20-21 March 1814
Bonaparte's last roll of the tactical dice against the
Allies came at Arcis-sur-Aube when his 28,000 men took on
Field Marshal Schwarzenberg's 80,000 troops.
late-morning assault by Marshal
Ney had thrown the Austrians out of the town of Arcis
and then a mighty cavalry battle broke out that lasted well
into the night.
the odds in his favour, Schwarzenberg was loath to attack
the French because he feared he was walking into one of
he gave the order for a counterattack but his tardiness
had allowed the French to withdraw.
Oudinot led the French rearguard and they held off the
Austrians with a fiercely stubborn defence that ended when
he ordered the destruction of the Arcis bridge.
lost 3000 men, while the Austrians suffered 4000 casualties.