War of the Sixth Coalition

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1813 Oct 16 - Oct 12

Battle of Leipzig

Leipzig, Germany

Napoleon withdrew with around 175,000 troops to Leipzig in Saxony where he thought he could fight a defensive action against the Allied armies converging on him. There, at the so-called Battle of Nations (16–19 October 1813) a French army, ultimately reinforced to 191,000, found itself faced by three Allied armies converging on it, ultimately totalling more than 430,000 troops. Over the following days the battle resulted in a defeat for Napoleon, who however was still able to manage a relatively orderly retreat westwards. However, as the French forces were pulling across the White Elster, the bridge was prematurely blown and 30,000 troops were stranded to be taken prisoner by the Allied forces.


The Coalition armies of Austria, Prussia, Sweden, and Russia, led by Tsar Alexander I and Karl von Schwarzenberg, decisively defeated the Grande Armée of French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte. Napoleon's army also contained Polish and Italian troops, as well as Germans from the Confederation of the Rhine (mainly Saxony and Württemberg). The battle was the culmination of the German Campaign of 1813 and involved 560,000 soldiers, 2,200 artillery pieces, the expenditure of 400,000 rounds of artillery ammunition, and 133,000 casualties, making it the largest battle in Europe prior to World War I.


Decisively defeated again, Napoleon was compelled to return to France while the Sixth Coalition kept up its momentum, dissolving the Confederation of the Rhine and invading France early the next year.


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Last Updated: : Thu Aug 04 2022