This was also known as the ‘Battle of Nations’ because a formidable coalition of Allied forces, including Prussia (which had turned against Napoleon), Russia, Sweden and Austria, joined together to thwart Napoleon. After the Allied forces threatened to cut his communications line through Leipzig, Napoleon mobilized his forces in that city. Napoleon’s forces created an advantage by destroying the bridges over the three rivers that merged in Leipzig. Autumn rains made them virtually impassable. Hills to the south also provided a perfect position for artillery placements and the marshy land that separated the surrounding villages created further difficulties for the attacking armies. Napoleon’s position within the city enabled him to more easily move reinforcements around the various positions. The allies, under Prince von Schwarzenberg in the south and General Blücher in the north, were thwarted by the French on 16–17 October in the villages surrounding Leipzig, creating a stalemate.
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