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  • Writer's pictureGeorge Castrioti

February 18th, 1814 - The Battle of Montereau

Conflict: War of the Sixth Coalition

Combatants: Austrians vs. French

Location: France

Outcome: French victory


In mid-February of 1814, Napoleon Bonaparte halted the advance of Blucher's Prussians on Paris over the course of the "Five Days". He then immediately turned south and marched his victorious troops 60 miles in one and half days to confront the Austrians threatening the capitol from the southeast.


Battle of Montereau by Bernard Naudin

There Napoleon blunted the Allied advance at Mormant on February 17th. Prince Karl von Schwarzenberg, commander of the Austrian army, chose to retreat upon hearing of the two Allied setbacks. He took the bulk of his army and left Crown Prince Eugene of Wurttemberg to delay the French at the village of Montereau where two rivers met.


Battle of Montereau by Jean-Charles Langlois

Despite being outnumbered by 2 to 1, the French cavalry, with artillery support, easily swept over the Austrians and captured bridges over both rivers. The Austrians lost some 5,000 - 6,000 troops while French losses were less than half that number.


The Battle of Montereau by Adolphe Rouargue

Points of Interest:

  • After his defeat at Waterloo in 1815, Napoleon considered retiring to the United States but was instead exiled to the British territory of St. Helena.

  • Karl von Schwarzenberg would later lead the Austrian army during the Hundred Days of Napoleon's return from Elba.


Napoleon I of France by Andrea Appiani
Eugene of Wurtemberg by George Dawe


















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Sources:


Dupuy, Trevor N., Johnson, Curt, & Bongard, David L. (1992). The Harper's Encyclopedia of Military Biography. New York: Castle Books (HarperCollins).


Dupuy, R. Ernest & Dupuy, Trevor N. (1993). The Harper's Encyclopedia of Military History. New York: HarperCollins.


Eggenberger, David (1985). An Encyclopedia of Battles: Accounts of Over 1,560 Battles from 1479 B.C. to the Present. New York: Dover Publications, Inc.


Haythornthwaite, Philip J. (1990). The Napoleonic Source Book. New York: Facts on File.

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