Battle of Pułtusk

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Coordinates: 52°43′N21°06′E / 52.717°N 21.100°E / 52.717; 21.100

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Contents

Battle of Pułtusk
Part of the War of the Fourth Coalition
Battle of Pultusk 1806.PNG
Battle of Pułtusk 1806
Date26 December 1806
Location
Result Tactical French victory
Belligerents
Flag of France.svg First French Empire
Flag of Bavaria (striped).svg Bavaria
Flag of Russia.svg Russian Empire
Flag of the Kingdom of Prussia (1803-1892).svg Kingdom of Prussia
Commanders and leaders
Flag of France.svg Marshal Lannes Flag of Russia.svg General Bennigsen
Strength
25,000-27,000 soldiers [1] 40,000-45,000 soldiers, 128 guns, [1] of which 35,000 engaged [2] [3]
Casualties and losses
unclear, see below unclear, see below

The Battle of Pułtusk took place on 26 December 1806 during the War of the Fourth Coalition near Pułtusk, Poland. Despite their strong numerical superiority and artillery, the Russians suffered the French attacks, before retiring the next day having suffered greater losses than the French, disorganizing their army for the rest of the year.

War of the Fourth Coalition part of the Napoleonic Wars

The Fourth Coalition fought against Napoleon's French Empire and was defeated in a war spanning 1806–1807. Coalition partners included Prussia, Russia, Saxony, Sweden, and Great Britain. Several members of the coalition had previously been fighting France as part of the Third Coalition, and there was no intervening period of general peace. On 9 October 1806, Prussia joined a renewed coalition, fearing the rise in French power after the defeat of Austria and establishment of the French-sponsored Confederation of the Rhine. Prussia and Russia mobilized for a fresh campaign, and Prussian troops massed in Saxony.

Pułtusk Place in Masovian, Poland

Pułtusk is a town in Poland by the river Narew, 70 kilometres north of Warsaw. It is located in the Masovian Voivodship and has a population of about 19,000.

Background

Strategic context

After defeating the Prussian army in the autumn of 1806, Emperor Napoleon entered partitioned Poland to confront the Russian army, which had been preparing to support the Prussians until their sudden defeat. Crossing the River Vistula, the French advance corps took Warsaw on 28 November 1806.

Partitions of Poland forced partition of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth

The Partitions of Poland were three partitions of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth that took place toward the end of the 18th century and ended the existence of the state, resulting in the elimination of sovereign Poland and Lithuania for 123 years. The partitions were conducted by Habsburg Austria, the Kingdom of Prussia, and the Russian Empire, which divided up the Commonwealth lands among themselves progressively in the process of territorial seizures and annexations.

Vistula river in Eastern Europe

The Vistula is the longest and largest river in Poland and the 9th longest river in Europe, at 1,047 kilometres in length. The drainage basin area of the Vistula is 193,960 km2 (74,890 sq mi), of which 168,868 km2 (65,200 sq mi) lies within Poland. The remainder is in Belarus, Ukraine and Slovakia.

Warsaw City metropolis in Masovia, Poland

Warsaw is the capital and largest city of Poland. The metropolis stands on the Vistula River in east-central Poland and its population is officially estimated at 1.765 million residents within a greater metropolitan area of 3.1 million residents, which makes Warsaw the 8th most-populous capital city in the European Union. The city limits cover 516.9 square kilometres (199.6 sq mi), while the metropolitan area covers 6,100.43 square kilometres (2,355.39 sq mi). Warsaw is an alpha global city, a major international tourist destination, and a significant cultural, political and economic hub. Its historical Old Town was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Levin August Bennigsen Bennigsen.jpg
Levin August Bennigsen

The Russian army was under the overall command of Field Marshal Mikhail Kamensky, but he was old and becoming infirm. The Russian First Army of some 55,000 to 68,000 men, [4] commanded by Count Bennigsen, had fallen back from the Vistula to the line of the River Wkra (Ukra), [5] in order to unite with the Second Army, about 37,000 strong, [6] under General Friedrich Wilhelm von Buxhoeveden (Buxhöwden), which was approaching from Russia and was still several days march from the First Army. However, realising his mistake in allowing the French to cross the Vistula, Kamensky advanced at the beginning of December to try to regain the line of the river. [7] French forces crossed the Narew River at Modlin on 10 December, and the Prussian Corps commanded by General-Leutnant Anton Wilhelm von L'Estocq failed to retake Thorn (Toruń). This led Bennigsen on 11 December to issue orders to fall back and hold the line of the River Wkra. [8]

Mikhail Kamensky Russian officer

Count Mikhail Fedotovich Kamensky was a Russian Field Marshal prominent in the Catherinian wars and the Napoleonic campaigns.

Wkra river in Poland

Wkra is a river in north-eastern Poland, a tributary of the Narew river, with a length of 255 kilometres and a basin area of 5,348 km² - all within Poland. Among its tributaries are the Łydynia and the Płonka.

Friedrich Wilhelm von Buxhoeveden Russian general

Friedrich Wilhelm Count von Buxhoevden was a Russian infantry general and government official. Buxhoeveden commanded the Russian armies during the Finnish War.

When this was reported to Napoleon, he assumed the Russians were in full retreat. He ordered the forces under Marshal Joachim Murat – the 3rd corps of Marshal Louis Nicolas Davout, 7th Corps of Marshal Pierre Augereau, 5th Corps under Lannes, and Murat's 1st Cavalry Reserve Corps – to pursue towards Pułtusk. Meanwhile, Marshal Michel Ney's 6th Corps, Marshal Jean-Baptiste Bernadotte's 1st Corps, and Marshal Jean-Baptiste Bessières's 2nd Cavalry Reserve Corps turned the Russian right. Marshal Nicolas Soult's 4th Corps linked the two wings of the French army. [9]

Joachim Murat Grand Duke of Berg and King of Naples

Joachim-Napoléon Murat was a Marshal of France and Admiral of France under the reign of Napoleon. He was also the 1st Prince Murat, Grand Duke of Berg from 1806 to 1808, and King of Naples from 1808 to 1815. Murat received his titles in part by being Napoleon's brother-in-law through marriage to his younger sister, Caroline Bonaparte, as well as personal merit. He was noted as a daring, brave, and charismatic cavalry officer as well as a flamboyant dresser, for which he was known as "the Dandy King".

Pierre Augereau general, Marshal of France

Charles Pierre François Augereau, 1st Duc de Castiglione was a soldier and general and Marshal of France. After serving in the French Revolutionary Wars he earned rapid promotion while fighting against Spain and soon found himself a division commander under Napoleon Bonaparte in Italy. He fought in all of Bonaparte's battles of 1796 with great distinction. During the Napoleonic Wars, Emperor Napoleon entrusted him with important commands. His life ended under a cloud because of his poor timing in switching sides between Napoleon and King Louis XVIII of France. Napoleon wrote of Augereau that he "has plenty of character, courage, firmness, activity; is inured to war; is well liked by the soldiery; is fortunate in his operations."

Michel Ney French soldier and military commander

Marshal of the Empire Michel Ney, 1st Duke of Elchingen, 1st Prince of the Moskva, popularly known as Marshal Ney, was a French soldier and military commander during the French Revolutionary Wars and the Napoleonic Wars. He was one of the original 18 Marshals of the Empire created by Napoleon. He was known as Le Rougeaud by his men and nicknamed le Brave des Braves by Napoleon.

Kamensky reversed the Russian retreat, and he ordered an advance to support the troops on the River Wkra. [10] On the night of 23 and 24 December, Davout's corps forced a crossing of the lower Wkra in the Battle of Czarnowo. [11] After engagements at Bieżuń on 23 December with Bessières and Soldau (Działdowo) on 25 December with Ney, the Prussian corps under L'Estocq was driven north towards Königsberg. [12] Augereau's corps seized a second crossing of the Wkra on the 24th at Kołoząb. [13] Realising the danger, Kamensky ordered a retreat on Ostrołęka. At this time the old field marshal appears to have had a mental breakdown and returned to Grodno. Bennigsen decided to disobey his superior's orders by standing and fighting on 26 December at Pułtusk. He had available the 2nd Division of Lieutenant General Alexander Ivanovich Ostermann-Tolstoy, the 6th Division of Lieutenant General Alexander Karlovich Sedmoratski, part of Lieutenant General Dmitry Golitsyn's 4th Division, and part of Lieutenant General Fabian Gottlieb von Osten-Sacken's 3rd Division. To the north-west, most of the 4th Division commanded by Golitsyn and the 5th Division under Lieutenant General Dmitry Dokhturov fought the Battle of Gołymin on the same day. [14]

Battle of Czarnowo

The Battle of Czarnowo on the night of 23–24 December 1806 saw troops of the First French Empire under the eye of Emperor Napoleon I launch an evening assault crossing of the Wkra River against Lieutenant General Alexander Ivanovich Ostermann-Tolstoy's defending Russian Empire forces. The attackers, part of Marshal Louis-Nicolas Davout's III Corps, succeeded in crossing the Wkra at its mouth and pressed eastward to the village of Czarnowo. After an all-night struggle, the Russian commander withdrew his troops to the east, ending this War of the Fourth Coalition action. Czarnowo is located on the north bank of the Narew River 33 kilometres (21 mi) north-northwest of Warsaw, Poland.

Bieżuń Place in Masovian, Poland

Bieżuń is a town in Żuromin County, Masovian Voivodeship, Poland, with 1,903 inhabitants (2004) on the Wkra River. Jedrzej of Golczew, castellan of Płock, established the town at the end of the 14th century. Prince Siemowit IV, Duke of Masovia granted the city rights charter in 1406 and in 1869, during Russia's occupation, the town lost its city rights until 1994. Prior to the Deluge the town was famous and had a strong castle, but it was destroyed during that war. Polish Crown Kanclerz Andrzej Zamoyski was born there and lived in the palace he built while working on his code of civil laws known as Zbiór praw sądowych During Zamojski's residency there, in 1767, Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth king Stanisław August Poniatowski granted the renewal of the town charter under the Magdeburg rights. After the Third of Partitions of Poland town fell into the Prussia's domain, then during the War of the Fourth Coalition there was a small pitched battled between the Napoleonic troops and the Prussians known as Combat of Bieżuń(2), it was a French victory and took place on December 21–23, 1806. Between 1807-15 it was part of Duchy of Warsaw, then under the Russian dominion until 1918.

Działdowo Place in Warmian-Masurian, Poland

Działdowopronounced [d͡ʑau̯ˈdɔvɔ] is a town in north-central Poland with 24,830 inhabitants (2006), the capital of Działdowo County. Situated in the Warmian-Masurian Voivodeship, Działdowo belonged previously to Ciechanów Voivodeship (1975–1998). The town is a major railroad junction connecting the capital city of Warsaw with Gdańsk and Olsztyn to the north.

Weather

The weather caused severe difficulties for both sides. Mild autumn weather had lasted longer than normal. [15] The usual frosts, which rendered the inadequate roads passable after the muddy conditions of autumn, were broken by thaws. There was a thaw on 17 December [16] and a two-day thaw on 26 and 27 December. [17] The result was that both sides found it very difficult to manoeuvre; in particular the French (as they were advancing) had great difficulty bringing up their artillery. Davout recorded it took two hours to cover 2½ miles. [18]

There were also difficulties with supply. Captain Jean-Baptiste-Antoine-Marcelin, Baron de Marbot, who was serving with Augereau's Corps wrote:

Site

Pułtusk lies on the west bank of the River Narew with a suburb on the east bank. The road from Strzegociz crossed the river by a bridge and then ran north-west towards Gołymin. A second road from Warsaw entered the town from the south-west, and then ran along the west bank of the river towards Różan. Before it reached Pułtusk this road was joined by one from Nasielsk. Another longer route to Różan ran along the east bank. The final road was that to Markow, which ran northwards from the town. The town itself lay on low ground. To the north and west lay a plateau, narrowing to a wide ridge nearer the river. A ravine cut into the plateau near the river. A large wood lay on the north-west side of the plateau, towards the village of Mosin. Further out from the plateau more woods covered the approaches from Warsaw. [20]

Battle

Forces

Jean Lannes Marechal-Lannes.jpg
Jean Lannes

Lannes commanded two infantry divisions under Generals of Division Louis Gabriel Suchet and Honoré Théodore Maxime Gazan de la Peyrière. Suchet's 1st Division included General of Brigade Michel Marie Claparède's 3-battalion 17th Light Infantry Regiment, General of Brigade Honoré Charles Reille's 4-battalion 34th Line Infantry Regiment and 3-battalion 40th Line Infantry Regiment, and General of Brigade Dominique Honoré Antoine Vedel's 64th and 88th Line Infantry Regiments, three battalions each. Gazan's 2nd Division comprised General of Brigade Jean François Graindorge's 3-battalion 21st Light Infantry Regiment and 2-battalion 28th Light Infantry Regiment and General of Brigade François Frédéric Campana's 100th and 103rd Line Infantry Regiments, three battalions each. General of Brigade Anne-François-Charles Trelliard led 12 squadrons of the corps cavalry, which consisted of the 9th and 10th Hussar Regiments and the 21st Chasseurs à Cheval Regiment. General of Brigade Louis Foucher de Careil commanded the corps artillery, 38 guns in four foot and two horse artillery batteries at full strength. [21] [22]

A. Ostermann-Tolstoi Ostermann-tolstoi.jpg
A. Ostermann-Tolstoi

Historian Francis Loraine Petre wrote that General of Division Nicolas Léonard Beker's 1,200-strong 5th Dragoon Division was also present, but did not note its composition. [23] [24] Digby Smith placed Beker in charge of the 2nd Dragoon Division and listed the 3rd, 4th, 10th, 11th, 13th, and 22nd Dragoon Regiments as part of this unit. [25] General of Brigade Joseph Augustin Fournier Marquis de D'Aultane was the acting commander of the 3rd Division of Davout's corps. This unit was made up of two brigades. General of Brigade Claude Petit led the 2-battalion 12th Line Infantry Regiment and the 3-battalion 21st Line Infantry Regiment. General of Brigade Nicolas Hyacinthe Gautier directed the 25th and 85th Line Infantry Regiments, two battalions each. General of Division Louis Michel Antoine Sahuc led the 4th Dragoon Division, which only had one brigade present. General of Brigade Jacques Léonard Laplanche commanded the 15th and 25th Dragoon Regiments. [26] [27] Fournier had 70 chasseurs à cheval, 100 dragoons, and only one artillery piece attached to his command. [28]

Bennigsen commanded Ostermann-Tolstoy's 2nd Division, Sedmoratski's 6th Division, and elements of the 3rd and 4th Divisions. The 2nd Division had three infantry and one cavalry brigades. Major General Nikolai Mazovsky directed the Pavlovski Grenadier and Rostov Musketeer Regiments, Major General Alexander Yakovlevich Sukin led the Petersburg Grenadier and Jeletzsky Musketeer Regiments, and Major General Ivan Andreievich Lieven commanded the 1st and 20th Jager Regiments. Major General Koschin's cavalry brigade included the Life Cuirassier, Kargopol Dragoon, and Soum Hussar Regiments, plus two cossack units. There were a total of 60 artillery pieces in four foot batteries and one horse artillery batteries. [26] [29]

The 6th Division also controlled three infantry and one cavalry brigades. Major General Karl Gustav von Baggovut led the Starokolski Musketeer and 4th Jäger Regiments, Major General Vasili Sergeievich Rachmanov commanded the Vilnius and Nizov Musketeer Regiments, and Major General Fedosei Mikhailovich Bikov directed the Reval and Volhynia Musketeer Regiments. Major General Karl Osipovich Lambert's cavalry brigade comprised the Ekaterinoslav Cuirassier, Kiev Dragoon, and Alexandrov Hussar Regiments, plus one Tatar and one cossack unit. The 6th Division artillery numbered 72 guns in five foot and one horse artillery batteries. The units of the 3rd and 4th Divisions are not listed. Altogether, Bennigsen controlled 50,500 men in 66 battalions, 55 squadrons, and his artillery. [26] [29]

Action

The Pultusk Campaign Map shows the positions of the French, Russian, and Prussian forces at the end of December 1806. Actions were fought at Biezun and Czarnowo on the 23rd, Kolozab on the 24th, Soldau on the 25th, and Pultusk and Golymin on the 26th. Pultusk Campaign Map 1806.JPG
The Pułtusk Campaign Map shows the positions of the French, Russian, and Prussian forces at the end of December 1806. Actions were fought at Bieżuń and Czarnowo on the 23rd, Kołoząb on the 24th, Soldau on the 25th, and Pułtusk and Gołymin on the 26th.

Bennigsen arrayed his forces [30] [31] [32] along the Pułtusk-Gołymin road, with three lines composed respectively of 21, 18 and 5 battalions. The left rested on the town, the right on the Mosin wood. The artillery was positioned in front of the first line. On the extreme right Major General Michael Andreas Barclay de Tolly occupied part of the Mosin wood with three battalions, a cavalry regiment and an artillery battery covering the road to Gołymin. Baggovut covered the left of the line and the bridge over the Narew from a position in front of the ravine with ten battalions, two squadrons of dragoons and an artillery battery. Deployed along the edge of the ridge were 28 squadrons of cavalry linking Barclay de Tolly and Baggovut. Cossack cavalry was deployed in front of them. [33]

Marshal Lannes had orders to cross the Narew at Pułtusk with his corps. He was aware that there was a Russian force in front of him, but did not know its size. After struggling through the mud, his first troops reached the area at about 10:00 AM, [34] and drove the cossacks back onto the Russian main line. Because of the terrain, Lannes could only see the Russian advance positions on the extreme left and right with the cavalry between them.

Lannes deployed Suchet's division on his left, opposite the Mosin wood. Gazan's division covered the rest of the Russian line. The few guns were deployed on the left and in the centre. [1]

At about 11:00 AM the French right advanced against Baggovut. The Russian cossacks and cavalry were driven back and Baggovut sent forward a Jäger unit, which was driven back despite artillery support. The French centre had also advanced, to attack Baggovut from the flank. But this manoeuvre exposed them to the Russian cavalry line, seven squadrons of which suddenly attacked the French flank in a sudden snow storm while Baggovut's cavalry and the jägers attacked from the front. A French infantry battalion then took the Russian cavalry in their flank. After a confused melee the Russians fell back to their original position. Lannes's cavalry division, under Trelliard tried to advance but was driven off by artillery fire.

Battle of Pultusk about noon Pultusk noon.PNG
Battle of Pułtusk about noon

At the same time as the French right attacked, on the French left Suchet's division, led by Lannes in person, attacked the position held by Barclay. The initial attack drove the Russians out of the wood, and captured the battery stationed there, but Barclay's reserve drove the French back into the wood and recaptured the guns.

The French centre had also advanced. The Russian cavalry withdrew behind the main line, exposing the French to artillery fire from the Russian batteries.

By about 2 p.m. [35] the French position looked dangerous. The Russian left had held, the French centre was suffering from the artillery fire, and on the right increasing pressure was beginning to force Suchet's men out of the wood. A French retreat looked a distinct possibility when unexpected reinforcements arrived.

Battle of Pultusk about 3 PM Pultusk 3pm.PNG
Battle of Pułtusk about 3 PM

The 3rd Division of Davout's 3rd Corps, temporarily commanded by his Chief of Staff Fournier, had been ordered to pursue a Russian column apparently retiring on Pułtusk. Concerned about the strength of the Russian cavalry force which was escorting guns and stores, Fournier had pursued but not engaged. He was preparing to stop for the night when he heard the sounds of combat to his right, and so marched his men towards Pułtusk. Due the state of the roads he was only able to bring up one gun. [35]

Seeing this force approach, Bennigsen wheeled back his main line to face the wood, thus reducing the artillery fire directed at Lannes's units. Barclay, finding Fournier attacking his right flank, fell back to the right of the main Russian line. Bennigsen reinforced him with two infantry regiments and some cavalry, and directed an artillery battery to fire on the wood. Thus reinforced Barclay attacked the wood. The French were driven out, and Fournier's right flank exposed. This was attacked by twenty squadrons of Russian cavalry, but the 85th French Infantry Regiment formed squares and by a steady fire drove the cavalry off. At about 8:00 PM the combat died away, and Fournier retired to the edge of the woods. [36]

The arrival of Fournier's division also had an effect on the French right wing. With the switch of much of the Russian artillery to support Barclay de Tolly, the French were able to use their own guns to support a fresh attack at about 2:00 PM [37] on Baggovut by the brigades of Claparède and Vedel, supported by Gazan on their left. Baggovut's men were driven back over the ravine in their rear, and their guns captured. Ostermann-Tolstoy established a battery to Barclay's right and reinforced by five battalions he attacked. After a desperate fight the French were thrown back and the guns recaptured. The French right and centre fell back to their start positions as night fell.

During the night, Bennigsen decided to retire, and did so the next day, 27 December, using the longer road to Różan along the east bank of the Narew. From there he continued his retreat to Ostrołęka. Fournier's division also moved off to rejoin the 3rd Corps at Golymin. Lannes was in no position to pursue the Russians, and occupied Pułtusk on 28 December.

Analysis

Losses on both sides are disputed. Lannes claimed the Russians lost 2,000 killed, 3,000 wounded and 1,800 prisoners, a total of 6,800; Sir Robert Wilson, British liaison officer with the Russian army, claimed the Russians lost less than 5,000 men. Lannes admitted 700 French killed and 1,500 wounded; Russian authorities said the French losses were 7,000 killed and wounded and 70 prisoners. Given that the French were attacking and exposed to artillery fire a total for them of 7,000 killed, wounded and prisoners does not seem unreasonable, and a total of 5,000 casualties for the Russians seems a good estimate. [38] Another authority gives French losses as five generals and 140 officers killed or wounded, 3,200 soldiers dead or wounded, and 700 captured. Russian losses are stated as 3,500 total, including 1,500 men and 12 guns captured. On the French side, Lannes, Bonnard, Claparède, and Vedel were all wounded. [26]

Bennigsen claimed a victory. The consensus seems to be [39] that having decided to fight, in defiance of his orders he could have better disposed his forces, taken the offensive and destroyed Lannes's corps before Fournier came up. Bennigsen said he thought he was facing 60,000 French under Napoleon in person, which may explain his defensive stance. Bennigsen also complained that Buxhoeveden did not support him, but that officer was obeying his orders to retire.

Lannes, on the other hand, was following his orders, and the result was to find himself facing a superior force in a good defensive position. Napoleon's orders had not allowed for this, and unaware of the odds against him Lannes attacked. If Fournier had not used his initiative and marched to the sound of the guns the result may have been very different.

Aftermath

At the Battle of Gołymin, Golitsyn successfully held off a superior French force. This, combined with the failure of Soult's corps to pass around the Russian right flank spoiled Napoleon's chances of cutting the Russian line of retreat and trapping them against the River Narew.

The Russian 5th and 7th Divisions retired towards the main body of the army at Różan. Bennigsen's forces fell back to Nowogród on the River Narew, uniting on 1 January 1807 with the forces under Buxhoeveden. On 28 December, Napoleon stopped his advance and, having lost contact with the Russian army, decided to go into winter quarters. His troops were exhausted and discontented, and the supply situation was in great disorder. [40]

The break in hostilities did not last long. Soon afterward, Bennigsen was appointed army commander and he launched an unexpected winter offensive into East Prussia. Aimed at the French strategic left flank, the Russian blow was blunted at the Battle of Mohrungen on 25 January 1807. Napoleon immediately counterattacked, trying to cut the Russian communications line that ran to the northeast. The French caught up with the Russians on 7 and 8 February 1807 and the dreadful Battle of Eylau was fought.

Notes

  1. 1 2 3 Petre "Poland" 2001 ed, p.96
  2. D. G. Chandler. The Campaigns of Napoleon. Simon and Schuster, 2009. P. 521
  3. Roberts A. Napoleon the Great. Penguin UK, 2016
  4. Petre "Poland", 2001 ed, p38
  5. Petre "Poland", 2001 ed, p70
  6. Petre "Poland", 2001 ed, p39
  7. Petre "Poland", 2001 ed, p40
  8. Petre "Poland", 2001 ed, p73
  9. Petre "Poland", 2001 ed, p76
  10. Petre "Poland", 2001 ed, p77
  11. Petre "Poland", 2001 ed, p79-82
  12. Petre "Poland", 2001 ed, pp87-88
  13. Petre "Poland", 2001 ed, pp84-85
  14. Petre "Poland", 2001 ed, p89
  15. Petre "Poland", 2001 ed, p354
  16. Correspondance de Napoleon Ier, XI 497
  17. Petre "Poland", 2001 ed, p. 40
  18. Petre "Poland", 2001 ed, p. 93
  19. Marbot "Memoirs", 1:xxvii
  20. Petre " Poland", 2001 ed, pp90-91
  21. Smith, p235. Smith itemized Colbert-Chabanais' 6th Corps cavalry but repeated Trelliard's list of regiments, which was clearly a misprint.
  22. Chandler Jena, p36
  23. Petre, p 95. Petre mentioned Beker and Trelliard, but not Colbert-Chabanais.
  24. Petre, p177. Petre stated that Beker led the 5th Division.
  25. Smith, p235. These units are identical to Grouchy's division.
  26. 1 2 3 4 Smith, p235
  27. Chandler Jena, p35
  28. Petre "Poland" 2001 ed. p100. The rest of the corps cavalry was at Gołymin.
  29. 1 2 Millar, Left Wing
  30. Petre "Poland" 2001 ed, p.90-107
  31. Chandler "Campaigns" p.521
  32. Chandler "Dictionary" p.439
  33. Petre "Poland" 2001 ed, p.91
  34. Petre "Poland" 2001 ed, p.95
  35. 1 2 Petre "Poland" 2001 ed, p.99
  36. Petre "Poland" 2001 ed, p.101
  37. Petre "Poland" 2001 ed, p.102
  38. Petre "Poland" 2001 ed, p.103. Petre quotes the various authorities.
  39. Petre "Poland" 2001 ed, p104-5
  40. Petre "Poland", 2001 ed, p117

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The Battle of Abensberg was fought on 20 April 1809, between an Allied force under the command of Emperor Napoleon I of France on one side and three Austrian corps led by Johann von Hiller, Archduke Louis of Austria, and Michael von Kienmayer. The Austrians formed the left wing of Archduke Charles, Duke of Teschen's main army and were under the overall command of Hiller. Napoleon's French troops, reinforced by troops from the Kingdom of Bavaria and the Kingdom of Württemberg outfought their opponents, inflicted heavy losses, and forced the Austrians to retreat to the southeast.

Battle of Prenzlau

In the Battle of Prenzlau or Capitulation of Prenzlau on 28 October 1806 two divisions of French cavalry and some infantry led by Marshal Joachim Murat intercepted a retreating Prussian corps led by Frederick Louis, Prince of Hohenlohe-Ingelfingen. In this action from the War of the Fourth Coalition, Hohenlohe surrendered his entire force to Murat after some fighting and a parley. Prenzlau is located about 90 kilometers north of Berlin in Brandenburg, Germany at the intersection of routes B109 and B198.

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.

Battle of Mohrungen

In the Battle of Mohrungen on 25 January 1807, most of a First French Empire corps under the leadership of Marshal Jean-Baptiste Bernadotte fought a strong Russian Empire advance guard led by Major General Yevgeni Ivanovich Markov. The French pushed back the main Russian force, but a cavalry raid on the French supply train caused Bernadotte to call off his attacks. After driving off the cavalry, Bernadotte withdrew and the town was occupied by the army of General Levin August, Count von Bennigsen. The fighting took place in and around Morąg in northern Poland, which in 1807 was the East Prussian town of Mohrungen. The action was part of the War of the Fourth Coalition in the Napoleonic Wars.

Jacques Desjardin French general

Jacques Desjardin or Jacques Jardin or Jacques Desjardins; enlisted in the French royal army as a young man and eventually became a sergeant. During the first years of the French Revolutionary Wars he enjoyed very rapid promotion to the rank of general officer in the army of the French First Republic. In May and June 1794 he emerged as co-commander of an army that tried three times to cross the Sambre at Grandreng, Erquelinnes and Gosselies and each time was thrown back by the Coalition. After that, he reverted to a division commander and saw more service in the north of France, Belgium, and the Netherlands. In the campaign of 1805, he led an infantry division under Marshal Pierre Augereau in Emperor Napoleon's Grande Armée and saw limited fighting. In 1806 he fought at Jena, Czarnowo and Gołymin. He was mortally wounded at the Battle of Eylau on 8 February 1807 and died three days later. His surname is one of the names inscribed under the Arc de Triomphe, on Column 16.

Battle of Guttstadt-Deppen

In the Battle of Guttstadt-Deppen on 5 and 6 June 1807, troops of the Russian Empire led by General Levin August, Count von Bennigsen attacked the First French Empire corps of Marshal Michel Ney. The Russians pressed back their opponents in an action that saw Ney fight a brilliant rearguard action with his heavily outnumbered forces. During the 6th, Ney successfully disengaged his troops and pulled back to the west side of the Pasłęka (Passarge) River. The action occurred during the War of the Fourth Coalition, part of the Napoleonic Wars. Dobre Miasto (Guttstadt) is on Route 51 about 20 kilometers (12 mi) southwest of Lidzbark Warmiński (Heilsberg) and 24 kilometers (15 mi) north of Olsztyn (Allenstein). The fighting occurred along Route 580 which runs southwest from Guttstadt to Kalisty (Deppen) on the Pasłęka.

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.

The VIII Corps of the Grande Armée was the name of a French military unit that existed during the Napoleonic Wars. Emperor Napoleon formed it in 1805 by borrowing divisions from other corps and assigned it to Marshal Édouard Adolphe Casimir Joseph Mortier. Marshal André Masséna's Army of Italy was also reorganized as the VIII Corps at the end of the 1805 campaign. The corps was reformed for the 1806 campaign under Mortier and spent the rest of the year mopping up Prussian garrisons in western Germany.

The III Cavalry Corps was a French military formation that fought during the Napoleonic Wars. The corps was created in 1812 and reconstituted in 1813 and 1815. Emperor Napoleon first mobilized the corps for the French invasion of Russia. Commanded by General of Division Emmanuel Grouchy, two divisions of the corps fought at Borodino, Tarutino, and Vyazma. A third division fought at First and Second Polotsk and the Berezina. During the War of the Sixth Coalition in 1813, General of Division Jean-Toussaint Arrighi de Casanova led the corps at Grossbeeren, Dennewitz, Leipzig, and Hanau. During the Hundred Days in 1815, Napoleon reorganized the corps and appointed General of Division François Étienne de Kellermann to lead it. One brigade of the corps was engaged at Quatre Bras and both divisions fought at Waterloo.

The XIII Corps of the Grande Armée was the name of a French military formation that existed during the Napoleonic Wars. The corps was formed in the spring of 1813 and Marshal Louis-Nicolas Davout was appointed as its commander. The corps included three French infantry divisions and attached cavalry. In the spring campaign the corps was assigned to defend northern Germany. Accordingly, Davout seized Hamburg and prepared to defend it against the Allies. In September 1813, one brigade was defeated at the Battle of the Göhrde by the Allies. After Emperor Napoleon's decisive defeat at the Battle of Leipzig in October, the XIII Corps became isolated in Hamburg. An Allied army under Levin August, Count von Bennigsen initiated the Siege of Hamburg in December. Under Davout's leadership, the corps repelled three attacks in February 1814 and a fourth attack in April. Davout was only persuaded to surrender in mid-May by direct orders from the new French government after Napoleon abdicated. Thanks to the iron discipline of Davout, the behavior of the XIII Corps soldiers toward the citizens of Hamburg was exemplary, compared to the usual rough treatment non-combatants often received from French soldiers of the era.

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.

Charles Claude Jacquinot French politician and officer

Charles Claude Jacquinot commanded a French cavalry division at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815. He joined a volunteer battalion in 1791 and transferred to a light cavalry regiment as a junior officer in 1793. He earned promotion to squadron commander and was acting commander of his regiment at Hohenlinden in 1800. After serving in a staff position at Austerlitz in 1805, he led a light cavalry regiment at Jena in 1806. Promoted to general of brigade he led his horsemen at Abensberg, Raab and Wagram in 1809. During the French invasion of Russia he fought at Ostrovno, Smolensk and Borodino in 1812. During the 1813 German Campaign he led a cavalry brigade at Dennewitz and Leipzig. After being appointed general of division he fought at Second Bar-sur-Aube and Saint-Dizier in 1814. During the Hundred Days he rallied to Napoleon and led a light cavalry division in the Waterloo campaign. After 15 years of inactivity, he was restored to favor in the 1830s. Thereafter he held a number of commands and was appointed to the Chamber of Peers. His surname is one of the names inscribed under the Arc de Triomphe, on Column 20.

Pierre Decouz French soldier and officer

Pierre Decouz became a French division commander during the later Napoleonic Wars. He was born in the Kingdom of Sardinia but after the region was annexed to France, he joined a volunteer battalion in 1793. He fought in Italy during the War of the First Coalition. He participated in the French campaign in Egypt and Syria, fighting at the Pyramids, Acre and Abukir. After distinguishing himself at Austerlitz in 1805, he was promoted to command an infantry regiment. In 1806–1807 he led his regiment at Auerstädt, Pultusk and Eylau. In 1809 he fought at Eckmühl, Ratisbon and Wagram, winning promotion to general of brigade. After leading an Imperial Guard brigade at Lützen and Bautzen in 1813, he was promoted general of division. He commanded a Young Guard division at Dresden and Leipzig. Still leading a Young Guard division, he was fatally wounded at the Battle of Brienne and died three weeks later. His surname is one of the names inscribed under the Arc de Triomphe, on Column 17.

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