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Sixth Coalition

From Academic Kids

The Sixth Coalition (1812-1814) was a coalition of the United Kingdom, Russia, Prussia, Sweden, Austria and a number of German States against Napoleonic France. After Napoleon's disastrous defeat in Russia, the continental powers who had been humiliated by Napoleon in various wars saw a final opportunity to defeat him and joined the coalition which previously consisted only of the Russians and British in addition to Spanish and Portuguese rebels in Iberia. With their armies reorganized along more Napoleonic lines, they defeated Napoleon at the Battle of Leipzig in Saxony in October 1813, and mounted a successful invasion of France in 1814, forcing Napoleon to abdicate and restoring the House of Bourbon.

In total perhaps 2.5 million troops fought in the conflict and the total dead amounted to as many as 2 million (some estimates suggest that over a million died in Russia alone). It included the battles of Smolensk, Borodino, Lützen, Dresden and the epic Battle of Nations - the largest of the Napoleonic wars, and indeed the largest battle in Western history up until the First World War. The final stage of the campaign, the defence of France, saw the Emperor temporarily return to his former talent as he fought off immensely numerically superior armies in the Six Days Campaign, which many say was the best campaign of his entire career. Ultimately his earlier mistakes in Russia and Germany were too great to be rectified at this late stage and the Allies occupied Paris, forcing the emperor to abdicate.

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