Would a French victory at Leipzig (1813) have been enough to hold onto Germany and turn the tide of the war in their favour?

Mar 2016
1,116
Australia
#1
Obviously the numerical superiority of the allied coalition was so massive that such a victory would be almost impossible, but let's say just for the sake of argument that Napoleon somehow won. Would this have been enough to convince the Austrians to return to their former neutrality? Would it have given Napoleon enough time to reassert control over Germany?
 
Likes: Futurist
Mar 2018
728
UK
#2
Depends on the scale of the victory? I can imagine a massive French victory making the allies sue for peace on more or less neutral terms. But then what? In a few years another coalition would arise and the cycle repeats again... Unless France wins every war in Europe for a generation (or however long it takes for the size of a new France to become an established fact) then the result is the same, just later.
 
Likes: Futurist

Edratman

Ad Honorem
Feb 2009
6,602
Eastern PA
#3
Three weeks previously Napoleon drubbed the Coalition at Dresden despite being outnumbered by 60%. The Coalition did not back down and was unlikely to to after another loss. The Coalition had the French seriously outnumbered and probably counted on attrition as much as battlefield victory to finally end Napoleon's reign of war.
 
Likes: Futurist
Feb 2019
612
Serbia
#4
Depends on the way of the victory. If Napoleon smashes them like he did at Dresden or in the 6 Days' Campaign then he could at the very least hold his ground, if he doesn't make the same mistake like he did after Dresden and actually effectively pursue the presumably shattered coalition armies (Highly improbable, but this is Napoleon we're talking about...) he might be able to save Germany. If the victory is a ''victory'' like Luetzen or Bautzen where he forces the coalition to retreat but takes high casualties in the process then another Leipzig would probably come eventually, just later. Unless he manages to beat the coalition so decisively that they lose all hope of quickly winning (Nigh-impossible.) and manages to raise a large army then he might've been able to pull a stalemate or a hollow victory but hardly return his dominance of Europe. If he wins but not quickly and decisively time would defeat him. After the Russian disaster and the Peninsular War eating his armies alive he could hardly hold out in a war of attrition, at which point there would eventually be a battle that he cannot win. There is also the problem of increasingly larger and more threatening armies in Iberia, it would be hard to undo Wellington's gains after Vittoria, especially when the fact that he reached the Pyrenees and thus had defensible terrain is considered.
 
Likes: Gvelion

Similar History Discussions