Napoleon    Part 2   session vi Völkerschlacht
Napoleon          La Resistance    Part 2             de                      1814   session vi Völkerschlacht
My star was fading. I felt the reinsslipping out of my grasp, and coulddo nothing to stop it.            --Napoleon
major topics for this sessionI. Rise of German NationalismII.Leipzig, The Battle of the Nations (Volkerschlacht)III. Invas...
1813 Campaign                    Leipzig                  16-19 October1814 Campaign
Rise of German Nationalism
The 19th century statue of Arminius,         the HermannsdenkmalRise of German Nationalism
‘In the beginning was Napoleon -- with these words the late and much-lamented ThomasNipperday began his masterly account o...
What are the Germans? enquired Friedrich von Moser in 1766 replying to his question asfollows: ‘What we are, then, we have...
The End of the Ancien Régime in Central Europe✦   1801-the Treaty of Luneville, which ended Austria’s part in the war of t...
The    Thus began theLower   break-up of thisRhine       medieval           institution         These German          Rhin...
The End of the Ancien Régime in Central Europe✦   1801-the Treaty of Luneville, which ended Austria’s part in the war of t...
The Rise of German Nationalism              or The German Princes vs das deutsche Völk oder die deutsche Nation✦   as many...
Prussia; A Special Case✦   1806-the Prussian civilian population had stood aside politely while the French emperor    stru...
Prussia’s Special Spur to Military Reform✦   1807-the Treaty of Tilsit deeply humiliated Prussia, reducing her territory a...
The aristocracy and middle-classes were in the grip of a surge of patrioticfeeling, and many banded themselves together in...
Lützow’sches Freikorps!   Feb 1813-founded as the Royal Prussian Free Corps von    Lützow, after its founder!   alleged to...
“Potsdam’s Joan of Arc”n   Eleonores father was an officer in the Prussian guards, on a    low income. She grew up poor and...
“Potsdam’s Joan of Arc”n   Eleonores father was an officer in the Prussian guards, on a    low income. She grew up poor and...
“Potsdam’s Joan of Arc”n   Eleonores father was an officer in the Prussian guards, on a    low income. She grew up poor and...
Karl Theodor Körner (1791 – 26 August 1813) was a German poetand soldier. After some time in Vienna, where he wrote some l...
During the short one-and-a-half years of the War of Liberation, thevolunteer bands felt themselves to be ‘the nation in ar...
II. Leipzig, The Battle of the    Nations(Völkerschlacht)
II. Leipzig, The Battle of the    Nations(Völkerschlacht)
It was high time for Napoleon to reconsider his strategy….He might massthe bulk of his forces for a drive against Prague, ...
BERLIN         PRAGUE                  Situation Evening of 30 April 1813 After                  Vandamme’s defeat at Kulm
BERLINMacdonald, “already a beaten man” (Chandler) was pleading for help. Napoleonmarched east on 2 September with the Gua...
BERLIN                                                MACDONALDUndoubtedly, Napoleon hoped to deal with Blücher as he had ...
a                                                               cRecognizing that Blücher had no intention of fighting     ...
Returning to Dresden, Napoleon advanced on a 8September (map b) through Fürstenwalde aiming atTeplitz. Barclay fell back t...
a                                                              cAfter considering a variety of plans, Napoleon abruptly de...
Bernadotte now began breaking out of Rosslaua and Barby. Napoleon now rearranged his troopsaccording to a plan to cross th...
Although healthy reinforcements were steadily reaching the enemy, the French were not so fortunate.Napoleon’s only immedia...
Napoleon must have been on the verge ofexhaustion. For weeks he had been almostconstantly on the move, fighting a dozenbatt...
Professionally, he was failing to respect the interplay of quantitative and qualitative factors that governthe battlefield,...
er                                                                                  e   Riv                               ...
er                                                                       e   Riv                                          ...
er                                                                                          Leipzigarthe Riv              ...
er                                                                             e   Riv                                    ...
er                                                                             e   Riv                                    ...
er                                                                                 e   Riv                                ...
er                                                                                         e   Riv                        ...
er                                                                                  e   Riv                               ...
Situation 1100, 16 Oct, Just Priorto Napoleon’s Counterattack
Situation 1100, 16 Oct, Just Priorto Napoleon’s Counterattack
Richard Woodville Caton, Poniatowski’s Last Charge, 1912
...it appeared that Napoleon was on the point of bringing off a modelcombined evacuation and river crossing in the face of...
January Suchodolski,   Death of Poniatowski, before 1830
Over the four-day period the Allies probably lost 54,00 killed andwounded…. As for the French, their battle casualties wer...
Napoleon, indeed, was guilty of several severe political and militarymiscalculations which between them underlay his failu...
III.Invasion of    France
Against greatly superior forces it is possible to win a battle, but                    hardly a war--NAPOLEON      III.Inv...
A people who have been brought upon victories often do not know how toaccept defeat.            --Napoleon
A people who have been brought upon victories often do not know how toaccept defeat.                          La Résistanc...
Would the war continue or would there be peace? The negotiatingwaters rising from a slimy bottom composed of ambition, gre...
Baron de Marbot writes, "No previous general had ever shownsuch talent, or achieved so much with such feeble resources.Wit...
!   mid-December 1813-he expected that the main          a    Allied offensive would strike directly across the    lower R...
The drafts from                           Italy fail to                           materializeJoachim Murat, King of       ...
Against Overwhelming Odds, Still Not Admitting Defeat✦   Nov-Jan 1814-a flurry of diplomatic exchanges    produce no accept...
A bleak picture, yes, but not without some merits. The allies had not marchedall this way without some losses of their own...
So skilled a soldier as the Emperor knew how much advantage could beobtained from this river- and road-dominated terrain i...
ST DIZIER                           BAR-SUR-AUBEAt Châlons, Napoleon learned that Blücher was approaching St. Dizier;Schwa...
NAPOLEON (40,000)                !   (large map a) 26 Jan-Blücher takes St. Dizier &  BLUCHER (53,000)                   p...
!   Napoleon sent Mortier southeast on a major                                   reconnaissance in force, which thoroughly...
7 February-to Marie Louise,“Your letter grieves me deeply; it tells me you are discouraged. Those whoare with you have los...
20         0          20     SCALE IN MILES
At Nogent, Napoleon was caught in a blizzard of ill tidings.                           Northward Bülow had entered Brussel...
Schwarzenberg had occupied Troyes, where he                                    halted to ponder his next move. Finally, co...
That night (9-10 Feb), Blücher somehow learned that Napoleon was in Sezanne. Knowing little of the strength and dispositio...
Pushing northward along roads “six feet deep in mud,” Napoleon got considerablehelp from the local inhabitants, who, havin...
TROYES                                    MONTMIRAIL20         0          20     SCALE IN MILES
Olssufiev having been disposed of, Napoleon swung westward to deal with Sacken                           and Yorck…. {He or...
TROYES                                    MONTMIRAIL20         0          20     SCALE IN MILES
On 12 Feb, Napoleon renewed his attack,                           Ney leading. Yorck and Sacken barely                    ...
Learning of Schwarzenberg’s offensive during                           the 13 th , Napoleon began planning a              ...
Resolved to teach Blücher a lesson, Napoleon                           ordered Marmont to draw the Prussian on to         ...
During 12 February, Schwarzenberg had got across the Seine River…. Anunidentified [French] officer hastily ordered the army’...
Exasperated civilians began to waylay stragglers and small detachments.The Vosges Mountain passes became especially danger...
News that Blücher had been thoroughly defeated, losing athird of his army, dazed the Allied high command. Its firstreaction...
Elsewhere, Seslawin’s Cossacks were wanderingtowards Orleans; more important, Bülow wasmoving south out of Belgium, having...
Napoleon’s original plans were to follow up and finish off Blücher, then to move south through Vitryinto Schwarzenberg’s re...
Mortier and Marmont were left to maintainpressure on Blücher and Winzingerode….   On the 17th and 18th Napoleon inflictedhe...
On the 17th February, Schwarzenberg hadalready sent Berthier a sniveling and lyingmessage stating that--since theprelimina...
The Allies were not going to leave France, there would be no armistice.Napoleon was not going to have peace with honor. De...
He had hurt Blücher and Schwarzenberg but each had been reinforced andsoon returned to the offensive. He had also hurt him...
Lacking a bridge train [on the 21st], Napoleon had to funnel his advance throughMontereau until Macdonald restored the bri...
Schwarzenberg needed the respite. In addition to the excitedyammerings of his three sovereign commanders and their polyglo...
To screen his retreat--from Napoleon, Alexander and the King of Prussia alike--Schwarzenberg ordered a heavy reconnaissanc...
Following up, Oudinot’s advance guard rushed the Allies out of the Mery suburb on thewest bank of the Seine. It then force...
Schwarzenberg likewise saw the situation clearly. In quiet defiance of the Czar and theKing of Prussia, he continued his wi...
Napoleon entered Troyes about 0600 on the 24th, and this time he received a roaringwelcome, one of the most heartfelt in h...
25 Feb-Alexander, Francis, Frederick Wm andCastlereagh held a council at Bar-sur-Aube.Agreeing that Augereau menaced their...
Napoleon was slow to believe that Blücher wasagain deliberately asking to be knocked on thehead. 27 Feb-finally certain tha...
Marmont and Mortier bloodied Blücher at the rivercrossing at Meaux on the 27th and 28th.    Napoleon reached La Ferte on 1...
Blücher was leaving Oulchy-le-Chateau, stillignorant of Bülow’s and Winzingerode’swhereabouts. His army had had three nigh...
26 Feb-on receipt of Blücher’s deceptive report,    Alexander and Frederick Wm bullied    Schwarzenberg into counterattack...
1   0   1   220   0   20
0700 3 March-Blücher received a message from                         Winzingerode, reporting that he had failed to storm  ...
SOISSONS                                                              1   0   1   2General Moreau, the commandant of Soiss...
Napoleon drove north on the 4th; that night, a                                          brigade of his cavalry surprised a...
CRAONNE                                          BERRY                         SOISSONS                                   ...
CRAONNE                                          BERRY                         SOISSONS                                   ...
8 March-Tired of running, Blücher had decided to stand there--an immensely strong position along ahigh, steep ridge, which...
Awed by Napoleon’s threatening maneuvers, Gneisenau (Blücher’schief of staff) recalled these four corps. The day passed in...
As the French fell back towards Soissons, however, there was nodisguising the unpalatable fact that another of the Emperor...
Despite terrible news from almost all fronts                    (Wellington was driving Soult across southern             ...
Despite terrible news from almost all fronts                                                  (Wellington was driving Soul...
To add to his burdens he had become suspicious of a growing intimacybetween Marie Louise and [his brother] King Joseph. “D...
[On 23 March] the allies had intercepted a letter from Napoleon to MarieLouise informing her of his intended march to the ...
Advancing through Mery-sur-Seine (where he destroyed Würtemburg’s rear guard) Napoleon sawindications of a hasty retreat e...
Napoleon first thought that he had encountered an unusually stubborn rear guard. Movingcautiously southward on 21 March to ...
[On the 29th] the Empress Marie-Louise and the King of Rome left thecapital and headed south. They were followed toward Or...
On 11 April a forlorn and dejected Napoleon dictated and signed hisabdication. Caulaincourt and Macdonald remained with hi...
IV. Abdication
IV. AbdicationAdieux de Napoléon à la Garde impériale dans la cour du Cheval-Blanc                    du château de Fontai...
You, my friends--continue to serveFrance. Its welfare was my singlethought and will always be the object ofmy wishes. Do n...
On 11 April a forlorn and dejected Napoleon dictated and signed hisabdication..                                           ...
Louis XVIII
France was occupied by foreign troops. Louis XVIII was placedon his throne by them. The aristocratic émigrés returned, dre...
Napoleon Part 2, session vi Voelkerschlacht
Napoleon Part 2, session vi Voelkerschlacht
Napoleon Part 2, session vi Voelkerschlacht
Napoleon Part 2, session vi Voelkerschlacht
Napoleon Part 2, session vi Voelkerschlacht
Napoleon Part 2, session vi Voelkerschlacht
Napoleon Part 2, session vi Voelkerschlacht
Napoleon Part 2, session vi Voelkerschlacht
Napoleon Part 2, session vi Voelkerschlacht
Napoleon Part 2, session vi Voelkerschlacht
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Napoleon Part 2, session vi Voelkerschlacht

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This session begins with the Battle of the Nations, Leipzig in 1813. It concludes with Napoleon's first abdication.

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Napoleon Part 2, session vi Voelkerschlacht

  1. 1. Napoleon Part 2 session vi Völkerschlacht
  2. 2. Napoleon La Resistance Part 2 de 1814 session vi Völkerschlacht
  3. 3. My star was fading. I felt the reinsslipping out of my grasp, and coulddo nothing to stop it. --Napoleon
  4. 4. major topics for this sessionI. Rise of German NationalismII.Leipzig, The Battle of the Nations (Volkerschlacht)III. Invasion of FranceIV. Abdication
  5. 5. 1813 Campaign Leipzig 16-19 October1814 Campaign
  6. 6. Rise of German Nationalism
  7. 7. The 19th century statue of Arminius, the HermannsdenkmalRise of German Nationalism
  8. 8. ‘In the beginning was Napoleon -- with these words the late and much-lamented ThomasNipperday began his masterly account of the history of Germany in the nineteenth century(recently translated as From Napoleon to Bismarck). Like most lapidary phrases, it begs as manyquestions as it answers. Many of the forces which turned Germany into the greatest power onthe European continent went back far into the eighteenth century and beyond. But, as weshall see, there is certainly a great deal to be said for taking Napoleon as the starting point. Tim Blanning,”Napoleon and German Identity: How Napoleon Laid Up Trouble for Future Generations of Frenchmen by Kick-Starting Prussian and German Domination of Eastern Europe” History Today, vol. 48, April 1998
  9. 9. What are the Germans? enquired Friedrich von Moser in 1766 replying to his question asfollows: ‘What we are, then, we have been for centuries; that is, a puzzle of a politicalconstitution, a prey of our neighbors, an object of their scorn, … disunited among ourselves,weak from our divisions, strong enough to harm ourselves, powerless to save ourselves,insensitive to the honour of our name, … a great but also a despised people….” Hagen Schulze, The Course of German Nationalism from Frederick the Great to Bismarck, 1763-1867, p.43
  10. 10. The End of the Ancien Régime in Central Europe✦ 1801-the Treaty of Luneville, which ended Austria’s part in the war of the Second Coalition, gave the German states of the Holy Roman Empire (HRE) located on the west bank of the Rhine to France
  11. 11. The Thus began theLower break-up of thisRhine medieval institution These German Rhinelanders were the first to taste the reforms of the French Revolution
  12. 12. The End of the Ancien Régime in Central Europe✦ 1801-the Treaty of Luneville, which ended Austria’s part in the war of the Second Coalition, gave the German states of the Holy Roman Empire (HRE) located on the west bank of the Rhine to France✦ there was a great political division among the German political classes between the admirers and the opponents of the French Revolution✦ a famous example was Beethoven who originally dedicated his Third Symphony to Napoleon only to change it in ...✦ 1805-after the defeat of Austria for the third time, the Treaty of Pressburg continued the demise of the HRE✦ July 1806- the Rheinbundachte created a 16 state confederation of German states under Bonaparte’s protection. Austria dissolved the HRE that August✦ over the next seven years, 23 more German states, composed from the remains of the former HRE, would ally with Napoleon
  13. 13. The Rise of German Nationalism or The German Princes vs das deutsche Völk oder die deutsche Nation✦ as many Prussian patriots were girding to fight the French and redeem the military humiliations of Jena-Auerstedt in1806, most of the princes hesitated✦ many princes had personally benefitted from Napoleon’s destruction of the 306 feudal states of the Holy Roman Empire✦ they had gained the lands and taxes of the former church properties, “free cities” and “free knights of the empire”✦ most princes in the central, southern and, especially western and Catholic, Germanies, preferred to sit on the sidelines and wait to see who won the struggle✦ this infuriated the emerging group of pan-German nationalists. They came to believe that all the princely divisions needed to be swept away as Medieval relics and be replaced by a German Nation under either Habsburg (Groß) or Hohenzollern (Klein) (Greater or Smaller German) leadership✦ this German Question would be answered in 1866-1871
  14. 14. Prussia; A Special Case✦ 1806-the Prussian civilian population had stood aside politely while the French emperor struck a mortal blow at their own king’s army. Even if the Prussians did not openly approve of the coming of the French, they certainly regarded them with open interest✦ It took them no more than a couple of years to realize that their country had become just another cow to be milked by Napoleon. Their king, Frederick William III, had been no Frederick the Great. If they had felt themselves bound to the idea of Prussia, it had been to the state and its institutions, not to the king✦ 1812-the Prussian nation had done an about-face. The king had become a partner in his people’s suffering. While Napoleon had not incurred the enmity of the Prussian nation by waging war against its king, it had become hostile when he became its master by remote control….✦ 1813-the rising of the Prussian nation was something Frederick William could have never accomplished by decree. Only Napoleon could take credit for that Richard Riehn, Napoleon’s Russian Campaign, pp. 68-69
  15. 15. Prussia’s Special Spur to Military Reform✦ 1807-the Treaty of Tilsit deeply humiliated Prussia, reducing her territory and imposing economic terms which threatened her with ruin✦ ministers Stein and Hardenberg were able to pressure King Frederick William III to adopt a famous series of reforms: ✦ 1807-Edict of Emancipation-ended serfdom and class distinctions based on occupation. It also ended separate conditions of land tenure under the law, e.g., nobles’ estates, peasants lands ✦ next the cabinet system was strengthened on British lines, as against monarchial absolutism ✦ 1808-municipal reform-local self-government for towns and villages greater than 800 inhabitants✦ they also promoted the military reforms of Chief of the Prussian General Staff, General Gerhard von Scharnhorst: ✦ 1813-compulsory universal service was the crowning reform ✦ promotion by merit, creation of the Landwehr (reserve system) was begun ✦ military administration was simplified and rationalized
  16. 16. The aristocracy and middle-classes were in the grip of a surge of patrioticfeeling, and many banded themselves together into volunteer Jäegerformations. In a similar fashion, Freicorps came into existence---mainlyconsisting of foreigners [i.e., non-Prussian Germans]. By April 1813 therewere over 80,000 men under arms, and the net result of all these measureswas the creation, by the end of the June-August armistice, of an army of228,000 infantry, 31,100 cavalry and 13,000 gunners and sappers, with 376cannon at their disposal. Chandler, p.873
  17. 17. Lützow’sches Freikorps! Feb 1813-founded as the Royal Prussian Free Corps von Lützow, after its founder! alleged to have consisted mostly of students and academics from all over Germany; actually, these amounted to no more than 12%, most were laborers! average corps size, 1,200 infantry, 600 cavalry and 120 artillery. Operating first in the rear of the French forces, then with regular Allied units! Despite its small size the corps became famous after the war, as it was the only unit in the army consisting of people from all over Germany. Also, it contained academics, writers and other well known people such as Karl Körner and Friedrich Jahn. The educator Friedrich Fröbel who later developed the concept of the kindergarten also belonged to the corps.! In addition, two women, Eleonore Prochaska and Anna Lühring, had managed to join in disguise. their black-red-gold uniform color scheme became associated with republican ideals
  18. 18. “Potsdam’s Joan of Arc”n Eleonores father was an officer in the Prussian guards, on a low income. She grew up poor and was sent by her father to the military orphanage in Potsdam when her mother diedn she disguised herself as a man and registered for 1 Jägerbataillon of the Lützow Free Corps under the name August Renz, serving first as a drummer, then later as an infantryman Eleonore Prochaska 1785 - 5 October 1813
  19. 19. “Potsdam’s Joan of Arc”n Eleonores father was an officer in the Prussian guards, on a low income. She grew up poor and was sent by her father to the military orphanage in Potsdam when her mother diedn she disguised herself as a man and registered for 1 Jägerbataillon of the Lützow Free Corps under the name August Renz, serving first as a drummer, then later as an infantrymann She was severely wounded and field-surgeons, rushing to treat her wounds, discovered she was a woman and took her to Dannenberg, where she succumbed to her wounds three weeks latern In retrospect, she was strongly idealized as a chaste heroine and honored as "die Potsdamer Jeanne dArc". Various plays and poems were written on her life , whilst Ludwig van Beethoven began a "Bühnenmusik" (WoO 96) on her, with a libretto entitled "Eleonore Prochaska" written by the Eleonore Prochaska Prussian royal private-secretary Friedrich Duncker 1785 - 5 October 1813
  20. 20. “Potsdam’s Joan of Arc”n Eleonores father was an officer in the Prussian guards, on a low income. She grew up poor and was sent by her father to the military orphanage in Potsdam when her mother diedn she disguised herself as a man and registered for 1 Jägerbataillon of the Lützow Free Corps under the name August Renz, serving first as a drummer, then later as an infantrymann She was severely wounded and field-surgeons, rushing to treat her wounds, discovered she was a woman and took her to Dannenberg, where she succumbed to her wounds three weeks latern In retrospect, she was strongly idealized as a chaste heroine and honored as "die Potsdamer Jeanne dArc". Various plays and poems were written on her life , whilst Ludwig van Beethoven began a "Bühnenmusik" (WoO 96) on her, with a libretto entitled "Eleonore Prochaska" written by the Eleonore Prochaska Prussian royal private-secretary Friedrich Duncker 1785 - 5 October 1813
  21. 21. Karl Theodor Körner (1791 – 26 August 1813) was a German poetand soldier. After some time in Vienna, where he wrote some lightcomedies and other works, he became a soldier [at age 21] and joinedthe German uprising against Napoleon. During these times, hedisplayed personal courage in many fights, and encouraged hiscomrades by fiery patriotic lyrics he composed, one of these being“Schwertlied" (Sword Song), composed during a lull in fighting only afew hours before his death and set to music by Franz Schubert. Friedrich Ludwig Jahn (1778 – 1852) He studied theology and philology from 1796 to 1802 at Halle, Göttingen and the University of Greifswald. After the Battle of Jena-Auerstedt in 1806 he joined the Prussian army. In 1809 he went to Berlin, where he became a teacher at the Gymnasium. Brooding upon what he saw as the humiliation of his native land by Napoleon, Jahn conceived the idea of restoring the spirits of his countrymen by the development of their physical and moral powers through the practice of gymnastics. The first Turnplatz, or open-air gymnasium, was opened by Jahn in Berlin in 1811, and the Turnverein (gymnastics association) movement spread rapidly. Young gymnasts were taught to regard themselves as members of a kind of guild for the emancipation of their fatherland. This nationalistic spirit was nourished in no small degree by the writings of Jahn. Early in 1813 [at age 35] Jahn took an active part in the formation of the famous Lützow Free Corps, a volunteer force in the Prussian army fighting Napoleon. He commanded a battalion of the corps, though he was often employed in the secret service during the same period.
  22. 22. During the short one-and-a-half years of the War of Liberation, thevolunteer bands felt themselves to be ‘the nation in arms’. The politicalaims of the youths and burghers who gathered together in the Freikorpsappear obvious, when one looks at the prevalent programaticlyrics…‘What is the German’s Fatherland?’ asked Ernst Moritz Arndt in1813: Is it Prussia? Is it Swabia? Is it along the Rhine where the vine resides? Is it along the Belt where the seagull glides? Oh no! No! No! His Fatherland must be greater still!It must be--Germany is presented as will and idea, in a purely optativeform. Arndt’s Song of the Fatherland employs felicitous couplets to runthrough provinces and countries...and then concludes: As far as the German tongue rings And to God in Heaven Lieder sings That’s where it should be! That, bold German, pertains to thee! Schulze, p. 54
  23. 23. II. Leipzig, The Battle of the Nations(Völkerschlacht)
  24. 24. II. Leipzig, The Battle of the Nations(Völkerschlacht)
  25. 25. It was high time for Napoleon to reconsider his strategy….He might massthe bulk of his forces for a drive against Prague, hoping to complete thedefeat of [Schwarzenberg]; if this was successful this might drive Austriaout of the war. Or, alternatively, he might renew the advance against Berlin.Once again, the old lure of his April “master plan” won the day. It offeredpalpable advantages. To the northward the countryside was still relativelyunravaged and could be therefore be expected to yield considerablesupplies. The French would also be able to assume a more central positionin the face of the three Allied armies. And even if Schwarzenberg diddecide to double back...and head for Dresden once more, ...a new offensiveover the Bohemian mountains would take a considerable period, by whichtime the French could be in Berlin and on their way to the relief of Stettin.Such a threat must surely draw the Prussians and Russians north, leavingAustria precariously isolated. A sudden move south would then placeNapoleon in a commanding position, with power to end the war in a blazeof glory. Chandler, pp. 912-913
  26. 26. BERLIN PRAGUE Situation Evening of 30 April 1813 After Vandamme’s defeat at Kulm
  27. 27. BERLINMacdonald, “already a beaten man” (Chandler) was pleading for help. Napoleonmarched east on 2 September with the Guard, Latour-Maubourg and Marmont,gendarmes were sent ahead to deal with Macdonald’s stragglers and deserters.He also ordered Poniatowski to be ready to fall on Blücher’s left flank.Macdonald was told to get his army concentrated so that the Emperor couldinspect it in a half hour. MACDONALD PRAGUE Situation Evening of 30 April 1813 After Vandamme’s defeat at Kulm
  28. 28. BERLIN MACDONALDUndoubtedly, Napoleon hoped to deal with Blücher as he had withSchwarzenberg, but the sight of Macdonald’s demoralized command drove himinto an unusual fit of public fury. Riding on to Hochkirch, he saw Blücher’sadvance guard approaching, and ordered the nearest French units against it.Revitalized by his presence, these whipped men turned on the Prussians with PRAGUEsuch enthusiasm that Blücher rapidly guessed its cause and at once retreated [inaccordance with the Trachtenberg Plan]. Esposito & Elting, MAP 138 Situation Evening of 30 April 1813 After Vandamme’s defeat at Kulm
  29. 29. a cRecognizing that Blücher had no intention of fighting d(Map a, above), on 5 September, Napoleon orderedMacdonald to drive Blücher east of the Queiss River.His plans to advance on Berlin were interrupted bythe report that Schwarzenberg had recrossed theElbe with 60,000 Austrians. Barclay, with the rest ofthe Army of Bohemia was threatening Dresden. That same day he learned that Ney hadaggressively blundered into a trap that Bernadottehad set for him. The French were almost saved byRenier’s skill and the fury with which the Frenchcame on. But Ney managed to lose the battle andretreated to Torgau in great disorder, having lostsome 10,000 men to the Allies’ 7,000. Situation 19 September Situation 9 October
  30. 30. Returning to Dresden, Napoleon advanced on a 8September (map b) through Fürstenwalde aiming atTeplitz. Barclay fell back through Peterswalde;Schwarzenberg hastily recrossed the Elbe. On 10September Napoleon came over the mountains justwest of Kulm. In 1796 Napoleon would haveattacked. Now, his artillery was unable to get intoaction over the ruined roads, and he would not riskhis conscripts without it. Increasingly bad weather made further movementsalmost impossible. His problems were furthercomplicated by Macdonald’s tendency to withdrawevery time Blücher stirred. c d Situation 19 September Situation 9 October
  31. 31. a cAfter considering a variety of plans, Napoleon abruptly decided to retire west of the Elbe (map c) dretaining strong bridgeheads at Königstein, Pillnitz, Dresden, Meissen, Torgau, Wittenberg andMagdeburg. This done, he would clear up his rear area [of Cossacks and Freikorps], reorganize hiscommunications and wait for the Allies to come and be killed. This withdrawal began on the 24th. The Allies developed a new plan: once Bennigsen arrived, Blücher would march north to joinBernadotte; Schwarzenberg would advance on Leipzig via Chemnitz. (There is no trace of any plan tocoordinate their operations.) Blücher marched on the 25th…. Napoleon had already decided that Dresden was too close to the Bohemian mountains (behind whichthe beaten enemy could always take refuge) to be a satisfactory central position. Leipzig appeared to be abetter one. Blücher’s maneuvers left him suspicious but uncertain until 4 October, when Marmont warnedhim that Blücher had forced the Elbe at Wartenburg the day before, driving Bertrand off after a hardfight (map d). Situation 19 September Situation 9 October
  32. 32. Bernadotte now began breaking out of Rosslaua and Barby. Napoleon now rearranged his troopsaccording to a plan to cross the Elbe at either Torgau or Wittenberg, cutting communications betweenBernadotte and Blücher. Murat would delay Schwarzenberg, keeping between him and Leipzig. Learning on 8 October that Bernadotte and Blücher had come close together west of the Elbe,Napoleon changed his orders. Ney was to join him and move north to attack the Allies. Weakened byshort rations and bad weather, the French marched more slowly than usual. Blücher and Bernadotte,having lost contact with Ney, were angrily disputing the wisdom of moving further. Suddenly confrontedby Napoleon’s converging columns, they chose (apparently on Blücher’s initiative) to retire westwardacross the Salle, rather than recross the Elbe. A frantic scramble got Blücher clear, though Sebastiani cutup his rearguard and captured his supply trains. Esposito & Elting, MAP 139 c d Situation 19 September Situation 9 October
  33. 33. Although healthy reinforcements were steadily reaching the enemy, the French were not so fortunate.Napoleon’s only immediate assets were Augereau’s corps coming from Würzburg and the Bavarianarmy, vapid at best, loitering on the Bavarian frontiers but at least holding one Austrian army in check.Eugene’s army in northern Italy was facing another Austrian army and would go nowhere. Davout’sdivisions were stumbling around the countryside south of Hamburg and would soon retire inside itswalls….Garrisons in Danzig, Stettin and Küstrin fortresses might as well have been on the moon. Thecombat troops were generally exhausted, hungry, their uniforms in tatters, many lacking shoes. LEIPZIG CAMPAIGN Situation the Evening of 13 October and Concentrations Prior to the Battle of Leipzig
  34. 34. Napoleon must have been on the verge ofexhaustion. For weeks he had been almostconstantly on the move, fighting a dozenbattles often in miserable weather, all infutile pursuit of that “decisive battle.” Why then did he persist in his discreditedstrategy? The short answer is that he didnot believe that it was discredited. We aredealing here with disparate and complexfactors working on a strange amalgam ofpast and present caught in the fearful coilsof the arrogance of ignorance, trapped inhis belief of enemy impotence andcowardice, failing to recognize that hisonce omnipotent and beautiful army hadweakened and withered into halting oldage…. LEIPZIG CAMPAIGN Situation the Evening of 13 October and Concentrations Prior to the Battle of Leipzig
  35. 35. Professionally, he was failing to respect the interplay of quantitative and qualitative factors that governthe battlefield, the basis of the formula which when applied to his immense strategic and tactical skillsexplained his former military mastery. That was the real key to his disjointed actions and spuriousdecisions and it is at once terribly sad, yet in another sense strangely noble--a defeated man refusing toaccept defeat. Asprey, pp. 326-327 LEIPZIG CAMPAIGN Situation the Evening of 13 October and Concentrations Prior to the Battle of Leipzig
  36. 36. er e Riv Parth Elste r Riv er Lupp e Riv er Leipzig offered several advantages for a resourceful commander. The five rivers that converged there split the surrounding terrain into as many separate sectors. Holding Leipzig and its bridges, Napoleon could shift troops from one sector to another far more rapidly than could the Allies. (And to compound their troubles, he had destroyed most of the nearby bridges over the Elster and Pleisse Pleisse River rivers,)LEIPZIG CAMPAIGN BATTLE OF LEIPZIG Elster RiverSituation Early 16 October 18131 0 1 2 SCALE OF MILES
  37. 37. er e Riv Parth Elste r Riv er Lupp e Riv erTwo sectors--that between the Luppe andthe Elster, and the one between the Elsterand the Pleisse--were so cut up bymarshes, ditches and gardens that theywere impassable for formed bodies oftroops. Between the Pleisse and theParthe, the countryside was marked by aseries of low concentric ridges, dotted withsolidly built villages, but open enough for Pleisse Rivermassed cavalry. The dominating featureswere the Galgenberg and the nearbyKolm Berg. Napoleon and several of hissubordinates had thoroughly reconnoiteredLEIPZIG CAMPAIGNthisBATTLE OF LEIPZIG entire area. Elster RiverSituation Early 16 October 18131 0 1 2 SCALE OF MILES
  38. 38. er Leipzigarthe Riv P proper had a decayed city Elste r Riv er wall, but its gates were still in fair repair. The outer edges of its suburbs (as at Dresden) had been organized for defense, and there was a small Lupp e Riv er fortified bridgehead at Lindenau.Between Leipzig and Lindenau, the road was a potential bottleneck--a built up causeway, a mile and a half long, cut by several bridges. Southwestward, this road continued R OA D on to Lützen, Erfurt, and to France. T RF UR Since Napoleon at this time considered E himself based on the Torgau-Wittenberg- Magdeburg fortress complex, he regarded this Erfurt road only as an alternate line of communication. Consequently, he did Pleisse River not order extra bridges constructed between Leipzig and Lindenau. (Because of the swampy terrain, this would have been a major engineeringLEIPZIG CAMPAIGN project, for which he had neither the BATTLE OF LEIPZIG Elster River time nor material.)Situation Early 16 October 18131 0 1 2 SCALE OF MILES
  39. 39. er e Riv Parth Elste r Riv er The night of the 14th-15th, Napoleon, as usual, studied the enemy’s campfires for indications of their dispositions. This time they roundly deceived him. Noting a large cluster near Markrandstädt he concluded that Bernadotte and Blücher had moved south from Halle to cut his communication withupErfurt and link up with Schwarzenberg’s left flank. Actually, Bernadotte was still north of L p e Riv er Halle; Blücher, marching on Schkeuditz. The campfires were Gyulai’s…. Though outnumbered, Napoleon planned to take the offensive between the Pleisse and the Parthe Rivers…. Pleisse RiverLEIPZIG CAMPAIGN BATTLE OF LEIPZIG Elster RiverSituation Early 16 October 18131 0 1 2 SCALE OF MILES
  40. 40. er e Riv Parth Elste r Riv er The night of the 14th-15th, Napoleon, as usual, studied the enemy’s campfires for indications of their dispositions. This time they roundly deceived him. Noting a large cluster near Markrandstädt he concluded that Bernadotte and Blücher had moved south from Halle to cut his communication withupErfurt and link up with Schwarzenberg’s left flank. Actually, Bernadotte was still north of L p e Riv er Halle; Blücher, marching on Schkeuditz. The campfires were Gyulai’s…. Though outnumbered, Napoleon planned to take the offensive between the Pleisse and the Parthe Rivers…. Pleisse RiverLEIPZIG CAMPAIGN BATTLE OF LEIPZIG Elster RiverSituation Early 16 October 18131 0 1 2 SCALE OF MILES
  41. 41. er e Riv Parth Elste r Riv er Lupp e Riv er Schwarzenberg’s original plan calledfor a secondary attack on Lindenau byBlücher and Gyulai, and a main attackastride the Pleisse River….This plan had Pleisse Riverthe unusual virtue of being so bad thate v e r y o n e p r o t e s t e d . A l e x a n d e r,“surprised beyond measure at this LEIPZIG CAMPAIGNu n a n i m iOF LEIPZIG o n g h i s g e nElstera l s , ” BATTLE t y a m e r Riverintervened, October 1813 Schwarzenberg to forcingSituation Early 16develop a new plan that was largelydesigned to 1let everyone do as they 1 0 2pleased. OF MILES SCALE
  42. 42. er e Riv Parth Elste r Riv er To sum up, Napoleon massed approximately 121,700 out of 177,500 available men in the decisive sector; the Allies managed 77,500 (plus 24,000 in reserve) out of more than 200,000…. Lupp e Riv er On the Allied side, Barclay entrusted the organization of the main attack to Wittgenstein. Wittgenstein thoroughly scrambled the available units, then spred them out on a six-mile front, too far apart to maintain visual contact across that rolling terrain. The morning was rainy and fog-bound, delaying the Allied attack to 0800, but also slowing Macdonald’s approach march. Pleisse RiverLEIPZIG CAMPAIGN BATTLE OF LEIPZIG Elster RiverSituation Early 16 October 18131 0 1 2 SCALE OF MILES
  43. 43. er e Riv Parth Elste r Riv er Lupp e Riv er Pleisse RiverLEIPZIG CAMPAIGN BATTLE OF LEIPZIG Elster RiverSituation Early 16 October 18131 0 1 2 SCALE OF MILES
  44. 44. Situation 1100, 16 Oct, Just Priorto Napoleon’s Counterattack
  45. 45. Situation 1100, 16 Oct, Just Priorto Napoleon’s Counterattack
  46. 46. Richard Woodville Caton, Poniatowski’s Last Charge, 1912
  47. 47. ...it appeared that Napoleon was on the point of bringing off a modelcombined evacuation and river crossing in the face of the enemy fit to rivalthe celebrated passage of the Berezina in 1812. Unfortunately, however, Napoleon delegated responsibility [authority,a commander can delegate authority, but never responsibility, jbp] forpreparing the causeway for demolition to an unreliable general officer ofthe Guard named Dulaloy. He in turn passed on the task to a ColonelMontfort, who soon decided that the whistle of musketballs was cominguncomfortably close and quitted the scene, leaving one miserable corporalin charge of the demolition. This unfortunate individual panicked at oneo’clock and without the least need blew the bridge in spite of the fact thatit was crowded with French troops. This criminal mistake turned asuccessful withdrawal operation into a disaster, for the rear guard wastrapped in Leipzig with no means of making good their escape. Oudinotmanaged to swim his way over the Elster, but Poniatowski, handicappedby his wounds was drowned attempting the same feat--a mere twelvehours after being appointed a marshal. Chandler, pp. 935-936
  48. 48. January Suchodolski, Death of Poniatowski, before 1830
  49. 49. Over the four-day period the Allies probably lost 54,00 killed andwounded…. As for the French, their battle casualties were probably inexcess of 38,000, but a further 30,000 fell into Allied hands on the 19th.Additionally, 5,000 German troops defected to the enemy during thebattle. The French losses included six general officers killed, a furthertwelve wounded, and no less than thirty-six fell into Allied hands asprisoners of war, a fate also shared by the King of Saxony. In terms ofmateriel, Napoleon abandoned at least 325 cannon, most of his trains andtransport stores and large quantities of military stores. The long battle was the severest of the Napoleonic Wars save only forBorodino; over 200,000 rounds of artillery ammunition were discharged,and by the 19th the French stocks were down to a mere 20,000. Theultimate result was to destroy what was left of the French empire east ofthe Rhine…. Militarily, Leipzig dealt a heavy blow to Napoleon’s martialreputation, and eventually destroyed over two thirds of France’s hard-found forces outside Spain. Politically, it marked the emergence of Prussiaas a leading power in Germany once more, and prepared the way for thebirth of modern Europe. Chandler, p. 936
  50. 50. Napoleon, indeed, was guilty of several severe political and militarymiscalculations which between them underlay his failure. He tended todespise his opponents…. He never expected that his father-in-law, theEmperor of Austria, would turn fully against him, he never appreciatedhow sick were the German states of the French yoke…. He left thousandsof invaluable fighting men and several of his best generals south of thePyrenees. But worst of all, he never realized that there was a new spiritabroad in Europe; he still believed that he was dealing with the old feudalmonarchies which in fact his earlier victories had largely swept away.France was no longer the only country to be imbued with a genuinenational inspiration or equipped with a truly national army. France’s foeshad at last learned valuable lessons from their earlier defeats, both politicaland military, and were now learning to employ their new-found strengthagainst a rapidly tiring opponent. In the words of General Fuller, forNapoleon the battle of Leipzig was “a second Trafalgar, this time on land;his initiative was gone.” Chandler, pp. 940-941
  51. 51. III.Invasion of France
  52. 52. Against greatly superior forces it is possible to win a battle, but hardly a war--NAPOLEON III.Invasion of France
  53. 53. A people who have been brought upon victories often do not know how toaccept defeat. --Napoleon
  54. 54. A people who have been brought upon victories often do not know how toaccept defeat. La Résistance de 1814 --Napoleon
  55. 55. Would the war continue or would there be peace? The negotiatingwaters rising from a slimy bottom composed of ambition, greed, fear,arrogance and deceit, remained deep and dark…. In mid November, Napoleon ordered Marshal Marmont to discussterms of capitulation of the beseiged fortresses, including Dresden…and to request the traditional “honorable surrender” which wouldallow the troops to march home with arms and equipment. Prior tothis...Metternich had summoned the French...to peace talks atFrankfurt…. Such was the Allied altruism that France would onlyhave to return to its “natural” frontiers--the Rhine, the Alps and thePyrenees…. ...Metternich wrote General Caulaincourt: “...France will never signa more fortunate peace than that which the Powers will make today.” Asprey, pp. 337-338
  56. 56. Baron de Marbot writes, "No previous general had ever shownsuch talent, or achieved so much with such feeble resources.With a few thousand men, most of whom were inexperiencedconscripts, one saw him face the armies of Europe, turning upeverywhere with these troops, which he led from one point toanother with marvellous rapidity. ... he hurried from theAustrians to the Russians, and from the Russians to thePrussians, ... sometimes beaten by them, but much more oftenthe victor. He hoped, for a time, that he might drive theforeigners, disheartened by frequent defeats, from French soiland back across the Rhine. All that was required was a neweffort by the nation; but there was general war-weariness..." http://napoleonistyka.atspace.com/La_Rothiere_battle.htm
  57. 57. ! mid-December 1813-he expected that the main a Allied offensive would strike directly across the lower Rhine (map a)! if finally forced back by superior numbers, the marshals must cover Paris! Augereau would form a new army at Lyons for an advance to the northeast across Schwarzenberg’s line of communications! (map b) eastern France was quickly overrun, the open cities surrendering to handfuls of cavalry b! the demoralizing behavior of several marshals contributed to the civilians’ servile behavior Châlons-sur-Marne! only Mortier did his duty, fighting an aggressive, 18 day delaying action from Langres back to Bar- sur-Aube MORTIER! 26 Jan-Napoleon takes command--E&E, MAP 145 Situation Early 26 January
  58. 58. The drafts from Italy fail to materializeJoachim Murat, King of NaplesThe chief reason for this was the defection ofMurat, Napoleon’s brother-in-law, on January11th. “The conduct of the King of Naples isinfamous,” stormed the Emperor to Fouché onFebruary 13th, “and that of the Queen quiteunspeakable. I hope to live long enough to avengefor myself and for France such an outrage and such Caroline Murat and daughter in 1807. The painting is by Élisabeth Vigée-Lebrunhorrible ingratitude.” This desertion ultimatelystrengthened the Allies in North Italy by a further Maria Annunziata Carolina Murat (née Bonaparte) (1782 – 1839), better known as30,000 Neapolitan troops; this inevitably rendered Caroline Bonaparte, was the seventh survivingEugène’s position more difficult. Then on 14 child and third surviving daughter of CarloJanuary, the King of Denmark also signed an Buonaparte and Letizia Ramolinoagreement with the Allies…. Chandler, p. 950
  59. 59. Against Overwhelming Odds, Still Not Admitting Defeat✦ Nov-Jan 1814-a flurry of diplomatic exchanges produce no acceptable peace✦ 26 January-traveling from Paris, Napoleon reaches Imperial headquarters at Châlons-sur- Marne to take command✦ although his own strength was not slight, it was dangerously dispersed✦ many of his best veterans were besieged to the north and east✦ Soult and Suchet had to protect the south✦ Eugene had to face the Austrians in Italy, soon to be joined by the turncoat Murat’s Neapolitans✦ Napoleon’s troops lacked food, clothing and shoes✦ volunteers were many, but he had few and often no arms for them--Asprey, pp. 344-345
  60. 60. A bleak picture, yes, but not without some merits. The allies had not marchedall this way without some losses of their own. They had suffered heavily inSaxony, they were forced to leave substantial garrisons and siege forces inGermany, Holland, Belgium and northern France, their ponderous supplylines were uncomfortably stretched and they were not agreed as to a strategicobjective. Czar Alexander, strongly influenced by his militant advisors whowere Napoleon’s old nemeses, the Prussian Stein and the Corsican Pozzo diBorgo, and King Frederick William, influenced by Alexander and by his ownGeneral Gneisenau, wanted to march straight on Paris. Prince Schwarzenbergcommanding the large Austrian force was reluctant to do so. AlthoughNapoleon dangerously minimized allied strengths he was correct in writingto one of his marshals that the enemy “are scattered in all directions.”Napoleon also held the decided advantage of fighting on interior lines. Asprey, p. 345
  61. 61. So skilled a soldier as the Emperor knew how much advantage could beobtained from this river- and road-dominated terrain in mounting adefensive campaign...employing the smaller petites places as food andammunition depots, Napoleon considered that he could dispense with long,slow-moving convoys and thus be able to prosecute operations of lightningspeed against heavily encumbered opponents. Every effort must be made tokeep the foe from fully uniting his forces, but a full-scale battle must beavoided….A war of subtlety and fast maneuver, of engagements withisolated enemy detachments on adventageous French terms, of slim forcesmanning the river lines to hold off the hostile masses….”It is necessary to fallwell concentrated on some corps of the enemy and destroy it,” wroteNapoleon to some officer on his staff (january 23). The rapier of 1796 was toreplace the bludgeon of 1812. After a slow start and despite the disastrous outcome, this was to be one ofNapoleon’s finest campaigns. His powers of generalship took on a new leaseof life and inspiration; unfortunately few of the generals and none of thepoliticians rose to the occasion--although the “Marie-Louise” conscripts wereto perform wonders under Napoleon’s leadership. Chandler, p. 955
  62. 62. ST DIZIER BAR-SUR-AUBEAt Châlons, Napoleon learned that Blücher was approaching St. Dizier;Schwarzenberg, Bar-sur-Aube. Both armies were considerably weakened bydetachments left to blockade various fortified towns., but they were veryclose to establishing contact. If Napoleon was to catch either one separately,he must strike promptly. Blücher, advancing with the apparent intention ofreaching Paris ahead of Schwarzenberg, was the nearer and weaker target. Esposito & Elting, Commentary on MAP 145
  63. 63. NAPOLEON (40,000) ! (large map a) 26 Jan-Blücher takes St. Dizier & BLUCHER (53,000) pushes on to Brienne, Napoleon cuts his LOC ! 29 Jan-Blücher intercepts a copy of Napoleon’s orders and is able to escape the trap (losses: Fr=3,000 Prussian=4,000) ! 30 Jan-Napoleon forces Blücher out of La Rothiere ! the Allies concentrated haphazardly as Blücher’s men mixed with Schwarzenberg’s advance ! (map a-insert)1 Feb-Blücher overpowers Napoleon at La Rothiere with superior numbers (both lose 6,000, Fr also abandon 50 guns) ! Inflated with overconfidence at having defeated Napoleon on French soil, and certain he was no longer dangerous, the Allies decided to march immediately on Paris (map b) ! 3 Feb-Napoleon reaches Troyes, reorganizes his army weakened by 4,000 desertions Esposito & Elting, MAP 146
  64. 64. ! Napoleon sent Mortier southeast on a major reconnaissance in force, which thoroughly mauled Schwarzenberg’s outposts, who strengthened his left ! Blücher’s only reaction to this was “the joyful idea that Napoleon would be too hard-pressed to oppose his Army of Silesia” ! 6 Feb- Blücher’s army was in four separate groups-- all out of mutually supporting distance--plunging headlong across Napoleon’s front in an attempt to destroy Macdonald ! Napoleon had considered attacking Schwarzenberg. Blücher, however, was beginning to threaten Paris and was the easier and nearer targetEsposito & Elting, MAP 146 b ! 5-7 Feb- Napoleon concentrated at Nogent-sur- Seine ! the newly created VII Corps (largely veterans from Spain), which was forming at Nogent, was mistakenly entrusted to Oudinot
  65. 65. 7 February-to Marie Louise,“Your letter grieves me deeply; it tells me you are discouraged. Those whoare with you have lost their heads. I am quite well and hope my affairs willtake a turn for the better, but I do beg you to cheer up and take care ofyourself… You know how much I love you.” Joseph was to ensure that theempress, her son, and the royal family would be evacuated from Paris, butonly as an emergency measure: “We must not shut our eyes to the fact thatthe consternation and despair of the populace might have disastrous andtragic results.” Asprey, pp. 347-348
  66. 66. 20 0 20 SCALE IN MILES
  67. 67. At Nogent, Napoleon was caught in a blizzard of ill tidings. Northward Bülow had entered Brussels; Antwerp was cut off. Paris was clutched by a mounting panic, with Joseph one of the worst affected. Murat had joined the Allies…. Napoleon kept his head and nerve.20 0 20 SCALE IN MILES
  68. 68. Schwarzenberg had occupied Troyes, where he halted to ponder his next move. Finally, concluding that Napoleon meant to offer a decisive battle at Nogent, he asked Blücher for Kleist’s corps. Blücher was at Champaubert when he received (9 Feb) Schwarzenberg’s request. He at once issued orders for Kleist, Kapzevitsch and Olssufiev to march on Sezanne the next morning. TROYES20 0 20 SCALE IN MILES
  69. 69. That night (9-10 Feb), Blücher somehow learned that Napoleon was in Sezanne. Knowing little of the strength and disposition of theFrench forces, he was unable to make any estimate of Napoleon’s possible courses of action. However, since La Rothiere, heconsidered Napoleon little better than a fugitive from justice. Consequently, though he did take the precaution of personally goingback to join Kleist and Kapzevitsch, he left Olssufiev very much alone at Champaubert, and authorized Sacken to continue thepursuit of Macdonald. TROYES 20 0 20 SCALE IN MILES
  70. 70. Pushing northward along roads “six feet deep in mud,” Napoleon got considerablehelp from the local inhabitants, who, having enjoyed a brief acquaintanceship withAllied “liberation,” turned out to help drag his guns along. Early on the 10th,French cavalry developed the isolated position of Olssufiev’s weak corps (insetmap). Olssufiev had been threatened with court-martial for poor performance at TROYESBrienne and La Rothiere; thoroughly sore-headed, he tried to fight and wassquashed. Meanwhile, Blücher marched Kleist and Kapzevitsch toward Sezanne,placidly ignoring the sound of battle to the west. About dusk...he finally learned ofOlssufiev’s disaster, and countermarched...sending off an urgent order recallingSacken to Montmirail. 20 0 20 SCALE IN MILES
  71. 71. TROYES MONTMIRAIL20 0 20 SCALE IN MILES
  72. 72. Olssufiev having been disposed of, Napoleon swung westward to deal with Sacken and Yorck…. {He ordered his other commanders that] if Napoleon fought his expected battle near Montmirail, they were to march to the sound of the guns…. Encountering Napoleon west of Montmirail the next morning, Sacken attempted to bull his way through, but was outmaneuvered and outfought by Napoleon’s slightly smaller force. Yorck reached the field at about 1530, with part of his corps, to find Sacken on the point of collapse…. His arrival saved Sacken from TROYES destruction, but he was himself promptly driven back …. During the night, Sacken’s shattered corps groped along woods to join Yorck MONTMIRAIL20 0 20 SCALE IN MILES
  73. 73. TROYES MONTMIRAIL20 0 20 SCALE IN MILES
  74. 74. On 12 Feb, Napoleon renewed his attack, Ney leading. Yorck and Sacken barely escaped across the Marne, with over-all losses of 7,000 men, more than 20 guns, and most of their trains. French losses, 2,50020 0 20 SCALE OF MILES
  75. 75. Learning of Schwarzenberg’s offensive during the 13 th , Napoleon began planning a concentration around Montereau. However, that night, Marmont reported Blücher again moving west. Blücher had concluded that Napoleon would be countermarching to meet Schwarzenberg and planned to attasck the Emperor’s rear. Too weak to oppose this force, Marmont was skillfully fighting a delaying action back from Etoges.20 0 20 SCALE OF MILES
  76. 76. Resolved to teach Blücher a lesson, Napoleon ordered Marmont to draw the Prussian on to Montmirail, where he concentrated his available forces. During the early morning of the 14th, Marmont retired from Fromentiers (inset map)to a strong position west of Vauchamps. Advancing carelessly, Blücher’s advance guard attacked him there, but was trapped and largely destroyed as Grouchy burst in on his right flank… Blücher quickly ordered a retreat...Had Grouchy’s horse artillery been able to keep up with him through the deep clay mud, Blücher’s destruction would have been certain.20 0 20 SCALE OF MILES
  77. 77. During 12 February, Schwarzenberg had got across the Seine River…. Anunidentified [French] officer hastily ordered the army’s trains toward Paris,fanning the panic in that unstable city. A long ripple of Allied cavalry andCossacks now fanned out across the countryside...their outriders evenpenetrating to Fontainebleau. A new factor now permeated the campaign. Allied claims of “coming asfriends and liberators” and of maintaining strict discipline had beendeliberate falsehoods from the start. Advancing out of the devastatedRhineland, with long miles of ruined roads between them and their bases,the Allies could not feed their troops from their own countries. (TheRussians had never had a supply system worth mentioning; in Germany,they had foraged on ally, neutral, and enemy with equal informality.) Fromthe first, the Allies had lived off the country--Schwarzenberg generally byrequisition, Blücher by cruder methods. All were as demanding and hard-handed as the French had been in Germany and Austria, but the Prussiansand Cossacks were outstanding for misbehavior and brutality--the latter byhabit, the former in the name of “vengeance.” Looting and burning as theyadvanced, the Allied forces became increasingly savage after their firstdefeats. E & E, commentary on the preceding map, MAP 148
  78. 78. Exasperated civilians began to waylay stragglers and small detachments.The Vosges Mountain passes became especially dangerous; heavy escortssoon were necessary for couriers and convoys. This irregular warfare wasjust beginning to make itself felt by the end of the campaign. “Had theEmperor been as well served in Paris as he was in [eastern France],” 1814might have seen his greatest victories. E & E, commentary on the preceding map, MAP 148
  79. 79. News that Blücher had been thoroughly defeated, losing athird of his army, dazed the Allied high command. Its firstreaction (based on the supposition that Napoleon waspursuing Blücher toward Chalons) was to sendWittgenstein and Wrede north through Sezanne toattack him from the rear. Then came word that Napoleonhad broken contact with the Army of Silesia (Blücher).Apprehensive but uncertain, the Army of Bohemia(Schwarzenberg) ended by milling in place “to awaitdevelopments” during most of 15-16 February. On the17th, Wittgenstein and Wrede were ordered to fall backgradually through Bray. Barclay would mass the Russian-Prussian guards and reserves at Nogent.
  80. 80. Elsewhere, Seslawin’s Cossacks were wanderingtowards Orleans; more important, Bülow wasmoving south out of Belgium, having beenrelieved there by the newly organized corps of theDuke of Weimar.
  81. 81. Napoleon’s original plans were to follow up and finish off Blücher, then to move south through Vitryinto Schwarzenberg’s rear.This probably would have been decisive. Blücher and his subordinateswere the toughest, if not the brightest, of the Allied commanders. With them gone, the Alliedsovereigns would not have lingered to risk their own necks. But Schwarzenberg’s fumbling advanceon Paris tripped Napoleon up in full career: Paris was still unfortified, Joseph was butter-hearted;Victor, Oudinot and Macdonald plainly were not equal to gaining their Emperor the three or fourdays he would need. Hastily regrouping, Napoleon came southwestward by forced marches, reachingGuignes on the 16th.
  82. 82. Mortier and Marmont were left to maintainpressure on Blücher and Winzingerode…. On the 17th and 18th Napoleon inflictedheavy losses on Schwarzenberg’s forces,clearing the north bank of the Seine.
  83. 83. On the 17th February, Schwarzenberg hadalready sent Berthier a sniveling and lyingmessage stating that--since thepreliminaries of a peace treaty onNapoleon’s terms had been signed atChatillon (in fact, the Allies had broken offnegotiations on the 10th)--he had halted“offensive movement against the Frencharmies,” and must request that Napoleonreturn the courtesy. He then ordered aheadlong retreat to Troyes to Be coveredby Wrede. Seslawin was recalled, andBlücher instructed to join Wittgenstein atMery-sur-Seine by the 21st.
  84. 84. The Allies were not going to leave France, there would be no armistice.Napoleon was not going to have peace with honor. Despite the dramaticseries of French victories, despite continuing quarrels between the Russianand Austrian emperors and their marshals and generals, the allies with thepossible exception of Austria seemed no more inclined to peace than ever.Soon after negotiations reopened at Châtillon, Lord Castlereagh knockedpetulant heads together to bring about a declaration of renewed solidarityamong the four allies, and it soon became clear that they and not Napoleonwere negotiating from strength.Allied generals had good reason for their belief. Ever since the invasionNapoleon had been reacting rather than acting. If he knocked out one corpshere another popped up there--a repeat of allied strategy and tactics inSaxony: muscle over mind, quantity over quality. Napoleon had dealt noknockout blow. Asprey, p. 350
  85. 85. He had hurt Blücher and Schwarzenberg but each had been reinforced andsoon returned to the offensive. He had also hurt himself becausereplacements were not easy to come by and good commanders werebecoming increasingly rare. He was also paying a price--ill on occasion,sometimes exhausted:19 February-to Marie Louise,“I was so tired last night,”...one of the rare times when he did not claim thebest of health, “that I slept eight hours on end.” Asprey, p. 350
  86. 86. Lacking a bridge train [on the 21st], Napoleon had to funnel his advance throughMontereau until Macdonald restored the bridge at Bray. This delay, plus the haste in whichSchwarzenberg retreated, resulted in the French largely losing contact with the Allies fortwo days.
  87. 87. Schwarzenberg needed the respite. In addition to the excitedyammerings of his three sovereign commanders and their polyglotpersonal staffs, he was afflicted by highly exaggerated reports ofAugereau’s activities--which, so far, actually had amounted to nothingmore than continuous complaints and excuses. The Troyes area,relatively unproductive in normal times, already had been eaten up byboth armies. Disease, hunger, bad weather, and recent defeats had leftthe Army of Bohemia shaky. Soldiers and commanders alike had littleappetite for a stand-up fight against Napoleon; especially since recentintelligence reports had grossly overestimated the strength of his army.Schwarzenberg knew he could lose the war in a few hours; defeat wouldmean a retreat through a vindictively hostile countryside, with Augereauadvancing into his rear. Also, he personally commanded the last armythat Austria would be able to put into the field, and had no intention ofsacrificing it for the sake of temporary allies, whose known postwar aimswere inimical to Austrian expansion...by the evening of 21 February hehad made up his mind to continue his retreat. E & E, commentary to MAP 150
  88. 88. To screen his retreat--from Napoleon, Alexander and the King of Prussia alike--Schwarzenberg ordered a heavy reconnaissance in force all across his front. Moving forward at about noon on the 22nd, this reconnaissance promptly collided withNapoleon’s cavalry screen, and was everywhere beaten and driven in.
  89. 89. Following up, Oudinot’s advance guard rushed the Allies out of the Mery suburb on thewest bank of the Seine. It then forced its way across the ruined bridge and stormed intoMery itself, but had to withdraw when the Allies fired the town. (Blücher, still clamoring foran advance on Paris, had joined Wittgenstein here on the 21st.) Reaching the front,Napoleon quickly assessed the situation: Blücher and Wittgenstein were on the east bank ofthe flooded Seine; Schwarzenberg was west of that river, in front of Troyes; it was too late toattack that evening, especially since his own army had not closed up. He would leave a partof Oudinot’s veterans to watch Blücher and Wittgenstein...With the rest of his army, hewould attack Schwarzenberg the next morning. The odds would be heavy--some 70,000French, mostly green conscripts and national guardsmen, against more than 100,000 veteranAllies--but he was confident, and his troops wild with enthusiasm.
  90. 90. Schwarzenberg likewise saw the situation clearly. In quiet defiance of the Czar and theKing of Prussia, he continued his withdrawal, sending the Prince of Lichtenstein to begNapoleon for an armistice. Though inglorious, these measures probably saved his army.
  91. 91. Napoleon entered Troyes about 0600 on the 24th, and this time he received a roaringwelcome, one of the most heartfelt in his career. Schwarzenberg th, Gerard, Oudinot, and Macdonald, supported by Ney, Czar and the During the 24 likewise saw the situation clearly. In quiet defiance of the energeticallyKing of Prussia, he continued his withdrawal, sending the Prince of Lichtenstein to begfollowed up the Army of Bohemia’s disorderly withdrawal. To climax Schwarzenberg’sNapoleon for an armistice. Though reluctantly)thesebestirred himself. saved his army.perplexities, Augereau finally (and inglorious, had measures probably Responding to Schwarzenberg’s plea for an armistice, Napoleon sent an aide-de-camp tonegotiate on the basis of the Allies’ first proposals--the natural borders of France. Hostilitieswould continue until the armistice was signed.
  92. 92. 25 Feb-Alexander, Francis, Frederick Wm andCastlereagh held a council at Bar-sur-Aube.Agreeing that Augereau menaced their rear, theydispatched Hesse-Homburg with two Austriancorps to deal with him. After much brawling, theyagreed to retreat to Langres, there to fight adefensive battle if Napoleon pursued them, or toresume their offensive if he turned on Blücher.Authorizing Blücher to operate as he saw fit, theytransferred Bülow’s and Winzingerode’s corps tohis command. Blücher once more marched on Paris with hisaugmented command. Hoping to stimulateSchwarzenberg, he sent the latter a purposely falsereport (25 Feb) that Napoleon was alreadypursuing the Army of Silesia (Blücher).
  93. 93. Napoleon was slow to believe that Blücher wasagain deliberately asking to be knocked on thehead. 27 Feb-finally certain that Blücher wasmarching on Paris, he sent Ney (with Victor) inpursuit, and marched from Troyes with theremainder of his Guard. Augereau was toconcentrate his troops and join the main army viaDijon.
  94. 94. Marmont and Mortier bloodied Blücher at the rivercrossing at Meaux on the 27th and 28th. Napoleon reached La Ferte on 1 March, butcould only snatch Blücher’s last wagons andstragglers before the Marne bridges were cut. Onceagain, Napoleon’s lack of bridge train balked him; ittook sixteen hours to repair the damaged La Fertebridge. Early on the 3rd, however, Napoleon’sadvance guard was north of Rocourt. Just to thenorth,
  95. 95. Blücher was leaving Oulchy-le-Chateau, stillignorant of Bülow’s and Winzingerode’swhereabouts. His army had had three nightmarches and three defeats in the last seventy-twohours, and had no supplies for a week, beyondwhat could be seized from the countryside. Certainonly that Bülow had been at Laon, Blücher decidedto retire in that direction. Ahead of him was theflooded Aisne River. Blücher had a good bridgetrain, but would need almost a day to bridge theAisne and get his whole army across. He decided togive his troops twelve hours rest; send his trains tobuild a pontoon bridge three miles east of Soissons.
  96. 96. 26 Feb-on receipt of Blücher’s deceptive report, Alexander and Frederick Wm bullied Schwarzenberg into counterattacking towards Bar- sur-Aube, where Oudinot occupied an awkward position astride the river. Refusing to heed repeated warnings, Oudinot even ignored a premature, unsuccessful attack by Wrede on the 26th. Attacked by Wittgenstein the next day, he threw away the battle. That night Oudinot retired, his disheartened troops accusing him of treason. His withdrawal uncovered Macdonald, but the latter’s advance guard managed to bluff Würtemberg into halting.BAR-SUR-AUBE
  97. 97. 1 0 1 220 0 20
  98. 98. 0700 3 March-Blücher received a message from Winzingerode, reporting that he had failed to storm Soissons and he was planning to withdraw. At 1200, a second message ended Blücher’s profane rage. SOISSONS Soissons had capitulated! 1 0 1 220 0 20
  99. 99. SOISSONS 1 0 1 2General Moreau, the commandant of Soissons, was lazyand a braggart. Though he had repulsed Winzingerode’sassault, had plenty of supplies, and could hear Marmont‘sand Mortier’s cannon, he allowed the Prussian emissariesto bully him into capitulating. To crown his incompetence,he failed to blow up the Soissons bridge. Using it, Blücherand Winzingerode escaped across the Aisne 20 0 20
  100. 100. Napoleon drove north on the 4th; that night, a brigade of his cavalry surprised and captured Rheims. Informed of Moreau’s capitulation, he continued his advance, hoping that Blücher BERRY would attempt to defend the line of the Aisne. SOISSONS (He knew that Winzingerode had joined RHEIMS Blücher, but believed that Bülow was still north of Laon.) Blücher did try to hold the Aisne, but mistakenly massed opposite Soissons; leaving Berry lightly defended. Grouchy’s cavalry discovered the weakness; Nansouty galloped through Berry and seized the bridge intact; and Napoleon turned northwest, attempting to cut 1 0 1 2 Blücher off from Laon.20 0 20
  101. 101. CRAONNE BERRY SOISSONS RHEIMS 1 0 1 2Blücher marched to intercept Napoleon at Craonne. His plan was to station Woronzow(Winzingerode’s second-in-command) and Sacken on the dominating Craonne plateau to fix Napoleon;Winzingerode, with 11,000 cavalry and Kleist’s corps, would then attack Napoleon’s right rear.Napoleon came up faster than expected, Ney seizing a foothold on the plateau late on the 6th. Sackenwas correspondingly slow. With Marmont and Mortier still well to his rear, Napoleon could not risk pushing ahead toward Laonwhile a strong Allied force held the Craonne plateau. After studying the terrain, he planned a doubleenvelopment to trap Woronzow, but his attack on 7 March went awry when Ney advancedprematurely. Woronzow retired in good order, covered by Sacken’s cavalry. Meanwhile, poor staffwork and stupid execution so entangled Winzingerode’s cavalry and Kleist’s corps that even Blücher’sexpert professional blasphemy only increased the confusion. (Napoleon had been prepared to trapWinzingerode’s enveloping movement had it taken place.) French losses in the Battle of Craonne were5,400; Allied, 5,000. Blücher now ordered a concentration at Laon (inset map). 20 0 20
  102. 102. CRAONNE BERRY SOISSONS RHEIMS 1 0 1 2Napoleon believed that Craonne had been a rear-guard battle,designed to cover either a retreat into Belgium or an advance onParis along the west bank of the Oise River. While Blücher’s armywas now obviously too strong for him to destroy, he might be able ETOUVELLESto trap its rear guard and force Blücher far enough away fromParis to permit him to again turn on Schwarzenberg. At the sametime, he would pick up the garrisons of the minor fortified townsin northeastern France. A Russian rear guard checked him late on8 March at the Etouvelles defile, but was enveloped that night bya small detachment moving along back trails and largely destroyed.The French pushed rapidly forward, hoping to rush Laon.20 0 20
  103. 103. 8 March-Tired of running, Blücher had decided to stand there--an immensely strong position along ahigh, steep ridge, which concealed much of his army. Believing that Napoleon had 90,000 men, hefeared some enveloping maneuver; Marmont’s tardy appearance confirmed this worry. Finding Laonstrongly held, Napoleon made several limited attacks to develop the enemy position. Winzingerodeprobed his left flank, but was easily discouraged. Darkness ended the fighting Marmont had turned sulky, twice refusing to leave Berry on the 8th. Advancing timidly the nextmorning, he finally took Athies. There he halted haphazardly, sending a detachment to seek contactwith Napoleon, and quartering himself in a chateau two miles from his troops. His weary subordinatesneglected their local security. By dark, Blücher had a good idea of Napoleon’s relative weakness andMarmont’s exposed position. Yorck--supported by Kleist, Sacken,Langeron, and the Prussian cavalry--surprised Marmont’s command and 1 0 1 2chased it toward Festieux (off inset map, three miles east of Bruyeres). Kleistmaneuvered to block the Rheims road, while cavalry galloped deeper toseize Festieux. Fighting his way through to Festieux, Marmont found thatdefile held by 125 Old Guard infantry--the escort of a supply train that hadhalted there for the night! Thus saved, Marmont reorganized at Corbeny.(off map). Elated, Blücher ordered Yorck and Kleist to pursue Marmont to Berry;Winzingerode and Bülow would attack Napoleon frontally; Langeron andSacken would advance through Bruyeres to cut the Soissons road behindNapoleon at L’Ange-Gardien. At 0500 10 March, two fugitives from Marmont’s column reachedNapoleon. A hasty reconnaissance having confirmed their story, Napoleondecided to remain before Laon. If only a strong rear guard held Laon, hestill should be able to defeat it. If Blücher’s whole army faced him, anaggressive front would take pressure off Marmont. Yorck and Kleist were already at Festieux; Sacken and Langeron hadreached Bruyeres. But Blücher, sick and exhausted, suddenly collapsed.20 0 20
  104. 104. Awed by Napoleon’s threatening maneuvers, Gneisenau (Blücher’schief of staff) recalled these four corps. The day passed in minorattacks and counterattacks. (French casualties for the two dayswere approximately 6,000; Allied, 4,000) Napoleon withdrew after sundown, 10 March. There was nopursuit until the 11th; then, Ney’s first ambush cowed it. E & E, COMMENTARY ON MAP 152
  105. 105. As the French fell back towards Soissons, however, there was nodisguising the unpalatable fact that another of the Emperor’s schemes hadended in complete failure….proportionally, the French losses in men,materiel and morale were far greater than those of their opponents.Napoleon wrote to Joseph on the 11th: I have reconnoitered the enemy’s position at Laon. It is too strong to permit an attack without heavy loss. I have therefore given the word to fall back on Soissons. It is probable that the enemy would have evacuated Laon for fear of an attack but for the crass stupidity of the Duke of Ragusa [Marmont], who behaved himself like a second lieutenant. The enemy is suffering enormous losses; he has attacked the village of Clacy [Ney’s ambush} five times--and been repulsed on each occasion. Unfortunately, the Young Guard is melting like snow. The Old Guard keeps up its strength, but the Guard cavalry is shrinking a great deal. It is vital that General Ornano should remount all dragoons and chasseurs--and even old soldiers--using all means in his power.The final sentence of this letter is even more revealing of the gravity thatthe Emperor read into the general situation: “Orders must be given forthe construction of redoubts at Montmartre.” The capital’s peril was veryreal Chandler, p.991
  106. 106. Despite terrible news from almost all fronts (Wellington was driving Soult across southern France, Bayonne was besieged, Bordeau had been betrayed to the English on 12 March, in Italy aSOISSONS British expedition had seized Genoa) Napoleon RHEIMS refused to cease fighting. Unaware of Blücher’s collapse, he hesitated to leave Soissons. When he learned that the Prussian St.-Priest had recaptured Rheims his indecision ended. Napoleon had the great captain’s knack of turning calamity into opportunity. Sweeping forty miles across Blücher’s front, he completely surprised St.-Priest on 13 March and recovered Rheims. (Casualties: Allies, 6,000; French, 700) At Rheims, Napoleon directly threatened Blücher’s left flank and Schwarzenberg’s right. French morale rallied. To the shocked Allies, it seemed as though Napoleon was able to whistle fresh armies out of the earth. The news halted Schwarzenberg on 16 March. Blücher had lurched southward on the 13th, Bülow reaching Compiegne, which he found too strong, and Sacken approaching Soissons, where Mortier defeated him. Learning the next day of St.-Priest’s fate, Blücher withdrew to Laon and went on the defensive, considerably heckled by French partisans
  107. 107. Despite terrible news from almost all fronts (Wellington was driving Soult across southern France, Bayonne was besieged, Bordeau had been COMPIEGNE betrayed to the English on 12 March, in Italy a SOISSONS British expedition had seized Genoa) Napoleon RHEIMS refused to cease fighting. Unaware of Blücher’s collapse, he hesitated to leave Soissons. When he learned that the Prussian St.-Priest had recaptured Rheims his indecision ended. Napoleon had the great captain’s knack of turning calamity into opportunity. Sweeping forty miles across Blücher’s front, he completely surprisedAt Rheims, Napoleon revived his earlier plan to St.-Priest on 13 March and recovered Rheims.crush Blücher, then move eastward to gather in (Casualties: Allies, 6,000; French, 700)the garrisons of his frontier At Rheims, Napoleon directly threatened Blücher’s left flank and Schwarzenberg’s right. French morale rallied. To the shocked Allies, it seemed as though Napoleon was able to whistle fresh armies out of the earth. The news halted Schwarzenberg on 16 March. Blücher had lurched southward on the 13th, Bülow reaching Compiegne, which he found too strong, and Sacken approaching Soissons, where Mortier defeated him. Learning the next day of St.-Priest’s fate, Blücher withdrew to Laon and went on the defensive, considerably heckled by French partisans
  108. 108. To add to his burdens he had become suspicious of a growing intimacybetween Marie Louise and [his brother] King Joseph. “Do not be too familiarwith the king,” he cautioned his wife. “Keep him at a distance, never allowhim to enter your private apartments...do not let him play the part ofadviser.” He wrote again the following day: “You trust [Joseph] too much…Everyone has betrayed me… Mistrust the king: he has an evil reputation withwomen.” Two days later: “The king is intriguing; he will be the first to suffer;he is a pygmy, swelling with his own importance.” Asprey, p. 353
  109. 109. [On 23 March] the allies had intercepted a letter from Napoleon to MarieLouise informing her of his intended march to the Marne. At an allied councilof war on the following day Czar Alexander persuaded Schwarzenberg tojoin Blücher in an attack on Napoleon’s much smaller force. But now theallies intercepted an official dispatch from Paris to Napoleon that spoke of anempty treasury, general discontent and the sensation caused by Wellington’sseizure of Bordeaux. Using this incentive the czar won Prussian and Austrianapproval to march directly on Paris. Asprey, p. 355
  110. 110. Advancing through Mery-sur-Seine (where he destroyed Würtemburg’s rear guard) Napoleon sawindications of a hasty retreat everywhere, and reverted to his former plan of marching eastward tocollect his garrisons. Contemptuous of Schwarzenberg, he marched on Arcis-sur-Aube. Paris wouldhave to defend itself. Napoleon was overly contemptuous of Schwarzenberg. Learning that some French troops weresouth of the Aube, the Austrian advanced on Mery, bringing on a haphazard clash (20 March)around Arcis. Here Ney and Sebastiani--led with cold savagery by Napoleon--whipped off twicetheir numbers. (Casualties: Allies, 2,500; French, 1,700) Concluding that Napoleon was strongerthan reported, Schwarzenberg [once again] retired that night, concentrating 80,000 men for adefensive-offensive battle.
  111. 111. Napoleon first thought that he had encountered an unusually stubborn rear guard. Movingcautiously southward on 21 March to develop the situation, he found Schwarzenberg too strong toattack, and withdrew across the Aube. He then continued toward Vitry. Schwarzenberg attemptedto follow,, was repulsed, and relapsed into confusion. Napoleon mistakenly believed thatSchwarzenberg would fear having his LOC cut and have to follow him to the northeast. He alsobelieved that Blücher and Bülow were not able to move on Paris by themselves. But he had foughthis last battle of this campaign. Schwarzenberg was bullied by the Tsar into ignoring the threat tohis rear and joining Blücher in the drive toward Paris.
  112. 112. [On the 29th] the Empress Marie-Louise and the King of Rome left thecapital and headed south. They were followed toward Orléans by Josephand part of the government on the 30th; some high officials, including thetreacherous Talleyrand, found excuses for remaining in the capital wherethey busied themselves preparing a welcome for the Tsar. Thereafter thefall of Paris could not be long delayed….at two o’clock on the morning ofthe 31st, Marshal Marmont, the Duke of Ragusa, agreed to an armisticewith the Allies, and under its terms withdrew his men to the south of thecapital. Soon after, Allied cavalry were swarming through the barriers. After twenty-two years of practically continual warfare, the forces ofreaction had attained their original avowed goal. Talleyrand made the mostof his opportunity; rallying a rump of the government, he declaredNapoleon to be deposed, and succeeded in dazzling the Tsar with hischarm at their very first meeting. His genius for survival again stood himin good stead. Chandler, pp.1000-1001
  113. 113. On 11 April a forlorn and dejected Napoleon dictated and signed hisabdication. Caulaincourt and Macdonald remained with him but could notbring him out of a deep depression. On the night of 12 April the emperorattempted suicide by swallowing the contents of a phial that he had wornaround his neck during the retreat from Russia. A combination of opium,belladonna and white hellebore made him very sick but did not kill him.After a ghastly night he recovered sufficiently to prepare himself for exile. Asprey, p. 355
  114. 114. IV. Abdication
  115. 115. IV. AbdicationAdieux de Napoléon à la Garde impériale dans la cour du Cheval-Blanc du château de Fontainebleau.
  116. 116. You, my friends--continue to serveFrance. Its welfare was my singlethought and will always be the object ofmy wishes. Do not pity me...I want towrite about the great things that we havedone together. Farewell, my children. --Napoleon’s farewell address to the Old Guard, Fontainebleau, 20 April 1814
  117. 117. On 11 April a forlorn and dejected Napoleon dictated and signed hisabdication.. Asprey, p. 355
  118. 118. Louis XVIII
  119. 119. France was occupied by foreign troops. Louis XVIII was placedon his throne by them. The aristocratic émigrés returned, dreamingof overturning the Revolution. Napoleon was escorted off to hisnew “empire” of Elba. Plans were made for a Congress in Viennawhere the victors would divide the spoils. But it was not to be thateasy...
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