IV Corps (Grande Armée)

The IV Corps of the Grande Armée was a military unit during the Napoleonic Wars. It consisted several different units and commanders.

IV Corps (Grande Armée)
Active 1805–1815
Country France First French Empire
Branch Army
Type Army Corps
Size Three or four infantry divisions, cavalry, artillery
Engagements Napoleonic Wars
Nicolas Soult
François Joseph Lefebvre
Horace François Sébastiani
André Masséna
Eugène de Beauharnais
Henri Gatien Bertrand
Étienne Maurice Gérard

Under Soult

Marshal Nicolas Soult took command of IV Corps in 1805.[1]

IV Corps formed part of the extended center of the French line at the Battle of Austerlitz in December 1805.[2] On the 2nd, Napoleon ordered Soult to attack the Pratzen Heights, from which the Allies had been attacking the French right wing. Repeated attacks from the Russians under General Kutusov almost collapsed IV Corps' line, but aid from Bernadotte's I Corps allowed the French to maintain their control of the Heights. The survivors then moved south and enveloped Buxhowden's column, sending the Allies into a retreat.[3]

IV Corps formed the right wing of the French line at the Battle of Jena in October 1806.[1][4] At Eylau in February 1807, IV Corps was beaten back by the Russian army under Generals Tutchkov and Dokhturov.[5]

In 1808 Soult was transferred to Spain, where he took command of II Corps in the Peninsular War.[1]

Danube Campaign in 1809

When Austrian went to war in 1809 many French units nominally belonged to IV Corps were not concentrated yet. It were detached under command Marshals Bessières and Massena and took part in battles of Landshut, Neumarkt and Ebelsberg. Later reorganised IV Corps under Massena fought in Battles of Aspern-Esling and Wagram.

Invasion of Russia in 1812

The IV Corps consisted mainly of the Army of the Kingdom of Italy (Napoleonic) during the 1812 invasion of Russia. It was commanded by Napoleon's stepson Eugène de Beauharnais. The IV Corps most notably participated in the Battle of Borodino,[6] where it formed the left wing of the French line. Later it also fought hard at Malojaroslavec and Viazma. The IV Corps suffered heavy casualties during winter retreat.


  1. ^ a b c Chandler, 417.
  2. ^ Chandler, 31.
  3. ^ Chandler, 35.
  4. ^ Chandler, 215.
  5. ^ Chandler, 146
  6. ^ Badone, Jean Cerino; et al. "Battle of Borodino, 1812 - Armies. "French and Russian Orders of Battle"". Retrieved 2007-08-16.


  • Chandler, David G. (1979). Dictionary of the Napoleonic Wars. New York: Macmillan Publishing Co., Inc. ISBN 0-02-523670-9

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