General P. H. Wittgenstein in the fighting of the Russian army against Napoleonic France in 1813–1814
The article is devoted to the study of the role of General P. Kh. Wittgenstein in confrontation with Napoleonic France during the Russian army’s foreign campaign of 1813–1814. The defeat of Napoleon’s army in Russia necessitated the continuation of hostilities outside the Russian Empire in order to prevent the restoration of the "Great Army" and neutralize the allies of France. Emphasized on the regularity of the appointment of P. H. Wittgenstein as a commander-in-chief after the death of M. I. Kutuzov, because he was the most successful military commander in 1812. The battle way of the corps of General P. Kh. Wittgenstein in the battles of the fall of 1813 – the spring of 1814 on the territory of Germany and France is highlighted. The direct course of the key battles of 1813 (near Lutzen, Bautzen, Dresden, and Leipzig), which was decisive in the confrontation with the Sixth Coalition with Napoleonic France, is examined in detail. The author shares the opinion of some researchers that the presence of Emperor Alexander I at the headquarters of the commander-in-chief hindered his actions and did not allow him to be more independent in the making decisions, which was led to the failure of the Union Army. At the same time, the release of General P. H. Wittgenstein and the appointment of commander-in-chief of the Austrian Schwarzenberg was more a political step than the result of previous failures of the Allied army. According to the author, it was undisputed that the body of the P. H. Wittgenstein played a leading role in the allied army, and in particular the first to broke into Dresden after the "battle of the nations" near Leipzig. The little-known details of the fighting of General P. H. Wittgenstein’s corps in winter-spring 1814 in France were also traced. It was concluded that the circumstances that emerged at the final stage of the Napoleonic wars did not allow P. Kh. Wittgenstein fully reveal his art of warlord.
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