30/31st October 1813 Battle of Hanau

Vernet's Battle of Hanau

Vernet's Battle of Hanau in the National Gallery, London

The Battle of Hanau (in modern Hessen) took place on the 30th and 31st of October in the area around the city of Hanau and was part of the German Campaign of the Napoleonic Wars (In German it’s referred to as the Befreiungskriege gegen die französische Besatzung – literally the War of Freedom from French Occupation). The main battle took place in an area called Lamboywaldes. It was fought between the Napoleonic French and an alliance of Bavaria and Austria.


On 8th October Bavaria had signed the Treaty of Lied and therewith broken her alliance with the French and joined the side of the Allies. On 28th October 1813, the 1st  Bavarian Chevaulegers-Regiment occupied Hanau.

Combined Austrian and Bavarian forces under Generals Graf Wrede comprised 43,000 Soldaten (3 Bavarian, 2 Austrian divisions with cavalry and Austro-Bavarian artillery.

Napololeon with ca 60,000 men waited until the Austro-Bavarian forces had used most of their munitions from long range before starting his offensive. Only the left flank of the Austro-Bavarian troops were able to hold their position and the allies had to withdraw. It was, however, Napoleon’s last victory on German soil.

To commemorate the battle, stone monuments were erected in Hanau. Five remain: In the Lamboystraße, Karl-Marx-Straße and the Robert-Blum-Straße as well as two more on the Kinzigbrücke. The battle is also engraved into the Arc de Triomphe in Paris.

France lost 6,000 men and Austria-Bavaria ca. 9,400 Further details (in German) at http://www.hanau.de http://www.hanauer-geschichtsverein.de, http://www.befreiungskriege.de


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