Battle of devil's bridge


After the victories in Italy Allied monarchs agree on a new plan of warfare against France. Switzerland, occupied by the 84 thousandth of the French army under the command of Massena, becomes the main theater of war.

 The problem lies with the liberation of Switzerland to the Russian-Austrian army led by Suvorov. By the time of presentation of the Russian army from Northern Italy to the borders of Switzerland came the Russian corps of Rimsky-Korsakov. With his approach, the commander of the Austrian Archduke Karl troops on secret treacherous decision of the Vienna Cabinet withdrew from the theater 36 thousand Swiss, Austrian troops and left them on the Middle Rhine without waiting for an approach not only all the troops for action against the French, but most of Suvorov.
 Disqualification of the Austrian troops had fatal consequences for the entire Swiss campaign. Korsakov and Hotze had surpassed defeated French forces at a time when Suvorov's troops have already made their great Swiss campaign.

 Speaking of Alexandria and Rivalta 31 August 1799, troops of Suvorov, having more than 140 miles, arrived on September 4 at the tavern. 10 September, they were made from the tavern and on Sept. 13 attacked the enemy in the St. Gotthard. Thus began the fall campaign of Suvorov's Swiss marvel-heroes Suvorov's plan to defeat the French troops in Switzerland was a further development of the strategic art. The plan was lying, as stated in Suvorov's dispatch, "a rapid, sustained and non-stop causing the enemy to strike a blow") The main efforts were directed against the main group French troops, situated on the mouth of the Aare to Lake Zurich.

 Suvorov chose the shortest and most difficult path in order to crush the main enemy grouping blow on the flank and rear, at the time when the troops will act Korsakov from the front. Consequently, the Swiss trip was taken not to simply connect with the troops Korsakov and Hotze and to a field marshal, wrote, "directly attack the enemy with the most sensitive part." Achieved in the shortest possible time the victorious conclusion of the Swiss campaign of decisive actions of all forces from different directions - that's the essence of the strategic plan of Suvorov for all troops acting in three directions (Suvorov, Korsakov, Hotze, Jelačić and links) were installed and the routes and timing of the offensive, that during the fighting, he wrote Suvorov, was "unanimous, the combined and simultaneous promotion of all the allied troops."

 Suvorov's strategic plan, which included drawing a number of strikes by various military groups deployed on a broad front in various operational areas and the general's plan united stand-alone and distributed over a wide area groups is exponent of the new method of warfare. Swiss campaign Russian troops led by Suvorov was carried out under extremely difficult conditions of mountain theater and was accompanied by almost continuous fighting on September 13 the Russian army fought took Gothard and village Urzern, smashing to 9 thousand French troops, who were almost impregnable position. In the battle of St. Gothard Russian troops brilliantly combined frontal attack bypass the enemy's flank and rear.

 September 14 troops joined with the body Rosenberg, who took Urzern, and continued going down the River. Reis. One kilometer from the village Urzern road enters the tunnel Urner Loch, which has 80 steps in length and width of 4 steps. At 400 steps from urzernskogo tunnel - the famous Devil's Bridge at a height of 22-23 m above cascading waterfall. Urzernsky passage and Devil's Bridge French considered impregnable. The appearance of Russian troops on the flanks and rear of the French and attacked from the front, drove them to leave the position. On this day the Russian army took Waasen, and its vanguard is located 3 km from the village Amsteg Sept. 15 she was taken. Here's to the Russian army had joined the Austrian detachment Aufenberga. The same day, Russian troops have moved to the village of Altdorf, which is also occupied.

 For three days go through Suvorov's troops fought their way to Altdorf more than 60 km. From Altdorf Russian army began movement to Schwyz through powerful ridge Rosshtok. This route has never held no army. Early in the morning of September 16th the troops began to climb the mountain trail from which the transition takes rested against the rocks and in places entirely disappeared. By 5 pm the vanguard of troops under the command of Bagration began to descend to the village. For turbid Bagration were the troops under the command of the detachment and Derfeldena Aufenberga (2 thousand) Shelves Rosenberg covered the movement from the rear All the way from Altdorf to Mutti (16 km) soldiers broke for 12 hours, but as they made their way to gornymm slope alone, the movement of all forces to Muttenu lasted more than two days. At a time when the vanguard Bagration was already in Muttene rearguard army had not yet stepped out of Altdorf Rearguard in Adtdorfe had to fight hard battles with the French division, was trying to break the movement of Russian.

 In the valley Muttenskoy Suvorov received an official communication about the defeat on September 14 troops Korsakov and Hotze. Austrian troops Jelačić and links follow Suvorov's plan to move forward, but after the defeat on September 11 withdrew, leaving the entire theater of war one Suvorovian army Massena won Battle of Zurich and on river. Lita, was forced to abandon the prosecution and to send all their forces against Suvorov. Regulation of Suvorov's troops reached Muttenskoy Valley, was critical. All exits from the valley were in the hands of the French Russian troops were surrounded by outnumbered enemy.

 At the war council it was decided to make its way through the mountain Bragel. Bagration was ordered to speak at the forefront of Russian troops, and Rosenberg - remain in Muttenskoy Valley and restrain his body to the enemy until out of it but leave all the other troops on September 19 Bagration's vanguard moved from the valley and soon started a fight with the French, barred the way for a Russian. Until Glarus speaking of Mutten part of Russian troops but led by Suvorov waged continuous battles and emerged victorious everywhere.

 Housing Rosenberg is on Sept. 19 was attacked by troops from Schwyz Massena. Suvorov soldiers who fought with izumitelnoi bravery, not only repulsed all the attacks of the French, but also forced them to retreat hastily. On the second day, September 20, at 11 am Massena resumed attacks 15 thousand Frenchmen fell upon the Russian, who is on this day it was up to 7 thousand people. The fierce battle lasted several hours and ended in complete defeat of French troops. The enemy - reported Rosenberg - more than 8 miles until Schwyz gnan was On this day Massena lost 5 thousand people were killed or captured.

On the night of 21 September corpus Rosenberg, brilliantly accomplished the task, made to Glarus. Massena, having learned that the Russian left Mutten and move through the mountain Bragel, decided not to pursue them. The idea of the French commander - to destroy Suvorov's troops - crashed on the stability of the Russian soldiers 23 September all the troops, including the Rosenberg case, centered in Glarus. The Austrian team has Aufenberga Sept. 21 without permission, left the Russian army and went to Ilanz. Exiting the environment and the defeat of French troops on the way to Glarus and Muttenskoy Valley - one of the finest pages Battle of the Russian troops.

On the night of September 24, Russian army came from Glarus. Go through the mountain Paniks on a narrow road, which took place mostly at the edges of steep steeps, was extremely difficult years, and the snow is cold. September 26 troops came to Ilanz Shortly after the campaign had split the alliance with Austria and the Russian army had been withdrawn to Russia. October 29, Suvorov was awarded the title of Generalissimo. Swiss campaign, launched with a presentation from the tavern and Bellinntsony. Prior to joining the Ilanz lasted 16 days and consisted of a continuous chain of large and small battles The losses of the Russian troops were less than one third of the actual composition of: before performing Suvorov had 21 thousand people, to Ilanz he led to 15 thousand people.

Source - History of military art , 1966

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