1813 - Leipzig: Napoleon and the Battle of the Nations

1813 - Leipzig: Napoleon and the Battle of the Nations

by Digby Smith


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The crucial three-day battle of Leipzig, known to posterity as the Battle of the Nations, was the biggest battle of the Napoleonic Wars. It was also one of Napoleon's worst defeats - Leipzig sealed the fate of Napoleon's empire. Now, in this superbly narrated account of the battle, Digby Smith describes the events of 16, 17, 18 and 19 October 1813, and stresses both the significance of the battle and the brutality of the fighting. At the height of the battle Napoleon fielded more than 200,000 men against an Allied force - which included contingents from Russia, Austria, Prussia and Sweden - of some 360,000 soldiers. Cornered against the River Estler, Napoleon, outnumbered and suffering heavily from the fire of 1,400 Allied guns, was soundly defeated, had to relinquish control of Germany and was forced back into France. Digby Smith's evocative account of Leipzig concentrates on the ferocious fighting, charts the fortunes of the three day struggle and underlines the incredible human cost of the battle. Using a wealth of first-hand accounts, many of them previously unpublished in English, he brings the dramatic struggle to life and demonstrates just what it was like for the average French, German, Russian, Prussian, Austrian or Swedish soldier to take part in the Battle of the Nations.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781853674358
Publisher: Greenhill Books/Lionel Leventhal, Limited
Publication date: 02/28/2006
Edition description: First
Pages: 352
Product dimensions: 6.38(w) x 9.50(h) x 1.18(d)

About the Author

Digby Smith, also known to Napoleonic enthusiasts as Otto von Pivka, is a highly respected scholar of this period and author of numerous books including the major reference works The Greenhill Napoleonic Wars Data Book and Napoleon's Regiments: Battle Histories of the Regiments of the French Army, 1792-1815.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations and Maps7
Chapter 1The road to Leipzig11
The effects of the Russian Campaign
The Trachenberg plan
The end of the armistice
Chapter 2The protagonists28
The French Army
The Austrian Army
The Prussian Army
The Russian Army
The Swedish Army
Schwarzenberg's problems
Chapter 3Prelude to battle43
The enemies close up
Thursday 14 October: Liebertwolkwitz
Chapter 4Friday 15 October61
Napoleon's plans
The Allies' plans
Chapter 5Saturday 16 October68
The opposing deployments
Connewitz and Dolitz
Markkleeberg, the first phase
Markkleeberg, the second phase
Prince Gortschakoff's 2nd Column
The attack on Guldengossa
Markkleeberg: the arrival of the Austrian reserves
The Kolmberg
The action at Lindenau
The battle of Mockern
The Russians at Wiederitzsch
The end of the day
Chapter 6Sunday 17 October160
Chapter 7Monday 18 October174
The battle for Leipzig
The Allied plan
The 1st Column
The 2nd Column at Probstheida
The 3rd Column at Zuckelhausen
The actions of the Army of the North
The 4th Column: Langeron's Corps at Schonefeld
The 5th Column: the Halle Gate
The 6th Column: Gyulai at Lindenau
The defection of the 24th Saxon Division
The defection of the Wurttemberg cavalry
Bennigsen's eastern sector, late afternoon
Chapter 8Tuesday 19 October244
The assault on the Halle Gate
The assault on the Hintertor
The Army of the North at the Outer Grimma Gate
The capture of the Grimma suburb
The storming of the inner city
The last fight on the Fleischerplatz
The destruction of the Elster Bridge
The fate of Napoleon's German allies
The Allied victory
The costs of the battle
AList of abbreviations302
BThe French order of battle at Leipzig305
COrder of battle of the Army of Bohemia323
DOrder of battle of the Army of Silesia332
EOrder of battle of the Army of the North338
FOrder of battle of the Reserve Army of Poland342
GOverview of the combined Allied armies343
HLosses of Klenau's IV (Austrian) Corps at Liebertwolkwitz on 14 October344

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