War of the Fifth Coalition
The War of the Fifth Coalition was fought in the year 1809 by a coalition of the Austrian Empire and the United Kingdom against Napoleons French Empire and Bavaria. Major engagements between France and Austria, the participants, unfolded over much of Central Europe from April to July. After much campaigning in Bavaria and across the Danube valley, the war ended favourably for the French after the struggle at Wagram in early July. The resulting Treaty of Schönbrunn was the harshest that France had imposed on Austria in recent memory, Austria lost over three million subjects, about one-fifth of her total population, as a result of these territorial changes. Although the Fifth Coalition ended, Britain and Portugal remained at war with France in the ongoing Peninsular War, there was peace in central and eastern Europe until Napoleons invasion of Russia in 1812, which led to the formation of the Sixth Coalition in 1813. Europe had been embroiled in warfare, pitting revolutionary France against a series of coalitions, after five years of war, the French Republic subdued the First Coalition in 1797.
A Second Coalition was formed in 1798, only to be defeated, in March 1802, France and Great Britain, its one remaining enemy, agreed to end hostilities under the Treaty of Amiens. For the first time in ten years, all of Europe was at peace, many disagreements between the two sides remained unresolved, and implementing the agreements they had reached at Amiens seemed to be a growing challenge. Britain resented having to turn all of its colonial conquests since 1793 when France was permitted to retain most of its conquered territory in Europe. France, was upset that British troops had not evacuated the island of Malta, in May 1803, Britain declared war on France. With the resumption of hostilities, Napoleon planned an invasion of England, in December 1804, an Anglo-Swedish agreement led to the creation of the Third Coalition. British Prime Minister William Pitt spent 1804 and 1805 in a flurry of diplomatic activity geared towards forming a new coalition against France and neutralising the threat of invasion.
Mutual suspicion between the British and the Russians eased in the face of several French political mistakes, and by April 1805, in August 1805, the French Grande Armée invaded the German states in hopes of knocking Austria out of the war before Russian forces could intervene. On 25 September, after great secrecy and feverish marching,200,000 French troops began to cross the Rhine on a front of 160 miles, Mack had gathered the greater part of the Austrian army at the fortress of Ulm in Bavaria. Napoleon hoped to swing his forces northward and perform a movement that would find the French at the Austrian rear. The Ulm Maneuver was well executed, and on 20 October Mack and 23,000 Austrian troops surrendered at Ulm, the French captured Vienna in November and went on to inflict a decisive defeat on a Russo-Austrian army at Austerlitz in early December. Austerlitz led to the expulsion of Russian troops from Central Europe and the humiliation of Austria, Austerlitz incited a major shift in the European balance of power.
Prussia felt threatened about her security in the region and, alongside Russia, a vigorous French pursuit through Northern Germany finished off the remnants of the Prussian army
French invasion of Russia
Napoleon hoped to compel Tsar Alexander I of Russia to cease trading with British merchants through proxies in an effort to pressure the United Kingdom to sue for peace. The official political aim of the campaign was to liberate Poland from the threat of Russia, Napoleon named the campaign the Second Polish War to gain favor with the Poles and provide a political pretext for his actions. The Grande Armée was a large force, numbering 680,000 soldiers. Napoleon hoped the battle would mean an end of the march into Russia, plans Napoleon had made to quarter at Smolensk were abandoned, and he pressed his army on after the Russians. As the Russian army fell back, Cossacks were given the task of burning villages and this was intended to deny the invaders the option of living off the land. The actions forced the French to rely on a system that was incapable of feeding the large army in the field. Starvation and privation compelled French soldiers to leave their camps at night in search of food and these men were frequently confronted by parties of Cossacks, who captured or killed them.
The Russian army retreated into Russia for almost three months, the continual retreat and the loss of lands to the French upset the Russian nobility. They pressured Alexander I to relieve the commander of the Russian army, Alexander I complied, appointing an old veteran, Prince Mikhail Kutuzov, to take over command of the army. However, for two more weeks Kutuzov continued to retreat as his predecessor had done, on 7 September, the French caught up with the Russian army which had dug itself in on hillsides before a small town called Borodino, seventy miles west of Moscow. The battle that followed was the bloodiest single-day action of the Napoleonic Wars until that point, involving more than 250,000 soldiers, the French gained a tactical victory, but at the cost of 49 general officers and thousands of men. The Russian army was able to extricate itself and withdrew the following day, Napoleon entered Moscow a week later. In another turn of events the French found puzzling, there was no delegation to meet the Emperor, the Russians had evacuated the city, and the citys governor, Count Fyodor Rostopchin, ordered several strategic points in Moscow set ablaze.
Napoleons hopes had been set upon an end to his campaign. The loss of Moscow did not compel Alexander I to sue for peace, Napoleon stayed on in Moscow looking to negotiate a peace, his hopes fed in part by a disinformation campaign informing the Emperor of supposed discontent and fading morale in the Russian camp. After staying a month Napoleon moved his army out southwest toward Kaluga, the French advance toward Kaluga was checked by a Russian corps. Napoleon tried once more to engage the Russian army for an action at the Battle of Maloyaroslavets. Despite holding a position, the Russians retreated following a sharp engagement
The ducat /ˈdʌkət/ was a gold or silver coin used as a trade coin in Europe from the medieval centuries until as late as the 20th century. Many types of ducats had various metallic content and purchasing power throughout the period, the gold ducat of Venice gained wide international acceptance, like the medieval Byzantine hyperpyron and the Florentine florin, or the modern British pound sterling and the United States dollar. The word ducat is from Medieval Latin ducatus = relating to a duke, Doge Enrico Dandolo of Venice, whose title means duke, introduced a silver ducat whose types are related to the ducats of Roger II. Later gold ducats of Venice, became so important that the name ducat was associated exclusively with them, the Venetian business model of the 13th century was importing goods from the East and selling them at a profit north of the Alps. They paid for goods with Byzantine gold coins but when the Byzantine emperor Michael VIII Palaiologos backed a rebellion called the Sicilian Vespers in 1282.
This was just one more in a series of debasements of the hyperpyron, both Florence and Genoa had introduced gold coins in 1252 and the florin of Florence had become the standard European gold coin. Venice modeled the size and weight of their ducat on the florin, the Venetian ducat contained 3.545 grams of 99. 47% fine gold, the highest purity medieval metallurgy could produce. Gold ducat types derive from silver ducat types, which were ultimately Byzantine, the obverse shows the Doge of Venice kneeling before St. Mark, the patron saint of Venice. Saint Mark holds the gospel, which is his usual attribute, the legend on the left identifies the saint as S M VENET, i. e. Saint Mark of Venice, and the legend on the right identifies the doge, with his title DVX in the field. On the reverse, Christ stands among a field of stars in an oval frame, the reverse legend is the same as on Roger II’s ducats. Succeeding doges of Venice continued striking ducats, changing only their name on the obverse, during the 15th century, the value of the ducat in terms of silver money was stable at 124 Venetian soldi, i. e. schillings.
The term ducat became identified with this amount of money as well as the gold coin. Conflict between England and Spain in 1567, increased the price of gold and upset this equivalence, at this point, the coin was called the ducato de zecca, i. e. ducat of the mint, which was shortened to zecchino and corrupted to sequin. Leonardo Loredan extended the coinage with a half ducat and subsequent doges added a quarter, all of these coins continued to use the designs and weight standards of the original 1284 ducat. Even after dates became a feature of western coinage, Venice struck ducats without them until Napoleon ended the Venetian Republic in 1797. Instead, the Roman coin showed a senator kneeling before St. Peter on the obverse, the Popes subsequently changed these designs, but continued to strike ducats of the same weight and size into the 16th century. Most imitations of the Venetian ducat were made in the Levant, the Knights of Saint John struck ducats with grand master Dieudonné de Gozon, 1346-1353, kneeling before Saint John on the obverse and an angel seated on the Sepulcher of Christ on the reverse.
Subsequent Grand masters, found it expedient to copy the Venetian types more exactly, first at Rhodes and they struck ducats at Chios that could be distinguished from the Venetian originals only by their workmanship
The Russian Empire was a state that existed from 1721 until it was overthrown by the short-lived February Revolution in 1917. One of the largest empires in history, stretching over three continents, the Russian Empire was surpassed in landmass only by the British and Mongol empires. The rise of the Russian Empire happened in association with the decline of neighboring powers, the Swedish Empire, the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, Persia. It played a role in 1812–14 in defeating Napoleons ambitions to control Europe. The House of Romanov ruled the Russian Empire from 1721 until 1762, and its German-descended cadet branch, with 125.6 million subjects registered by the 1897 census, it had the third-largest population in the world at the time, after Qing China and India. Like all empires, it included a large disparity in terms of economics, there were numerous dissident elements, who launched numerous rebellions and assassination attempts, they were closely watched by the secret police, with thousands exiled to Siberia.
Economically, the empire had an agricultural base, with low productivity on large estates worked by serfs. The economy slowly industrialized with the help of foreign investments in railways, the land was ruled by a nobility from the 10th through the 17th centuries, and subsequently by an emperor. Tsar Ivan III laid the groundwork for the empire that emerged and he tripled the territory of his state, ended the dominance of the Golden Horde, renovated the Moscow Kremlin, and laid the foundations of the Russian state. Tsar Peter the Great fought numerous wars and expanded an already huge empire into a major European power, Catherine the Great presided over a golden age. She expanded the state by conquest and diplomacy, continuing Peter the Greats policy of modernisation along West European lines, Tsar Alexander II promoted numerous reforms, most dramatically the emancipation of all 23 million serfs in 1861. His policy in Eastern Europe involved protecting the Orthodox Christians under the rule of the Ottoman Empire and that connection by 1914 led to Russias entry into the First World War on the side of France and Serbia, against the German and Ottoman empires.
The Russian Empire functioned as a monarchy until the Revolution of 1905. The empire collapsed during the February Revolution of 1917, largely as a result of failures in its participation in the First World War. Perhaps the latter was done to make Europe recognize Russia as more of a European country, Poland was divided in the 1790-1815 era, with much of the land and population going to Russia. Most of the 19th century growth came from adding territory in Asia, Peter I the Great introduced autocracy in Russia and played a major role in introducing his country to the European state system. However, this vast land had a population of 14 million, grain yields trailed behind those of agriculture in the West, compelling nearly the entire population to farm. Only a small percentage lived in towns, the class of kholops, close to the one of slavery, remained a major institution in Russia until 1723, when Peter I converted household kholops into house serfs, thus including them in poll taxation
German Campaign of 1813
The German Campaign was fought in 1813. This was the factor in the outbreak of the German Campaign the following year. The Spring Campaign between members of the Sixth Coalition and the First French Empire ended inconclusively with a summer truce. Via the Trachenberg Plan, developed during a period of ceasefire in the summer of 1813, in the following Autumn Campaign, Austria eventually sided with the coalition, thwarting Napoleons hopes of reaching a separate agreement with the major powers Austria and Russia. The Coalition allies now had a numerical superiority, which they eventually brought to bear on Napoleons main forces. The high point of allied strategy was the Battle of Leipzig in October 1813 and this completely broke Napoleons power to the east of the river Rhine. Napoleon was forced to abdicate and Louis XVIII regained the French Throne, the war came to a formal end with the Treaty of Paris in November 1814. They advocated limitations to the princes of Germany and a joint effort by all Germans to eject the French.
From 1810 Arndt and Jahn asked high-ranking figures in Prussian society again and again to prepare such an uprising, Jahn himself organised the German League and made a major contribution to the founding of the Lützow Free Corps. These forerunners took part in the outbreak of hostilities in Germany, even before the German Campaign, there had been uprisings against the French troops occupying Germany – these had broken out from 1806 onwards in Hesse and in 1809 in the Tyrolean Rebellion. These uprisings intensified in the year under Wilhelm von Dörnberg, the initiator and commander-in-chief of the Hessian uprising. This was the factor in the outbreak of the German Campaign the following year. On 17 March 1813 – the day Alexander I of Russia arrived in the Hoflager of Frederick William III of Prussia – Prussia declared war on France. On 20 March 1813 the Schlesische privilegierte Zeitung newspaper published Fredericks speech entitled An Mein Volk, delivered on 17 March and calling for a war of liberation.
Already busy with maintaining naval supremacy and fighting the Peninsular War, Great Britain did not take any part in the German campaign. The Convention of Tauroggen became the starting-point of Prussias regeneration, meanwhile Napoleon in Paris had been organizing a fresh army for the reconquest of Prussia. Levies were made with rigorous severity in the states of the Rhine Confederation, on 25 April Napoleon reached Erfurt and assumed the chief command. On this day his troops stood in the following positions, meanwhile the Russians and Prussians had concentrated all available men and were moving on an almost parallel line, but somewhat to the south of the direction taken by the French
The wars resulted from the unresolved disputes associated with the French Revolution and the Revolutionary Wars, which had raged on for years before concluding with the Treaty of Amiens in 1802. Napoleon became the First Consul of France in 1799, Emperor five years later, inheriting the political and military struggles of the Revolution, he created a state with stable finances, a strong central bureaucracy, and a well-trained army. The British frequently financed the European coalitions intended to thwart French ambitions, by 1805, they had managed to convince the Austrians and the Russians to wage another war against France. At sea, the Royal Navy destroyed a combined Franco-Spanish fleet at Trafalgar in October 1805, Prussian worries about increasing French power led to the formation of the Fourth Coalition in 1806. France forced the defeated nations of the Fourth Coalition to sign the Treaties of Tilsit in July, although Tilsit signified the high watermark of the French Empire, it did not bring a lasting peace for Europe.
Hoping to extend the Continental System and choke off British trade with the European mainland, Napoleon invaded Iberia, the Spanish and the Portuguese revolted with British support. The Peninsular War lasted six years, featured extensive guerrilla warfare, the Continental System caused recurring diplomatic conflicts between France and its client states, especially Russia. Unwilling to bear the consequences of reduced trade, the Russians routinely violated the Continental System. The French launched an invasion of Russia in the summer of 1812. The resulting campaign witnessed the collapse and retreat of the Grand Army along with the destruction of Russian lands. In 1813, Prussia and Austria joined Russian forces in a Sixth Coalition against France, a lengthy military campaign culminated in a large Allied army defeating Napoleon at the Battle of Leipzig in October 1813. The Allies invaded France and captured Paris in the spring of 1814 and he was exiled to the island of Elba near Rome and the Bourbons were restored to power.
However, Napoleon escaped from Elba in February 1815 and took control of France once again, the Allies responded by forming a Seventh Coalition, which defeated Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo in June. The Congress of Vienna, which started in 1814 and concluded in 1815, established the new borders of Europe and laid out the terms, Napoleon seized power in 1799, creating a de facto military dictatorship. The Napoleonic Wars began with the War of the Third Coalition, Kagan argues that Britain was irritated in particular by Napoleons assertion of control over Switzerland. Furthermore, Britons felt insulted when Napoleon stated that their country deserved no voice in European affairs, for its part, Russia decided that the intervention in Switzerland indicated that Napoleon was not looking toward a peaceful resolution of his differences with the other European powers. The British quickly enforced a blockade of France to starve it of resources. Napoleon responded with economic embargoes against Britain, and sought to eliminate Britains Continental allies to break the coalitions arrayed against him, the so-called Continental System formed a league of armed neutrality to disrupt the blockade and enforce free trade with France
The Crimean War was a military conflict fought from October 1853 to March 1856 in which the Russian Empire lost to an alliance of France, the Ottoman Empire, and Sardinia. The immediate cause involved the rights of Christian minorities in the Holy Land, the French promoted the rights of Roman Catholics, while Russia promoted those of the Eastern Orthodox Church. The longer-term causes involved the decline of the Ottoman Empire and the unwillingness of Britain and France to allow Russia to gain territory and power at Ottoman expense. While the churches eventually worked out their differences and came to an agreement, Nicholas I of Russia, Nicholas issued an ultimatum that the Orthodox subjects of the Empire be placed under his protection. Britain attempted to mediate and arranged a compromise that Nicholas agreed to, when the Ottomans demanded changes, Nicholas refused and prepared for war. Having obtained promises of support from France and Britain, the Ottomans declared war on Russia in October 1853.
The war started in the Balkans, when Russian troops occupied the Danubian Principalities, until under Ottoman suzerainty and now part of modern Romania, led by Omar Pasha, the Ottomans fought a strong defensive campaign and stopped the advance at Silistra. A separate action on the town of Kars in eastern Anatolia led to a siege. Fearing an Ottoman collapse and Britain rushed forces to Gallipoli and they moved north to Varna in June, arriving just in time for the Russians to abandon Silistra. Aside from a skirmish at Köstence, there was little for the allies to do. Karl Marx quipped that there they are, the French doing nothing, after extended preparations, the forces landed on the peninsula in September 1854 and fought their way to a point south of Sevastopol after a series of successful battles. The Russians counterattacked on 25 October in what became the Battle of Balaclava and were repulsed, a second counterattack, ordered personally by Nicholas, was defeated by Omar Pasha. The front settled into a siege and led to conditions for troops on both sides.
Smaller actions were carried out in the Baltic, the Caucasus, Sevastopol fell after eleven months, and neutral countries began to join the Allied cause. Isolated and facing a bleak prospect of invasion from the west if the war continued and this was welcomed by France and Britain, as their subjects were beginning to turn against their governments as the war dragged on. The war was ended by the Treaty of Paris, signed on 30 March 1856, Russia was forbidden from hosting warships in the Black Sea. The Ottoman vassal states of Wallachia and Moldavia became largely independent, Christians there were granted a degree of official equality, and the Orthodox Church regained control of the Christian churches in dispute. The Crimean War was one of the first conflicts to use technologies such as explosive naval shells, railways
Napoleon Bonaparte was a French military and political leader who rose to prominence during the French Revolution and led several successful campaigns during the French Revolutionary Wars. As Napoleon I, he was Emperor of the French from 1804 until 1814, Napoleon dominated European and global affairs for more than a decade while leading France against a series of coalitions in the Napoleonic Wars. He won most of these wars and the vast majority of his battles, one of the greatest commanders in history, his wars and campaigns are studied at military schools worldwide. Napoleons political and cultural legacy has ensured his status as one of the most celebrated and he was born Napoleone di Buonaparte in Corsica to a relatively modest family from the minor nobility. When the Revolution broke out in 1789, Napoleon was serving as an officer in the French army. Seizing the new opportunities presented by the Revolution, he rose through the ranks of the military. The Directory eventually gave him command of the Army of Italy after he suppressed a revolt against the government from royalist insurgents, in 1798, he led a military expedition to Egypt that served as a springboard to political power.
He engineered a coup in November 1799 and became First Consul of the Republic and his ambition and public approval inspired him to go further, and in 1804 he became the first Emperor of the French. Intractable differences with the British meant that the French were facing a Third Coalition by 1805, in 1806, the Fourth Coalition took up arms against him because Prussia became worried about growing French influence on the continent. Napoleon quickly defeated Prussia at the battles of Jena and Auerstedt, marched the Grand Army deep into Eastern Europe, France forced the defeated nations of the Fourth Coalition to sign the Treaties of Tilsit in July 1807, bringing an uneasy peace to the continent. Tilsit signified the high watermark of the French Empire, hoping to extend the Continental System and choke off British trade with the European mainland, Napoleon invaded Iberia and declared his brother Joseph the King of Spain in 1808. The Spanish and the Portuguese revolted with British support, the Peninsular War lasted six years, featured extensive guerrilla warfare, and ended in victory for the Allies.
The Continental System caused recurring diplomatic conflicts between France and its client states, especially Russia, unwilling to bear the economic consequences of reduced trade, the Russians routinely violated the Continental System and enticed Napoleon into another war. The French launched an invasion of Russia in the summer of 1812. The resulting campaign witnessed the collapse of the Grand Army, the destruction of Russian cities, in 1813, Prussia and Austria joined Russian forces in a Sixth Coalition against France. A lengthy military campaign culminated in a large Allied army defeating Napoleon at the Battle of Leipzig in October 1813, the Allies invaded France and captured Paris in the spring of 1814, forcing Napoleon to abdicate in April. He was exiled to the island of Elba near Rome and the Bourbons were restored to power, Napoleon escaped from Elba in February 1815 and took control of France once again. The Allies responded by forming a Seventh Coalition, which defeated Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo in June, the British exiled him to the remote island of Saint Helena in the South Atlantic, where he died six years at the age of 51
Campaign in north-east France (1814)
The 1814 campaign in north-east France was Napoleons final campaign of the War of the Sixth Coalition. Following their victory at Leipzig, Russian and other German armies of the Sixth Coalition invaded France, despite the disproportionate forces in favour of the Coalition, Napoleon managed to inflict many defeats, especially during the Six Days Campaign. However, the Coalition kept advancing towards Paris, which capitulated in late March 1814, following defeats in the Wars of the Fourth and Fifth Coalitions and Austria were forcibly allied with France during the Russian Campaign. When this campaign resulted in the destruction of Napoleons Grande Armée, the retreat from Russia turned into a new war on German soil, where Napoleon was decisively defeated at Leipzig. Most European countries turned against Napoleon and started to invade France, when the last of the French troops had crossed to the western bank of the Rhine, divided counsels made their appearance at the headquarters of the Coalition members.
The Army of Silesia, with 50, 000–75,000 Prussians and Russians under Prince Blücher, to meet these forces Napoleon, by the senatus consultum of 9 October 1813, had to draft anticipatively the conscripts from 1814 and 1815. These very young and inexperienced recruits formed the bulk of the new French Army and were nicknamed the Marie-Louise, hence less than 80,000 remained available for the east and north-eastern frontier. If, however, he was weak in numbers, he was now operating in a friendly country. Napoleon attempted to counter the incursion of the Army of Silesia shortly after their crossing but arrived too late, and engaged in pursuit. On 25 January Blücher entered Nancy, moving rapidly up the valley of the Moselle, was in communication with the Austrian advanced guard near La Rothière on the afternoon 28 January, on 29 January Napoleon caught up with Blücher and attacked. Blüchers headquarters were surprised and he himself captured by a sudden rush of French troops. Blücher accordingly fell back a few miles next morning to a position covering the exits from the Bar-sur-Aube defile.
At nightfall the fighting ceased and the retired to Lesmont. Owing to the state of the roads, or perhaps to the extraordinary lethargy which always characterized Schwarzenbergs headquarters, in the night his headquarters were again surprised, and Blücher learnt that Napoleon himself with his main body was in full march to fall on his scattered detachments. At the same time he heard that Pahlens Cossacks had been withdrawn forty-eight hours previously and he himself retreated towards Étoges endeavouring to rally his scattered detachments. Napoleon was too quick for Blücher, he decimated Lieutenant General Olssufievs Russian IX Corps at the Battle of Champaubert and this placed his army between Blüchers vanguard and his main body. Napoleon turned his attention to the vanguard and defeated Osten-Sacken and Yorck at Montmirail on 11 February, Napoleon turned on the main body of the Army of Silesia and on 14 February defeated Blücher in Battle of Vauchamps near Étoges, pursuing the latter towards Vertus.
These disasters compelled the retreat of the whole Silesian army, and Napoleon, leaving detachments with marshals Mortier and Marmont to deal with them, hurried back to Troyes