How to use Blucher in a sentence
It has a Roman Catholic and an Evangelical church, and a statue of Blucher.
Here Blucher crossed the Rhine with the Prussian and Russian armies, on New Year's night 1813-1814, in pursuit of the French.
To meet the impending blow the Prussians had been extended in a cordon along the great road leading from Mainz to Dresden, Blucher was at Erfurt, Riichel at Gotha, Hohenlohe at Weimar, Saxons in Dresden, with outposts along the frontier.
Even then the day might have been saved had Blucher been able to find even twenty squadrons accustomed to gallop together, but the Prussian cavalry had been dispersed amongst the infantry commands, and at the critical moment it proved impossible for them to deliver a united and decisive attack.
Only Blucher now remained in the field, and he too was driven at length into Lubeck with his back to the sea.Advertisement
This led the latter to push on without due regard to tactical precautions, and Blucher took advantage of their carelessness when at Haynau (May 26), with some twenty squadrons of Landwehr cavalry, he surprised, rode over and almost destroyed Maison's division.
Blucher with about 95,000 Russians and Prussians was about Breslau, and Schwarzenberg, with nearly 180,000 Austrians and Russians, lay in Bohemia.
At length becoming impatient he advanced a portion of his army towards Blucher, who fell back to draw him into a trap. Then the news reached him that Schwarzenberg was pressing down the valley of the Elbe, and, leaving Macdonald to observe Blucher, he hurried back to Bautzen to dispose his troops to cross the Bohemian mountains in the general direction of KOnigstein, a blow which must have had decisive results.
In spite of this misfortune, Napoleon could claim a brilliant success for himself, but almost at the same moment news reached him that Oudinot at Grossbeeren near Berlin, and Macdonald on the Katzbach opposed to Blucher, had both been severely defeated.
Blucher, however, hearing of his arrival, at once retreated and the emperor followed, thus uncovering the passes over the Bohemian mountains, a fact of which Schwarzenberg was quick to take advantage.Advertisement
In the meanwhile Blucher, Schwarzenberg and Bernadotte were working round his flanks.
He then on the 7th of October drew up a final plan, in which one again recognizes the old commander, and this he immediately proceeded to put into execution, for he was now quite aware of the danger threatening his line of retreat from both Blucher and Schwarzenberg and the North Army; yet only a few hours afterwards the portion of the order relating to St Cyr and Lobau was cancelled and the two were finally left behind at Dresden.
Blucher was reported near Wittenberg, and Schwarzenberg was moving slowly round to the south of Leipzig.
The North Army under Bernadotte, unknown to Napoleon, lay on Blucher's left around Halle.
The emperor decided to throw the bulk of his force on Blucher, and, having routed him, turn south on Schwarzenberg and sever his communications with Bohemia.Advertisement
His concentration was effected with his usual sureness and celerity, but whilst the French moved on Wittenberg, Blucher was marching to his right, indifferent to his communications as all Prussia lay behind him.
This move on the 14th brought him into touch with Bernadotte, and now a single march forward of all three armies would have absolutely isolated Napoleon from France; but Bernadotte's nerve failed him, for on hearing of Napoleon's threat against Wittenberg he decided to retreat northward, and not all the persuasions of Blucher and Gneisenau could move him.
Schwarzenberg, with 180,000 men available at once and 60,000 on the following day; Blucher had about 60,000, but Bernadotte now could not arrive before the 18th.
Napoleon prepared to throw the bulk of his force upon Schwarzenberg and massed his troops south-east of the town, whilst Schwarzenberg marched concentrically against him down the valley of the Elster and Pleisse, the mass of his troops on the right bank of the latter and a strong column under Giulay on the left working round to join Blucher on the north.
On the other hand, Blucher carried the village of Mbckern and came within a mile of the gates of the town.Advertisement
During the 17th there was only indecisive skirmishing, Schwarzenberg waiting for his reinforcements coming up by the Dresden road, Blucher for Bernadotte to come in on his left, and by some extraordinary oversight Giulay was brought closer in to the Austrian centre, thus opening for the French their line of retreat towards Erfurt, and no imformation of this movement appears to have been conveyed to Blucher.
It took Blucher time to extricate his troops from the confusion into which the battle had thrown them, and the garrison of Leipzig and the troops left on the right bank of the Elster still resisted obstinately - hence no direct pursuit could be initiated and the French, still upwards of 10o,000 strong, marching rapidly, soon gained distance enough to be reformed.
Blucher followed by parallel and inferior roads on their northern flank, but Schwarzenberg knowing that the Bavarians also had forsaken the emperor and were marching under Wrede, 50,000 strong, to intercept his retreat, followed in a most leisurely fashion.
Blucher did not succeed in overtaking the French, but the latter, near Hanau, found their way barred by Wrede with 50,000 men and over loo guns in a strong position.
Hence a prolonged halt arose, utilized by the troops in renewing their equipment and so forth, but ultimately the Young German party, led by Blucher and the principal fighting men of the army, triumphed, and on the 1st of January 1814 the Silesian army (50,000) began its passage of the Rhine at Kaub.Advertisement
On the 25th of January, Blucher entered Nancy, and, moving rapidly up the valley of the Moselle, was in communication with the Austrian advanced guard near La Rothiere on the afternoon of the 28th.
But on the 4th of February Blucher, chafing at this inaction, obtained the permission of his own sovereign to transfer his line of operations to the valley of the Marne; Pahlen's corps of Cossacks were assigned to him to cover his left and maintain communication with the Austrians.
Blucher himself on the night of the 7th was at Sezanne, on the exposed flank so as to be nearer to his sources of intelligence, and the rest of his army were distributed in four small corps at or near Epernay, Montmirail and Etoges; reinforcements also were on their way to join him and were then about Vitry.
He himself retreated towards Etoges endeavouring to rally his scattered detachments, but Napoleon was too quick for him and in three successive days he defeated Sacken at Montmirail,York at Champ Aubert and Blucher and his main body at Etoges, pursuing the latter towards Vertus.
In the meantime Blucher had rallied his scattered forces and was driving Marmont and Mortier before him.Advertisement
Napoleon, as soon as he had disembarrassed himself of Schwarzenberg, counter-marched his main body and moving again by Sezanne, fell upon Blucher's left and drove him back upon Soissons.
The Silesian army was thus able to escape, and marching northwards combined with Bernadotte at Laon - this reinforcement bringing the forces at Blucher's disposal up to over 10o,000 men.
Napoleon was here defeated, and with only 30,000 men at his back he was compelled to renounce all ideas of a further offensive, and he retired to rest his troops to Reims. Here he remained unmolested for a few days, fop Blucher was struck down by sickness, and in his absence nothing was done.
On the 15th of August 1760 Frederick the Great gained a decisive victory near Liegnitz over the Austrians, and in August 1813 Blucher defeated the French in the neighbourhood at the battle of the Katzbach.
In Belgium, across an almost open frontier, lay an ever-increasing force of Anglo-Dutch and Prussian troops under Wellington and Blucher.Advertisement
It was accordingly arranged that Wellington and Blucher should await in Belgium the arrival of the Austrian and Russian masses on the Rhine, about July 1, before the general invasion of France was begun.
Consequently he determined to advance swiftly and secretly against Wellington and Blucher, whose forces, as Napoleon knew, were dispersed over the country of their unenthusiastic ally.
Once Wellington and Blucher were destroyed he would move southwards and meet the other allies on the Rhine.
Blucher, based on Napoleon s places.
Wellington and Blucher were disposed as follows in the early days of June (Map I.).Advertisement
It will be seen that Blucher covered Fleurus, his concentration point, by Zieten's corps, in the hope of being able to collect his army round Fleurus in the time that Zieten would secure for him by a yielding fight.
Blucher's left was protected by the difficult country of the Ardennes.
Blucher's army was undoubtedly more homogeneous, and though it is doubtful if he possessed any troops of the same quality as Wellington's best, on the other hand he had no specially weak elements.
As the foe would lie away to his right and left front after he had passed the Sambre, one wing would be pushed up towards Wellington and another towards Blucher; whilst the mass of the reserve would be centrally placed so as to strike on either side, as soon as a force of the enemy worth destroying was encountered and gripped.
He had to delay the French advance for 24 hours and give time for Blucher's concentration, at the same time retaining his own freedom of manoeuvre, and this in spite of the great length of the summer day, the short distance that he lay 'in front of Fleurus, the tremendous numerical superiority of the French and Napoleon's personal presence at their head.Advertisement
But on the r 5th the critical nature of the situation dawned on them, and naturally on Blucher first, as his headquarters were nearer to the frontier than Wellington's, and Blucher had had previous experience of Napoleon's powers.
Blucher wisely shifted his own headquarters to Sombreffe on the afternoon of the r 5th.
Failing to appreciate this fully, Wellington omitted to order an immediate concentration on his inner (left) flank as Blucher had done, and the danger of Blucher's position was thus enormously increased.
Grouchy now pushed on towards Fleurus, which was still held by Blucher's troops, and there the advance came to a.
Thus, thanks to Zieten's fine delaying action, Blucher by nightfall on June 15 had secured most of the ground requisite for his pre-arranged concentration; for one corps was in position, and two others were at hand.Advertisement
Billow's corps was unavailable, for the reason already given, but of this fact Blucher was still necessarily ignorant.
Blucher meanwhile was making his arrangements to hold a position to the south of the Namur-Nivelles road and thus maintain uninterrupted communication with Wellington at Quatre Bras.
Napoleon's original plan for the 16th was based on the assumption that the allies, who had been caught napping, would not attempt a risky forward concentration; and he intended therefore to push an advanced guard as far as Gembloux, for the purpose of feeling for and warding off Blucher.
To assist this operation the reserve would move at first to Fleurus to reinforce Grouchy, should he need assistance in driving back Blucher's troops; but, once in possession of Sombreffe, the emperor would swing the reserve westwards and join Ney, who, it was supposed, would have in the meantime mastered Quatre Bras.
As he surveyed the field from the windmill north of Fleurus it struck him as significant that Blucher's troops were disposed parallel to the Namur road, as if to cover a forward concentration, and not at right angles to it, as they would be had they been covering a retreat.
Blucher had already determined to fight.
Meanwhile, Wellington, having reached Quatre Bras in the morning, wrote to him to concert the day's operations; then, as all was quiet in his front, he rode over to meet Blucher at Brye.
The two chiefs, surveying the French army in their front, considered that no serious force was in front of Quatre Bras, and Wellington terminated the interview with the conditional promise that he would bring his army to Blucher's assistance at Ligny, if he was not attacked himself.
Immediately afterwards (about 5.30) he received an order from Napoleon to seize Quatre Bras and then turn eastwards to crush Blucher, who was caught at Ligny.
Corps been thrown into the doubtful struggle at Quatre Bras, it must have crushed Wellington; had it been used at Ligny it would have entailed Blucher's annihilation.
Blucher, to cover the Namur road, held with the I.
Blucher's army, as he finally disposed it, was quite visible to Napoleon on the bare open slopes which it occupied above St Amand and Ligny, the II.
The emperor decided to bear down Blucher's centre and right with the corps of Vandamme and Gerard and with Girard's division which he had drawn into his operations, containing the Prussian left meanwhile with the squadrons of Pajol and Exelmans, assisted by a few infantry.
Further, he could order up Lobau, and direct Ney to move his rearward corps across and form it up behind Blucher's right.
Blucher's force was numerically very superior.
Blucher now delivered a general counterstroke against Vandamme.
He could at least beat Blucher and render the Prussians unfit for any serious operation except retreat on June 17, although he could no longer expect to destroy the Prussian army.
The artillery of the Guard, therefore, came into action above Ligny to prepare Blucher's centre for assault.
Blucher's worn-out soldiers could not withstand the tremendous impact of Napoleon's choicest troops, and the Prussian centre was pierced and broken.
Without doubt, the personal risk to which Blucher exposed himself at this crisis was far too great; for it was essential that the command of the Prussian army should remain vested in a chief who would loyally keep in touch and act entirely in concert with his colleague.
Napoleon was master of Blucher's battlefield, and the beaten Prussians had retired to the north of the Namur-Nivelles road.
The execution had again fallen short of the conception; Blucher though beaten was not destroyed, nor was his line with Wellington cut.
Probably Wellington's failure to co-operate at Ligny had heightened the Prussian chief-of-staff's unworthy suspicions of the good faith and soldierly qualifications of the British marshal; and it was well for the allies that Blucher was able to resume command before Napoleon had time to profit from the dissensions that would probably have arisen had Gneisenau remained in control.
But it was 24 hours too late, for Blucher's defeat had rendered the AngloDutch position untenable.
Jean, and would accept battle there, in a selected position to the south of the Forest of Soignes, provided he was assured of the support of one of Blucher's corps.
Like the good soldier and loyal ally that he was, he now subordinated everything to the one essential of manoeuvring so as to remain in communication with Blucher.
They turned out to be stragglers; but their capture for a time helped to confirm the idea, prevalent in the French army, that Blucher was drawing off towards his base.
The situation was still obscure, details as to what had happened on the French left were wanting, and the direction of Blucher's retreat was by no means certain.
Pressing danger could only exist if Blucher had gone northwards, and northwards, therefore, in the Dyle valley, he should have diligently sought for traces of the Prussian retreat.'
Had Blucher gone eastwards, Grouchy, holding the Dyle, could easily have held back any future Prussian advance towards Wellington.
Although the emperor wrote to Ney again at noon, from Ligny, that troops had now been placed in position at Marbais to second the marshal's attack on Quatre Bras, yet Ney remained quiescent, and Wellington effected so rapid and skilful a retreat that, on Napoleon's arrival at the head of his supporting corps, 1 There appears to be no reason to believe that Grouchy pushed any reconnaissances to the northward and westward of Gentinnes on June 17; had he done so, touch with Blucher's retiring columns must have been established, and the direction of the Prussian retreat made clear.
During the night Wellington received the reassuring news that Blucher would bring two corps certainly, and possibly four, to Waterloo, and determined to accept battle.
Full arrangements were made for Blucher's co-operation through General Muffling, the Prussian attaché on the duke's staff.
Blucher loyally kept his promise to his ally; but the execution left much to be desired.
The lateness of the hour at which the attack was delivered, and the emperor's determination to break Wellington's centre instead of outflanking the Anglo-Dutch left and further separating the allies, deprived him of whatever chance he still possessed of beating Wellington before Blucher could intervene.
When Wellington and Blucher met about 9.15 P.M.
This retreat he carried out resolutely, skilfully and rapidly, slipping past Blucher and finally bringing his force to Paris.
Ney failed to grasp and hold Wellington on the critical 17th June; and on the 17th and 18th Grouchy's feeble and false manoeuvres enabled Blucher to march and j oin Wellington at Waterloo.
Another dominant influence in shaping the course of events was the loyalty of Blucher to his ally, and the consequent appearance of the Prussian army at Waterloo.
Nor must we overlook Wellington's unswerving determination to co-operate with Blucher at all costs, and his firmness on June 18; or the invincible steadiness shown by the British troops and those of the King's German Legion.
Near Hainau the Prussian cavalry under Blucher inflicted a defeat on the French rearguard on the 26th of May 1813.
To Wellington and Blucher were committed the invasion of France from the north, while the Russians and Austrians entered it from the east.
Blucher, with the Prussians, lay between Charleroi, Namur and Liege.
He was held responsible not only for the occupation itself, but for every untoward incident to which it gave rise; even Blucher's attempt to blow up the Pont de Jena, which he had prevented, was laid to his charge.
The intervention of Austria in the War of Liberation, and the consequent advance of the Allies under the Austrian field-marshal Prince Schwarzenberg from Prague upon Dresden, recalled Napoleon from Silesia, where he was engaged against the Prussians and Russians under Blucher.
The inner line of fortifications was razed in 1890, and the defensive works now consist only of the citadel and three detached forts, one of which, Fort Blucher, serves as a tete-de-pout on the left bank of the Rhine, Wesel contains some quaint old houses, and a town hall, dating from 1396, with an elaborate facade, and containing a valuable collection of old silver plate.
The town has four gates, one of them dating from the 14th century, and some fine squares, among them the Blucher Platz, with a statue of Blucher, who was born here, and the Neue Markt.
But in November 1806, when Blucher, retiring from the catastrophe of Jena, had to capitulate in the vicinity of Lubeck, the town was sacked by the French.
Kleist made a most stubborn resistance on the Burk ridge, and Bertrand's corps was called up by Napoleon to join in the battle; but part of Blucher's corps fiercely engaged Bertrand, and Burk was not taken till 7 P.M.
At nightfall Bautzen and Burk were in possession of the French, and the allied line now stretched from Jenkwitz northward to Pliskowitz, Blucher and Barclay maintaining their original positions at Pliskowitz and Gleina.
The advance was carried out with precision; the Russians were quickly dislodged, and Ney was now closing upon the rear of Blucher's corps at the village of Preititz.
Blucher, now almost surrounded, called back the troops opposing Ney to make head against Soult, and Ney's four corps then carried all before them.
Sometimes, however, a player is allowed to go "Wellington" over "Nap," and even "Blucher" over "Wellington."
In these cases the caller of "Wellington" wins four times the stake and loses twice the stake, the caller of "Blucher" receives six times and loses three times the stake.
Equally memorable was his famous ride, through the enemy's lines on the night of the 16th-17th of October 1813, to convey to Blucher and Bernadotte the wishes of the two empefors that they should participate in the battle of Leipzig on the following day, at a given time and place.
Richard Trevithick, indeed, had in 1804 tried a high-pressure steam locomotive, with smooth wheels, on a plate-way near Merthyr Tydvil, but it was found more expensive than horses; John Blenkinsop in 1811 patented an engine with cogged wheel and rack-rail which was used, with commercial success, to convey coal from his Middleton colliery to Leeds; William Hedley in 1813 built two locomotives - Puffing Billy and Wylam Dilly - for hauling coal from Wylam Colliery, near Newcastle; and in the following year George Stephenson's first engine, the Blucher, drew a train of eight loaded wagons, weighing 30 tons, at a speed of 4 m.
This promise, of course, was never fulfilled, for Ney employed the duke all day at Quatre Bras; and, furthermore, the duke's tardy concentration made it quite impossible for him to help Blucher directly ontheLignybattlefield.
The emperor having beaten Blucher, the latter must fall back to rally and re-form, and call in Billow, who had only reached the neighbourhood of Gembloux on June 16; whilst on the other flank Ney, reinforced by D'Erlon's fresh corps, lay in front of Wellington, and the marshal could fasten upon the Anglo-Dutch army and hold it fast during the early morning of June 17, sufficiently long to allow the emperor to close round his foe's open left flank and deal him a deathblow.
But it was clearly essential to deal with Wellington on the morrow, ere Blucher could again appear on the scene.
It is true that, before leading the final charge, Blucher despatched an aide-de-camp to his colleague, to tell him that he was forced to retire; but this officer was shot and the message remained undelivered.