Europe 1813: War of Liberation
Following Napoleon’s defeat at Leipzig, the Allies chased the French out of Germany, dissolving the Confederation of the Rhine in November 1813. At about the same time, Allied contingents liberated the Netherlands and invaded the Kingdom of Italy.
24 Oct 1813 Invasion of Kingdom of Italy▲
In late October 1813 Austrian troops under the supreme command of General Johann von Hiller crossed the Isonzo, invading the Kingdom of Italy from the Illyrian provinces. Prince Eugène de Beauharnais, viceroy of Italy for Napoleon, responded by withdrawing first to Udine and then to the more defensible line of the Adige, around Verona, abandoning Venice to a lengthy siege. A stalemate soon ensued, which the Austrians attempted to break by landing a corps near Ferrara in mid November.
24 Oct 1813 Treaty of Gulistan▲
In October 1813 representatives of Persia and the Russian Empire met in the village of Gulistan, in modern Azerbaijan, to sign a peace treaty under the mediation of the British diplomat Sir Gore Ouseley. The treaty ended the Russo-Persian War of 1804–1813, confirmed the cession of large tracts of land—including what is now Daghestan, eastern Georgia, much of the Republic of Azerbaijan, and parts of northern Armenia—from Persia to Russia, and left Russia as the only power allowed to station warships on the Caspian Sea.
30–31 Oct 1813 Battle of Hanau▲
Following the Battle of Leipzig in mid-October 1813, Napoleon began to retreat from Germany to the relative safety of France. A 45,000-strong Austro-Bavarian corps under Karl Philipp von Wrede attempted to block the French Emperor’s line of escape at Hanau on 30 October, but, by concentrating his just 20,000-strong French force in an attack on his opponent’s left, Napoleon routed them. With Hanau cleared, the French marched on through Frankfurt to reach their home territory at Mainz in early November.
4 Nov 1813 Dissolution of Confederation of Rhine▲
Following Napoleon’s defeat at the Battle of Leipzig, the allies of the Sixth Coalition chased the French emperor westwards across Germany. Realizing the tide had turned, the remaining German states of Napoleon’s Confederation of the Rhine began defecting. In early November 1813 the Allies marched into Frankfurt and declared the confederation formally dissolved.
8 Nov 1813 Frankfurt Proposals▲
In November 1813 the Allies met in Frankfurt and, under the supervision of Austrian foreign minister Klemens von Metternich, drafted proposals to bring a peaceful end to the War of the Sixth Coalition. The proposals allowed Napoleon to remain as Emperor of a France reduced to its French revolutionary “natural borders” of the Rhine, Pyrenees, and Alps—a still substantial territory which encompassed Belgium, the Rhineland, and Savoy. Although Metternich warned Napoleon that these were the best terms he was likely to be offered, the French Emperor only replied evasively and by December the allies had withdrawn the offer.
12 Nov–2 Dec 1813 Sixth Coalition in Holland▲
In early November 1813 a Russian force under Alexander von Benckendorff crossed into French-ruled Holland and incited a revolt in Amsterdam. Alarmed, the French began withdrawing to the Rhine, where they were defeated at Arnhem by a Prussian corps led by Friedrich von Bülow at the end of the month. Meanwhile, the Dutch proclaimed their independence as the Sovereign Principality of the United Netherlands, welcoming William Frederick of Orange back from Britain to be their monarch.