But then Napoleon surprised them all. He proposed a truce, which was meant to last from 4 June until 20 July and which became the Armistice of Plaswitz…
He thought this was a brilliant coup. (He would.) His own troops were exhausted, they were hungry, many of them were untrained novices, the cavalry required building up and training and he needed the six or seven weeks to whip the entire lot of them into some sort of shape so that come autumn he could annihilate those annoying Allies and be king of the world once more.
I have to tell you, when he was in exile on St. Helena, even he admitted this was one of his biggest mistakes.
Precisely because it allowed the Russians and Prussians (and their horses) to get organised and fed and rested and nursed back to health, (the Prussians didn’t even have enough food in their stores to feed their own army and required assistance from Russia…) and this …) and this was essential! It allowed the Russians to move vast amounts of fodder and supplies to the front from their bases in Russia, and this would facilitate the autumn campaign. It allowed Britain to work on Austria, promising boatloads of money and uniforms and weapons if they would enter the war on the side of the Allies, and it allowed the Austrians to get their army in order a bit and play chief negotiator with everyone.
Austria tried to press Napoleon for peace, but he–as ever the Corsican strongman–refused to negotiate and blew them off.
The Allied powers of Russia, Prussia and Austria took the field against Napoleon’s new Grande Armee and inflicted staggering casualties upon the French forces at the three-day Battle of Leipzig, 16th-18th October 1813.
The disorganised French fled westward, and for the next several months, Napoleon attempted to stave off the advancing Allied invasion of France, but with his supplies, his finances, and his wasted troops exhausted, he ultimately failed.
Thus after the Battle of Paris on 30th March 1814, Tsar Alexander entered the city in triumph. On 6th April, Napoleon was forced by his generals to abdicate power
Napoleon « M.M. Bennetts
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