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France history notes
1. History of France Kings and Queens
2. Napoleon Bonaparte
3. Napoleon Bonaparte
4. Napoleon Bonaparte the early years
5. General of Revolutionary France.
6. Napoleon Military Ambition
7. The Revolutionary Directory
8. French army of Italy
9. Bonaparte First Consul for life
10. Napoleon Invasion of England
11. The Battle of Austerliz
12. Map of the Battle of Austerlitz
13. Battle of Jenna
Napoleon Bonaparte - Emperor of France - The Battles
Battle of Jena October 14th 1806
With his first great victory as Emperor of France, and against a much more numerous foe at Austerlitz, Bonaparte had secured the full admiration of the French masses, and much of the world at large that was not in conflict with him.
Napoleon the great General, now also attempted to portray himself as the great statesman by allowing the humiliated Russian army and Tsar Alexander to march homeward, and the Austrian Emperor Francis I to also march home with the remnants of his severely mauled army.
There was to be no slaughter of the enemy the likes of which had been witnessed at Jaffa.
Bonaparte now not only wished to vanquish enemy combatants, but persuade the civilian population within both captured territories, and areas potentially to be captured in the future, that Napoleon was a man of honour, a man of the people, and may be better ruler than the indigenous Emperor of which they were already subservient. However, many of these indigenous Emperors were not going to allow what they considered ' an upstart ' and ' Little Corporal ' threaten their crowns.
Prussia's King Frederick William III had long ' sat on the fence ' during the battle of Austerlitz, awaiting the immanent victory of the Austro-Russian forces before he would commit fully to the campaign against Napoleon. Bonaparte had much contempt for the Prussian position, and as the country was now virtually defenceless against the French forces Napoleon enforced territorial demands and ' persuaded ' the Prussians to enter contrived alliances that were against the favour of Great Britain and designed to negate the threat of another anti French coalition.
German nationalism at this time was in it's infancy, and political subversives stirred the masses of Prussia and Saxony toward war with Bonaparte. Although these political dreamers secretly wished to eventually formulate power without any Emperor's, their dream of German unification was not going to be fulfilled with Bonaparte in power, and they encouraged Queen Louise of Prussia to persuade the Emperor to make a military stand with Saxony against the French.
During August 1806 the Prussian and Saxon armies prepared for war. The French army was quite thinly spread across German territory and they now saw this as their opportunity to strike against Napoleon Bonaparte.
Prussia and Saxony had created three separate armies in the areas around Leipzig, Dresden and Gottingen, but Bonaparte had already discovered their intentions and had already mobilised the French forces into action.
Napoleon was quick of action, and although not certain of the enemy positions or strength, he knew that they held a substantial force near the town of Jena, so marched his army columns to that area whilst attempting to keep his enemy guessing as to the direction his force was taking.