Dunbar, battle of, 27 April 1296

The combat of Nollemdorf (14 September 1813) was an Allied counterattack that forced the French out of their most advanced positions in Bohemia, and triggered a brief French offensive that ended with Napoleon's troops briefly fighting south of the mountains (War of Liberation).

Earlier in September Schwarzenberg's Army of Bohemia began a fresh advance into Saxony, but this ended when Napoleon returned to Dresden and began to push south. The allies retreated across the mountains that separated Saxony and Bohemia, and by 10 September Napoleon was at the Geiersberg, on the southern edge of the mountains. For a brief moment he had a chance to attack the Prussian and Russian elements of the Army of Bohemia before the large Austrian contingent could arrive, but he decided that the risk of attempting to take his army down the single road from the mountains onto the plains was too great. Napoleon returned to Dresden to try and deal with the problems caused by Ney's defeat at Dennewitz, leaving St. Cyr to hold the line of the mountains.

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

Napoleon left three corps in the mountains. St. Cyr's XIV Corps was in the French centre, with his most advanced troops (44th Division and Pajol's cavalry) at Furstenwalde, close to the Geiersberg), overlooking Teplitz. To his right (west) was Victor's II Corps, based around Altenberg. To his left was Lobau's I Corps, with its advance guard at Nollendorf (a couple of miles to the east of Furstenwalde, on the 'New Road' between Dresden and Bohemia. Dumonceau's division was posted at Nollendorf as an advance guard, with the main part of the corps at Berggiesshübel, a spar town just inside Saxony.

On 14 September Schwarzenberg decided to risk an attack on Dumonceau's isolated division at Nollendorf. The task was given to Wittgenstein, and he was able to push Dumonceau out of Nollendorf. The French lost 200-300 men, and retreated back to join Lobau and the main body of the corps at Berggieshübel.

The Allies followed the retreating French, and attacked Lobau's main position. Lobau was able to hold up the attack, but was eventually forced to evacuate the village.

Napoleon responded vigorously to this attack. He led reinforcements south from Dresden, and pushed the Allies out of Berggiesshübel (15 September 1813), Peterswalde (16 September 1813) and then descended onto the southern side of the mountains (combat of Dolnitz, 17 September 1813), before returning to Dresden.

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (3 July 2017), Combat of Nollendorf, 14 September 1813 , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/combat_nollendorf.html

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