Convention of Tauroggen

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Signatures of General Ludwig Yorck and General Hans Karl von Diebitsch under the Tauroggen Convention of December 30, 1812. Konvention-Tauroggen.jpg
Signatures of General Ludwig Yorck and General Hans Karl von Diebitsch under the Tauroggen Convention of December 30, 1812.

The Convention of Tauroggen was an armistice signed 30 December 1812 at Tauroggen (now Tauragė, Lithuania) between General Ludwig Yorck on behalf of his Prussian troops and General Hans Karl von Diebitsch of the Imperial Russian Army. Yorck's act is traditionally considered a turning point of Prussian history, triggering an insurgency against Napoleon in the Rheinbund . At the time of the armistice, Tauroggen was situated in Russia, 40 kilometres (25 mi) east of the Prussian border. [1]

Armistice situation in a war where the warring parties agree to stop fighting

An armistice is a formal agreement of warring parties to stop fighting. It is not necessarily the end of a war, since it may constitute only a cessation of hostilities while an attempt is made to negotiate a lasting peace. It is derived from the Latin arma, meaning "arms" and -stitium, meaning "a stopping".

Tauragė City in Samogitia, Lithuania

Tauragė is an industrial city in Lithuania, and the capital of Tauragė County. In 2011, its population was 26,444. Tauragė is situated on the Jūra River, close to the border with the Kaliningrad Oblast, and not far from the Baltic Sea coast.

Lithuania republic in Northeastern Europe

Lithuania, officially the Republic of Lithuania, is a country in the Baltic region of Europe. Lithuania is considered to be one of the Baltic states. It is situated along the southeastern shore of the Baltic Sea, to the east of Sweden and Denmark. It is bordered by Latvia to the north, Belarus to the east and south, Poland to the south, and Kaliningrad Oblast to the southwest. Lithuania has an estimated population of 2.8 million people as of 2019, and its capital and largest city is Vilnius. Other major cities are Kaunas and Klaipėda. Lithuanians are Baltic people. The official language, Lithuanian, along with Latvian, is one of only two living languages in the Baltic branch of the Indo-European language family.

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According to the Treaty of Paris, Prussia had to support Napoleon's invasion of Russia. This resulted in some Prussians leaving their army to avoid serving the French, among them Carl von Clausewitz, who joined Russian service. Between October and December, Yorck received numerous Russian requests to switch sides. He forwarded these to Berlin, but received no instructions. [1]

The Treaty of Paris of 5 March 1812 between Napoleon I of France and Frederick William III of Prussia established a Franco-Prussian alliance directed against Russia. On 24 June, Prussia joined the French invasion of Russia. The unpopular alliance broke down when the Prussian contingent in French service signed a separate armistice, the Convention of Tauroggen, with Russia on 30 December 1812. On 17 March 1813, Frederick William declared war on France and issued his famous proclamation "To My People".

French invasion of Russia Napoleon Bonapartes attempted conquest of the Russian Empire

The French invasion of Russia, known in Russia as the Patriotic War of 1812 and in France as the Russian Campaign, began on 24 June 1812 when Napoleon's Grande Armée crossed the Neman River in an attempt to engage and defeat the Russian army. Napoleon hoped to compel Tsar Alexander I of Russia to cease trading with British merchants through proxies in an effort to pressure the United Kingdom to sue for peace. The official political aim of the campaign was to liberate Poland from the threat of Russia. Napoleon named the campaign the Second Polish War to gain favor with the Poles and provide a political pretext for his actions.

Carl von Clausewitz German-Prussian soldier and military theorist

Carl Philipp Gottfriedvon Clausewitz was a Prussian general and military theorist who stressed the "moral" and political aspects of war. His most notable work, Vom Kriege, was unfinished at his death. Clausewitz was a realist in many different senses and, while in some respects a romantic, also drew heavily on the rationalist ideas of the European Enlightenment.

When Yorck's immediate French superior, Marshal Jacques MacDonald, retreated before the corps of Diebitsch, Yorck found himself isolated and eventually surrounded. [1] As a soldier his duty was to break through, but as a Prussian patriot his position was more difficult. He had to judge whether the moment was favorable for starting a war of liberation; and, whatever might be the enthusiasm of his junior staff-officers, Yorck had no illusions as to the safety of his own head, and negotiated with Clausewitz. While negotiations were ongoing at Tauroggen on 26 December, Yorck sent the king's adjutant, Major Wilhelm Henckel von Donnersmarck, back to Berlin via Königsberg, there to inform General Friedrich Wilhelm von Bülow about the impending Russian truce. On 29 December, Donnersmarck told Bülow that Yorck had separated his forces from the French and that an agreement with Russia was at hand; the French should be treated as enemies. In fact, the French headquarters were at Königsberg. The French commander, Joachim Murat, informed Bülow of Yorck's treason on 1 January. Later that day a letter arrived by messenger from Yorck himself. [1]

Wilhelm Ludwig Viktor Henckel von Donnersmarck Prussian officer

Lieutenant-General Wilhelm Ludwig Viktor, Graf Henckel von Donnersmarck was a Prussian officer who fought in the Napoleonic Wars.

Königsberg capital city in Prussia

Königsberg is the name for a former German city that is now Kaliningrad, Russia. Originally a Sambian or Old Prussian city, it later belonged to the State of the Teutonic Order, the Duchy of Prussia, the Kingdom of Prussia, the German Empire, the Weimar Republic and Nazi Germany until 1945. After being largely destroyed in World War II by Allied bombing and Soviet forces and annexed by the Soviet Union thereafter, the city was renamed Kaliningrad. Few traces of the former Königsberg remain today.

Friedrich Wilhelm Freiherr von Bülow Prussian general of the Napoleonic Wars

Friedrich Wilhelm Freiherr von Bülow, Graf von Dennewitz was a Prussian general of the Napoleonic Wars.

The Convention of Tauroggen, signed by Diebitsch and Yorck, "neutralized" the Prussian corps without consent of their king. [1] It also left the East Prussian border completely undefended. [1] The news was received with the wildest enthusiasm in Prussia, but the Prussian court dared not yet throw off the mask, and an order was dispatched suspending Yorck from his command pending a court-martial. Diebitsch refused to let the bearer pass through his lines, and the general was finally absolved when the Treaty of Kalisz definitely ranged Prussia on the side of the Allies.

The Treaty of Kalisz was signed in Kalisz on 28 February 1813, between Russia and Prussia against Napoleon I. It marked the final changeover of Prussia onto the side against Napoleon.

Between 1 January, when Murat moved his headquarters west to Elbing, and 3 January, when Marshal MacDonald, Yorck's superior, arrived in Königsberg, Bülow worked feverishly to move his supplies to Graudenz and about 5,000 men to Kreuzberg, where he arrived on 2 January. On 9 January he retreated west across the Vistula, ceding East Prussia to the retreating French and advancing Russians. [1] On 5 January, Yorck had sent his last messenger to Berlin. On 8 January, he arrived at Königsberg with the Russian general Ludwig Adolf von Wittgenstein. Yorck reaffirmed his commitment to the armistice, but refused Wittgenstein's demand that he fight the French. That day, however, the king's messengers arrived to dismiss Yorck from his command and repudiate his armistice. Yorck refused and in a letter to Bülow on 13 January, he questioned if he had "sunk so deep that he fears to break the chains of slavery, the chains that we have meekly carried for five years?" He declared it "the time to regain our freedom and honour" and protested that he was "a true Prussian". [1]

Kreuzberg Quarter of Berlin in Germany

Kreuzberg, a part of the combined Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg borough located south of Mitte since 2001, is an area of Berlin, Germany. Kreuzberg is often described as consisting of two distinctive parts: the SO 36, home to many immigrants; and SW 61, roughly coterminous with the old postal codes for the two areas in West Berlin. Kreuzberg has emerged from its history as one of the poorest quarters in Berlin in the late 1970s, during which it was an isolated section of West Berlin to one of Berlin's cultural centers in the middle of the now reunified city, known around the world for its alternative scene and counterculture.

See also

Notes

  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Leggiere, Michael V. (2002). Napoleon and Berlin: The Franco-Prussian War in North Germany, 1813. University of Oklahoma Press. pp. 32–37.
Rundfunk Berlin-Brandenburg public service broadcaster in Germany

Rundfunk Berlin-Brandenburg (rbb) is an institution under public law for the German states of Berlin and Brandenburg, situated in Berlin and Potsdam. rbb was established on 1 May 2003 through the merger of Sender Freies Berlin (SFB) and Ostdeutscher Rundfunk Brandenburg (ORB), based in Potsdam, and is a member of the Association of PSBs in the Federal Republic of Germany (ARD).

University of Cologne university in Germany

The University of Cologne is a university in Cologne, Germany. It was the sixth university to be established in Central Europe and, although it closed in 1798 before being re-established in 1919, it is now one of the largest universities in Germany with more than 48,000 students. The University of Cologne is a German Excellence University, and as of 2017 it ranks 145th globally according to Times Higher Education'.'

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