Samstag, 19. Oktober 2013

Did they fight the Battle of the Nations?

Exactly 200 years ago, on October 19, 1813, it was a crucial day for Europe's future: the last day of the Battle of Leipzig, also known as the "Battle of the Nations". It was
"fought by the coalition armies of RussiaPrussiaAustria and Sweden against the French army of Napoleon IEmperor of the French, at LeipzigSaxony. Napoleon's army also contained Polish and Italian troops as well as Germans from the Confederation of the Rhine. The battle marked the culmination of the autumn campaign of 1813 during the German campaign and involved over 600,000 soldiers, making it the largest battle in Europe prior to World War I".
(source: Wikipedia.)

About 100 000 men were killed or wounded.

I really don't like to imagine what it was really like. The cries, the smell of blood. The firing of cannons.

The first word that comes to my mind is "hell".

So, why am I posting this?

The answer is simple: I wonder if anyone from my family took part in it. At least I know that none of my ancestors in a direct line were killed there. But that doesn't mean they didn't fight.

Those who did were probably born between 1780 and 1795, more or less. Marrying after 1813-5 though having reached the appropriate age years ago and the absence of children might be hints, but of course no proof.

Seems I still have a lot of work to do. I'll let you know when I find out.

What I know is that during this period, the fact that France had expanded its territories had a great impact on my family. This time is still known as the "Franzosenzeit", the "French Times" here. The towns of Halle and Werther, where many of my ancestors lived, were in fact divided. One part was French, being ruled by Napoleon, the other part belonged to the "Kingdom of Westphalia", ruled by Napoleon's brother Jerome.

I'll let you know more about this soon!

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