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
General of the Infantry (Germany)
General of the Infantry is a former rank of German Ground forces. Present it is an appointment or position to an OF-6 rank officer, responsible for affairs of training. General of the Infantry was a rank of General of the branch OF8 in the German land forces and in the Prussian Army. It was the third-highest General officer rank, subordinate only to Colonel General and it is equivalent to a three-star rank today. The same rank was adopted by the Finnish Army between the world wars, German cavalry officers of equivalent rank were called General der Kavallerie and those in the artillery corps were General der Artillerie. In 1935 the Wehrmacht added the ranks of General der Panzertruppe, General der Gebirgstruppen, General der Fallschirmtruppen, in the Luftwaffe, the equivalent rank was General der Flieger. The rank was generally referred to only in the form of General, in the modern German armed forces, the Bundeswehr, the rank of Generalleutnant corresponds to the traditional rank of General der Infanterie.
There was no equivalent rank in the army of East Germany, in the Bundeswehr, the position of an infantry officer responsible for certain questions of troop training and equipment, usually with the rank of Brigadier Generals. The position of general of the infantry is connected with that of commander of the infantry school, corresponding service positions exist for other branches of the army. Since in this usage it refers to a not a rank. The form of address is usually Herr General and/or Herr Oberst, note that a number of these officers may have gone on to higher ranks during their careers. General Comparative officer ranks of World War II
Duchy of Berg
Berg was a state – originally a county, a duchy – in the Rhineland of Germany. It existed as a political entity from the early 12th to the 19th centuries. In 1160, the split into two portions, one of them becoming the County of the Mark, which returned to the possession of the family line in the 16th century. In 1280 the counts moved their court from Schloss Burg on the Wupper river to the town of Düsseldorf, the most powerful of the early rulers of Berg, Engelbert II of Berg died in an assassination on November 7,1225. Count Adolf VIII of Berg fought on the side in the Battle of Worringen against Guelders in 1288. The power of Berg grew further in the 14th century, the County of Jülich united with the County of Berg in 1348, and in 1380 the Emperor Wenceslaus elevated the counts of Berg to the rank of dukes, thus originating the Duchy of Jülich-Berg. However, the new ducal dynasty became extinct in 1609, in 1806, in the reorganization of the German lands occasioned by the end of the Holy Roman Empire, Berg became the Grand Duchy of Berg, under the rule of Napoleons brother-in-law, Joachim Murat.
Murats arms combined the red lion of Berg with the arms of the duchy of Cleves, the anchor and the batons came to the party due to Murats positions as Grand Admiral and as Marshal of the Empire. As the husband of Napoleons sister Caroline Bonaparte, Murat had the right to use the imperial eagle, the Grand Duchys short existence came to an end with Napoleons defeat in 1813 and the peace settlements that followed. In 1815, after the Congress of Vienna, Berg became part of a province of the Kingdom of Prussia, in 1822 this province united with the Grand Duchy of the Lower Rhine to form the Rhine Province. This lion originates from the arms of the Duke of Limburg as the Berg title in the 13th century fell to the Limburg line
Battle of Halle
In the Battle of Halle on 17 October 1806 a French corps led by Jean-Baptiste Bernadotte fought the Prussian Reserve under Eugene Frederick Henry, Duke of Württemberg. The French defeated their opponents, forcing the Prussians to retreat northeast toward Dessau after suffering heavy losses, the clash occurred in the War of the Fourth Coalition, part of the Napoleonic Wars. The city of Halle is located about 30 kilometers northwest of Leipzig on the Saale River, Emperor Napoleon I of France invaded the Electorate of Saxony and inflicted two disastrous defeats on the Prussian-Saxon armies on 14 October 1806. As the beaten armies fled, Marshal Bernadottes corps marched north, at the beginning of the encounter, two French divisions rushed the bridges over the Saale on the west side of the city. They overran a weak defending force and quickly occupied the city, in the day, Bernadottes troops stormed out of Halle and attacked Eugenes Reserve which was drawn up to the southeast of the city. The Prussians were driven from their positions and chased to the northeast, while this engagement was going on, Bernadottes third division surrounded and captured a Prussian regiment isolated on the west side of the city.
One of the few intact Prussian forces west of the Elbe River was now crippled, Napoleons decisive victory at the Battle of Austerlitz on 2 December 1805 profoundly affected the balance of power in Europe. After this event, Emperor Francis I of Austria sued for peace and Tsar Alexander I of Russia withdrew his army from Austrian territory. In February 1806, Napoleon pressured a cowed Prussia into handing over several territories to France and her allies in return for the state of Hanover, the agreement pushed Prussia into a break with Great Britain whose king was the Hanoverian elector. Napoleon began to remake the face of Europe and he created the Confederation of the Rhine on 25 July. Then he offered Hanover to Britain in exchange for peace, which infuriated Prussia, Prussia mobilized 171,000 troops, but its army had missed the changes that had overtaken warfare since the days when King Frederick II of Prussias army was the terror of Europe. As the Prussians advanced into territory belonging to the Electorate of Saxony, Brunswick took station at Erfurt in the center while Hohenlohe deployed near Rudolstadt in the east.
Eugene of Württembergs Reserve was well to the north at Magdeburg, on 8 October, Napoleon launched 180,000 troops across the Saxon frontier. His troops were massed in a batallion carré made up of three columns of two corps each, plus the Imperial Guard, the Cavalry Reserve, and a Bavarian contingent. The next day, Marshal Jean Lannes V Corps attacked the 8, the young prince was killed and his division took to its heels after the drubbing it received. Napoleon became convinced that his enemies lay near Erfurt, so he ordered his batallion carré to make a wheel on 12 October. The Prussian generals opted to fall back, Brunswick was to take the main army north from Weimar to Merseburg, while Hohenlohe protected the move by standing on the defensive near Jena. Rüchels orders were to hold Weimar until Saxe-Weimar returned with his division, on 14 October, the double Battle of Jena-Auerstedt occurred as Napoleon attacked Hohenlohe while Brunswick ran head-on into the III Corps of Marshal Louis Davout
Battle of Eylau
Late in the battle, the Russians received a timely reinforcement from a Prussian division of von LEstocq. The town is now called Bagrationovsk and is a part of Kaliningrad Oblast, the engagement was fought during the War of the Fourth Coalition, part of the Napoleonic Wars. Of all Napoleonic battles, this is considered to be the most uncertain, Napoleons armies previously smashed the army of the Austrian Empire in the Ulm Campaign and the combined Austrian and Russian armies at the Battle of Austerlitz on 2 December 1805. Austerlitz forced the Austrians to sue for peace and their Russian allies to withdraw from the conflict, on 14 October 1806, Napoleon crushed the armies of the Kingdom of Prussia at the Battle of Jena-Auerstedt. Eylau was the first serious check to the Grande Armée and the myth of Napoleons invincibility was badly shaken, the French would end up defeating the Russians in the year at the Battle of Friedland. In late January, Bennigsens Russian army went on the offensive in East Prussia, Napoleon reacted by mounting a counteroffensive to the north, hoping to prevent their retreat to the east.
After his cossacks captured a copy of Napoleons orders, Bennigsen rapidly withdrew to the northeast to avoid being cut off, the French pursued for several days and found the Russians drawn up for battle at Eylau. In a vicious evening clash, the French captured the village with heavy losses on both sides, the following day brought even more serious fighting. Early in the battle, an attack by Napoleon failed with catastrophic losses. To retrieve the situation, the emperor launched a cavalry charge against the Russians. This bought enough time for the French right wing to throw its weight into the contest, the Russian left wing was bent back at an acute angle and Bennigsens army was in danger of collapse. A Prussian corps belatedly arrived and saved the day by pushing back the French right wing, as darkness fell, a French corps tardily appeared on the French left flank. That night Bennigsen decided to retreat, leaving Napoleon in possession of a snowy battlefield covered with thousands of corpses, with the Prussian army routed at Jena-Auerstedt, Napoléon occupied the major cities of Germany and marched on east in pursuit of the remaining forces opposed to him.
These were largely Russians under the command of the frail 68-year-old Field Marshal Count Mikhail Kamensky, the old marshal was unwilling to risk battle, and continued to retreat, leaving the Grande Armée free to enter Poland almost unopposed. Nevertheless, as the French pressed aggressively eastward across the Vistula, the French seized a crossing over the Wkra on 23 December at the Battle of Czarnowo. Russian resistance soon stiffened and on 26 December the two clashed at the Battles of Pułtusk and Gołymin. After these fierce engagements Napoléons troops took up quarters in Poland to recuperate after a victorious. In January 1807, the new Russian army commander Levin August, having cleared Neys troops out of the way, the Russians rolled down on the isolated French I Corps under Marshal Jean-Baptiste Bernadotte
Siege of Stralsund (1807)
On the first try, Marshal Édouard Adolphe Casimir Joseph Mortier blockaded the city for two months before he was called elsewhere. In his absence, the Swedes drove back the inferior blockading force, after Mortier returned and pushed Essens troops back in turn, the two sides quickly concluded an armistice. The truce was repudiated by King Gustav IV Adolf of Sweden, whereupon Marshal Guillaume Marie Anne Brune led 40,000 French, Spanish and Dutch soldiers against the fortress. Fearfully outnumbered, the Swedes abandoned the Baltic Sea port of Stralsund to the Franco-Allies in this action during the War of the Fourth Coalition, as a consequence, Sweden lost the nearby island of Rügen. Sweden was established in Stralsund since the Battle of Stralsund, by the Peace of Westphalia and the Treaty of Stettin, the duchy was partitioned into a Swedish part, including Stralsund, and a Brandenburg-Prussian part. After minor losses in the Treaty of Saint-Germain-en-Laye, Swedish Pomerania was reduced to the north of the Peene river with Greifswald, Stralsund.
When Napoleon Bonaparte started to expand eastwards in the Napoleonic Wars, in 1805, Gustav IV Adolf of Sweden entered the War of the Third Coalition on the anti-French side, primarily to strip Napoleons ally Denmark of Norway. His Norwegian ambitions were thwarted by several military and diplomatic setbacks, Stralsund, a port in Swedish Pomerania, was defended by the Swedish governor Hans von Essen. On 28 January, French forces commanded by Marshal Mortier crossed the Peene River in an attempt to impose a blockade on Stralsund, to the east, General of Division Charles Louis Dieudonné Grandjeans division crossed the Peene at Anklam, driving back the Swedish outposts. To the west, General of Division Pierre Louis Dupas division crossed the stream unopposed near Demmin, on the 29th, Mortiers two divisions appeared before the port and on 30 January began the blockade. For the next two months, the two fought a number of skirmishes as the French strengthened their lines of investment. Without control of the island of Rügen, the French were unable to interrupt Stralsunds sea communications and were harassed by Swedish gunboats.
During the blockade, one French cavalry and three regiments were taken from Mortier to fight against the Russians in Poland and replaced by troops from the Kingdom of Holland. On 29 March, Mortier received orders to leave Grandjeans division to maintain the blockade, after Mortier left, Essen drove Grandjeans outnumbered troops from their lines. Grandjean fell back to Anklam where he was attacked again on 3 April and forced to retreat southeast to the fortress of Stettin on the Oder, arriving there on the 7th. Mortier retraced his steps and by 13 April had assembled 12,000 to 13,000 men at Stettin, in very wet weather, Mortier began pressing Essen back to Anklam. On 16 April, Mortier defeated the Swedes in the Battle of Belling, the next day, Essen retreated to the north bank of the Peene. Beginning on 18 April, the French and Swedish forces arranged the truce of Schlatkow, anxious to employ Mortiers men against the Russians and Prussians, Napoleon had authorized the marshal to make a truce with the Swedes
Nicolas Jean-de-Dieu Soult, 1st Duke of Dalmatia, was a French general and statesman, named Marshal of the Empire in 1804 and often called Marshal Soult. Soult was one of six officers in French history to receive the distinction of Marshal General of France. The Duke served three times as President of the Council of Ministers, or Prime Minister of France. Soults intrigues while occupying Portugal earned him the nickname, King Nicolas, one historian called him a plunderer in the world class. Soult was born at Saint-Amans-la-Bastide and named after John of God and he was the son of a country notary named Jean Soult by his marriage to Brigitte de Grenier. His paternal grandparents were Jean Soult and Jeanne de Calvet, while his grandparents were Pierre François de Grenier de Lapierre. His younger brother Pierre became a French general, Soults superior education ensured his promotion to the rank of sergeant after six years service, and in July 1791 he became instructor to the first battalion of volunteers of the Bas-Rhin.
He was serving in this battalion in 1792, after the Battle of Fleurus of 1794, in which he distinguished himself for coolness, he was promoted to brigadier general by the representatives on mission. For the next five years Soult was employed in Germany under Jourdan, Moreau, Kléber and Lefebvre, and in 1799 he was promoted general of division and ordered to proceed to Switzerland. It was at time that he laid the foundations of his military fame, he particularly distinguished himself in Massénas great Swiss campaign. He accompanied Masséna to Genoa, and acted as his principal lieutenant throughout the siege of that city. He was wounded and taken prisoner at Monte Cretto on 13 April 1800, the victory of Marengo restored his freedom, and Soult received the command of the southern part of the kingdom of Naples. In 1802 he was appointed one of the four generals commanding the consular guard. Though he was one of those generals who had served under Moreau, in consequence he was appointed in August 1803 as the commander-in-chief of the camp of Boulogne, and in May 1804 he was made one of the first marshals of the Empire.
He commanded a corps in the advance on Ulm, and at Austerlitz he led the attack on the allied centre. Soult played a part in many of the famous battles of the Grande Armée, including the Battle of Austerlitz in 1805. However, he was not present at the Battle of Friedland because on that day he was conquering Königsberg. After the conclusion of the Peace of Tilsit, he returned to France, the awarding of this honour greatly displeased him, for he felt that his title should have been Duke of Austerlitz, a title which Napoléon had reserved for himself
Emperor of the French
The title emphasized that the emperor ruled over the French people, the nation, and not over France, the republic. The old formula king of France indicated that the king owned France as a personal possession, the new term indicated a constitutional monarchy. The title of Emperor of the French was supposed to demonstrate that Napoleons coronation was not a restoration of monarchy, but an introduction of a new political system, the French Empire. Napoleons reign lasted until 22 June 1815 when he was defeated at the Battle of Waterloo and imprisoned on the island of Saint Helena, where he died on 5 May 1821. President Louis-Napoleon Bonaparte, elected by the French people, officially became Napoleon III, Emperor of the French and his reign persisted to 4 September 1870, although he was captured at the Battle of Sedan during the Franco-Prussian War. He was forced into exile through England until he died on 9 January 1873, since the early death of his only son Louis Napoléon in 1879, the House of Bonaparte has had a number of claimants to the French throne.
The current claimant is Charles, Prince Napoléon, who became head of the house of Bonaparte on 3 May 1997 and his position is challenged by his son Jean-Christophe, Prince Napoléon, who was named as heir in his late grandfathers testament. The Emperors of the French had various titles and claims that reflected the geographic expanse and his Imperial Majesty Napoleon II, By the Grace of God and the Constitution of the Republic, Emperor of the French and Co-Prince of Andorra. His Imperial Majesty Napoleon III, By the Grace of God, Crown of Napoleon French Crown Jewels List of French consorts List of French monarchs
Joachim-Napoléon Murat was a Marshal of France and Admiral of France under the reign of Napoleon. He was the 1st Prince Murat, Grand Duke of Berg from 1806 to 1808 and he received his titles in part by being Napoleons brother-in-law through marriage to his younger sister, Caroline Bonaparte, as well as personal merit. He was noted as a daring and charismatic cavalry officer as well as a flamboyant dresser and was known as the Dandy King. In 1789, an affair forced him to resign, and he returned to his family, by 1790, he had joined the National Guard, and when the Fête of the Nation was organized on 14 July 1790, the Canton of Montaucon sent Murat as its representative. Then he became reinstated into his old regiment, an ardent Republican, Murat wrote to his brother in 1791 stating he was preoccupied with revolutionary affairs and would sooner die than cease to be a patriot. This garnered for him the support of the Republicans, for he rejoined his regiment and was promoted to Corporal in April of that year.
By 19 November 1792, he was 25 years old and elated at his latest promotion. As a sous-lieutenant, he thought, his family must recognize that he had no tendency for the priesthood. One of the Ministers had accused him of being an aristocrat, confusing him with the family of Murat dAuvergne. In the autumn of 1795, three years after King Louis XVI of France was deposed and counter-revolutionaries organised an armed uprising, on 3 October, General Napoleon Bonaparte, who was stationed in Paris, was named commander of the French National Conventions defending forces. This constitutional convention, after a period of emergency rule, was striving to establish a more stable. Bonaparte tasked Murat with the gathering of artillery from a suburb outside the control of the governments forces, Murat managed to take the cannons of the Camp des Sablons and transport them to the centre of Paris while avoiding the rioters. The use of these cannons – the famous whiff of grapeshot – on 5 October allowed Bonaparte to save the members of the National Convention, for this success, Joachim Murat was made chef de brigade and thereafter remained one of Napoleons best officers.
Murat went with Bonaparte to northern Italy, initially as his aide-de-camp and these forces were waging war on France and seeking to restore a monarchy in revolutionary France. Thus, Murats skills in no small part helped establish Bonapartes legendary fame, Murat commanded the cavalry of the French Egyptian expedition of 1798, again under Bonaparte. The expeditions strategic goal was to threaten Britains rich holdings in India, the overall effort ended prematurely because of lack of logistical support with the defeat of the French fleet due to British sea power. After the sea battle, Napoleon led his troops on land toward Europe, the remaining non-military expedition staff officers, including Murat, and Bonaparte returned to France, eluding various British fleets in five frigates. A short while later, Murat played an important, even pivotal, role in Bonapartes coup within a coup of 18 Brumaire, along with two others, Napoleon Bonaparte set aside the five-man directory government, establishing the three-man French Consulate government
Capitulation of Pasewalk
The Prussians were completely demoralized after a two-week-long retreat following their decisive defeat at the Battle of Jena-Auerstedt. Pasewalk is 110 kilometers north of Berlin and about 40 kilometers west of Szczecin, while retreating east toward Stettin on the Oder River, Hagen found his column trapped between Lasalles brigade and Milhauds brigade. Without attempting to out, the baffled Prussian officer surrendered. The incident at Pasewalk came after a similar Prussian surrender after the Battle of Prenzlau the previous day, within a week two fortresses would capitulate without firing a shot and a number of other Prussian columns would be hunted down one by one. On 14 October 1806, the Grande Armée of Emperor Napoleon I of France decisively defeated the Prussians at the Battle of Jena-Auerstadt, at Jena, French losses were 6,794 while Prussian losses were very large but impossible to calculate. The Saxons saved only 23 of their pieces, while losing 59. The Prussians lost at least 24 guns plus 12 colors, Davout estimated his losses as 7,000 at Auerstedt while his enemies suffered 10,000 killed and wounded and 3,000 captured.
The Prussians admitted losing 57 guns from their batteries, not counting regimental guns. So Davouts claim to have captured 115 pieces may be accurate, the Prussian army was so thoroughly shattered by its defeat that it had not recovered cohesion by the next day. Shot through both eyes, Brunswick expired at Altona on 10 November, the badly wounded Rüchel made his way to Poland where he recovered. The retreating mass of Prussians resolved itself into three columns under Prince Hohenlohe, Lieutenant General Gebhard von Blücher, and General of the Infantry Friedrich Adolf and these forces marched through the Harz Mountains toward Halberstadt. Trailing behind was the 12, 000-man corps of Lieutenant General Karl August, Grand Duke of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach, on 16 October, French cavalry under Marshal Joachim Murat secured the surrender of 12,000 men and 65 guns in the Capitulation of Erfurt. It was only the first of a series of craven Prussian surrenders, the columns of Hohenlohe and Württemberg rendezvoused at Magdeburg on 20 October.
Kalckreuth crossed the Elbe River at Tangermünde and joined his corps to Hohenlohes soon afterward and he left for an assignment in Poland. On the 20th, Soult and Murat were before Magdeburg, Murat demanded its surrender, which Hohenlohe refused. That day, Davout seized a bridgehead over the Elbe at Wittenberg, having received orders from King Frederick William III of Prussia to march to the Oder River, Hohenlohes army left Magdeburg on 21 October and reached Burg bei Magdeburg that night. He left 9,000 men to reinforce the garrison, so that, together with stragglers, Hohenlohe reached Genthin at night on 22 October and Rathenow on the evening of the 23rd. To better feed his troops, he divided his command up into multiple columns, leaving Marshal Michel Neys VI Corps to begin the Siege of Magdeburg, Napoleon ordered his right wing to march east for Berlin