Battle of Mormant

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Battle of Mormant
Part of the War of the Sixth Coalition
Combat de Mormant le 17 fevrier 1814, a dix heures du matin (detail).jpg
Battle of Mormant by Simeon Fort
Date17 February 1814
Result French victory
Flag of France.svg Imperial France Flag of The Russian Empire 1883.svg Russian Empire
Flag of the Habsburg Monarchy.svg Austrian Empire
Flag of Bavaria (striped).svg Kingdom of Bavaria
Commanders and leaders
Flag of France.svg Napoleon
Flag of France.svg Claude Victor
Flag of France.svg Étienne Gérard
Flag of France.svg François Kellermann
Flag of France.svg Édouard Milhaud
Flag of the Habsburg Monarchy.svg Pr. Schwarzenberg
Flag of Russia.svg Peter Pahlen
Flag of the Habsburg Monarchy.svg Anton von Hardegg
Flag of Bavaria (striped).svg Peter de Lamotte
Units involved
Flag of France.svg II Corps
Flag of France.svg Reserve of Paris
Flag of France.svg V Cavalry Corps
Flag of France.svg VI Cavalry Corps
Flag of The Russian Empire 1883.svg VI Corps
Flag of the Habsburg Monarchy.svg V Corps
Flag of Bavaria (striped).svg V Corps
18,000–20,000 Flag of The Russian Empire 1883.svg 3,500–4,300, 12 gn.
Flag of the Habsburg Monarchy.svg Hardegg's division
Flag of Bavaria (striped).svg Lamotte's division
Casualties and losses
600 Flag of The Russian Empire 1883.svg +2,114, 9–12 guns
Flag of the Habsburg Monarchy.svg Flag of Bavaria (striped).svg 1,000

The Battle of Mormant (17 February 1814) 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.

War of the Sixth Coalition Part of the Napoleonic Wars

In the War of the Sixth Coalition, sometimes known in Germany as the War of Liberation, a coalition of Austria, Prussia, Russia, the United Kingdom, Portugal, Sweden, Spain and a number of German States defeated France and drove Napoleon into exile on Elba. After the disastrous French invasion of Russia of 1812, the continental powers joined Russia, the United Kingdom, Portugal and the rebels in Spain who were already at war with France.

First French Empire Empire of Napoleon I of France between 1804–1815

The First French Empire, officially the French Empire, was the empire of Napoleon Bonaparte of France and the dominant power in much of continental Europe at the beginning of the 19th century. Although France had already established an overseas colonial empire beginning in the 17th century, the French state had remained a kingdom under the Bourbons and a republic after the Revolution. Historians refer to Napoleon's regime as the First Empire to distinguish it from the restorationist Second Empire (1852–1870) ruled by his nephew as Napoleon III.

Russian Empire Former country, 1721–1917

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.



The Allied generals, particularly the Prussians, were exuberant following their victory over Napoleon at the Battle of La Rothière on 1 February 1814. They soon conceived a plan in which the main army under the Austrian Field Marshal Schwarzenberg advanced toward Paris via Troyes. Simultaneously, Prussian Field Marshal Gebhard Leberecht von Blücher's army took a more northerly route along the Marne River toward Meaux. [1] When Napoleon realized that Blücher represented the more serious threat on 6 February, he began to shift his strength northward in order to deal with the Prussian field marshal. Leaving Marshals Victor and Nicolas Oudinot with 34,000 men to hold off Schwarzenberg's much larger army, Napoleon headed north on 9 February with 30,000 troops. [2]

Napoleon 18th/19th-century French monarch, military and political leader

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.

Battle of La Rothière battle

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.

Paris Capital of France

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.

Napoleon landed some damaging blows on Blücher's army in the subsequent Six Days' Campaign. On 10 February in the Battle of Champaubert, the French army fell on Zakhar Dmitrievich Olsufiev's corps, which numbered only 4,000 infantry and 24 guns. Only 1,700 Russians escaped the disaster and the French made Olsufiev a prisoner. [3] The next day, Napoleon defeated Fabian Gottlieb von Osten-Sacken's Russians and Ludwig Yorck von Wartenburg's Prussians in the Battle of Montmirail. For the loss of 2,000 killed and wounded, the French inflicted a loss of 3,700 men and 13 guns on the Allies. [4] On 12 February, the French beat Sacken and Yorck again in the Battle of Château-Thierry. French losses were 600; the Allies lost 2,750 men and nine guns. [5] Blücher attacked the French on 14 February and was nearly destroyed in the Battle of Vauchamps. The French sustained a loss of 600 men while the Allies lost 6,000 men and 16 guns. Altogether, Blücher's 56,000-man army lost over 16,000 soldiers and 47 guns during the week while Napoleon's losses added up to only 4,000. [6]

Six Days Campaign conflict

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.

Battle of Champaubert battle

The Battle of Champaubert 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.

Zakhar Dmitrievich Olsufiev Russian Lieutenant General

Zakhar Dmitrievich Olsufiev was a Russian infantry Lieutenant General during the reigns of tsars Paul I and Alexander I.

While Napoleon was drubbing Blücher, Schwarzenberg's main army pushed back the forces of Marshals Victor and Oudinot. On the Allied right wing, Peter Wittgenstein's Russian corps advanced toward Nogent-sur-Seine while Karl Philipp von Wrede's Austro-Bavarian corps struck toward Bray-sur-Seine. On the Allied left wing, Crown Prince Frederick William of Württemberg's Württemberg corps moved toward Sens with Frederick Bianchi's Austrian corps on his left. Ignaz Gyulai's Austrian corps supported the left wing while Michael Andreas Barclay de Tolly's Allied Reserves supported the right wing. [7] Wrede got across the Seine at Bray, causing the French to abandon Nogent to Wittgenstein. Victor and Oudinot retreated behind the Yerres stream, dangerously close to Paris. When the marshals called for help, Napoleon sent Marshal Jacques MacDonald to Guignes where he arrived on 14 February with a corps that was rebuilt by replacements from Paris. A blunder caused the army's wagon train to withdraw across the Marne near Paris, causing panic in the French capital. [8]

Peter Wittgenstein Russian army officer in the Napoleonic wars (1769–1843)

Louis Adolph Peter, 1st Prince of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Ludwigsburg-Berleburg, better known as Peter Wittgenstein in English, was a Prince of the German dynasty Sayn-Wittgenstein and Field Marshal in the Imperial Russian Army during the Napoleonic wars.

Nogent-sur-Seine Subprefecture and commune in Grand Est, France

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.

Karl Philipp von Wrede German field marshal

KarlPhilipp Josef, Prince von Wrede was a Bavarian field marshal. He was an ally of Napoleonic France until he negotiated the Treaty of Ried with Austria in 1813. Thereafter Bavaria joined the coalition.

Leaving Marshals Auguste de Marmont and Édouard Mortier to watch Blücher, Napoleon rapidly transferred his strength southward against Schwarzenberg's army. The French emperor arrived at Guignes on the evening of 16 February and planned to launch his offensive the next day. [9] He found the army of Victor and Oudinot in good order and prepared to go over to the offensive. [10]

Auguste de Marmont French General, nobleman and Marshal of France

Auguste Frédéric Louis Viesse de Marmont was a French general and nobleman who rose to the rank of Marshal of France and was awarded the title Duke of Ragusa.



Map shows French (black) and Allied (white) positions on evening 16 February 1814. Winterfeldzug 1814 Stellungen am 16 Februar bw.JPG
Map shows French (black) and Allied (white) positions on evening 16 February 1814.

Schwarzenberg had over 100,000 soldiers in his main army. A week later, on 23 February, the army counted Moritz von Liechtenstein's 2nd Light Division (4,000), Bianchi's I Corps (13,000), Gyulai's III Corps (11,000), Württemberg's IV Corps (10,000), Wrede's V Corps (21,000), Wittgenstein's VI Corps (15,000) and Barclay's Guard and Reserve Corps (30,000). [11] This reckoning was made after the Battle of Montereau which cost the I Corps 2,000 casualties and the IV Corps 2,844 casualties. [12] When Schwarzenberg heard about Blücher's defeats, he ordered his army to pull back behind the Seine. [13] Instead of obeying, Wittgenstein aggressively pushed his corps west beyond Provins toward Nangis while his advanced guard under Pahlen reached Mormant. On 16 February, Wrede's corps was near Donnemarie-Dontilly except for Anton von Hardegg's division which was in Nangis. Württemberg's corps was near Montereau with advance guards near Melun. Bianchi's corps was south of the Seine between Moret-sur-Loing and Villeneuve-la-Guyard with advance guards farther west in Fontainebleau. Gyulai's corps was in Pont-sur-Yonne, Barclay's Russian Reserves were near Nogent while Liechtenstein's division and the Austrian Reserves were at Sens. [14]

Provins Subprefecture and commune in Île-de-France, France

Provins is a commune in the Seine-et-Marne department in the Île-de-France region in north-central France.

Nangis Commune in Île-de-France, France

Nangis is a commune in the Seine-et-Marne department in the Île-de-France region in north-central France.

Mormant Commune in Île-de-France, France

Mormant is a commune in the Seine-et-Marne departement in the Île-de-France region in north-central France.

Napoleon massed his army near Guinges by the evening of 16 February. The Imperial Guard forces included Louis Friant's Old Guard division (4,500), Marshal Michel Ney's Young Guard divisions (3,000) and Guard cavalry under Louis Marie Laferrière-Levesque, Rémi Joseph Isidore Exelmans and Louis Michel Pac (3,000 total). [15] The line troops consisted of Victor's II Corps (6,549 men, 40 guns), from Oudinot's VII Corps (7,516 men, 34 guns), from MacDonald's XI Corps (8,797 men, 37 guns), Édouard Jean Baptiste Milhaud's V Cavalry Corps (4,700) and François Étienne de Kellermann's VI Cavalry Corps (2,788). [16] In addition, there were 4,500 men from Étienne Maurice Gérard's Reserve of Paris. Farther east near Melun were Henri François Marie Charpentier's Young Guard division (3,500), Michel-Marie Pacthod's National Guards division (5,000) and Pierre Claude Pajol's cavalry division (1,400). On the march to Guignes were Jean François Leval's division (4,500), Joseph Boyer de Rébeval's Young Guard division (3,300) and Antoine-Louis Decrest de Saint-Germain's division (1,300). [15] Étienne Tardif de Pommeroux de Bordesoulle was also on hand with 581 newly recruited horsemen. [17]


Theodor von Rudiger Ridiger Fyodor Vasilyevich.jpg
Theodor von Rüdiger

At Mormant, Pahlen became aware that large numbers of French troops were near his position. The Russian placed two battalions in Mormant and massed the rest of his troops on both sides of the highway with his artillery in the center. He was prepared to fight or to retreat. During the night, Wittgenstein received positive orders to withdraw so he marched his corps east toward Provins at dawn. He forwarded the orders to Pahlen but they came too late. At daybreak, Pahlen saw that he faced an overwhelming force and began to retreat. [18] The Russian commanded 2,000–2,500-foot soldiers and 1,500–1,800 mounted troops. The infantry consisted of Selenginsk, Reval, Tenguinsk and Estonia Regiments and the 4th and 34th Jäger Regiments. The cavalry were led by Theodor von Rüdiger and included 14 squadrons from the Soumy Hussar, Olviopol Hussar and Tchougoulev Uhlan Regiments plus the Illowaiski XII, Rebrikov III and two unnamed Cossack Regiments. Colonel Rosen's brigade was to the east at Bailly. [19] Another source stated that the Grodno rather than the Olviopol Hussars were engaged, that the 20th and 21st Jägers were involved and that the Russians had 12 field pieces. [20]

French attack formation: Battle of Mormant Battle of Mormant French Attack.png
French attack formation: Battle of Mormant

At 5:00 a.m. the French infantry advanced with Guillaume Philibert Duhesme's II Corps division on the left, Gérard's Paris Reserve in the center and Louis Huguet-Château's II Corps division on the right. Victor's corps artillery marched in the intervals. [18] Milhaud's corps included Hippolyte Piré's light cavalry division, André Briche's dragoon division and Samuel-François Lhéritier dragoon division. Kellermann's corps had only Anne-François-Charles Trelliard's dragoon division, fresh from the Spanish theater. Lhéritier was temporarily assigned to Kellermann. [17] Milhaud commanded the left wing cavalry with Piré's horsemen deployed on Duhesme's left and Briche's troopers echeloned to Piré's left rear. Kellermann commanded the right wing cavalry with Trelliard's dragoons on Huguet-Château's right and Lhéritier's troopers echeloned to Trelliard's right rear. Behind the front-line units marched two VII Corps units on the north side of the highway. Pierre François Xavier Boyer's division was in the lead with Henri Rottembourg's division 200 metres (219 yd) farther back. The Imperial Guard artillery moved along the main road beside the VII Corps. The remainder of the army followed. [18]

Jacques Subervie General Jacques Gervais Subervie.jpg
Jacques Subervie

Pahlen ordered the two battalions in Mormant to hold back the French at all cost in order to allow the rest of his command to escape. Four Cossack regiments opposed Kellermann's corps while Rüdiger's regular cavalry faced Milhaud's corps. [19] Jacques Gervais, baron Subervie's brigade of Pire's division turned half-right and swooped down on the Russian skirmishers while the rest of Milhaud's cavalry advanced on Rüdiger's horsemen. In the center, Gérard's infantry forced its way into the village of Mormant, flushing its defenders into the open. Pierre Ismert, leading one of Trelliard's brigades, hurled the 4th Dragoons at the fleeing Russians, forcing many to surrender. On the right flank, Lhéritier's first brigade under August Étienne Lamotte dispersed the first two Cossack regiments. When the Illowaiski and Rebrikov Cossacks tried to intervene they were swept away by Lhéritier's second brigade led by Jean Antoine de Collaert. As Lhéritier's horsemen galloped after the routed Cossacks, the 16th Dragoons of Trelliard's division charged and broke a Russian square. [21]

Etienne Gerard Etienne Maurice Gerard 1773-1852.jpg
Étienne Gérard

On the north flank, Rüdiger deployed nine squadrons in the first line and five squadrons in the second line. Against the Russian horsemen, Milhaud had Piré's division (minus Subervie's brigade) in the first line, Gabriel Gaspard Montelégier's brigade in the second and Denis Éloi Ludot's in the third. Successive charges by Piré and Montelégier broke Rüdiger's squadrons and chased them off the battlefield with the French light cavalry in pursuit. Milhaud directed Montelégier to deal with the Russian infantry while sending Ludot on a sweep to block Pahlen's escape route. Without its supporting cavalry, Pahlen's infantry battalions were compelled to form into a square formation to defend against cavalry. Antoine Drouot aggressively pushed 36 guns from the French Guard artillery into the front line where they pummeled the Russians. [22]

Peter Pahlen Peter Graf von der Pahlen.jpg
Peter Pahlen

Pahlen sent messengers to Nangis pleading for assistance, but Ignaz Splény de Miháldi's division had already marched off leaving only Anton Leonhard von Hardegg's Austrian division from Wrede's V Corps. Hardegg had some infantry battalions in Nangis and two cavalry regiments in Bailly. The Austrian division commander declined to assist his ally and ordered an immediate retreat. However, before they could get away, the two Austrian cavalry regiments were disordered by the fleeing Cossacks and then scattered by Piré's and August Lamotte's horsemen. The Russian infantry's withdrawal continued, leaving a trail of casualties from artillery fire. On the outskirts of Grandpuits they were finally brought to halt by Ludot's brigade which was now blocking the Russian line of retreat. [22] Surrounded and hammered by artillery, the Russian battalions were all overrun by cavalry charges. The final square was broken when charged simultaneously by the brigades of Ludot and Ismert. [23]

The Russians probably lost one-third of their cavalry and admitted the loss of 2,114-foot soldiers. The French claimed 9–12 guns and 40 caissons captured while the Russians said they saved two cannons. The French cavalry commanders reported losing 150 horsemen and Gérard reported only 30 casualties. Pahlen's survivors dispersed over the French countryside. [23] Another authority stated that Pahlen lost 2,000 men and 10 guns. [24] The Reval and Selenginsk Regiments lost so many men that they were withdrawn to Plock in Poland to reorganize. [23] [20]


Samuel Lheritier General Samuel Francois Lheritier de Chezelles.jpg
Samuel Lhéritier

At Nangis, Napoleon split his advancing army into three columns. Victor led the right-most column south toward Montereau. This force included the II Corps, Paris Reserve, Lhéritier's dragoons and Bordesoulle's recruits. [24] The left-most column under Oudinot, with the VII Corps and Trelliard's dragoons, followed Wittgenstein's retreat east toward Provins. MacDonald's center column consisted of the XI Corps, Piré light horsemen and Briche's dragoons; it headed southeast toward Donnemarie. The French emperor held the Imperial Guard in reserve at Nangis. Wittgenstein retreated rapidly [23] and crossed the Seine at Nogent that evening. [24]

Victor's column departed Nangis at 1:30 p.m. and bumped into enemy resistance at Villeneuve-le-Comte about 3:00 p.m. Tipped off by Hardegg's survivors, Peter de Lamotte deployed the 3rd Bavarian Division on the Valjouan heights, blocking the road. Lamotte posted the 11th Bavarian Line Infantry in an advanced position at Villeneuve and Grand-Maison farm; his cavalry covered both flanks. The divisions of Hardegg and Splény were behind Lamotte; they began withdrawing as soon as the French appeared. The Schwarzenberg Uhlans Nr. 1 and Archduke Joseph Hussars Nr. 2, rallied from their earlier mauling by the French cavalry, were positioned to assist the Bavarian cavalry. Gérard, whose troops led the infantry column, decided to attack at once and asked Victor for help from the II Corps. Gérard deployed Lhéritier to the right and Bordesoulle to the left. [23]

Supported by 12 cannons, Jacques Félix Jan de La Hamelinaye's brigade stormed Villeneuve and Grand-Maison at 3:30 p.m. Gérard held Georges Joseph Dufour's brigade in reserve. As the Bavarian foot soldiers bolted from both positions, they were set upon by Bordesoulle's cavalrymen. When some Allied cavalry tried to rescue the Bavarians, the French horsemen rode into them and chased them away. Next, the Iller Mobile Legion tried to intervene, only to be routed by the French recruits. Altogether, Bordesoulle's half-trained horsemen inflicted about 300 casualties on their foes. [23] They apparently took no prisoners except a wounded Austrian officer who Bordesoulle had to personally save. [25]

Peter de Lamotte formed his division into a square formation and began to retreat, followed by Bordesoulle. [23] At some point during the withdrawal, the two Austrian mounted regiments were attacked by a large force of French cavalry and suffered 200 casualties in the melee. After Lamotte marched about 2 kilometres (1.2 mi) toward Donnemarie, Gérard's infantry burst out of the woods and nearly broke up Lamotte's division. However, the French cavalry was absent this time, allowing the Bavarians to reform their battalions and resume their retreat. [25] That evening, Wrede got the V Corps across the Seine at Bray, except for a rearguard at Mouy-sur-Seine. [26]

Other actions

On 17 February, Charpentier's division and a task force under Jacques Alexandre Allix de Vaux advanced south from Melun, driving Ignaz von Hardegg's division (Bianchi's I Corps) from Fontainebleau. Pajol and Pacthod left Saint-Germain-Laxis and headed southeast toward Montereau. They skirmished with Prince Adam of Württemberg's 1,000 infantry and cavalry during the day. [18]


The Allies had become overextended and Napoleon took advantage of this to strike hard at his enemies. One historian estimated that the French sustained 800 casualties while the Allies lost 3,000 men and 14 guns at Mormant and Valjouan. [25] A second authority gave casualties for the actions as 600 French and 3,114 Allied, with the French seizing nine guns and 40 caissons. Pahlen was credited with 2,500 infantry and 1,800 cavalry of which 1,250 were Russian and 550 were Austrian. Though the author listed the Valjouan action, he did not list Bavarian numbers. The French brought 18,000–20,000 men to the battlefield. [20]

Napoleon was angry at Victor for not pressing on that evening. [24] He expected Victor to be at Montereau at 6:00 a.m. the next day. When Victor did not arrive before the town until 9:00 a.m., [26] the French emperor replaced him with Gérard. [27] Schwarzenberg ordered the Crown Prince of Württemberg to hold a bridgehead at Montereau for a day. [24] The Battle of Montereau was fought on 18 February. [20]


French army

Allied forces


  1. Chandler 1966, pp. 964–965.
  2. Chandler 1966, pp. 966–968.
  3. Petre 1994, pp. 58–60.
  4. Petre 1994, pp. 64–66.
  5. Petre 1994, p. 67.
  6. Petre 1994, pp. 70–71.
  7. Petre 1994, p. 77.
  8. Petre 1994, p. 78.
  9. Petre 1994, p. 80.
  10. Nafziger 2015, p. 196.
  11. Nafziger 2015, p. 220.
  12. Nafziger 2015, p. 214.
  13. Petre 1994, p. 81.
  14. Nafziger 2015, p. 198.
  15. 1 2 Nafziger 2015, pp. 193–194.
  16. Nafziger 2015, p. 199.
  17. 1 2 Nafziger 2015, p. 200.
  18. 1 2 3 4 Nafziger 2015, p. 201.
  19. 1 2 Nafziger 2015, p. 202.
  20. 1 2 3 4 Smith 1998, p. 498.
  21. Nafziger 2015, p. 203.
  22. 1 2 Nafziger 2015, p. 204.
  23. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Nafziger 2015, p. 205.
  24. 1 2 3 4 5 Petre 1994, p. 82.
  25. 1 2 3 Nafziger 2015, p. 206.
  26. 1 2 Petre 1994, p. 83.
  27. Petre 1994, p. 84.
  28. Nafziger 2015, p. 598.
  29. 1 2 Nafziger 2015, pp. 615–616.
  30. 1 2 Nafziger 2015, pp. 627–628.
  31. Nafziger 2015, pp. 559–560.
  32. Nafziger 2015, pp. 557–558.

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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.

Battle of Fère-Champenoise battle

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.

Capitulation of Pasewalk

The Capitulation of Pasewalk on 29 October 1806 resulted in the surrender of Oberst (Colonel) von Hagen's 4,200 Prussian soldiers to an inferior force of two French light cavalry brigades led by Generals of Brigade Édouard Jean Baptiste Milhaud and Antoine Lasalle. 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 (Stettin), Poland.

Capitulation of Stettin

In the Capitulation of Stettin on 29–30 October 1806, Lieutenant General Friedrich Gisbert Wilhelm von Romberg surrendered the garrison and fortress to a much smaller French light cavalry brigade led by General of Brigade Antoine Lasalle. This event was one of a number of surrenders by demoralized Prussian soldiers to equal or inferior French forces after their disastrous defeat at the Battle of Jena-Auerstedt on 14 October. Stettin, now Szczecin, Poland, is a port city on the Oder River near the Baltic Sea, about 120 kilometres (75 mi) northeast of Berlin.

Anne-François-Charles Trelliard French general of division

Anne-François-Charles Trelliard or Treillard or Treilhard, born 7 February 1764 – died 14 May 1832, joined the cavalry of the French Royal Army as a cadet gentleman in 1780. During the French Revolutionary Wars he fought in Germany and Holland, eventually rising in rank to become a general officer in 1799. He led a corps cavalry brigade at Austerlitz in the 1805 campaign. In the 1806-1807 campaign he fought at Saalfeld, Jena, and Pultusk.

The V Cavalry Corps was a French military formation that existed during the Napoleonic Wars. The corps was created in 1813 and fought until 1814. Emperor Napoleon first organized the corps during the summer armistice in 1813 and it fought at Dresden and Leipzig. Samuel-François Lhéritier led the corps at first but was replaced by Pierre Claude Pajol. After Pajol was wounded at Leipzig, Édouard Jean Baptiste Milhaud commanded the corps at Hanau in 1813, and at Brienne, La Rothière, Mormant, Fère-Champenoise, and Paris in 1814.

Jean Marie Antoine Philippe de Collaert led the Dutch-Belgian cavalry division at the Battle of Waterloo. He became an officer in the Habsburg Austrian cavalry in 1778 and later served in the Dutch Republic army until 1786. After the armies of the First French Republic overran the Dutch Republic in 1795, Collaert became a lieutenant colonel of hussars in the new army of the Batavian Republic, a French satellite state. He fought with distinction at the Battle of Castricum in 1799 and was badly wounded fighting the Austrians in 1800. He was promoted colonel in 1803. Under the Kingdom of Holland he became a major general in 1806 and colonel-general of the King's Bodyguard in 1808.

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.

Battle of Gué-à-Tresmes

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.

First Battle of Bar-sur-Aube

The First Battle of Bar-sur-Aube was fought during the War of the Sixth Coalition when Marshal Édouard Mortier, duc de Trévise's corps of French Imperial Guards defended against an Austrians corps under Ignaz Gyulai and a Württemberger corps led by Crown Prince Frederick William of Württemberg. After holding his main defensive positions in stiff fighting, Mortier withdrew his elite troops during the night and retreated to Troyes. Bar-sur-Aube is located 53 kilometres (33 mi) east of Troyes.

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.

Six Days Campaign order of battle

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.


Further reading

Coordinates: 48°36′28″N2°53′27″E / 48.60778°N 2.89083°E / 48.60778; 2.89083