Dresden, Battle of 1813

Dresden, Battle of (1813)


a battle fought on August 14-15 (26-27) between Field Marshal K. Schwarzenberg’s allied Bohemian Army (made up of Russian, Prussian, and Austrian troops; 227,000 men) and Napoleon’s army (165,000 men) in the war of the sixth anti-French coalition against Napoleonic France (1813-14).

In early August the Bohemian Army opened an offensive on Dresden from the south into the rear of Napoleon’s main forces, which were operating against General G. L. Blucher’s Silesian Army. On August 14 an allied vanguard of 70,000 men attacked the French corps of Saint-Cyr, which was defending Dresden, but Napoleon’s main forces moved up and stopped the allied advance. Although Schwarzenberg had a superiority of forces, he turned to the defense, while leaving his flank insufficiently covered. On August 15, Napoleon struck at the left wing of the allies and repulsed it. Schwarzenberg began a retreat under the cover of the Russian rear guard commanded by General A.I. Osterman-Tolstoy, who defeated the French troops that pursued him at Kulm on August 17-18 (29-30). The battle of Dresden was Napoleon’s last victory in the campaign of 1813.