Wars of Liberation

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The armed conflicts in Central Europe from 1813 to 1815, which ended the domination of France under Napoleon Bonaparte over large parts of the European continent, are summarized as Wars of Liberation or Wars of Freedom . They belong to the Napoleonic Wars and form their conclusion as part of the Sixth Coalition War .

Against the French Empire , which had been in a worldwide maritime and colonial war with Great Britain almost continuously since 1793 , an alliance was formed again in 1813 after Napoleon's defeat in the Russian campaign of 1812 . These were initially carried by Russia and Prussia , later Sweden , Austria and other states joined. Anti-French and nationally oriented journalism emerged in Germany, which formed a basis for German nationalism in the 19th and 20th centuries. The people's war, which was initially waged with ideological undertones, was converted, in particular by Metternich, into a war between the governments to restore a balance between the old powers.

After an uneven course of the war, Napoleon was defeated in October 1813 in the Battle of the Nations near Leipzig . He had to retreat across the Rhine . The Confederation of the Rhine dissolved after this defeat. With the withdrawal of Napoleon, French rule over large parts of Germany ( French era ) ended. On New Year's Eve of 1813/14, Prussians and Russians began to cross the French border with the Rhine. After several defensive battles, Napoleon was defeated in March at the Battle of Arcis-sur-Aube . The victors from Russia, Prussia, Great Britain and Austria invaded Paris, forced Napoleon to abdicate and restored the royal rule . The Congress of Vienna should decide on the redesign of Europe . While this was still in session, Napoleon returned from the island of Elba , took over the rule again , before he was finally defeated by Prussia and Great Britain at Waterloo ( Belle Alliance ) . The hopes for a united Germany were not fulfilled by the Congress of Vienna when it came to settling the peace order. Three wars of German unification were the result.

Concept history

The term freedom war was used by liberal forces in the German-speaking area to indicate the goal of a unified German constitutional state. Conservatives, on the other hand, used the term liberation war in the restoration phase after 1815 to emphasize the struggle as a campaign directed against French hegemony and occupation of Europe. In German historiography - also in Marxist history - the war of liberation has prevailed.

Occasionally, a distinction is made between the German Wars of Liberation 1813–1815 and the European Wars of Liberation , which began in 1808 with the resistance of Spain .

Napoleon's defeat in the Russian campaign

Europe on the eve of Napoleon's Russian campaign              Border of the Rhine Confederation 1812

Napoleonic rule in Germany seemed to be firmly established in 1812 at the Prince's Day in Dresden before the start of the Russian campaign. Numerous German soldiers from the Confederation of the Rhine took part in the war, but also Prussian and Austrian aid contingents. Overall, the German states provided about a third of the invasion troops, which numbered over 600,000. The campaign turned into the defeat of Napoleon due to the Russian defensive tactics, the resistance of the state leadership and the population, the fire of Moscow , the high losses from cold, hunger and disease. Only a small proportion of the soldiers returned across the Russian-Polish border at the end of December 1812. There are different details about the exact numbers. Thomas Nipperdey speaks of a total of 100,000 soldiers. According to Alan Parker, the main army is said to have only numbered 20,000 men. Other figures speak of 40,000 men. But only a fraction of that was still operational. In addition to the 25,000 men under Macdonald who were still standing near Riga, the Austrian and Prussian corps were largely intact . In Russia, Alexander I , supported among others by his advisor, Freiherr vom Stein , prevailed against his generals by continuing the war until Napoleon's final defeat and the restoration of the balance of power in Europe. The Russian Legion was formed from German emigrants . German intellectuals in Russian services such as Justus von Gruner and Ernst Moritz Arndt took on the propaganda support of the war.

Transition of Prussia to Russia

Ludwig Graf Yorck von Wartenburg (painting by Ernst Gebauer )

In Prussia , King Friedrich Wilhelm III reacted . and the government hesitated, believing that, despite the Prussian reforms after the defeat of 1806 , Prussia was still too weak to risk a confrontation with France. On February 24, 1812, Prussia had to actually submit to France. The country only had a maximum of 28,000 men in regular units, without the Prussian auxiliary corps of the Grande Armée under Yorck . The units were scattered over the entire national territory. The main power was in Silesia. The most important fortresses were in French hands. In addition, Eugène de Beauharnais stood at Posen with 13,000 men, and more troops were advancing. Remnants of the Grande Armée moved through Germany to serve as a base for new units. The Russians were also weakened by the recent Russian campaign.

The commanding general of the Prussian auxiliary troops, Ludwig Yorck von Wartenburg , concluded an armistice with the Russian troops on December 30, 1812 in the Tauroggen Convention . This opened the way for the Russian army to East Prussia . Yorck's move took place without the king's knowledge or approval. However, Yorck hoped for subsequent approval. Yet this practice was actually high treason. Yorck was originally a conservative general, but in recent years he had gone over to the reformist camp and had previously spoken out in favor of a popular uprising. The development in East Prussia was largely withdrawn from the government in Berlin as early as the first week of February. Freiherr vom Stein appeared in East Prussia as the Tsar's agent. He wrote to Yorck: “Wisdom, honor, patriotism and vengeance demand no time to be lost, to call the people's war, to take up arms and to use all strength to break the fetters of the impudent oppressor and to wash away the shame suffered with the blood of his wicked gangs . “Yorck called a national assembly in East Prussia, began to raise troops and to proclaim war against France. A Landwehr of 20,000 men and 10,000 reservists was set up. All exemptions from military service except for teachers and clergy were abolished. The restrictions on religion also fell, which meant that Jews could also be called up for the first time. This also happened without the consent of the king.

The signatures of Yorck (Königlich Preuss. General Lieutn.) And Diebitsch (Kaiserlich Russischer General Major) under the Tauroggen Convention of December 30, 1812

The king reluctantly began to break away from the French. At the head of the Prussian government, he arrived in the unoccupied Breslau on January 25, 1813 , to begin with armaments. On the basis of a cabinet order of February 3, volunteers were called on to join the hunter's troops on February 8, and compulsory military service was introduced on February 9. Because of the use of the Krümpersystem , an army of 107,000 field troops and 30,000 garrison and reserve troops were available at the beginning of the war. Von Stein, supported by the army reformers Scharnhorst , Gneisenau , Boyen and Clausewitz , succeeded in winning over the König and Hardenberg for a war course. It also played a role that dissatisfaction with the king spread over large parts of the country and one even expected an open revolt if the king did not approach Russia.

On February 26, 1813, Prussia and Russia concluded a coalition against Napoleon in the Treaty of Kalisch , combined with an invitation to Great Britain and Austria to join. In secret articles it was agreed to restore Prussia in full, with part of its former Polish possessions being transferred to Russia for compensation in western Germany. Prussia and Russia founded a commission under vom Stein, which later became the central administration department . At this point in time, the commission should recruit troops from all areas of Germany and plan the political reorganization in southern and western Germany.

Prussian People's War

Beginning of the call to my people

On March 4, 1813, Russian troops entered Berlin, which had recently been evacuated by the French. An anti-Napoleonic mood prevailed in the Prussian public. This put the king under pressure. He was forced to accommodate the patriotic enthusiasm. On March 10th, he founded the Iron Cross , the first order to be awarded to all ranks without distinction. On March 17th, the day after the arrival of Tsar Alexander I in the court camp of the Prussian king in Breslau, Prussia declared war on Napoleonic France. Among other things, the Silesian privileged newspaper of March 20, 1813 published the appeal to my people , signed by Friedrich Wilhelm on March 17 , which called for a war of freedom. It reminded of freedom struggles in earlier times. However, no parallel was deliberately drawn to the Levée en masse of the French Revolution. The appeal also tried to establish a connection with the conventional management of the Hohenzollern House. The people were asked to make sacrifices in the struggle for independence for king, fatherland and honor. The appeal to patriotism was something new. In Prussia, money was then collected for the war. With the motto gold, I gave 6.5 million thalers for iron . People from all walks of life down to the lower classes took part in the donations. The enthusiasm for the war was particularly great among the Jewish population. The Jewish student Heinrich Steinmann, for example, in 1813 saw equal military treatment as a step towards general equality. Numerous Jewish men who were able to do military service for the first time volunteered. A Jewish donation campaign was so successful that some rabbis also donated kiddush bowls or the jewelry of Torah scrolls. Regulations in the call for the formation of the Landwehr, which provided for the election of officers, were downright revolutionary. For the first time support from women was also solicited. Female members of the royal family called for the formation of a women's association for the good of the fatherland. A total of 600 such associations had been established on a local basis by the end of the war. Here too, Jewish women like Rahel Varnhagen played a major role. The Order of Louisen was specially founded for women .

Freikorps and Landwehr

A member of the Black Company bids farewell (painting The Black Brunswicker ).

In this context, the establishment of volunteer units belongs ( volunteer hunters ) and Volunteer Corps (u. A. The Lützow Volunteer Corps ). The Lützow Freikorps was set up for non-Prussian volunteers. Those serving in the Lützow corps were therefore not sworn in to the king, but to the fatherland. In practice, however, two thirds were Prussians there too. Most of the rest came from north-west and central Germany. Members of the educated classes were extremely well represented. Last but not least, this unity was intended to help trigger rebellions against Napoleon. Also Landwehr - and militia units were set up.

All previous exemptions from compulsory military service have been lifted. Anyone who tried to evade had to reckon with the restriction of civil liberties. In this respect, troop formation was not just voluntary. In fact, numerous recruits also fled across the borders in Silesia or West Prussia. Others tried to evade military service with medical certificates, for example. The idea that it was above all the educated youth who flocked to take up arms has now been somewhat relativized by research, even if the calls were followed closely. The craftsmen dominated the volunteers with 41%. It was followed by members of the agricultural population with 16%, farmhands and day laborers with 15%. The educated classes made up about 12% and the students about 5%. After all, this corresponded to a share of 20% of all Prussian students. Overall, Peter Brandt estimates that after all, half of German students took part in the wars of liberation. The volunteer units made up only 12% of the total army in the end, but they were a characteristic of the war.

On outposts : Heinrich Hartmann (lying, left) Theodor Körner (seated, center) and Friedrich Friesen (standing, right) as Lützower Jäger (painting by Georg Friedrich Kersting 1815)

The equipment and discipline of the Land Defense units were poor for a long time. There was a lack of experienced officers and the combat strength was correspondingly low at the beginning. This changed over time. In contrast to the Landwehr, the Landsturm was rarely used actively. In total, an army of around 280,000 men was set up within a short time. This was roughly a tenth of the male population. About 120,000 of them were Landwehr. About 30,000 were volunteers. The rest were regular line troops.

For the whole of German-speaking Central Europe, one has to assume that the number of volunteers is about twice as high. The non-Prussian voluntary associations included the Hanseatic Legion and the banner of the voluntary Saxons . The Black Group of Duke Friedrich Wilhelm von Braunschweig-Wolfenbüttel was founded earlier . This went up in 1810 in the Braunschweig-Lüneburgschen Jäger under English command and finally in the Braunschweigian Body Battalion , which took part in the battle of Quatre-Bras on June 16, 1815 and two days later in the battle of Waterloo . There were even voluntary women's organizations that mainly provided humanitarian aid.

Nationally oriented journalism

The wreath winder on a painting by Georg Friedrich Kersting from 1815 symbolizes the memory of the fallen, whose names are engraved in the oak trunks.

Letters and intellectuals ( Johann Philipp Palm , Johann Gottlieb Fichte , Ernst Moritz Arndt , Friedrich Ludwig Jahn , Theodor Körner and others) had rebelled more and more against the Napoleonic occupation since 1806. According to their then new assessment, a survey that was to be successful had to go beyond the boundaries of dynastic politics and become a joint undertaking of all Germans. Since 1810, Arndt and Jahn have repeatedly asked high-ranking personalities at the Prussian court to prepare for such an uprising. Jahn himself also founded the German Confederation (secret society) . The gymnastics movement, which was founded by Jahn in 1810, and the fraternity that has been in existence since 1811 also belong in this context. The Tugendbund , founded in 1808 , in which academics, officers, aristocrats, writers and others united, aimed at a national policy. After the fighting broke out, these pioneers participated partly militarily and partly through writings in strengthening the allied forces. For a long time there was also a pro-Napoleonic journalism, which Napoleon hoped for Germany's rebirth. However, the longer the war-related burdens lasted, the more and more persuasive it became.

National journalism, which began before 1813, gained a strong boom after the start of the war. Prussian patriotism combined with German nationalism. The war songs by Körner , Schenckendorff , Eichendorff or Rückert were extremely popular. In the case of Körner, for example, it was said: “It is not a war that the crowns know about, it is a crusade, it is a holy war.” Ernst Moritz Arndt was particularly influential among the publicists with his all-German writings. His song Des Deutschen Vaterland has become particularly well known . Some of his writings achieved print runs of 100,000 copies, which was unusually high for the time. They spread to the uneducated population. For the patriots it was a war of nations and, above all, an uprising by the Germans. Freiherr vom Stein dreamed of armed masses behind the opposing troops, if necessary against the German princes. The goal was a united Germany under Austrian leadership.

Development outside of Prussia

As important as the national and early liberal ideas were for developments in the 19th century, they should not be overestimated for the time of the Wars of Liberation. A large part of the population was only marginally affected. The patriotism related to the respective individual state or the attachment to the respective dynasty remained of great importance. Incidentally, the development in Prussia spilled over to some parts of Germany. An uprising that started in Hamburg on February 24, 1813, was particularly effective . The lower-class population was heavily involved in this. Revolts broke out in the areas in northern Germany annexed by France. Unrest, desertions or the refusal of taxes occurred in the Kingdom of Westphalia and the Grand Duchy of Berg . Popular unrest, which was usually quickly suppressed, also took place in Bremen , Oldenburg , Dresden , Erfurt , the Principality of Lippe , in Hessen-Darmstadt and the Grand Duchy of Frankfurt .

Emperor Alexander I, painting by Franz Krüger (1812)

Initially, the indirectly controlled southern and central German states did not pose a threat to Napoleon's rule. In Viennese circles, insurrection plans were forged for the Alpine region including Switzerland, but Metternich prevented this in order not to let incalculable movements jeopardize his cabinet policy.

Even when the war spread to all of Germany after the success of the Allies, there was much less enthusiasm for it among the population than in Prussia. It was even less in Austria, where memories of 1809 also played a role, when the other German states left Austria to fight alone.

The partly nationalistic exuberance, especially in Prussia, was only one side of the war. On the other hand, it was also a war between governments and powers. For them it was not about national self-determination, but about claims to power, dynastic interests and the restoration of the balance of power in Europe. Sometimes the levels of freedom struggle and the usual power interests were combined. That was the case in Prussian politics, where the Patriotenbund now set the tone, and partly also on the Russian side, where Freiherr vom Stein and other German advisors exerted influence on Alexander I. This became clear in the Russian-Prussian Treaty of Kalisch of February 28, 1813. The Russian general Michail Illarionowitsch Kutuzov , in coordination with Hardenberg, defined the restoration of the law, freedom and independence of the princes and peoples of Germany and Europe as the war objectives. The Rhine Confederation was to be dissolved and a new German Empire founded. A loose federal order was considered. This should receive a constitution "from the very own spirit of the German people". The princes of the Confederation of Rhine, who remained at Napoleon's side, were threatened with losing their throne. Alexander I was stylized as a liberator, but this went hand in hand with specific power interests. The planned federal order guaranteed a relative weakness of the new Germany, which could not be dangerous to Russia. Rather, Alexander I saw himself as the guarantor of the new order and Russia as the strongest power in Europe.

Spring campaign 1813

Map showing the course of the campaign in 1813

The outcome of the war was uncertain. Prussia and Russia alone were still inferior to Napoleon's power. He had used the time to set up a new army of French soldiers and troops from the Confederation of the Rhine. He reported to his father-in-law, the Austrian Emperor Franz I : "In France everything is under arms and your Majesty can be assured that, as soon as spring comes, with God's help I will drive away the Russians faster than they came."

However, Napoleon faced not only Prussia and Russia, but also Great Britain. The country took part in the war by deploying its fleet overseas and with Wellington's army in Spain . This brought the French a number of defeats. On March 17, 1813, Joseph Bonaparte , whom Napoleon had installed as King of Spain, had to leave Madrid . But strong French forces remained tied up in the Spanish theater of war and were not available for the war in the east.

Gebhard Leberecht von Blücher (copy by an unknown artist after Ernst Gebauer )

Napoleon was unable to hold the strong position of the Oder against the advancing Prussians and Russians. Instead, the French had to retreat behind the Elbe . Several Russian patrol corps, consisting mainly of Cossacks , moved from Berlin towards the Lower Elbe, where anti-French unrest spread at the same time. The Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin left the Rhine Confederation and joined the Allies on March 14, 1813. The Russian corps Tettenborn liberated Hamburg . As a result, other cities on the Elbe also renounced France. The new French army in the east consisted to a large extent of inexperienced recruits and the equipment was not optimal either. In particular there was a lack of cavalry.

A French corps under Jozef Antoni Poniatowski was isolated in Poland , and a second was included near Danzig . In Germany, the Elbarmee was under Eugène de Beauharnais in mid-March. Another army under Dominique Joseph Vandamme was on the march. The main army gathered near Hanau . Napoleon attached great importance to the protection of the lower Elbe and moved Eugène's troops in this direction. He himself intended to cross the Elbe near Havelberg , to win the Oder line, to relieve the trapped troops in Danzig and Stettin and finally to force the enemy across the Elbe. This plan proved to be impracticable, so that the main army marched through Thuringia towards the Saale . The aim was to unite with Eugène, and then march on Leipzig and cross the Elbe.

On the other hand, Emperor Alexander I increasingly influenced the course of operations. Joint action had been agreed with the Prussians. The Allied army consisted of an army on the right wing under the Russian General Ludwig Adolf Peter zu Sayn-Wittgenstein and the Yorck Corps and had about 45,000 men and was supposed to march via Berlin towards the Elbe. On the left wing stood Gebhard Leberecht von Blücher's army together with Ferdinand von Wintzingerode's Russian corps with around 40,000 men. This army was supposed to march through the Lausitz towards the Elbe. The main Russian army was still led by the sick Kutuzov. It followed in the middle between the winged armies in a broad front with an interval of several days.

Under the influence of the Russian Cossack Corps advancing across the Elbe, revolts broke out in Lübeck , Stade , Lüneburg and other northern German cities and territories. Customs guards, tax administrators, gendarmes and other representatives of French rule were attacked. In the first major combat operation since the end of the Russian campaign, on April 2, 1813, a Russian-Prussian corps that had crossed the Elbe destroyed the French-Saxon Morand corps sent to fight insurrections in the battle near Lüneburg . The French had to withdraw temporarily. However, the Russian associations could not hold out. After the French returned in May, there were reprisals against those involved in the unrest. Hamburg was occupied again and made an important arsenal. Lübeck was also won back and received high contributions.

Blücher and Wintzingerode crossed the Elbe near Dresden until April 5th. The weak French troops stationed there had previously withdrawn. The Allies advanced towards Leipzig. The Kingdom of Saxony was up to the fortress Wittenberg finally in the hands of the Allies. The Saxon king fled to Regensburg . Eugène de Beauharnais pulled strong troops together near Magdeburg to build a large fortified camp there. 45,000 men returned to the right bank of the Elbe. On April 5, they met a significantly weaker army under Wittgenstein and Yorck. It came to the losing battle near Möckern . The French then went back across the Elbe. General Wittgenstein for his part also crossed the river and included Magdeburg and Wittenberg. Yorck marched in the direction of the Saale in order to establish the connection with Wintzingerode. The winged armies did not advance any further, as the main Russian army was still at Kalisch and only gradually followed to Chemnitz . After the death of Kutuzov, Wittgenstein became commander in chief, but the tsar exerted an increasing influence.

Napoleon himself arrived in Erfurt on April 25th . Part of the Main Army had also arrived. Napoleon, including Eugène's army, had around 151,500 men. But there were only 7800 cavalrymen and 358 guns. The army stood on a front about 125 km long and 100 km deep, divided into three groups. This was about twice as many soldiers as the allies with 95,000 men could muster. These included 19,000 cavalrymen, 9,000 Cossacks and 560 guns. These were divided into four groups and distributed over 100 km of the front line from Halle an der Saale to Dresden. Napoleon had been advancing towards Leipzig since May 1st. The allies planned to move against the French right flank on May 2nd. The armies clashed in the battle of Großgörschen . Scharnhorst reported the result to Berlin as a 'victory'. In fact, both sides suffered heavy losses, but the Prussians and Russians held the battlefield and only had to retreat across the Elbe on May 6th and 7th at the urging of the Russians.

Napoleon in the Battle of Großgörschen (depiction by Andrea Johann Fleischmann)

Napoleon followed the enemy on May 11th, but wanted to wait for reinforcements to arrive at Dresden before advancing further. As a result, there were various maneuvers and smaller skirmishes before the opponents met again on May 21 and 22 in the Battle of Bautzen . Napoleon attacked the allies, but could not weaken them significantly despite his victory.

The allies were driven out of Saxony and had to withdraw to Silesia . However, Napoleon could not take advantage of his success. He lacked a strong cavalry to crush the enemy troops. In addition, the Prussian troops in particular had shown a fighting spirit that surprised Napoleon and the French losses were unexpectedly high. When the allies withdrew, there were a number of skirmishes, which usually resulted in higher losses for the French than for the allies. Incidentally, these also made the backward connections of the French unsafe. A Prussian cavalry attack near Haynau largely stalled Napoleon's advance.

The allies took up a defensive position near Schweidnitz and were reinforced by supply forces to 122,000 men. A dispute broke out among the Allies: While the new Russian commander Michael Andreas Barclay de Tolly wanted to lead the troops back to Poland, the Prussians spoke out against it.

The attempt by Charles Nicolas Oudinot's corps to advance into Berlin was rejected by the Prussians on June 4th in the battle near Luckau . Because both sides wanted to reorganize, the Pläswitz armistice, which initially lasted six weeks (June 4th) , came about . Napoleon also hoped for an understanding with Russia or Austria and was even prepared to sacrifice Poland for it. He later described agreeing to the armistice as the greatest mistake of his life.

Austria's transition to a coalition

Napoleon's calculations did not work out because his opponents also used the time to strengthen their troops: Great Britain and Sweden under Crown Prince Karl Johann (formerly French Marshal Bernadotte) joined the Prussian-Russian coalition against Napoleon. The financing of the war was also placed on a solid basis. Great Britain paid large subsidies to the allies. The direct payments were £ 2 million. Prussia received about a third of this. London also spent an additional five million pounds in paper money. This was a special currency guaranteed by Great Britain to pay war costs.

Clemens Wenzel von Metternich (painting by Thomas Lawrence approx. 1820–1825)

Austria's position initially remained unclear. Neither Metternich nor Franz I wanted to enter the war initially. The first thing to do was to strengthen armaments. They also wanted to do everything possible to keep the fighting out of their own territory. Metternich also shied away from a breach of contract with Napoleon. Having made up his mind to join the coalition, he aimed to gain decisive influence within it. One goal was to transform the incalculable national war of the peoples into a war between governments with rational and limited goals. Metternich aimed to restore a balance between powers and the monarchical order. In addition, it was important to prevent a possible hegemony of Russia and excessive claims by Prussia. For a long time Metternich saw these goals as guaranteed by an alliance with Napoleon, before he gradually swung into the opposing camp. France was to remain an important factor in the European equilibrium, so Metternich had no interest in weakening the country too much after Napoleon's fall. In particular, Metternich was concerned with preventing the emergence of nation states in Germany and Italy. He succeeded in changing from Napoleon's camp to that of the coalition through various levels of neutrality and mediation. He also managed to swear the allies to the core of his war aims. Russia not only renounced the acquisition of the former Austrian possessions in Poland, but also agreed in principle to Metternich's reorganization plans in Germany and Italy.

In the Reichenbach Convention of June 27, 1813, Austria reached an initial agreement with the coalition. Afterwards Metternich acted as a mediator between Napoleon and the allies. The famous conversation between Napoleon and Metternich in Dresden came about, in which the emperor rejected the mediation efforts and warned Austria against changing the fronts. “So you want the war? Let it be: I'll see you again in Vienna! [...] I will know how to die, but I won't step on a hand's breadth of floor. Your rulers, born on the throne, can allow themselves to be beaten twenty times and yet always withdraw to their residences; I cannot do that, the son of happiness! My rule will not last the day on which I stopped being strong and consequently feared. ” With that, Napoleon once again openly summarized the basis of his position of power and made it clear why he could not give in.

Further negotiations took place at the Prague Peace Congress . Napoleon's representative there was Armand de Caulaincourt . He tried in vain to drag out the negotiations. Metternich put an end to this and ultimately demanded France's consent to the terms of Austria, Prussia and Russia. This included the end of the Duchy of Warsaw . Its territory was to be divided between the three powers. Prussia was to be restored within the borders of 1806. The Hanseatic cities should regain their independence, Napoleon renounced the Confederation of the Rhine and the Illyrian provinces should come back to Austria. The French representatives did not agree to these conditions.

After the failure of the mediation efforts, Austria declared war on France on August 11th. Field Marshal Schwarzenberg became commander in chief . This was the first time that Napoleon faced an alliance of all major European powers. In the Teplitz alliance of September 9th between Austria, Prussia and Russia, the parties essentially agreed to restore the European equilibrium on the basis of the borders of 1805. Metternich thus managed to take center stage in the coalition. Instead of the struggle for freedom and national unity, there was a restoration of the balance between the European powers. This made it easier for the states of the Confederation of the Rhine to switch sides in the further course, as they did not have to fear the destruction of their territories.

Autumn campaign of 1813

Map of Central Europe before the Wars of Liberation of 1813
French soldiers fell ill with typhus de Mayence in Mayence , the first fortress on French soil; Drawing Raffet, 1834
Battle of the Nations near Leipzig, painting by Wladimir Iwanowitsch Moschkow, 1815

After the armistice began, the French army left Wroclaw, but continued to occupy most of Lower Silesia . Saxony and the entire left bank of the Elbe were also occupied. Napoleon moved his headquarters to Dresden and withdrew the troops located on enemy soil. In accordance with the ceasefire agreement, the coalition forces also withdrew. The Lützow Freikorps did not succeed in this in time; it was attacked on June 17th and suffered several losses.

During the armistice, Napoleon reinforced his army with supplies from France. Overall, he commanded an army of around 400,000 field troops on the German theater of war. In addition, there were 26,000 fortress troops on the Elbe and over 55,000 men in fortresses behind the enemy. The training, equipment and supplies had also improved significantly. In particular, the number of cavalrymen had increased significantly. The Elbe was well secured with numerous fortresses and other means. With the construction of several bridges, he created the opportunity to quickly cross the river with large units. As Napoleon wanted to maintain the Elbe line for as long as possible, as a general he for the first time renounced offensive tactics.

The Allies also reinforced their troops. The Prussian army came to 271,000 men through the reorganization of units, of which 192,400 men were immediately operational. The Russian army in Germany and Poland comprised 296,000 men. The Austrians provided about 200,000 men, the Swedes 27,000 men. In addition, there were smaller British (actually: Hanoverian) forces. In total, the Allies had more than 500,000 men and were thus clearly superior to the French. The main army was led by Schwarzenberg. The Northern Army was under Bernadotte, Blücher commanded the Silesian Army. In the Trachenberg Plan , the allies Prussia, Russia and Sweden agreed on a common strategy in the fight against Napoleon.

The armistice ended on August 17th. The Northern Army advanced south from Brandenburg. To the east of the French army stood the Allied Silesian army. The main army under Schwarzenberg came from the south. Although outnumbered, Napoleon also had some advantages. He had shorter lines, so he was able to strike quickly. Incidentally, the command structure in the Allied camp was not completely clear and the troops, spread over a large area, found it difficult to encircle Napoleon. In particular, Prussian generals such as Bülow or Blücher acted repeatedly against the higher-ranking commanders.

Napoleon's marshals suffered defeats in several skirmishes. So Oudinot was defeated with an army, which consisted mainly of soldiers from the Confederation of the Rhine and wanted to advance on Berlin, at Großbeeren (23 August). A French support corps of 10,000 men was defeated at Hagelberg and almost completely destroyed. Jacques MacDonald was beaten at Wahlstatt an der Katzbach (August 26). Of the 67,000 French soldiers, half fell or were captured. Vandamme lost at Kulm (August 30), Michel Ney at Dennewitz (September 6).

The main Allied army under Schwarzenberg crossed the Elbe and advanced towards Dresden without being able to initially decide to attack. Napoleon achieved his last great victory in Germany in the Battle of Dresden (August 26-27). His opponents had to retreat to Bohemia with heavy losses.

As a result, Napoleon found himself in the favor of the circumstances and tried to take advantage of the inner line . He planned to provide the Northern Army or the Silesian Army and attack. But both Bernadotte and Blücher avoided him across the hall . From then on, Napoleon was on the defensive. He could not leave this area without being attacked by irregular troops and Cossacks. He also had to reckon with the intact armies of the enemy. He gathered his troops near Leipzig to await the enemy there. His situation was made even more difficult by the fact that Metternich had succeeded in persuading the Kingdom of Bavaria to change the fronts in the Treaty of Ried (October 8) . After the Bavarian declaration of war on France (October 14), Russia and Prussia also joined this treaty. Metternich guaranteed ownership and sovereignty of the state (after the Battle of Nations, similar contracts followed with Württemberg, Baden, Hessen-Darmstadt and Nassau). Thus, a conquest of southern Germany by the Allies and subsequent joint administration by Stein's central administration department had already been rejected.

In mid-October, Napoleon finally found himself forced into an extremely unfavorable military position. In the Battle of the Nations near Leipzig from October 16-19, 1813, he suffered a heavy defeat. It also played a role that the troops of the Kingdom of Saxony and 500 Württembergians passed over to the Allies. The French army lost 60,000 to 73,000 men in the largest single battle in the history of Europe. The Allies lost 54,000 men, including around 16,000 Prussians. A total of 30,000 men died or were wounded every day. Napoleon had to withdraw. On October 30, he defeated a Bavarian-Austrian corps in the battle of Hanau before retreating across the Rhine.

Napoleon's power collapses in Europe

Freiherr vom Stein (painting by Johann Christoph Rincklake ) headed the allied central administration department for the occupied territories

As a result, the Rhine Confederation began to disintegrate. The enlarged southern German middle states were retained, while the Napoleonic art states Berg , Frankfurt and Westphalia as well as the Kingdom of Saxony and the area on the left bank of the Rhine were placed under Stein's central administrative department. On the side of the Allies, the question arose whether the war should be continued after Napoleon's expulsion from Germany. Metternich wanted to be content with the Rhine border, but encountered opposition from Stein, Blücher, Gneisenau and others who wanted to continue fighting until the final liberation of Europe and the fall of Napoleon. They were supported in this by an effective nationalistic journalism, such as that developed by Arndt or Joseph Görres . A peace offer by Metternich was not answered by Napoleon.

In the meantime, the French-occupied Holland and Switzerland had also freed themselves from Napoleon . Even Napoleon's brother-in-law Joachim Murat the King of Naples abandoned him. In Spain, Wellington and his troops advanced to the French border. Napoleon recognized Ferdinand VII as King of Spain in November and allowed Pope Pius VII to return to Rome. During this time he hoped to at least be able to hold the old French border. In fact, in mid-November 1813, the allies indicated that they would make peace if Napoleon agreed to the natural borders of France as a basis for negotiations. Behind this offer was Metternich's idea of ​​keeping France as a great power in order to prevent Russia from becoming overwhelming. Napoleon reacted and waited. Meanwhile his influence in France waned. His prestige suffered even more from the defeat in Leipzig than from the failed campaign against Russia.

The legislative body (corps législatif) asked him on December 19, 1813, to guarantee civil liberties and only to wage war for the integrity of the national territory. Napoleon responded by closing the corporation, which in turn increased displeasure. When the government wanted to raise new troops, numerous men tried to evade it.

Campaign 1814

Napoleon tried to enlarge his army again after the losses of the previous year. In addition to levies, troops were withdrawn from Spain. But in the end he only had about 70,000 men available. On New Year's Eve, Blücher and his army crossed the Rhine near Kaub (details here ). Other units followed.

Even after crossing the Rhine, there were strong tensions within the anti-Napoleonic alliance. There was a dispute over whether to advance quickly to Paris or to act more cautiously. There was also a dispute about the time after Napoleon. Alexander I wanted to make Bernadotte ruler of France. As a result of the disagreement, the campaign was delayed before the British Foreign Minister Castlereagh and Metternich restored unity. It was agreed that France should lose all possessions it had acquired after 1792. It was not until the beginning of 1814 that the decision was made to restore the Bourbon rule . The Chaumont Quadruple Alliance came about on March 4th . In it the Allies concluded a twenty-year alliance. The independence of the Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland and Germany was also enshrined. Austria secured decisive influence in Italy. The Netherlands should also be enlarged to include the former Austrian Netherlands .

Napoléon's farewell to the Imperial Guard in Fontainebleau (painting by Antoine Alphonse Montfort).

Despite their superiority, the spring campaign of 1814 proved more difficult than expected for the Allies. Their troops won at St. Die on January 10, but were defeated at Brienne on January 29 . In La Rothiere they sat by February 1. Between February 10 and 14, Napoleon defeated Blucher’s army three times in Champagne (including Montmirail February 11, Vauchamps February 14). On February 18, he defeated the Austrians at Montereau and forced them to retreat across the Aube . On February 27th, Napoleon was defeated at Bar-sur-Aube . He also suffered a defeat at Laon on March 9th. Peace negotiations had already started at the Châtillon Congress at the beginning of February . The demand that France should be satisfied with the borders of 1792 was rejected by Napoleon. In March the conference ended with no results. On March 20, Napoleon was defeated in the battle of Arcis-sur-Aube . His attempt to take the initiative again and cut off the enemy supply lines failed. The allies then marched on Paris and took the city at the end of March 1814.

From the restoration to Waterloo

Napoleon had to abdicate and abdicate on April 11th ( Treaty of Fontainebleau ). According to the contract, he kept his title and received the island of Elba as a principality. In France with Louis XVIII. the kingship restored. The Paris Peace of May 30, 1814 was a peace treaty that allowed France to exist as a great power within the borders of 1792. The country even got back occupied colonies and trading posts. The creation of a European and German post-war order was left to the Congress of Vienna .

After secret arrangements, however, Napoleon surprisingly returned from Elba on March 1, 1815 and again took power in France ( rule of the Hundred Days ). When the news of this reached the Congress of Vienna, the powers present there declared Napoleon outlawed on March 13th. Great Britain, Russia, Austria and Prussia renewed the war coalition on March 25th. In doing so, they undertook to fight until Napoleon was finally defeated.

In France the raising of new units met with resistance. Nevertheless, Napoleon managed to raise an army again. He had about 125,000 men. Most of them were well-equipped, seasoned veterans. On the other side, the allies were taking their time to deploy. They did not plan to invade France until July. Wellington assembled an army of 95,000 men at Waterloo . Then there was the Prussian army under Blücher with 125,000 men. On the other hand, the Russians and Austrians had not yet reached their starting positions. With this in mind, Napoleon decided to take the initiative. He planned to separate the Prussians and the British and beat them separately. In fact, on June 15, he succeeded in driving a wedge between the two armies. At Ligny he inflicted a heavy defeat on June 16 for the Prussians. Marshal Ney, meanwhile, kept Wellington in check at Quatre-Bras . However, the opponents were not significantly weakened. On June 18, Napoleon attacked the British at Waterloo . When the Prussians arrived in time to support the British, Napoleon was decisively defeated.

Battle of Waterloo (painting by William Sadler )

Napoleon was now exiled to the island of St. Helena , and the Bourbons were reinstated in France. The war ended with the Second Peace of Paris on November 20, 1815. It was not as favorable for France as the first. So the country had to do without Savoy and Nice , Landau and the Saar area . The old dynasties were reinstated in Spain and Portugal. The Netherlands was enlarged to include the former Austrian Netherlands as the Kingdom of the Netherlands under King Wilhelm I. Switzerland was given a federal constitution; the great powers guaranteed her permanent neutrality and inviolability of her territory. Sweden and Norway had been united since the Peace of Kiel in 1814. Denmark remained smaller around Norway. In Italy, the Habsburg secondogenitures in Tuscany and Modena were restored, and Parma was given to the former French Empress Marie-Louise of Austria . Furthermore, Veneto and Lombardy fell to Austria. The kingdoms of Sardinia and Naples-Sicily were restored under the ancient dynasties. The papal state also came into being again.

The " Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation ", which was dissolved in 1806 , was not renewed. Instead, a loose alliance of states was formed with the German Confederation .

Reception and research


“The fatherland is free! Viktoria " (1813, Friedrich Wilhelm Meyer )

Overall, during the wars of liberation, the German nation-building process developed with significant consequences. This applies in particular to the concept of the cultural nation , which emphasizes the common history, language and literature. While in previous centuries it had mainly been a manifestation of the educated elite, it has now become accessible to the broad masses. In part, this national consciousness was connected with connotations that seemed religious. The demarcation from France was particularly characteristic. The French were already described as a hereditary enemy by Arndt . The hatred of the French appears just as constitutive for the German national idea as the “love of fatherland” and “the watch on the Rhine”. After Napoleon's defeat in Leipzig, according to contemporary observations, this national solidarity spread across Germany, and here and there also combined with anti-Semitic undertones. At the same time, the national was also linked to the right to freedom and a political constitution. Overall, however, the understanding of the nation based on German history differed markedly from the political constitutional traditions of America and France. During the war it stirred up patriotic emotions that were linked to political hopes for a liberal transformation and that governments found difficult to contain again.

Shortly after the end of the war, commemoration of the Wars of Liberation also played an important role politically. The Wartburg Festival of 1817 took place on the one hand to commemorate the 300th anniversary of the Reformation and on the other hand on the fourth anniversary of the Battle of Leipzig. With the colors black, red and gold , the students consciously tied in with the uniforms of the Lützow Freikorps . The war was already being interpreted differently at this time. The students saw it as a volunteer war and a popular uprising, a war of freedom. Conservative circles such as Friedrich von Gentz viewed events in a completely different way . For him it was a war of the military and kings and not that of popular speakers and pamphlet writers. In the 1830s and 1840s, volunteer and warrior funeral associations were founded in numerous Prussian cities. At the funerals of veterans, they marched through the streets in uniform. Every year they gathered to commemorate their fallen comrades.

The return of the volunteer from the Wars of Liberation to his family who lived according to the old custom (1833/34, Moritz Daniel Oppenheim )

Remembrance played a special role among the Jewish population, as the Wars of Liberation were the first time that Jewish soldiers also did military service. Attempts by certain press organs to downplay Jewish participation met with decisive backlash on the Jewish side. Moritz Daniel Oppenheim created the painting The Return of the Volunteer from the Wars of Liberation to his family who lived according to the old custom in 1833/34 . In doing so, he placed the wars of liberation in the context of the assimilation and emancipation of the Jewish population.

Monuments commemorating the war were erected in several cities. A well-known example is the monument created by Karl Friedrich Schinkel on today's Kreuzberg in Berlin. It did not celebrate the People's War, but the King. The inscription read: “The king to the people who generously offered good and blood to the fatherland on His call. There were comparable memorial plaques with the inscription “For the king and fatherland” in Prussian churches. There were memorials on the battlefields with inscriptions such as “The fallen heroes gratefully honor the king and fatherland. You rest in peace. ” Caspar David Friedrich and Ernst Moritz Arndt campaigned for a statue of Scharnhorst to commemorate the war as a national event, but in vain. Friedrich addressed the war after 1815, at least in paintings. The nationally-minded circles such as the Turner movement commemorated the wars of liberation through pilgrimages to the battlefields of the war and by celebrating anniversaries. Most important of all was the memory of the Battle of Leipzig. The first took place in the Hasenheide in Berlin in 1814 and attracted 10,000 participants. This initially ended with the suppression of the Turner movement by the Karlovy Vary resolutions of 1819.

On the Michelsberg in Kelheim , Ludwig I of Bavaria had the Liberation Hall built between 1843 and 1863 , which still honors the peoples involved in the wars of liberation on signs around the building.

The national survey of 1813 (1870, Anton von Werner )

A supra-local memorial event was held in 1863 for the 50th anniversary. It took place on the initiative of bourgeois-liberal circles in Leipzig as the German national festival and represented the liberal-oriented national movement. During the Empire, the commemoration of the Wars of Liberation took a back seat to that of the war of 1870/71 . At the end of the 19th century this began to change somewhat. A highlight was the centenary and the inauguration of the Leipzig Monument to the Battle of the Nations . These celebrations were strongly influenced by the princes. In addition, the now more right-wing national associations appeared. About 100,000 of its members traveled to Leipzig. War clubs, student associations and gymnastics clubs shaped the picture. The organizing German Patriots Association aimed at a folk-national expression of the celebrations. The monumentalism of the architecture of the monument corresponded to this. Until 1870, when the liberal bourgeoisie dominated the commemoration of the Wars of Liberation, it was now imperial national or ethnic-national circles that stood up for an authoritarian state.

Völkerschlachtdenkmal with reflection in the upstream "Lake of Tears for the Fallen Soldiers"

As dominant as this form of interpretation was, there were also other approaches. This applies to the celebration of the youth movement on the Hoher Meißner or the speech of the social democrat Georg Ledebour in the Reichstag, who insisted that the social democrats want to realize the “realm of freedom and justice” , “Fichte and other men with him a hundred years ago Years have longed for. "

Historiography and journalism

In historiography and journalism, the Wars of Liberation were among the most discussed topics up until the middle of the 20th century. The works about the war served the purpose of national identification and tradition. The appreciation was not limited to national and conservative circles, but extended to all political camps. The dispute was also reflected in these works as to whether it was a question of a war of freedom with the implication of internal freedom or a war of liberation. Had the people rushed to arms when the king called, or had the people risen inwardly and outwardly in a war of freedom? While conservative authors emphasized the conventional character of the war, the liberals emphasized the importance of the liberal bourgeoisie. Socialists and later communists addressed the role of the popular masses.

One of the best-known literary representations of the Wars of Liberation is Theodor Fontane's first novel Before the Storm , in which he exemplarily describes the Prussian society of all classes in the years 1812/1813.

In the middle of the 19th century, publicists such as Ludwig Börne , Georg Büchner and Heinrich Heine rated the popular uprising of 1813 positively and placed it in connection with the French Revolution. Conservative historians rejected this interpretation. Leopold von Ranke, for example, criticized the “mania of reforming the people and the will to annihilate all that existed” and saw “the unity of the Allies” as the decisive factor for the victory against Napoleon. If the popular movement was discussed at all, it played only a subordinate role, as with Johann Gustav Droysen . Nevertheless, his two-volume work Lectures on the Age of the Wars of Freedom is noteworthy, as it covers the entire period from the beginning of the American War of Independence , through the French Revolution to the years 1813 to 1815 Hostility to France far away. Heinrich von Treitschke was particularly extreme in this regard . For him the wars of freedom were the heroic act of the Prussian king and his loyal people. In the empire there also existed a liberal-democratic tendency whose main representative was Max Lehmann . Most of the authors proceeded from a Prussian-Kleindeutsch point of view. From a Greater German point of view, Heinrich von Srbik pointed out that the Tyrolean uprising of 1809 had started the struggle for freedom .

In the GDR , the Wars of Liberation were interpreted as part of the “national heritage” and as a historical form of the German-Russian brotherhood in arms. The newer nationalism, military and gender studies provided new impulses in the Federal Republic. But there were also studies on individual questions from other areas such as literary studies and theology. Attempts in handbooks or essays to address the general phenomenon of the Wars of Liberation were made by Helmut Berding from 1968 until the 1980s . A modern overall presentation of the wars of liberation in terms of social, cultural or mentality history is a research gap.


  • Eckart Kleßmann (Ed.): The Wars of Liberation in eyewitness reports . License issue. Unabridged edition. Deutscher Taschenbuch-Verlag, Munich 1973, ISBN 3-423-00912-8 , ( dtv 912 eyewitness reports ).


  • Frank Bauer, Small Series History of the Wars of Liberation 1813–1815, Issues 1–40, Potsdam and Altenburg 2003–2017.
  • Gerhard Bauer, Gorch Pieken , Matthias Rogg , Military History Museum of the Bundeswehr (ed.): Bloody romanticism. 200 years of the Wars of Liberation - essays. Sandstein, Dresden 2013, ISBN 978-3-95498-035-2 .
  • Gerhard Bauer, Gorch Pieken, Matthias Rogg: Bloody Romanticism, 200 Years of Wars of Liberation , Exhibition September 6, 2013 to February 16, 2014, Military History Museum of the Bundeswehr, Sandstein Verlag, Dresden 2013, ISBN 978-3-95498-036-9 .
  • Lars Beißwenger: The Liberation War of 1813 . In: Josef J. Schmid (Ed.): Waterloo - June 18, 1815. Prehistory, course and consequences of a European battle. nova & vetera, Bonn 2008, pp. 85-142, ISBN 978-3-936741-55-1 , (= Studia academica historica 1).
  • Eberhard Birk , Thorsten Loch , Peter Andreas Popp (eds.): How Napoleon came to Waterloo. A short history of the Wars of Liberation from 1813 to 1815 . Rombach, Freiburg 2015, ISBN 978-3-7930-9802-7 .
  • Peter Brandt : The Wars of Liberation from 1813 to 1815 in German history. In the S. (Ed.): On the threshold to modernity: Germany around 1800. Electronic ed. FES, Bonn 1999, ISBN 3-86077-863-3 ( online version ).
  • Christopher Clark : Prussia. Rise and fall. 1600-1947. 6th edition, DVA, Munich 2007, ISBN 978-3-421-05392-3 .
  • Jan Ganschow, Olaf Haselhorst: 1815 - The Wars of Liberation and the End of the Napoleonic Age. Prehistory, course, consequences. Ares-Verlag, Graz 2015, ISBN 978-3-902732-41-5 .
  • Ewald Grothe : Wars of Liberation . In: Friedrich Jaeger (Ed.): Encyclopedia of Modern Times. Volume 1: Occident - Illumination. Metzler, Stuttgart a. a. 2005, ISBN 3-476-01991-8 , Sp. 1139-1146.
  • Karen Hagemann : "Mannlicher Courage and German Honor". Nation, military and gender at the time of the anti-Napoleonic wars in Prussia. Schöningh, Paderborn u. a. 2002, ISBN 3-506-74477-1 , (= War in History , Volume 8, also habilitation thesis at TU Berlin, 2000).
  • Heinz Helmert, Hans-Jürgen Usczek: European Wars of Liberation 1808–1814 / 15. Military history. Military publishing house of the German Democratic Republic, Berlin 1976, (= Brief Military History: Wars ).
  • Ulrich C. Kleyser: The year 1813 - myth and reality . Once and Now, Yearbook of the Association for Corporate Student History Research, Vol. 59 (2014), pp. 13–39.
  • Arnulf Krause : The struggle for freedom. The Napoleonic Wars of Liberation in Germany . Konrad Theiss Verlag, Darmstadt 2013, ISBN 978-3-8062-2498-6 .
  • Jürgen Manthey : The wars of freedom start from Königsberg , in which: Königsberg. History of a world citizenship republic . Munich 2005, ISBN 978-3-423-34318-3 , pp. 386-396.
  • Michaela Neubert : The Napoleonic Age and the Wars of Liberation, depicted on selected objects in the collection of the Institute for Higher Education at the University of Würzburg . Once and Now, Yearbook of the Association for Corporate Student History Research, Vol. 58 (2013), pp. 49–94.
  • Ute Planert : The Myth of the War of Liberation. France's wars and the German south. Everyday life - perception - interpretation 1792–1841. Schöningh, Paderborn u. a. 2007, ISBN 978-3-506-75662-6 , (= War in History , Volume 33, also habilitation thesis at the University of Tübingen 2003/04).
  • Georg Friedrich Preuss : The sources of the national spirit of the liberation wars. Correspondence sheet of the general association of German history and antiquity associations 1914 . Mittler publishing house, Berlin 1914.

Web links

Commons : Wars of Liberation  - collection of images, videos and audio files


  1. ^ Otto Büsch : Handbook of Prussian History . Vol. II. Berlin 1992, p. 51.
  2. ^ Alan Parker: Napoleon in Russia. Frankfurt am Main, 1969, p. 335, Thomas Nipperdey: Deutsche Geschichte 1800–1866. Citizen world and strong state. Munich 1998, p. 82, Francis Smith: The wars from antiquity to the present. Berlin u. a. 1911, p. 570.
  3. Thomas Nipperdey: German History 1800–1866. Citizen world and strong state . Munich 1998, p. 82; Hans-Werner Hahn, Helmut Berding: Reforms, Restoration and Revolution 1806–1848 / 49 . Stuttgart 2010, p. 98.
  4. Francis Smith: The Wars from Antiquity to the Present . Berlin u. a. 1911, p. 572.
  5. cit. after: Christopher Clark: Prussia. Rise and fall 1600–1947 . Bonn 2007, p. 417.
  6. Thomas Nipperdey: German History 1800–1866. Citizen world and strong state . Munich 1998, p. 82f .; Elisabeth Fehrenbach : From the Ancien Regime to the Congress of Vienna . Munich 2001, p. 127; Christopher Clark: Prussia. Rise and fall 1600–1947 . Bonn 2007, p. 417 f.
  7. ^ Otto Büsch: Handbook of Prussian History. Bd. II. Berlin 1992, p. 48, numbers after: Francis Smith: The wars from antiquity to the present . Berlin u. a. 1911, p. 572.
  8. Thomas Nipperdey: German History 1800–1866. Citizen world and strong state . Munich 1998, p. 83; Christopher Clark: Prussia. Rise and fall 1600–1947 . Bonn 2007, p. 419 f.
  9. ^ Call of the King of Prussia Friedrich Wilhelm III. “To Mein Volk!” From March 17, 1813 online version at documentarchiv.de .
  10. Heinrich Steinmann: To the young men of the Jewish nation in danger of the fatherland. Breslau 1813 digitized .
  11. Thomas Nipperdey: German History 1800–1866. Citizen world and strong state . Munich 1998, p. 83; Elisabeth Fehrenbach: From the Ancien Regime to the Congress of Vienna . Munich 2001, p. 127, Wolfram Siemann: From confederation to nation state. Germany 1806–1871 . Munich 1995, p. 307; Christopher Clark: Prussia. Rise and fall 1600–1947 . Bonn 2007, pp. 420, 432-436.
  12. Thomas Nipperdey: German History 1800–1866. Citizen world and strong state . Munich 1998, p. 83.
  13. Figures based on: Peter Brandt: The Wars of Liberation from 1813 to 1815 in German History online version p. 100 f.
  14. Thomas Nipperdey: German History 1800–1866. Citizen world and strong state . Munich 1998, p. 83 f .; Wolfram Siemann: From confederation to nation state. Germany 1806–1871 . Munich 1995, p. 307; Christopher Clark: Prussia. Rise and fall 1600–1947 . Bonn 2007, p. 432 f.
  15. ^ Wolfram Siemann: From confederation to nation state. Germany 1806–1871 . Munich 1995, pp. 305-309.
  16. ^ Theodor Körner: Called for 1813 . In: Ders .: Gedichte / Leyer und Schwert first published in 1814 Reproduced from Freiburg anthology .
  17. Thomas Nipperdey: German History 1800–1866. Citizen world and strong state . Munich 1998, p. 84f .; Wolfram Siemann: From confederation to nation state. Germany 1806–1871 . Munich 1995, p. 306.
  18. See: Burghart Schmidt: Hamburg in the age of the French Revolution and Napoleon (1789-1813) . 2 parts, part 1: representation , Hamburg 1998, p. 725 f.
  19. ^ Peter Brandt: The Wars of Liberation from 1813 to 1815 in German history online version , p. 103f., Volker Ullrich: Napoleon . Reinbek 2006, p. 117; Thomas Nipperdey: German History 1800–1866. Citizen world and strong state . Munich 1998, p. 84.
  20. ^ Proclamation of the Imperial Russian General Field Marshal Prince Kutuzov-Smolenskoi to the Germans. (“Proclamation of Kalisch”) of March 25, 1813. Online version on documentarchiv.de .
  21. Thomas Nipperdey: German History 1800–1866. Citizen world and strong state . Munich 1998, p. 85.
  22. cit. after Volker Ullrich: Napoleon . Reinbek 2006, p. 118.
  23. ^ Volker Ullrich: Napoleon . Reinbek 2006, p. 118.
  24. ^ A b Francis Smith: The Wars from Antiquity to the Present . Berlin u. a. 1911, p. 573.
  25. a b c Francis Smith: The wars from antiquity to the present . Berlin u. a. 1911, p. 576.
  26. ^ Numbers after: Francis Smith: The wars from antiquity to the present . Berlin u. a. 1911, p. 574.
  27. ^ Volker Ullrich: Napoleon . Reinbek 2006, p. 119; Francis Smith: The Wars from Antiquity to the Present . Berlin u. a. 1911, p. 575.
  28. Thomas Nipperdey: German History 1800–1866. Citizen world and strong state . Munich 1998, p. 85; Christopher Clark: Prussia. Rise and fall 1600–1947 . Bonn 2007, p. 422.
  29. Thomas Nipperdey: German History 1800–1866. Citizen world and strong state . Munich 1998, p. 86.
  30. ^ Volker Ullrich: Napoleon . Reinbek 2006, p. 119.
  31. ^ Volker Ullrich: Napoleon . Reinbek 2006, p. 120.
  32. Manifesto of the Emperor of Austria, King of Hungary and Bohemia Franz II to justify declaration of war on France from August 19, 1813 online version on documentarchiv.de .
  33. Thomas Nipperdey: German History 1800–1866. Citizen world and strong state . Munich 1998, p. 86f .; Hans-Werner Hahn, Helmut Berding: Reforms, Restoration and Revolution 1806–1848 / 49 . Stuttgart 2010, p. 101.
  34. Francis Smith: The Wars from Antiquity to the Present . Berlin u. a. 1911, p. 577.
  35. Thomas Nipperdey : German History 1800–1866. Citizen world and strong state . Munich 1998, p. 87; Volker Ullrich : Napoleon . Reinbek 2006, p. 121; Christopher Clark: Prussia. Rise and fall 1600–1947 . Bonn 2007, pp. 424-429.
  36. ^ Albert Sidney Britt, Thomas E. Griess: Atlas for the wars of Napoleon. Square One Publishers, Garden City Park NY 2003, ISBN 978-0-7570-0155-0 , p. 134.
  37. Thomas Nipperdey: German History 1800–1866. Citizen world and strong state . Munich 1998, p. 88.
  38. ^ Volker Ullrich: Napoleon . rororo 2006, p. 121 f.
  39. Thomas Nipperdey: German History 1800–1866. Citizen world and strong state . Munich 1998, p. 88; Elisabeth Fehrenbach: From the Ancien Regime to the Congress of Vienna . Munich 2001, p. 126.
  40. ^ Volker Ullrich: Napoleon . Reinbek 2006, p. 122 f.
  41. ^ Elisabeth Fehrenbach: From the Ancien Regime to the Congress of Vienna . Munich 2001, p. 127.
  42. ^ Volker Ullrich : Napoleon . Reinbek 2006, pp. 130-132.
  43. ^ Elisabeth Fehrenbach : From the Ancien Regime to the Congress of Vienna . Munich 2001, p. 129 f.
  44. ^ Wolfram Siemann: From confederation to nation state. Germany 1806–1871 . Munich 1995, pp. 307-310; Karen Hagemann: For love of the fatherland. Love and hate in early German nationalism . In: Birgit Aschmann (Ed.): Feeling and Calculation: The Influence of Emotions on the Politics of the 19th and 20th Century . Stuttgart 2005, pp. 114-123.
  45. Christopher Clark: Prussia. Rise and fall 1600–1947 . Bonn 2007, pp. 437-440.
  46. Christopher Clark: Prussia. Rise and fall 1600–1947 . Bonn 2007, p. 441.
  47. Christopher Clark: Prussia. Rise and fall 1600–1947 . Bonn 2007, pp. 443-445.
  48. Jakob Vogel: Nations in step . Göttingen 1997, pp. 170-178.
  49. cit. based on: Peter Brandt: The Wars of Liberation from 1813 to 1815 in German History online version , p. 84.
  50. ^ Peter Brandt: The Wars of Liberation from 1813 to 1815 in German History online version p. 100 f.
  51. Hans-Werner Hahn, Helmut Berding: Reforms, Restoration and Revolution 1806–1848 / 49 . Stuttgart 2010, p. 97.
  52. Helmut Berding: Freedom Wars , in: Soviet System and Democratic Society , Vol. 2 (1968), p. 684.
  53. Helmut Berding: Freedom Wars , in: Soviet System and Democratic Society , Vol. 2 (1968), p. 684, Leopold von Ranke: About the Epochs of Modern History - Chapter 19 first 1854 online version on projekt-gutenberg.org .
  54. about: Johann Gustav Droysen: Lectures on the age of the wars of freedom . Part 2, Kiel 1846, p. 437.
  55. ^ Wilfried Nippel: Johann Gustav Droysen. A life between science and politics . Munich 2008, p. 48.
  56. ^ Helmut Berding: Freedom Wars , in: Soviet System and Democratic Society , Vol. 2 (1968), pp. 684–687.
  57. ^ Elisabeth Fehrenbach: From the Ancien Regime to the Congress of Vienna . Munich 2001, pp. 246-249.
This article was added to the list of articles worth reading on December 8, 2011 in this version .