Emblem of Napoleon Bonaparte as "Emperor of the French".
|Part of||Grande Armée|
(Notable Battles:) Napoleonic Wars
The I Corps of the Grande Armée was a French military unit that existed during the Napoleonic Wars. Though disbanded in 1814, following the Treaty of Fontainebleau, it was reformed in April 1815 following the return of Napoléon during the Hundred Days. During the Hundred Days, the corps formed part of the quickly re-formed Army of the North.
- 1 Campaigns
- 2 Notes
- 3 References
Campaigns[edit | edit source]
During the mobilisation by Napoléon in 1803, and the subsequent ordnance reforming the army, the new "Army of Hanover or Armée de Hanovre" was formed in French occupied Hanover. This new army was the size of a corps, but under this reorganisation this meant the corps was to be deemed an army (for psychological reasons). On 17 June 1805 Jean Baptiste Bernadotte was made Governor of Hanover, and on 29 August 1805 took control of the new I Corps, and remained in this role for another seven years.
War of the Third Coalition[edit | edit source]
When the War of the Third Coalition was declared, the Army of Hanover was separate from the new Army of Hanover (responsible for the defence of Hanover) and the I Corps. This new corps was formed as part of what later became the famed Grande Armée. On 29 August 1805 the I Corps arrived in Würzburg, and tasked with providing support to the Bavarian Army (now a French ally). During the famed Ulm campaign, the I Corps formed part of the far left flank, preventing the possible retreat of the Austrians under General Karl Mack von Leiberich. As Russian General Mikhail Kutuzov arrived in Eastern Austria/Bavaria, the reality of the situation caused a general retreat towards Moravia, and the I Corps was tasked with ensuring they wouldn't escape. This plan however failed, and it was because of this move that the Battle of Austerlitz in-fact went ahead, because of Kutuzov's successful retreat.
Below is the order of battle of the corps on the eve of the Grande Armée's crossing of the Rhine into (what is now) Germany.
|Order of Battle on 26 October 1805|
|I Corps Headquarters; Maréchal d'Empire Jean Baptiste Bernadotte
War of the Fourth Coalition[edit | edit source]
The corps took part in the battles of Schleiz, Halle, and Lübeck in 1806, and Mohrungen and Spanden in 1807. After Bernadotte was wounded at Spanden, General Claude Victor-Perrin led the I Corps at Friedland where his tactics earned him a marshal's baton.
Order of battle, 1808[edit | edit source]
|Order of battle in December 1808 just before it moved to Spain|
Peninsular War[edit | edit source]
Russian campaign[edit | edit source]
The corps was reorganised into a strength of five infantry divisions for the invasion of Russia in 1812 and Marshal Louis-Nicolas Davout was appointed to lead it. At the crossing of the Niemen River in 1812, the size of I Corps was around 79,000 men, but by the Battle of Smolensk, about 60,000 men remained. By the end of the Russian campaign, only 2,235 men remained.
War of the Sixth Coalition[edit | edit source]
In 1813, the I Corps was reconstituted and placed under the command of General Dominique Vandamme. The corps was destroyed at Kulm, with the remnants surrendering together with XIV Corps following the siege of Dresden in November 1813.
Order of battle, 1813[edit | edit source]
|Order of battle in September 1813 just before the War of the Sixth Coalition|
Order of battle, 1814[edit | edit source]
|Order of battle in February 1814 just before the invasion of France|
War of the Seventh Coalition[edit | edit source]
Order of battle, 1815[edit | edit source]
|Order of battle in June 1815|
Notes[edit | edit source]
- Smith 1998; p. 216.
- George Nafziger. "French Grande Armée 26 October 1805 Upon its Crossing of the Rhine". United States Army Combined Arms Center, Fort Leavanworth, Kansas. https://usacac.army.mil/sites/default/files/documents/carl/nafziger/805JXA.pdf. Retrieved 27 November 2020.
- George Nafziger, French I Corps 15 December 1808, United States Army Combined Arms Center.
- Badone, Jean Cerino. "1812 – Invasion of Russia". http://napoleonistyka.atspace.com/FRENCH_ARMY.htm#french1812. Retrieved 16 August 2007.
- Badone, Jean Cerino. ""I have no army any more!" – Napoleon". http://napoleonistyka.atspace.com/FRENCH_ARMY.htm#french1812. Retrieved 16 August 2007.
- George Nafziger, French I Corps 25 September 1813, United States Army Combined Arms Center.
- George Nafziger, French I Corps 1 February 1814, United States Army Combined Arms Center.
- "Les Uniformes pendant la campagne des Cent Jours - Belgique 1815". http://centjours.mont-saint-jean.com/organigrammeFRcps1.php?#CPS.
References[edit | edit source]
- Chandler, David G. (1966). The Campaigns of Napoleon. New York, NY: Macmillan.
- Oman, Charles (2010). A History of the Peninsular War Volume I. La Vergne, Tenn.: Kessinger Publishing. ISBN 1432636820.
- Oman, Charles (1995). A History of the Peninsular War Volume II. Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania: Stackpole. ISBN 1-85367-215-7.
- Oman, Charles (1996). A History of the Peninsular War Volume III. Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania: Stackpole. ISBN 1-85367-223-8.
- Oman, Charles (1996). A History of the Peninsular War Volume IV. Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania: Stackpole. ISBN 1-85367-224-6.
- Petre, F. Loraine (1912). Napoleon's Last Campaign in Germany, 1813. New York: John Lane Company. https://play.google.com/books/reader?id=hFdEAAAAIAAJ&printsec=frontcover&output=reader&authuser=0&hl=en&pg=GBS.PR3.
- Smith, Digby (1998). The Greenhill Napoleonic wars data book. London Mechanicsburg, PA: Greenhill Books Stackpole Books. ISBN 978-1-85367-276-7. OCLC 37616149.
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