Combat of Plagwitz, 29 August 1813

The combat of Plagwitz (29 August 1813) was a second French disaster in the aftermath of their defeat on the Katzbach (26 August 1813), and cost them all of Puthod's division.

War of Liberation 1813 - Autumn Campaign
War of Liberation 1813 - Autumn Campaign

Portrait of Marshal Jacques Macdonald, Duke of Taranto, 1765-1840
Portrait of
Marshal Jacques Macdonald,
Duke of Taranto, 1765-1840

On 25 August Marshal Macdonald, the commander of the Army of the Bobr, prepared to cross the Katzbach and advance towards Jauer, where he expected to find Marshal Blücher's Prussians on the defensive. Macdonald wasn't sure where St. Priest's Russians were, and so deteached Puthod's division from V Corps and Ledru's division from XI Corps to his right to guard against that possible threat.

On 26 August Macdonald and Blücher clashed just after the French crossed the Katzbach. Macdonald suffered a heavy defeat, and was forced to retreat west. This left Puthod dangerously isolated. He couldn't use the road up the Katzbach via Goldberg, as Langeron's corps from Blücher's army blocked that route, and so he had to retreat west towards the Bobr. He reached that river at Hirschberg, but found that the bridge had been destroyed and the river was too high to allow it to be repaired. He then moved north down the river in an attempt to find an alternative crossing point.

By 29 August he had reached Löwenberg, but the bridge there was also gone (Lauriston's corps had found the bridge down when they reached Löwenberg late on 27 August, but they were able to cross at Bunzlau).

Further north the bridge at Bunzlau was now in Allied hands. Langeron's corps had caught up with the French, and Puthod was forced to make a stand on the heights of Plagwitz, east of Löwenberg. However it soon became clear that he was massively outnumbered, and he was forced to surrender with his division.

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (30 May 2017), Combat of Plagwitz, 29 August 1813 , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/combat_plagwitz.html

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