IV Corps (Grande Armée)

Last updated
IV Corps (Grande Armée)
Active 18051815
Country Flag of France.svg First French Empire
Branch Army
Type Army Corps
Size Three or four infantry divisions, cavalry, artillery
Engagements Napoleonic Wars
Commanders
Notable
commanders
Nicolas Soult
François Joseph Lefebvre
Horace François Sébastiani
André Masséna
Eugène de Beauharnais
Henri Gatien Bertrand
Étienne Maurice Gérard

The IV Corps of the Grande Armée was a military unit during the Napoleonic Wars. It consisted several different units and commanders.

The Grande Armée was the army commanded by Napoleon I during the Napoleonic Wars. From 1805 to 1809, the Grande Armée scored a series of historic victories that gave the French Empire an unprecedented grip on power over the European continent. Widely acknowledged to be one of the greatest fighting forces ever assembled, it suffered terrible losses during the French invasion of Russia in 1812 and never recovered its tactical superiority after that campaign.

Napoleonic Wars Series of early 19th century European wars

The Napoleonic Wars (1803–1815) were a series of major conflicts pitting the French Empire and its allies, led by Napoleon I, against a fluctuating array of European powers formed into various coalitions, financed and usually led by the United Kingdom. The wars stemmed from the unresolved disputes associated with the French Revolution and its resultant conflict. The wars are often categorised into five conflicts, each termed after the coalition that fought Napoleon: the Third Coalition (1805), the Fourth (1806–07), the Fifth (1809), the Sixth (1813), and the Seventh (1815).

Contents

Under Soult

Marshal Nicolas Soult took command of IV Corps in 1805. [1]

IV Corps formed part of the extended center of the French line at the Battle of Austerlitz in December 1805. [2] On the 2nd, Napoleon ordered Soult to attack the Pratzen Heights, from which the Allies had been attacking the French right wing. Repeated attacks from the Russians under General Kutusov almost collapsed IV Corps' line, but aid from Bernadotte's I Corps allowed the French to maintain their control of the Heights. The survivors then moved south and enveloped Buxhowden's column, sending the Allies into a retreat. [3]

Battle of Austerlitz A battle of the Napoleonic Wars

The Battle of Austerlitz, also known as the Battle of the Three Emperors, was one of the most important and decisive engagements of the Napoleonic Wars. In what is widely regarded as the greatest victory achieved by Napoleon, the Grande Armée of France defeated a larger Russian and Austrian army led by Emperor Alexander I and Holy Roman Emperor Francis II. The battle occurred near the town of Austerlitz in the Austrian Empire. Austerlitz brought the War of the Third Coalition to a rapid end, with the Treaty of Pressburg signed by the Austrians later in the month. The battle is often cited as a tactical masterpiece, in the same league as other historic engagements like Cannae or Gaugamela.

Charles XIV John of Sweden King of Sweden and Norway between 1818-1844. Prince of Ponte Corvo 1806-1810 and French field marshal

Charles XIV John or Carl John, was King of Sweden and King of Norway from 1818 until his death, and served as de facto regent and head of state from 1810 to 1818. He was also the Sovereign Prince of Pontecorvo, in south-central Italy, from 1806 until 1810.

The I Corps of the Grande Armée was a military unit that existed during the Napoleonic Wars. The corps was composed of troops in Imperial French service.

IV Corps formed the right wing of the French line at the Battle of Jena in October 1806. [1] [4] At Eylau in February 1807, IV Corps was beaten back by the Russian army under Generals Tutchkov and Dokhturov. [5]

Battle of Eylau battle

The Battle of Eylau or Battle of Preussisch-Eylau, 7 and 8 February 1807, was a bloody and inconclusive battle between Napoleon's Grande Armée and the Imperial Russian Army under the command of Levin August von Bennigsen near the town of Preussisch Eylau in East Prussia. Late in the battle, the Russians received timely reinforcements from a Prussian division of von L'Estocq. After 1945 the town was renamed Bagrationovsk as a part of Kaliningrad Oblast, Russia. The engagement was fought during the War of the Fourth Coalition, part of the Napoleonic Wars. Of all Napoleonic battles, this is considered to be the most uncertain and mysterious for several reasons—mainly the strength of Murat's reserve cavalry.

Dmitry Dokhturov Russian military commander

Dmitry Sergeyevich Dokhturov was a Russian Infantry General and a prominent military leader during the Patriotic War of 1812.

In 1808 Soult was transferred to Spain, where he took command of II Corps in the Peninsular War. [1]

II Corps (Grande Armée) military unit of the Grande Armée

The II Corps of the Grande Armée was a military unit that existed during the Napoleonic Wars.

Peninsular War War by Spain, Portugal and the United Kingdom against the French Empire (1807–1814)

The Peninsular War (1807–1814) was a military conflict between Napoleon's empire and Bourbon Spain, for control of the Iberian Peninsula during the Napoleonic Wars. The war began when the French and Spanish armies invaded and occupied Portugal in 1807, and escalated in 1808 when France turned on Spain, previously its ally. The war on the peninsula lasted until the Sixth Coalition defeated Napoleon in 1814, and is regarded as one of the first wars of national liberation, significant for the emergence of large-scale guerrilla warfare.

Danube Campaign in 1809

When Austrian went to war in 1809 many French units nominally belonged to IV Corps were not concentrated yet. It were detached under command Marshals Bessières and Massena and took part in battles of Landshut, Neumarkt and Ebelsberg. Later reorganised IV Corps under Massena fought in Battles of Aspern-Esling and Wagram.

Invasion of Russia in 1812

The IV Corps consisted mainly of the Army of the Kingdom of Italy (Napoleonic) during the 1812 invasion of Russia. It was commanded by Napoleon's stepson Eugène de Beauharnais. The IV Corps most notably participated in the Battle of Borodino, [6] where it formed the left wing of the French line. Later it also fought hard at Malojaroslavec and Viazma. The IV Corps suffered heavy casualties during winter retreat.

Kingdom of Italy (Napoleonic) kingdom on the Apennine Peninsula between 1805 and 1814

The Kingdom of Italy was a kingdom in Northern Italy in personal union with France under Napoleon I. It was fully influenced by revolutionary France and ended with his defeat and fall. Its governance was conducted by Napoleon and his step-son and viceroy Eugène de Beauharnais.

Eugène de Beauharnais French general and adoptive son of Napoleon I

Eugène Rose de Beauharnais, Duke of Leuchtenberg was the first child and only son of Alexandre de Beauharnais and Joséphine Tascher de la Pagerie, first wife of Napoleon I.

Battle of Borodino battle of the French invasion of Russia during the Napoleonic Wars

The Battle of Borodino was a battle fought on 7 September 1812 in the Napoleonic Wars during the French invasion of Russia.

Notes

  1. 1 2 3 Chandler, 417.
  2. Chandler, 31.
  3. Chandler, 35.
  4. Chandler, 215.
  5. Chandler, 146
  6. Badone, Jean Cerino; et al. "Battle of Borodino, 1812 - Armies. "French and Russian Orders of Battle"" . Retrieved 2007-08-16.

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