War of the Sixth Coalition
After the disastrous French invasion of Russia of 1812, the continental powers joined Russia, the United Kingdom and the rebels in Spain who were already at war with France. The War of the Sixth Coalition saw major battles at Lützen, the even larger Battle of Leipzig was the largest battle in European history before World War I. Ultimately, Napoleons earlier setbacks in Russia and Germany proved to be the seeds of his undoing, with their armies reorganized, the allies drove Napoleon out of Germany in 1813 and invaded France in 1814. The Allies defeated the remaining French armies, occupied Paris, and forced Napoleon to abdicate, the French monarchy was revived by the allies, who handed rule to the heir of the House of Bourbon in the Bourbon Restoration. This was not however the end of the Napoleonic Wars, Napoleon subsequently escaped from his captivity and returned to power in France, sparking the War of the Seventh Coalition in 1815. In 1812 Napoleon invaded Russia to compel Emperor Alexander I to remain in the Continental System, the Grande Armée, consisting of as many as 650,000 men, crossed the Neman River on 23 June 1812.
Russia proclaimed a Patriotic War, while Napoleon proclaimed a Second Polish War, but against the expectations of the Poles, who supplied almost 100,000 troops for the invasion force, and having in mind further negotiations with Russia, he avoided any concessions toward Poland. Russian forces fell back, destroying everything potentially of use to the invaders until giving battle at Borodino where the two armies fought a devastating but inconclusive battle. Following the battle the Russians withdrew, thus opening the road to Moscow, by 14 September the French had occupied Moscow but found the city practically empty. Alexander I refused to capitulate, leaving the French in the city of Moscow with little food or shelter and winter approaching. In these circumstances, and with no path to victory. Total losses of the Grand Army were at least 370,000 casualties as a result of fighting and the weather conditions. By November, only 27,000 fit soldiers re-crossed the Berezina River, Napoleon now left his army to return to Paris and prepare a defence of Poland against the advancing Russians.
The situation was not as dire as it might at first have seemed, on 9 January 1812, French troops occupied Swedish Pomerania to end the illegal trade with the United Kingdom from Sweden, which was in violation of the Continental System. Swedish estates were confiscated and Swedish officers and soldiers were taken as prisoners, in response, Sweden declared neutrality and signed the secret Treaty of Saint Petersburg with Russia against France and Denmark–Norway on 5 April. On 18 July, the Treaty of Örebro formally ended the wars between Britain and Sweden and Britain and Russia, forming an alliance between Russia and Sweden. However, when Napoleon marched on Moscow, neither Britain nor Sweden would give any support to Russia. The alliance existed only on paper, according to the Treaty of Tilsit, Prussia had to support Napoleons invasion of Russia
Battle of Kulm
The Battle of Kulm was a battle near the town Kulm and the village Přestanov in northern Bohemia. It was fought on 29–30 August 1813, during the War of the Sixth Coalition, following the French victory at Dresden, Vandamme pursued the retreating allies. Napoleon sent Marshals Gouvion Saint Cyr and Auguste Marmont to support Vandammes corps, with Vandamme in advance, Saint Cyrs and Marmonts corps brought up the rear. Vandamme caught up with Alexander Ivanovich Ostermann-Tolstoys forces near the town of Kulm, the situation was very dangerous for the allies, if Vandamme won the battle, the French would take the passes in the mountain, and the retreating Coalition army could be trapped by Napoleon. However, Ostermann-Tolstoy rallied all of his troops for a stiff defense, Vandammes situation changed the next day. A Prussian corps commanded by Friedrich von Kleist attacked Vandammes rear guard, Kleist received help from a combined Russian and Austrian attack on his front, under the command of Generals Ostermann-Tolstoy and von Colloredo-Mansfeld.
In an attempt to repulse attacks on his front and rear. The inexperienced French troops were unable to fend off the allies, the allies lost approximately 13,000 soldiers killed or wounded. In Vandammes corps there were two Polish regiments of Uhlans, part of cavalry divisions under the command of General Jean Corbineau and these regiments were used by Vandamme to defend against enemy cavalry charges. One regiment, commanded by Colonel Maximilian Fredro, was attacked after withdrawing to a defile, the other regiment of Uhlans, under the command of Count Tomasz Łubieński successfully withdrew. Thus, by winning this battle, Ostermann-Tolstoy and his troops succeeded in buying much needed time for the Coalition armies to regroup after the Battle of Dresden. According to a French anecdote, after the battle Vandamme was brought to and accused by Emperor Alexander I of Russia of being a brigand and plunderer. He retorted, I am neither a plunderer nor a brigand and this statement apparently hinted at the widespread belief that Alexander I was implicated in the murder of his father, Emperor Paul I.
The battlefield is mostly built over, there is a large monument topped with a lion next door to the Hotel Napoleon. Jadwiga Nadzieja Lipsk 1813 historical battles serie published in Warsaw by Bellona 1998 ISBN 83-11-08826-8 pp. 57–59, Battle of Kulm Memoirs of the Duke Rovigo
Battle of Orthez
The Battle of Orthez saw the Anglo-Portuguese Army under Field Marshal Arthur Wellesley, Marquess of Wellington attack a Imperial French army led by Marshal Nicolas Soult in southern France. The outnumbered French repelled several Allied assaults on their right flank, at first the withdrawal was conducted in good order, but it eventually ended in a scramble for safety and many French soldiers became prisoners. The engagement occurred near the end of the Peninsular War, in mid-February, Wellingtons army broke out of its small area of conquered territory near Bayonne. Moving east, the Allies drove the French back from several river lines, after a pause in the campaign, the western-most Allied corps surrounded and isolated Bayonne. Resuming their eastward drive, the remaining two Allied corps pushed Soults army back to Orthez where the French marshal offered battle, in subsequent operations, Soult decided to abandon the large western port of Bordeaux and fall back east toward Toulouse. The next action was the Battle of Toulouse, the Battle of the Nive ended on 13 December 1813 when Wellingtons army repulsed the last of Soults assaults.
This ended the fighting for the year, Soult had found the Allied army divided by the Nive River but failed to inflict a damaging defeat. The French pulled back within Bayonnes defenses and entered winter quarters, heavy rains brought operations to a standstill for the next two months. After the Battle of Nivelle on 10 November 1813, Wellingtons Spanish troops had gone out of control in seized French villages, since his men were paid and fed by the British government, Pablo Morillos Spanish division remained with the army. Wellingtons policy paid dividends, his soldiers found that guarding the roads in his armys rear areas was no longer required. In January 1814, Soult sent reinforcements to Napoleon, transferred to the Campaign in Northeast France were the 7th and 9th Infantry Divisions and Anne-François-Charles Trelliards dragoons. Marshal Soult commanded 7,300 gunners and wagon drivers plus the garrisons of Bayonne, stapleton Cotton commanded three British light cavalry brigades under Henry Fane, Hussey Vivian and Edward Somerset.
There were three independent infantry brigades,1,816 British led by Matthew Whitworth-Aylmer,2,185 Portuguese under John Wilson and 1,614 Portuguese directed by Thomas Bradford. Wellington planned to use the greater part of his army to drive the bulk of Soults army well to the east, away from Bayonne. Once the French army was pressed sufficiently far to the east, because Soults army was weakened by three divisions, Wellingtons forces were superior enough to risk dividing them into two bodies. Soult wished to contain his opponent in a wedge of occupied French territory, strongly garrisoned Bayonne blocked the north side of the Allied-occupied area. East of the city, three French divisions held the line of the Adour to Port-de-Lanne, the east side of the Allied-occupied area was defended by four French divisions along the Joyeuse River as far south as Hélette. Cavalry patrols formed a cordon from there to the fortress of Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port in the Pyrenees, on 14 February, Wellington launched his offensive toward the east
The Austrian Empire was an empire in Central Europe created out of the realms of the Habsburgs by proclamation in 1804. It was an empire and one of Europes great powers. Geographically it was the second largest country in Europe after the Russian Empire and it was the third most populous after Russia and France, as well as the largest and strongest country in the German Confederation. Proclaimed in response to the First French Empire, it overlapped with the Holy Roman Empire until the dissolution in 1806. The Ausgleich of 1867 elevated Hungarys status and it became a separate entity from the Empire entirely, joining with it in the dual monarchy of Austria-Hungary. Changes shaping the nature of the Holy Roman Empire took place during conferences in Rastatt, on 24 March 1803, the Imperial Recess was declared, which reduced the number of ecclesiastical states from 81 to only 3 and the free imperial cities from 51 to 6. This measure was aimed at replacing the old constitution of the Holy Roman Empire, taking this significant change into consideration, the German Emperor Francis II created the title Emperor of Austria, for himself and his successors.
In 1804 the Holy Roman Emperor Francis II, who was ruler of the lands of the Habsburg Monarchy, founded the Empire of Austria. In doing so he created a formal overarching structure for the Habsburg Monarchy, to safeguard his dynastys imperial status he adopted the additional hereditary title of Emperor of Austria. Hungarys affairs remained administered by its own institutions as they had been beforehand, thus under the new arrangements no Imperial institutions were involved in its internal government. The fall and dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire was accelerated by French intervention in the Empire in September 1805, on 20 October 1805, an Austrian army led by general Karl Mack von Leiberich was defeated by French armies near the town of Ulm. The French victory resulted in the capture of 20,000 Austrian soldiers, Napoleons army won another victory at Austerlitz on 2 December 1805. Francis was forced into negotiations with the French from 4 to 6 December 1805, the French victories encouraged rulers of certain imperial territories to assert their formal independence from the Empire.
On 10 December 1805, the prince-elector Duke of Bavaria proclaimed himself King, finally, on 12 December, the Margrave of Baden was given the title of Grand Duke. In addition, each of these new countries signed a treaty with France, the Treaty of Pressburg between France and Austria, signed in Pressburg on 26 December, enlarged the territory of Napoleons German allies at the expense of defeated Austria. Certain Austrian holdings in Germany were passed to French allies—the King of Bavaria, the King of Württemberg, Austrian claims on those German states were renounced without exception. On 12 July 1806, the Confederation of the Rhine was established, comprising 16 sovereigns and this confederation, under French influence, put an end to the Holy Roman Empire. On 6 August 1806, even Francis recognized the new state of things and proclaimed the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire, as he did not want Napoleon to succeed him
Battle of Feistritz
The Battle of Feistritz saw an Imperial French corps led by Paul Grenier attack an Austrian brigade under August von Vécsey. After putting up a resistance, the outnumbered Austrians were defeated and forced to retreat. The clash occurred during the War of the Sixth Coalition, part of the Napoleonic Wars, Feistritz im Rosental is located on the Drau River near the southern border of Austria, about 16 kilometres southwest of Klagenfurt. When hostilities commenced between the Austrian Empire and Imperial France, Johann von Hiller led an Austrian army to attack the Illyrian Provinces, when the Austrian general established a second bridgehead at Feistritz, Eugène sent Grenier to wipe it out. The minor victory only delayed the inevitable, and within a few weeks Eugène was compelled to abandon Illyria, in 1812, the best French and Italian units from the French Army of Italy were assigned to the IV Corps for the French invasion of Russia. The troops fought well under the command of Eugène de Beauharnais, to rebuild his army in Germany for the 1813 campaign, Emperor Napoleon transferred four more divisions from the garrison of Italy to join the newly established IV and XII Corps.
The emperor gave his stepson Eugène permission to organize a new out of French. By May 1813, the new army began forming around the French 46th, 47th, and 48th Divisions, the Italian 49th Division, and one cavalry division. In fact, only 13,000 French conscripts joined the army, since military equipment was scarce, some soldiers were sent to the front dressed in police uniforms. Nevertheless, the continued to expand and Eugène eventually renumbered his divisions 1 through 6. Meanwhile, the Austrian Empire prepared for war with Napoleon by expanding their army, while their main army was based in Bohemia, Austria stationed one army corps on the Danube and another in the Duchy of Carinthia. The troops in Carinthia were placed under the command of Feldzeugmeister Johann von Hiller, since it was considered a minor theater, Hillers army only counted 35,000 soldiers and 120 artillery pieces in August. This total was smaller than the number of troops in his opponents army, the Austrian general had veteran division and brigade commanders, but he was handicapped by a clumsy command system and large numbers of indifferently-equipped conscripts in the ranks.
Though the Danube corps remained in place, reinforcements were continually switched from there to the Army of Inner Austria throughout the autumn, the Advanced Guard had two Grenz infantry battalions and two hussar squadrons. Frimonts division had three brigades led by General-majors Franjo Vlašić, Ferdinand Daniel Pulszky, and August von Vécsey. Vlašićs light brigade comprised one jäger and one Grenz battalion and six squadrons, Pulszkys brigade consisted of four line battalions. Marzianis division was made up of a brigade led by General-major Johann Mayer von Heldensfeld with seven line battalions. Sommarivas division counted three brigades commanded by Generals-major Joseph Xaver von Stutterheim, Joseph von Fölseis, and Georg Johann von Wrede
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
Karl Philipp von Wrede
Karl Philipp Josef, Prince von Wrede was a Bavarian field marshal. He was an ally of Napoleonic France until he negotiated the Treaty of Ried with Austria in 1813. This corps excited the mirth of the well-drilled Austrians with whom it served, but its colonel soon brought it into a good condition, Wrede soon made himself very popular, and distinguished himself in opposing the Austrian invasions of 1805. In the War of the Fifth Coalition, he led the 2nd Bavarian Division in the VII Corps and he played an important part in the Battle of Abensberg on 20 April 1809. In the morning, he probed Joseph Radetzkys Austrian defense at Siegenburg, unable to make headway, he marched his division north to Biburg and crossed the Abens River. From Biburg, he moved on Kirchdorf and attacked Frederick Bianchis reinforced brigade, when the Austrians retreated, Wrede aggressively pursued them to Pfeffenhausen late that evening. He led the advance from Pfeffenhausen and was involved in the Battle of Landshut on 21 April, on 24 April, his division was defeated at the Battle of Neumarkt-Sankt Veit when Johann von Hiller counterattacked in superior force.
After occupying Salzburg on 29 April, Wrede moved southwest against the Tyrolean Rebellion and he pushed back Tyrolean irregulars at Lofer on 11 May and defeated Franz Fenners mixed regulars and Tyroleans at Waidring the next day. On 13 May, he played a part in crushing the division of Johann Gabriel Chasteler de Courcelles in the Battle of Wörgl. After the French defeat at the Battle of Aspern-Essling, Napoleon I of France called Wredes division to Vienna as a reinforcement, at first, Wredes division stood in reserve in the Battle of Wagram. In the afternoon of 6 July, the Bavarians were sent into battle in support of Jacques MacDonalds celebrated attack, in a successful charge on the village of Sussenbrunn, Wrede was grazed by a bullet. Fearing the wound was fatal, he told MacDonald, Tell the Emperor I die for him, I recommend to him my wife and children. Seeing that Wredes injury was minor, the French general smiled and replied, the embarrassed general got up and continued to lead his troops.
The Bavarians were for years the active allies of Napoleon. Just before the Battle of Leipzig in October 1813, he negotiated the Treaty of Ried between Austria and Bavaria, by which Bavaria switched sides, Wrede fought with the allies against Napoleon. After Leipzig, he tried to block the French escape at the Battle of Hanau on 30 and 31 October, Wrede positioned his troops poorly and Napoleon smashed one of his wings, inflicting 9,000 casualties. In 1814 he was created prince and field marshal, Wrede represented Bavaria at the Congress of Vienna. Von Wrede was no doubt the leading Bavarian soldier of his day, James R. Crisis on the Danube