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Saturday, 21 July 2012

Battle of The Nations Monument Leipzig

Leipzig, the "Battle of the Nations" was fought between 17th - 19th October in 1813.  A memorial to this decisive victory against Napoleon was long planned and finally came to fruition for the 100th anniversary of the battle in 1913.

Prussians and Austrians fought  the allies (along with Russians and Swedes) and Napoleon had a contingents from the Confederation of the Rhine and Saxony in his army(together with French and Polish).  About 5000 Saxons changed side part way through the battle. Post German unification this was considered a particularly poignant battle as Germans fought and died in large numbers on both sides.

Hitler used the monument as a symbol of German pride and there was a move to pull it down during the communist era.  It survived as it was felt to be a good example of Russians and Germans fighting as comrades in arms.

We only had a chance for a short visit and work is being done on it for the 200th anniversary of the battle in 2013 but hopefully the pictures will give an idea of the scale.

Long view with artificial lake to the front

Closer view

Close up of the statues near the top of the monument

1 comment:

  1. Wow, nice pictures! :-)

    On a recent work trip to the Czech Republic I was very surprised to suddenly be driven past the battlefield at Austerlitz which I always thought was in Austria. Seeing the monuments disappear off into the distance was certainly a poignant moment. Being British it's often easy to think that the red clad chaps saw off Napoleon single handed but things like this are a timely reminder that lots of nation played their part in the Napoleonic wars and that we were almost a footnote really.