As the storm is hovering over Leipzig, Napoleon has lost some precious days trying to catch the Army of Silesia at Duben (See the Duben Scenario) but Blucher has eluded him and after crossing the Mulde river (a tributary of the Elbe) has joined forces under the overall command of Bernadotte. This last, forced by the fierce Prussian general, has sent reluctantly his forces southwards heading to Leipzig, while Napoleon, with inaccurate information, is advancing northwards, only to find the weak Tauentzien's Landwehr Corps, covering the Mulde and the Elbe rivers and protecting the road to Berlin.
Napoleon ordered Ney to take Dessau and its bridges over the Elbe. The Delmas's 9th Division and the 23th Light Cavalry brigade (both from the Souham's III Corps) were sent towards the town. The French advance guard, light cavalry and some light infantry battalions, found the Cossack screen and the Prussian infantry of the 4th Brigade near Dessau (See map). After a hard fight, the French broke the weak Prussian defensive line and Tauentzien's force retired northwards. Ney do not followed him and returned in haste towards Leipzig, only to be routed along the Grande Armee at Mockern and Leipzig.
|Blue arrows: French advance. Green arrows: Prussian retreat|
- G. Clément “Campagne de 1813”. Paris 1904.
- G. Fabry ”Journal des operations du III & V Corps en 1813“. Paris, 1902
- F. Nafziger. “Napoleon at Leipzig: The Battle of Nations 1813”. The Emperor Press, Chicago, 1996
- F. Nafziger. Orders of Battle Collection. Combined Arms Research Library