1813 - Leipzig: Napoleon and the Battle of the Nations

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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 ...
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Overview

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 Using a wealth of first-hand accounts, many of them previously unpublished in English, he brings the dramatic struggle to life and demonstrates just what it was like for the average French, German, Russian, Prussian, Austrian or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.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781853674358
  • Publisher: Greenhill Books/Lionel Leventhal, Limited
  • Publication date: 2/28/2006
  • Edition description: First
  • Pages: 352
  • Product dimensions: 6.38 (w) x 9.50 (h) x 1.18 (d)

Meet 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.

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations and Maps 7
Acknowledgements 9
Introduction 10
Chapter 1 The road to Leipzig 11
The effects of the Russian Campaign
The Trachenberg plan
The end of the armistice
Chapter 2 The protagonists 28
The French Army
The Austrian Army
The Prussian Army
The Russian Army
The Swedish Army
Schwarzenberg's problems
Chapter 3 Prelude to battle 43
The enemies close up
Thursday 14 October: Liebertwolkwitz
Chapter 4 Friday 15 October 61
Napoleon's plans
The Allies' plans
Chapter 5 Saturday 16 October 68
The opposing deployments
Connewitz and Dolitz
Markkleeberg, the first phase
Markkleeberg, the second phase
Wachau
Prince Gortschakoff's 2nd Column
The attack on Guldengossa
Markkleeberg: the arrival of the Austrian reserves
The Kolmberg
Seifertshain
Liebertwolkwitz
The action at Lindenau
The battle of Mockern
The Russians at Wiederitzsch
The end of the day
Chapter 6 Sunday 17 October 160
Chapter 7 Monday 18 October 174
The battle for Leipzig
The Allied plan
The 1st Column
The 2nd Column at Probstheida
The 3rd Column at Zuckelhausen
Zuckelhausen
Holzhausen
Paunsdorf
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 8 Tuesday 19 October 244
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
Appendices
A List of abbreviations 302
B The French order of battle at Leipzig 305
C Order of battle of the Army of Bohemia 323
D Order of battle of the Army of Silesia 332
E Order of battle of the Army of the North 338
F Order of battle of the Reserve Army of Poland 342
G Overview of the combined Allied armies 343
H Losses of Klenau's IV (Austrian) Corps at Liebertwolkwitz on 14 October 344
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