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"How Napoleon Lost Paris" Topic


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219 hits since 16 Oct 2018
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP17 Oct 2018 2:08 p.m. PST

"IN EARLY NOVEMBER 1813, several weeks after his crushing defeat at Leipzig, Napoleon led fewer than 60,000 soldiers back into France and then continued on to Paris to oversee the mobilization of a new army. Meanwhile, his shattered marshals prepared to defend France's Rhine frontier against a looming Allied invasion. They did not have to wait long. On December 20 the Grand Army of Bohemia, led by Field-Marshal Karl Philipp, Prince of Schwarzenberg, crossed the Upper Rhine at Basel. Twelve days later, a smaller Allied force, Field Marshal Gebhard Leberecht von Blücher's Army of Silesia, crossed the Rhine near Mainz. Schwarzenberg and Blücher had planned to reach their respective objectives of Langres and Metz by January 15.

The Allies' ultimate target, of course, was Paris, though the specifics of such an offensive were left unsettled. Longstanding differences had become enmities among the members of Napoleon's Coalition as they considered whether France should be invaded and whether Napoleon, in turn, should be dethroned. The Austrians did not want to invade France and desperately hoped to reach a diplomatic settlement that would keep Napoleon on the throne to counter Russia's growing power. Tsar Alexander I of Russia wanted to be rid of Napoleon altogether…."
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