Napoleon and the Struggle for Germany: The Franco-Prussian by Michael V. Leggiere

By Michael V. Leggiere

This is often the 1st finished historical past of the crusade that decided keep watch over of Germany following Napoleon's catastrophic defeat in Russia. Michael V. Leggiere unearths how, within the spring of 1813, Prussia, the weakest of the good powers, led the fight opposed to Napoleon as a struggle of nationwide liberation. utilizing German, French, British, Russian, Austrian and Swedish resources, he offers a wide ranging background that covers the entire sweep of the conflict for Germany from the mobilization of the belligerents, procedure, and operations to coalition battle, international relations, and civil-military family. He indicates how Russian warfare weariness conflicted with Prussian impetuosity, leading to the hindrance that just about ended the 6th Coalition in early June. in one crusade, Napoleon drove the Russo-Prussian military from the banks of the Saale to the banks of the Oder. The Russo-Prussian alliance used to be perilously with regards to imploding, simply to be kept on the eleventh-hour by way of an armistice.

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Extra resources for Napoleon and the Struggle for Germany: The Franco-Prussian War of 1813. Vol. 1: The War of Liberation Spring 1813

Sample text

Tilsit’s draconian terms reduced the Prussian state to a listless rump: Frederick William lost half his kingdom. Although Alexander intervened to save Silesia and Pomerania, fewer than five million subjects remained from Prussia’s pre-war population of 9,752,731 inhabitants, while the state’s territorial extent of 5,570 square miles had shrunk to 2,877. Napoleon awarded the provinces of New East Prussia and South Prussia to the new Grand Duchy of Warsaw; Danzig on the Baltic Sea became a free city under French authority.

Fearing harsher terms if he did not agree, William signed the Treaty of Paris on 8 September 1808. The best-known article of the treaty limited the size of the Prussian army to 42,000 men for a period of ten years, effective 1 January 1809. According to the specific terms, the Prussian army would consist of 10 infantry regiments totaling no more than 22,000 men; 8 regiments or 32 squadrons of cavalry not surpassing 8,000 troopers; a corps of gunners, miners, and sappers totaling no more than 6,000 men; and a royal guard of infantry, cavalry, and artillery that did not exceed 6,000 men.

Based on German, French, Russian, British, and private archival documents, this book, written from the Coalition’s perspective, describes how Napoleon defended his empire against the new coalition that had formed in the wake of his disastrous defeat in Russia. After losing some 500,000 soldiers between June and December 1812, Napoleon miraculously assembled a new army of 200,000 men by April 1813 for a campaign in Germany. While fighting continued in Spain and Italy, Napoleon realized that the fate of his empire depended on his ability to maintain control of Germany.

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