Sounds like the Brits in Marseille need to keep their ships in harbour; their séjour in the Vieux-Port will probably be a short one.
The uprisings in Italy, Poland and Saxony that began in July were widely considered “Bonapartist” by the Seventh Coalition — a claim too many historians have taken at face value. They were nothing of the sort. The writings of the rebel leaders themselves reveal that they did not trust Napoleon, and remembered too well his habit of redrawing the map of Europe to suit his fancy. Still less, however, did they wish to be conscripted into the ranks of his enemies.
Nonetheless, they posed a serious distraction for the Coalition. Austria was forced to send the armies of Frimont and Bianchi into Italy. Russia diverted the corps commanded by General Wurttemberg (not to be confused with the Prince Wurttemberg who served Austria) and the Reserve Cavalry to deal with the Polish rebellion.
And Prussia was on the brink of destruction. The rebellion in Posen began July 9 — the very day the city received word of Velaine — and spread through the countryside and into Upper Silesia, with smaller uprisings in Stargard and Allenstein and ethnic violence in Danzig, Königsberg and Breslau. Meanwhile, Frederick Augustus I took this opportunity to attempt to shake off Prussian control of Saxony.
Frederick William III called for conscripts from Westphalia and the other relatively peaceful western parts of Prussia, and the westerners responded. In Münster, Cologne and the towns of the Ruhr, over a dozen new volunteer regiments were formed. They organized themselves, trained as quickly as they could, were armed… and then they waited. They did not actually mutiny, but they kept finding reasons not to go east where they were urgently needed. In this, they were assisted by the city and provincial governments, who used every trick at their disposal (in one case, “arresting” the officers of a regiment and holding over a hundred soldiers as witnesses) to keep them nearby. The real reason, of course, was that with France still a threat just across the Rhine, they had no intention of abandoning their homes in order to assist the Junkers in suppressing Poles, or of helping to beat down the presumptuous Saxon king. Last year, most of these men hadn’t even been Prussians.
Under normal circumstances, this in itself would have constituted a rebellion, and one to be put down by force. But the king knew that if he tried, he would face a real rebellion in the west — which, at this point, would most likely end Prussia once and for all…
P.G. Sherman, 1815 And All That
Not to mention I'm not sure if the French colonies would have been returned yet but if they have how long would they last?
Here's a question I can answer without spoiling any of the main events.
France is definitely going to lose all its colonies in the Americas — St. Pierre and Miquelon, the Caribbean islands and French Guiana, which I haven't decided whether to rename British East Guiana or British Cayenne.
Haiti will be nominally independent but economically dominated by the British Empire. The British are not comfortable with an independent nation of ex-slaves, but they're not crazy enough to try and conquer it. They also don't see any reason why the French should get free money out of it. So there will be no 150-million-gold-franc reparations to France. (Haiti still has 99 problems, but this ain't one.)
Does this mean that Sweden will keep Guadelope? It was given to Sweden by the British 1812, and sold back to France for 24 million franc in 1815 to cover war debts - but if Napoleon rules longer, it will most likely not be sold to France. Perhaps to the British?
Perhaps to the British?
Day by day, house by house and block by block, the French were driven back. Their worst day was on August 13, in the so-called “Garden of Horrors,” in which, due to a run of bad luck and some aggressive moves by Barclay de Tolly, over twelve thousand Frenchmen and some nine thousand Russians were killed or wounded. After this day, there was no longer any doubt which side would take possession of the city.
And, indeed, the next day the French were in full retreat from the streets of the city. Barclay de Tolly ordered the pursuit… right into the teeth of hell. Napoleon had spent the previous night arranging his artillery and sharpshooters along the ridge of hills west of the city. The Russians were at the foot of these hills by the time the last French stragglers had passed the line of the emperor’s guns, but they were not close enough to grapple with the enemy and were driven back with heavy losses.
Two days later, Wrede and 100,000 men tried to circle around to the south and launch a flank attack against Napoleon’s line. This flank attack was itself outflanked by Masséna, who had arrived on the battlefield the previous day. With his raw troops reinforced by Rapp’s smaller but more seasoned army, Masséna nearly rolled up the whole Austrian army before they anchored one flank against the Meurthe. After that, both sides returned to skirmishing, avoiding major engagements that might stretch already fragile morale to the breaking point.
Then, on August 22, a new army arrived that would change everything. This was an army of 60,000 Britons — and one Briton in particular…
P.G. Sherman, 1815 And All That
August 22, 1815
Jardin Dominique Alexandre Godron, Nancy
Once, this had been one of the most famous botanical gardens in Europe. Now, the various herbs and flowers were largely trampled to death, scorched or grazed upon by cavalry horses. The place smelled of nothing but gunpowder, woodsmoke and blood.
Colonel Neil Campbell (Sir Neil Campbell, knighted to two different orders by the tsar, who now probably wished he hadn’t) stroked his beard and sighed as he reviewed the latest list of casualties. He was becoming quite fond of his little force of soldiers from the free cities of northern Germany. He doubted one man in ten of them actually cared who ruled Europe, but they had acquitted themselves well in battle and did not blame or resent him, which was a refreshing change from everyone else in this army.
Campbell was beginning to wish someone would have the discourtesy to tell him to his face that this was all his doing. Then at least he could defend himself. He could say, “What should I have done — leapt upon him and wrestled him to the ground? The guards at Elba were under his command, not mine!” Or he could say, “It was not I who chose to put the most dangerous man alive in a ‘prison’ with no bars, no locks and no guards but one Scotsman with no official sanction and a bad war wound!”
All of which was true. Lord Liverpool had said as much himself before Parliament back in April. So had Lord Castlereagh, along with a great deal else concerning the unwisdom of the Treaty of Fontainebleau and its signatories. (Castlereagh had been very clear to Campbell about the extent of his mandate: “I am to desire that you will continue to consider yourself a British resident in Elba, without assuming any further official character than that in which you are already received.”)
But if he said these things with no prompting from anyone, it would seem like an outward response to the inner scourge of a guilty conscience… which is exactly what they were. To the extent that he had had any power at all to carry out his duty, he had failed. The captain of the sloop HMS Partridge had failed equally badly in the matter, but at least he’d been there to do it. Whereas Campbell had been on the mainland, fornicating with his mistress, while Bonaparte made his escape.
“There you are,” came a voice that spoke crisp English without a foreign accent. “I’ve been looking for you.”
Campbell looked up. He scrambled to his feet and saluted, wincing at the sudden pain in his back (curse that blundering Cossack who’d nearly killed him by mistake!)
“Sir! Your Grace!” he blurted out. “Thank God you’re here!”
Just wanted to say that I've been watching this timeline with interest. This usually doesn't happen for me when timelines are focused on military developments, but your writing keeps things interesting for me.