Today I had the pleasure of attending (living) the reenactment of The Battle of the Nations (also known as The Battle of Leipzig) that took place half mile south of Leipzig on 16-19 October, 1813. The battle was fought by the coalition armies of Russia, Prussia, Austria and Sweden against the French army of Napoleon. Napoleon’s army also contained Polish and Italian troops as well as Germans from the Confederation of the Rhine. The battle involved over 600,000 soldiers, making it the largest battle in Europe prior to World War I.1
This allied victory over Napoleon at Leipzig marked the first significant cooperation among European nations against a common foe. “Napoleon limped back toward Paris. Behind him he left 60,000 dead, wounded, or captured French soldiers. The Allies had lost a similar number, but they could find replacements far more quickly and easily than Napoleon. Other countries, including the Netherlands and Bavaria–which Napoleon had added to his confederation by conquest–now abandoned him and joined the Allies. On December 21, the Allies invaded France and, following their victory at Paris on March 30, 1814, forced Napoleon into exile on Elba.”2
Indeed, it was the cooperation of all the region’s powers that Leipzig led to the fall of Paris and the abdication of Napoleon. The decisiveness of this battle had a global impact that redefined the course of history.
I invite you to see all the pictures I took of this fantastic battle:
1 Battle of Leipzig. Wikipedia.