Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Prussia declares war on France

1 May 1813

On 1 May 1813 Prussia declared war on France.

The declaration of war came as no surprise, nor did the departure of Blucher from Berlin on the road to Magdeburg.

Blucher has been tasked to capture Magdeburg and secure a bridgehead on the river Elbe.

180 miles to the west, at his headquarters near Hannover, Marshal Davout is well aware of the threat posed by the Prussian army.

Only two of his four corps are immediately available for action, and are positioned on the river Elbe. 4th corps is at Hamburg and the 5th corps at Magdeburg. Between them they have 80 miles of river to defend.

13th corps is regrouping at Brunswick. They had suffered badly in Russia the previous year, but are now ready to take the field again.

The newly formed 6th corps is under his personal command at Hannover, and is also ready to take the field.

As soon as he received notification of the Prussian declaration of war Davout ordered 6th and 13th corps to march to Magdeburg.

4th corps was ordered to move south along the west bank of the river Elbe, to keep watch for any Prussian move on Hamburg

Link to main Magdeburg campaign blog


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