6 September 1813
Ney, at the head of some 58,000 men of Marshal
Oudinot's corps, was ordered to advance from Dresden
was bad blood between the two marshals, brought about by
Ney's appointment to overall command, but Ney was determined
nothing would slow his rapid advance.
speed of the march was not helped by poor reconnaissance
and the French blundered straight into the waiting troops
of their former colleague Marshal
Bernadotte, now leading an Allied army.
forced back, the Prussian elements of Bernadotte's army
were reinforced by General
Von Bulow and recovered the lost ground.
see-sawing battle now developed, but just as the French
appeared on the verge of a victory, Ney - not helped by
a lack of support from Oudinot - made a mistake that swung
joined in the fighting personally and being unaware of the
tactical situation on the sandstorm-hit battlefield, Ney
unwittingly pulled Oudinot from the decisive area of the
battle and opened the way for an enemy counterattack.
great pressure, the French were forced back and when Bernadotte
arrived at the scene with his entire army Ney ordered a
retreat that turned into a rout.
French suffered 10,000 casualties, while the Allies some