- Battle of Kulm
Infobox Military Conflict
conflict=Battle of Kulm
caption=Battle of Kulm
War of the Sixth Coalition
August 30, 1813
First French Empire
Russian Empireflagicon|Prussia|1803 Kingdom of Prussiaflagicon|Austria|empire Austria
Dominique VandammePOW flagicon|France Laurent Gouvion Saint-Cyrflagicon|France Auguste Marmont
Barclay de Tollyflagicon|Russia Peter Wittgensteinflagicon|Russia Alexander Ostermann-Tolstoy flagicon|Prussia|1803 Friedrich von Kleist
casualties1=5,000 killed or wounded,
The Battle of Kulm was a
battlenear the town Kulm (Chlumec) and the village Přestanovin northern Bohemia. It was fought on August 30 1813, during the War of the Sixth Coalition. 32,000 French troops under Dominique Vandammeattacked an army of 54,000 Austrians, Russians, and Prussians under Barclay de Tolly, but were defeated with heavy losses on both sides.
Following the French victory at Dresden, Vandamme pursued the retreating allies.
Napoleon I of Francesent Marshals Gouvion Saint Cyr and Auguste Marmontto support Vandamme's corps. With Vandamme in advance, Saint Cyr's and Marmont's corps brought up the rear. Vandamme caught up with Alexander Ivanovich Ostermann-Tolstoy's forces near the town of Kulm, eight kilometres northwest of Aussig (Ústí nad Labem) (now in the Czech Republic).
At 6:00, Vandamme attacked Russian formations under the command of
Peter Wittgenstein, capturing Russian troops and artillery. Vandamme then crossed the Ore Mountains and at about 12:00 attacked Austrian troops located in Kulm. Initially, the Austrians were forced to withdraw to Teplitz (Teplice). However, Prussian corps commanded by Friedrich von Kleist attacked Vandamme's rear guard. Kleist then received help from a combined Russian and Austrian attack on Vandamme's front, under the command of General Ostermann-Tolstoy. In an attempt to repulse simultaneous attacks on his front and rear, Vandamme ordered his forces to form squadrons. The inexperienced French troops were unable to fend off the allies, and soon withdrew from the battlefield, with heavy losses.
The French lost about 5,000 soldiers killed or wounded. Between 7,000 and 13,000 French soldiers were taken prisoner, including Vandamme. The allies lost approximately 11,000 soldiers killed or wounded.
In Vandamme's corps there were two Polish regiments of
Uhlans, part of cavalry divisions under the command of general Jean Corbineau. These regiments were used by Vandamme to defend against enemy cavalry charges. One regiment, commanded by Colonel Maximilian Fredro(brother of playwright Alexander Fredro), was attacked after withdrawal in defile and surrendered. The other regiment of Uhlans, under command of count Tomasz Łubieński(generally known in English as Thomas Lubienski) successfully withdrew.
After the battle, Vandamme was accused by Tsar
Alexander I of Russiaof being a brigand and plunderer. He retorted, "I am neither a plunderer nor a brigand but in any case, my contemporaries and history will not reproach me for having soaked my hands in the blood of my father." This statement apparently hinted at the widespread belief that Alexander I was implicated in the murder of his father, Tsar Paul I.
* Jadwiga Nadzieja "Lipsk 1813" historical battles serie published in Warsaw by Bellona 1998 ISBN 83-11-08826-8 pages 57-59
* [http://www.napoleonguide.com/battle_kulm.htm Battle of Kulm]
* [http://www.Peterswald.org/geschichte/Pete_rovigo.html Memoirs] of the Duke Rovigo
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