Battle of VauchampsVauchamps, France
The Battle of Vauchamps (14 February 1814) was the final major engagement of the Six Days Campaign of the War of the Sixth Coalition. It resulted in a part of the Grande Armée under Napoleon I defeating a superior Prussian and Russian force of the Army of Silesia under Field-marshal Gebhard Leberecht von Blücher.
On the morning of 14 February, Blücher, commanding a Prussian Corps and elements of two Russian Corps, resumed his attack against Marmont. The latter continued to fall back until he was reinforced. Napoleon arrived on the battlefield with strong combined-arms forces, which allowed the French to launch a determined counterattack and drive back the leading elements of the Army of Silesia. Blücher realized that he was facing the Emperor in person and decided to pull back and avoid another battle against Napoleon. In practice, Blücher's attempt to disengage proved extremely difficult to execute, as the Coalition force was by now in an advanced position, had virtually no cavalry present to cover its retreat and was facing an enemy who was ready to commit its numerous cavalry.
While the actual pitched battle was short, the French infantry, under Marshal Marmont, and most of all the cavalry, under General Emmanuel de Grouchy, launched a relentless pursuit that rode down the enemy. Retreating in slow-moving square formations in broad daylight and along some excellent cavalry terrain, the Coalition forces suffered very heavy losses, with several squares broken by the French cavalry. At nightfall, combat ceased and Blücher opted for an exhausting night march in order to take his remaining forces to safety.