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 Cervera (1811)
In the Battle of Cervera a Spanish force led by Luis Roberto de Lacy attacked a series of Imperial French garrisons belonging to the VII Corps of Marshal Jacques MacDonald. The actions were successful and netted nearly 1,000 enemy prisoners. The clashes occurred during the Peninsular War, part of the Napoleonic Wars, the largest garrison was located at Cervera which is located about 55 kilometres east of Lleida, Spain. Marshal Louis Gabriel Suchet struck another blow against the Catalans when his troops seized the miquelet base in the Battle of Montserrat on 25 July 1811. The unpopular but vigorous Lacy quickly reorganized the 8, 000-man remnant of his army into three divisions under Generals Baron de Eroles, Pedro Sarsfield, and Francisco Milans del Bosch. With the Royal Navys assistance, Lacy seized the Medes Islands at the mouth of the Ter River on 12 September, on 4 October 1811, Lacys forces captured 200 Imperial troops at Igualada on the highway between Barcelona and Lleida. Continuing west, the Spanish column seized a French convoy near Cervera on the 7th, Lacy overwhelmed the garrison of Cervera on 11 October, bagging another 645 prisoners.
Finally, on the 14th the Spaniards took 150 more captives at Bellpuig, after these defeats, the French evacuated the monastery of Santa Maria de Montserrat on Montserrat Mountain. A History of the Peninsular War Volume IV
Battle of La Bisbal
The Imperial troops were from the Confederation of the Rhine, a collection of small German states that were allied to Napoleon. Part of a division led by Marie François Rouyer, Schwarzs brigade was almost completely wiped out, one of the few Allied casualties was the capable ODonnell, wounded in the foot. The battle occurred during the Peninsular War, part of the Napoleonic Wars, the action occurred amid the events leading up to the Siege of Tortosa in December 1810 and January 1811. As Louis Gabriel Suchet prepared to attack Tortosa, Marshal Jacques MacDonald was ordered to support him, the marshal cooperated by advancing into southern Catalonia with a large force. To distract MacDonald from his mission, ODonnell determined to raid northern Catalonia, the raid was a brilliant tactical success but it failed to deter the marshal from assisting Suchet. Finally, a logistical crisis forced MacDonald to withdraw to northern Catalonia, in June 1810, Marshal Pierre Augereau was replaced in command of VII Corps by Marshal Jacques MacDonald.
MacDonald was instructed to drive toward Tarragona while his colleague General of Division Louis Gabriel Suchet was to lead the III Corps to capture Tortosa, Suchets corps had successfully concluded the Siege of Lerida on 13 May and the Siege of Mequinenza on 5 June. Located on the Ebro River, Tortosa lay on the highway between the provinces of Catalonia and Valencia. By seizing the city, Napoleon hoped to sever the link between the two areas, before Suchet could implement the plan, he was compelled to return to Aragon to suppress the guerillas. He first needed to restock his empty depots with supplies from France and it was August before either commander was ready to carry out their emperors strategy. MacDonald marched his army of 16,000 troops south to support Suchets operations against Tortosa. MacDonald left General of Division Louis Baraguey dHilliers with almost 10,000 soldiers to garrison Barcelona, in addition, there were 18,000 troops manning the defenses of other cities and holding open the road to France.
Captain General Henry ODonnell commanded the Spanish Army of Catalonia, seeing that MacDonald was too strong to directly confront, ODonnell resolved to operate against the unsuspecting Imperial forces in the north. By doing so, he hoped to draw MacDonald away from Tarragona, Colonel Charles William Doyle sailed north with 500 foot soldiers aboard the British frigate HMS Cambrian, the Spanish frigate Diana, and other vessels. Captain Francis William Fane of the Cambrian commanded the Allied naval squadron, in early September, ODonnell managed to elude the garrisons of Barcelona and Girona without being noticed. Fanes Anglo-Spanish naval expedition struck first on 10 September, an amphibious force rowed ashore at Begur and captured 50 men and a coastal artillery emplacement. Alerted by this raid, General of Brigade François Xavier de Schwarz ordered his units to beef up their defenses. His brigade comprised two battalions each of the 5th Confederation of the Rhine and 6th Confederation of the Rhine Regiments, the brigade numbered 1,700 men with 18 artillery pieces
Sir Edward Codrington, GCB, FRS was a British admiral, who took part in the Battle of Trafalgar and the Battle of Navarino. The youngest of three born to an aristocratic, landowning family, Codrington was educated by an uncle named Mr Bethell. He was sent for a time to Harrow, and entered the Royal Navy in July 1783. In that capacity he served on the 100-gun HMS Queen Charlotte during the operations which culminated in the battle of the Glorious First of June. His next command was the frigate HMS Druid whom he commanded in the Channel and off the coast of Portugal, following this, Codrington spent a period largely on land and on half-pay for some years. In December 1802 he married Jane Hall, an English woman from Kingston, Jamaica and Orion were engaged at the Battle of Trafalgar on 21 October 1805, where Orion was stationed to the rear of the northern division and therefore took two hours to reach battle. Once there, Codrington ignored all other ships and focused entirely on closing with a hitherto unengaged French ship and he attacked but failed to capture the Spanish flagship Principe de Asturias before moving on to the Intrepide, the only ship of the northern division to return.
Orion, with ships and sailed round her. For the next years, Codrington fought alongside the Spanish against the French in the Mediterranean Sea, commanding a squadron that harried French shipping. During this time participated in the disastrous Walcheren expedition in 1809. The two months of May and June in 1811 were to prove his most testing time while stationed on Spains eastern seaboard and he went to great lengths to help the Spanish besieged at Tarragona by the French Army of Aragon under Louis Gabriel Suchet. Through his own personal efforts Codrington brought to Tarragona 6,300 Spanish infantry and 291 artillerymen as reinforcements and he spent many nights in the port area guiding cannon launches against the enemy. Afterwards, he intervened on a level to stop Captain General de Lacy disarming the local Catalan Somaténs. In recognition of service, he was made a Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath in 1815. He became an admiral of the Red on 12 August 1819. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in February 1822, in December 1826 Codrington was appointed Commander-in-Chief, Mediterranean Fleet and sailed on 1 February 1827.
After the battle Codrington went to Malta to refit his ships and he remained there till May 1828, when he sailed to join his French and Russian colleagues on the coast of the Morea. They endeavoured to enforce the evacuation of the peninsula by Ibrahim Pasha peacefully, after his return home, Codrington spent some time in defending himself, and in leisure abroad
France, officially the French Republic, is a country with territory in western Europe and several overseas regions and territories. The European, or metropolitan, area of France extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, Overseas France include French Guiana on the South American continent and several island territories in the Atlantic and Indian oceans. France spans 643,801 square kilometres and had a population of almost 67 million people as of January 2017. It is a unitary republic with the capital in Paris. Other major urban centres include Marseille, Lille, Toulouse, during the Iron Age, what is now metropolitan France was inhabited by the Gauls, a Celtic people. The area was annexed in 51 BC by Rome, which held Gaul until 486, France emerged as a major European power in the Late Middle Ages, with its victory in the Hundred Years War strengthening state-building and political centralisation. During the Renaissance, French culture flourished and a colonial empire was established.
The 16th century was dominated by civil wars between Catholics and Protestants. France became Europes dominant cultural and military power under Louis XIV, in the 19th century Napoleon took power and established the First French Empire, whose subsequent Napoleonic Wars shaped the course of continental Europe. Following the collapse of the Empire, France endured a succession of governments culminating with the establishment of the French Third Republic in 1870. Following liberation in 1944, a Fourth Republic was established and dissolved in the course of the Algerian War, the Fifth Republic, led by Charles de Gaulle, was formed in 1958 and remains to this day. Algeria and nearly all the colonies became independent in the 1960s with minimal controversy and typically retained close economic. France has long been a centre of art, science. It hosts Europes fourth-largest number of cultural UNESCO World Heritage Sites and receives around 83 million foreign tourists annually, France is a developed country with the worlds sixth-largest economy by nominal GDP and ninth-largest by purchasing power parity.
In terms of household wealth, it ranks fourth in the world. France performs well in international rankings of education, health care, life expectancy, France remains a great power in the world, being one of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council with the power to veto and an official nuclear-weapon state. It is a member state of the European Union and the Eurozone. It is a member of the Group of 7, North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the World Trade Organization, originally applied to the whole Frankish Empire, the name France comes from the Latin Francia, or country of the Franks
A sister republic was a republic established by invading French armies or by local revolutionaries and assisted by the First French Republic during the French Revolutionary Wars. Ideals favored by the National Convention and Robespierre during the period were popular sovereignty, rule of law, the republicans borrowed ideas and values from Whiggism and Enlightenment philosophers. The republican governments promoted nationalism over the monarchy, primarily the Bourbons, in France, Revolutionary Republicanism was, in part, based on limiting corruption and greed. The revolutionaries saw these vices as endemic at the time, but were more readily preventable in a popular republic, a virtuous citizen was defined as one who ignored monetary compensation and made a commitment to resist and eradicate corruption. The Republic was sacred, therefore, it was necessary to serve the state in a representative way, ignoring self-interest. Republicanism required supporters who were willing to give up their own interests for a common good, virtuous citizens needed to be strong defenders of liberty and challenge the corruption and greed in government.
The duty of the virtuous citizen became a foundation for the American Revolution, the French Revolution looked to incorporate these founding ideals and to export them throughout Europe. However, most of these French client republics were short-lived, as the revolutionary republic became the Napoleonic Empire, they were often annexed to France proper or subsumed into more openly French puppet regimes
Battle of Saguntum
The Battle of Saguntum on 25 October 1811 saw the French Army of Aragon under Marshal Louis Gabriel Suchet fighting a Spanish army led by Lieutenant General Joaquín Blake y Joyes. The Spanish attempt to raise the siege of the Sagunto Castle failed when the French, the action took place during the Peninsular War, part of the Napoleonic Wars. The city lies a short distance from the east coast of Spain, Suchet invaded the province of Valencia in September 1811. He tried to seize the Sagunto Castle, but its garrison repulsed two attacks and the French-Allied army was forced to lay siege to the ancient fortress. When Blakes army advanced from Valencia, Suchet posted his army to resist the Spanish. Blakes attack on Suchets right flank went awry and soon the poorly trained Spanish troops were fleeing, the Spanish troops attacking Suchets left flank were made of sterner stuff and the contest there was more severe. Finally, the French-Allied troops gained the hand and put the entire Spanish army to flight.
Blakes soldiers limped back to Valencia where they tried to put that citys defences in order, Spanish losses numbered 6,000 killed and wounded, plus several hundred prisoners, some cannons, and four colors. Suchet lost only 1,000 killed and wounded, but apart from the seizing the castle and his army was too small to capture Valencia, especially after his battle losses at Castle Saguntum and the need to garrison the captured castle with French troops. For several weeks the French-Allies paused to wait for reinforcements before launching the next phase of their offensive, the Spanish Ulcer, A History of the Peninsular War. ISBN 0-7126-9730-6 Ojala, Jeanne A. Suchet, The Peninsular Marshal
Battle of Castalla
In the Battle of Castalla on 13 April 1813, an Anglo-Spanish-Sicilian force commanded by Lieutenant General Sir John Murray fought Marshal Louis Gabriel Suchets French Army of Valencia and Aragon. Murrays troops successfully repelled a series of French attacks on their hilltop position, the action took place during the Peninsular War, part of the Napoleonic Wars. Castalla is located 35 kilometers north-northwest of Alicante, General Arthur Wellesley, Marquess of Wellington wanted to prevent Suchet from reinforcing the other French armies in Spain. He ordered, whose army had built up to over 18,000 Allied troops. Murrays maneuvers were ineffective and prompted Suchet to lash out at his force, the French marshal fell upon a nearby Spanish force, beating it with heavy losses. Suchet focused on crushing Murray, one of the British brigadiers, Frederick Adam conducted a splendid rear guard action on 12 April, allowing Murray to draw up his army in a formidable defensive position near Castalla. On the 13th, Suchets frontal attacks were repulsed with losses by British troops under Adam and John Mackenzie.
The French withdrew and Murray did not follow up his victory, alone among Napoleons marshals, Suchet won his baton by his victories in Spain. However, he avoided cooperating with his fellow French commanders and acted as though the provinces of Aragon, even so, General Arthur Wellesley, Marquess Wellington knew that if Suchets forces intervened in the battles in central and northern Spain, things might go badly for the British army. So Wellington requested that amphibious operations be directed against the east coast of Spain in order to keep Suchets men occupied. Since the summer of 1812, an 8, 000-strong Anglo-Sicilian force, joined by about 6,000 Spanish troops from Minorca, the army frequently changed generals but did nothing to contribute to the Anglo-Allied war effort. In February 1813, Murray was appointed to command the reinforced 18, in early April, after making some indecisive maneuvers, Murray posted his small army at Villena, northwest of Alicante. Meanwhile, Suchet decided to surprise the British general and his Spanish allies, the French marshal split his force into two columns, sending one column under General of Division Jean Isidore Harispe to attack a Spanish force at Yecla.
A second column under Suchets personal command marched against Murray at Villena, on 11 April 1813, Harispe fell upon General Mijares and his 3,000 Murcians at Yecla. In a surprise attack led by the 4th Hussar and 24th Dragoon Regiments, two infantry battalions were virtually annihilated. The French admitted losses of 18 killed and 61 wounded, Murray heard about the disaster by noon that day. He immediately beat a retreat toward Alicante, dropping off a 2, on the morning of 12 April, Suchet captured a Spanish battalion at Villena and set out in pursuit of Murray. At Biar, the French came up with Adams rearguard but were unable to overrun the well-handled force, in a brilliant five-hour action, Adam successfully fended off his French pursuers, allowing Murray to concentrate his army at Castalla
Tarragona is a port city located in northeast Spain on the Costa Daurada by the Mediterranean Sea. It is the capital of the Province of Tarragona, and part of Tarragonès, geographically, it is bordered on the north by the Province of Barcelona and the Province of Lleida. The city has a population of 132,199, the real founding date of Tarragona is unknown. The city may have begun as an Iberic town called Kesse or Kosse, named for the Iberic tribe of the region, william Smith suggests that the city was probably founded by the Phoenicians, who called it Tarchon, according to Samuel Bochart, means a citadel. This name was derived from its situation on a high rock. It was seated on the river Sulcis or Tulcis, on a bay of the Mare Internum, the city was first named Colonia Iulia Urbs Triumphalis Tarraco and was capital of the province of Hispania Citerior. Subsequently, it became the capital of the named after it, Hispania Tarraconensis, in the Roman Empire. Tarraco lies on the road along the southeastern coast of the Iberian Peninsula.
According to Mela it was the richest town on that coast and its fertile plain and sunny shores are celebrated by Martial and other poets, and its neighbourhood is described as producing good wine and flax. An inscribed stone base for a now lost statue of Tiberius Claudius Candidus was found in Tarragona during the nineteenth century and this important marble block was purchased by the British Museum in 1994. After the demise of the Western Roman Empire, it was captured first by the Vandals, the Visigothic Kingdoms rule of Tarracona was ended by the Umayyad conquest of Hispania in 714. It was an important border city of the Caliphate of Córdoba between 750 and 1013, after the demise of the Caliphate, it was part of the Taifa of Zaragoza between 1013 and 1110 and under the control of the Almoravid dynasty between 1110 and 1117. It was taken by the County of Barcelona in 1117, after the dynastic union of Aragon and Barcelona, it was part of the Kingdom of Aragon from 1164-1412. After dynastic union of Aragon and the Crown of Castile, it remained a part of Aragon until the foundation of the Spanish Empire in 1516.
During the Catalan Revolt, Tarragon was captured by Catalan insurgents with French support in 1641 and it was captured by allied Portuguese and British troops in 1705 during the War of the Spanish Succession and remained in their hands until Treaty of Utrecht in 1713. During the war, the Catalans supported the claim of Archduke Charles, Duke of Teschen against the victorious Bourbon Duke of Anjou. He signed the Nueva Planta decrees, which abolished the Crown of Aragon and all remaining Catalan institutions, a British naval squadron commanded by Admiral Edward Codrington harassed the French besiegers with cannon fire and transported large numbers of reinforcements into the city by sea. Nevertheless, Suchets troops stormed into the defenses and killed or captured almost all the defenders and it became a subprefecture center in Bouches-de-lÈbre department of French empire
French invasion of Russia
Napoleon hoped to compel Tsar Alexander I of Russia to cease trading with British merchants through proxies in an effort to pressure the United Kingdom to sue for peace. The official political aim of the campaign was to liberate Poland from the threat of Russia, Napoleon named the campaign the Second Polish War to gain favor with the Poles and provide a political pretext for his actions. The Grande Armée was a large force, numbering 680,000 soldiers. Napoleon hoped the battle would mean an end of the march into Russia, plans Napoleon had made to quarter at Smolensk were abandoned, and he pressed his army on after the Russians. As the Russian army fell back, Cossacks were given the task of burning villages and this was intended to deny the invaders the option of living off the land. The actions forced the French to rely on a system that was incapable of feeding the large army in the field. Starvation and privation compelled French soldiers to leave their camps at night in search of food and these men were frequently confronted by parties of Cossacks, who captured or killed them.
The Russian army retreated into Russia for almost three months, the continual retreat and the loss of lands to the French upset the Russian nobility. They pressured Alexander I to relieve the commander of the Russian army, Alexander I complied, appointing an old veteran, Prince Mikhail Kutuzov, to take over command of the army. However, for two more weeks Kutuzov continued to retreat as his predecessor had done, on 7 September, the French caught up with the Russian army which had dug itself in on hillsides before a small town called Borodino, seventy miles west of Moscow. The battle that followed was the bloodiest single-day action of the Napoleonic Wars until that point, involving more than 250,000 soldiers, the French gained a tactical victory, but at the cost of 49 general officers and thousands of men. The Russian army was able to extricate itself and withdrew the following day, Napoleon entered Moscow a week later. In another turn of events the French found puzzling, there was no delegation to meet the Emperor, the Russians had evacuated the city, and the citys governor, Count Fyodor Rostopchin, ordered several strategic points in Moscow set ablaze.
Napoleons hopes had been set upon an end to his campaign. The loss of Moscow did not compel Alexander I to sue for peace, Napoleon stayed on in Moscow looking to negotiate a peace, his hopes fed in part by a disinformation campaign informing the Emperor of supposed discontent and fading morale in the Russian camp. After staying a month Napoleon moved his army out southwest toward Kaluga, the French advance toward Kaluga was checked by a Russian corps. Napoleon tried once more to engage the Russian army for an action at the Battle of Maloyaroslavets. Despite holding a position, the Russians retreated following a sharp engagement