Lützen(redirected from Luetzen)
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a city in the German Democratic Republic in the district of Halle. During the Thirty Years’ War of 1618-48 the Swedish Army of King Gustavus II Adolphus (18,500 men) defeated A. Wallenstein’s mercenary imperial troops (18,000 men) on Nov. 6(16), 1632, at Liitzen. Although Gustavus Adolphus was killed in battle and Bernhard of Weimar took his place, the qualitative superiority of the Swedish troops and their skillful maneuvering brought them victory. The imperial troops lost about 6,000 men, and the Swedes 3,000.
On Apr. 20 (May 2), 1813, a battle was fought near Liitzen (15 km southwest of Leipzig at Grossgörschen) between Napoleon’s army (150,000 to 160,000 men and 350 guns) and Russo-Prussian troops under the command of General P. Kh. Vittgenshtein (92,000 men and 650 guns). Napoleon, believing that the allies were near Leipzig, set out in that direction from Naumburg through Liitzen. But Vittgenshtein decided to attack the French troops, which were spread out on the march, by striking from the southwest at Liitzen and defeating them piece-meal. However, since Vittgenshtein had to coordinate his actions with Emperor Alexander I and the Prussian king Frederick William, there were delays in the issuing of orders. Napoleon passed to the offensive and, personally assuming the command of his troops, outflanked both flanks of the Russo-Prussian troops and forced them to retreat. Each side lost from 15,000 to 20,000 men.