February 8, 1807


Having forced Marshal Ney from camp with an all-out offensive near Konigsberg, Russia's General Bennigsen suddenly found himself, and his 74,500 men, face to face with Napoleon Bonaparte and a much smaller army of fewer than 50,000.

The French emperor attacked, knowing he had reinforcements due under the commands of Marshal Davout and Ney.

A fierce snowstorm hampered his plans and his assaults foundered in the face of the blizzard and stubborn resistance.

As Davout arrived he was thrown against the Russian left and although he managed to turn it, his flanking action was stopped by the arrival of Prussian reinforcements.

Ney's arrival did little to change the balance of the struggle which is regarded as being fought in some of the worst weather of the era.

Having suffered 23,000 casualties the Russians withdrew leaving Bonaparte to claim the field.

That site, however, was covered by 22,000 dead and wounded Frenchmen.


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