Battle of La Rothière

Battle of La Rothière
Part of the War of the Sixth Coalition

Württemberg dragoons charging French infantry
Date1 February 1814
LocationLa Rothière, France
Result French indecisive victory
France French Empire Kingdom of Prussia Prussia
Russia Russian Empire
Austrian Empire Austrian Empire
Kingdom of Bavaria Bavaria
Kingdom of Württemberg Württemberg
Commanders and leaders
France Napoleon I Kingdom of Prussia Gebhard von Blücher
Russia M. Barclay de Tolly
Austrian Empire Ignaz Gyulai
Kingdom of Bavaria Karl von Wrede
128 guns
Casualties and losses
5,600 dead, wounded or captured
73 guns
8,000–9,000 dead or wounded

The Battle of La Rothière was fought on 1 February 1814 between the French Empire and allied army of Austria, Prussia, Russia, and German States previously allies with France. The French were led by Emperor Napoleon and the coalition army was under the command of Gebhard Leberecht von Blücher. Attacked by a large force in severe weather conditions (wet snowstorm), the French managed to hold until they could retreat under cover of darkness. Multinational coalition forces used white shoulder bands to distinguish friends from foes during the battle.


Map of the battle

The French army counted about 45,000 men in 57 battalions and 62 squadrons, supported by 128 artillery pieces. The Imperial Guard was commanded by General of Division Philibert Jean-Baptiste Curial. Marshal Claude Perrin Victor led the II Corps with three infantry divisions under Generals of Division François Antoine Teste, Jean Corbineau, and Georges Mouton. General of Division Emmanuel Grouchy led the cavalry. On the Allied side, Prince Scherbatov led the Russian 6th Corps, General-Leutnant Zakhar Dmitrievich Olsufiev directed the Russian 9th Corps, Count Liewen III commanded the Russian 11th Corps, Feldzeugmeister Ignaz Gyulai led the Austrian 3rd Corps, Crown Prince Frederick William of Württemberg directed the 4th Corps, General der Kavallerie Karl Philipp von Wrede commanded the Austro-Bavarian 5th Corps, and there were several independent cavalry divisions.[1]


Historian Digby Smith stated that French losses numbered 4,600 killed and wounded. The Allies captured an additional 1,000 soldiers and 73 guns. The large loss of artillery was partly due to Allied cavalry superiority and partly due to the soggy condition of the ground, which made it difficult to withdraw the pieces. The Allies lost between 6,000 and 7,000 casualties.[2]


  1. Smith 1998, p. 491-492.
  2. Smith 1998, p. 492.


External links

Coordinates: 48°20′45″N 4°33′30″E / 48.3458°N 4.5583°E / 48.3458; 4.5583

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