The Battle of Champaubert (10 February 1814) was the opening engagement of the Six Days' Campaign. It was fought between a French army led by Napoleon and a small Russian corps commanded by Lieutenant General Count Zakhar Dmitrievich Olsufiev. After putting up a good fight, the Russian formation was effectively destroyed; the survivors escaped into the woods while Olsufiev became a French prisoner. Champaubert is located in France, 46 kilometres (29 mi) west of Châlons-en-Champagne and 69 kilometres (43 mi) east of Meaux.
The Six Days Campaign was a final series of victories by the forces of Napoleon I of France as the Sixth Coalition closed in on Paris.
Napoléon Bonaparte was a French statesman and military leader who rose to prominence during the French Revolution and led several successful campaigns during the French Revolutionary Wars. He was Emperor of the French as Napoleon I from 1804 until 1814 and again briefly in 1815 during the Hundred Days. 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, building a large empire that ruled over much of continental Europe before its final collapse in 1815. He is considered one of the greatest commanders in history, and his wars and campaigns are studied at military schools worldwide. Napoleon's political and cultural legacy has endured as one of the most celebrated and controversial leaders in human history.
The Russian Empire, also known as Imperial Russia or simply Russia, was an empire that existed across Eurasia and North America from 1721, following the end of the Great Northern War, until the Republic was proclaimed by the Provisional Government that took power after the February Revolution of 1917.
After defeating Emperor Napoleon at the Battle of La Rothière, the two main Allied armies under Austrian Field Marshal Karl Philipp, Prince of Schwarzenberg and Prussian Field Marshal Gebhard Leberecht von Blücher separated. Schwarzenberg's southern advance was slow while the Prussian field marshal's march represented a more serious threat to Paris. Leaving part of his forces to hold off Schwarzenberg, Napoleon massed 30,000 troops to deal with Blücher, who allowed his 57,000-man army to become badly spread out. Allied lapses in communication and Blücher's overconfidence left Olsufiev's corps isolated near Champaubert when Napoleon's army lunged from the south to deal it a crippling blow.
The Battle of La Rothière was fought on 1 February 1814 between the French Empire and allied army of Austria, Prussia, Russia, and German States previously allies with France. The French were led by Emperor Napoleon and the coalition army was under the command of Gebhard Leberecht von Blücher. The battle took place in severe weather conditions. The French were defeated but managed to hold until they could retreat under cover of darkness.
Karl Philipp, Fürst zu Schwarzenberg was an Austrian field marshal.
Gebhard Leberecht von Blücher, Fürst von Wahlstatt, Graf (count), later elevated to Fürst von Wahlstatt, was a Prussian Generalfeldmarschall. He earned his greatest recognition after leading his army against Napoleon I at the Battle of the Nations at Leipzig in 1813 and the Battle of Waterloo in 1815.
On 1 February 1814, Prussian Field Marshal Gebhard Leberecht von Blücher with 80,000 Allied troops from his own Army of Silesia and Austrian Field Marshal Karl Philipp, Prince of Schwarzenberg's Army of Bohemia defeated Napoleon and 45,000 French soldiers in the Battle of La Rothière. This setback seriously shook the French army's morale.Each side suffered about 6,000 casualties but the Allied captured 50–60 artillery pieces. The Allies were delighted by their victory, though it might have been more complete if all their reserves had been committed to the battle. At this time, the Allied generals made the questionable decision to separate their armies. Blücher's army would advance from Châlons-sur-Marne toward Meaux while Schwarzenberg's army operated on a more southerly route from Troyes toward Paris.
Troyes is a commune and the capital of the department of Aube in the Grand Est region of north-central France. It is located on the Seine river about 150 km (93 mi) southeast of Paris. Troyes is situated within the Champagne wine region and is near to the Orient Forest Regional Natural Park. Many half-timbered houses survive in the old town. Troyes has been in existence since the Roman era, as Augustobona Tricassium, which stood at the hub of numerous highways, primarily the Via Agrippa.
Paris is the capital and most populous city of France, with an area of 105 square kilometres and an official estimated population of 2,140,526 residents as of 1 January 2019. Since the 17th century, Paris has been one of Europe's major centres of finance, commerce, fashion, science, and the arts.
On 3 February, Napoleon's army reached Troyes after completely breaking contact with the Allies the previous day. On 4 February, Schwarzenberg wrote his colleague Blücher that he was moving farther south in order to turn Napoleon's right flank.The next day, Russian General Michael Andreas Barclay de Tolly ordered Alexander Nikitich Seslavin's scouting force from Schwarzenberg's right flank to the left flank without notifying Blücher. Since the Prussian field marshal did not have a liaison officer with Seslavin's force he did not realize that no one was watching for French forces in the space on his left flank. Also on 5 February, Napoleon decided to abandon Troyes and fall back to Nogent-sur-Seine. He planned to contain Schwarzenberg with part of his army while attacking Blücher.
Prince Michael Andreas Barclay de Tolly was a Baltic German Field Marshal and Minister of War of the Russian Empire during Napoleon's invasion in 1812 and War of the Sixth Coalition. Barclay implemented a number of reforms during this time that improved supply system in the army, doubled the number of army troops, and implemented new combat training principles. He was also the Governor-General of Finland.
Nogent-sur-Seine is a commune in the Aube department in north-central France. The headquarters of The Soufflet Group is located here, as is the Musée Camille Claudel.
Having prepared for a grand assault on Troyes, Schwarzenberg found the place empty of French troops on 7 February. He decided to let his troops rest for the next two days.Meanwhile, Napoleon reorganized his cavalry into the I Cavalry Corps under Étienne Tardif de Pommeroux de Bordesoulle, II Cavalry Corps led by Antoine-Louis Decrest de Saint-Germain, V Cavalry Corps commanded by Édouard Jean Baptiste Milhaud, VI Cavalry Corps directed by François Etienne de Kellermann and an independent division under Jean-Marie Defrance. The French emperor created a new VII Corps from two divisions transferred from the Spanish front and put Marshal Nicolas Oudinot in charge.
I Cavalry Corps was a French military formation that existed during the Napoleonic Wars. For one month in 1806–1807, Emperor Napoleon split his Reserve Cavalry Corps into the I and II Cavalry Corps. At that time, Marshal Joachim Murat took command of the short-lived I Cavalry Corps before resuming leadership over Napoleon's Reserve Cavalry when the experiment ended. The I Cavalry Corps was not recreated until 1812 for the French invasion of Russia when command was exercised by Étienne Marie Antoine Champion de Nansouty. The formation fought at Borodino and Tarutino. After being destroyed during the retreat from Russia, I Cavalry Corps was reconstituted in 1813 and Marie Victor de Fay, marquis de Latour-Maubourg was appointed to lead it. The corps fought at Lutzen, Bautzen, Dresden, and Leipzig. At Leipzig, Latour-Maubourg was seriously wounded and replaced by Jean-Pierre Doumerc who led the corps for the remainder of the War of the Sixth Coalition which ended with Napoleon's abdication in 1814. After Napoleon returned from exile and retook power in France in 1815, the main French army was baptised Armée du Nord. The army included a I Cavalry Corps led by Pierre Claude Pajol which fought at Ligny and Wavre, while one detached division fought at Waterloo.
Étienne Tardif de Pommeroux, comte de Bordesoulle was a French nobleman and soldier, who fought in the Napoleonic Wars and the Spanish expedition.
II Cavalry Corps was a French military formation during the Napoleonic Wars. It was first formed in December 1806, but only enjoyed a brief existence under Marshal Jean-Baptiste Bessières. The II Cavalry Corps was reconstituted for the French invasion of Russia in 1812 and commanded by General of Division Louis-Pierre Montbrun who was killed in battle, as was his successor a few hours later. In the War of the Sixth Coalition, General of Division Horace François Bastien Sébastiani de La Porta led the corps in 1813. General of Division Antoine-Louis Decrest de Saint-Germain directed the corps in 1814. During the Hundred Days, Napoleon raised the corps again and entrusted it to General of Division Rémi Joseph Isidore Exelmans.
At the end of January a 10,000–11,000-man French corps under Marshal Jacques MacDonald approached from the north.Supposing that Schwarzenberg's maneuvers would draw Napoleon away from his Army of Silesia, Blücher focused on destroying MacDonald's corps. During the first week of February, the Prussian field marshal ordered Ludwig Yorck von Wartenburg's corps to pursue MacDonald along the main highway in the Marne River valley. Hoping to trap the French corps, Blücher sent Fabian Gottlieb von Osten-Sacken's corps along the more direct road through Montmirail and La Ferté-sous-Jouarre. Trying to accomplish two strategic goals at once, the Prussian army commander hung back to allow the newly arrived corps of Peter Mikhailovich Kaptzevich and Friedrich von Kleist to catch up with him. Blücher utilized Zakhar Dmitrievich Olsufiev's small corps to link the two parts of his army.
Étienne Jacques Joseph Alexandre MacDonald, 1st Duke of Taranto was a Marshal of the Empire and military leader during the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars.
Johann David Ludwig Graf Yorck von Wartenburg was a Prussian Generalfeldmarschall instrumental in the switching of the Kingdom of Prussia from a French alliance to a Russian alliance during the War of the Sixth Coalition. Ludwig van Beethoven's "Yorckscher Marsch" is named in his honor.
The Marne is a river in France, an eastern tributary of the Seine in the area east and southeast of Paris. It is 514 kilometres (319 mi) long. The river gave its name to the departments of Haute-Marne, Marne, Seine-et-Marne, and Val-de-Marne.
On 8 February, Sacken's cavalry reached Viels-Maisons while his infantry was to the east at Montmirail. Olsufiev's corps was 12 miles (19 km) farther east at Étoges while Blücher established his headquarters another 9 miles (14 km) east at Vertus. Kaptzevich and Kleist were 16 miles (26 km) east of their army commander in Châlons-sur-Marne. Yorck's corps was in the Marne valley at least 12 miles (19 km) to the north, separated by bad roads. The Army of Silesia was now spread across a front of 44 miles (71 km). Blucher assumed that Seslavin would report any danger coming from the south. That night, when his Cossacks were driven out of Sézanne, Sacken did not bother to report the incident to Blücher. In fact, it was Napoleon's leading corps under Marshal Auguste de Marmont.
Napoleon left 39,000 troops to contain Schwarzenberg's Army of Bohemia. The formations were Oudinot's VII Corps, Marshal Claude Perrin Victor's II Corps, Étienne Maurice Gérard's Reserve of Paris, Henri Rottembourg's Young Guard infantry division, Milhaud's V Cavalry Corps and smaller units. Napoleon's striking force numbered about 20,000 foot soldiers and 10,000 horsemen.Another authority agreed that the French army numbered 30,000 men and added that it was supported by 120 guns. The army was formed by Marshal Michel Ney's two Young Guard infantry divisions, Marmont's VI Corps, part of the Imperial Guard cavalry, I Cavalry Corps and Defrance's cavalry division. Bringing up the rear at Nogent was Marshal Édouard Mortier, duc de Trévise with two Old Guard infantry divisions.
On 9 February, MacDonald slipped across the Marne at La Ferté-sous-Jouarre, just ahead of Sacken.That day, Kaptzevich and Kleist rendezvoused with Blücher at Vertus, Olsufiev marched west to Champaubert, Sacken reached La Ferté-sous-Jouarre and Yorck was at Château-Thierry. According to Karl Freiherr von Müffling of Blücher's staff, the Army of Silesia counted 57,000 men, including Sacken's 20,000, Yorck's 18,000 and Kaptzevich, Olsufiev and Kleist with a combined 19,000. Marmont's cavalry advance guard appeared at Talus-Saint-Prix on the Petit Morin River. Because the horsemen soon withdrew, Blücher's chief of staff August Neidhardt von Gneisenau believed they represented no danger. When Schwarzenberg asked the Prussian field marshal to support his right flank corps under Peter Wittgenstein, Blücher ordered Kaptzevich and Kleist to march southwest to Sézanne the next day. Olsufiev was ordered to march south from Champaubert. That night, Blücher finally received news that Napoleon was at Sézanne. Nevertheless, Gneisenau authorized Sacken to continue the pursuit of MacDonald to the west.
Napoleon's soldiers plodded along roads deep in mud from days of rain. The men had to suffer hunger pangs when the provision wagons failed to turn up. The bogged artillery was only brought forward when the rural inhabitants in large numbers helped haul the guns through the mud. At first the French population had resigned itself to the Allied invasion, but after suffering at the hands of the Russians and Prussians, the people were eager to assist the army.On 10 February, as Blücher accompanied the column of Kaptzevich and Kleist while it marched toward Sézanne, the sound of artillery began to rumble ominously to the right near Champaubert.
On 10 February Napoleon moved against Blücher's over-extended army in the hope of smashing it. He caught Olsufiev's IX Corps of 5,000 Russians near the village of Baye just south of Champaubert. The battle was one of the few times during the war that France was able to take the field with a large numerical advantage, in this case six-to-one.Planning to march south to Sézanne that day, Olsufiev left the Saint-Prix bridge over the Petit Morin intact. He also left the span unguarded, so that Napoleon's cavalry seized it early in the morning. Marmont's two VI Corps divisions led the French column. Joseph Lagrange's 3rd Division filed across the Saint-Prix bridge followed by Étienne Pierre Sylvestre Ricard's 8th Division. Following Napoleon's instructions, 100 Guard Dragoons rode ahead into Bannay where they surprised and captured a group of Russian soldiers.
Olsufiev's pickets were overrun by 10:00 am and although badly outnumbered, the Russian decided to fight rather than retreat.His decision was based partly on the mistaken hope that he would get reinforcements from Blücher in time to prevent a disaster. The correct decision would have been to retreat east to Étoges, but the Russian general had been criticized for the loss of the château during the Battle of Brienne on 29 January. He was also blamed for mishandling his troops at La Rothière and Sacken wanted him hauled before a court-martial. In the circumstances, Olsufiev chose to battle it out in order to clear his name. He did, however, send messengers to the Prussian army commander telling his superior what was occurring. In the event, Blücher brushed aside Olsufiev's couriers, insisting that Napoleon was not on the scene and that the attackers were no more than 2,000 French partisans.
Lagrange's division angled to the left toward Bannay, led by the 2nd Light Infantry Regiment and a marine battalion, while Ricard's division marched straight toward Baye. Olsufiev sent Evstafi Evstafievich Udom with two jäger infantry battalions to clear the French skirmishers out of Baye. As the French pressure increased, Udom was reinforced so that he had the 10th, 12th, 22nd and 38th Jäger Regiments and six guns.Around 11:00 am Ricard pressed Udom's troops back into Baye and the nearby woods. Olsufiev sent a brigade and six guns to hold the right flank while the bulk of his corps deployed between Baye and Bannay. The French brought 12 guns into action as more and more of their soldiers passed the bridge and arrived on the field. Pierre Pelleport's brigade led Lagrange's division as it assaulted Bannay. At 1:00 pm Olsufiev was still holding out on his forward position. At that hour, the Russian commander held a council of war in which his generals voted for a retreat to Étoges. Olsufiev refused, saying that he had specific orders to hold Champaubert.
Seeing that a small wood was the key to the position, Marmont organized a general attack. He sent the 113th Line Infantry forward deployed in skirmish order. Assisted by a horse artillery battery from I Cavalry Corps and a lancer squadron under Cyrille-Simon Picquet, Ricard's division captured Baye. Lagrange attacked between Baye and Bannay.Ney's divisions began to arrive and his guns pounded Bannay. Bordesoulle's cavalry on the right and Jean-Pierre Doumerc's on the left began edging around the Russian flanks. The 7th Battalion of the 4th Light Infantry were the first French troops to occupy Baye while Pelleport's brigade took Bannay. Olsufiev pulled back and established a new line at the Andecy Farm. As French cavalry began to envelop both flanks, the Russian withdrew again toward Champaubert.
Since the terrain favored the French on the west flank, Lagrange launched an attack on that side. Without proper artillery support, the French infantry were stopped and thrown back by the concentrated fire of 24 Russian guns. Numerous French Guard field pieces, slowed by the mud, soon appeared and provided a rallying point for Lagrange's men. After taking a detour, Doumerc's horsemen appeared at Fromentières on the highway west of Champaubert. When Olsufiev received reports that the road east to Châlons was also blocked, he resolved to cut his way out in that direction. The Russian commander directed Prince Konstantin Markovich Poltoratsky with the Apsheron and Nacheburg Infantry Regiments and nine guns to hold Champaubert, while he attacked east toward Étoges with the bulk of his troops. Olsufiev's breakout attempt failed.
With his artillery posted at the Champaubert crossroads, Poltoratsky's brigade drove off several cavalry charges. In fierce fighting with the bayonet, Ricard's soldiers captured the village, lost it to a counterattack, then clawed their way back into a few houses. After failing to cut his way out to the east, about 3:00 pm Poltoratsky began a fighting withdrawal to the north with his men in square formation. Heading for the village of La Caure, his soldiers kept the French back with regular volleys. About 2 miles (3.2 km) north of Champaubert they began to run out of ammunition and their ranks began to show unsteadiness. The French demanded that Poltoratsky capitulate and when he refused, they brought up a horse artillery battery and began blasting his troops with canister shot. Instead of being a possible refuge, the nearby woods turned out to be filled with French skirmishers. With his men being mown down by canister and riddled by musketry, Poltoratsky finally agreed to surrender his two regiments and cannons.
After failing to force its way to Étoges, Olsufiev's main body veered to the north in an attempt to escape. Near La Caure, while maneuvering to enter a swampy forest, he exposed one of his flanks. Spotting the tactical error, Marmont ordered a brigade of Bordesoulle's cuirassiers to charge. The heavy cavalrymen crashed into the Russian formation, cutting it in two parts. The Russian foot soldiers were completely routed, some of them throwing away their muskets and packs as they scattered into the woods. Marmont ordered the exits blocked and many Russians were captured. Udom and his fellow division commander Peter Yakovlevich Kornilov managed to get away with 1,500–2,000 men. That night they reached Port-à-Binson on the Marne after going cross-country.A 19-year old French conscript with fewer than six months of service made Olsufiev a prisoner.
According to Digby Smith the French lost 600 killed and wounded out of the 13,300 infantry and 1,700 cavalry that were engaged in the action. The Russians lost 2,400 men and nine guns out of the 3,700 soldiers and 24 guns that were present. Captured were General-Leutnant Olsufiev and General-major Prince Poltaratsky.Francis Loraine Petre credited Olsufiev with 4,000 infantry and 24 guns of which 1,600–1,700 men and 15 guns escaped. George Nafziger cited several sources including one that listed Russian losses as 1,400 dead and 1,894 captured including three generals and 21 guns, with 1,900 troops getting away. French losses were estimated at 200–600. David G. Chandler stated that French losses were only about 200 men and that only 1,000 out of 5,000 Russians escaped death or capture. Kornilov assumed command of the remnant of IX Corps. Its approximately 1,500 survivors were grouped into three or four temporary battalions. This unlucky outfit suffered 600 more casualties and lost all their cannons at the Battle of Vauchamps on 14 February.
When Blücher heard about Olsufiev's disaster, he ordered Kaptzevich and Kleist to turn around and make a night march back to Vertus. Sacken, who had marched west to Trilport, was ordered to return to Montmirail. Yorck was requested to meet Sacken near Montmirail while holding open an escape route over the Marne at Château-Thierry. After the battle, Napoleon found himself squarely in the middle of the overextended Army of Silesia. If he advanced to the east, he would merely push the corps of Kaptzevich and Kleist back. A move to the west held the possibility of trapping and destroying the forces under Sacken and Yorck, so he turned west. Napoleon ordered Marmont with Lagrange's division and the I Cavalry Corps to hold Étoges and keep Blücher under observation. At 7:00 pm the emperor directed Étienne Marie Antoine Champion de Nansouty with two cavalry divisions to occupy Montmirail. They were to be joined there in the morning by Ricard's division and the divisions under Ney and Mortier.The Battle of Montmirail was fought the next day against Sacken and Yorck.
IX Corps: Lieutenant General Zakhar Dmitrievich Olsufiev (5,166 infantry, 24 guns)
Source: Nafziger, George (2015). The End of Empire: Napoleon's 1814 Campaign. Solihull, UK: Helion & Company. pp. 137–138. ISBN 978-1-909982-96-3.
Source: Nafziger, George (2015). The End of Empire: Napoleon's 1814 Campaign. Solihull, UK: Helion & Company. pp. 134–135, 577–578, 594–600. ISBN 978-1-909982-96-3.
The Battle of Leipzig or Battle of the Nations was fought from 16 to 19 October 1813, at Leipzig, Saxony. The coalition armies of Russia, Prussia, Austria, and Sweden, led by Tsar Alexander I of Russia and Karl Philipp, Prince of Schwarzenberg, decisively defeated the French army of Napoleon I, Emperor of the French. Napoleon's army also contained Polish and Italian troops, as well as Germans from the Confederation of the Rhine. The battle was the culmination of the German campaign of 1813 and involved 600,000 soldiers, 2,200 artillery pieces, the expenditure of 200,000 rounds of artillery ammunition and 127,000 casualties, making it the largest battle in Europe prior to World War I.
The Battle of Arcis-sur-Aube saw an Imperial French army under Napoleon face a much larger Allied army led by Karl Philipp, Prince of Schwarzenberg during the War of the Sixth Coalition. On the second day of fighting, Emperor Napoleon suddenly realized the long odds against him and hurriedly ordered a retreat. The French were able to disengage and withdraw to the north because of the hesitations of the Austrian Field Marshal Schwarzenberg. This was Napoleon's penultimate battle before his abdication and exile to Elba, the last being the Battle of Saint-Dizier.
The Battle of Brienne saw an Imperial French army led by Emperor Napoleon attack Prussian and Russian forces commanded by Prussian Field Marshal Gebhard Leberecht von Blücher. After heavy fighting that went on into the night, the French seized the château, nearly capturing Blücher. However, the French were unable to dislodge the Russians from the town of Brienne-le-Château. Napoleon himself, making his first appearance on a battlefield in 1814, was also nearly captured. Very early the next morning, Blücher's troops quietly abandoned the town and retreated to the south, conceding the field to the French.
The Battle of Craonne was a battle between an Imperial French army under Emperor Napoleon I opposing a combined army of Imperial Russians and Prussians led by Prussian Field Marshal Gebhard Leberecht von Blücher. The War of the Sixth Coalition engagement began when the bulk of Napoleon's army tried to drive Mikhail Semyonovich Vorontsov's 22,000 Russians off the Chemin des Dames plateau to the west of Craonne. After a bitter struggle, Napoleon's attacks compelled Vorontsov's force to withdraw, but French casualties exceeded Russian losses. While the battle raged, Blücher's attempt to turn Napoleon's east flank ended in failure due to poor planning.
The Battle of Montmirail was fought between a French force led by Emperor Napoleon and two Allied corps commanded by Fabian Wilhelm von Osten-Sacken and Ludwig Yorck von Wartenburg. In hard fighting that lasted until evening, French troops including the Imperial Guard defeated Sacken's Russian soldiers and compelled them to retreat to the north. Part of Yorck's Prussian I Corps tried to intervene in the struggle but it was also driven off. The battle occurred near Montmirail, France during the Six Days Campaign of the Napoleonic Wars. Montmirail is located 51 kilometres (32 mi) east of Meaux.
The Battle of Mormant was fought during the War of the Sixth Coalition between an Imperial French army under Emperor Napoleon I and a division of Russians under Count Peter Petrovich Pahlen. Enveloped by cavalry led by François Étienne de Kellermann and Édouard Jean-Baptiste Milhaud and infantry led by Étienne Maurice Gérard, Pahlen's outnumbered force was nearly destroyed, with only about a third of its soldiers escaping. Later in the day, a French column led by Marshal Claude Perrin Victor encountered an Austrian-Bavarian rearguard under Anton Leonhard von Hardegg and Peter de Lamotte in the Battle of Valjouan. Attacked by French infantry and cavalry, the Allied force was mauled before it withdrew behind the Seine River. The Mormant-Valjouan actions and the Battle of Montereau the following day marked the start of a French counteroffensive intended to drive back Karl Philipp, Prince of Schwarzenberg's Allied Army of Bohemia. The town of Mormant is located 50 kilometres (31 mi) southeast of Paris.
The Battle of Vauchamps was the final major engagement of the Six Days Campaign of the War of the Sixth Coalition. It resulted in a part of the Grande Armée under Napoleon I defeating a superior Prussian and Russian force of the Army of Silesia under Field-marshal Gebhard Leberecht von Blücher.
The Battle of Château-Thierry saw the Imperial French army commanded by Emperor Napoleon attempt to destroy a Prussian corps led by Ludwig Yorck von Wartenburg and an Imperial Russian corps under Fabian Wilhelm von Osten-Sacken. The two Allied corps managed to escape across the Marne River, but suffered considerably heavier losses than the pursuing French. This action occurred during the Six Days' Campaign, a series of victories that Napoleon won over Prussian Field Marshal Gebhard Leberecht von Blücher's Army of Silesia. Château-Thierry lies about 75 kilometres (47 mi) northeast of Paris.
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 first day, Saint-Priest's Russians and General Friedrich Wilhelm von Jagow's Prussians easily captured Reims from its French National Guard garrison, capturing or killing more than half of its defenders. On the second day, an overconfident Saint-Priest carelessly deployed his forces west of the city, not grasping that Napoleon was approaching with 20,000 troops. Too late, Saint-Priest realized who he was fighting and tried to organize a retreat. In the battle that followed, the French army struck with crushing force and the Allies were routed with serious losses. During the fighting, Saint-Priest was struck by a howitzer shell and died two weeks later.
The Battle of Fère-Champenoise was fought between two Imperial French corps led by Marshals Auguste de Marmont and Édouard Mortier, duc de Trévise and a larger Coalition force composed of cavalry from the Austrian Empire, Kingdom of Prussia, Kingdom of Württemberg, and Russian Empire. Caught by surprise by Field Marshal Karl Philipp, Prince of Schwarzenberg's main Coalition army, the forces under Marmont and Mortier were steadily driven back and finally completely routed by aggressive Allied horsemen and gunners, suffering heavy casualties and the loss of most of their artillery. Two divisions of French National Guards under Michel-Marie Pacthod escorting a nearby convoy were also attacked and wiped out in the Battle of Bannes. The battleground was near the town Fère-Champenoise located 40 kilometres (25 mi) southwest of Châlons-en-Champagne.
The 1814 campaign in north-east France was Napoleon's final campaign of the War of the Sixth Coalition. Following their victory at Leipzig (1813), Russian, Austrian 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. As a result, Napoleon was deposed and exiled to Elba and the victorious powers started to redraw the map of Europe during the First Treaty of Paris and during the early stages of the Congress of Vienna.
The Battle of Waren-Nossentin on 1 November 1806 saw soldiers of the Kingdom of Prussia led by August Wilhelm von Pletz and Ludwig Yorck von Wartenburg fight a rear guard action against troops of the First French Empire commanded by Marshal Jean-Baptiste Bernadotte. Though forced to give ground, the Prussians successfully kept the French from inflicting serious loss or cutting off any units in this War of the Fourth Coalition action. Waren lies on the northern end of Lake Müritz, about 70 kilometres (43 mi) southeast of Rostock. Nossentin is a small village on the Fleesen See about 15 kilometres (9 mi) due west of Waren.
The VI Cavalry Corps of the Grande Armée was the name of a French military formation that had an ephemeral existence during the Napoleonic Wars. The corps was created on 9 February 1814 and François Étienne de Kellermann was appointed as its commander. The corps was formed by combining a newly arrived dragoon division from the Spanish front, a second dragoon division and a light cavalry division made up of hussars and chasseurs à cheval. The latter two divisions included units from the former III Cavalry Corps. Kellermann led the VI Cavalry Corps in actions at Mormant, Troyes, Second Bar-sur-Aube, Laubressel and Saint-Dizier. After Emperor Napoleon abdicated in early April 1814, the corps ceased to exist.
Étienne Pierre Sylvestre Ricard was a prominent French division commander during the 1814 Campaign in Northeast France. In 1791 he joined an infantry regiment and spent several years in Corsica. Transferred to the Army of Italy in 1799, he became an aide-de-camp to Louis-Gabriel Suchet. He fought at Pozzolo in 1800. He became aide-de-camp to Marshal Nicolas Soult in 1805 and was at Austerlitz and Jena where his actions earned a promotion to general of brigade. From 1808 he functioned as Soult's chief of staff during the Peninsular War, serving at Corunna, Braga, First and Second Porto. During this time he sent a letter to Soult's generals asking them if the marshal should assume royal powers in Northern Portugal. When he found out, Napoleon was furious and he sidelined Ricard for two years.
The Battle of Gué-à-Tresmes was fought between 14,500 French troops led by Marshals Auguste de Marmont and Édouard Mortier and 12,000 Prussians commanded by Friedrich Graf Kleist von Nollendorf and Friedrich von Katzler. On 28 February the French attacked and drove the Prussians to the north along the west bank of the Ourcq River. That evening and the next day Kleist tried to push the French back while Russian units under Peter Mikhailovich Kaptzevich tried to cross from the east to the west bank of the Ourcq; the Allies were unsuccessful. Gué-à-Tresmes is located where Route D405 crosses the Thérouanne stream about 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) northeast of Meaux.
François Pierre Joseph Amey became a French division commander during the Napoleonic Wars. He enlisted in the French Royal Army in 1783 and joined a volunteer battalion in 1792. He won promotion to general of brigade in 1793 during the War in the Vendée. He held a command during the period of the infernal columns and his career became obscure until 1799 when he supported Napoleon's coup. He went on the Saint-Domingue expedition in 1802–1803 and later filled posts in the interior. In 1806–1807 he led a brigade at Jena, Golymin and Eylau where he was wounded.
The Battle of Laubressel saw the main Allied army of Field Marshal Karl Philipp, Prince of Schwarzenberg mount a three-pronged converging attack on the weaker army of Marshal Jacques MacDonald. The French forces under Marshal Nicolas Oudinot bore the brunt of the fighting, in which the Allies tried to turn their left flank. The French abandoned Troyes and retreated west as a result of the action. The village of Laubressel is located 10 kilometres (6 mi) east of Troyes.
The Six Days' Campaign saw four victories by the Imperial French army led by Napoleon over the Army of Silesia commanded by Prussian Field Marshal Gebhard Leberecht von Blücher. Between 10 and 15 February 1814, the French inflicted losses of at least 14,034 men and 52 guns on the Army of Silesia. A second estimate listed 16,000 casualties and 60 guns. A third estimate reached as high as 20,000 casualties, but a calculation by historian George Nafziger suggested that Blücher may have lost 28,500 soldiers.
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