Archduke Charles Louis John Joseph Laurentius of Austria, Duke of Teschen (German: Erzherzog Karl Ludwig Johann Joseph Lorenz von Österreich, Herzog von Teschen; 5 September 1771 –30 April 1847) was an Austrian field-marshal, the third son of Emperor Leopold II and his wife, Maria Luisa of Spain. He was also the younger brother of Francis II, Holy Roman Emperor. Despite being epileptic, Charles achieved respect both as a commander and as a reformer of the Austrian army. He was considered one of Napoleon's more formidable opponents.
He began his career fighting the revolutionary armies of France. Early in the wars of the First Coalition, he saw victory at Neerwinden in 1793, before being defeated at Wattignies 1793 and Fleurus 1794. In 1796, as chief of all Austrian forces on the Rhine, Charles defeated Jean-Baptiste Jourdan at Amberg and Würzburg, and then won a victory at Emmendingen that forced Jean Victor Marie Moreau to withdraw across the Rhine. He also defeated opponents at Zürich, Ostrach, Stockach, and Messkirch in 1799. He reformed Austria's armies to adopt the nation-at-arms principle. In 1809, he entered the War of the Fifth Coalition and inflicted Napoleon's first major setback at Aspern-Essling, before suffering a defeat at the bloody Battle of Wagram. After Wagram, Charles saw no more significant action in the Napoleonic Wars.
As a military strategist, Charles was able to successfully execute complex and risky maneuvers of troops. However, his contemporary Carl von Clausewitz criticized his rigidity and adherence to "geographic" strategy.
Austrians nevertheless remember Charles as a hero of the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic wars.
Charles was born in Florence, Tuscany. His father, then Grand Duke of Tuscany, generously permitted Charles's childless aunt Archduchess Marie Christine of Austria and her husband Albert of Saxe-Teschen to adopt and raise the boy in Vienna. Charles spent his youth in Tuscany, at Vienna and in the Austrian Netherlands, where he began his career of military service in the wars of the French Revolution. He commanded a brigade at the Battle of Jemappes (1792), and in the campaign of 1793 distinguished himself at the Action of Aldenhoven and the Battle of Neerwinden. In this year he became Governor of the Habsburg Netherlands, an office he lost with the occupation of the Low Countries by the French revolutionaries in 1794. The year he became Governor he also received the army rank of Lieutenant Field Marshal. Shortly thereafter another promotion saw him made Feldzeugmeister (equivalent of Lieutenant General). In the remainder of the war in the Low Countries he held high commands, and was present at the Battle of Fleurus (1794).
In 1795 he served on the Rhine, and in the following year, he was entrusted with chief control of all the Austrian forces on that river. His conduct of the operations against Jourdan and Moreau in 1796 marked him out at once as one of the greatest generals in Europe. At first, falling back carefully and avoiding a decision, he finally marched away, leaving a mere screen in front of Moreau. Falling upon Jourdan, he beat him in the battles of Amberg (August) and Würzburg (September), and drove him over the Rhine with great loss. He then turned upon Moreau's army, which he defeated and forced out of Germany (Battle of Emmendingen, October).
In 1797 he was sent to arrest the victorious march of General Bonaparte in Italy, and he conducted the retreat of the over-matched Austrians with the highest skill. In the campaign of 1799 he once more opposed Jourdan, whom he defeated in the battles of Ostrach and Stockach, following up his success by invading Switzerland and defeating Masséna in the First Battle of Zurich, after which he re-entered Germany and drove the French once more over the Rhine.
Ill-health, however, forced him to retire to Bohemia, but he was soon recalled to undertake the task of checking Moreau's advance on Vienna. The result of the Battle of Hohenlinden had, however, foredoomed the attempt, and the archduke had to make the armistice of Steyr. His popularity was now such that the Perpetual Diet of Regensburg, which met in 1802, resolved to erect a statue in his honor and to give him the title of savior of his country, but Charles refused both distinctions.
In the short and disastrous war of 1805 Archduke Charles commanded what was intended to be the main army in Italy, but events made Germany the decisive theatre of operations; Austria sustained defeat on the Danube, and the archduke was defeated by Massena in the Battle of Caldiero. With the conclusion of peace he began his active work of army reorganization, which was first tested on the field in 1809.
In 1806 Francis II (now Francis I of Austria) named the Archduke Charles, already a field marshal, as Commander in Chief of the Austrian army and Head of the Council of War.[ citation needed ] Supported by the prestige of being the only general who had proved capable of defeating the French, he promptly initiated a far-reaching scheme of reform, which replaced the obsolete methods of the 18th century. The chief characteristics of the new order were the adoption of the nation in arms principle and the adoption of French war organization and tactics. The army reforms were not yet completed by the war of 1809, in which Charles acted as commander in chief, yet even so it proved a far more formidable opponent than the old and was only defeated after a desperate struggle involving Austrian victories and large loss of life on both sides.
Its initial successes were neutralized by the reverses of Abensberg, Landshut and Eckmühl but, after the evacuation of Vienna, the archduke won a strong victory at the Battle of Aspern-Essling but soon afterwards lost at the Battle of Wagram. At the end of the campaign the archduke gave up all his military offices.
When Austria joined the ranks of the allies during the War of the Sixth Coalition, Charles was not given a command and the post of commander-in-chief of the allied Grand Army of Bohemia went to the Prince of Schwarzenberg.[ citation needed ] Charles spent the rest of his life in retirement, except for a short time in 1815 when he was military governor of the Fortress Mainz. In 1822 he succeeded to the duchy of Saxe-Teschen.
On 15 September/17 September 1815 in Weilburg, Charles married Princess Henrietta of Nassau-Weilburg (1797–1829). She was a daughter of Frederick William of Nassau-Weilburg (1768–1816) and his wife Burgravine Louise Isabelle of Kirchberg.
Frederick William was the eldest surviving son of Karl Christian of Nassau-Weilburg and Princess Wilhelmine Carolina of Orange-Nassau.
Wilhelmine Carolina was a daughter of William IV, Prince of Orange and Anne, Princess Royal and Princess of Orange. Anne was in turn the eldest daughter of George II of Great Britain and Caroline of Ansbach.
Charles died at Vienna on 30 April 1847. He is buried in tomb 122 in the New Vault of the Imperial Crypt in Vienna.An equestrian statue was erected to his memory on the Heldenplatz in Vienna in 1860.
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The caution which the archduke preached so earnestly in his strategic works, he displayed in practice only when the situation seemed to demand it, though his education certainly prejudiced him in favor of the defensive at all costs. He was at the same time capable of forming and executing the most daring offensive strategy, and his tactical skill in the handling of troops, whether in wide turning movements, as at Würzburg and Zürich, or in masses, as at Aspern and Wagram, was certainly equal to that of any leader of his time, with only a few exceptions.
According to the Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition, his campaign of 1796 is considered almost faultless. That he sustained defeat in 1809 was due in part to the great numerical superiority of the French and their allies, and in part to the condition of his newly reorganized troops. His six weeks' inaction after the victory of Aspern is, however, open to unfavorable criticism. As a military writer, his position in the evolution of the art of war is very important, and his doctrines had naturally the greatest weight. Nevertheless, they cannot but be considered antiquated even in 1806. Caution and the importance of strategic points are the chief features of his system. The rigidity of his geographical strategy may be gathered from the prescription that "this principle is never to be departed from."
Again and again he repeated the advice that nothing should be hazarded unless one's army is completely secure, a rule which he himself neglected with such brilliant results in 1796. Strategic points, he says, not the defeat of the enemy's army, decide the fate of one's own country, and must constantly remain the general's main concern, a maxim which was never more remarkably disproved than in the war of 1809. The editor of the archduke's work is able to make but a feeble defense against Clausewitz's reproach that Charles attached more value to ground than to the annihilation of the foe. In his tactical writings the same spirit is conspicuous. His reserve in battle is designed to "cover a retreat."
The baneful influence of these antiquated principles was clearly shown in the maintenance of Königgrätz-Josefstadt in 1866 as a strategic point, which was preferred to the defeat of the separated Prussian armies, and in the strange plans produced in Vienna for the campaign of 1859, and in the almost unintelligible Battle of Montebello in the same year. The theory and the practice of Archduke Charles form one of the most curious contrasts in military history. In the one he is unreal, in the other he displayed, along with the greatest skill, a vivid activity which made him for long the most formidable opponent of Napoleon.
He was the 831st Knight of the Order of the Golden Fleece in Austria.
When Karl Mack von Leiberich became chief of staff of the army under Prince Josias of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld in the Netherlands, he issued the Instruktionspunkte fur die gesamte Herren Generals, the last of 19 points setting out the roles of staff officers, dealing with offensive and defensive operations, while helping the Commander-in-chief. In 1796, Archduke Charles augmented these with his own Observationspunkte, writing of the Chief of Staff: “he is duty bound to consider all possibilities related to operations and not view himself as merely carrying out those instructions”.On 20 March 1801, Feldmarschalleutnant Duka became the world's first peacetime Generalquartiermeister at the head of the staff and the wartime role of the Chief of Staff was now focused on planning and operations to assist the Commander. Archduke Charles produced a new Dienstvorschrift on 1 September 1805, which divided the staff into three: 1) Political Correspondence; 2) the Operations Directorate, dealing with planning and intelligence; 3) the Service Directorate, dealing with administration, supply and military justice. The Archduke set out the position of a modern Chief of Staff: “The Chief of Staff stands at the side of the Commander-in-Chief and is completely at his disposal. His sphere of work connects him with no specific unit”. “The Commander-in-Chief decides what should happen and how; his chief assistant works out these decisions, so that each subordinate understands his allotted task”. With the creation of the Korps in 1809, each had a staff, whose chief was responsible for directing operations and executing the overall headquarters plan.
|Archduchess Maria Theresa of Austria||31 July 1816||8 August 1867||Married Ferdinand II of the Two Sicilies, had issue.|
|Archduke Albert, Duke of Teschen||3 August 1817||2 February 1895||Married Princess Hildegard of Bavaria, had issue.|
|Archduke Karl Ferdinand||29 July 1818||20 November 1874||Married Archduchess Elisabeth Franziska of Austria, had issue.|
|Archduke Frederick Ferdinand||14 May 1821||5 October 1847||Died unmarried.|
|Archduke Rudolph of Austria||25 September 1822||11 October 1822||Died in childhood.|
|Archduchess Maria Karoline of Austria||10 September 1825||17 July 1915||Married her first cousin Archduke Rainer of Austria, third son of Archduke Rainer of Austria and Princess Elisabeth of Savoy-Carignano.|
|Archduke Wilhelm of Austria||21 April 1827||29 July 1894||Died unmarried.|
|Ancestors of Archduke Charles, Duke of Teschen|
The Battle of Neresheim saw a victory of Republican French army under Jean Victor Marie Moreau over the army of the Habsburg Monarchy of Archduke Charles, Duke of Teschen. Pursued by Moreau's Army of Rhin-et-Moselle, Charles launched an attack against the French. While the Austrian left wing saw some success, the battle degenerated into a stalemate and the archduke withdrew further into the Electorate of Bavaria. Neresheim is located in the state of Baden-Württemberg in Germany a distance of 57 kilometres (35 mi) northeast of Ulm. The action took place during the War of the First Coalition, part of a larger conflict called the French Revolutionary Wars.
Jean-Baptiste Jourdan, 1st Count Jourdan, enlisted as a private in the French royal army and rose to command armies during the French Revolutionary Wars. Emperor Napoleon I of France named him a Marshal of the Empire in 1804 and he also fought in the Napoleonic Wars. After 1815, he became reconciled to the Bourbon Restoration. He was one of the most successful commanders of the French Revolutionary Army.
The Army of Sambre and Meuse was one of the armies of the French Revolution. It was formed on 29 June 1794 by combining the Army of the Ardennes, the left wing of the Army of the Moselle and the right wing of the Army of the North. Its maximum paper strength was approximately 83,000.
Johann Baron von Hiller was an Austrian general during the French Revolutionary Wars and the Napoleonic Wars. He held an important command during the 1809 campaign against France, playing a prominent role at the Battle of Aspern-Essling.
Franz von Weyrother was an Austrian staff officer and general who fought during the French Revolutionary Wars and the Napoleonic Wars. He drew up the plans for the disastrous defeats at the Battle of Rivoli, Battle of Hohenlinden and the Battle of Austerlitz, in which the Austrian army was defeated by Napoleon Bonaparte twice and Jean Moreau once.
The Battle of Würzburg was fought on 3 September 1796 between an army of the Habsburg Monarchy led by Archduke Charles, Duke of Teschen and an army of the First French Republic led by Jean-Baptiste Jourdan. The French attacked the archduke's forces, but they were resisted until the arrival of reinforcements decided the engagement in favor of the Austrians. The French retreated west toward the Rhine River. The action occurred during the War of the First Coalition, part of the French Revolutionary Wars. Würzburg is 95 kilometres (59 mi) southeast of Frankfurt.
The Army of the Rhine and Moselle was one of the field units of the French Revolutionary Army. It was formed on 20 April 1795 by the merger of elements of the Army of the Rhine and the Army of the Moselle.
Johann von Klenau, also called Johann Graf von Klenau, Freiherr von Janowitz, was a field marshal in the Habsburg army. Klenau, the son of a Bohemian noble, joined the Habsburg military as a teenager and fought in the War of Bavarian Succession against Prussia, Austria's wars with the Ottoman Empire, the French Revolutionary Wars, and the Napoleonic Wars, in which he commanded a corps in several important battles.
The Battle of Ettlingen or Battle of Malsch was fought during the French Revolutionary Wars between the armies of the First French Republic and Habsburg Austria near the town of Malsch, 9 kilometres (6 mi) southwest of Ettlingen. The Austrians under Archduke Charles, Duke of Teschen tried to halt the northward advance of Jean Victor Marie Moreau's French Army of Rhin-et-Moselle along the east bank of the Rhine River. After a tough fight, the Austrian commander found that his left flank was turned. He conceded victory to the French and retreated east toward Stuttgart. Ettlingen is located 10 kilometres (6 mi) south of Karlsruhe.
At the Battle of Emmendingen, on 19 October 1796, the French Army of Rhin-et-Moselle under Jean Victor Marie Moreau fought the First Coalition Army of the Upper Rhine commanded by Archduke Charles, Duke of Teschen. Emmendingen is located on the Elz River in Baden-Württemberg, Germany, 9 miles (14 km) north of Freiburg im Breisgau. The action occurred during the War of the First Coalition, the first phase of the larger French Revolutionary Wars.
On the 5 and 6 July 1809, north of Vienna, took place one of the most important confrontations in human history until then, the battle of Wagram. It opposed an Austrian army led by generalissimus Archduke Charles, Duke of Teschen to a Franco-Italo-German army under the command of Napoleon I, Emperor of the French, King of Italy, Protector of the Confederation of the Rhine.
The Battle of Hollabrunn was a rearguard action fought on 9 July 1809 by Austrian VI Korps of the Kaiserlich-königliche Hauptarmee Hauptarmee under Johann von Klenau against elements of the French IV Corps of the Grande Armée d'Allemagne, under the command of André Masséna.
Maximilian, Freiherr (Baron) von Wimpffen (1770–1854) was a military commander who served in the Austrian army during the French Revolutionary Wars and Napoleonic Wars. Although a competent field commander, he was above all noted for his excellent knowledge of military strategy and tactics, which made him a key member in the General Staff of the Imperial and Royal Army during the Napoleonic Wars.
The Battle of Friedberg was fought on 24 August 1796 between a First French Republic army led by Jean Victor Marie Moreau and a Habsburg Austrian army led by Maximilian Anton Karl, Count Baillet de Latour. The French army, which was advancing eastward on the south side of the Danube, managed to catch an isolated Austrian infantry regiment. In the ensuing combat, the Austrians were cut to pieces. Friedberg is a Bavarian town located on the Lech River near Augsburg. The action was fought during the War of the First Coalition.
In the Rhine campaign of 1796, two First Coalition armies under the overall command of Archduke Charles outmaneuvered and defeated two French Republican armies. This was the last campaign of the War of the First Coalition, part of the French Revolutionary Wars.
The Battle of Altenkirchen saw two Republican French divisions commanded by Jean Baptiste Kléber attack a wing of the Habsburg Austrian army led by Duke Ferdinand Frederick Augustus of Württemberg. A frontal attack combined with a flanking maneuver forced the Austrians to retreat. Three future Marshals of France played significant roles in the engagement: François Joseph Lefebvre as a division commander, Jean-de-Dieu Soult as a brigadier and Michel Ney as leader of a flanking column. The battle occurred during the War of the First Coalition, part of a larger conflict called the Wars of the French Revolution. Altenkirchen is located in the state of Rhineland-Palatinate in Germany about 50 kilometres (31 mi) east of Bonn.
Sometimes called the Battle of Limburg or Second Battle of Altenkirchen or Battle of the Lahn, this was actually a single-day battle followed by a lengthy rear-guard action. The action occurred during the War of the First Coalition, part of a wider conflict known as the French Revolutionary Wars. Limburg an der Lahn is located in the state of Hesse in Germany about 31 miles (50 km) east of Koblenz. On 16 September, the Habsburg Austrian army commanded by Archduke Charles, Duke of Teschen attacked a Republican French army led by Jean-Baptiste Jourdan in its positions behind the Lahn River. The unexpected collapse and withdrawal of their right flank on the evening of the 16th compelled the French to make a fighting withdrawal that began in the evening of the 16th and continued until late on 19 September.
The Battle of Wetzlar saw a Habsburg Austrian army led by Archduke Charles, Duke of Teschen launch an attack on a Republican French army under Jean-Baptiste Jourdan in its defenses on the Lahn River. The War of the First Coalition action ended in an Austrian victory when most of the French army began retreating to the west bank of the Rhine River. On the 19th the combat of Uckerath was fought as the Austrians pursued the French left wing. Wetzlar is located in the state of Hesse in Germany a distance of 66 kilometres (41 mi) north of Frankfurt.
The Second Battle of Kehl occurred on 18 September 1796, when General Franz Petrasch's Austrian and Imperial troops stormed the French-held bridgehead over the Rhine river. The village of Kehl, which is now in the German state of Baden-Württemberg, was then part of Baden-Durlach. Across the river, Strasbourg, an Alsatian city, was a French Revolutionary stronghold. This battle was part of the Rhine Campaign of 1796, in the French Revolutionary War of the First Coalition.
The Battle of Maudach occurred on 15 June 1796 between the French Revolutionary Army and the Army of the First Coalition. This was the opening action of the Rhine Campaign of 1796 on the Upper Rhine, slightly north of the town of Kehl. The Coalition, commanded by Franz Petrasch, lost 10 percent of its manpower missing, killed or wounded. It was fought at the village of Maudach, southwest of Ludwigshafen on the Rhine river opposite Mannheim. Maudach lies 10 km (6 mi) northwest of Speyer and today is a southwest suburb of Ludwigshafen; a principal town on the Rhine river in 1796.
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Archduke Charles, Duke of Teschen
Cadet branch of the House of LorraineBorn: 5 September 1771 Died: 30 April 1847
| Duke of Teschen |
Maria Christina of Austria
Albert Casimir of Saxony
| Governor of the Austrian Netherlands |
Archduke Maximilian Franz of Austria
| Grand Master of the Teutonic Order |
Archduke Anton Victor of Austria