Napoleonic Guide's Suggested
from the military disaster at Leipzig,
Napoleon Bonaparte found
that his ally Bavaria had taken the defeat as an opportunity
to change sides and join the Allies.
Hanau the French emperor's line of retreat was blocked by
a combined Bavarian and Austrian force under the command
of Bavaria's General Carl Wrede.
had some 30,000 men and more than 50 guns (17,000 Bavarians
and 13,000 Austrians), while Napoleon's force numbered 100,000
troops and 100 cannons.
fighting occurred at the Kinzig River and Wrede erred badly
by splitting his force on each side of the uncrossable waterway.
Between them there was only a small bridge over which he
could transfer troops.
did not help the Bavarians that their commander had wasted
almost half his artillery ammunition on a needless pounding
of Wurzburg and had not resupplied his guns.
mistake, which Napoleon immediately took advantage of, was
he had positioned too close to a thick wood and the French
could advance and remain almost hidden.
Macdonald led the initial assault on the Bavarian left
and he was soon reinforced by Marshal
Victor. Together they forced the Bavarians backwards
against the river.
only a single bridge to escape across many hundreds of fleeing
many drowned in the river.
victory had cost him some 6000 casualties, while Wrede suffered
more than 9000, but the French could now continue their
move towards Frankfurt.