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Siege of Hamburg
Part of part of the War of Liberation
Hamburg.Karte.1813 neddermeyer 300dpi.jpgMap of the city of Hamburg, drawn sometime in the 1830s.
Date 24 December 1813 — 12 May 1814
Location
Hamburg, French Empire
Belligerents
FranceFrench Empire Province of HanoverElectorate of Hanover

RussiaRussian Empire

Units involved
Province of HanoverHanoverian-Hanseatic Corps

RussiaRussian Army of Poland

Strength
Originally ca 40,000 men ca 52,000 men
Casualties and losses
Not exactly known Not exactly known, moderate

The city of Hamburg was one of the most powerful fortresses east of the Rhine.

Background[]

After being freed from Napoleonic rule by advancing Cossacks and other following Coalition troops it was once more occupied by Marshal Davout's French XIII Corps on 28 May 1813, at the height of the German Campaign during the War of the Sixth Coalition from French rule and occupation. Ordered to hold the city at all costs, Davout launched a characteristically energetic campaign against a similar numbered Army of the North made up of Prussian and other Coalition troops under the command of Count von Wallmoden-Gimborn, winning a number of minor engagements. Neither force was decidedly superior and the war ground to a halt and resulted in a rather stable front line between Lübeck and Lauenburg and further south along the Elbe river, even after the end of the cease-fire of the summer 1813. In October 1813 a French column's movement towards Dannenberg resulted in the only major engagement in the North of Germany, the Battle of the Göhrde. The defeated French troops retreated back to Hamburg.[1][2][3][4] Despite steadily shrinking manpower, food and ammunition supplies, Davout's forces displayed no signs of abandoning Hamburg. When French armies withdrew west after the lost Battle of Leipzig at the end of the year, and the Allies deployed a large portion of Bernadotte's Army of the North to watch the city during the 1814 campaign for France. Davout was still in control of Hamburg when the War of the Sixth Coalition ended in April, and eventually capitulated to Russian forces under General Bennigsen on 27 May 1814, obeying orders delivered by General Étienne Gérard from the new king of France, Louis XVIII.[1][2][3][4]


Orders of Battle[]

The order of battle (oob) for the forces involved in the siege could in theory be divided into two sections, however here it will be in three sections. The first being the French garrison of Hamburg, the second being the initial 'assault group', and the second being the reinforcements under General Benigsen.[2]

On 7 January 1813 orders were issued for the Corps of Observation of the Elble to be formed in Hamburg. This corps consisted of 5 divisions and supporting elements, however it is unknown if they participated in the siege. On 15 April 1813 the Hamburg Reserve Division was formed with 11 battalions, but again it is unknown if these units were at the siege.

French Garrison[]

  • French XIII Corps, commanded by Maréchal de l'Empire Louis-Nicolas Davoust, 1st Prince of Auerstaedt, 1st Prince of Eckmühl — all infantry units listed included 2 battalions, unless otherwise stated[2][5]
    • 3rd Division, commanded by Général de Division Louis Henri Loison[2][5]
      • Divisional artillery (8 guns)
      • Brigade Rome, commanded by Général de Brigade Rome
        • 15th Regiment of Light Infantry (15éme Régiment d'Infanterie Légère)
        • 44th Regiment of Line Infantry (44éme Régiment d'Infanterie de Ligne)
      • Brigade Leclerc, commanded by Général de Brigade Leclerc
        • 48th Regiment of Line Infantry (48éme Régiment d'Infanterie de Ligne)
        • 108th Regiment of Line Infantry (108éme Régiment d'Infanterie de Ligne)
    • 40th Division, commanded by Général de Division Marc Nicolas Louis Pécheux[2][5]
      • Divisional artillery (8 guns)
      • Brigade Gengoult, commanded by Général de Brigade Louis Thomas Gengoult
        • 33rd Regiment of Light Infantry (33éme Régiment d'Infanterie Légère)
        • 30th Regiment of Line Infantry (30éme Régiment d'Infanterie de Ligne)
      • Brigade Delcambre, commanded by Général de Brigade Victor Joseph Delcambre, Baron de Champvert
        • 61st Regiment of Line Infantry (61éme Régiment d'Infanterie de Ligne)
        • 111th Regiment of Line Infantry (111éme Régiment d'Infanterie de Ligne)
    • 50th Division, commanded by Général de Division Paul Charles François Adrien Henri Dieudonné Thiébault[2][5]
      • Divisional artillery (8 guns)
      • Brigade Avril, commanded by Général de Brigade Jean-Jacques Avril
        • 24th Regiment of Light Infantry (24éme Régiment d'Infanterie Légère)
        • 3rd Regiment of Line Infantry (3éme Régiment d'Infanterie de Ligne)
      • Brigade Osten, commanded by Général de Brigade Pierre-Jacques Osten
        • 29th Regiment of Line Infantry (29éme Régiment d'Infanterie de Ligne)
        • 105th Regiment of Line Infantry (105éme Régiment d'Infanterie de Ligne)
    • Cavalry, commanded by Général de Division Pierre Watier, Comte de Saint-Alphonse[2][5]
      • 2nd Regiment of Mounted Chasseurs (2éme Régiment de Chasseurs à Cheval) — involved in action around Wilhelmsburg on 7 March, left by 27 March[6]
      • 25th Regiment of Mounted Chasseurs (25éme Régiment de Chasseurs à Cheval) — from 27 March involved in the siege[6]
      • 28th Regiment of Mounted Chasseurs (28éme Régiment de Chasseurs à Cheval) — 1st and 2nd squadrons mounted, 3rd, 4th, and 5th squadrons dismounted
      • 13th Regiment of Dragoons (13éme Régiment de Dragons) — from 2 January[6]
      • 20th Regiment of Dragoons (20éme Régiment de Dragons)[6]
      • 8th Regiment of Cuirassiers (8éme Régiment de Cuirassiers)[6]
      • 15th Regiment of Cuirassiers (15éme Régiment de Cuirassiers)
  • French Hanover Military District (Garrison), commanded by Maréchal de l'Empire Louis-Nicolas Davoust, 1st Prince of Auerstaedt, 1st Prince of Eckmühl[2][5]
    • L'Hermite (ship, 5th Equipage de Flotille, 1,200 men)
    • 26th Regiment of Light Infantry (26éme Régiment d'Infanterie Légère)
    • 18th Regiment of Line Infantry (18éme Régiment d'Infanterie de Ligne)
    • 93rd Regiment of Line Infantry (93éme Régiment d'Infanterie de Ligne)
    • 155th Regiment of Line Infantry (155éme Régiment d'Infanterie de Ligne)
    • 600 Customs soldiers
    • 600 military equippage
    • 316 engineers commanded by Colonel Deponton
    • 8th Regiment of Foot Artillery (8éme Régiment d'Artillerie à Pied) — 6 companies
    • 3 Companies of Artillery (unknown regiment)

Hanoverian-Hanseatic Corps[]

  • Hanoverian-Hanseatic Corps, commanded by Generalleutenant Ludwig Georg Thedel, Graf von Wallmoden
    • Hanoverian Division, commanded by Generalleutenant Ludwig Georg Thedel, Graf von Wallmoden
      • Foot Artillery Battery
      • Brigade
        • I Lüneburg Battalion
        • I Bremen-Verden Battalion
        • I Bennigsen Battalion
        • I Osnabrück Battalion
        • KIeilmansegge's Jägers (2 companies)
      • Brigade
        • I Lauenburg Battalion
        • I Langrehr Battalion
        • I Grubenhagen Battalion
      • Cavalry Brigade
        • Lüneburg Hussar Regiment (4 squadrons)
        • Bremen-Verden Hussar Regiment (4 squadrons)
    • Hanseatic Brigade consisting of 2 infantry battalions, 3 cavalry squadrons, and 10 guns (unknown sub-organisation)

Russian Army of Poland[]

The Reserve of the Russian Army of Poland arrived on 14 April and remained till the end of the siege. Unless stated the infantry below consisted of 2 battalions, and cavalry maintained 4 squadrons.[2][7]

  • Russian Army of Poland, commanded by General of Cavalry Levin August Gottlieb Theophil, Graf von Bennigsen (Ле́вин А́вгуст Го́тлиб Теофи́ль фон Бе́ннигсен or Lévin Ávgust Gótlib Teofíl' fon Bénnigsen)[2][7]
    • Advance Guard[2][7]
      • Cavalry Corps, commanded by Lieutenant General Pushkin[2][7]
        • Divisional Artillery
          • 2nd Horse Artillery Battery
          • 9th Horse Artillery Battery
          • 18th Light Artillery Battery
          • 48th Light Artillery Battery
          • 53rd Light Artillery Battery
          • 22nd Position Artillery Battery
          • Miner Company
          • Pontooneer Company
        • Brigade, commanded by Major General Glewov
          • 6th Jæger Regiment (2 companies)
          • 41st Jæger Regiment (2 companies)
          • 10th Horse Artillery Battery
          • 56th Light Artillery Battery
          • Sapper Company
        • Cavalry Division
          • Brigade, commanded by Major General Repnin
            • Converged Dragoon Regiment (5 squadrons)
            • Seversky Mounted Rifles Regiment[8]
            • Chernigov Mounted Rifles Regiment[8]
          • Brigade, commanded by Major General Kreutz
            • 2nd Converged Lancer Regiment
            • Taganrog Lancer Regiment
            • Siberian Lancer Regiment
            • Zhytomyr Lancer Regiment
      • 12th Division, commanded by Major General Chowanskoi[2][7]
        • Divisional artillery
          • 1st Light Artillery Battery
          • 45th Position Artillery Battery
        • Brigade, commanded by Major General Sanders
          • Smolensk Infantry Regiment
          • Narva Infantry Regiment
        • Brigade, commanded by Major General Scheltuchin
          • Alexepol Infantry Regiment
          • New Ingremannland Infantry Regiment
      • 26th Division, commanded by Major General Paskievitsch[2][7]
        • Brigade, commanded by Major General Savonia
          • Ladoga Infantry Regiment
          • Poltava Infantry Regiment
        • Brigade, commanded by Major General Schmentschuschinkov
          • Nivegorod Infantry Regiment
          • Orel Infantry Regiment
        • Brigade
          • 5th Jæger Regiment (2 companies)
          • 42nd Jæger Regiment (2 companies)
    • Lieutenant General Puschkin's Cavalry Division[2]
    • Lieutenant General Count Tolstoy's Militia Corps[2]
    • Major General Titov's Militia Corps[2]

Footnotes[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Davout le Terrible, pp. 265, 407.
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 2.14 2.15 2.16 2.17 Smith Napoleonic Wars Data Book, pp. 526–527.
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Hamburg : Siege of Hamburg : Napoleonic Wars : 1813 Liberation of Germany : Leipzig :". https://www.napoleonguide.com/battle_hamburg.htm. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 "Siege of Hamburg, 3 December 1813-27 May 1814". http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/siege_hamburg.html. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 George Nafziger, French XIII Corps (Hamburg) 3 December 1813, United States Army Combined Arms Center. Retrieved 1 November 2020.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 Smith Napoleon's Regiments, pp. 248, 280.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 George Nafziger, Polish Reserve Army 1813, United States Army Combined Arms Centre. Retrieved 31 October 2020.
  8. 8.0 8.1 "Конно-Егерские полки". http://antologifo.narod.ru/pages/ake.htm. 

References[]

  • François-Guy Hourtoulle, Davout le Terrible : duc d'Auerstaedt, prince d'Eckmhül, le meilleur lieutenant de Napoléon, colonel-général des grenadiers, 1770-1823, Paris, Maloine, 1975
  • Digby Smith, The Greenhill Napoleonic Wars Data Book: Actions and Losses in Personnel, Colours, Standards, and Artillery, 1792–1815, 1998 Greenhill Books, London, United Kingdom. ISBN 1-85367-276-9.
  • Digby Smith, Napoleon's Regiments Battle Histories of the Regiments of the French Army, 1792–1815, 2000 Greenhill Books, London, United Kingdom. ISBN 1-85367-413-3.

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