of the Army of the North before committing himself to storming these villages.
   On the northern front Langeron engaged Marmont while Blücher started to push into the suburbs of Leipzig itself. Napoleon sent off a division of the Young Guard to help Dombrowski's hard-pressed Poles. The situation stabilized. Bertrand cleared the road to Weissenfels.
   The situation at 2 p.m. was still undecided. The French forces were still intact. They held various strongpoints around the perimeter of their position, had held off Allied advances from the north and had cleared their line of retreat. Against such odds, the French could not win a victory, but they still had the initiative and could withdraw at will.
   Colloredo failed all afternoon in his attempts to take Connewitz, the possession of which would decide the fate of Leipzig. At nightfall it was still in French hands. Barclay got no further than Probstheida which had been turned into a little fortress by its defenders. The village changed hands several times during the course of that afternoon but remained in French hands at nightfall.
   Bennigsen had more success, particularly when Bülow's Prussians closed in on Paunsdorf. Some 3,000 Saxons with nineteen guns took this opportunity to go over to the Allies as had Normann's Brigade of Württemberg cavalry earlier that day, French cavalry attacks tried to stabilize the situation on this front but Ney's remaining infantry fell back. Stötteritz became the centre of the French defences here. It would be a great exaggeration to say that the desertion of this handful of Saxons at this late stage of the conflict had any significant effect on the outcome of the battle. That had already been decided on 16 October. The subsequent events merely delayed the inevitable. The Army of the North continued its advance. Reports came in of a French retreat on Weissenfels. Napoleon had run out of choices. He now had to secure his retreat.

The Battle for Leipzig, 19 October 1813


Schwarzenberg formed his forces into five columns for the assault on Leipzig. Napoleon's retreat was to be threatened if not cut off by Yorck and Gyulai. The attempt to cut the French off was insufficient to be considered serious and was an error that would allow this war to continue into 1814. But one must remember that the Allies were generally exhausted. Fresh reserves for a pursuit were not to hand and a third day of bitter fighting was not regarded as a pleasant prospect. Under cover of darkness and the morning fog, the French had withdrawn into Leipzig itself and had begun

85


THE BATTLE OF LEIPZIG. 14-19 OCTOBER 1813

Napoleon's flight
from Leipzig.

















The final battle at the
southern end of the
Fleischerplatz. French
prisoners-of-war are
held around the
baggage train of the
Imperial Guard while
the rearguard action
continues not far away.












86


THE BATTLE FOR LEIPZIG. 19 OCTOBER 1813


Napoleon was now staging a rearguard action to cover his withdrawal to France. Leipzig itself had a good potential for defence, but its great disadvantage to Napoleon was the fact that there was only one exit to the west, over the Fleischerplatz through the Ranstadter Gate and over two bridges, the first over the Pleisse, the second over the Elster and thence westwards along a causeway over the marshes to Lindenau. While the Allies had the option of assaulting one or more of several entrances to the town, the French had but one exit and were gradually being forced down a funnel into a bottleneck. It was inevitable that the level of confusion would rise as the French were forced back. A state of complete chaos was likely and this indeed occurred.

87


THE BATTLE OF LEIPZIG. 14-19 OCTOBER 1813

The bridge over the  Elster.
This bridge on the French line of
retreat was blown up prematurely,
cutting off part of the French
rearguard. Some historians see this
as a major blow to Napoleon. Had
this bridge not been blown, he
might have been able lo save more
of his army. However, in any event,
he was going to have in fall back
across the Rhine so this final act
in the battle was of little
significance in that respect. The
fact that there was only one road
westwards out of Leipzig caused
more difficulties and delays to
the retreat than the loss of this
bridge.

Schwarzenberg brings
news of victory to the
titled monarchs. This
would indeed seem a
good time for him to
come back to his
headquarters.












their retreat. The French could enter from four gates to the east but leave by only one in the west so a degree of military organization was necessary.

   The Allied assault began at 10.30 a.m. on 19 October. Progress was slow. Every wall, gateway, building and street was defended. A battalion of East Prussian militia under Friccius made its name by breaking into the town. A French counter-attack almost succeeded but was thrown back by a battalion of Swedish Jäger with two cannon. The Allies now had the Grimma Gate in their possession. There were many such tales of heroism as the battle see-sawed through Leipzig. A major traffic jam developed as the French baggage trains tried to escape the Allied assault. Leipzig became a scene of chaos. Many retreating French soldiers tried to swim the Pleisse. Those who did not succeed laid down their arms to the advancing Allies. Tsar Alexander and King Frederick William III rode to the Market Place where they met the Crown Prince of Sweden, Bennigsen, Blücher and Gneisenau. Any attempt at pursuit was forgotten in the jubilation of victory. The battle was over but it would be another year before the war was won.
   Napoleon marched with his army back to France. An attempt by the Bavarians to halt his pursuit was brushed aside. His regime did not collapse immediately. It might after all have survived a peace negotiated in the early days of 1813.

88


THE BATTLE FOR LEIPZIG. 19 OCTOBER 1813

The wreckage of an army the day after battle. This
scene at the Halle Cate, drawn by the eyewitness
Geissler, clearly illustrates the aftermath of war - the
stripped corpses, some of which appear still to be
showing signs of life, the plundered wagons.








Poniatowski attempting to swim the Elster. Perhaps
Napoleon's greatest loss caused by the premature
detonation of the Elster bridge. A number of generals
managed to swim to safety. This unfortunate Pole did
not and met a tragic death for such a noble figure.



















A scene from the Battle of Hanau. Here, the
Bavarians, having recently changed sides,
made a futile attempt at stopping the French
retreat. Napoleon brushed his erstwhile allies
aside before continuing the march home.


89


THE BATTLEFIELD TODAY



The field of Leipzig has a number of memorials, the most famous one being the tower built for the centennial to the south of the centre of the town, near the exhibition centre. The climb to the top of this tower is very worthwhile because the entire battlefield can be viewed from this point. A map of the battlefield is available at the tower. There is also a museum pavilion close by which is currently being renovated. The recent political changes have resulted in most museums in the former German Democratic Republic being closed for 'renovation'. At various points of significance around the battlefield many of the famous 'Appel' stones have been preserved and there are memorials in Wachau, Liebertwolkwitz, on the Kolmberg, on the 'Monarchenhugel' near Probstheida, Dölitz, Möckern and Schoonefeld. Not to be forgotten is the Russian church close to the road running from the centre of Leipzig to the Memorial. It was built as a memorial to the Russian dead at the battle and contains some interesting exhibits. A town plan, a good map of the surrounding area and a general tourist guide book would be helpful companions.
   There are memorials on most of the other battlefields of this campaign, including Dennewitz and Grossbeeren, although some of these have fallen rather into disrepair. Plans for their restoration are afoot. Most of the battlefield of Dresden has subsequently been built on and there is little to see here other then the Grosser Garten.
   A thorough tour of these battlefields requires a car and at least one week. It is advisable to book accommodation in advance because the tourist industry here is relatively undeveloped.
The memorial to the
Battle of Leipzig built for
the centennial. This is the
point at which all tours of
the Leipzig battlefield
should start. This massive
tower has no lifts so only
the very fit will be able to
make it to the top where
there is a panoramic view
of the entire battlefield.
Concerts are held frequently
in the hall inside
the monument and the
acoustics are excellent.











90


CHRONOLOGY


30 December 1812: Yorck, commander of the Prussian Auxiliary Corps in Russia,
signs the Convention of Tauroggen ending de facto the Prussian alliance with the French.
The Wars of Liberation are considered to have begun at this point.

1813
28 February: Prussia and Russia sign the Treaty of Kalisch. Alliance against France formed.
18 March: Hamburg occupied by Russians under Tettenborn.
27 March: Prussians and Russians occupy Dresden in Saxony.
2 April: Prussians and Russians defeat French at Luneburg, taking Morand and 2,000 men prisoner.
2 May: Battle of Lutzen or Gross-Gorschen. French victory.
18 May: Swedes under Bernadotte land in Pomerania.
20-21 May: Battle of Bautzen. French victory.
30 May: Hamburg reoccupied by French under Davout.
4-26 June: Armistice of Poischwitz. Later extended to 16 August.
15 June: Prussia and Russia sign subsidy treaty with Britain.
21 June: Wellington's victory at Vittoria.
27 June: Treaty of Reichenbach signed by Austria, Russia and Prussia.
21 July: Swedes join coalition.
12 August: Austria declares war on France.
16 August: Hostilities commence.
23 August: Battle of Grossbeeren. French defeated.
26-27 August: Battle of Dresden. Napoleon beats Schwarzenberg.
26 August: Battle on the Katzbach. Blücher beats Macdonald.
27 August: Battle of Hagelberg. French defeated.
29-30 August: Battles of Kulm and Nollendorf. French defeated.
6 September: Battle of Dennewitz. French under Ney defeated.
3 October: Battle of Wartenburg. Yorck's Prussians defeat French under Marmont.
8 October: Bavaria leaves Confederation of Rhine and joins Allies.
14 October: Cavalry battle at Liebertwolkwitz.
16-19 October: BATTLE OF LEIPZIG. Napoleon defeated. French withdraw from Germany.
30-31 October: Battle of Hanau. Attempt by Bavarians to halt French retreat unsuccessful.

A GUIDE TO FURTHER READING


This campaign has attracted scant attention from historians in the English-speaking world and thus there are but few works to recommend for further reading. Those available include:

BRETT-JAMES, A.
Europe against Napoleon, London, 1970. A most interesting anthology of eye-witness accounts.
MAUDE, Colonel F.N., The Leipzig Campaign: 1813, London, 1908. Probably the most authoritative English-language account of the campaign.
PETRE, F.L., Napoleon's Last Campaign in Germany, 1813, London 1912. Reprinted a number of times in recent years, this work is but a pale shadow of its sources - the multi-volume works produced by the general staffs of the participating armies.
SHERWIG, J.M., 'Guineas and Gunpowder British Foreign Aid in the War with France, 1793-1815', Cambridge MA, 1969. A fascinating account of Britain's role as paymaster and arms supplier to continental Europe during this period.

91







Index