battle of jena

Although the Prussians were preparing for an attack, it was actually Marshal Ney who triggered the third stage of the battle. Von Holtzendorff, who had been posted on the far left of the Prussian army, had marched towards the sound of the guns, but his line of advance meant that he ran into Soult's corps, recently arrived on the French right. Davout moved up his artillery to rake the entire Prussian line, and by 4 pm the Prussian army had disintegrated. The duke dissipated his vastly superior strength in piecemeal attacks, enabling Davout to stand firm for six hours. At this point most of the Grand Armée was based in Germany, largely in the positions it had taken up after the great victory at Austerlitz had ended the War of the Third Coalition.

Their reforms, together with civilian reforms instituted over the following years, began Prussia's transformation into a modern state, which took the forefront in expelling France from Germany and eventually assumed a leading role on the continent.

By dawn the leading elements from Soult's IV Corps, Ney's VI Corps and Augereau's VII Corps had arrived around Jena.

At this point the Prussians were actually off to the west, with Hohenlohe concentrating at Jena and Brunswick further west at Weimar. By 3 pm he had swept them and 13,000 reinforcements from the field.

Napoleon initially did not believe that Davout's single Corps had defeated the Prussian main body unaided, and responded to the first report by saying "Tell your Marshal he is seeing double", a reference to Davout's poor eyesight.

Each of these columns had to operate independently until they emerged from the hills. Napoleon crossed the hills in three columns.

In the battle, Napoleon smashed the outdated Prussian army inherited from Frederick II … The battle of Jena (14 October 1806) was one of two simultaneous battles won by the French on the same day and saw Napoleon with most of the Grand Armée defeat the Prussian flank guard at Jena while Marshal Davout defeated the main Prussian force further north at Auerstädt. The attacks on the flanks proved to be a success and caused many of the Prussian divisions on the flanks to flee the battlefield. As Napoleon moved towards Jena he met a messenger from Lannes reporting that he had found 10,000-15,000 Prussians north of Jena and believed that another 20,000-25,000 more were to the west between Jena and Weimar. Initially only 48,000 strong, the Emperor took advantage of his carefully planned and flexible dispositions to rapidly build up a crushing superiority. The Battle of Jena-Auerstadt was fought on October 14, 1806. They swept past Ney's isolated force and threated to advance through a gap in the French line.

Isolated Prussian resistance remained, but Napoleon's primary foe was now Russia, and the Battle of Eylau awaited. Another obstacle facing the Prussians was the creation of a unified plan of battle.

This was the moment that the French had been waiting for. At around 10am the fighting died down in the centre and western parts of the battlefield, but at about the same time fresh fighting broke out in the east. The battle was a victory for Napoleon of France and he conquered Prussia. - Why Did the Battle of Jena Take Place? Gazan's division from Lannes's corps managed to take Vierzehnheiligen and advanced towards Ney, but then ran into the main Prussian infantry force and were forced back. At the start of the War of the Fourth Coalition (1806-07) Napoleon was faced with an alliance of Prussia, Russia, Britain and Sweden. The Prussians advanced with their right flank leading and their left flank refused, heading towards the right flank of Soult's corps.

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