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Books at On Military Matters


Updated as of 5/23/2024

ABBREVIATIONS: dj-dust jacket, biblio-bibliography, b/w-black and white, illust-illustrations, b/c-book club addition.
rct - recent arrival or pending publication, spc - OMM Special Price
1 results found for keywords containing 243020
1-243020 Wright, David

A VERY PECULIAR BATTLE: The Double Battle of Fere-Champenoise, 25 March 1814
Fere-Champenoise was two separate battles that merged together. In one, a force of Russian, Wurttemberg, and Austrian cavalry and horse artillery defeated a larger French force of infantry, cavalry, and artillery, opening the way to Paris. In the other, Russian cavalry and horse artillery destroyed Napoleon's last supply column. Both were encounter battles in that all four armies involved were unaware of the presence of their opponent until they met. In both battles, the allied forces consisted entirely of cavalry and horse artillery, while the French forces contained predominantly infantry and foot artillery. A French force of ligne and garde units panicked, while a force of ill-trained Gardes nationale fought stubbornly until overwhelmed. During the main battle, a short, violent storm had a devastating effect on the French, while the arrival of the secondary battle prevented the main from being an overwhelming success. Includes nine b/w illustrations, 20 color illustrations, 10 color photos, one color map, 33 b/w maps, and 11 tables.

Fere-Champenoise was a far more significant battle than is usually portrayed. Napoleon, after a string of victories in February 1814, had been defeated by superior numbers, first by Feldmarschall Blucher at Laon (9-10 March), then by Feldmarschall Schwarzenberg at Arcis-sur-Aube (20-21 March). Napoleon then gambled on a manoeuvre sur les derrieres, moving onto Schwarzenberg's line of communications and intending to join with troops from his border fortresses and Lyon to force a battle on ground of his choosing.

The allies started to follow, but Emperor Alexander of Russia made a crucial decision on March 24 for the allied armies to ignore Napoleon and head for Paris. The next day, allied cavalry and horse artillery led by the Crown Prince of Wurttemberg defeated a larger force of the corps of Marechaux Marmont and Mortier -- the last formed French troops barring the way to the capital. This enabled Schwarzenberg's and Blucher's armies to combine, defeat the last defenders of Paris, and force the city's surrender before Napoleon could return, allowing the allies to negotiate the end of the campaign without the Empereur being able to participate.

At the same time, a convoy of ammunition and supplies, escorted by the two weak Gardes nationale divisions of Generaux de division Pacthod and Amey, and trying to find Marechal Mortier, moved into the path of the advancing Russo-Prussian army.

Both defeated French forces retreated towards the town of Fere-Champenoise, one from the east and the other from the northeast. Four different armies were involved: the main battle between units from the allies' Hauptarmee and the French Armee de l'Aisne and the secondary one between units from the allies' Schlesische Armee and a convoy from Marechal Macdonald's XI Corps d'Armee, part of Napoleon's Grande Armee.1 vol, 226 pgs 2024 UK, HELION AND COMPANY
NEW-pb, available early April 2024 ......$50.00 discount: :15% rct
..see our NAPOLEONIC page for more books on this subject
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