V Corps (Grande Armée)

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For the similarly numbered formation in World War I and World War II, see 5th Army Corps (France).
V Corps (Grande Armée)
Active 1805–1815
Country France First French Empire
Branch Army
Type Army Corps
Size 2-3 infantry divisions
cavalry and artillery elemets
Engagements Napoleonic Wars
Commanders
Notable
commanders

The V Corps of the Grande Armée was a military unit during the Napoleonic Wars. The corps was originally formed in 1805 and was reorganized several times until it was discontinued in 1815.

Service History[edit]

In 1805–1807 the corps was constituted mainly of French troops, and was commanded by Marshals Jean Lannes, Édouard Mortier, François Joseph Lefebvre and André Masséna as well as Général de Division Anne Jean Marie René Savary.

The Polish Corps d'Armée[edit]

In 1812, the V Corps was made up entirely of Polish soldiers from the Duchy of Warsaw under the command of General Józef Poniatowski. It was one of several non-French corps of the Grande Armée and at its peak consisted of around 36,000 soldiers. The corps took part in Napoleon's invasion of Russia and fought in the Battle of Smolensk and the Battle of Borodino.[1]

It suffered heavy casualties during winter retreat, but managed to reach Warsaw and later was reinforced with new recruits. In 1813, they went to Saxony, passing Bohemia. The corps was temporary disbanded with the remaining troops, and Poniatowski was reassinged to the VIII Corps.

Revival[edit]

After the disastrous Russian campaign, the V Corps was rebuilt in Magdeburg from newly formed French units in spring 1813. These troops were under command of General of Division Jacques Lauriston. Participating in the War of the Sixth Coalition the corps was disbanded again after Napoleon's abdication.

The 100 Days[edit]

In March 1815, V Corps was rebuilt again and placed under command of General of Division Jean Rapp. Ordered to defend the north-eastern frontier of France, it missed the Battle of Waterloo; instead winning the Battle of La Suffel.

Organization[edit]

The V Corps varied in strength and organization. In the beginning of each campaign it had:

  • 14,000 French in 1805
  • 18,000 French in 1806–1807
  • 36,000 Polish in 1812
  • 20,000 French in 1813
  • 20,000 French in 1815

1805[edit]

1806–1807[edit]

  • Infantry Division - General Louis-Gabriel Suchet
  • Infantry Division - General Gazan
  • Light Cavalry Division - General Trelliard

1812[edit]

  • 16th Infantry Division - General Józef Zajączek, then Izydor Krasinski and Franciszek Paszkowski
  • 17th Infantry Division - General Jan Henryk Dąbrowski
  • 18th Infantry Division - General Ludwik Kamieniecki, then Karol Kniaziewicz
  • Cavalry Division - General Michal Ignacy Kamieński

1813[edit]

1815[edit]

  • National Guard Division - General de Berckheim
    • Haut-Rhin / Bas-Rhin National Guard (6 battalions)
  • 15th Infantry Division - General de Rottembourg
    • 1st Brigade
      • 39th Line Regiment
      • 40th Line Regiment
    • 2nd Brigade
      • 36th Line Regiment
      • 103rd Line Regiment
  • 16th Infantry Division - General Joseph Albert
    • 1st Brigade
      • 10th Light Regiment
      • 32nd Line Regiment
    • 2nd Brigade
      • 18th Line Regiment
      • 57th Line Regiment
  • 17th Infantry Division - General Charles Grandjean
    • 1st Brigade
      • 2 Infantry Regiments
    • 2nd Brigade
      • 2 Infantry Regiments
  • Light Cavalry Division - General Antoine François Eugène Merlin
    • 1st Brigade
      • 2nd Chasseurs a Cheval
      • 7th Chasseurs a Cheval
    • 2nd Brigade
      • 11th Dragoons
      • 19th Dragoons
    • 3rd Brigade
      • Mixed Cavalry (2-4 squadrons)

References[edit]

  1. ^ Badone, Jean Cerino; et al. "Battle of Borodino, 1812 - Armies. "French and Russian Orders of Battle"". Retrieved 2007-08-16. 

Sources[edit]

  • Rapp, Jean, comte (1823). Memoirs of General Count Rapp, first aide-de-camp to Napoleon. London, UK: Rapp family. 
  • Town notes of Strasbourg
  • Letters of Napoleon