Battle of Brienne


Battle of Brienne

Infobox Military Conflict
conflict=Battle of Brienne
partof=the War of the Sixth Coalition


caption=Napoleon was nearly taken by the Cossacks after the Battle at Brienne, but was saved by French general Gourgaud.
date=January 29, 1814
place=Brienne-le-Château
casus=
territory=
result=French Victory
combatant1=flagicon|France French Empire
combatant2=flagicon|Prussia|1803 Prussia flagicon|Russia Russia
commander1=Napoleon Bonaparte
commander2=flagicon|Prussia|1803 General Blücher
strength1=c. 30,000
strength2=25,000
casualties1=3,000 Killed or wounded
casualties2=4,000 Killed or wounded
casualties3=
notes=

The Napoleonic War Battle of Brienne followed on the heels of reverses suffered by the French in both 1812, which had gutted the strength of the French and the scrambles of 1813 where they fought to hold things together against the Sixth Coalition, which had intentions of deposing Napoleon, dissolving the First French Empire and restoring the Bourbon monarchy to France. It was fought on January 29, 1814, and resulted in a French victory under Napoleon Bonaparte against the Russians and Prussians under General Blücher. [citebook|title=The Napoleonic Wars: The Fall of the French Empire 1813-1815|author=Gregory Fremont-Barnes|year= 2002|publisher=Osprey Publishing|id=ISBN 1841764310]

Prelude

The battle took place near Brienne-le-Château, where Napoleon had studied in his early years.As the Allies advanced on France from three different directions, Napoleon Bonaparte planned to attack and defeat each in turn.

The first battle of the Campaign for France came at Bonaparte's old stomping ground, Brienne, where he went to school. His first target was the spread-out force of some 25,000 Prussians under Field Marshal Blucher. To battle his old adversary, Bonaparte had 30,000 troops, but most of these were just out of the recruiting camps and had no wartime experience.

The battle

The French emperor began the clash by pinning the enemy down while he organised a flanking attack. Marshal Grouchy's cavalry and horse artillery kept the Prussians occupied as marshals Ney and Victor secured both the town of Brienne and its chateau. During the heavy fighting Bonaparte was almost taken by Russian cossacks, and both Blucher and his second-in-command August von Gneisenau only just managed to elude French troops.

Withdrawing to reorganise, Blucher left behind some 4000 casualties to France's 3000.

Trivia

The "Brienner Straße" (Brienne Street) in the Bavarian capital Munich is named after the battle to commemorate the Bavarian contribution in the battle.

References

External links

* [http://homepages.paradise.net.nz/mcnelly/vb/scenarios/brienne.htm Description of the battle]


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