Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Northern Germany

Campaign Background

Northern Germany

At the end of 1812 the wreck of the French army returned from Russia.

Napoleon abandoned the army and returned to Paris to build a new Grande Armee for the 1813 campaign.

The Russian army was as broken as the French, and no threat until it could be rebuilt.

Austria was still a French ally, though it was clear that it might not be so for long.

The main threat in the early months of 1813 was therefore expected to come from Prussia

Second French Army

Marshal Davout commands he Second French Army of four corps

His orders are to hold the line of the river Elbe until his army could be reinforced up to full strength, at which time he would advance on Berlin.

4th French corps is fully operational, and is holding Hamburg on the river Elbe
5th French corps is also fully operational is holding Magdeburg on the river Elbe
6th French corps is expected to be operational within a few weeks and is at Hanover
13th Polish corps is at full strength, but still training, at Brunswick

Prussian Army

Prince Blucher commands the Prussian army of four corps.

His orders are to take Magdeburg and cross the river Elbe before the French can concentrate to oppose them.

The Prussian army was not involved in the Russian campaign of 1812.

All four corps are concentrated around Berlin and are fully operational.

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