War of the Sixth Coalition

Battle of Château-Thierry
Édouard Mortier ©Image Attribution forthcoming. Image belongs to the respective owner(s).
1814 Feb 12

Battle of Château-Thierry

Château-Thierry, France

The Battle of Château-Thierry (12 February 1814) saw the Imperial French army commanded by Emperor Napoleon attempt to destroy a Prussian corps led by Ludwig Yorck von Wartenburg and an Imperial Russian corps under Fabian Wilhelm von Osten-Sacken. The two Allied corps managed to escape across the Marne River, but suffered considerably heavier losses than the pursuing French. This action occurred during the Six Days' Campaign, a series of victories that Napoleon won over Prussian Field Marshal Gebhard Leberecht von Blücher's Army of Silesia. Château-Thierry lies about 75 kilometres (47 mi) northeast of Paris.


After defeating Napoleon in the Battle of La Rothière, Blücher's army separated from the main Allied army of Austrian Field Marshal Karl Philipp, Prince of Schwarzenberg. Blücher's troops marched northwest and followed the Marne valley in a thrust toward Paris while Schwarzenberg's army moved west through Troyes. Leaving part of his badly outnumbered army to watch Schwarzenberg's slow advance, Napoleon moved north against Blücher. Catching the Silesian Army badly strung out, Napoleon demolished Zakhar Dmitrievich Olsufiev's Russian corps in the Battle of Champaubert on 10 February. Turning west, the French emperor defeated Sacken and Yorck in the hard-fought Battle of Montmirail on the following day. As the Allies scrambled north toward Château-Thierry's bridge across the Marne, Napoleon launched his army in hot pursuit but failed to annihilate Yorck and Sacken. Napoleon soon found that Blücher was advancing to attack him with two more corps and the Battle of Vauchamps was fought on 14 February.


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