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Osprey Campaign 87 : Lutzen & Bautzen 1813 : The Turning Point

Following the disastrous Russian campaign of 1812, Napoleon found himself facing a new coalition of his old enemies. With incredible speed he raised an army of 200,000 men and marched to join the remnants of the old Grande Armee in Germany, where he planned to defeat the combined Franco-Prussian army in detail as he had so many times before. However, he no longer faced the brittle enemies of 1805 and 1806; nor were the men he led the veterans that had brought him victory at Austerlitz and Jena. At Lützen on 2 May the inexperience of his new army began to show. Faulty reconnaissance by raw cavalry allowed Ney's Corps to be surprised by Wittgenstein's Russians. Napoleon galloped to the scene and with his old brilliance turned defeat into victory, personally leading the counter-attack. Crossing the Elbe he brought the allies to battle at Bautzen, but Ney's hesitancy allowed them to escape and victory slipped from his grasp. As Austria stirred, the tide began to run ever more strongly against Napoleon. In the spring of 1813 a turning point had been reached - Napoleon's last chance to regain his Empire had slipped from his grasp. Text by Peter Hofschröer with illustrations by Christa Hook.

 

Osprey Campaign


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