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
Kingdom of Prussia
It was the driving force behind the unification of Germany in 1871 and was the leading state of the German Empire until its dissolution in 1918. Although it took its name from the region called Prussia, it was based in the Margraviate of Brandenburg, the kings of Prussia were from the House of Hohenzollern. Prussia was a power from the time it became a kingdom, through its predecessor, Brandenburg-Prussia. Prussia continued its rise to power under the guidance of Frederick II, more known as Frederick the Great. After the might of Prussia was revealed it was considered as a power among the German states. Throughout the next hundred years Prussia went on to win many battles and it was because of its power that Prussia continuously tried to unify all the German states under its rule. Attempts at creation of a federation remained unsuccessful and the German Confederation collapsed in 1866 when war ensued between its two most powerful states and Austria. The North German Confederation which lasted from 1867–1871, created a union between the Prussian-aligned states while Austria and most of Southern Germany remained independent.
The North German Confederation was seen as more of an alliance of military strength in the aftermath of the Austro-Prussian War, the German Empire lasted from 1871–1918 with the successful unification of all the German states under Prussian hegemony. This was due to the defeat of Napoleon III in the Franco-Prussian War of 1870–71, in 1871, Germany unified into a single country, minus Austria and Switzerland, with Prussia the dominant power. Prussia is considered the predecessor of the unified German Reich. The Kingdom left a significant cultural legacy, today notably promoted by the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation, in 1415 a Hohenzollern Burgrave came from the south to the March of Brandenburg and took control of the area as elector. In 1417 the Hohenzollern was made an elector of the Holy Roman Empire, after the Polish wars, the newly established Baltic towns of the German states including Prussia, suffered many economic setbacks. Many of the Prussian towns could not even afford to attend political meetings outside of Prussia, the towns were poverty stricken, with even the largest town, having to borrow money from elsewhere to pay for trade.
Poverty in these towns was partly caused by Prussias neighbors, who had established and developed such a monopoly on trading that these new towns simply could not compete and these issues led to feuds, trade competition and invasions. However, the fall of these gave rise to the nobility, separated the east and the west. It was clear in 1440 how different Brandenburg was from the other German territories, not only did it face partition from within but the threat of its neighbors. It prevented the issue of partition by enacting the Dispositio Achillea which instilled the principle of primogeniture to both the Brandenburg and Franconian territories, the second issue was solved through expansion
Battle of Reims (1814)
The Battle of Reims was fought at Reims, France between an Imperial French army commanded by Emperor Napoleon and a combined Russian-Prussian corps led by General Emmanuel de Saint-Priest. On the second day, an overconfident Saint-Priest carelessly deployed his forces west of the city, too late, Saint-Priest realized who he was fighting and tried to organize a retreat. In the battle followed, the French army struck with crushing force. During the fighting, Saint-Priest was struck by a howitzer shell, on 9–10 March 1814, a 100, 000-strong Allied army led by Field Marshal Gebhard Leberecht von Blücher defeated Emperor Napoleons 39, 000-man Imperial French army in the Battle of Laon. The French lost 4,000 killed and wounded plus 2,500 men,45 guns and 130 caissons captured, the Allies admitted only 744 casualties. Another source stated that the Allies sustained 4,000 casualties while inflicting 7,500 on the French, early on the second day, Blücher was so ill with an eye infection that he temporarily handed over command to his chief of staff August Neidhardt von Gneisenau.
Though Blücher had issued orders to attack the French that day, Napoleon was able to disengage his battered army and withdraw almost unmolested to Soissons. Without Blüchers guiding hand, the Allied corps commanders began to clash with one another, ludwig Yorck von Wartenburg tried to resign his corps command and was only persuaded to remain by Blücher. At dawn on 11 March, Napoleons army began its retreat to Soissons where it formed for battle at 3,00 pm, only 1,500 Russians mounted a pursuit and they were easily kept at bay by the French rearguard. The right wing of Marshal Auguste de Marmont, whose corps had been routed at Laon, on 11–12 March Napoleon organized Soissons for defense and issued orders for his eastern garrisons to break out and harass the Allied supply lines going back to the Rhine River. Not only did the French army suffer heavy casualties at Laon, a new cavalry unit called the Converged Squadrons Division was formed and assigned to Sigismond-Frédéric de Berckheim. Napoleon disbanded the two Young Guard corps of Marshals Michel Ney and Claude Perrin Victor and Poret de Morvans provisional division, extra officers and non-coms were sent to Paris to recruit while the survivors were consolidated into the divisions of Curial and Charpentier.
After reorganization, Mortiers 10, 609-strong corps consisted of Christianis 2,034 men, Curials 2,796 men, Saint-Priest, a French émigré, led the Russian 8th Infantry Corps, which was made up of the 11th and 17th Infantry Divisions. Each division consisted of four infantry and two jäger regiments. At the beginning of 1814, the corps numbered 11,900 soldiers and formed part of Louis Alexandre Andrault de Langerons 43, on 31 December 1813, the 8th Corps executed a successful assault crossing of the Rhine River near Koblenz. After this operation the corps advanced to Dinant on the Meuse River, on 15 February, Saint-Priests corps was ordered to take over the Siege of Mainz. By early March, Saint-Priest had moved west to occupy Châlons-sur-Marne, fresh from the blockade of Erfurt, Jagow brought his Prussian brigade to join Saint-Priest. In 1814, Reims had a population of 30,000 and was one of the most important cities of France, the city was surrounded by a wall and the Vesle River flowed through the city from southeast to northwest
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
Battle of Montereau
Gathering up his outnumbered forces, Napoleon rushed his soldiers south to deal with Schwarzenberg. Hearing of the approach of the French emperor, the Allied commander ordered a withdrawal, ordered to hold Montereau until nightfall on the 18th, the Crown Prince of Württemberg posted a strong force on the north bank of the Seine River. All morning and past noon, the Allies stoutly held off a series of French attacks, under increasing French pressure, the Crown Princes lines buckled in the afternoon and his troops ran for the single bridge to their rear. Brilliantly led by Pierre Claude Pajol, the French cavalry got among the fugitives, the Allied force suffered heavy losses and the defeat confirmed Schwarzenbergs decision to continue the retreat to Troyes. On 10 February, the Army of Bohemia under Karl Philipp, on the right, Peter Wittgenstein and Karl Philipp von Wrede headed for Nogent and Bray on the Seine River supported by the Guards and Reserves. On the left, Crown Prince Frederick William of Württemberg moved on Sens with the I Corps of Frederick Bianchi, the left flank forces were backed by Ignaz Gyulais corps.
The Allies were briefly checked at Nogent on the 10th by 1,000 French troops under Louis-Auguste-Victor, Sens was taken on the 11th after a skirmish between the Crown Prince and Jacques-Alexandre-François Allix de Vaux. Tasked with the defense of the Seine, Marshal Claude Perrin Victor held Nogent, on the 12th the Allies captured Bray from a weak force of French National Guards as well as the bridge at Pont-sur-Seine near Montereau. Afraid of being surrounded, Victor evacuated Nogent and fell back, the appearance of troops under Marshal Jacques MacDonald did not stop the retreat and by 15 February the French were moving back to the Yerres River only 18 miles from Paris. Alexander Nikitich Seslavin led a force of three Russian hussar squadrons and one Cossack regiment well to the south to seize Montargis and threaten Orléans. Auxerre was stormed and its garrison wiped out, Cossacks roamed freely in the Forest and Palace of Fontainebleau. When Victors wagon train appeared at Charenton-le-Pont the Parisians were thrown into panic, fleeing peasants reported that Paris would soon be attacked by 200,000 Cossacks.
Following his successes in the Six Days Campaign on 10–14 February 1814, forces under Marshals Édouard Mortier and Auguste Marmont were left behind to keep Gebhard Leberecht von Blüchers Army of Silesia under observation. Giving up his plans to finish off Blücher, Napoleon left Montmirail on 15 February with the Imperial Guard and Emmanuel Grouchys cavalry. In an epic march, with some traveling in carts. Another authority stated that some troops marched 60 miles in 36 hours, hearing of Blüchers defeat and the approach of Napoleon, the cautious Schwarzenberg scrambled to put the Seine between his army and the French emperor. On 17 February, he ordered Wittgenstein to retreat to Provins while Michael Andreas Barclay de Tolly massed the Russian and Prussian Guards near Nogent and he instructed Wrede to fall back to Donnemarie while leaving an advanced guard at Nangis. Württemberg and Bianchi were posted near Montereau while Gyulai held Pont-sur-Yonne, if the Army of Bohemia needed to retreat farther, it was important to hold the position at Montereau
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
Battle of the Bidassoa
In the Battle of the Bidasoa on 7 October 1813 the Allied army of Arthur Wellesley, Marquess of Wellington wrested a foothold on French soil from Nicolas Soults French army. The Allied troops overran the French lines behind the Bidassoa River on the coast, the nearest towns to the fighting are Irun on the lower Bidassoa and Bera on the middle Bidasoa. The battle occurred during the Peninsular War, part of the wider Napoleonic Wars, Wellington aimed his main assault at the lower Bidasoa, while sending additional troops to attack Soults center. Believing his coastal sector secure, Soult held the right flank with a weak force while concentrating most of his strength on his left flank in the mountains. However, the British general obtained local intelligence that indicated that water levels on the river were much lower than the French suspected. After careful planning, Wellington launched an assault which easily overran the French left flank defenses. In the center, his army won through the French defenses, at the beginning of the fighting, Soult realized that his left flank was in no danger, but it was too late to reinforce his positions on the right.
Some French generals were shocked at how poorly their soldiers fought, in the Battle of San Marcial on 31 August and 1 September 1813, Soults army was repelled in its final bid to advance into Spain. After a costly assault followed by a sack of the city. A French garrison held out in the Siege of Pamplona which would end in a surrender on October 31, Wellington determined to create a bridgehead across the Bidassoa River. If successful, his army would be the first Allied army to establish itself on French soil, the British commander wanted to capture French positions that overlooked the Allied lines on the west side of the Bidassoa. He had to hold a 48 km front in the Pyrenees mountains, the area was highly defensible, but lateral communications were poor. Deciding that the sector was the strongest part of his line. Reilles command included General of Division Antoine Louis Popon de Maucunes 3, 996-strong 7th Division and General of Division Pierre François Joseph Boyers 6, Maucune held the lower Bidassoa on the Bay of Biscay, while Boyer defended the stream farther inland.
Behind them was the camp of Bordagain and the port of St-Jean-de-Luz which were held by General of Division Eugene-Casimir Villattes 8. General of Division Bertrand Clausel held the center with 15,300 men under Generals of Division Nicolas François Conroux, Jean-Pierre Maransin, on the right, near the Bidassoa, stood the La Bayonette redoubt. Mont La Rhune rose in the center of Clausels sector and his left touched the Nivelle River near Ainhoa. Conrouxs 4th Division numbered 4,962 men, Maransins 5th Division counted 5,575 troops, Taupins 8th Division had 4,778 soldiers, Soults gunners and other troops added up to 2,000 and his total forces numbered 55,088 effectives
Battle of Brienne
The battle followed on the heels of reverses suffered by the French in both 1812, which had gutted the strength of the French Army, and 1813, where they fought against the Sixth Coalition. The Sixth Coalition had intentions of deposing Napoleon, dissolving the First French Empire, the battle took place near Brienne-le-Château, where Napoleon had attended military school in his early years. As the Allies advanced on France from three different directions, the French Emperor planned to attack and defeat each in turn, Napoleons first target was the spread-out force of some 17,000 Russians under Field Marshal Blücher. To battle his old adversary, Napoleon had a force of some 30,000 troops, Napoleon had tried to accomplish an envelopment of Bluchers whole force near the Aube River, but allied cavalry captured a set of the Emperors orders and Blucher avoided the trap. Additionally, rain had turned many area roads into mud, slowing Napoleons advance, Napoleon finally caught up with Blucher near Brienne.
The French emperor began the clash by pinning the enemy down while he organised a flanking attack, General Grouchys cavalry and horse artillery kept the Prussians occupied as marshals Ney and Victor secured both the town of Brienne and its chateau. About dusk, the chateau was captured by the French, when Blucher thought the battle was nearly over and his second-in-command General von Gneisenau only just managed to elude capture. During the heavy fighting Napoleon was almost taken prisoner by Russian Cossacks, the battle ended about midnight when the allies retreated. Blucher left behind some 4,000 casualties to Frances 3,000, the Brienner Straße in the Bavarian capital Munich is named after the battle to commemorate the Bavarian contribution in the battle