The opening of the road to Paris — a fight of Arcis-sur-Aube

The opening of the road to Paris - Battle of Arcis-sur-Aube 20-21 March 1814 between the army of Napoleon Bonaparte and the main army of the allies under the command of the Austrian Field Marshal Karl Schwarzenberg came scramble of Arcis-sur-Aube. It was the last battle of French governor (where he personally commanded troops) before his first abdication. After that fight Allied troops opened the road to Paris, and after a few days they were able to start taking the French capital.

Home Campaign 1814

By the beginning of 1814 the situation was in favor of the second anti-French coalition (composed of, Prussia — the main forces of Union, Great Britain, Austria, Sweden, Württemberg and Bavaria). Napoleon had left in 1813, Bavaria, Württemberg, and more than a small German principality, was crushed to keep him faithful Saxony. Napoleon suffered a heavy defeat in the "Battle of the Nations" at Leipzig on 16-19 October 1813, losing up to 80 thousand people. On the side of the enemies of France had the advantage of human and economic resources, France was empty and was exhausted by the long war. Only military genius of Napoleon and his generals delayed the inevitable defeat, plus the quarrels and conflicts between allies. Napoleon maneuvered personal damage inflicted individual body parts allies, but in general, the situation could change it.

But even in this situation, the allies of the Russian Federation questioned, not daring to invade France. Only Alexander sought to not only start coming in the winter, and go to Paris. In late December 1813 — early January 1814 the Russian, Prussian, Austrian corps fled the border into France. First coming to Paris, because of the lack of a single command, lack of coordination allies and political differences, failed. Napoleon, though he had about 70 thousand fighter against more than 200 thousand Allied army and had to close the main lines, spraying his hand, was able to successfully deter the enemy head.

In the first big battle of the invasion of the allied armies in the countryside of France — Battle of Brienne (29 January 1814), Napoleon was forced to withdraw Russian corps under the command of the Prussian Field Marshal Blücher. Then during the six-day campaign February 9-14 French ruler in parts broke Silesian army under Blucher (the Six-Day War of Napoleon), and then at Mohrmann and Montereau Napoleon be successfully stormed and broke the advanced corps main Allied army under the control of the Austrian Field Marshal Schwarzenberg. The successes of Napoleon was so impressed by the Allies that he was asked to sign a peace agreement on the criteria of conservation borders France to the beginning of the French Revolution, from which he refused. Napoleon wished successes of its military power to force the second coalition to make peace on the criteria of conservation French borders to the top of the era of the Napoleonic wars, in other words, the Rhine and the Alps.

Blucher, unhappy indecisive actions Schwarzenberg turned to Alexander and the Prussian king to act independently. As a result, it strengthened the Russian army corps Wintzingerode Bulow and Prussian armies from North Bernadotte. And the army of Blucher began to lead the main act (previously it was listed subsidiary) and the main army Schwarzenberg was to distract and spray the French troops. Together force Blucher and Schwarzenberg outnumbered troops of Napoleon almost doubled — 150 thousand compared to 74 thousand French army.

February 27 Blucher army approached Lafferty-sous-Jouarre (75 km to the east of the French capital) of the Marne, where she threw the feeble barriers Marshals Marmont and Mortier. Napoleon left Paris to cover the 30 th Corps under the command of Marshal Oudinot, Macdonald and General Gerard, and he moved to catch up with the forces of the Prussian Marshal Blucher, learning about the movement of the French army ruler, began to retreat along the river to the north of Urk to Soissons on Ene. March 4, Blucher forces fled to the right Preserving the Aisne, where his troops, coupled with the body and Wintzingerode Bulow, has doubled and steel have up to 109 thousand fighter. March 7, Napoleon, with 40-50 thousand fighter, stormed the position Kraonskih Blucher at higher elevations, which was defended by two Russian divisions Vorontsov and Stroganov (16 th Fighter) from the body Wintzingerode. It was one of the bloodiest battles Campaign 1814: Russian divisions lost up to a third of personnel — five thousand people, and the French, Napoleon headed for 7-8 thousand personnel of success, but failed to achieve a complete victory. Blucher and Napoleon pulled all its forces and came together in a new battle of Laon — March 9-10. We Blucher was up to 105 thousand, the French — 52 thousand people. March 9 fight came with varying success, with no decisive advantage one way or the other. On the night of 9 to March 10, Blucher defeated separately standing body Marmont. March 10, Napoleon continued the attack, but without power Marmont, failed to break the enemy's army, which was twice as hard. By the end of the day or the French government troops easily took over the river Aisne. After this strategic initiative was in the hands of Blucher. A Napoleon would be obliged to retreat to Paris, which slowly approaching army of Schwarzenberg.

French government planned to storm the scattered parts of the Allies on the march, breaking them individually. But Alexander, replacing the ailing gout Schwarzenberg had to concentrate housing in a fist, because Napoleon could not impose on the victory in the battle against a far superior enemy (in Schwarzenberg's army was up to 90 thousand fighter). Then he decided with a small army (about 32 thousand) to pass between the armies Blucher Schwarzenberg and north-eastern strongholds, the unblocked them and joined the army garrisons, Napoleon could significantly increase their strength. Against the armies of the enemy and for the defense of Paris were left minor barriers. French government hoped to slow the Allied armies, the indecision of their commanders, the fear of attack from his army.

Quest of Arcis-sur-Aube

By March 20, the main compound of the Allied armies were concentrated between the rivers Seine and Obom near Troyes. Napoleon Bonaparte decided to lead his army to the north-east — from Plansi plains along the river through the town on Arcy to Vitry and further east.

The army was moving to the French ruler Arcy along both the infantry was the right bank of the river, and the cavalry left. By noon, March 20, 1814 With years of his city, which was placed on the left bank of the Oba. Shortly before the Bavarian troops left Arcy, that they are not cut off from the main force, which were placed on the road between Arcis and Troyes. Napoleon thought that the Allies retreat to Troyes and ordered to pursue the enemy horsemen Sebastiani. But almost immediately the French cavalry was attacked by a superior Russian forces and ran. Napoleon himself had to stop on the bridge in Arsi cavalry panicked. At this time came an old Guard Division of General Friant Russian cavalry and kicked out of town. Soon arrived in the city and other parts of the French. At this time the battle was above the river (on the left flank of the French), for the village of Torcy. There's Young Guard of the French fought the Austro-Bavarian corps Wrede.

By the evening of March 20 the position of the French army was a semi-circle — it rested on the edge of the river Aube, and placed inside the c
ity Arcy. Front held 25 thousand Frenchmen against them were 60 thousand Allied fighter. On the right flank of the main army of the allies was the Austro-Bavarian corps Wrede, in the center of Russian troops under the command of Barclay de Tolly, the left wing Austrian connection Giuli. By the evening came to Field Marshal Schwarzenberg has about 30 thousand people, and then he gave the order to start the fire. Nearly 300 guns Allied army opened fire on the French positions. Napoleon's own personal example to support a fighter, so it hurt a horse, when one of the shells exploded near. Beginning of the decisive battle the two sides postponed for the next day.

At night the French army was reinforced division Desnuetta (up to 7 thousand fighter). March 21 decisive battle failed, Napoleon did not storm in almost three times of strongest army of the enemy, and Schwarzenberg did not want to risk it and take the initiative in their own hands. By noon, the French government began to withdraw troops retreat covered Marshal Oudinot. Schwarzenberg led an army to attack very late, the French were able to move away and undermine their bridges.

In this battle, either party has lost about 4 thousand people. Napoleon failed to solve the intended purpose — to stop coming to Paris (the suspension was temporary) and the break in the north-east to gather more strength.

March 24 monarchs approved the plan for the coming of the French capital. March 25 Army Blucher and Schwarzenberg made contact and moved to Paris. On the same day the Allies defeated the cavalry at Fer-Champenoise forces Marshals Marmont and Mortier (17 thousand), which went to the east to connect with Napoleon. Immediately convoy was destroyed — the convoy of ammunition and food to Napoleon under the protection of the State Guard (4.3 thousand militia and recruits). The French lost 10-11 thousand people, allies up to 2 thousand a result, between Paris and the armies of Blucher and Schwarzenberg did not have the energy capable of stopping the coming of the Allies. A garrison of the capital has been relatively insignificant — 22-26 thousand regular troops, 6-12 thousand militia of the State Guard and about 150 guns (Napoleon never ventured out to pick up all of civilization to fight with the enemy).

March 29 Allied Army (about 100 thousand people, almost two-thirds of them Russian) came to the forefront of the defense of the French capital. August 30, Russian and Prussian troops after a fierce battle took suburbs of Paris — in a single day battle was lost more than 8 thousand fighter (out of more than 6 thousand Russian). One of the managers of the defense of Paris Auguste de Marmont at 5 o'clock asked for a truce. Alexander said that the fight will end, "If Paris is delivered: on the other in the evening did not find out where was the capital." March 31 at 2:00 am capitulation of Paris was signed. Marmon led troops from Paris, which was one of the main reasons for the defeat of Napoleon (the war was still possible to continue to protect and Paris). At noon on March 31, Russian and Prussian Guards, led by Tsar Alexander I triumphantly entered the French capital.

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