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1812-1815

This period covers both the Wars of the Sixth Coalition (March 1813 – May 1814) and Seventh Coalition. Austria, Prussia, Russia, the United Kingdom, Portugal, Sweden, Spain and a number of German states initially defeated France in battles including Lützen, Bautzen, Dresden and the Battle of Leipzig, the latter being the largest battle in European history before World War I. Napoleon's earlier setbacks in Russia and Germany proved costly and with the Allied armies reorganized, they drove Napoleon out of Germany and invaded France in 1814. The remaining French armies were defeated, forcing Napoleon to abdicate and go into exile. Napoleon subsequently escaped from captivity and returned to France, sparking the War of the Seventh Coalition (also known as the "Hundred Days") Seven days before Napoleon reached Paris, he was declared an outlaw and Austria, Prussia, Russia and the United Kingdom, bound themselves to put 150,000 men each into the field to end his rule. This set the stage for the most famous conflict of the Napoleonic Wars, the defeat of Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo.