Hundred Days

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This article is about Napoleon's last period of rule. For the final Allied offensive on the Western Front during World War I, see Hundred Days' Offensive. For other uses, see Hundred Days (disambiguation).
War of the Seventh Coalition
Part of the Napoleonic Wars
Battle of Waterloo 1815.PNG
The Battle of Waterloo, by William Sadler II
Date 20 March to 8 July 1815
Location France, present-day Belgium
Result Coalition victory, Second Treaty of Paris
Belligerents
Seventh Coalition:
 United Kingdom
 Prussia
 Austrian Empire
 Russian Empire
Province of Hanover Hanover
Nassau
Brunswick
 Sweden
 Netherlands
 Spain
 Portugal
 Sardinia
Kingdom of the Two Sicilies Sicily
Tuscany Tuscany
Switzerland
Kingdom of France French Kingdom
France French Empire
 Kingdom of Naples
Commanders and leaders
United Kingdom Duke of Wellington
Kingdom of Prussia Gebhard von Blücher
Austrian Empire Frederick Bianchi
Kingdom of France Louis XVIII
France Napoleon
France Michel Ney  Executed
France Marquis de Grouchy
France Louis-Nicolas Davout
Kingdom of Naples Joachim Murat  Executed
Strength
800,000–1,000,000[1] 280,000[1]
Casualties and losses
50,825+ killed, wounded, or captured[citation needed] 68,000+ killed, wounded, captured, or missing[citation needed]

The Hundred Days,[a]sometimes known as the Hundred Days of Napoleon or Napoleon's Hundred Days, marked the period between Emperor Napoleon of France's return from exile on Elba to Paris on 20 March 1815 and the second restoration of King Louis XVIII on 8 July 1815 (a period of 111 days).[b] This period saw the War of the Seventh Coalition, and includes the Waterloo Campaign[2] and the Neapolitan War. The phrase les Cent Jours was first used by the prefect of Paris, Gaspard, comte de Chabrol, in his speech welcoming the King.[c]

Napoleon returned while the Congress of Vienna was sitting. On 13 March, seven days before Napoleon reached Paris, the powers at the Congress of Vienna declared him an outlaw, and on 25 March, five days after his arrival in Paris, Austria, Prussia, Russia and the United Kingdom, members of the Seventh Coalition, bound themselves to put 150,000 men each into the field to end his rule.[4] This set the stage for the last conflict in the Napoleonic Wars, the defeat of Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo,[d] the restoration of the French monarchy for the second time and the permanent exile of Napoleon to the distant island of Saint Helena, where he died in May 1821.

Background[edit]

Napoleon's rise and fall[edit]

The French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars pitted France against various coalitions of other European nations nearly continuously from 1792 onward. The overthrow and subsequent execution of Louis XVI in France had greatly disturbed other European leaders, who vowed to crush the French Republic. Rather than leading to France’s defeat, the wars allowed the revolutionary regime to expand beyond its borders and create client republics. The success of the French forces made a hero out of their best commander, Napoleon Bonaparte. In 1799, Napoleon staged a successful coup d'état and became First Consul of the new French Consulate. Five years later, he crowned himself Emperor Napoleon I.

The rise of Napoleon troubled the other European powers as much as the earlier revolutionary regime had. Despite the formation of new coalitions against him, Napoleon’s forces continued to conquer much of Europe. The tide of war began to turn, however, after a disastrous French invasion of Russia in 1812 that caused Napoleon to lose much of his army. The following year, during the War of the Sixth Coalition, Coalition forces defeated the French in the Battle of Leipzig.

Following its victory at Leipzig, the Coalition vowed to press on to Paris and depose Napoleon. In the last week of February 1814, Prussian Field Marshal Blücher advanced on Paris. After multiple attacks, maneuvering, and reinforcements on both sides,[5] Blücher won the Battle of Laon in early March 1814; this victory prevented the Allied army from being pushed north out of France. The Battle of Reims went to Napoleon, but this victory was followed by successive defeats from increasingly overwhelming odds. Coalition forces entered Paris after the Battle of Montmartre on March 30, 1814.

On 6 April 1814, Napoleon abdicated his throne, leading to the accession of Louis XVIII and the first Bourbon Restoration a month later. The defeated Napoleon was exiled to the island of Elba, while the victorious Coalition sought to redraw the map of Europe at the Congress of Vienna.

Exile in Elba[edit]

The journey of a modern hero, to the island of Elba. Print shows Napoleon seated backwards on a donkey on the road "to Elba" from Fontainebleau; he holds a broken sword in one hand and the donkey's tail in the other while two drummers follow him playing a farewell(?) march.
Napoleon with the Elba Squadron of volunteers from the 1st Polish Light Cavalry of his Imperial Guard.

Napoleon spent only nine months and 21 days in uneasy retirement on Elba (1814–1815), watching events in France with great interest as the Congress of Vienna gradually gathered. He had been escorted to Elba by Sir Neil Campbell, who remained in residence there while performing other duties in Italy, but was not Napoleon's jailer.[6] As he foresaw, the shrinkage of the great Empire into the realm of old France caused intense dissatisfaction among the French, a feeling fed by stories of the tactless way in which the Bourbon princes treated veterans of the Grande Armée and the returning royalist nobility treated the people at large. Equally threatening was the general situation in Europe which had been stressed and exhausted during the previous decades of near constant warfare.

The conflicting demands of major powers were for a time so exorbitant as to bring the Powers at the Congress of Vienna to the verge of war with each other.[7] Thus every scrap of news reaching remote Elba looked favourable to Napoleon to retake power as he correctly reasoned the news of his return would cause a popular rising as he approached. He also reasoned that the return of French prisoners from Russia, Germany, Britain and Spain would furnish him instantly with a trained, veteran and patriotic army far larger than that which had won renown in the years before 1814. So threatening were the symptoms that the royalists at Paris and the plenipotentiaries at Vienna talked of deporting him to the Azores or to Saint Helena, while others hinted at assassination.[8]

Congress of Vienna[edit]

At the Congress of Vienna (November 1814 – June 1815) the various participating nations had very different and conflicting goals. Tsar Alexander of Russia had expected to absorb much of Poland and to leave a Polish puppet state, the Duchy of Warsaw, as a buffer against further invasion from Europe. The renewed Prussian state demanded all of the Kingdom of Saxony. Austria wanted to allow neither of these things, while it expected to regain control of northern Italy. Castlereagh, of the United Kingdom, supported France (represented by Talleyrand) and Austria and was at variance with his own Parliament. This almost caused a war to break out when the Tsar pointed out to Castlereagh that Russia had 450,000 men near Poland and Saxony and he was welcome to try to remove them. Indeed he stated "I shall be the King of Poland and the King of Prussia will be the King of Saxony".[9] Castlereagh approached King Frederick William III of Prussia to offer him British and Austrian support for Prussia's annexation of Saxony in return for Prussia's support of an independent Poland. Frederick William repeated this offer in public, offending the Tsar so deeply that he challenged Metternich of Austria to a duel. Only the intervention of the Austrian crown stopped it. A breach between the Great Powers was avoided when members of Britain's Parliament got word to the Russian ambassador that Castlereagh had exceeded his authority, and Britain would not support an independent Poland.[10] The affair left Prussia deeply suspicious of any British involvement.

Return to France[edit]

Napoleon leaving Elba, painted by Joseph Beaume
The brig Inconstant, under Captain Taillade and ferrying Napoleon to France, crosses the path of the brig Zéphir, under Captain Andrieux. Inconstant flies the tricolour of the Empire, while Zéphir flies the white ensign of the Monarchy.

While the Allies were distracted, Napoleon solved his problem in characteristic fashion. On 26 February 1815, when the British and French guard ships were absent, he slipped away from Portoferraio with some 600 men and landed at Golfe-Juan near Antibes on 1 March 1815. Except in royalist Provence, he was warmly received. He avoided much of Provence by taking a route through the Alps, marked today as the Route Napoléon. Firing no shot in his defense, his troops swelled until it became an army. On 5 March, the nominally royalist 5th Infantry Regiment went over to Napoleon en masse. The next day they were joined by the 7th Infantry Regiment under its colonel, Charles de la Bédoyère, who was executed for treason by the Bourbons after the campaign ended. An old anecdote illustrates Napoleon's charisma. When royalist troops deployed to stop the march of Napoleon's force at Lyon, Napoleon stepped out in front of them, ripped open his coat and said "If any of you will shoot your Emperor, shoot him now." The men joined his cause.[11]

Marshal Ney, now one of Louis' commanders, had said that Napoleon ought to be brought to Paris in an iron cage, but on 14 March, Ney joined Napoleon with 6,000 men. Five days later, after proceeding through the countryside promising constitutional reform and direct elections to an assembly, to the acclaim of gathered crowds Napoleon entered the capital, whence Louis XVIII had recently fled.

The royalists did not pose a major threat: the duc d'Angoulême raised a small force in the south, but at Valence it did not provide resistance against Imperialists under Grouchy’s command;[citation needed] and the duke, on 9 April 1815, signed a convention whereby they received a free pardon from the Emperor. The royalists of the Vendée moved later and caused more difficulty for the Imperialists.

Napoleon's health[edit]

The evidence as to Napoleon's health is somewhat conflicting. Carnot, Pasquier, Lavalette, Thiébault, and others thought him prematurely aged and enfeebled.[citation needed] At Elba, as Sir Neil Campbell noted, he became inactive and proportionately corpulent.[citation needed] There, too, as sometimes in 1815, he began to suffer intermittently from retention of urine, but to no serious extent. For much of his public life, Napoleon was troubled by hemorrhoids, which made sitting on a horse for long periods of time difficult and painful. This condition had disastrous results at Waterloo; during the battle, his inability to sit on his horse for other than very short periods of time interfered with his ability to survey his troops in combat, and thus exercise command.[12] Others saw no marked change in him; while Mollien, who knew the emperor well, attributed the lassitude which now and then came over him to a feeling of perplexity caused by his changed circumstances.[citation needed]

Constitutional reform[edit]

Main article: Charter of 1815

At Lyon, on 13 March 1815, Napoleon issued an edict dissolving the existing chambers and ordering the convocation of a national mass meeting, or Champ de Mai, for the purpose of modifying the constitution of the Napoleonic empire.[13] He reportedly told Benjamin Constant, "I am growing old. The repose of a constitutional king may suit me. It will more surely suit my son."[14]

That work was carried out by Benjamin Constant in concert with the Emperor. The resulting Acte additionel (supplementary to the constitutions of the Empire) bestowed on France a hereditary Chamber of Peers, and a Chamber of Representatives elected by the "electoral colleges" of the empire.

According to Châteaubriand, in reference to Louis XVIII’s constitutional charter, the new constitution – La Benjamine, it was dubbed – was merely a "slightly improved" version of the charter associated with Louis XVIII's administration; however, later historians, including Agatha Ramm, have pointed out that this constitution permitted the extension of the franchise and explicitly guaranteed press freedom.[13] In the Republican manner, the Constitution was put to the people of France in a plebiscite, but whether due to lack of enthusiasm, or because the nation was suddenly thrown into military preparation, only 1,532,527 votes were cast, less than half of the vote in the plebiscites of the Consulat; however, the benefit of a 'large majority' meant that Napoleon felt he had constitutional sanction.[13]

Napoleon was with difficulty dissuaded from quashing the 3 June election of Lanjuinais, the staunch liberal who had so often opposed the Emperor, as president of the Chamber of Representatives. In his last communication to them, Napoleon warned them not to imitate the Greeks of the late Byzantine Empire, who engaged in subtle discussions when the ram was battering at their gates.[citation needed]

Military mobilisation[edit]

Strategic situation in Western Europe in 1815: 250,000 Frenchmen faced a coalition of about 850,000 soldiers on four fronts. In addition, Napoleon was forced to leave 20,000 men in Western France to reduce a royalist insurrection.

During the Hundred Days both the Coalition nations and Napoleon I mobilised for war. Upon reassumption of the throne, Napoleon found that he was left with little by Louis XVIII. There were 56,000 soldiers of which 46,000 were ready to campaign.[15] By the end of May the total armed forces available to Napoleon had reached 198,000 with 66,000 more in depots training up but not yet ready for deployment.[16] By the end of May Napoleon had formed L'Armée du Nord (the "Army of the North") which, led by himself, would participate in the Waterloo Campaign.

For the defence of France, Napoleon deployed his remaining forces within France with the intention of delaying his foreign enemies while he suppressed his domestic ones. By June the forces were organised thus:

  • V Corps, – L'Armée du Rhin – commanded by Rapp, cantoned near Strasbourg;[17]
  • VII Corps – L'Armée des Alpes – commanded by Suchet,[18] cantoned at Lyon;
  • I Corps of Observation – L'Armée du Jura – commanded by Lecourbe,[17] cantoned at Belfort;
  • II Corps of Observation[19]L'Armée du Var – commanded by Brune, based at Toulon;[20]
  • III Corps of Observation[19] – Army of the Pyrenees orientales[21] – commanded by Decaen, based at Toulouse;
  • IV Corps of Observation[19] – Army of the Pyrenees occidentales[21] – commanded by Clauzel, based at Bordeaux;
  • Army of the West,[19]Armée de l'Ouest[21] (also known as the Army of the Vendee and the Army of the Loire) – commanded by Lamarque, was formed to suppress the Royalist insurrection in the Vendée region of France which remained loyal to King Louis XVIII during the Hundred Days.

Opposing Coalition forces:

Archduke Charles gathered Austrian and allied German states, while the Prince of Schwarzenberg formed another Austrian army. King Ferdinand VII of Spain summoned British officers to lead his troops against France. Tsar Alexander I of Russia mustered an army of 250,000 troops and sent these rolling toward the Rhine. Prussia mustered two armies. One under Blücher took post alongside Wellington’s British army and its allies. The other was the North German Corps under General Kleist.[22]

  • Assessed as an immediate threat by Napoleon I:
    • Anglo-Allied, commanded by Wellington, cantoned south west Brussels, headquartered at Brussels.
    • Prussian Army commanded by Blücher, cantoned south east of Brussels, headquartered at Namur.
  • Close to the borders of France but assessed to be less of a threat by Napoleon I:
  • Other coalition forces which were either converging on France, mobilised to defend the homelands, or in the process of mobilisation included:
    • A Russian Army, commanded by Michael Andreas Barclay de Tolly, and marching towards France
    • A Reserve Russian Army to support de Tolly if required.
    • A Reserve Prussian Army stationed at home in order to defend its borders.
    • An Anglo-Sicilian Army under General Sir Hudson Lowe, which was to be landed by the Royal Navy on the southern French coast.
    • Two Spanish Armies were assembling and planning to invade over the Pyrenees.
    • A Netherlands Corps, under Prince Frederick of the Netherlands, was not present at Waterloo but as a corps in Wellington's army it did take part in minor military actions during the Coalition's invasion of France.
    • A Danish contingent known as the Royal Danish Auxiliary Corps commanded by General Prince Frederik of Hesse and a Hanseatic contingent (from the free cities of Bremen, Lubeck and Hamburg) later commanded by the British Colonel Sir Neil Campbell, were on their way to join Wellington;[23] both however, joined the army in July having missed the conflict.[24][25]
    • A Portuguese contingent, which due to the speed of events never assembled.

War begins[edit]

Plenipotentiaries at the Congress of Vienna

At the Congress of Vienna, the Great Powers of Europe (Austria, Great Britain, Prussia and Russia) and their allies declared Napoleon an outlaw,[26] and with the signing of this declaration on 13 March 1815, so began the War of the Seventh Coalition. The hopes of peace that Napoleon had entertained were gone – war was now inevitable.

A further treaty (the Treaty of Alliance against Napoleon) was ratified on 25 March in which each of the Great European Powers agreed to pledge 150,000 men for the coming conflict.[27] Such a number was not possible for Great Britain, as her standing army was smaller than the three of her peers.[28] Besides, her forces were scattered around the globe, with many units still in Canada, where the War of 1812 had recently ceased.[29] With this in mind she made up her numerical deficiencies by paying subsidies to the other Powers and to the other states of Europe that would contribute contingents.[28]

Some time after the allies began mobilising, it was agreed that the planned invasion of France was to commence on 1 July 1815,[30] much later than both Blücher and Wellington would have liked as both their armies were ready in June, ahead of the Austrians and Russians; the latter were still some distance away.[31] The advantage of this later invasion date was that it allowed all the invading Coalition armies a chance to be ready at the same time. Thus they could deploy their combined numerically superior forces against Napoleon's smaller, thinly spread forces, thus ensuring his defeat and avoiding a possible defeat within the borders of France. Yet this postponed invasion date allowed Napoleon more time to strengthen his forces and defences, which would make defeating him harder and more costly in lives, time and money.

Napoleon now had to decide whether to fight a defensive or offensive campaign.[32] Defence would entail repeating the 1814 campaign in France but with much larger numbers of troops at his disposal. France's chief cities, Paris and Lyon, would be fortified and two great French armies, the larger before Paris and the smaller before Lyon, would protect them; francs-tireurs would be encouraged, giving the Coalition armies their own taste of guerrilla warfare.[33]

Napoleon chose to attack, which entailed a pre-emptive strike at his enemies before they were all fully assembled and able to co-operate. By destroying some of the major Coalition armies, Napoleon believed he would then be able to bring the governments of the Seventh Coalition to the peace table[33] to discuss results favourable to himself, namely peace for France with himself remaining in power as its head. If peace were rejected by the allies despite any pre-emptive military success he might have achieved using the offensive military option available to him, then the war would continue and he could turn his attention to defeating the rest of the Coalition armies.

Napoleon's decision to attack in Belgium was supported by several considerations. First, he had learned that the British and Prussian armies were widely dispersed and might be defeated in detail.[34] Also, the British troops in Belgium were largely second-line troops; most of the veterans of the Peninsular War had been sent to America to fight the War of 1812.[35] And, politically, a French victory might trigger a friendly revolution in French-speaking Brussels.[34]

Waterloo Campaign[edit]

Main article: Waterloo Campaign
Part of Belgium engraved by J. Kirkwood
A portion of Belgium with some places marked in colour to indicate the initial deployments of the armies just before the commencement of hostilities on 15 June 1815: red Anglo-allied, green Prussian, blue French.

The Waterloo Campaign (15 June - 8 July 1815) was fought Between the French Army of the North and two Seventh Coalition armies, An Anglo-allied army and a Prussian army. Initially the French army was commanded by Napoleon Bonaparte, but he left for Paris after the French defeat at the Battle of Waterloo. Command then rested on Marshals Soult and Grouchy, who were in turn replaced by Marshal Davout, who took command at the request of the French Provisional Government. The Anglo-Allied army was commanded by the Duke of Wellington and the Prussian army by Prince Blücher

The war between France and the Seventh Coalition became inevitable when the other European Great Powers refused to recognise Napoleon as Emperor of the French on his return from exile on the Island of Elba. Rather than wait for the Coalition to invade France, Napoleon decided to attack his enemies and hope to defeat them in detail before they could launch their combined and coordinated invasion. He chose to launch his first attack against the two Coalition armies cantoned in modern day Belgium, then part of the Netherlands but until the year before part of the First French Empire.[36]

Hostilities started on 15 June when the French drove the Prussian outposts in crossed the Sombre at Charleroi placing their forces at the juncture between the cantonment areas of Wellington's Army (to the west) and Blücher's army to the east.[37] On the 16 June the French prevailed with Marshal Ney commanding the left wing of the French army holding Wellington at the Battle of Quatre Bras and Napoleon defeating Blücher at the Battle of Ligny.[38] On 17 June, Napoleon left Grouchy with the right wing of the French army to pursue the Prussians while he took the reserves and command of the right wing of the army to pursue Wellington towards Brussels.[39]

Map of the Waterloo campaign.

On the night of 17 June the Anglo-allied army turned and prepared for battle on a gentle escarpment, about 1 mile (1.6 km) south of the village of Waterloo. The next day the Battle of Waterloo proved to be the decisive battle of the campaign. The Anglo-Allied army stood fast against repeated French attacks, until with the aid of several Prussian corps that arrived on the east of the battlefield in the early evening they managed to route the French Army.[40] Grouchy with the right wing of the army engaged a Prussian rearguard at the simultaneous battle of Wavre, and although he won a tactical victory his failure to prevent the Prussians marching to Waterloo meant that his actions contributed to the French defeat at Waterloo. The next day (19 June) he left Wavre and started a long retreat back to Paris.[41]

After the defeat at Waterloo Napoleon chose not to remain with the army and attempt to rally it, but returned to Paris to try to secure political support for further action. This he failed to do and was forced to resign. The two Coalition armies hotly pursued the French army to the gates of Paris, during which the French on occasion turned and fought some delaying actions, in which thousands of men were killed.[42]

Initially the remnants of the French left wing and the reserves that were routed at Waterloo were commanded by Marshal Soult while Grouchy kept command of the left wing. However on 25 June Soult was relieved of his command by the Provisional Government and was replaced by Grouchy, who in turn was placed under the command of Davout.[43]

When the French Provisional Government realised that the French army under Marshal Davout was unable to defend Paris, the Government authorised delegates to accept capitulation terms which led to the Convention of St. Cloud (the surrender of Paris) which ended hostilities between France and the armies of Blücher and Wellington.[44]

The first Prussian troops entered Paris on 8 July, the same day Louis XVIII was restored to the French throne,[45] and a week later on 15 July Napoleon surrendered to Captain Frederick Maitland of HMS Bellerophon.[46]

Under he terms or the peace treaty of November 1815, Coalition forces remained in Northern France as an army of occupation under the command of the Duke of Wellington.

Napoleon abdicates[edit]

Invasion of France by the Seventh Coalition armies in 1815.

On arriving at Paris, three days after Waterloo, Napoleon still clung to the hope of concerted national resistance; but the temper of the chambers and of the public generally forbade any such attempt. Napoleon and his brother Lucien Bonaparte were almost alone in believing that, by dissolving the chambers and declaring Napoleon dictator, they could save France from the armies of the powers now converging on Paris. Even Davout, minister of war, advised Napoleon that the destinies of France rested solely with the chambers. Clearly, it was time to safeguard what remained; and that could best be done under Talleyrand's shield of legitimacy.

Napoleon himself at last recognised the truth. When Lucien pressed him to "dare", he replied, "Alas, I have dared only too much already". On 22 June 1815 he abdicated in favour of his son, Napoléon Francis Joseph Charles Bonaparte, well knowing that it was a formality, as his four-year-old son was in Austria. On 25 June he received from Fouché, the president of the newly appointed provisional government (and Napoleon's former police chief), an intimation that he must leave Paris. He retired to Malmaison, the former home of Joséphine, where she had died shortly after his first abdication.

On 29 June the near approach of the Prussians, who had orders to seize him, dead or alive, caused him to retire westwards toward Rochefort, whence he hoped to reach the United States. The presence of blockading Royal Navy warships under Vice Admiral Henry Hotham with orders to prevent his escape forestalled this plan.

Finally, unable to remain in France or escape from it, he surrendered himself to Captain Frederick Maitland of HMS Bellerophon early in the morning of 15 July and was transported to England. The full restoration of Louis XVIII followed the emperor’s departure. Napoleon I was exiled to the island of Saint Helena where he died in May 1821.

Prussians enter Paris[edit]

With the abdication of Napoleon the provisional government led by Fouché appointed Davout, Napoleon’s minister of war, as General in Chief. French troops concentrated in Paris had as many soldiers as the invaders and more cannons.[citation needed]

There were two major skirmishes and a few minor ones near Paris during the first few days of July. In the first major skirmish, the Battle of Rocquencourt, on 1 July French dragoons supported by infantry and commanded by General Exelmans destroyed a Prussian brigade of hussars under the command of Colonel von Sohr (who was severely wounded and taken prisoner during the skirmish), before retreating. In the second, on 3 July, General Dominique Vandamme (under Davout's command) was decisively defeated by General Graf von Zieten (under Blücher's command) at the Battle of Issy, forcing the French to retreat into Paris.[47] With this defeat, all hope of holding Paris faded and it was agreed in the Convention of St. Cloud (signed on 3 July 1815) that the French Army would withdraw south of the Loire River and on 7 July Graf von Zieten's Prussian I Corps entered Paris.[48]

Other campaigns and wars[edit]

While Napoleon had assessed that the Coalition forces in and around Brussels on the borders of north east France posed the greatest threat because Tolly's Russian army of 150,000 were still not in the theatre, Spain was slow to mobilise, Prince Schwarzenberg's Austrian army of 210,000 were slow to cross the Rhine, and another Austrian force menacing the south eastern frontier of France was still not a direct threat, Napoleon still had to place some badly needed forces in positions where they could defend France against other Coalition forces whatever the outcome of the Waterloo campaign.[49][17]

Neapolitan War[edit]

The Neapolitan War between the Napoleonic Kingdom of Naples and the Austrian Empire, started on 15 March 1815 when Marshal Joachim Murat declared war on Austria and ended on 20 May 1815 with the signing of the Treaty of Casalanza.

Napoleon had made his brother-in-law, Joachim Murat, King of Naples on 1 August 1808. After Napoleon's defeat in 1813, Murat reached an agreement with Austria to save his own throne. However he realized that the European Powers, meeting as the Congress of Vienna, planned to remove him and return Naples to its Bourbon rulers. So, after issuing the so-called Rimini Proclamation urging Italian patriots to fight for independence, Murat moved north to fight against the Austrians, who were the greatest threat to his rule.

The war was triggered by a pro-Napoleon uprising in Naples, after which Murat declared war on Austria on 15 March 1815, five days before Napoleon's return to Paris. The Austrians were prepared for war. Their suspicions were aroused weeks earlier, when Murat applied for permission to march through Austrian territory to attack the south of France. Austria had reinforced her armies in Lombardy under the command of Bellegarde prior to war being declared.

The war ended after a decisive Austrian victory at the Battle of Tolentino. Ferdinand IV was reinstated as King of Naples. Ferdinand then sent Neapolitan troops under General Onasco to help the Austrian army in Italy attack southern France. In the long term, the intervention by Austria caused resentment in Italy, which further spurred on the drive towards Italian unification.

Civil war[edit]

Provence and Brittany, which were known to contain many royalist sympathisers, did not rise in open revolt, but La Vendée did. The Vendée Royalists successfully took Bressuire and Cholet before they were defeated by General Lamarque at the Battle of Rocheserviere on 20 June. They signed the Treaty of Cholet six days later on 26 June.[18][50]

Austrian campaign[edit]

Rhine frontier[edit]

In early June General Rapp's Army of the Rhine of about 23,000 men, with a leavening of experienced troops, advanced towards Germersheim to block Schwarzenberg expected advance, but on hearing the news of the French defeat at Waterloo, Rapp withdrew towards Strasbourg turning on 28 June to check the 40,000 men of General Württemberg's Austrian III Corps at the battle of La Suffel – the last pitched battle of the Napoleonic Wars and a French victory. The next day Rapp continued to retreat to Strasbourg and also sent a garrison to defend Colmar. He and his men took no further active part in the campaign and eventually submitted to the Bourbons.[17][51]

To the north of Württenberg's III Corps, General Wrede's Austrian (Bavarian) IV Corps also crossed the French frontier and then swung south and captured Nancy against some local popular resistance on 27 June. Attached to his command was a Russian detachment under the command of General Count Lambert that was charged with keeping Wrede's lines of communication open. In early July Schwarzenberg, having received a request from Wellington and Blücher, ordered Wrede to act as the Austrian vanguard and advance on Paris and by 5 July the main body of Wrede's IV Corps had reached Châlons. On 6 July the advance guard made contact with the Prussians and on 7 July Wrede received intelligence of the Paris Convention and a request to move to the Loire. By 10 July Wrede's headquarters were at Ferté-sous-Jouarre and his corps positioned between the Seine and the Marne.[18][52]

Further south General Colloredo's Austrian I Corps was hindered by General Lecourbe's Armée du Jura that was largely made up of National Guardsmen and other reserves. Lecourbe fought four delaying actions between 30 June and 8 July at Foussemagne, Bourogne, Chèvremont and Bavilliers before agreeing to an armistice on 11 July. Archduke Ferdinand's Reserve Corps together with Hohenzollern-Hechingen's II Corps laid siege to the fortresses of Huningen and Muhlhausen, with two Swiss brigades[53][page needed] from the Swiss Army of General Niklaus Franz von Bachmann, aiding with the siege of the former place. Like other Austrian forces, these too were pestered by francs-tireurs.[18][54]

Italian frontier[edit]

Like Rapp further north, Marshal Suchet with the Armée des Alps initially took the initiative, and on 14 June invaded Savoy. Facing him was General Frimont with an Austro-Sardinian army of 75,000 men based in Italy. However, on hearing of the defeat of Napoleon at Waterloo, Suchet negotiated an armistice and fell back to Lyons where on 12 July he surrendered the city to the Frimont's army.[55]

The Liguria coast was defended by French forces under Marshal Brune who fell back slowly into the fortress city of Toulon after retreating from Marseilles before the Austrian 'Army of Naples' under the command of General Bianchi, the Anglo-Sicilian forces of Sir Hudson Lowe supported by the British Mediterranean fleet of Lord Exmouth and the Sardinian forces of the Sardinian General d'Osasco, the forces of the latter being drawn from the garrison of Nice. Brune did not surrender the city and its naval arsenal until 31 July.[18][56]

Russian campaign[edit]

The main body of the Russian Army, commanded by Field Marshal Count Tolly, and amounting to 167,950 men, crossed the Rhine at Mannheim, on 25 June – after Napoleon had abdicated for the second time – and although there was a light resistance around Mannheim it was over by the time the vanguard had advanced as far as Landau. The greater portion of Tolly's army reached Paris and its vicinity by the middle of July.[18][57]

Treaty of Paris[edit]

All the participants of the War of the Seventh Coalition. Blue: The Coalition and their colonies and allies. Green: The First French Empire, its protectorates, colonies and allies.

Issy was the last field engagement of the Hundred Days. There was a campaign against continuing Napoleonic strongpoints that ended with the capitulation of Longwy on 13 September 1815. The Treaty of Paris was signed on 20 November 1815 bringing the Napoleonic Wars to a formal end.

Under the 1815 Paris treaty the previous year's Treaty of Paris, and the Final Act of the Congress of Vienna, of 9 June 1815, were confirmed. France was reduced to its 1790 boundaries; it lost the territorial gains of the Revolutionary armies in 1790–92, which the previous Paris treaty had allowed France to keep. France was now also ordered to pay 700 million francs in indemnities, in five yearly instalments,[58] and to maintain at its own expense a Coalition army of occupation of 150,000 soldiers[59] in the eastern border territories of France, from the English Channel to the border with Switzerland, for a maximum of five years.[e] The two-fold purpose of the military occupation was made clear by the convention annexed to the treaty outlining the incremental terms by which France would issue negotiable bonds covering the indemnity: in addition to safeguarding the neighbouring states from a revival of revolution in France, it guaranteed fulfilment of the treaty's financial clauses.[f]

On the same day, in a separate document, Great Britain, Russia, Austria, and Prussia renewed the Quadruple Alliance. The princes and free towns who were not signatories were invited to accede to its terms,[62] whereby the treaty became a part of the public law according to which Europe, with the exception of Ottoman Turkey[63] established "relations from which a system of real and permanent balance of power in Europe is to be derived".[64]

Timeline[edit]

Dates Synopsis of key events
26 February Napoleon I slipped away from Elba.
1 March Napoleon I landed near Antibes.
13 March The powers at the Congress of Vienna declared Napoleon I an outlaw.
14 March Marshal Ney, who had said that Napoleon ought to be brought to Paris in an iron cage, joined him with 6,000 men.
15 March After he had received word of Napoleon's escape, Joachim Murat, Napoleon's brother-in-law and the King of Naples, declared war on Austria in a bid to save his crown.
20 March Napoleon I entered Paris – The start of the One Hundred Days.
25 March The United Kingdom, Russia, Austria and Prussia, members of the Seventh Coalition, bound themselves to put 150,000 men each into the field to end Napoleon I's rule.
9 April The high point for the Neapolitans as Murat attempted to force a crossing of the River Po. However, he is defeated at the Battle of Occhiobello and for the remainder of the war, the Neapolitans would be in full retreat.
3 May General Bianchi's Austrian I Corps decisively defeated Murat at the Battle of Tolentino.
20 May The Neapolitans signed the Treaty of Casalanza with the Austrians after Murat had fled to Corsica and his generals had sued for peace.
23 May Ferdinand IV was restored to the Neapolitan throne.
15 June French Army of the North crossed the frontier into the United Netherlands (in modern day Belgium).
16 June Napoleon I beat Field Marshal Blücher at the Battle of Ligny. Simultaneously Marshal Ney and The Duke of Wellington fought the Battle of Quatre Bras at the end of which there was no clear victor.
18 June After the close, hard-fought Battle of Waterloo, the combined armies of Wellington and Blücher decisively defeated Napoleon I's French Army of the North. The concurrent Battle of Wavre continued until the next day when Marshal Grouchy won a hollow victory against General Johann von Thielmann.
21 June Napoleon I arrived back in Paris.
22 June Napoleon I abdicated in favour of his son Napoléon Francis Joseph Charles Bonaparte.
29 June Napoleon I left Paris for the west of France.
3 July French requested a ceasefire following the Battle of Issy. The Convention of St. Cloud (the surrender of Paris) ended hostilities between France and the armies of Blücher and Wellington.
7 July Graf von Zieten's Prussian I Corps entered Paris.
8 July Louis XVIII was restored to the French throne – The end of the One Hundred Days.
15 July Napoleon I surrendered to Captain Maitland of HMS Bellerophon.
13 October Joachim Murat is executed in Pizzo after he had landed there five days earlier hoping to regain his kingdom.
16 October Napoleon is exiled to St. Helena.
20 November Treaty of Paris signed.
7 December After being condemned by the Chamber of Peers, Marshal Ney is executed by firing squad in Paris near the Luxembourg Garden.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ French: les Cent-Jours, IPA: [le sɑ̃ ʒuʁ]
  2. ^ Histories differ over the start and end dates of the Hundred Days; another popular period is from 1 March, when Napoleon I landed in France, to his defeat at Waterloo on 18 June.
  3. ^ When Louis XVIII entered Paris on 8 July, Count Chabrol, prefect of the department of the Seine, accompanied by the municipal body address Louis XVIII in the name of his companions, in a speech that began "Sire,—One hundred days have passed away since your majesty, forced to tear yourself from your dearest affections, left you capital amidst tears and public consternation. ...".[3]
  4. ^ Waterloo is one of the most famous battles in history
  5. ^ The army of occupation and the Duke of Wellington's moderating transformation from soldier to statesman are discussed by Thomas Dwight Veve.[60]
  6. ^ A point made by Nicolle. [61]
  1. ^ a b Chandler 1966, p. 1015.
  2. ^ Beck 1911, "Waterloo Campaign".
  3. ^ Gifford 1817, p. 1511.
  4. ^ Hamilton-Williams 1996, p. 59.
  5. ^ Uffindell 2003, pp. 198, 200.
  6. ^ Stephens 1886, p. 390.
  7. ^ Hamilton-Williams 1996, pp. 44, 45.
  8. ^ Hamilton-Williams 1996, p. 43.
  9. ^ Hamilton-Williams 1996, p. 45.
  10. ^ Hamilton-Williams 1996, p. 48.
  11. ^ Hamilton-Williams 1996, p. 42.
  12. ^ Hibbert 1998, pp. 143, 144.
  13. ^ a b c Ramm 1984, pp. 132–134.
  14. ^ Fraser, Flora Venus of Empire: The Life of Pauline Bonaparte
  15. ^ Chesney 1868, p. 34.
  16. ^ Chesney 1868, p. 35.
  17. ^ a b c d Chandler 1981, p. 180.
  18. ^ a b c d e f Chandler 1981, p. 181.
  19. ^ a b c d Chalfont 1979, p. 205.
  20. ^ Siborne 1895, pp. 775,779.
  21. ^ a b c Chandler 1981, p. 30.
  22. ^ Chesney 1868, p. 36.
  23. ^ Plotho 1818, pp. 34,35 (Appendix).
  24. ^ Hofschroer 2006, pp. 82,83.
  25. ^ Sørensen 1871, pp. 360–367.
  26. ^ Baines 1818, p. 433.
  27. ^ Barbero 2006, p. 2.
  28. ^ a b Glover 1973, p. 178.
  29. ^ Chartrand 1998, pp. 9,10.
  30. ^ Houssaye 2005, p. 327.
  31. ^ Houssaye 2005, p. 53.
  32. ^ Chandler 1981, p. 25.
  33. ^ a b Houssaye 2005, pp. 54–56.
  34. ^ a b Chandler 1966, p. 1016.
  35. ^ Chandler 1966, p. 1093.
  36. ^ Hyde 1905, pp. 5–7.
  37. ^ Siborne 1848, pp. 111–128.
  38. ^ Siborne 1848, pp. 129–258.
  39. ^ Siborne 1848, pp. 159–323.
  40. ^ Siborne 1848, pp. 324–596.
  41. ^ Siborne 1848, p. 625.
  42. ^ Siborne 1848, pp. 597–754.
  43. ^ Siborne 1848, pp. 687, 717.
  44. ^ Siborne 1848, pp. 754–756.
  45. ^ Siborne 1848, p. 757.
  46. ^ Laughton 1893, p. 354.
  47. ^ Nuttal Encyclopaedia: Issy
  48. ^ Prussian Army During the Napoleonic Wars: The Race to Paris
  49. ^ Beck 1911, p. 371.
  50. ^ Gildea 2008, pp. 112, 113.
  51. ^ Siborne 1895, p. 772.
  52. ^ Siborne 1895, pp. 768–771.
  53. ^ Chapuisat 1921, Edouard Table III.
  54. ^ Siborne 1895, pp. 773, 774.
  55. ^ Siborne 1895, pp. 775–779.
  56. ^ Siborne 1895, p. 779.
  57. ^ Siborne 1895, p. 774.
  58. ^ Article 4 of the Definitive Treaty of 20 November 1815. The 1814 treaty had required only that France honour some public and private debts incurred by the Napoleonic regime (Nicolle 1953, pp. 343–354), see Articles 18, 19 and 20 of the 1814 Paris Peace Treaty
  59. ^ Article 5 of the Definitive Treaty of 20 November 1815.
  60. ^ Veve 1992, p. [page needed].
  61. ^ Nicolle 1953, p. 344.
  62. ^ Final Act of the Congress of Vienna, Article 119.
  63. ^ Turkey, which had been excluded from the Congress of Vienna by the express wish of Russia (K. Strupp, et al., Wörterbuch des Völkerrechts, (Berlin, 1960-62) s.v. "Wiener Kongress").[full citation needed]
  64. ^ The quote is from Article I of the Additional, Separate, and Secret Articles to the [Paris Peace Treaty] of 30th May, 1814 (Hertslet 1875, p. 18), it is quoted to support the sentence by Wood 1943, p. 263 and note 6; (Wood's main subject is the Treaty of Paris (1856), terminating the Crimean War).

References[edit]

  • Baines, Edward (1818). History of the Wars of the French Revolution, from the breaking out of the wars in 1792, to, the restoration of general peace in 1815 (in 2 volumes) 2. Longman, Rees, Orme and Brown. p. 433. 
  • Barbero, Alessandro (2006). The Battle: a new history of Waterloo. Walker & Company. ISBN 0-8027-1453-6. 
  • Chandler, David (1966). The Campaigns of Napoleon. New York: Macmillan. 
  • Chandler, David (1981) [1980]. Waterloo: The Hundred Days. Osprey Publishing. 
  • Chalfont, Lord; et al. (1979). Waterloo: Battle of Three Armies. Sidgwick and Jackson. 
  • Chapuisat, Édouard (1921). Der Weg zur Neutralität und Unabhängigkeit 1814 und 1815. Bern: Oberkriegskommissariat.  (also published as: Vers la neutralité et l'indépendance. La Suisse en 1814 et 1815, Berne: Commissariat central des guerres)
  • Chartrand, Rene (1998). British Forces in North America 1793–1815. Osprey Publishing. 
  • Chesney, Charles Cornwallis (1868). Waterloo Lectures: a study of the Campaign of 1815. London: Longmans Green and Co. 
  • Gildea, Robert (2008). Children of the Revolution: The French, 1799-1914 (reprint ed.). Penguin UK. pp. 112, 113. ISBN 9780141918525. 
  • Gifford, H. (1817). History of the Wars Occasioned by the French Revolution: From the Commencement of Hostilities in 1792, to the End of ... 1816; Embracing a Complete History of the Revolution, with Biographical Sketches of Most of the Public Characters of Europe 2. W. Lewis. p. 1511. 
  • Glover, Michael (1973). Wellington as Military Commander. London: Sphere Books. 
  • Hamilton-Williams, David (1996). Waterloo New Perspectives: the Great Battle Reappraised. Wiley. ISBN 0-471-05225-6. 
  • Hertslet, Edward, Sir, (1875). The map of Europe by treaty; showing the various political and territorial changes which have taken place since the general peace of 1814. London: Butterworths. p. 18. 
  • Hibbert, Christopher (1998). Waterloo. Wordsworth Editions. ISBN 1-85326-687-6. Retrieved 2008. 
  • Hofschroer, Peter (2006). 1815 The Waterloo Campaign: Wellington, his German allies and the Battles of Ligny and Quatre Bras 1. Greenhill Books. 
  • Houssaye, Henri (2005). Napoleon and the Campaign of 1815: Waterloo. Naval & Military Press Ltd. 
  • Hyde, Kelly, William (1905). The battle of Wavre and Grouchy's retreat : a study of an obscure part of the Waterloo campaign. London: J. Murray. 
  •  Laughton, John Knox (1893). "Maitland, Frederick Lewis". In Lee, Sidney. Dictionary of National Biography 35. London: Smith, Elder & Co. pp. 353–355. 
  • Nicolle, André (December 1953). "The Problem of Reparations after the Hundred Days". The Journal of Modern History 25 (4): 343–354. doi:10.1086/237635. 
  • Plotho, Carl von (1818). Der Krieg des verbündeten Europa gegen Frankreich im Jahre 1815. Berlin: Karl Friedrich Umelang. 
  • Ramm, Agatha (1984). Europe in the Nineteenth Century. London: Longman. 
  • Siborne, William (1848). The Waterloo Campaign, 1815 (4th ed.). Westminster: A. Constable. 
  • Siborne, William (1895). "Supplement section". The Waterloo Campaign 1815 (4th ed.). Birmingham, 34 Wheeleys Road. pp. 767–780. 
  • Sørensen, Carl (1871). Kampen om Norge i Aarene 1813 og 1814 2. Kjøbenhavn. 
  •  Stephens, Henry Morse (1886). "Campbell, Neil (1776-1827)". In Stephen, Leslie. Dictionary of National Biography 8. London: Smith, Elder & Co. pp. 389–390. 
  • Uffindell, Andrew (2003). Great Generals of the Napoleonic Wars. Staplehurst: Spellmount. ISBN 1-86227-177-1. 
  • Veve, Thomas Dwight (1992). The Duke of Wellington and the British Army of Occupation in France, 1815–1818. Westport CT: Greenwood Press. 
  • Wood, Hugh McKinnon (April 1943). "The Treaty of Paris and Turkey's Status in International Law". The American Journal of International Law 37 (2): 262–274. doi:10.2307/2192416. 
Attribution

Further reading[edit]

  • Alexander,, Robert S. (1991). Bonapartism and Revolutionary Tradition in France: The Federes of 1815. Cambridge University Press. 
  • Bowden, Scott (1983). Armies at Waterloo: a detailed analysis of the armies that fought history's greatest Battle. Empire Games Press. ISBN 0-913037-02-8. 
  • Cordingly, David (2003). The Billy Ruffian: The Bellerophon and the Downfall of Napoleon. Bloomsbury. ISBN 1-58234-468-X. 
  • Gurwood, Lt. Colonel (1838). The Dispatches of Field Marshal the Duke of Wellington 12. J. Murray. 
  • Hofschroer, Peter (1999). 1815 The Waterloo Campaign: The German victory, from Waterloo to the fall of Napoleon 2. Greenhill Books. ISBN 1-85367-368-4. 
  • Mackenzie, Norman (1984). The Escape from Elba. Oxford University Press. 
  • Lucas, F. L. (1965). "'Long Lives the Emperor', an essay on The Hundred Days". The Historical Journal (Cambridge) 8 (1). 
  • Schom, Alan (1992). One Hundred Days: Napoleon's road to Waterloo. New York: Atheneum. pp. 19, 152. 
  • Smith, Digby (1998). The Greenhill Napoleonic Wars Data Book. London: Greenhill Books. 
  • Wellesley, Arthur (1862). Supplementary Despatches, Correspondence and Memoranda of Field Marshal the Duke of Wellington 10. London: United Services, John Murray.