8 June 1813
For two weeks Napoleon has been expecting a Russian advance in central Germany in support of Blucher.
There are two French corps in position on the river Saale to meet this expected attack, and a third being in reserve at Erfurt.
Napoleon has been unable to join the army due to political and administrative problems in Paris.
On 4 June he diverts reinforcements from the Imperial Guard to third corps which is short of a full division of infantry
The Imperial Guard will remain at Fulda to await reinforcements.
His plan of campaign is to march on Leipzig, which is the junction of the Prussian and Russian armies. He will defeat Kutuzov and drive the Russians away from the Prussian Army. . He will then turn north and strike at Blucher and drive him back towards Berlin. Within two weeks he expects to be in Berlin.
The first phase of the campaign has not gone well for Napoleon. He is aware that Blucher has achieved his objective of securing Magdeburg, and that the Second French Army are not capable of retaking it.
His plan is to strike at the Russian Army in the area of the river Saale and deal it a decisive defeat. He will then swing north and roll up Bluchers Army at Magdeburg.
On 6 June the Russian army start their march from Dresden to the river Saale, and Napoleon departs from Paris to join the Imperial Garde at Fulda. The Halle campaign has started.
Link to main Halle Campaign Blog