The Coalition’s Trachenberg Plan stated that its armies should avoid battle with the main French body, commanded by Napoleon, but should seek battle with isolated enemy corps. John G, Napoleon’s Enfant Terrible, page 230. 401 For a more detailed account see also, Petre F. Lorraine, Napoleon’s Last Campaign in Germany 1813, page. Ehnl. The Battle of Kulm was a battle near the town Kulm (Chlumec) and the village Přestanov in northern Bohemia. Thereafter the Prussian king, Frederick William III, signed the Treaty of Kalisch (3rd February 1813) with Russia, agreeing to surrender the land acquired by Prussia during the third partition of Poland to the Tsar, in return for Russia’s proliferation of the war against Napoleon until Prussia’s pre 1806 position had been restored. These were soon driven back by the concentrated fire of the Russian Light Battery # 14 and Position Battery#27, moved to the west of Priesten in the nick of time by Württemberg. By marching on to the Teplitz highway at Nollendorf he would be between Vandamme’s corps and the reinforcements which Kleist, Vandamme himself and almost every other general in the neighbourhood assumed Napoleon was sending down the highway to support the incursion into Bohemia. Thereafter Austria adopted a stance of armed neutrality, cloaking her real intentions under the mantel of offering to play mediator between Napoleon and the Russians and Prussians. The ensuing mêlée was short lived with the Prussian hussars being driven back in disorder. The Second Battle of Kulm or the Battle of Teplitz was fought on 17 September 1813 upon the heights immediately above the town of Kulm (Chlumec) in northern Bohemia, by a Coalition army commanded by the Austrian field marshal, Prince of Schwarzenberg, and a French army under the command of the Emperor Napoleon. Allied forces (Russian, Austrian and Prussian) in Red: 1. The euphoria in the allied camp on hearing of Napoleon’s decision to agree to an armistice was the release – valve for the problems and pressure that had been building up over the previous months. The Tenginsk and Estonia Infantry Regiments, together with the Grand Duchess Catherine Infantry Battalion moved to meet the threat. [, Lieven. It was on the Russian right that the battle now evolved. It resulted in an Austrian victory. Do not strike them!’ I was able to stop them in time. Rallying his squadrons, the colonel of the 9th Chavauléger’s, Jean – Maximillen Fredo, was hit by a musket ball in the groin, dropping him from his horse.59. Dominic, Russia against Napoleon, page. The Russian and Prussian combined army of some 86,000 men were grouped just south of the French line of march, near the town of Lutzen. Kleist had shown real courage in advancing into Vandamme’s rear. 233) states that Ruess was killed in the action at Hellendorff. With his whole corps now united Vandamme now had around 34,000 men and 84 guns. 247 [, Lieven. 241. See appendix A for details [, Petre F.Loraine, Napoleon’s Last Campaign in Germany 1813, page. (page 217 [, Lieven. [, Vandamme to Napoleon, 30th August 1813, Archives Nationales, AFIV 1661A Plaq.4. Also the weather, which had been fine, became increasingly cold and wet during the evening of 26th August. This advance guard consisted of the Silesian Hussar Regiment and two battalions of the 7th Reserve Infantry Regiment, supported by Horse Battery #7. Nafziger’s main source material for most of this part of the battle comes from K. Und K, Kriegsarchivs, Befreiungskrieg Vol IV, which he has translated. The French pursuit had become half hearted, and even though much abandoned baggage and material had been taken, the actual cutting off and destroying of the various allied columns had not occurred, the steam had defiantly gone out of the chase. Altogether there would be about 120,000 men moving concentrically on Berlin.’14. The Battle of Kulm was a battle near the town Kulm (Chlumec) and the village Přestanov in northern Bohemia. As Petre states: Had these orders been carried out, the result would have been the meeting of 120,000 men on a single bad road from Dippoldiswalde to Bohemia. had also informed Kleist that the defile leading down to Teplitz from Fürstenwalde was still blocked by Russian troops and baggage. Seeking to pin down the French until Colloredo’s enveloping movement was complete; Barclay now ordered a general assault all along the line. Quickly moving his troops to their left, Hessen – Homburg detached his own brigade artillery to add its weight to the Russian gun line then engaging the French batteries in counter battery fire.56. Napoleon’s Enfant Terrible, page. Kleist and Grolmann knew and weighed the risks and nevertheless committed themselves to marching via Nollendorf from first light. Between Davout and Oudinot would be Dombrowski with 3,000 or 4,000 Poles and [general] Girard with 8,000 or 9,000 men. In the first line he placed the two battalions of Infantry Regiment No 2*, and behind these he drew up two battalions of Infantry Regiment No 33, a company from each regiment being detached and sent to try and get around the French left flank along the wooded foothills. [, Quoted in Gallaher. His dashing appearance and steadiness on the battlefield unfortunately did not compensate for his lack of military talent when it came to commanding anything larger than a division, and upon returning to the army in the spring of 1813, after a bout of illness, some noted that he was inclined to become over excited, which, in turn, was attributed to an unbalanced frame of mind.26. The detachment sent to Aussig, just as the battle of Kulm began, is another odd mix –up of troops, commanders and numbers. Glad you like the site. The Russian line infantry regiments under Württemberg had now all been committed to the battle with no reserves remaining. Also some sources do not mention the 27th Chasseurs – à – Cheval, but give the 36th Light Cavalry Brigade two regiments of hussars – the 3rd and 13th. The resulting confusion would have been almost unimaginable, and by the time the crowd of disordered troops reached the passes leading down to Bohemia, Vandamme would have arrived at their mouths, via Peterswalde, quite unopposed.27, Fortunately for the allies, Eugen of Wüttemberg, who was a first cousin to the Tsar, flatly refused to comply with Ostermann’s orders, pointing out the danger and the need to block Vandamme’s route so that the other allied columns could make good their escape. See Endnotes, page 584 [, Petre, F.Lorraine, Napoleon’s Last Campaign in Germany 1813, page. 215 [, Owing to the rate that troops were being fed into the Napoleonic mincing machine the manoeuvres performed by the veterans with such glorious results at Austerlitz, Jena and Auerstädt had been watered down, not least because of the terrible losses incurred by NCO’s and officers, now Napoleon’s battles became a slogging match with little or no finesse in regard to the use of the linear formations and the grand tactical methods that had so much been a part of their success in the early years. As Colonel of the 30th Dragoons in 1812 he was made Baron of the empire for his conduct at Ostrowno. Very confusing. Russia against Napoleon, page. As it was, Vandamme did not want to be drawn off balance by devoting too much effort over on, what had now become his right rear, preferring to concentrate as much force as possible for a breakthrough directly back along the main highway leading to Nollendorf and Peterswald. To this end Austria, although appearing to play the part of mediator between the allied Coalition and the French emperor, was in fact preparing and strengthening her forces ready to throw in her lot on the side of the allies. As he was being carried to the rear he remarked, ‘I am satisfied. Greeting Des! The fighting was severe, with the Murmon regiment and Guard Jäger’s putting in every man to resist the French assault, which finally petered out and ebbed back across the fields as the Semenovsky Guard Regiment came up to support their beleaguered comrades. With the latter he engaged the allies at Bautzen in a containing battle on the 20th May. The hardships and losses of 1812 were not confined to the French army. The reasons for all this are obscure, since to tinker about with a formation that should be a harmonious fighting unit is not conducive with each part jig sawing into a coherent and familiar whole well known and understood by its leader. The rest of Kleist’s corps consisted of the 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th Brigades, his reserve cavalry brigade and accompanying artillery. On August 15, 1769, Napoleon Bonaparte was born. He still thought that St Cyr and Mortier could be approaching.  Napoleon’s Enfant Terrible, page. 409 [, Lieven. However, due once again to Ney’s mishandling of the situation, which can only be attributed as the knock – on effect of Napoleon’s failure to place a less excitable and hot headed general in command of so large a force, the allies were able to make good their escape. After twenty minutes of pounding the French guns fell silent as the massed battalions of infantry under Revest, Duvernet and Philippon closed on the Russian position. Soon – all  too soon – the French guns switched their ammunition to the monster shot gun like canister, who’s roar  was joined by the leather ripping sound of hundreds of muskets as Duvernet’s infantry got off a ragged but none the less destructive volley, this blizzard of lead and iron mowing down many in the first ranks of the advancing columns who, seemingly undeterred by the carnage around them, now came to a halt and delivered a volley in return, thereafter dashing forward with lowered bayonets in an attempt at getting to grips with the French before they had time to reload. He was born at Cassel in northern France in 1772 and was a personal friend of Vandamme, becoming his aide de camp in 1795. John, Napoleon’s Enfant Terrible, page. What he did not know, and never would until it was too late, was that although St Cyr had originally been ordered to pursue the enemy (General Frederick Heinrich Kleist’s Prussian corps) towards Dohna. About halfway across they came under fire from the Russian batteries in front of the village firing solid shot, some of which tore bloody lanes through their ranks, but mostly passing harmlessly over their heads due to the soaking wet nature of the ground which, with each firing, gradually dug the gun trails into the soft earth causing the barrels to elevate slightly. With his prestige seriously dented, his once proud army reduced to rag – pickers, and his allies considering their options, only a man of Napoleon’s willpower, determination and ego could have shrugged off the disastrous 1812 Russian campaign and set about building a new Grande Armée in order to reassert his authority in Europe. In front of the cavalry stood the Guard Horse Battery #1 of 12 cannon. At around 4:00 p.m. on the afternoon of the 29th August Kleist’s forward units began to arrive at Fürstenwalde. [, Gallaher. The following day Ney’s army came down on their right flank for the kill. Seeing the plight of his guards, general Ermolov quickly bought them back to the attack, driving the French back with the bayonet, “and a roar from the throats of a thousand enraged guardsmen.”40. 194 [, Petre. How Napoleon expected Vandamme to take possession of “all that which marches in the tail of his army” when he was supposed to be clearing a path for himself to get ahead of it is somewhat confusing. He also mentions the figures given by Maximilian Ehnl, Schlacht bei Kulm, Vienna, 1913, page 132, stating 39,000 French infantry and 3,000 French cavalry. Not intending to wait around and get impaled on this gleaming line of steel that each young recruit imagined was meant for him alone, Duvernet’s infantry brokeback to their main line around Straden, his artillery harnessing up and also beating a hasty retreat. Dominic, Russia against Napoleon, page. Later that evening Colonel von Schöler arrived with a further message from the king instructing Kleist to take the south – eastward route to Nollendorf where he could fall upon Vandamme’s rear. Petre states that it was 2:00 p.m when Philippon arrived on the field; Nafziger says he arrived at 3:00 p.m.; Lieven takes the middle course giving the time of his arrival as just after 2:00 p.m. None of these authors give any details of what Duvernet’s nine battalions really did, indeed Nafziger completely ignores these troops and supplies no information what so ever as to their actions after they arrived on the battlefield. Prinz August leading the 2nd Silesian Regiment forward at the Battle of Kulm. Russian Guard Regiments and Murmon Infantry Regiment; 2.Toblosk, Tschernigov, Minsk, Revel Infantry Regiments and 4th Jäger and Grand Dutchess Catherine Battalion. images & resources. His family were of the Older Reuss line, his father being Prince Henry (Heinrich) XLIII, and his mother Princess Louise of Reuss – Ebersdorf, her sister Augusta became Queen Victoria’s maternal grandmother. Leaving the 13th Light Infantry Regiment to hold the plodding Austrians in front of Unter – Arbesau, Dunesme quickly formed the tattered and battered 25th Line Infantry Regiment into two columns and sent them wearily trudging to the assault, while Gobrecht’s squadrons came trotting down to cover their left flank. Vandamme was becoming more and more agitated and impatient. Aster. The left wing, to march west to Freiberg, then south – west towards Commotau, the second column of the army would fall back through Dippoldiswalde where they would split, part moving to Frauenstein, part on Altenberg thence on to Dux in Bohemia. In concurrence with these new directives Colloredo moved his division further to the right, heading for the southern tip of the Strisowitz Hill, while Bianchi’s 2nd Austrian Division filled the gap fronting Böhmisch Neudorf.57. Not merely could the campaign have ended in disaster, in all logic it ought to have done so once the retreat from Dresden began. By the early spring of 1813 he had created twelve army corps, and although most of the infantry regiments were made up of raw recruits, and the cavalry very weak for wont of horses and proper training, it was still, nevertheless, a fantastic achievement. After receiving a salvo from the Russian artillery, Revest’s troops pressed on through the burning buildings of Straden, with red hot sparks flying in all diredtions, and attempted to dress their ranks and move forward. With this being said I have used my own judgment and some artistic licence in my “Narrative” when describing the battle. B. Mouton – Duvernet’s 42nd Infantry Divison. Apparently, when Diebitsch rode up to the Guard Dragoons and initially ordered them to charge no one moved because no one knew who he was. Thinking that other French corps are also pursuing, Vandamme attacks the Russians, but other allied forces are rapidly converging towards him. There was also the often overlook but none the less serious problem which we will call, politely, “The Asides of Glory.”  With no time to dig proper latrines the thousands of soldiers on both sides had to answer the call of nature when and where they could, making parts of the battlefield into no – go  areas when attempting to bed down for the night. Once again the steadfastness of the Russian infantry, coupled with timely cavalry charge headed by Leopold of Saxe – Colberg’s cuirassier regiment, enabled them to extricate themselves and continue the retreat to Nollendorf.32. Knowing full well Vandamme’s skill as a division commander, plus the urgent need to build a new and powerful army in order to reassert his control over his wavering allies, Napoleon had ordered his minister of war to write to the general and ask him to return to duty. The brave but reckless French Marshal Michel Ney, Duke of Elchingen and Prince of the Moskva, guarding the French right wing, was dilatory in his behaviour in not conforming to Napoleon’s orders for the concentration of his five divisions and to send out strong recognisance forces to determine the whereabouts of the enemy. Mouton – Duvernet’s 1st Brigade and Philippon’s 1st Division would execute a staged withdrawal from in front of Straden and Priesten, falling back until such time that they too could add their weight in forcing a way through the Prussians. Lieven. Battle of Wartenburg - … Seeing the chance to build upon this Vandamme ordered Quiot’s and Revest’s brigades to follow up with a bayonet attack forcing a breach in the Prussian lines.61, As the French began to push through with cold steel the fugitives from the Silesian Landweher crashed headlong into the 2nd Silesian Regiment who were coming up to support them, their impact having a knock on effect causing still more troops to leak out of their ranks, dropped their weapons and running back in terror. Treating each other with respect deferential to each other’s rank and military performance, but without any show of friendship, Davout and Vandamme worked well together, the Marshal allowing Vandamme to proceed with retaking Hamburg, which fell to the French on 30th May.11. On Revest’s left Duvernet’s troops had fared no better. By not throwing his whole support with Vandamme after Dresden he threw away the best opportunity of victory. The Guard Light Foot Battery #1 and Guard Heavy Battery #2, 24 cannon in total, were positioned 20 meters in front of the Guard infantry. On Gobrecht’s right Dumonceau’s 2nd Brigade under General of Brigade Pierre Doucet54 took station with the three battalions of the 57th Line Infantry Regiment and the two battalions of the 51st Line Infantry Regiment to the left, moving later to the outskirts of Kulm. Revest’s (formely Reuss) 5th Infantry Brigade. Obviously the emperor was expecting more from Marshal St Cyr and Murat than he in fact got. Ermolov displayed inspiring leadership on the first day at Kulm, and Colloredo did well on the second. George, Napoleon at Dresden, page. The increasing wind accompanied by torrential rain began to cause rivers to rise rapidly, and turned roads and meadowland into quagmires of mud. 29th – 30th August 1813, In June 2013 Gramo and DrBob visited the site of the Battle of Kulm in the Czech republic. Württemberg’s 2nd Corps and Russian 14th Division. It eased Vandamme’s mind when all agreed that the position should be held until support arrived, and all were reasonably confident that after the drumming the emperor had given the allies at Dresden he was sure to be on his way with every available man to finish the job.52. Why Wittgenstein was picked for the job has remained something of a mystery. In excruciating pain he was transported back to Hennsdorf where he died a few agonising hours later.31, As the bleeding body of Prince Reuss was being carried from the field, Vandamme sent his Chief of Staff, General of Brigade Jean Revest, to take command of his brigade. Here he would find the 42nd division belonging to Marshal Laurent Gouvion St Cyr, which was to be attached to Vandamme’s command providing that St Cyr himself were not hard pressed. There are no permanent bridges at Königstein. The prince, in some desperation, pleaded with general Ermolov to let him have the relatively fresh Izmailovsky Guard Regiment to help beat back the next French assault he knew full well was about to break over him. In front of him there was some confusion and several French officers were seen riding towards him closely followed by a group of Cossacks, with more coming in from other directions. In his notes Vandamme wrote, “The general seeing that his orders for the retreat were not being carried out precisely as he had given, decided to remain behind and personally conduct the retreat. 398 [, Lieven. Here, on the morning of the 29th August, with the rain having now stopped and a thick mist rising through the treetops, they once again halted, the Guard Jäger regiment slowing up the French advance long enough for two line infantry regiments to take up battle positions around the village. Quickly forming into two columns, the 46th Line Regiment on the right, consisting of the three battalions, and the four battalions of the 72nd Line Regiment on the left, both regiments proceeded by a company in skirmishing order, passed through their gun line and began to advance over the rolling meadowland towards Straden. During her short (23 years) li… Down in Kulm the first booming of the cannon to the north – east  was greeted with much relief and joy by Vandamme and the offices about him, as it was thought that at last either the emperor or St Cyr had arrived on the field. B. Estonia Infantry Regiment, Grand Duchess Catherine Battalion, Minsk Infantry Regiment, Revel Infantry Regiment, Toblosk Infantry Regiment and Tschernigov Infantry Regiment. In the centre, commanded by Wüttemberg, the village of Priesten was held by elements of the Reval Line Infantry Regiment and the 4th Jäger Regiment, with the main body of both regiments drawn up in column behind the right rear of the village, together with Light Battery #27 and Position Battery #14, 23 guns in all. Collecting his squadrons Corbineau led them straight at the enemy gun line, which suddenly erupted in a burst of flame stabbed smoke as some of the gunners managed to let fly with canister shot. John G,  Napoleon’s Enfant Terrible,  page. 229 [, Lieven, Dominic, Russia against Napoleon, page. On Corbineau’s right Baltus had now formed a gun line containing over 40 cannon and to the right of these again were ranged Phillipon’s 1st and Duvernet’s 42nd Divisions, extending the line to Straden and on to the Sawmill. This allowed the French infantry to shake itself out back into attack columns which, after receiving a weak cannonade and a peppering of musket fire, finally got into and aroundthe right of the village which was now an inferno of flame. Allies (Russian, Austrian and Prussian) in Red: 1. Your email address will not be published. Viewing the field though his glass the general now listened intently to what Vandamme was proposing. Russian 2nd Guard Division; Hessen – Homburg’s Austrian Brigade; Volhynie and Krementchug Infantry Regiments. The brigade of infantry commanded by Prince Henry LXI of Kostritz, attached to Vandamme’s corps from the 5th Infantry Division, together with the 21st Light Cavalry Brigade under General Martin – Alexis Gobrecht were drawn up in reserve behind Phillippon’s division. Closing ranks the two French regiments continued to press forward until a belch of fire stabbed smoke boiled up around the village issuing from the muzzles of several hundred Russian muskets, and accompanied by a hail of canister shot from their artillery which caused them to falter. I have Nafziger’s OOB for 30th, but no idea of Division or Brigade strengths. 404  Quoting from the memoirs of Colonel von Helldorf and Eugen of Wüttemberg, Lieven states that the army knew of Ostermann – Tolstoy’s mental problems, also Ermolov remarked that at the battle of Kulm Ostermann was more trouble than the French. This was soon forthcoming as Bianchi detached the brigade of General Phillip August Hessen – Homburg together with his supporting artillery and sent it northward. There are no figures available for Russian prisoners and it is hard to understand how Vandamme would have dealt with them anyway if very many had been taken? Second Battle of Kulm The Second Battle of Kulm or the Battle of Teplitz was fought on 17 September 1813 heights immediately above Kulm, by a Coalition army commanded by the Austrian field marshal, Prince of Schwarzenberg, and a French army under the command of … By 2:00 p.m. lack of numbers was beginning to tell and Vandamme had to pull one of Creutzer’s battalions over to support Gobrecht, together with three cannon taken from Baltus’s gun line. But Kleist demurred, stating that his troops were worn out and had to rest, besides which it was too late in the day for him to pull together all of his units, some of whom were still strung out along the  road. Petre. Although never much of a rapid decision minded man (his wife had been the forceful one), the Prussian king realised the danger of allowing Vandamme to march unimpeded and seize the mountain defiles leading down to Teplitz. The Russian losses were equally severe, out of the original 14,700 men who commenced the battle, over 5,000 were either killed or wounded, 2,800 of these were from the Guard Regiments, the rest being from Württemberg’s corps.49 Both sides were in need of rest and sustenance and, for Vandamme, elements of doubt had begun to creep in with regard to his having to fight the next day without help arriving. Gallaher. Not content with the havoc they had already caused Corbineau’s squadrons, realising that they had to keep up the momentum, reformed in preparation for another charge, allowing many thousands of French fugitives to escape. Attempting to avoid the bristling fire vomiting squares of infantry, Knorring’s cavalry went for the French artillery, cutting to pieces a battalion of the 13th Light, which was attempting to protect the guns. 20,449, dated Görlitz, 24th August. 243 [, Gallaher. C. Dunesme’s 1st Brigade and Doucets 2nd Brigade, 2nd Division. General of Brigade Revest, his face bespattered by blood from a canister blast that had riddled the men beside him and maimed and brought down his horse, untangled himself from the harness and proceeded on foot, encouraging his men to close up and go forward, which they did, pressing on into the village and pushing the Russians back to the Sawmill and Leather Chapel. 250 [, Nafziger. Hi Fred, As evening approached on the 26th August, despite having inflicted over 1,800 casualties and held up Vandamme’s corp for a whole day, Württemberg fully realised that with his own losses close to 1,600 men, he would have to withdraw or be overwhelmed. He was also given the Second Infantry Division under General  Jean – Baptiste Dumonceau, the Fifth Infantry Division under General FranÒ«ois – Marie Dufour, and a depot training division stationed at Wesel on the Rhine. Armed with nothing more than a compass and camera and fortified by a McDonalds breakfast, 10 chicken wings and a chesse … Vandamme’s first priority was to contain the Austrian columns under Colloredo while at the same time attempting to punch a hole through the net that now threatened to trap him. 2nd Guard Division and the Krementchug and Volhynie Line infantry Regiments. He had been forced to leave Napoleon’s Grande Armée during the summer of 1812, just as the fateful Russian campaign was underway, owing to his constant bickering and insubordination towards the French Emperor’s younger brother, Jérôme Bonaparte, King of Westphalia. Dominic, Russia against Napoleon, page. [1], Seventeen days after the French lost the First Battle of Kulm, another engagement took place, on nearly the same ground, between the Prince of Schwarzenberg and Napoleon in person, who was marching on Teplitz after his victory at Dresden (26–27 August). 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