In the Battle of Bautzen (20–21 May 1813) a combined Russian/Prussian army was pushed back by Napoleon, but escaped destruction, some sources claim, because Michel Ney failed to block their retreat. [17] In its subsequent breakout on 24 April, large parts of the 294th Division were destroyed. [2] Some other estimates give the Polish casualties as up to 25,000. But Marshal Ney became confused, and his faulty positioning left the door open for the Allies to escape. La Bataille de Bautzen 1813 recreates the battle on June 21,1813 in Saxony between the Emperor Napoleon Premier’s newly reconstituted La Grande Armée and the combined Russo-Prussian army under the command of Tsar Alexander and General Gebhard Blücher. Major combat began on 21 April 1945 and continued until 26 April although isolated engagements continued to take place until 30 April. [2] One of the major problems facing the People's Army was lack of a qualified cadre; a 1944 estimate showed that the army had one officer for each 1,200 soldiers. [4][20][21], By 23 April the German breakthrough reached the Schwarzer Schöps River in the east, and Lohsa, Oppitz and Grossdubrau in the west. On 17 April, the Polish Second Army breached Germa… After the loss of the Battle of Lützen, the combined Russian and Prussian army of Prince Wittgenstein retreated eastward. "Die Kämpfe um Bautzen 18. bis 27. [8][11][12] The Germans were pinning their hopes on the idea that the Soviets might be fended off long enough for the city to be surrendered to the Western Allies. On 17 April, the Polish Second Army breached Germa… The campaign would resume in August. [1][2][28] However, since the fall of communism modern Polish historians have been much more critical of Świerczewski's command, blaming his drive on Dresden for the near destruction of the Polish force. But some other sources (e.g. It is reported that Napoleon later (on Saint Helena) said that his agreement to this truce was a bad mistake, because the break was of much more use to the allies than to him. The battle took place during Ivan Konev's 1st Ukrainian Front's push toward Berlin, which was part of the larger Soviet Berlin Offensive. [7][8] On 18 and 19 April elements of the Second Army (the 8th Infantry Division and 1st Armored Corps) engaged the Germans in the south and pushed them back while the remaining units (5th, 7th, 9th and 10th Infantry Divisions) drove on to Dresden, gaining bridgeheads on the river Spree north of Bautzen and destroying German forces in the Muskauer Forst. [2] Soviet 14th and Soviet 95th Guards Rifle Divisions, as well as the Soviet 4th Guards Tank Corps, were ordered to attack toward Kamenz, Königswartha and Sdier to stop the Germans from advancing further north. Losses on both sides totaled around 20,000. To make matters worse, during the battle, Napoleon's close friend and Grand Marshal of the Palace, General Geraud Duroc, was mortally wounded by a cannonball the day after the battle and died. Opposing these forces was the 4th Panzer Army under General Fritz-Hubert Gräser, of Field Marshal Ferdinand Schörner's Army Group Center. [12], According to some sources, 26 April marks the end of this battle, although less severe and isolated clashes in that region continued until 30 April. [2] According to Polish historian Zbigniew Wawer, this was the most bloody battle that the Polish Army had been involved in since the battle of Bzura in 1939. b ^ Wawer and Solak assert that the 2nd SS Panzer Division was also present in the battle. Battle of Bautzen. [5], On 17 April, the Polish Second Army breached German defenses on the rivers Weisser Schöps[6] and Neisse. The Battle of Bautzen was one of the last German counterattacks of World War II, occurring from 21 to 30 April 1945. Major combat began on 21 April 1945 and continued until 26 April although isolated engagements continued to take place until 30 April. [2] Other sources note that heavy fighting still took place on 27 April, and that the German advance was only completely halted by 28 April. Crossing the Elbe he brought the allies to battle at Bautzen, but Ney's hesitancy allowed them to escape and victory slipped from his grasp. [12] 26th Infantry Regiment from the 9th Division took very heavy casualties (75 percent) in the "valley of death" around Panschwitz-Kuckau and Crostwitz. Events were most of time dictated and influenced by troubles and mistakes in coordination of Commands/Armies efforts. … [2], The Germans succeeded in linking up with the remnants of their forces in the Muskauer Forst, and throwing the local Polish and Soviet forces into chaos. Campaign Bautzen allows the players to refight the battles of Lützen and the massive battle of Bautzen, which was the largest land battle fought in Europe up to this time, and many other actions of the Spring Campaign of 1813. The battle was fought in the town of Bautzen (Polish: Budziszyn) and the rural areas to the northeast situated primarily along the Bautzen–Niesky line. Major combat began on 21 April 1945 and continued until 26 April although isolated engagements continued to take place until 30 April. In the last months of World War II the Polish Second Army, under General Karol Świerczewski, took part in the Soviet drive on Berlin. BAUTZEN 1813 (WHC 2017). [2] To stabilize the situation, Konev ordered eight divisions from the Ukrainian Front to reinforce the Polish positions. Part of Marshal Ivan Konev's 1st Ukrainian Front, the Poles operated in the centre of the front, flanked on the right by the 5th Guards Army and on the left by the 7th Mechanized Corps. Once more Napoleon had to settle for a narrow, pyrrhic victory. Wittgenstein formed two strong defensive lines east of the River Spree, with the first holding strongpoints in villages and along hills and the second holding the bridges behind a river bend. The Russo-Prussian army was nearly 100,000 strong, but Napoleon had 115,000. [1][12] On that day, Hitler congratulated Schörner on his "victory". [2] The actions of other Polish officers have also been questioned, such as the 9th Infantry Division commander's decision to advance without sufficient reconnaissance and escort. [2] During the period of the People's Republic of Poland it was portrayed merely as a difficult but victorious battle. Aleksander A. Maslov; David M. Glantz (30 September 1998). Wojskowe Biuro Badań Historycznych (2009) (in Polish). [3], By 25 April Polish units were able to stabilize a defense on the line Kamenz–Kuckau–north Bautzen–Spree–Spreewiese–Heideanger. [5] Part of Marshal Ivan Konev's 1st Ukrainian Front, the Poles operated in the centre of the front, flanked on the right by the 5th Guards Army and on the left by the 7th Mechanized Corps. Czesław Grzelak; Henryk Stańczyk; Stefan Zwoliński (2002). The battle was fought in the town of Bautzen (Polish language: Budziszyn Bautzen and surroundings stayed in German hands until Germany's capitulation. Bautzen like Lutzen was a technical French victory that fell short of being the desired battle of annihilation. [2] Coordination between the units was also lacking. [2] Świerczewski's lack of competence, according to some sources, included commanding the battle while drunk. English: In the Battle of Bautzen (20–21 May 1813) a combined Russian / Prussian army was pushed back by French forces under Napoleon I, but escaped destruction. The Battle of Bautzen 20-21 May 1813. Coordinating with the trapped troops, he was able to break into the town. [2][12] Official estimates claimed about 18,000 casualties (including almost 5,000 dead). [9][16] In the village of Niederkaina, today a part of Bautzen, between 196 and 300 captured German members of the Volkssturm were locked in a barn which was set on fire by retreating Polish or Soviet troops. Additionally, Marshal Ney had 85,000 more men within easy marching distance. The 8th Infantry Division was also recalled; however, the 9th remained near Dresden. The main body of the German forces was located in the forested region around Lohsa. Ordered to make a stand by Czar Alexander and the King of Prussia, Wittgenstein took up a defensive position at … Media related to Battle of Bautzen at Wikimedia Commons, Coordinates: .mw-parser-output .geo-default,.mw-parser-output .geo-dms,.mw-parser-output .geo-dec{display:inline}.mw-parser-output .geo-nondefault,.mw-parser-output .geo-multi-punct{display:none}.mw-parser-output .longitude,.mw-parser-output .latitude{white-space:nowrap}51°11′00″N 14°25′00″E / 51.1833°N 14.4167°E / 51.1833; 14.4167, Learn how and when to remove this template message, England expects that every man will do his duty, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Battle_of_Bautzen_(1813)&oldid=1006962741, Battles of the War of the Sixth Coalition, Articles needing additional references from September 2014, All articles needing additional references, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 15 February 2021, at 19:34. Without Ney's forces to seal them in; however, they again escaped the crushing defeat Napoleon had hoped for. [1][22] On 22 April he ordered the 1st Armored Corps to change direction, retreat from Dresden and support the centre. [19] At first, Polish general Świerczewski continued with his attempt to take Dresden, which contributed to the growing chaos in the Polish forces, as many communication lines were cut. The battle was one of … This force counted some 50,000 soldiers, 300 tanks, and 600 guns. ) and the rural areas to the northeast situated primarily along the Bautzen–Niesky line. [9][10], Świerczewski decided to prioritize the taking of Dresden over securing his southern flank, deviating from the plan he was given by Konev. [2] Meanwhile Schörner was concentrating his units (the "Görlitz Group") in the Görlitz (Zgorzelec) and Reichenbach region, and planned to launch a counteroffensive at the southern flank of the Polish Army. His aim was to stop the 1st Front's advance and break through to Berlin to relieve the trapped 9th Army. The Prusso-Russian army was in a full retreat following their defeat at the Battle of Lützen.Finally, generals Wittgenstein and Blücher were ordered to stop at Bautzen by Tsar Alexander I and König Frederick William III.The Prusso-Russian army was nearly 100,000 men strong, but Napoleon had 115,000 troops. [2], German forces were composed of elements of the 4th Panzer Army and commanded by the headquarters for the Grossdeutschland and 57th Armored Corps. Following Napoleon’s victory at Lützen on 2 May 1813 Prince Ludwig Pyotr Wittgenstein’s Russo-Prussian army retreated to Bautzen, where it was reinforced by 13,000 Russians commanded by Prince Mikhail Barclay de Tolly. [9] The 7th and 10th Infantry Divisions were engaged near Neisse and the 5th Infantry Division and the 16th Tank Brigade were in transit in between those two groups. The battle was fought in the town of Bautzen (Polish: Budziszyn) and the rural areas to the northeast situated primarily along the Bautzen–Niesky line. [12] Several units of the Polish Second Army found themselves surrounded. By nightfall, the French were positioning to cut the allies off from their line of retreat but the Coalition was aware of Ney's approach to their right flank. As Austria stirred, the tide began to run ever more strongly against Napoleon. [2] The commanding general of the Polish 5th Infantry Division, Aleksander Waszkiewicz, was killed. When the campaign resumed, in August, Napoleon ordered an offensive drive to take the Prussian capital of Berlin. [26] Attempting to withdraw quickly and to form back with the main forces, it was intercepted by the Germans and sustained heavy losses. So Napoleon then decided he would not set up his trap until they had been softened up. Opposing these forces was the 4th Panzer Army under General Fritz-Hubert Gräser, of Field Marshal Ferdinand Schörner's Army Group Center. Following Bautzen, Napoleon agreed to a nine-week truce with the Coalition, requested by the Allies on the 2 June 1813. [2] The successful recapture of Bautzen, Weißenberg and surroundings is called one of the last successful German armored counterattacks of the war. In the Battle of Bautzen (20–21 May 1813) a combined Russian /Prussian army was pushed back by Napoleon, but escaped destruction, some sources claim, because Michel Ney failed to block their retreat. In the Battle of Bautzen (20–21 May 1813) a combined Russian/Prussian army was pushed back by Napoleon I of France, but escaped destruction, some sources claim, because Michel Ney failed to … 50,000 German troops from Army Group Center, assisted by 300 tanks, launched an offensive to recapture Bautzen from the Soviet Red Army and the Polish 2nd Army, led by the Polish general Karol Swierczewski. Polish historiography during the People's Republic of Poland portrayed the battle as difficult, but victorious. [2][12], In modern Polish historiography the battle's outcome is seen as a victory, if a very costly one, for the Polish and Soviet troops. Following the Battle of Bautzen, in May 1813, during the War of the Sixth Coalition, both sides agreed to a seven week truce to plan and better prepare. In the Battle of Bautzen (20–21 May 1813), a combined Prusso–Russian army, that was massively outnumbered, was pushed back by Napoleon but escaped destruction, with some sources claiming that Marshal Michel Ney failed to block their retreat. [8] The following day Soviet units of the 7th Mechanized Corps captured parts of Bautzen and secured the line south of Niesky, taking Weißenberg and trapping several German formations. The assessments of Polish historian Kormonicki,[8] German general von Ahlfen, and Polish historian Grzelak all support the order of battle not including the 21st and 10th SS Divisions. It was fought on the extreme southern flank of the Spremberg-Torgau Offensive, seeing days of pitched street fighting between forces of the Polish Second Army and elements of the Soviet's 52nd Army and 5th Guards Army[a] on one side and elements of German Army Group Center in the form of the remnants of the 4th Panzer and 17th Armies on the other. [15] Many of the officers in the Polish Army were Soviet officers of Polish descent. [2] As noted by historians such as Wawer and Komorowski, despite the heavy casualties, the Polish–Soviet frontline was not seriously breached, and thus the German offensive was a failure. [31] The 21st Panzer Division has also been mentioned in connection with this battle, but the 21st had already moved north as part of reinforcements provided by the 4th Panzer Army to the 9th Army. However, due to faulty reconnaissance, he became concerned that the Prusso-Russians had more soldiers and held stronger positions than they actually did. It was the last counterattack of the Wehrmacht which had the desired tactical results. A hastily assembled Polish counterattack was not successful and most of Bautzen was then recaptured after several days of bloody house-to-house combat. [1][12] The Polish casualties were particularly severe. The battle was fought in the town of Bautzen (Polish: Budziszyn) and the rural areas to the northeast situated primarily along the Bautzen–Niesky line. Gordon Williamson; Stephen Andrew (19 February 2003). [2] In the west 20th Panzer Division commenced its drive on Bautzen, while in the east 17th Infantry Division advanced on Niesky and Weißenberg, freeing a number of trapped German troops on its way. Krzysztof Komorowski; Poland. Although the battle had no strategic impact on the battle raging in Berlin, it allowed most of the participating German units as well as numerous refugees from the east to escape to the west, surrendering to the Western Allies. [2] The German forces failed in their objective of breaking through the 1st Ukrainian Front and coming to the aid of Berlin. 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