Napoleon 1813: Battle of the Nations

In October 1813 Napoleon faced the combined might of the Sixth Coalition (Russia, Austria, Prussia, Sweden) near Leipzig, in what would prove to be the decisive battle of his career. Outnumbered, virtually encircled, Napoleon opted for a high-risk strategy of striking against Schwarzenberg’s Army of Bohemia, before the other Coalition armies could come to his aid. The four-day Battle of Leipzig would be the largest and bloodiest battle in European history before the First World War, and one that changed the destiny of Europe.

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Themes used in this video: 0.00 Nanga; 1.13 Centurion; 3.29 Agent; 4.41 Oracabessa; 6.00 Major Incursion; 8.55 Renegade; 12.11 Kilimanjaro; 14.30 Turbulence; 16.03 Major Incursion; 18.03 Parbat; 20.46 Turbulence; 24.01 Major Incursion; 25.19 Viking; 26.24 Earthquake; 27.18 Renegade; 28.08 Nanga; 29.12 Skynet; 29.54 Barbarian

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‘Egmont Overture’, Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0

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📚Recommended reading (as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases):
📖Leipzig 1813: The Battle of the Nations
📖The Napoleonic Wars by Todd Fisher
📖Combat: French Guardsman vs Russian Jäger 1812-14
📖Napoleon and the Struggle for Germany Vol 1 by Michael Leggiere
📖1813: Leipzig – Napoleon & the Battle of the Nations by Digby Smith
📖Napoleon’s Wars by Charles Esdaile
📖Napoleon the Great by Andrew Roberts

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Comment (32)

  1. I hope you enjoy the latest video in our Napoleonic Wars series! As far as I'm aware, this is now the most detailed coverage of the Battle of Leipzig in an English-language documentary. It's a very neglected battle, particularly among English-speakers, but deserves to be much better known and understood. Not only was it fought on a vast scale, but this is where Napoleon's empire suffered its mortal blow.

    Please check out our sponsor The Great Courses Plus, as one way to support the channel, or our merch shop or Patreon page. See the video description for recommended books and track listings.

    For those interested in details: for the battle, I've used a VERY rough scale of 1 big block (of 4 smaller blocks) = 1 infantry division, or roughly 5,000 troops. That means a small block is roughly half a brigade / 2-3 battalions, or 1,250 troops. For artillery, roughly 1 cannon icon = 50 guns (in reality, of course, guns were much more widely dispersed across the battlefield). For cavalry, the scale is roughly double that of infantry, so one big block = 2,500 cavalry. However cavalry operated in much smaller formations than this, so they, plus smaller units and skirmishers, should be thought of as operating in most of the gaps between units on the map. For anyone interested in detailed orders-of-battle for Leipzig, I recommend this page from The Napoleon Series:

  2. "But in the next campaign, fought for France itself, Napoleon would prove he was still the master of War", and that background music. Guys, you really have an eye for evocative excellence. 👍 Fabulous job.

  3. In the French casualties, be careful with double-counting. The French suffered 38,000 killed and wounded (of which 21,000 had to be left to be captured). There were also 15,000 able-bodied captured and 5,000 deserters. So total French casualties were 38,000 + 15,000 + 5,000 = 58,000 killed, wounded, missing and captured (of which 21,000 wounded were captured, together with another 15,000).

  4. Napoleon was the only one ruler in the history to defeat or make draws with British he was tough opponent for British he war with them from long time no others rulers failed but Napoleon still stayed buy see the noobs like Austria and Prussia and Spain , Portugal , Russia whole europe.combined but see Napoleon he faced very strongly how brave he is Becoz of shortage of army he lost or else if he have more troops then sure all coalition army will viped out , there is no doubt Napoleon is the Greatest ruler lol

  5. basically the Russians destroyed Napoleon – 1st in the epic struggle to defend their homeland and then again at Laipzig where most of the troops were Russians

  6. Why did the combine might of europe gang up on Napoleon ? EUROPE AT THAT TIME…WAS RULED BY FAMILY OF ROYAL INTER MARRIAGE…NAPOLEON IS AN OUTSIDER…

  7. You do for me now what the History Channel did for me in my youth.
    I thank you.
    Quality work brother. 😉👍

  8. El plan aliado era no enfrentarse a Napoleón atacar a sus Mariscales desgastar a las fuerzas francesas

  9. after this defeat, Napoleon fighting on was just bad for everyone involved. So much more death and destruction could have been prevented but for the ego of 1 man.

  10. The Rockets of British have their origins in India. An Indian ruler named Tipu Sultan has used rockets against the British in battle of Seringapatanam.

    So the British rockets are basically Indian!
    Britain was using a weapon made in her colonies!

  11. napolean seems a lot like trump- tiny and insecure at least some folks actually think napolean was actually smart tho lmao

  12. Why weren’t mortars used the the continental wars?
    Makes no sense. If you have a good defensive position you could quite happily blast the opposing force to smithereens then any force that makes it way closer to you you unload your cannons ect.

    I think half of these battles needn’t happen at all if they used mortars.


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