French invasion of Russia
The French invasion of Russia, known in Russia as the Patriotic War of 1812 and in France as the Russian Campaign, began on 24 June 1812 when Napoleon's Grande Armée crossed the Neman River in an attempt to engage and defeat the Russian army. 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. At the start of the invasion, the Grande Armée numbered 680,000 soldiers, it was the largest army known to have been assembled in the history of warfare up to that point. Through a series of long marches Napoleon pushed the army through Western Russia in an attempt to engage and destroy the Russian army, winning a number of minor engagements and a major battle at Smolensk in August.
Napoleon hoped the battle would win the war for him, but the Russian army slipped away and continued the retreat, leaving Smolensk to burn. As the Russian army fell back, scorched-earth tactics were employed, resulting in villages and crops being destroyed and forcing the French to rely on a supply system, incapable of feeding their large army in the field. 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, with 72,000 casualties, a narrow French victory. The Russian army withdrew the following day, leaving the French again without the decisive victory Napoleon sought. A week Napoleon entered Moscow, which the Russians had abandoned and burned; the loss of Moscow did not compel Alexander I to enter into negotiations, Napoleon stayed on in Moscow for a month, waiting for a peace offer that never came.
On 19 October and his army left Moscow and marched southwest toward Kaluga, where Field Marshal Mikhail Kutuzov was encamped with the Russian army. After an inconclusive battle at Maloyaroslavets, Napoleon began to retreat back to the Polish border. In the following weeks, the Grande Armée suffered from the onset of the Russian Winter. Lack of food and fodder for the horses, hypothermia from the bitter cold and persistent attacks upon isolated troops from Russian peasants and Cossacks led to great losses in men, a breakdown of discipline and cohesion in the army. More fighting at Vyazma and Krasnoi resulted in further losses for the French; when the remnants of Napoleon's main army crossed the Berezina River in late November, only 27,000 soldiers remained. Following the crossing of the Berezina, Napoleon left the army after much urging from his advisors and with the unanimous approval of his Marshals, he returned to Paris to protect his position as Emperor and to raise more forces to resist the advancing Russians.
The campaign ended after nearly six months on 14 December 1812, with the last French troops leaving Russian soil. The campaign was a turning point in the Napoleonic Wars, it was the greatest and bloodiest of the Napoleonic campaigns, involving more than 1.5 million soldiers, with over 500,000 French and 400,000 Russian casualties. The reputation of Napoleon was shaken, French hegemony in Europe was weakened; the Grande Armée, made up of French and allied invasion forces, was reduced to a fraction of its initial strength. These events triggered a major shift in European politics. France's ally Prussia, soon followed by Austria, broke their imposed alliance with France and switched sides; this triggered the War of the Sixth Coalition. Although the Napoleonic Empire seemed to be at its height in 1810 and 1811, it had in fact declined somewhat from its apogee in 1806–1809. Although most of Western and Central Europe lay under his control—either directly or indirectly through various protectorates and countries defeated by his empire and under treaties favorable for France—Napoleon had embroiled his armies in the costly and drawn-out Peninsular War in Spain and Portugal.
France's economy, army morale, political support at home had noticeably declined. But most Napoleon himself was not in the same physical and mental state as in years past, he had become overweight and prone to various maladies. Despite his troubles in Spain, with the exception of British expeditionary forces to that country, no European power dared move against him; the Treaty of Schönbrunn, which ended the 1809 war between Austria and France, had a clause removing Western Galicia from Austria and annexing it to the Grand Duchy of Warsaw. Russia viewed this as against its interests and as a potential launching-point for an invasion of Russia. In 1811 Russian staff developed a plan of offensive war, assuming a Russian assault on Warsaw and on Danzig. In an attempt to gain increased support from Polish nationalists and patriots, Napoleon in his own words termed this war the Second Polish War. Napoleon's "first" Polish war, the War of the Fourth Coalition to liberate Poland, he saw as such because one of the official declared goals of this war was the resurrection of the Polish state on territories of the former Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth.
Tsar Alexander found Russia in an economic bind as his country had little in the way of manufacturing, yet was rich in raw materials and relied on trade with Na
Fort Jesup known as Fort Jesup State Historic Site or Fort Jesup or Fort Jesup State Monument, was built in 1822, 22 miles west of Natchitoches, Louisiana, to protect the United States border with New Spain and to return order to the Neutral Strip. Named Cantonment Jesup, the fort operated from 1822 until 1846. After the abandonment of the fort in 1846, the United States federal government continued to own the abandoned fort site until the privatization of the site in 1869; the Neutral Strip was created after the 1803 Louisiana Purchase, from which arose a disagreement about the location of the border between the American and Spanish territories. In order to avoid a war, the two countries agreed that the land in contention would remain neutral and free of armed forces from either side; this region stretched from Sabine River to Arroyo Hondo and encompassed the land that now makes up modern Sabine Parish, Louisiana. The Neutral Strip remained devoid of government and law enforcement until the Adams–Onís Treaty of 1819 set the border at the Sabine River.
Colonel Zachary Taylor—future President of the United States—established Cantonment Jesup in 1822 after Fort Seldon, a temporary headquarters for General Edmund Pendleton Gaines, was too far from the conflict zone of the Sabine River. Taylor subdued the former Neutral Strip, gaining experience and popularity; the surgeon at the cantonment recorded meteorological observations. His forces, known as the Army of Observation, remained in the fort and monitored the Texas territory as it passed from Spanish to Mexican control, broke away as an independent republic. In 1845, General Taylor commanded the US Army of Observation's excursion into Texas and ignited the Mexican–American War, he would gain popularity from his victories that would propel his political career to the Presidency of the United States of America. The United States gained control of Texas, rendering Fort Jesup unnecessary. Evacuated in 1846, the fort thereafter deteriorated; the federal government privatized it in 1869. By the 1930s, the only remaining building at Fort Jesup was the kitchen of Enlisted Barracks 4.
Residents of the nearby town of Many, Louisiana raised money to restore the building and turned the area into a park. The site was acquired by the Louisiana Office of State Parks in 1956, in 1961, the fort was designated a National Historic Landmark. Since the kitchen has been restored and decorated with accurate furniture. An officer's quarters building has been reconstructed, now serves as a museum; the fort site is located on Louisiana Highway 6, seven miles northeast of Many. Fort Scott National Historic Site List of National Historic Landmarks in Louisiana National Register of Historic Places listings in Sabine Parish, Louisiana List of Louisiana state historic sites Fort Jesup State Historic Site - official site Cane River National Heritage Area, a National Park Service Discover Our Shared Heritage Travel Itinerary
Hanover or Hannover is the capital and largest city of the German state of Lower Saxony. Its 535,061 inhabitants make it the thirteenth-largest city of Germany, as well as the third-largest city of Northern Germany after Hamburg and Bremen; the city lies at the confluence of the River Leine and its tributary Ihme, in the south of the North German Plain, is the largest city of the Hannover–Braunschweig–Göttingen–Wolfsburg Metropolitan Region. It is the fifth-largest city in the Low German dialect area after Hamburg, Dortmund and Bremen. Before it became the capital of Lower Saxony in 1946, Hanover was the capital of the Principality of Calenberg, the Electorate of Brunswick-Lüneburg, the Kingdom of Hanover, the Province of Hanover of the Kingdom of Prussia, the Province of Hanover of the Free State of Prussia, of the State of Hanover. From 1714 to 1837, Hanover was by personal union the family seat of the Hanoverian Kings of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, under their title of the dukes of Brunswick-Lüneburg.
The city is a major crossing point of railway lines and highways, connecting European main lines in both the east-west and north-south directions. Hannover Airport lies north of the city, in Langenhagen, is Germany's ninth-busiest airport; the city's most notable institutions of higher education are the Hannover Medical School with its university hospital, the University of Hanover. The Hanover fairground, due to numerous extensions for the Expo 2000, is the largest in the world. Hanover hosts annual commercial trade fairs such as the Hanover Fair and up to 2018 the CeBIT; the IAA Commercial Vehicles show takes place every two years. It is the world's leading trade show for transport and mobility; every year Hanover hosts the Schützenfest Hannover, the world's largest marksmen's festival, the Oktoberfest Hannover. "Hanover" is the traditional English spelling. The German spelling is becoming more popular in English; the English pronunciation, with stress on the first syllable, is applied to both the German and English spellings, different from German pronunciation, with stress on the second syllable and a long second vowel.
The traditional English spelling is still used in historical contexts when referring to the British House of Hanover. Hanover was founded in medieval times on the east bank of the River Leine, its original name Honovere may mean "high bank". Hanover was a small village of ferrymen and fishermen that became a comparatively large town in the 13th century, receiving town privileges in 1241, due to its position at a natural crossroads; as overland travel was difficult, its position on the upper navigable reaches of the river helped it to grow by increasing trade. It was connected to the Hanseatic League city of Bremen by the Leine, was situated near the southern edge of the wide North German Plain and north-west of the Harz mountains, so that east-west traffic such as mule trains passed through it. Hanover was thus a gateway to the Rhine and Saar river valleys, their industrial areas which grew up to the southwest and the plains regions to the east and north, for overland traffic skirting the Harz between the Low Countries and Saxony or Thuringia.
In the 14th century the main churches of Hanover were built, as well as a city wall with three city gates. The beginning of industrialization in Germany led to trade in iron and silver from the northern Harz Mountains, which increased the city's importance. In 1636 George, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg, ruler of the Brunswick-Lüneburg principality of Calenberg, moved his residence to Hanover; the Dukes of Brunswick-Lüneburg was elevated by the Holy Roman Emperor to the rank of Prince-Elector in 1692, this elevation was confirmed by the Imperial Diet in 1708. Thus the principality was upgraded to the Electorate of Brunswick-Lüneburg, colloquially known as the Electorate of Hanover after Calenberg's capital, its Electors become monarchs of Great Britain. The first of these was George I Louis, who acceded to the British throne in 1714; the last British monarch who reigned in Hanover was William IV. Semi-Salic law, which required succession by the male line if possible, forbade the accession of Queen Victoria in Hanover.
As a male-line descendant of George I, Queen Victoria was herself a member of the House of Hanover. Her descendants, bore her husband's titular name of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha. Three kings of Great Britain, or the United Kingdom, were concurrently Electoral Princes of Hanover. During the time of the personal union of the crowns of the United Kingdom and Hanover, the monarchs visited the city. In fact, during the reigns of the final three joint rulers, there was only one short visit, by George IV in 1821. From 1816 to 1837 Viceroy Adolphus represented the monarch in Hanover. During the Seven Years' War, the Battle of Hastenbeck was fought near the city on 26 July 1757; the French army defeated the Hanoverian Army of Observation, leading to the city's occupation as part of the Invasion of Hanover. It was recaptured by Anglo-German forces led by Ferdinand of Brunswick the following year. After Napoleon imposed the Conv
Invasion of Hanover (1757)
The Invasion of Hanover took place in 1757 during the Seven Years' War when a French army under Louis Charles César Le Tellier, duc d'Estrées advanced into the Electorate of Hanover and neighbouring German states following the Battle of Hastenbeck. French forces overran most of Hanover forcing the Hanoverian Army of Observation, intended to defend the Electorate, to Stade on the North Sea coast. At the Convention of Klosterzeven the Duke of Cumberland agreed to disband his army and acknowledge the French occupation of the Electorate. Following pressure by his British ministers, George II of Great Britain, Elector of Hanover, renounced the Convention and the German troops returned to active operations. By spring 1758, under a new commander, the Allied forces had driven the French out of Hanover and pushed them back across the River Rhine. Following the outbreak of the first fighting between Britain and France in North America in 1754, the French leadership saw that the limited population and resources available in French Canada meant it would fall to the British if the war was prolonged, decided to try and gain an equivalent in Europe to exchange for Canada at the negotiating table.
Since 1714 Britain and the Electorate of Hanover had shared a single monarch. George II was ruler of both states – and the French believed they could exert pressure on him as King of Great Britain by occupying Hanover. In response Britain planned to hire 50,000 Russian troops to defend Hanover but altered the plan by making an alliance with Prussia and forming an Army of Observation composed of Hanoverian and Hessian troops paid for by the British government. A number of British officers, such as Jeffrey Amherst and Guy Carleton, were given commands in the force, it was placed under the command of the Duke of Cumberland, second son of George II. The name Army of Observation expressed a hope that the army would serve as a deterrent and their role would be to observe. In early 1756, when a French invasion of the British Isles seemed imminent, many of the Hanoverian and Hessian troops were shipped to southern England to boost its defences; as the threat of invasion subsided, the troops were shipped back to Germany again.
The prospect of fighting in Western Germany coincided with a dispute between Austria and Prussia, who went to war in 1756. Following the First Treaty of Versailles and France formed Franco-Austrian Alliance and sought to defeat the German allies in turn in 1757. First a major French force would sweep through Western Germany defeating and occupying Hanover, the French would swing to attack Prussia from the west while Austria came from the south. France began building up a large force known as the Army of Westphalia under the Duc d'Estrées. In early June 1757, the French army began to advance towards Hanover once it became clear that there was to be no negotiated agreement; the first skirmish between the two forces had taken place on 3 May. Part of the French army was delayed by the Siege of Geldern which took three months to capture from its Prussian garrison of 800; the bulk of the French army advanced across the Rhine, advancing because of the difficulties of logistics for moving an army estimated at around 100,000.
In the face of this advance, the smaller German Army of Observation retreated back across the River Weser into the territory of the Electorate of Hanover itself, while Cumberland tried to ready his troops. On July 2,the Prussian port of Emden fell to the French before a Royal Navy squadron sent to relieve it could reach there; this cut Hanover off from the Dutch Republic meaning that supplies from Britain could now only be shipped direct by sea. The French followed this up by seizing Cassel. By late July, Cumberland believed his army was ready for battle and adopted a defensive position around the village of Hastenbeck; the French won a narrow victory over him there, but as Cumberland retreated his force began to disintegrate as morale collapsed. Despite his victory, d'Estrées was shortly afterwards replaced as commander of the French army by the Duc de Richelieu, who had distinguished himself leading the French forces that had captured Minorca. Richelieu's orders followed the original strategy of taking total control of Hanover, turning west to offer assistance to the Austrians attacking Prussia.
Cumberland's forces continued to withdraw northwards. The French pursuit was slowed by further problems with supplies, but they continued to pursue the retreating Army of Observation. In an effort to cause a diversion and provide some relief to Cumberland, the British planned an expedition to raid the French coastal town of Rochefort – hoping that the sudden threat would compel the French to withdraw troops from Germany to protect the French coast against further attacks. Under Richelieu the French continued their drive, taking Minden and capturing the city of Hanover on 11 August. Richelieu despatched a force to occupy Brunswick. Frederick the Great decided to withdraw the Prussian contingent of Cumberland's army so they could rejoin his own forces further weakening the Army of Observation; the Hanoverian government retreated with Cumberland via Verden to Stade, Bremen-Verden's capital and a port town connected to the North Sea by the River Elbe. Although it was well-fortified and could be supplied from sea, Cumberland believed their situation to be precarious.
The proposal that a large number of British reinforcements be diverted to Stade was rejected, the British expedition was sent to its original destination of Rochefort, although it was launched too late to do anything to provide a diversion in support of Cumberland. Orders were sent to Captain Hyde Parker to use his Royal Navy squadron to keep open the supply route down the Elb