War of the Fourth Coalition

  • war of the fourth coalition
    part of the napoleonic wars and the coalition wars
    charles meynier - entrée de napoléon à berlin. 27 octobre 1806.jpg
    the french army entering berlin in 1806
    dateoctober 1806 – july 1807
    location
    saxony, prussia, poland, east prussia, wallachia, moldavia
    result decisive french victory:
    • treaties of tilsit
    • prussia loses half of its territory
    • creation of the duchy of warsaw
    • saxony joins the confederation of the rhine
    • franco-russian alliance
    • creation of the continental system
    • hostilities resume later in 1807 with the commencement of the peninsular war and expanded in 1809 with the formation of a fifth coalition against france
    belligerents

    fourth coalition:

    •  prussia
    •  russia
    •  united kingdom
    • saxony
      (until 11 december 1806)
    •  sweden
    • sicily

     france

    • spain
    • confederation of the rhine
      •  bavaria
      •  württemberg
      • saxony
        (after 11 december 1806)
    •  italy
    •  naples
    • etruria
    • holland
    • switzerland
    • polish legions and rebels
    commanders and leaders
    kingdom of prussia frederick william iii
    kingdom of prussia queen louise
    kingdom of prussia charles william 
    kingdom of prussia fredrick louis
    kingdom of prussia prince ferdinand 
    kingdom of prussia eugene fredrick
    kingdom of prussia ernst von rüchel
    kingdom of prussia gebhard leberecht von blücher
    kingdom of prussia count tauentzien
    kingdom of prussia ludwig yorck von wartenburg
    kingdom of prussia kalckreuth
    kingdom of prussia anton wilhelm von l'estocq
    russian empire alexander i
    russian empire levin august, count von bennigsen
    russian empire dmitry golitsyn
    russian empire mikhail kutuzov
    russian empire pyotr bagration
    sweden gustav iv adolf
    sweden hans von essen
    united kingdom of great britain and ireland lord grenville
    united kingdom of great britain and ireland duke of portland
    first french empire napoleon i
    first french empire louis alexandre berthier
    first french empire louis-nicolas davout
    first french empire jean lannes
    first french empire joachim murat
    first french empire nicholas soult
    first french empire michel ney
    first french empire pierre augereau
    first french empire edouard mortier
    first french empire jérôme bonaparte
    first french empire guillaume brune
    first french empire bernadotte
    netherlands louis bonaparte
    kingdom of italy (napoleonic) eugène de beauharnais
    poland józef poniatowski
    poland jan henryk dąbrowski
    strength

    kingdom of prussia 254,000[1]
    russian empire 135,000[2]
    saxony 18,000[1]
    sweden 15,000[3]


    total: 422,000

    first french empire 300,000[1]
    kingdom of italy (napoleonic) 40,000[1]
    confederation of the rhine 27,000[1]
    poland 18,500[3]
    netherlands 18,000[1]


    total: 403,500
    casualties and losses
    700,000 dead[4]

    the fourth coalition fought against napoleon's french empire and were defeated in a war spanning 1806–1807. the main coalition partners were prussia and russia with saxony, sweden, and great britain also contributing. excluding prussia, some members of the coalition had previously been fighting france as part of the third coalition, and there was no intervening period of general peace. on 9 october 1806, prussia joined a renewed coalition, fearing the rise in french power after the defeat of austria and establishment of the french-sponsored confederation of the rhine. prussia and russia mobilized for a fresh campaign with prussian massing troops in saxony.

    napoleon decisively defeated the prussians in an expeditious campaign that culminated at the battle of jena–auerstedt on 14 october 1806. french forces under napoleon occupied prussia, pursued the remnants of the shattered prussian army, and captured berlin. they then advanced all the way to east prussia, poland and the russian frontier, where they fought an inconclusive battle against the russians at the battle of eylau on 7–8 february 1807. napoleon's advance on the russian frontier was briefly checked during the spring as he revitalized his army with fresh supplies. russian forces were finally crushed by the french at the battle of friedland on 14 june 1807, and three days later russia asked for a truce.

    through the treaties of tilsit in july 1807, france made peace with russia, which agreed to join the continental system. the treaty was particularly harsh on prussia, however, as napoleon demanded much of the prussian territory along the lower rhine west of the elbe and in what was part of the former polish–lithuanian commonwealth. respectively, these acquisitions were incorporated into the new kingdom of westphalia, led by his brother jérôme bonaparte. he also established the duchy of warsaw, ruled by his new ally the king of saxony. at the end of the war napoleon was master of almost all of western and central continental europe, except for spain, portugal, austria and several other smaller states.

    despite the end of the fourth coalition, britain remained at war with france. hostilities on land resumed later in 1807, when a franco-spanish force invaded britain's ally portugal, beginning the peninsular war. a further fifth coalition would be assembled when austria re-joined the conflict in 1809.

  • origins
  • prussian campaign
  • polish, russian and swedish campaigns
  • results
  • see also
  • references
  • bibliography
  • further reading

War of the Fourth Coalition
Part of the Napoleonic Wars and the Coalition Wars
Charles Meynier - Entrée de Napoléon à Berlin. 27 octobre 1806.jpg
The French Army entering Berlin in 1806
DateOctober 1806 – July 1807
Location
Result Decisive French victory:
Belligerents

Fourth Coalition:

 France

Commanders and leaders
Kingdom of Prussia Frederick William III
Kingdom of Prussia Queen Louise
Kingdom of Prussia Charles William 
Kingdom of Prussia Fredrick Louis
Kingdom of Prussia Prince Ferdinand 
Kingdom of Prussia Eugene Fredrick
Kingdom of Prussia Ernst von Rüchel
Kingdom of Prussia Gebhard Leberecht von Blücher
Kingdom of Prussia Count Tauentzien
Kingdom of Prussia Ludwig Yorck von Wartenburg
Kingdom of Prussia Kalckreuth
Kingdom of Prussia Anton Wilhelm von L'Estocq
Russian Empire Alexander I
Russian Empire Levin August, Count von Bennigsen
Russian Empire Dmitry Golitsyn
Russian Empire Mikhail Kutuzov
Russian Empire Pyotr Bagration
Sweden Gustav IV Adolf
Sweden Hans von Essen
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland Lord Grenville
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland Duke of Portland
First French Empire Napoleon I
First French Empire Louis Alexandre Berthier
First French Empire Louis-Nicolas Davout
First French Empire Jean Lannes
First French Empire Joachim Murat
First French Empire Nicholas Soult
First French Empire Michel Ney
First French Empire Pierre Augereau
First French Empire Edouard Mortier
First French Empire Jérôme Bonaparte
First French Empire Guillaume Brune
First French Empire Bernadotte
Netherlands Louis Bonaparte
Kingdom of Italy (Napoleonic) Eugène de Beauharnais
Poland Józef Poniatowski
Poland Jan Henryk Dąbrowski
Strength

Kingdom of Prussia 254,000[1]
Russian Empire 135,000[2]
Saxony 18,000[1]
Sweden 15,000[3]


Total: 422,000

First French Empire 300,000[1]
Kingdom of Italy (Napoleonic) 40,000[1]
Confederation of the Rhine 27,000[1]
Poland 18,500[3]
Netherlands 18,000[1]


Total: 403,500
Casualties and losses
700,000 dead[4]

The Fourth Coalition fought against Napoleon's French Empire and were defeated in a war spanning 1806–1807. The main coalition partners were Prussia and Russia with Saxony, Sweden, and Great Britain also contributing. Excluding Prussia, some members of the coalition had previously been fighting France as part of the Third Coalition, and there was no intervening period of general peace. On 9 October 1806, Prussia joined a renewed coalition, fearing the rise in French power after the defeat of Austria and establishment of the French-sponsored Confederation of the Rhine. Prussia and Russia mobilized for a fresh campaign with Prussian massing troops in Saxony.

Napoleon decisively defeated the Prussians in an expeditious campaign that culminated at the Battle of Jena–Auerstedt on 14 October 1806. French forces under Napoleon occupied Prussia, pursued the remnants of the shattered Prussian Army, and captured Berlin. They then advanced all the way to East Prussia, Poland and the Russian frontier, where they fought an inconclusive battle against the Russians at the Battle of Eylau on 7–8 February 1807. Napoleon's advance on the Russian frontier was briefly checked during the spring as he revitalized his army with fresh supplies. Russian forces were finally crushed by the French at the Battle of Friedland on 14 June 1807, and three days later Russia asked for a truce.

Through the Treaties of Tilsit in July 1807, France made peace with Russia, which agreed to join the Continental System. The treaty was particularly harsh on Prussia, however, as Napoleon demanded much of the Prussian territory along the lower Rhine west of the Elbe and in what was part of the former Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth. Respectively, these acquisitions were incorporated into the new Kingdom of Westphalia, led by his brother Jérôme Bonaparte. He also established the Duchy of Warsaw, ruled by his new ally the king of Saxony. At the end of the war Napoleon was master of almost all of western and central continental Europe, except for Spain, Portugal, Austria and several other smaller states.

Despite the end of the Fourth Coalition, Britain remained at war with France. Hostilities on land resumed later in 1807, when a Franco-Spanish force invaded Britain's ally Portugal, beginning the Peninsular War. A further Fifth Coalition would be assembled when Austria re-joined the conflict in 1809.