Bitva u Auerstedtu

Article

October 25, 2021

The Battle of Auerstedt was the clash of the Napoleonic Wars. In the battle, French Marshal Davout defeated the main Prussian army, which had twice the superiority of his forces.

Background

In 1805, the French Emperor Napoleon crushed the forces of the Third Coalition near Austerlitz and forced the Austrian Emperor Francis to make peace. However, this did not end the war. Soon after, England formed a fourth coalition, which included Prussia. Napoleon immediately attacked his territory. The Prussians strongly underestimated the French and believed that they had no chance against the "army of Frederick the Great". It soon became clear that the opposite was true. The French won the first major clash at Saalfeld. Four days later, Napoleon clashed with the Prussian rearguard at Jena, thinking it was the Prussian main army. Marshal Davout had fought with it at Auerstedt.

Battle

At eight o'clock on October 14, Davout's corps met the main Prussian army in the Haussehausen area. Fortunately for him, she had not yet arrived on the battlefield. Now only a cavalry vanguard stood against him. The Prussians launched a few attacks on the French, but were repulsed and dispersed. The infantry soon arrived and the clash turned into a regular battle. The Prussians continued to attack, but Davout's forces resisted, even though the situation was critical. Around eleven o'clock Davout sent a counterattack on the left wing of Morand's division. The Prussian defense collapsed under French attacks. Simultaneously with Morand, Friant also attacked on the right wing. The Prussians eventually had to clear the battlefield. Among the fallen was the commander of the Prussian army, the Duke of Brunswick.

Consequences

After the battle, the Prussian army had to face moral decay and disorganization. The only combat-ready forces the King of Prussia now had were the troops of Prince of Saxony-Weimar in the west and the reserve corps of Prince of Württemberg at Halle. The French advance east continued, and on October 25, Davout occupied Berlin.

Literature

Jiří Kovařík: Napoleon's Campaign I.

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