Armistice of Znaim

Last updated
Battle of Znaim
Part of the War of the Fifth Coalition
Date10–11 July 1809
Location
Result Armistice
Belligerents
Flag of the Habsburg Monarchy.svg Austrian Empire Flag of France.svg First French Empire
Commanders and leaders
Archduke Charles of Austria Auguste de Marmont on the 10th, joined by Napoleon I and André Masséna on the 11th
Strength
40,000 [1] -47,000 10,000 on the 10th, joined by Masséna's reinforcements on the 11th totalling 30,000
Casualties and losses
5,300 3,100

The Armistice of Znaim was a ceasefire agreed between Archduke Charles and Napoleon I on 12 July 1809 following the Battle of Znaim, effectively ending hostilities between Austria and France in the War of the Fifth Coalition.

Archduke Charles, Duke of Teschen Archduke of Austria

Archduke Charles Louis John Joseph Laurentius of Austria, Duke of Teschen 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.

Austrian Empire monarchy in Central Europe between 1804 and 1867

The Austrian Empire was a Central European multinational great power from 1804 to 1867, created by proclamation out of the realms of the Habsburgs. During its existence, it was the third most populous empire after the Russian Empire and the United Kingdom in Europe. Along with Prussia, it was one of the two major powers of the German Confederation. Geographically, it was the third largest empire in Europe after the Russian Empire and the First French Empire. Proclaimed in response to the First French Empire, it partially overlapped with the Holy Roman Empire until the latter's dissolution in 1806.

First French Empire Empire of Napoleon I of France between 1804–1815

The First French Empire, officially the French Empire, was the empire of Napoleon Bonaparte of France and the dominant power in much of continental Europe at the beginning of the 19th century. Although France had already established an overseas colonial empire beginning in the 17th century, the French state had remained a kingdom under the Bourbons and a republic after the Revolution. Historians refer to Napoleon's regime as the First Empire to distinguish it from the restorationist Second Empire (1852–1870) ruled by his nephew as Napoleon III.

Contents

Following defeat at the Battle of Wagram, Archduke Charles retreated north into Bohemia hoping to regroup his battered forces. The French army had also suffered in the battle and did not give immediate pursuit. But two days after the battle, Napoleon ordered his troops north intending to defeat the Austrians once and for all. The French eventually caught up the Austrians at Znaim (now Znojmo, Czech Republic) on 10 July 1809. Realising they were in no position to give battle, the Austrians proposed a ceasefire as Archduke Charles went to begin peace negotiations with Napoleon. However, Marshal Auguste de Marmont refused to observe the ceasefire and committed his XI Corps of around 10,000 men into battle. With Marmont greatly outnumbered, André Masséna had no choice but to support him. By 11 July, Masséna's corps had joined Marmont's in battle but the Austrians had also reinforced their position around Znaim. After two days of futile fighting, with both sides suffering similar casualties and neither side gaining any advantage, Napoleon finally arrived with news of an armistice and ordered Marmont to end the battle.

Battle of Wagram battle

The Battle of Wagram was a military engagement of the Napoleonic Wars that ended in a costly but decisive victory for Emperor Napoleon I's French and allied army against the Austrian army under the command of Archduke Charles of Austria-Teschen. The battle led to the breakup of the Fifth Coalition, the Austrian and British-led alliance against France.

Bohemia Historical land in Czech Republic

Bohemia is the westernmost and largest historical region of the Czech lands in the present-day Czech Republic. In a broader meaning, Bohemia sometimes refers to the entire Czech territory, including Moravia and Czech Silesia, especially in a historical context, such as the Lands of the Bohemian Crown ruled by Bohemian kings.

Znojmo Town in Czech Republic

Znojmo is a major town in the South Moravian Region of the Czech Republic, the administrative capital of the Znojmo District. It is the historical and cultural centre of southwestern Moravia.

Although the Battle of Znaim was the last action between Austria and France in the war, a formal peace was not agreed until the Treaty of Schönbrunn was signed on 14 October 1809, which finally ended the War of the Fifth Coalition.

Treaty of Schönbrunn peace treaty

The Treaty of Schönbrunn, sometimes known as the Peace of Schönbrunn or Treaty of Vienna, was signed between France and Austria at Schönbrunn Palace near Vienna on 14 October 1809. The treaty ended the Fifth Coalition during the Napoleonic Wars, after Austria had been defeated at the decisive Battle of Wagram on 5-6 July.

Prelude

The immediate cause of the two-day Battle of Znaim was the decision of the Austrian commander in chief, Archduke Charles, to stage a rearguard action near the town of Znaim, about 80 kilometers north of Vienna, in order to give his army time to withdraw its baggage train in safety toward Moravia. Marmont’s two combined French and Bavarian corps were the first of Napoleon’s troops to arrive on the field following the course of the river Thaya. Believing that he faced only a rear guard, Marmont ordered his Bavarian troops to take the village of Tesswitz south of Znaim, while the rest of his troops attacked the village of Zuckerhandl. [2]

Vienna Capital city and state in Austria

Vienna is the federal capital, largest city and one of nine states of Austria. Vienna is Austria's primate city, with a population of about 1.9 million, and its cultural, economic, and political centre. It is the 7th-largest city by population within city limits in the European Union. Until the beginning of the 20th century, it was the largest German-speaking city in the world, and before the splitting of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in World War I, the city had 2 million inhabitants. Today, it has the second largest number of German speakers after Berlin. Vienna is host to many major international organizations, including the United Nations and OPEC. The city is located in the eastern part of Austria and is close to the borders of the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Hungary. These regions work together in a European Centrope border region. Along with nearby Bratislava, Vienna forms a metropolitan region with 3 million inhabitants. In 2001, the city centre was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In July 2017 it was moved to the list of World Heritage in Danger.

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.

Bavaria State in Germany

Bavaria, officially the Free State of Bavaria, is a landlocked federal state of Germany, occupying its southeastern corner. With an area of 70,550.19 square kilometres, Bavaria is the largest German state by land area comprising roughly a fifth of the total land area of Germany. With 13 million inhabitants, it is Germany's second-most-populous state after North Rhine-Westphalia. Bavaria's main cities are Munich and Nuremberg.

Battle

The Bavarians succeeded in storming Tesswitz but were then thrown out by Austrian reinforcements. Marmont renewed the Bavarian attack, and Tesswitz was retaken, only to be lost soon after. The village changed hands a number of times during the day, this contest constituting the heaviest fighting the Bavarians saw in the whole campaign. Marmont had hoped to swing his cavalry in behind the Austrian rear guard, but on reaching high ground above Tesswitz, they were faced with five enemy corps. The French cavalry was forced to withdraw in the face of a large body of Austrian cuirassiers. [1]

Marmont was now engaged by 40,000 Austrian troops and was heavily outnumbered. His men nevertheless managed to hold on to both Tesswitz and Zuckerhandl overnight. Archduke Charles withdrew his forces into a strong defensive position situated so as to hold the north bank of the Thaya and Znaim. Napoleon arrived at Tesswitz at 10:00 A.M., and despite the fact that he had brought with him reinforcements of cavalry and artillery, he believed that his force was too weak to launch a full-scale attack. His plan therefore was to employ Masséna’s corps to pin the Austrians throughout the day and to await the corps of marshals Louis-Nicolas Davout and Nicolas Oudinot, which would be able to arrive early on the twelfth. Masséna launched his attack on the extreme right of the Austrian position during midmorning and quickly seized the main bridge across the Thaya south of Znaim. His troops took two small villages and then advanced directly on Znaim. Charles meanwhile reinforced the Austrian position with two grenadier brigades, which advanced during a thunderstorm and initially threw the French back. [1]

Louis-Nicolas Davout Marshal of France

Louis-Nicolas d'Avout, better known as Davout, 1st Duke of Auerstaedt, 1st Prince of Eckmühl, was a French general who was Marshal of the Empire during the Napoleonic era. His talent for war along with his reputation as a stern disciplinarian earned him the title "The Iron Marshal". He is ranked along with Masséna and Lannes as one of Napoleon's finest commanders. His loyalty and obedience to Napoleon were absolute. During his lifetime, Davout's name was commonly spelled Davoust, which is how it appears on the Arc de Triomphe and in much of the correspondence between Napoleon and his generals.

Nicolas Oudinot Marshal of France

Nicolas Charles Oudinot, 1st Comte Oudinot, 1st Duc de Reggio, was a Marshal of France. He is known to have been wounded 34 times in battle. Oudinot is one of the Names inscribed under the Arc de Triomphe, Eastern pillar Columns 13, 14.

The situation was stabilized by a body of French cavalry at approximately 7:00 P.M., when French and Austrian staff officers rode along the opposing lines announcing a cease-fire, which led to the signature of an armistice on the twelfth. Znaim was to prove the last action of the 1809 campaign. The two sides signed a treaty of peace at the Schönbrunn Palace on 14 October. [1]

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References

  1. 1 2 3 4 Ralph Baker in The Encyclopedia of the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars by Gregory Fremont-Barnes (main editor) (Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO, 2006) 1112.
  2. Ralph Baker in The Encyclopedia of the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars by Gregory Fremont-Barnes (main editor) (Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO, 2006) 1111-1112.

Coordinates: 48°51′20″N16°02′56″E / 48.8556°N 16.0489°E / 48.8556; 16.0489