Battle of Czarnowo

The Battle of Czarnowo on the night of 23–24 December 1806 saw troops of the First French Empire under the eye of Emperor Napoleon I launch an evening assault crossing of the Wkra River against Lieutenant General Alexander Ivanovich Ostermann-Tolstoy's defending Russian Empire forces. The attackers, part of Marshal Louis-Nicolas Davout's III Corps, succeeded in crossing the Wkra at its mouth and pressed eastward to the village of Czarnowo. After an all-night struggle, the Russian commander withdrew his troops to the east, ending this War of the Fourth Coalition action. Czarnowo is located on the north bank of the Narew River 33 kilometres (21 mi) north-northwest of Warsaw, Poland.

Several other actions occurred during the same week. On the 23rd, Marshal Jean-Baptiste Bessières defeated a probe by Prussian troops at Bieżuń. On 24 December, an action occurred at Kołoząb and Sochocin where Marshal Pierre Augereau's VII Corps attempted to cross the Wkra. The French managed to secure a foothold on the east bank, forcing Major General Michael Andreas Barclay de Tolly's Russian defenders to retreat. On Christmas Day, part of Marshal Michel Ney's VI Corps drove the Prussians from Soldau (Działdowo), forcing them to retreat north toward Königsberg. The Russians, however, were full of fight and two sharp battles occurred on 26 December.

Battle of Czarnowo
Part of the War of the Fourth Coalition
Rzeka Wkra

The Russian army defended the line of the Wkra River.
Date23 December 1806
Location
Result French victory
Belligerents
France First French Empire Russia Russian Empire
Commanders and leaders
France Napoleon Bonaparte
France Louis Davout
France Jean Bessières
France Pierre Augereau
France Jean Marchand
Russia Mikhail Kamensky
Russia A. Ostermann-Tolstoy
Kingdom of Prussia Karl La Roche-Aymon
Russia M. Barclay de Tolly
Kingdom of Prussia Anton von L'Estocq
Strength
8,000–23,200, 20 guns 5,000, 48 guns
Casualties and losses
Czarnowo: 846–1,400
Bieżuń: light
Kołoząb: 518
Soldau: 221
Czarnowo: 853–1,401
Bieżuń: 500, 5 guns
Kołoząb: unknown, 6 guns
Soldau: 800, 2 guns

Background

At the Battle of Jena-Auerstedt on 14 October 1806, Napoleon administered a terrible beating to the principal Prussian armies. On a single day, the French captured 25,000 Prussian soldiers, 200 guns, and 60 colors.[1] In subsequent operations the French inflicted crippling defeats on their adversaries at Erfurt, Halle,[2] Prenzlau,[3] Pasewalk, Stettin,[4] Lübeck,[5] Magdeburg,[6] and Hamelin.[7]

Bennigsen
Levin August Bennigsen

In early November, Davout sent General of Division Marc Antoine de Beaumont's 2,500 dragoons to scout east of the Oder River. Napoleon ordered his brother General of Division Jérôme Bonaparte to protect his southern flank by operating against Glogau (Głogów) in Prussian-held Silesia. Wishing to deny Warsaw to the approaching Russian army, Napoleon decided to secure a position on the east bank of the Vistula River before winter weather forced a stop to the campaigning season.[8]

In December, the Prussians were able to field only 6,000, plus the garrisons of Danzig (Gdańsk) and Graudenz (Grudziądz). Field Marshal Mikhail Kamensky led the Russian army in Poland, which numbered about 90,000 men in two wings led by Generals Levin August, Count von Bennigsen and Friedrich Wilhelm von Buxhoeveden (Buxhöwden).[9] By now, Kamensky was showing clear signs of his mental and physical unfitness to command.[10]

Buxhöwden, who outranked Bennigsen, led the 5th Division under Lieutenant General Nikolay Tuchkov; the 7th Division, commanded by Lieutenant General Dmitry Dokhturov; the 8th Division of Lieutenant General Peter Kirillovich Essen; and the 14th Division led by Lieutenant General Heinrich Reinhold von Anrep. Buxhöwden's divisions were veterans of the Battle of Austerlitz on 2 December 1805 and were under strength. In total, therefore, his wing had 29,000 infantry, 7,000 cavalry, 1,200 gunners, and 216 artillery pieces.[11]

Bennigsen commanded the 2nd Division of Ostermann-Tolstoy, the 3rd Division led by Lieutenant General Fabian Gottlieb von Osten-Sacken, the 4th Division under Lieutenant General Dmitry Golitsyn, and the 6th Division commanded by Lieutenant General Alexander Karlovich Sedmoratski. The nominal strength of Bennigsen's force was 49,000 infantry, 11,000 regular cavalry, 4,000 Cossacks, 2,700 artillerymen, 900 pioneers, and 276 guns. Of these, between 55,000 and 60,000 were available for mobile operations.[11]

The Russians fielded an army of 18 divisions in 1806. Each division consisted of six 3-battalion infantry regiments, ten squadrons of heavy cavalry, ten squadrons of light cavalry, two heavy foot artillery batteries, three light foot artillery batteries, and one horse artillery battery. With 14-gun foot batteries and 12-gun horse batteries, each Russian division theoretically controlled 82 field pieces. The heavy batteries were generally made up of eight 12-pound cannons, four heavy howitzers, and two light howitzers. The light batteries were similarly mustered but with 6-pound instead of 12-pound cannons. Horse batteries were exclusively made up of 6-pound cannons.[12] Five divisions under General Johann Michelson faced the Ottoman Turks in Moldavia. The 1st Imperial Guard Division of Grand Duke Constantine Pavlovich of Russia was stationed at Saint Petersburg, while four additional divisions formed a reserve army in the interior.[13]

Louis-Nicolas Davout
Louis-Nicolas Davout

Napoleon pressed forward with Davout, Augereau, Marshal Jean Lannes' V Corps, and Marshal Joachim Murat's Cavalry Reserve. As the French advanced, Bennigsen withdrew his troops from the Vistula. Murat occupied Warsaw on 28 November and Napoleon began turning the city into a center of operations.[14] Buxhöwden's wing was still several marches to the rear and Bennigsen desired to join his colleague before facing the full strength of the French army.[15] As the French crossed the Vistula in early December, Bennigsen had a change of heart and tried to retake his former position on the east bank. By now, Napoleon's second wave of corps was arriving and, after a few clashes, Bennigsen decided to pull back behind the Wkra after all.[16]

Anton Wilhelm von L’Estocq - General
Anton von L'Estocq

After peaking during the whirlwind campaign west of the Oder, the morale of the French troops hit a new low point in Poland. The bad weather and approaching winter made Napoleon's troops very reluctant to continue the campaign. The Polish roads went from deep mud to frozen ruts as the weather grew colder. The emperor was forced to dispense a bonus in pay and extra shirts and shoes for his soldiers. Even so, French military discipline grew worse.[17] At this time, Napoleon first used the term, les grognards (the grumblers), to describe his troops.[14]

Napoleon determined to mount an offensive. Led by Murat's cavalry, Davout, Augereau, and Lannes would drive north from Warsaw. From Thorn (Toruń), Ney, Marshal Jean-Baptiste Bernadotte's I Corps, and Bessières would push east to turn the Russian right flank and separate General-Leutnant Anton Wilhelm von L'Estocq's Prussians from their allies. Marshal Nicolas Soult and the IV Corps would provide the connection between the two forces.[18]

Two major cavalry formations were in existence. Murat's I Cavalry Corps included Beaumont's 3rd Dragoon Division, General of Division Étienne Marie Antoine Champion de Nansouty's 1st Cuirassier Division, General of Division Louis Klein's 1st Dragoon Division, General of Division Nicolas Léonard Beker's 5th Dragoon Division, and General of Brigade Édouard Jean Baptiste Milhaud's light cavalry brigade.[19][20] Bessières' short-lived II Cavalry Corps comprised the 2nd Dragoon Division under General of Division Emmanuel Grouchy, 4th Dragoon Division led by General of Division Louis Michel Antoine Sahuc, 2nd Cuirassier Division commanded by General of Division Jean-Joseph Ange d'Hautpoul, and the light cavalry division of General of Division Jacques Louis François Delaistre de Tilly. The II Cavalry Corps was established on 16 December and dissolved on 12 January 1807.[21][22]

Battle

Pultusk Campaign Map 1806
The Pultusk Campaign Map shows the positions of the opposing forces in late December 1806 as the French advanced. Actions occurred at Bieżuń and Czarnowo on the 23rd, Kołoząb on the 24th, Soldau on the 25th, and Pułtusk and Gołymin on the 26th.

On the morning of 23 December, Napoleon personally observed the Russian position near the point where the Wkra emptied into the Bug-Narew. Near its mouth, the Wkra split into two branches, forming a low, swampy island. Davout's troops had occupied the island since the night of 20 December.[23] Davout had three infantry divisions under Generals of Division Charles Antoine Morand, Louis Friant, and Charles-Étienne Gudin de La Sablonnière. Napoleon decided on a night attack and drafted very detailed orders. Because of the high quality of Davout's generals and officers, the emperor's orders were carefully carried out.[24]

Opposite the French, Ostermann-Tolstoy held the east bank of the Wkra with nine battalions, two squadrons, one regiment of Cossacks, 14 guns, and six light guns.[24] The Russian 2nd Division included three infantry brigades. Major General Nikolai Mazovsky led the Pavlovski Grenadier and Rostov Musketeer Regiments, Major General Alexander Yakovlevich Sukin commanded the Petersburg Grenadier and Jeletzsky Musketeer Regiments, and Major General Ivan Andreievich Lieven directed the 1st and 20th Jager Regiments. The complement of 48 guns was made up of two 12-pound foot batteries and two 6-pound horse batteries.[25] Major General Peter Petrovich Pahlen led the cavalry brigade which included the Little Russia Cuirassier, Courland Dragoon, and Soum Hussar Regiments, plus the Malakov and Sissoiev Cossacks.[26]

Général Charles Antoine Louis Alexis Morand1
Charles Antoine Morand

Morand's division assembled on the island, Friant's troops were slightly farther north at the village of Pomiechowo, and Gudin's soldiers held a bridgehead to the west near Modlin. At 7:00 PM Morand deployed his troops into three columns, each headed by one battalion. Supported by artillery firing grapeshot, the French voltigeur (light) companies boated across the Wkra. The voltigeurs took covering positions on the east bank while engineers quickly built three bridges. Once the bridges were completed, Morand's troops swarmed across. The 17th Light Infantry Regiment and three squadrons of cavalry were among the first units across. General of Brigade Claude Petit led a task force from Gudin's division across the bridge nearest the Bug-Narew and moved up the Wkra's east bank.[24] Morand's attack was a success and the Russians were quickly hustled out of their positions on the east bank.[27]

Ostermann-tolstoi
A. Ostermann-Tolstoy

The 17th Light rushed forward and drove the Russians out of Czarnowo. However, their opponents soon rallied and recaptured the village from the French. There was a lull in the action as Morand brought reinforcements up. He sent forward the 30th Line Infantry Regiment, one battalion along the banks of the Bug-Narew to attack on the right, a second battalion in a frontal attack, while the third battalion moved through a pine woods on the left. Ostermann-Tolstoy's troops also repelled this assault. Afraid of losing his heavy artillery, the Russian commander sent his to the rear. The French continued their attack and eventually seized Czarnowo, then deployed east of the village.[27]

Meanwhile, with the help of six guns on the west bank of the Wkra, Petit's 400 men cleared the Russian redoubts opposite Pomiechowo. They were first charged by Russian cavalry, which they drove off. Davout sent some of Gudin's troops to assist and Petit hung onto the redoubts, despite being attacked by Russian infantry. At 4:00 AM, Ostermann-Tolstoy issued orders for retreat while maintaining his attacks on Petit. With the help of three late-arriving Russian battalions and four squadrons, the Russians withdrew in good order to the east.[28]

Friant's troops were ordered forward at 4:00 AM. Arriving on the field soon after, they took over the pursuit from Morand's exhausted men. Together with Davout's light cavalry under General of Brigade Jacob François Marulaz and a dragoon regiment, Friant's soldiers hounded the Russian retreat. The French captured three enemy guns at Nasielsk and drove their opponents into some nearby woods. The Russians fought back hard, keeping Davout's troops from advancing farther than Nasielsk that day.[29]

Ostermann-Tolstoy admitted losing 500 men, but a work by Alexander Mikhailovsky-Danilevsky stated that 853 Russians were killed and wounded,[30] including three generals wounded. Davout reported losing 807 casualties. The French suffered particularly heavy losses in officers.[31] Historian David G. Chandler estimated losses as 1,400 on both sides.[18] Digby Smith asserted that French casualties were 16 officers and 830 men, while the Russians suffered 41 officers and 1,360 men casualties and five guns captured. Smith's total included 500 prisoners.[32]

Bieżuń, Kołoząb, and Soldau actions

Emmanuelgrouchy1
Emmanuel Grouchy

On 19 December Bessières advance guard, which consisted of Grouchy's dragoons, seized Bieżuń. Anxious to regain control of the town, L'Estocq sent two infantry regiments, a regiment of dragoons, two regiments of hussars, and horse artillery battery to recapture it. This force arrived at Bieżuń on the 23rd to find that Grouchy had been heavily reinforced by Bessières' II Cavalry Corps, plus infantry and artillery. Leading his division, Grouchy attacked the Prussians and drove them back toward Soldau.[33] The 2nd Dragoon Division included the 3rd, 4th, 10th, 11th, 13th, and 22nd Dragoon Regiments plus three horse artillery pieces.[34] Major Karl Anton Stephan de La Roche-Aymon led the Prussian units bearing the brunt of this action, which were half of the Towarcys Uhlan Regiment, the Schleiffen Grenadier Battalion, and a horse artillery battery. Trapped against a swampy forest, 500 of the Prussian infantry and five guns were captured. French losses were described as light, while the number of Prussians killed and wounded was not reported.[35]

Charles Pierre Francois Augereau
Pierre Augereau

As the main action at Czarnowo faded away at dawn on 24 December, Augereau attempted to force a passage of the Wkra to the northwest.[36] Kołoząb is about 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) northeast of Plonsk while Sochocin is 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) northwest of Kołoząb.[note 1] The VII Corps commander had two infantry divisions and two cavalry brigades on hand. Augereau ordered Jacques Desjardin's 1st Infantry Division and Milhaud's cavalry to seize the crossing at Kołoząb, while sending Étienne Heudelet de Bierre's 2nd Division and General of Brigade Pierre Watier's cavalry to take Sochocin.[36]

The Russian commander, Barclay de Tolly, deployed three battalions and three squadrons at Sochocin, three battalions and two squadrons at Kołoząb, and three battalions to hold the wooded area between the two villages. The bridges at both places were burnt and the Kołoząb crossing was defended by 12 artillery pieces.[36] Heudelet's attack failed when his soldiers were unable to rebuild the bridge under heavy fire. Frustrated at the failure of his first attempt, he ordered a second attack which resulted in further losses.[37]

Général Jean Gabriel Marchand
Jean Gabriel Marchand

Desjardin's assault enjoyed better luck. He spread the 16th Light Infantry Regiment along the west bank opposite Kołoząb. Under the 16th's covering fire, the grenadiers of the 2nd Battalion of the 14th Line Infantry Regiment picked their way across the incompletely destroyed bridge to seize a foothold on the east bank. Though counterattacked by Russian infantry and hussars, the grenadiers held on until reinforced. The French forced back their opponents and captured six guns. Meanwhile, General of Brigade Pierre Belon Lapisse took a task force 3 kilometres (1.9 mi) downstream (south), surprised the bridge guard at Pruszkowo, and successfully crossed.[36] After this success, Augereau marched Heudelet's division to the Kołoząb crossing. Milhaud aggressively pursued the Russians and captured the baggage train of the 2nd Division. Augereau reported losses of 66 killed and 452 wounded, almost equally divided between his two divisions. Russian losses are not reported.[37]

Also on the 24th, Ney bumped into a Prussian rear guard under Oberstleutnant Friedrich Wilhelm Freiherr von Bülow at Górzno and pushed it back. Bülow joined La Roche-Aymon's detachment and the two continued falling back. Ney sent General of Division Jean Gabriel Marchand's division ahead toward Soldau and Mława[38] while holding the other division at Górzno. On 25 December, Marchand with two regiments attacked the single Prussian battalion at Soldau and drove it out of the town at 2:00 PM. The rest of his division, which had taken a roundabout path through Mława soon arrived. L'Estocq attacked Soldau at about 5:00 PM, but was unable to break into the town despite hand-to-hand fighting. He retreated north to Neidenberg (Nidzica), breaking contact with the Russian army.[39]

Marchand commanded the 27th, 39th, 69th, and 76th Line Infantry Regiments, eight battalions, and 12 guns in two foot artillery batteries. Out of a total of 6,000 troops, the French suffered 220 casualties, including General of Brigade François Pierre Felix Vonderweidt. L'Estocq's troops, which belonged to General-Major Christoph Friedrich Otto Diericke's brigade, included 3,000 men in four battalions and eight 12-pound guns. The units involved were the Rüchel Infantry Regiment # 2 and the Schöning Infantry Regiment # 11. Prussian casualties were not reported, though Ney claimed to have inflicted 800 casualties on his enemies and captured two guns and one color.[40][41]

The French pressed eastward and encountered the Russians in two major actions on 26 December. At the Battle of Pułtusk, Bennigsen with 40,600 troops fought 26,000 French under Marshal Lannes. Golitsyn and 9,000 Russians fought off Augereau's 16,000 French at the Battle of Gołymin.[42]

Notes

Footnotes
  1. ^ Google Earth was used to measure distances and directions.
Citations
  1. ^ Chandler Campaigns, p 497
  2. ^ Smith, pp 226-227
  3. ^ Smith, pp 227-228
  4. ^ Smith, p 228
  5. ^ Smith, p 231
  6. ^ Smith, p 232
  7. ^ Smith, p 233
  8. ^ Chandler Campaigns, p 513
  9. ^ Petre, p 39
  10. ^ Petre, pp 70-71
  11. ^ a b Petre, pp 38-39
  12. ^ Petre, p 37
  13. ^ Chandler Campaigns, p 519
  14. ^ a b Chandler Campaigns, p 515
  15. ^ Petre, p 70
  16. ^ Petre, p 73
  17. ^ Chandler Campaigns, pp 517-518
  18. ^ a b Chandler Campaigns, p 521
  19. ^ Petre, p 64
  20. ^ Petre, p 177. Petre notes that the 5th Dragoon Division was with Savary at the time of Eylau. That would be Beker's unit.
  21. ^ Petre, p 86
  22. ^ Chandler Jena, p 37. Chandler lists the French cavalry division numbers.
  23. ^ Petre, p 79
  24. ^ a b c Petre, p 80
  25. ^ Smith, p 234. Smith gives the full 18-battalion strength, but lists no cavalry units.
  26. ^ Millar, Left Wing. This source gives the cavalry organization and the full names of the infantry brigade commanders.
  27. ^ a b Petre, p 81
  28. ^ Petre, pp 81-82
  29. ^ Petre, p 83
  30. ^ Alexander Mikhailovsky-Danilevsky (1846). The History of the Second War of Emperor Alexander against Napoleon in the years 1806 and 1807 (in Russian). p. 88.
  31. ^ Petre, p 82
  32. ^ Smith, p 234
  33. ^ Petre, pp 86-87
  34. ^ Chandler Jena, p 37
  35. ^ Smith, pp 234-235
  36. ^ a b c d Petre, p 84
  37. ^ a b Petre, p 85
  38. ^ Petre, p 87
  39. ^ Petre, pp 87-88
  40. ^ Smith, p 235. Smith states that Vonderweidt was killed.
  41. ^ Broughton, Vonderweidt. This source asserts that Vonderweidt died in 1810.
  42. ^ Smith, p 235-236

References

Coordinates: 52°28′31″N 20°46′23″E / 52.475278°N 20.773056°E

2nd Pavlograd Life Hussar Regiment

The 2nd Pavlograd Life Hussar Regiment (Russian: 2-й лейб-гусарский Павлоградский полк) was a cavalry regiment of the Imperial Russian Army.

The regiment was originally formed in 1783 as the Pavlograd Light Horse Regiment from the Dnepr and Yekaterinoslav Regiments of Pikemen, although it traced its seniority back to the establishment of both regiments in 1764. It became the Pavlograd Hussar Regiment in 1801, and fought in the Napoleonic Wars, distinguishing itself at the Battle of Schöngrabern during the War of the Third Coalition. The regiment also fought at Austerlitz, Eylau, and Friedland, but served in a secondary theatre during the French invasion of Russia, although it fought in the Battle of Berezina in the latter. Subsequently, it took part in the Russian campaign in Europe, fighting at Leipzig, Craonne and Saint-Dizier.

The regiment went on to fight in the Russo-Turkish War of 1828–1829, the November Uprising, the Hungarian Revolution of 1848, the Crimean War, and the January Uprising.

André Joseph Boussart

André Joseph Boussart or André Joseph Boussard (13 November 1758 – 11 August 1813) was a French soldier and general. He enlisted in the army of Habsburg Austria as a youth. A Belgian by birth, he joined the Brabant Revolution against Austria and fled to France when the rebellion collapsed. He soon found himself fighting for France during the French Revolutionary Wars. Promoted to general officer during the French Campaign in Egypt and Syria, he returned to France where he held several non-combat posts.

He commanded a dragoon brigade during the 1805 and 1806–1807 campaigns. At Prenzlau he led a highly successful charge against forces of the Kingdom of Prussia, capturing many soldiers and cannon. After the battle his cavalry participated in the mopping up operations in Prussia. He was wounded fighting the Russians at Czarnowo and Pultusk. He transferred to Spain in 1808 where he was captured in the Bailén debacle. He was exchanged and fought in many battles at the head of Marshal Louis Gabriel Suchet's cavalry during the Peninsular War. Recklessly brave, he suffered many wounds during his military career and was nearly killed at Valencia. He died of his injuries in the summer of 1813.

Battle of Eylau

The Battle of Eylau or Battle of Preussisch-Eylau, 7 and 8 February 1807, was a bloody and inconclusive battle between Napoleon's Grande Armée and the Imperial Russian Army under the command of Levin August von Bennigsen near the town of Preussisch Eylau in East Prussia. Late in the battle, the Russians received timely reinforcements from a Prussian division of von L'Estocq. After 1945 the town was renamed Bagrationovsk as a part of Kaliningrad Oblast, Russia. The engagement was fought during the War of the Fourth Coalition, part of the Napoleonic Wars. Of all Napoleonic battles, this is considered to be the most uncertain and mysterious for several reasons—mainly the strength of Murat's reserve cavalry.Napoleon's armies previously smashed the army of the Austrian Empire in the Ulm Campaign and the combined Austrian and Russian armies at the Battle of Austerlitz on 2 December 1805. On 14 October 1806 Napoleon crushed the armies of the Kingdom of Prussia at the Battle of Jena–Auerstedt and hunted down the scattered Prussians at Prenzlau, Lübeck, Erfurt, Pasewalk, Stettin, Magdeburg and Hamelin.

In late January Bennigsen's Russian army went on the offensive in East Prussia, pushing far to the west. Napoleon reacted by mounting a counteroffensive to the north, hoping to prevent their retreat to the east. After his Cossacks captured a copy of Napoleon's orders, Bennigsen rapidly withdrew to the northeast to avoid being cut off. The French pursued for several days and found the Russians drawn up for battle at Eylau.

In a vicious evening clash the French captured the village, with heavy losses on both sides. The following day brought even more serious fighting. Early in the battle a frontal attack by Napoleon failed, with catastrophic losses. To reverse the situation, the emperor launched a massed cavalry charge against the Russians. This bought enough time for the French right wing to throw its weight into the contest. Soon the Russian left wing was bent back at an acute angle and Bennigsen's army was in danger of collapse. A Prussian corps belatedly arrived and saved the day by pushing back the French right. As darkness fell, a French corps tardily appeared on the French left. That night Bennigsen decided to retreat, leaving Napoleon in possession of a snowy battlefield covered with thousands of dead and wounded. Eylau was the first serious check to the Grande Armée, and the myth of Napoleon's invincibility was badly shaken. However, the French would go on to win the war by decisively defeating the Russians on 14 June at the Battle of Friedland.

Battle of Mohrungen

In the Battle of Mohrungen on 25 January 1807, most of a First French Empire corps under the leadership of Marshal Jean-Baptiste Bernadotte fought a strong Russian Empire advance guard led by Major General Yevgeni Ivanovich Markov. The French pushed back the main Russian force, but a cavalry raid on the French supply train caused Bernadotte to call off his attacks. After driving off the cavalry, Bernadotte withdrew and the town was occupied by the army of General Levin August, Count von Bennigsen. The fighting took place in and around Morąg in northern Poland, which in 1807 was the East Prussian town of Mohrungen. The action was part of the War of the Fourth Coalition in the Napoleonic Wars.

After demolishing the army of the Kingdom of Prussia in a whirlwind campaign in October and November 1806, Napoleon's Grande Armée seized Warsaw. After two bitterly fought actions against the Russian army, the French emperor decided to place his troops into winter quarters. However, in wintry weather, the Russian commander moved north into East Prussia and then struck west at Napoleon's left flank. As one of Bennigsen's columns advanced west it encountered forces under Bernadotte. The Russian advance was nearly at an end as Napoleon gathered strength for a powerful counterstroke.

Battle of Pułtusk

The Battle of Pułtusk took place on 26 December 1806 during the War of the Fourth Coalition near Pułtusk, Poland. Despite their strong numerical superiority and artillery, the Russians suffered the French attacks, before retiring the next day having suffered greater losses than the French, disorganizing their army for the rest of the year.

Czarnowo, Nowy Dwór Mazowiecki County

Czarnowo [t͡ʂarˈnɔvɔ] is a village in the administrative district of Gmina Pomiechówek, within Nowy Dwór Mazowiecki County, Masovian Voivodeship, in east-central Poland. It lies approximately 2 kilometres (1 mi) south-east of Brody-Parcele (the gmina seat), 8 km (5 mi) north-east of Nowy Dwór Mazowiecki, and 33 km (21 mi) north-west of Warsaw. The village is on the north bank of the Narew River, a short distance east of the point where the Wkra River flows into it from the north.

Jacques Desjardin

Jacques Desjardin or Jacques Jardin or Jacques Desjardins; (9 February 1759 – 11 February 1807) enlisted in the French royal army as a young man and eventually became a sergeant. During the first years of the French Revolutionary Wars he enjoyed very rapid promotion to the rank of general officer in the army of the French First Republic. In May and June 1794 he emerged as co-commander of an army that tried three times to cross the Sambre at Grandreng, Erquelinnes and Gosselies and each time was thrown back by the Coalition. After that, he reverted to a division commander and saw more service in the north of France, Belgium, and the Netherlands. In the campaign of 1805, he led an infantry division under Marshal Pierre Augereau in Emperor Napoleon's Grande Armée and saw limited fighting. In 1806 he fought at Jena, Czarnowo and Gołymin. He was mortally wounded at the Battle of Eylau on 8 February 1807 and died three days later. His surname is one of the names inscribed under the Arc de Triomphe, on Column 16.

Jean Gabriel Marchand

Jean Gabriel Marchand, 1st Count Marchand (10 December 1765 – 12 November 1851) went from being an attorney to a company commander in the army of the First French Republic in 1791. He fought almost exclusively in Italy throughout the French Revolutionary Wars and served on the staffs of a number of generals. He participated in Napoleon Bonaparte's celebrated 1796-1797 Italian campaign. In 1799, he was with army commander Barthélemy Catherine Joubert when that general was killed at Novi. Promoted to general officer soon after, he transferred to the Rhine theater in 1800.

At the start of the Napoleonic Wars in 1805, Marchand led a brigade in the Grande Armée at Haslach-Jungingen and Dürenstein. Promoted to lead a division in Marshal Michel Ney's corps, he fought at Jena and Magdeburg in 1806. Leading an independent force, he defeated 3,000 Prussians late in the year. The following year he led his troops at Eylau, Guttstadt-Deppen, and Friedland. Napoleon bestowed honors and the rank of nobility upon him.

In 1808 Marchand went to Spain where he fought in the Peninsular War. In Ney's absence, he took command of the corps and suffered a humiliating defeat at Tamamés at the hands of a Spanish army. He went with Marshal André Masséna's abortive invasion of Portugal in 1810 and 1811 and fought at Ciudad Rodrigo, Almeida, and Bussaco. During the retreat he performed well in one rear guard action against the British and later led his division at Fuentes de Onoro.

In 1812 he commanded a division in Russia. He fought at the head of his division at Lützen, Bautzen, and Leipzig in 1813. An Austrian division defeated his independent command near Geneva in 1814. During the Hundred Days he was tasked with stopping Napoleon's march near Grenoble, but his troops went over to the ex-emperor. For this, he was later tried by the Bourbons but acquitted. His surname is one of those names inscribed under the Arc de Triomphe.

List of battles involving France in modern history

This is a chronological list of the battles involving France in modern history.

For earlier conflicts, see List of battles involving France. These lists do not include the battles of the French civil wars (as the Wars of Religion, the Fronde, the War in the Vendée) unless a foreign country is involved; this list includes neither the peacekeeping operations (such as Operation Artemis, Operation Licorne) nor the humanitarian missions supported by the French Armed Forces.

The list gives the name, the date, the present-day location of the battles, the French allies and enemies, and the result of these conflicts following this legend:

French military victory

French military defeat

Indecisive or unclear outcome

Ongoing conflict

Louis-Nicolas Davout

Louis-Nicolas d'Avout (10 May 1770 – 1 June 1823), better known as Davout, 1st Duke of Auerstaedt, 1st Prince of Eckmühl, was a French general who was Marshal of the Empire during the Napoleonic era. His talent for war along with his reputation as a stern disciplinarian earned him the title "The Iron Marshal". He is ranked along with Masséna and Lannes as one of Napoleon's finest commanders. His loyalty and obedience to Napoleon were absolute. During his lifetime, Davout's name was commonly spelled Davoust, which is how it appears on the Arc de Triomphe and in much of the correspondence between Napoleon and his generals (see external links below for examples).

Marc Antoine de Beaumont

Marc Antoine Bonnin de la Bonninière de Beaumont (23 September 1763 – 4 February 1830) a French nobleman, became a page to the king and joined the army of the Old Regime. He stayed in the army during the French Revolution and narrowly escaped being executed. During the French Revolutionary Wars he fought in the 1796 Italian campaign under Napoleon Bonaparte, leading the cavalry at Lodi and Castiglione. In 1799 he was wounded in Italy but fought there again in late 1800.

After Napoleon became emperor, Beaumont led the 3rd Dragoon Division in two major campaigns during the Napoleonic Wars. He led his cavalrymen against Habsburg Austria and Russia in several actions during the War of the Third Coalition in 1805. In the War of the Fourth Coalition, he was present at Jena and fought at Prenzlau and Eylau. In 1809, he commanded a reserve formation. His brother-in-law was Marshal Louis-Nicolas Davout. Beaumont is one of the names inscribed under the Arc de Triomphe.

Pierre-Joseph Habert

Pierre-Joseph Habert (22 December 1773 – 19 May 1825) enlisted in the French army at the beginning of the French Revolutionary Wars and led a division during the Napoleonic Wars. After serving in the army from 1792 to 1797, he fought in Ireland and Egypt, rising in rank to become a colonel by 1802. Under Emperor Napoleon, he led his regiment in the 1805 campaign against Austria. In the 1806-1807 campaign he saw action at Jena, Golymin, Eylau, and Heilsberg and was wounded twice in the last-named battle.

Promoted to general officer, Habert was posted to Spain where he achieved fame in the Peninsular War. After he fought with varying fortunes in 1808 and 1809, General and later Marshal Louis-Gabriel Suchet arrived to take command in Aragon. A string of almost unbroken successes followed. Though only a general of brigade he was named to lead Suchet's 3rd Division in actions at Lerida, Tortosa, and Tarragona. After being promoted, he led his division at Saguntum, Valencia, Castalla, and Ordal. He became known as the Ajax of the Army of Catalonia for his prolonged defense of Barcelona in 1814. He commanded a division during the Hundred Days at Ligny and Wavre, though he missed the Battle of Waterloo. Habert is one of the names inscribed under the Arc de Triomphe.

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