Tuesday, 30 November 2010


Leipzig was the last battlefield to be visited during our Napoleon's German Battlefield tour.

I was really looking forward to this one, and had done a lot of previous research. I had read all the books I could find and had prepared maps of the different combats such as Libertwolkwitz, Wachau, Connewitz, Lindenau, Mockern and finally Leipzig itself.

This should have been the highlight of the tour, but it proved to be the most disappointing. I am not sure whether it was due to lack of knowledge or preparation by our tour guide, or whether the area is now so developed that it was not possible to find or walk any of the actual battlefields.

Whatever the cause, we only spent the morning visiting the battlefield, and most of that time was spent at the magnificient monument. Then we had a long lunch, followed by a "free afternoon"

I have not read any accounts of visits to this battlefield, either before or since our visit. So I am unable to compare our experience with that of other visitors. Those which I have read have been a brief description, such as at the end of the Osprey Campaign Series Leipzig 1813. There is mention of other memorials, but no details.

It was a shame to end our tour on a disappointing note. Especially as this battlefield promised to be the highlight of the tour.

I did manage to take some good view of the battlefield, and you can find them at


Tuesday, 23 November 2010


This small German village was already famous long before Napoleon fought the first major battle of the 1813 campaign there.

In 1632 the famous Swedish general Gustavus Adolphus lost his life here during the first Battle of Lutzen.

The area is largely unchanged since 2 May 1813, when Napoleon defeated the Prussian and Russian armies and sent them in retreat to the east. Due to his lack of cavalry he was unable to mount an effective pursuit, and the allied army retreated through Dresden and formed up on the hills overlooking Bautzen for the second major battle of the war.

For more photographs, and a record of our visit, follow this link


Wednesday, 17 November 2010


Bautzen is one of the less well known of Napoleon's victories.

Fought just 20 days after Lutzen, his first victory in the 1813 campaign, Bautzen was a large battle fought over a wide area. Napoleon commanded an army of 200,000 against just 96,000 Prussians and Russians. It should have been a decisive victory, and even ended the 1813 campaign in a French victory. He won, but he allowed the allies to retreat to the east. Or rather Marshal Ney allowed them to retreat, by attacking the right of the allied line instead of arriving behind the right and preventing them from retreating.

The result was the armistice, which ended with the Austrians joining Prussia and Russia, and the complete defeat of Napoleon at Leipzig.

Perhaps that is the real reason Bautzen is not well known. It was a missed opportunity and became overshadowed by the great battle of Leipzig.

We spent a day walking the battlefield and you can read about it at


Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Festung Konigstein

Apart from an inspection visit by Napoleon in 1813, the fortress does not appear to have played an active part in the Napoleonic Wars. However its very presence overlooking the river Elbe so near to Dresden made it important enough to have a regular garrison. I was not surprised to hear that there has never been an attempt to capture it by force!

We were dropped off here whilst our guide and the coach went off to recce the next days battlefield walk. However we were not unhappy, as Konigstein is a major tourist attraction and well worth a visit.

There is an interesting museum which includes artillery uniforms and equipment of the Napoleonic period.

But the most interesting part of our visit was exploring the ramparts with their large collection of artillery equipment.
Link to blog