Anton Schübirz von Chobinin

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Anton Schübirz von Chobinin
Born21 December 1748 (1748-12-21)
Olomouc, Habsburg Austria, now Czech Republic
Died11 June 1801 (1801-06-12) (aged 52)
Graz, Habsburg Austria
Allegiance Banner of the Holy Roman Emperor (after 1400).svg Habsburg Monarchy
Service/branchCavalry, Infantry
Rank General-major
Battles/wars French Revolutionary Wars

Anton Schübirz or Anton Schubirz von Chobinin (21 December 1748 – 11 June 1801) fought for Habsburg Austria against Ottoman Turkey and the French First Republic. He participated in several noteworthy actions during the French Revolutionary Wars. As a newly promoted general officer in Italy, he led a brigade in an all-night action against the French at Codogno, part of the Battle of Fombio in May 1796. In the sparring before the Battle of Castiglione, he showed initiative in bringing his troops to the assistance of a fellow general. He also fought at Fontaniva, Caldiero, and Arcole in the autumn of 1796. This was the theater of war where a young French general named Napoleon Bonaparte earned his fame. Schübirz retired from the army in 1798 and died three years later.

French First Republic Republic governing France, 1792–1804

In the history of France, the First Republic, officially the French Republic, was founded on 22 September 1792 during the French Revolution. The First Republic lasted until the declaration of the First Empire in 1804 under Napoleon, although the form of the government changed several times. This period was characterized by the fall of the monarchy, the establishment of the National Convention and the Reign of Terror, the Thermidorian Reaction and the founding of the Directory, and, finally, the creation of the Consulate and Napoleon's rise to power.

French Revolutionary Wars series of conflicts fought between the French Republic and several European monarchies from 1792 to 1802

The French Revolutionary Wars were a series of sweeping military conflicts lasting from 1792 until 1802 and resulting from the French Revolution. They pitted France against Great Britain, Austria, Prussia, Russia and several other monarchies. They are divided in two periods: the War of the First Coalition (1792–97) and the War of the Second Coalition (1798–1802). Initially confined to Europe, the fighting gradually assumed a global dimension. After a decade of constant warfare and aggressive diplomacy, France had conquered a wide array of territories, from the Italian Peninsula and the Low Countries in Europe to the Louisiana Territory in North America. French success in these conflicts ensured the spread of revolutionary principles over much of Europe.

A general officer is an officer of high rank in the army, and in some nations' air forces or marines.


Early career

On 21 December 1748, Schübirz was born at Olomouc (Olmütz), a fortress town in the province of Moravia in Habsburg Austria. Today, the city is part of the Czech Republic. [1] Upon leaving the Vienna Neustadt Academy, he became a junior Leutnant in the Batthyanyi Dragoon Regiment Nr. 7 on 23 December 1768. He was promoted Leutnant on 1 January 1722, Rittmeister (captain) on 10 April 1773, and Major on 21 March 1786. Schübirz performed notable service against the Ottoman Turks at Dubica on 25 April 1788 during the Austro-Turkish War (1787–91). On 16 January 1790 he was appointed Oberstleutnant of the Stabs Dragoon Regiment. That October he transferred back to the Batthyanyi Dragoons and was made Oberst (Colonel) of the regiment on 30 November. He became Oberst of the newly created Mészáros Uhlan Regiment Nr. 1 on 1 November 1791. [2]

Olomouc City in Czech Republic

Olomouc is a city in Moravia, in the east of the Czech Republic. Located on the Morava River, the city is the ecclesiastical metropolis and was a historical capital city of Moravia, before having been sacked by the Swedish army during the Thirty Years' War. Today, it is the administrative centre of the Olomouc Region and the sixth largest city in the Czech Republic. The city has about 100,000 residents, and its larger urban zone has a population of about 480,000 people.

Moravia Historical land in Czech Republic

Moravia is a historical region in the Czech Republic and one of the historical Czech lands, together with Bohemia and Czech Silesia. The medieval and early modern Margraviate of Moravia was a crown land of the Lands of the Bohemian Crown, an imperial state of the Holy Roman Empire, later a crown land of the Austrian Empire and briefly also one of 17 former crown lands of the Cisleithanian part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire from 1867 to 1918. During the early 20th century, Moravia was one of the five lands of Czechoslovakia from 1918 to 1928; it was then merged with Czech Silesia, and eventually dissolved by abolition of the land system in 1949.

Czech Republic Country in Central Europe

The Czech Republic, also known by its short-form name, Czechia, is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west, Austria to the south, Slovakia to the east, and Poland to the northeast. The Czech Republic has a landlocked and hilly landscape that covers an area of 78,866 square kilometers (30,450 sq mi) with a mostly temperate continental climate and oceanic climate. It is a unitary parliamentary republic, with 10.6 million inhabitants. Its capital and largest city is Prague, with 1.3 million residents; other major cities are Brno, Ostrava, Olomouc and Pilsen.

Another source states that Schübirz was elevated to Major in the Josef Kinsky Dragoon Regiment Nr. 12 (the successor to the Batthyanyi Regiment) on 30 May 1788, to Oberstleutnant in 1789, and to Oberst of the Mészáros Uhlans in 1790. [3] In 1795, he led a cavalry brigade in Lombardy. [2]

Lombardy Region of Italy

Lombardy is one of the twenty administrative regions of Italy, in the northwest of the country, with an area of 23,844 square kilometres (9,206 sq mi). About 10 million people, forming one-sixth of Italy's population, live in Lombardy and about a fifth of Italy's GDP is produced in the region, making it the most populous and richest region in the country and one of the richest regions in Europe. Milan, Lombardy's capital, is the second-largest city and the largest metropolitan area in Italy.


Montenotte Campaign

On 4 March 1796, Schübirz found himself elevated to the rank of General-major in Johann Peter Beaulieu's Austrian army of Italy. [1] That spring he was assigned to command 10 squadrons of the Archduke Joseph Hussar Regiment Nr. 2 at Pavia and several squadrons of the Mészáros Uhlans near Lodi. He led these troops during the Montenotte Campaign in April. [4]

Johann Peter Beaulieu Austrian general

Johann Peter de Beaulieu, also Jean Pierre de Beaulieu, was a Walloon military officer. He joined the Austrian army and fought against the Prussians during the Seven Years' War. A cultured man, he later battled Belgian rebels and earned promotion to general officer. During the French Revolutionary Wars he fought against the First French Republic and attained high command. In 1796, a young Napoleon Bonaparte won some of his first victories against an army led by Beaulieu. He retired and was the Proprietor (Inhaber) of an Austrian infantry regiment until his death.

Archduke Joseph, Palatine of Hungary archduke of Austria

Joseph Anton Johann, Archduke of Austria, was the Palatine of Hungary from 1796 to 1847. He was the seventh son of Leopold II, Holy Roman Emperor and Maria Luisa of Spain.

Hussar light cavalry originally from Hungary

A hussar was a member of a class of light cavalry, originating in Central Europe during the 15th and 16th centuries. The title and distinctive dress of these horsemen were subsequently widely adopted by light cavalry regiments in European armies in the late 17th and early 18th centuries.

During the campaign, Bonaparte's army badly defeated the Sardinian army and forced the Kingdom of Sardinia to sue for peace. The small Austrian Auxiliary Corps, which fought under Sardinian command, was placed in a tight spot when its allies laid down their arms. [5] Since its previous commander, Giovanni Marchese di Provera had been captured at the Battle of Millesimo, [6] Beaulieu appointed Schübirz to bring the Corps to safety. [5] In this he was successful, though he had to make a circuitous march in order to get away. [7]

Kingdom of Sardinia former Italian state (1324–1861)

The Kingdom of Sardinia was a state in Southern Europe from the early 14th until the mid-19th century.

Giovanni Marchese di Provera, or Johann Provera, born c. 1736 – died 5 July 1804, served in the Austrian army in Italy during the French Revolutionary Wars. Provera played a significant role in three campaigns against General Napoleon Bonaparte during the Italian Campaign of 1796.

Battle of Millesimo battle

The Battle of Millesimo, fought on 13 and 14 April 1796, was the name that Napoleon Bonaparte gave in his correspondence to one of a series of small battles that were fought in Liguria, Northern Italy between the armies of France and the allied armies of Austria and of the Kingdom of Sardinia-Piedmont.

Fombio and Codogno

Johann Peter Beaulieu Johann Peter Beaulieu.jpg
Johann Peter Beaulieu

As Beaulieu fell back into the Duchy of Milan, Schübirz's troops reached a position at Lomello on the Agogna River on 2 May. [8] By the 7th, his retreating troops joined those of Philipp Pittoni von Dannenfeld, forming a body of seven battalions and 12 squadrons. [9] By dawn on the following day, Bonaparte managed to slip Claude Dallemagne's 5,000-strong advance guard across the Po River behind Beaulieu's strategic left flank. The 6,500 men of Amédée Emmanuel François Laharpe's division soon followed. During the day, the rapidly moving French defeated Anton Lipthay de Kisfalud at the Battle of Fombio and pressed forward to occupy the town of Codogno. [10]

Duchy of Milan Former duchy in Italy (1395–1447; 1450–1535)

The Duchy of Milan was a state of the Holy Roman Empire in northern Italy. It was created in 1395, when it included twenty-six towns and the wide rural area of the middle Padan Plain east of the hills of Montferrat. During much of its existence, it was wedged between Savoy to the west, Venice to the east, the Swiss Confederacy to the north, and separated from the Mediterranean by Genoa to the south. The Duchy eventually fell to Habsburg Austria with the Treaty of Baden (1714), concluding the War of the Spanish Succession. The Duchy remained an Austrian possession until 1796, when a French army under Napoleon Bonaparte conquered it, and it ceased to exist a year later as a result of the Treaty of Campo Formio, when Austria ceded it to the new Cisalpine Republic.

Lomello Comune in Lombardy, Italy

Lomello is a comune (municipality) in the Province of Pavia in the Italian region Lombardy, located about 50 km southwest of Milan and about 30 km west of Pavia, on the right bank of the Agogna. It gives its name to the surrounding area, the Lomellina. Lomello borders the following municipalities: Ferrera Erbognone, Galliavola, Mede, Ottobiano, San Giorgio di Lomellina, Semiana, Velezzo Lomellina, Villa Biscossi.

Agogna river in Italy

The Agogna is a 140-kilometre (87 mi) stream which runs through the Italian regions of Piedmont and Lombardy. It is a left side tributary of the river Po.

Battle of Fombio by Giuseppe Pietro Bagetti (1764-1831) Battaglia di Fombio.jpg
Battle of Fombio by Giuseppe Pietro Bagetti (1764–1831)

As Beaulieu tried to retreat east beyond the Adda River, he found that the French were already across the southern-most roads. Hoping to cut his way through in the morning, the Austrian commander sent Schübirz toward Codogno with two battalions of the Reisky Infantry Regiment Nr. 13 and four squadrons of Uhlans, about 1,000 foot soldiers and 580 cavalrymen. Arriving at Codogno in the dark, Schübirz decided on his own initiative to capture the place. At around 10:00 PM, his troops routed the French pickets and infiltrated much of the town. Soon, Laharpe and his staff received reports of the Austrian incursion and went out to find out what was going on. It so happened that the French 51st Line Infantry Demi-Brigade was marching through the center of town. As the troops reached the town square, they were ambushed by soldiers of the Reisky Regiment and soon both sides were firing blindly into the darkness. After the French rounded up a number of Austrian prisoners, they found Laharpe shot dead, possibly by friendly fire. [11]

With the division commander down, Bonaparte's chief of staff Louis-Alexandre Berthier arrived to direct the fighting. In the wee hours, 75th Line and the 17th Light Infantry Demi-Brigades added their weight to the battle. By dawn, convinced that the odds against him were increasing, Schübirz withdrew. [12] Given some breathing room by his lieutenant's all-night combat, on 9 May Beaulieu directed his troops to cross the Adda farther north at Lodi. [13] The Battle of Lodi occurred on 10 May, [14] though Schübirz missed it, having been ordered to march four battalions and four squadrons to Crema. [15]

By 16 May, the Austrian army pulled back behind the Mincio River, covered on its right rear by Schübirz. [16] After the Battle of Borghetto on 30 May, Beaulieu withdrew north into the Tyrol. [17] At this time an English observer, Thomas Graham noted that Schübirz was one of the few generals still with the army. [18]


Though his name does not appear in the Castiglione 1796 Campaign Order of Battle, [19] he nevertheless served with the army. At 3:00 AM on 2 August 1796, the army of Dagobert Sigmund von Wurmser, having relieved Mantua, began to move on Goito. An advance guard led by Lipthay, plus a body of troops commanded by Schübirz crossed the Mincio at Goito. [20] Wanting to prevent Wurmser from attacking his rear while he disposed of Peter Quasdanovich's column, Bonaparte ordered Pierre Augereau to attack the Austrian advance guard at Castiglione delle Stiviere. [20]

Accordingly, on 3 August, Augereau fell on Lipthay's 4,000-strong brigade with 11,000 men. Though driven back, the Austrians put up a spirited fight. Schübirz made the soldierly decision to march at once for the sound of the guns. Once he arrived on the field, he launched an effective attack that saved the village of Solferino from capture and helped halt the French advance. [21] On 5 August at the Battle of Castiglione, Schübirz and Anton Ferdinand Mittrowsky held the Austrian right flank at Solferino. Helped by late-arriving reinforcements, the right wing got away in good order. Schübirz led the rear guard of three squadrons of hussars, which were the last Austrians to cross the Mincio at the Borghetto bridge. [22]


The Battle of the Bridge of Arcole by Horace Vernet (1789-1863) La Bataille du Pont d'Arcole.jpg
The Battle of the Bridge of Arcole by Horace Vernet (1789-1863)

On 16 August after the Castglione campaign, Schübirz was ordered to march two battalions of the Deutschmeister Infantry Regiment Nr. 4 and two squadrons of the Erdödy Hussar Regiment Nr. 11 to hold Pontebba, a strategic point in northeastern Italy. The trek took two weeks but as soon as he arrived there, he was recalled to Bassano del Grappa. This march took an additional two weeks, but by this time the Battle of Bassano was fought on 8 September. [23]

In late October 1796, Schübirz commanded a brigade in the Friaul Corps, which was accompanied by the army commander József Alvinczi. [24] He was present in the Second Battle of Bassano on 6 November, where his troops were called upon to reinforce Lipthay's roughly handled brigade near Fontaniva. [25] The French suffered 3,000 killed, wounded, and missing, while 508 soldiers and one howitzer were captured. The victorious Austrians did not escape heavy losses. Quasdanovich's right wing at Bassano lost 1,633 men and two guns, while Provera's left wing at Fontaniva lost 1,190, including 208 killed, 873 wounded, and 109 captured. [26]

At the Battle of Caldiero on 12 November, Prince Friedrich Franz Xaver of Hohenzollern-Hechingen held off Bonaparte's initial attacks. Schübirz brought up his brigade sometime after 3:00 PM, and together with other reinforcements, the Austrians repulsed the French and forced them back into Verona. [27] The Austrians inflicted 1,800 casualties on their enemies for a loss of about 1,300 men. [28]

On the second day of the Battle of Arcole, Schübirz's brigade was sent to reinforce Mittrowsky at the village of Arcole. The orders for the morning of 16 November were to attack the French and drive them into the Adige River. [29] At first, the attack met with success. But when the Austrian right wing gave way at Belfiore, the soldiers lost heart and fell back to Arcole. By holding both banks of the Alpone River in strength, Mittrowsky defeated all French attacks on the 16th. [30] The following day saw bitter fighting and until 4:00 PM it looked as though the Austrians might prevail. But another collapse of Austrian resistance at Belfiore allowed Bonaparte to concentrate against Arcole and the village finally fell at 5:00 PM on the 17th. That evening, the French tried to cut the main east-west highway but, at Alvinczi's direction, Schübirz drove them back. This final action of the day allowed the Austrian right wing to get away. [31]

Schübirz retired from the military in 1798 and died at Graz on 11 June 1801. [1] Another source gives his retirement date as 1800. [2]


  1. 1 2 3 Smith & Kudrna, Schubirz von Chobinin
  2. 1 2 3 Bouvier, 690
  3., Anton Schubirz
  4. Boycott-Brown, 168
  5. 1 2 Boycott-Brown, 276
  6. Chandler, 71
  7. Boycott-Brown, 286
  8. Boycott-Brown, 289
  9. Boycott-Brown, 298
  10. Boycott-Brown, 300-302
  11. Boycott-Brown, 303-304
  12. Boycott-Brown, 304
  13. Boycott-Brown, 305
  14. Smith, 113
  15. Boycott-Brown, 310
  16. Boycott-Brown, 333
  17. Chandler, 87
  18. Boycott-Brown, 372
  19. Boycott-Brown, 378-379
  20. 1 2 Boycott-Brown, 391
  21. Boycott-Brown, 396
  22. Boycott-Brown, 401
  23. Boycott-Brown, 418
  24. Boycott-Brown, 444
  25. Boycott-Brown, 451
  26. Smith, 126
  27. Boycott-Brown, 456
  28. Smith, 127
  29. Boycott-Brown, 467
  30. Boycott-Brown, 468-469
  31. Boycott-Brown, 472-475

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The following source provides the Bouvier citation listed above.

This source traces the ancestry of Austrian cavalry regiments.