Saturday, September 25, 2010

French victory at Halle

27 June 1813

Battle of Halle

Halle is a strategic town where the Leipzig and Magdeburg roads both cross the river Saale.

Overconfident after a string of victories, Kutuzov orders his whole army to occupy Halle in preparation for an advance on Kassel.

Given the recent defeats most generals would have retired to Kassel – Fulda to regroup, but Napoleon was not most generals. He worked night and day to rally his weary troops and raise their morale sufficient for one last attempt.

French Guard attack Halle

The French Old and Young guard, led by Napoleon, attack Halle.

The Russians put up a strong defence, but are eventually forced to withdraw from the town, and cross the river under cover of darkness.

Effect on the Campaign

At last a convincing victory for Napoleon. The Russians have suffered heavy casualties, and will withdraw back over the river Saale at nightfall.

However in earlier battles the French have also suffered heavy casualties, and are in not condition to risk another assault over the river.

Both sides will settle for holding their side of the river. Napoleon has managed to secure the flank of Second French Army at Magdeburg, but has failed to beat the Russians and move north to attack the Prussians.

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