War of the Sixth Coalition
Battle of Montmirail
Napoleon, shown with his marshals and staff, leads his army over roads made muddy by days of rain. Though his empire was crumbling, Napoleon proved to be a dangerous opponent in the Six Days Campaign.
1814 Feb 9

Battle of Montmirail

Montmirail, France

The Battle of Montmirail (11 February 1814) was fought between a French force led by Emperor Napoleon and two Allied corps commanded by Fabian Wilhelm von Osten-Sacken and Ludwig Yorck von Wartenburg. In hard fighting that lasted until evening, French troops including the Imperial Guard defeated Sacken's Russian soldiers and compelled them to retreat to the north. Part of Yorck's Prussian I Corps tried to intervene in the struggle but it was also driven off. The battle occurred near Montmirail, France, during the Six Days Campaign of the Napoleonic Wars. Montmirail is located 51 kilometres (32 mi) east of Meaux.

After Napoleon crushed Zakhar Dmitrievich Olsufiev's small isolated corps in the Battle of Champaubert on 10 February, he found himself in the midst of Gebhard Leberecht von Blücher's widely-spread Army of Silesia. Leaving a small force in the east to watch Blücher, Napoleon turned the bulk of his army to the west in an attempt to destroy Sacken. Unaware of the size of Napoleon's army, Sacken tried to smash his way east to join Blücher. The Russians managed to hold their ground for several hours, but were forced back as more and more French soldiers appeared on the battlefield. Yorck's troops belatedly arrived only to be repulsed, but the Prussians distracted the French long enough to allow Sacken's Russians to join them in a withdrawal to the north. The following day would see the Battle of Château-Thierry as Napoleon launched an all-out pursuit.