Military Review

Battle of Denniewice

25 August (6 September) near the town of Dennevitz near the town of Uterbog, a battle took place between the allied Russian-Prussian Northern army under the command of the Swedish crown prince Jean Bernadot and the French troops of Marshal Michel Ney. The fierce battle ended with a heavy defeat for the French group.

Two weeks before the battle of Denniewice, the Northern army in the battle of Grosberen (The end of the 1813 truce of the year. Battle of Grosberen 23 August 1813 of the year. ) has already defeated the French army under the command of Marshal Nicolas Charles Oudinot. French troops tried to take Berlin and force Prussia into negotiations. The Prussian corps under the command of General Friedrich Bülow played the decisive role in the battle of Grosberen. The failure of Udino’s grouping did not lead Napoleon to change the course of action. The French emperor decided to strike Berlin again. He replaced the commander - Oudino was replaced by Ney.

Help. Michel Ney (1769 - 1815) began military service with 1788 of the year, a private in the hussar regiment. He was a member of the revolutionary wars of France. In 1792, for bravery in battles during the Northern campaign, he was awarded the officer's rank. For military achievements in campaigns 1795 — 1796 promoted to brigadier generals. In 1799, the troops under his command played a decisive role in the seizure of Mannheim. Ney becomes the division commander. In the year 1801, Napoleon appointed Ney as inspector general of cavalry. From 1803, the commander of the 6 Corps. Upon the proclamation of the French Empire, the marshal’s baton is given. Distinguished in campaigns 1805, 1806-1807. From 1808, he commanded the 6 Corps in Spain, where he suffered a series of setbacks. In the Russian campaign 1812, he commanded the 3 Corps, taking part in all the significant battles of this war. In the battle of Borodino, Ney's troops acted in the center and took Semenovsky flushes. During the battle of Borodino, Ney received the title of Prince Moskvoretsky. During the retreat, commanded the rearguard. He was actually the last to leave the borders of Russia, holding the defenses of Vilna and Kovno. She was highly respected by the soldiers, distinguished by vigor, composure, determination and courage. Got the nickname "the bravest of the brave" and "tireless."

Battle of Denniewice

French commander, Marshal of France (1804), Duke of Elhingen and Prince Moskvoretsky Michel Ney.

Forces of the parties and their location

Napoleon promised to send reinforcements to Her. In addition, the French emperor wanted to come to the army of Nei himself, along with selected troops, guards. However, the defeats at Katzbach and Kulm (Battle on Katzbach. The feat of the Russian Guard under Kulm) forced Napoleon to turn all his attention first to Silesia, and then to Bohemia. And the main reserves had to be left, compensating for the damage suffered by the troops of MacDonald and the corps of Vandam. Ney's army was strengthened only by the Polish division of Dombrowski, which had in its composition the 4 battalion and the 2 Uhlan regiment (about 4 thousand people). As a result, Oudinot's forces numbered no more than 70 thousand people. In addition, the morale of these troops was weakened by the defeat at Grosberen. The grouping Ney included: 4-th infantry corps under General Bertrand (French, Italians, Poles, Germans), 7-th Infantry Saxon corps of General Reynier, 12-th infantry corps of Marshal Oudinot (includes Bavarian division) and 3-Cavalry corps of general arridgy.

On the Berlin route, the 3-th and 4-th Prussian corps of the Bulow and Taouencin blocks blocked the enemy’s road. They numbered about 50 thousand soldiers. In addition, they could quickly support the Swedish and Russian cavalry units (about 5 thousand sabers). In the second echelon were Russian and Swedish corps.

Despite the unfavorable circumstances, Ney decided to act immediately. 23 August (4 September), he conducted a review of the troops in the camp near Wittenberg. On August 24 (September 5), he ordered Bertrand's 4 Corps to attack the Prussian detachment from Tsana under General Dobšiuc. After a stubborn battle, the Prussians, having lost several hundred people, retreated to Zalmsdorf. The French troops moved to Berlin along the same road: Bertrand’s corps was the first, followed by Rainier Saxons, and Oudinot’s corps closed the column. The army stretched over a distance of more than 10 km, and later the troops were brought into battle as they approached, which weakened the strike power of the French group.

General Dobšiutz, temporarily commanding the Prussian Corps 4, in the absence of Tauencin, who was hitting the head of the Northern Army commander, deployed his troops in two lines. As part of his body was about 14 thousand people with 36 guns. The flanks covered the Cossacks under Ilovaisky. The Prussians were attacked again and retreated to Uterbog. The Prussians lost during the retreat from Zana to 3 thousand people.

In the evening of August 24 (September 5), Prussian forces were located in a space about 25 versts from Yamov to Uterbog. A Russian and Swedish corps were between Lobessen and Marzane. The offensive of Ney’s troops revealed the enemy’s intention to bypass the left flank of the Northern Army and capture Berlin. Bülow, who was located with his corps closest to the enemy, decided, in the event of a further offensive by the French against Tauensin, to strike the enemy in the flank and rear. On the night of 24 on 25 of August (5 - 6 of September), the main forces of the 3 Prussian corps were three Hessen-Homburg, Tyumen and Kraft brigades, reserve cavalry and artillery were advanced to Kurz-Lipsdorf, 5 versts from the Bertrand corps. In the morning they became even closer to the enemy. Borstel’s brigade was abandoned by Cropstedt.

Bernadot ordered the Bülov and Tauencin 6 September Corps to attack the enemy. Russian-Swedish troops began to move to the place of the upcoming battle. Part of the Russian troops — Vorontsov’s vanguard and Chernyshev’s detachment — were sent to the rear of the enemy.

In the French army, there were thousands of cavalry before 10, but it was of poor quality and could not reconnoiter the disposition of the enemy troops. Cossacks all the time circling around the enemy, preventing the French from conducting reconnaissance. The French did not know about the appearance of the Bülow Corps near their left flank. French troops 6 September were still divided into three columns, which moved at a considerable distance from each other. The cavalry was moving in the rear guard.

The battle plan for Denniewice 25 August (6 September) 1813


In the morning, Towenz, planning to unite with Bulov, began to move his troops, leaving the 4 battalion, the 2 squadron and the 11 guns under the command of Major Kleist on the heights of Yuterbog. However, the Prussian corps did not have time to leave before the advent of French troops. Towyantsin occupied heights, placing the troops in two lines. At this time he had about 10 thousand soldiers. Bertrand's corps, passing Dennevitz, prepared for battle. In the first line was the Italian division of Fontanelli, it was supported by one of Frankemon's brigade of the Württemberg division (the second brigade remained in the rear, to protect carts), in the second line - the Lorges cavalry, in reserve - the Moran division. There were about 4 thousand people in the 18 case.

The battle began around 9 in the morning. At the very beginning of the battle, Ney, who left to study the Prussian positions, was nearly captured by the Cossacks. For a long time the battle was limited to a shootout. Only around 13 hours did the Prussian troops retreat beyond the ravine, while the French prepared for the pursuit. However, they were soon forced to pay attention to the defense, since the Bülow Corps came to Bertrand’s left flank. In the morning, the three Byulov brigades and cavalry took up a flank position in the area of ​​the village of Nieder-Görsdorf, to the left of the French corps. Bülow sent 4 Brigade of Tyumen (8 thousand soldiers) to the aid of the Tauentsinu. The rest of the brigade remained in reserve.

Upon hearing an artillery skirmish on his right flank, Tauentsin, and noticing that the French had stopped the attack, threw the cavalry into battle. Two squadrons of the 3-th Pomeranian regiment scattered three enemy battalions and took many prisoners. True, Major Barnekov fell in battle. The 4 squadron of the Brandenburg Hussars and the 1 and 7 th Kurmarck regiments pierced the first line of the French corps, dispersed two battalions in the second line, overturned the cavalry regiment. Two Polish Uhlan regiments attempted to counterattack, but were defeated by the 4-m Kurmarki landvehr regiment and three squadrons of the 2-th West Prussian regiment. The corps of Tauenqing went on the offensive with all its might and forced the enemy to retreat.

At the same time, the Tyumen Brigade attacked Dyuryutta Division. But the first attack of the Prussians was repelled by strong artillery fire and a bayonet attack. Bülow reinforced Tyumen with a part of the Hessen-Homburg brigade with a Russian artillery company of Colonel Dietrichs (it was then reinforced with 6 guns). With the support of artillery, the Prussians attacked the second time and dropped the French from the heights. Division Dyuryutta moved to Dennewitz. General Tyumen attacked the village of 16 with battalions of the 4 and 3 teams.

At this time, the Saxon corps launched an offensive against the 6 of the Kraft Brigade. In the first line was the 1-I Saxon division of Lecock, in the second - the 2-I Saxon division. The Saxons began to besiege the Prussians and Bülow sent the remaining battalions of the 3 Brigade of Hessen-Homburg to help Kraft. A fierce battle went over the village of Gelsdorf. The Prussians were beaten out of the village three times, but they counterattacked and regained Gelsdorf.

By the 16 clock on the right wing of the Prussian troops, the situation was favorable. The Prussians were winning up, the enemy retreating. But Bülow had already put all his forces into battle. While three divisions of the 12 corps of Marshal Oudinot approached with the main forces of cavalry. Against the 15 Prussian battalions on the right flank were about 50 enemy battalions. The French opened concentrated fire from several batteries at Gelsdorf. The attack went to the division Gillemino. The Prussians defended themselves courageously. They overturned two enemy battalions and forced the third to retreat. Many prisoners were captured. However, the balance of power was in favor of the enemy, and it should have affected soon. The French re-attack captured Gelsdorf.

At this critical moment, the Borstel 5 Brigade (8 battalions) appeared. Bulow's order to repel Gelsdorf. The Prussians went on the attack and captured Gelsdorf. The French responded with a new strike from the Guillemino division, supported by the forces of the other two divisions. The Prussians were rejected from Gelsdorf again. Borstelle artillery could not withstand 50 enemy guns. The French cavalry tried to complete the success, but was repulsed. Borstad Brigade attacked Gelsdorf for the second time. This attack could be the last effort of the brave Prussian troops on this flank. They had no more fresh strength.

However, Ney's mistake and the arrival of reinforcements to the Prussian corps led to the victory of the Allied forces. Ney, satisfied with the success on the left flank, decided to remove the Udino 12 case from him and throw him in support of Bertrand's 4 case. On the right flank, the situation for the French troops was really unfortunate. The Prussians captured Dennewitz. The squadrons of the East Prussian Regiment passed Rohrbek and overthrew the 8 enemy squadrons. The troops of the right wing of the French army retreated in all directions. Rainier, seeing a clear danger in leaving the 12 corps, offered to leave him at least one division from the Udino corps. However, Udino did not want to divide the troops and moved all the forces towards Rohrbek. To assist the Saxon corps, only a few Bavarian battalions were left.

In addition, the troops of Oudinot moved to the right wing for more than an hour. When they appeared there, they could not change the situation. The corps of Bertrand and the division of Durutte retreated in frustration and involved in the disorder and the troops of Udino. Prussian cavalry pursued the enemy. At this time, Bülow ordered the Borstel brigade to attack Gelsdorf again. She was supported by Oppen's reserve cavalry. At the same time, reinforcements arrived - the Izyum hussars, the dragoons of the Riga and Finnish regiments under the command of Palen, the 5 Cossack regiments of Ilovaisky, and two battalions of rangers who joined the Borstel brigade. Russian-Prussian cavalry overturned the enemy's cavalry, captured several guns.

Following this, artillery appeared - a Swedish battery and Russian companies. Artillery fire caused great harm to the enemy. Saxons bravely fought, but were driven out of Gelsdorf and began to retreat. By 18 hours the battle was over. The French army was defeated. Cavalry and Cossacks chased the enemy. Ney's troops, in complete frustration, retreated to Torgau on the Elbe.

At Ena, part of the enemy troops tried to gain a foothold, but was overturned by raisin and Pomeranian hussars. Hussars captured more than 1 thousand people and captured 11 guns. In Dame, the French were attacked by General Wobezer. After a stubborn fight, the entire 23 line regiment of Bertrand's 4 Corps folded weapon. About 2,5 thousand people were captured. Prussian guerrilla units at Holzdorf captured more than 300 people and 8 guns. At Herzberg, the detachments of Count Orurk and Lieutenant Colonel Lottum defeated the Saxons, taking the 800 people into captivity.

Monument to Bülow in Brandenburg in memory of the Battle of Dennewitz.


The northern army repelled Napoleon’s second attempt to capture Berlin. French troops suffered a serious defeat and suffered great losses. Ney's troops in the battle of Denniewice and during the retreat to Torgau lost 16-18 thousand people (according to other estimates, 22-25 thousand people, including deserters). There were especially many prisoners - 10-13,5 thousand people. The 12 Corps had to be disbanded, distributing the remaining troops among other units. His commander, Oudinot, became the head of the Young Guard. The Allies captured 60 guns and 4 banner. Prussian troops lost 9-10 thousand people. The Bülow Corps is over 6 thousand people, the Taujentsin Corps is over 3 thousand people. Russian troops in this battle lost 25 people.

The battle of Denniewice intensified the split between the French and the Saxons, which was observed earlier. Marshal Ney laid the blame for the defeat on the Saxons, the retreat which led according to him to the withdrawal of the 12-corps of Oudinot. Most of the Saxons, who was captured by Denniewice, went over to the side of the Allies.

Memorial at the site of the Battle of Denniewice, erected in 1817 in the village of Nieder-Görsdorf.
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  1. Sergey Medvedev
    Sergey Medvedev 5 September 2013 09: 37
    Ney hurried, did not wait for the approach of all his forces.
    1. Prometey
      Prometey 5 September 2013 13: 04
      Quote: Sergei Medvedev
      Ney hurried, did not wait for the approach of all his forces.

      Well, the crown pressed on the ears, probably wanted to repeat the success of Davout at Aurstedt. Only the Prussians were not the same, they were ready to stand to the end.
  2. Prometey
    Prometey 5 September 2013 09: 47
    The Russians, being the core of the anti-French coalition, once again taught the Prussians to fight, who after Frederick II lost their warlike fervor. And after all learned to beat the paddling pool.
  3. Mareman Vasilich
    Mareman Vasilich 5 September 2013 10: 11
    We hollowed both of them, this is more important. And let the citizens honor their soldiers. What matters to us is only experience, military experience, as it were, on someone else's example. Let the military study all this, but historians. But the article is plus, interesting.
  4. Pavel. 199615
    Pavel. 199615 8 September 2013 10: 12
  5. Vladimir73
    Vladimir73 10 September 2013 19: 44
    Great article !!!