29 January, 1814
the Allies advanced on France from three different directions,
Napoleon Bonaparte planned
to attack and defeat each in turn.
The first battle of the Campaign
for France came at Bonaparte's old stomping Brienne,
where he went to school.
first target was the spread-out force of some 25,000 Prussians
under Field Marshal Blucher.
battle his old adversary, Bonaparte had 30,000 troops, but
most of these were just out of the recruiting camps and
had no wartime experience.
French emperor began the clash by pinning the enemy down
while he organised a flanking attack.
Grouchy's cavalry and horse artillery kept the Prussians
occupied as marshals Ney and
Victor secured both the
town of Brienne and its chateau.
the heavy fighting Bonaparte was almost taken by Russian
cossacks, and both Blucher and his second-in-command Augustus
Gneisenau only just managed to elude French troops.
to reorganise, Blucher left behind some 4000 casualties
to France's 3000.