Siege of Magdeburg (1806)

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Siege of Magdeburg
Part of The War of the Fourth Coalition
Fotothek df rp-a 0300031 Magdeburg. Stande der Schiffsmuhlen vor 1806, aus- Geschichtsblatter fur Stadt u.jpg
A map of the fortified city of Magdeburg in 1806.
Date25 October – 8 November 1806
Location Magdeburg, Kingdom of Prussia
Result

French victory:

  • surrender of the Prussian garrison,
  • capture of Prussia's second-largest city on 11 November 1806.
Belligerents
Flag of France.svg First French Empire Flag of the Kingdom of Prussia (1803-1892).svg Kingdom of Prussia
Commanders and leaders
Flag of France.svg Michel Ney Flag of the Kingdom of Prussia (1803-1892).svg Franz von Kleist
Strength
18,000 [1] -25,000 men [2] 24,000 [2] -25,000 men [1]
700 artillery pieces [2]
Casualties and losses
unknown entire garrison [1] and 20 generals P.o.W. [2]
54 flags, 700 artillery captured [2]

The siege of Magdeburg (French: Siège de Magdebourg) was a siege of the city that took place from 25 October to 8 November 1806 during the war of the Fourth Coalition. A French force, initially under the command of Marshal Grand Duke of Berg Joachim Murat, then a French army Corps under the command of Marshal Michel Ney laid siege and eventually obtained the surrender of Franz Kasimir von Kleist's Prussian force that had taken refuge in Magdeburg, [1] Prussia's second city. [2]

Siege military blockade of a city or fortress

A siege is a military blockade of a city, or fortress, with the intent of conquering by attrition, or a well-prepared assault. This derives from Latin: sedere, lit. 'to sit'. Siege warfare is a form of constant, low-intensity conflict characterized by one party holding a strong, static, defensive position. Consequently, an opportunity for negotiation between combatants is not uncommon, as proximity and fluctuating advantage can encourage diplomacy. The art of conducting and resisting sieges is called siege warfare, siegecraft, or poliorcetics.

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.

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.

After the twin battles of Jena and Auerstaedt, the victorious Grande Armée pursued the remains of the Prussian army, a part of which was under the command of Prince Hohenlohe, who directed it towards the fortified city of Magdeburg. Commanding the French force, Marshal Murat requested Hohenlohe's surrender, which the Prince refused, managing to escape the besieged fortress. Command was delegated to General of Infantry Kleist, who still had a numerous garrison of 25,000 men. While the French force initially outnumbered the defenders, Emperor Napoleon I recalled the Army Corps of Marshal Jean-de-Dieu Soult, leaving Marshal Ney and his 18,000 men Corps to besiege the city. [1] Occupying both banks of the Elbe, [2] Ney did not display sufficient vigor during the siege, with military action reduced to a mere series of skirmishes and a timid sortie attempt by Kleist, on 4 November. [1] Despite Kleist's initial attempt to bolster the fading morale of his troops by declaring that he would surrender Magdeburg to the enemy only when his handkerchief would ignite in his pocket, [2] faced with the prospect of a full-scale bombardment, the Prussians decided to open negotiations and an armistice was concluded on November 7, with the garrison capitulating the next day and evacuating the fortress on 11 November as prisoners of war. [1]

The Grande Armée was the army commanded by Napoleon 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.

Frederick Louis, Prince of Hohenlohe-Ingelfingen German general

Frederick Louis, Prince of Hohenlohe-Ingelfingen was a Prussian general.

General of the Infantry (Germany) military rank of a General officer in the German infantry

General of the Infantry is a former rank of German Ground forces. Present it is an appointment or position to an OF-6 rank officer, responsible for particular affairs of training and equipment of the Bundeswehr infantry.

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References

  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Tulard, p. 241.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Pigeard, p. 508.

Sources

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