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Siege of Hamburg

Siege of Hamburg

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The city of Hamburg
Hamburg
-History:The first historic name for the city was, according to Claudius Ptolemy's reports, Treva.But the city takes its modern name, Hamburg, from the first permanent building on the site, a castle whose construction was ordered by the Emperor Charlemagne in AD 808...

 was one of the most powerful fortresses east of the Rhine. After being freed from Napoleonic rule by advancing Cossacks and other following allied troops it was once more occupied by Marshal Davout's French XIII Corps on 28 May 1813, at the height of the campaign for Germany
Holy Roman Empire
The Holy Roman Empire was a realm that existed from 962 to 1806 in Central Europe.It was ruled by the Holy Roman Emperor. Its character changed during the Middle Ages and the Early Modern period, when the power of the emperor gradually weakened in favour of the princes...

 in the Napoleonic Wars
Napoleonic Wars
The Napoleonic Wars were a series of wars declared against Napoleon's French Empire by opposing coalitions that ran from 1803 to 1815. As a continuation of the wars sparked by the French Revolution of 1789, they revolutionised European armies and played out on an unprecedented scale, mainly due to...

, or the War of the Sixth Coalition
War of the Sixth Coalition
In the War of the Sixth Coalition , a coalition of Austria, Prussia, Russia, the United Kingdom, Portugal, Sweden, Spain and a number of German States finally defeated France and drove Napoleon Bonaparte into exile on Elba. After Napoleon's disastrous invasion of Russia, the continental powers...

 from French rule and occupation. Ordered to hold the city at all costs, Davout launched a characteristically energetic campaign against a similar numbered Army of the North made up of Prussian
Kingdom of Prussia
The Kingdom of Prussia was a German kingdom from 1701 to 1918. Until the defeat of Germany in World War I, it comprised almost two-thirds of the area of the German Empire...

 and allied troops under the command of Count von Wallmoden-Gimborn, winning a number of minor engagements. Neither force was decidedly superior and the war ground to a halt and resulted in a rather stable front line between Lübeck and Lauenburg and further south along the Elbe river, even after the end of the cease-fire of the summer 1813. In October 1813 a French column's movement towards Dannenberg
Dannenberg
- Places :* Dannenberg , a town in Germany* County of Dannenberg, a medieval fief founded by Henry the Lion- People :* Konrad Dannenberg, German-American engineer* Peter A Dannenberg, Russian general...

 resulted in the only major engagement in the North of Germany, the Battle of the Göhrde
Battle of the Göhrde
The battle of the Göhrde was a battle of the War of the Sixth Coalition on 18 September 1813 between Napoleonic and Coalition troops at Göhrde in Germany. The Napoleonic troops were defeated and withdrew to Hamburg.-Site:...

. The defeated French troops retreated back to Hamburg.

Despite steadily shrinking manpower, food and ammunition supplies, Davout's forces displayed no signs of abandoning Hamburg. When French armies withdrew west after the lost Battle of Leipzig
Battle of Leipzig
The Battle of Leipzig or Battle of the Nations, on 16–19 October 1813, was fought by the coalition armies of Russia, Prussia, Austria and Sweden against the French army of Napoleon. Napoleon's army also contained Polish and Italian troops as well as Germans from the Confederation of the Rhine...

 at the end of the year, and the Allies deployed a large portion of Bernadotte
Bernadotte
The House of Bernadotte, the current royal house of Sweden, has reigned since 1818. Between 1818 and 1905, it was also the royal house of the Norway...

's Russo-Swedish army to watch the city during the 1814 campaign for France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

. Davout was still in control of Hamburg when the War of the Sixth Coalition
War of the Sixth Coalition
In the War of the Sixth Coalition , a coalition of Austria, Prussia, Russia, the United Kingdom, Portugal, Sweden, Spain and a number of German States finally defeated France and drove Napoleon Bonaparte into exile on Elba. After Napoleon's disastrous invasion of Russia, the continental powers...

 ended in April, and eventually capitulated to Russian forces under General Bennigsen
Levin August, Count von Bennigsen
Levin August Gottlieb Theophil , Count von Bennigsen was a German general in the service of the Russian Empire....

 on 27 May 1814, obeying orders delivered by General Gérard
Étienne Maurice Gérard
Étienne Maurice Gérard, comte Gérard was a French general and statesman. He served under a succession of French governments including the ancien regime monarchy, the Revolutionary governments, the Restorations, the July Monarchy, the First and Second Republics, and the First Empire , becoming...

 from King Louis XVIII.

During Davout's defense of Hamburg, one type of silver coin was issued. The design of the 32 schilling coin of 1809 was reused, and the date was not changed, but the mintmaster's initials were changed from HSK (for Hans Schierven Knoph) to CAIG (for C. A. J. Ginquembre, who was the French director of the mint in 1813). The coins were issued in 1813, and are listed in the Standard Catalog of World Coins 1801-1900 by Krause Publications as type number KM242 for Hamburg.