The Battle of Graz took place on 24–26 June 1809 between an Austrian corps commanded by Ignaz Gyulai and a French division led by Jean-Baptiste Broussier. The French were soon reinforced by a corps under Auguste Marmont. The battle is considered a French victory though Gyulai was successful in getting supplies to the Austrian garrison of Graz before the two French forces drove him away from the city. Graz, Austria is located 145 kilometers south-southwest of Vienna at the intersection of the modern A2 and A9 highways.
Jean-Baptiste Broussier was a French Divisional General of the French Revolutionary Wars and Napoleonic Wars.
Graz is the capital of Styria and the second-largest city in Austria after Vienna. On 1 January 2019, it had a population of 328,276. In 2015, the population of the Graz larger urban zone who had principal residence status stood at 633,168.
Austria, officially the Republic of Austria, is a country in Central Europe comprising 9 federated states. Its capital, largest city and one of nine states is Vienna. Austria has an area of 83,879 km2 (32,386 sq mi), a population of nearly 9 million people and a nominal GDP of $477 billion. It is bordered by the Czech Republic and Germany to the north, Hungary and Slovakia to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south, and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the west. The terrain is highly mountainous, lying within the Alps; only 32% of the country is below 500 m (1,640 ft), and its highest point is 3,798 m (12,461 ft). The majority of the population speaks local Bavarian dialects as their native language, and German in its standard form is the country's official language. Other regional languages are Hungarian, Burgenland Croatian, and Slovene.
Before the Battle of Raab on 14 June, the Franco-Italian army left Broussier's division in its rear to besiege an Austrian garrison in the Graz citadel. When Gyulai's force appeared before the town in late June, Broussier retreated, allowing the Austrians to resupply the garrison. On the night of 25 June, Broussier sent two unsupported battalions of the 84th Line Infantry Regiment against the town. Surrounded by a greatly superior force of Austrians, the French stubbornly defended their position until the next afternoon, then broke out of the encirclement.
The Battle of Raab or Battle of Győr was fought on 14 June 1809 during the Napoleonic Wars, between Franco-Italian forces and Habsburg forces. The battle was fought near Győr (Raab), Kingdom of Hungary, and ended in a Franco-Italian victory. The victory prevented Archduke John of Austria from bringing any significant force to the Battle of Wagram, while Prince Eugène de Beauharnais's force was able to link up with Emperor Napoleon at Vienna in time to fight at Wagram. Napoleon referred to the battle as "a granddaughter of Marengo and Friedland", as it fell on the anniversary of those two battles.
The 84th was soon joined by Auguste Marmont's newly arrived French corps. Marmont then attacked and forced Gyulai to retreat from Graz. The castle hill, however, remained in possession of its Austrian garrison. Shortly afterward, Emperor Napoleon I summoned both Marmont and Broussier to march to Vienna, where both participated in the climactic Battle of Wagram on 5 and 6 July. In recognition of its heroic action, the 84th was allowed to inscribe UN CONTRE DIX (One Against Ten) on its colors.
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.
On 8 May 1809, the Viceroy of Italy, Eugène de Beauharnais and his Franco-Italian army defeated General der Kavallerie Archduke John of Austria at the Battle of Piave River.After the battle, John made the decision to split his army into two parts. He took the troops of Feldmarschall-Leutnants Albert Gyulai and Johann Frimont northeast to Villach and sent Ignaz Gyulai and the IX Armeekorps east toward Ljubljana (Laibach). This dispersal of the available Austrian military units made Eugène's subsequent invasion of Inner Austria considerably easier. John's purpose in sending Ignaz Gyulai to Carniola was to raise the Croatian Feudal Ban, which Gyulai in his capacity as the Ban of Croatia, had the authority to call.
A viceroy is an official who runs a country, colony, city, province, or sub-national state, in the name of and as the representative of the monarch of the territory. The term derives from the Latin prefix vice-, meaning "in the place of" and the French word roy, meaning "king". A viceroy's territory may be called a viceroyalty, though this term is not always applied. The adjective form is viceregal, less often viceroyal. The term vicereine is sometimes used to indicate a female viceroy suo jure, although viceroy can serve as a gender-neutral term. Vicereine is more commonly used to indicate a viceroy's wife.
Eugène Rose de Beauharnais, Duke of Leuchtenberg was the first child and only son of Alexandre de Beauharnais and Joséphine Tascher de la Pagerie, first wife of Napoleon I.
Archduke John of Austria, a member of the House of Habsburg-Lorraine, was an Austrian field marshal and imperial regent (Reichsverweser) of the short-lived German Empire during the Revolutions of 1848.
On 15 May, the troops reporting to Archduke John were distributed as follows.
General of the Cavalry was a General of the branch OF8-rank in the Imperial Army, the interwar Reichswehr, and the Wehrmacht. It was the second-highest General officer rank below Generaloberst. Artillery officers of equivalent rank were called General der Artillerie, and infantry officers of equivalent rank General der Infanterie. The Wehrmacht also created General der Panzertruppen, General der Gebirgstruppen, General der Pioniere (engineers), General der Flieger (aviators), General der Fallschirmtruppen, and General der Nachrichtentruppen
Tarvisio is a comune in the Province of Udine, the northeastern part of the autonomous Friuli Venezia Giulia region in Italy.
Johann Maria Philipp Frimont, Count of Palota, Prince of Antrodoco was an Austrian general.
On the left flank, Eugène retained the 25,000 soldiers from the corps of Generals of Division Paul Grenier and Louis Baraguey d'Hilliers, the Royal Italian Guard, and the cavalry of Generals of Division Emmanuel Grouchy and Louis-Michel Sahuc. On the right flank, General of Division Jacques MacDonald led two infantry divisions and General of Division Charles Randon de Pully's cavalry, altogether 14,000 troops. General of Division Jean-Baptiste Rusca commanded a flank guard that marched on Eugène's left.
Eugène captured two border forts and defeated Albert Gyulai at the Battle of Tarvis from 15 to 18 May. Archduke John retreated from Villach toward Graz, where he arrived on 24 May.The next day, Grenier's two divisions crushed Feldmarschall-Leutnant Franz Jellacic's division in the Battle of Sankt Michael. Only 2,000 of Jellacic's troops managed to join John at Graz. The rest were killed or captured. On 26 May, Eugène reached Bruck an der Mur and established contact with Napoleon's main army which had occupied Vienna on 13 May.
MacDonald occupied Ljubljana on 23 May, capturing 7,000 muskets, 71 artillery pieces, and large supplies of food and munitions.Another French column occupied Trieste, seizing 22,000 British-supplied muskets intended for the use of the Hungarian and Croatian militia. Ordered to move closer to Eugène, MacDonald marched northeast to Maribor (Marburg an der Drau) where he met Grouchy and a cavalry-infantry force. The two then moved north to Graz, arriving on 29 May. As MacDonald and Grouchy approached Graz, Archduke John withdrew to Körmend in Hungary, leaving a garrison on the Graz Schlossberg (castle hill). At this time Ignaz Gyulai's corps lay at Zagreb (Agram) while Archduke Joseph, Palatine of Hungary collected about 10,000 Hungarian Insurrections militia at Győr (Raab).
MacDonald came to an understanding with Graz's Austrian commander. According to the terms, the Austrians evacuated Graz and pulled back into the citadel, allowing the French to occupy the city. If the French wished to attack the fortress, they would do so from outside the city. On the city side of the fortress, a truce prevailed.
In a series of clashes in mid-May, Marmont's XI Corps fought its way north in the Dalmatian Campaign, capturing Stoichevich and mauling his command. The XI Corps reached Fiume on 28 May and Ljubljana on 3 June.At the latter place, Marmont paused because Gyulai's force was located to the east at Zagreb while Chasteler's force from the Tyrol was at large to the north. The survivors of Stoichevich's column joined Gyulai at Zagreb.
Fearful that Chasteler and Gyulai would combine with Archduke John, Eugène ordered a concentration so that he might defeat John before the other two columns could arrive. Accordingly, he drew together forces under Grenier, Baraguey d'Hilliers, and Grouchy. MacDonald left Broussier's division to continue the siege of Graz and hurried to join Eugène.
Aware that Eugène's forces were becoming a danger, Archduke John fell back to the northeast toward Győr to join Archduke Joseph's Hungarian levies. Retreating from the Tyrol with 4,000 to 5,000 troops, Chasteler appeared at Klagenfurt on 9 June.After being repulsed by Rusca, Chasteler slipped past the French and continued on to Maribor. Napoleon ordered Marmont to march to Graz in case Gyulai and Chasteler moved against Broussier. Chasteler briefly joined Gyulai before separating again in a futile effort to catch up with John's army.
On 14 June, Eugène defeated Archduke John's army at the Battle of Raab.John retreated to Komárno on the north bank of the Danube. Covered by Eugène's army, General of Division Jacques Lauriston besieged the fortress of Győr and captured it on 23 June.
Ignaz Gyulai marched north from Zagreb, reaching Maibor on 15 June. His goal was to bring food and munitions to the besieged garrison of Graz. Marmont arrived at Celje (Cilly) on 19 June. Gyulai feinted to the west, then took the direct road north to Graz via the Mur River valley. Reacting to his opponent's move, Marmont bent his march to the west through Dravograd (Unterdrauberg).
On 24 June, Gyulai's advance guard clashed with Broussier at Karlsdorf south of Graz. A battalion of the Franz Karl Infantry Regiment, a landwehr battalion, two companies of Grenzers, and four squadrons of cavalry confronted five French battalions supported by six artillery pieces. The Frimont Hussars drove back one battalion of the 9th Line Infantry Regiment. The French had the better of the encounter when the untried soldiers of the Massal Austrian landwehr took to their heels.
Broussier raised the blockade of the citadel on the 24th and fell back toward Marmont. On 25 June, Gyulai resupplied the garrison of the castle. That day, Broussier sent two battalions of the 84th Line Infantry Regiment into Graz. The column was without support from the rest of his division.
At 10 pm Colonel Jean Hugues Gambin led 1,200 soldiers and two cannons into Graz's outskirts and rapidly seized 450 surprised Austrian as prisoners. Continuing into Graz, the 84th bumped into an Austrian strongpoint at the Saint Leonhard Church and its nearby cemetery. The French bagged another 125 captives by attacking the place from both front and rear. Becoming aware that he was surrounded by greatly superior forces, Gambin organized a defensive position in the walled cemetery while his voltiguer (light) companies picketed the nearby streets.
At first light, the Austrians began assaulting the trapped Frenchmen, sending attack after attack against the cemetery. One charge broke into the church and liberated all the prisoners. Another thrust by the Simbschen Infantry managed to force its way into the cemetery and haul away one of the two cannons before being driven off. When the attackers seized an eagle, a much-decorated French sergeant waded into a group of Austrians and retook it. There were many other acts of heroism during the 16-hour defense of the position. Finally, the 84th began to run low on ammunition.
Sometime after 1:00 pm on 26 June, Gambin organized and led a last-gasp charge which burst out of the encirclement. The French managed to save their eagles and their one remaining cannon. As they withdrew, they met Marmont's relief column which was marching toward the sound of battle. Immediately, the XI Corps stormed into Graz, smashing down Austrian resistance and ejecting Gyulai's corps from the town. The attackers then ran amok, killing numbers of Austrian wounded and prisoners.
During its inspired defense, the 84th Line lost three officers and 31 men killed, 12 officers and 192 men wounded, and 40 captured. Their attackers suffered an estimated 500 killed and wounded.Altogether, Gyulai's corps lost 2,000 casualties before retreating southeast to Gnas. Marmont set off after Gyulai until 29 May, when he received new orders to join Napoleon at Vienna. Digby Smith gives French losses as 400 killed and wounded, and 500 captured, while numbering Austrian casualties as 164 dead and 816 wounded, captured, and missing.
Despite the victory, Napoleon remarked to Eugène, "Marmont has manoeuvred badly enough; Broussier still worse." He believed that Marmont should have been at Graz by 23 or 24 July and that Gyulai had scared Broussier away from the city. Not only Marmont, but Broussier, Eugene, and other outlying elements of the French emperor's armies were called upon to march immediately to Viennawhere they fought in the climactic Battle of Wagram on 5 and 6 July 1809. Napoleon was angry with Broussier for sending two battalions against an entire corps. However, the 84th Line's epic defense pleased him and when Broussier's division arrived at Vienna, the emperor awarded 84 crosses of the Legion d'honneur to deserving officers and soldiers of the regiment. Napoleon made Colonel Gambin a Count of the Empire and allowed the 84th Line Infantry Regiment to inscribe UN CONTRE DIX (One Against Ten) on its colors.
The French forces that fought at Graz were organized on 5 July 1809 as follows.
On 15 May, Gyulai's and Stoichevich's forces were organized as follows.
The Battle of Sacile on 16 April 1809 and its companion Clash at Pordenone on 15 April saw an Austrian army commanded by Archduke John of Austria defeat a Franco-Italian army led by Eugène de Beauharnais and force it to retreat. Sacile proved to be the most notable victory of John's career. The action took place east of the Livenza River near Sacile in modern-day Italy during the War of the Fifth Coalition, part of the Napoleonic Wars.
The Battle of Abensberg took place on 20 April 1809, between a Franco-German force under the command of Emperor Napoleon I of France and a reinforced Austrian corps led by Feldmarschall-Leutnant Archduke Louis of Austria. As the day wore on, Feldmarschall-Leutnant Johann von Hiller arrived with reinforcements to take command of the three corps that formed the Austrian left wing. The action ended in a complete Franco-German victory. The battlefield was southeast of Abensberg and included clashes at Offenstetten, Biburg-Siegenburg, Rohr in Niederbayern, and Rottenburg an der Laaber. On the same day, the French garrison of Regensburg capitulated.
The Battle of Elchingen, fought on 14 October 1805, saw French forces under Michel Ney rout an Austrian corps led by Johann Sigismund Riesch. This defeat led to a large part of the Austrian army being invested in the fortress of Ulm by the army of Emperor Napoleon I of France while other formations fled to the east. Soon afterward, the Austrians trapped in Ulm surrendered and the French mopped up most of the remaining Austrians forces, bringing the Ulm Campaign to a close.
The Battle of Teugen-Hausen or the Battle of Thann was an engagement that occurred during the War of the Fifth Coalition, part of the Napoleonic Wars. The battle was fought on 19 April 1809 between the French III Corps led by Marshal Louis-Nicolas Davout and the Austrian III Armeekorps commanded by Prince Friedrich Franz Xaver of Hohenzollern-Hechingen. The French won a hard-fought victory over their opponents when the Austrians withdrew that evening. The site of the battle is a wooded height approximately halfway between the villages of Teugn and Hausen in Lower Bavaria, part of modern-day Germany.
The Battle of Piave River was fought on 8 May 1809 between the Franco-Italian army under the command of Eugène de Beauharnais and an Austrian army led by Archduke John of Austria. The Austrian commander made a stand behind the Piave River but he suffered a defeat at the hands of his numerically superior foes. The combat took place near Nervesa della Battaglia, Italy during the War of the Fifth Coalition, part of the Napoleonic Wars.
The Austro-Polish War or Polish-Austrian War was a part of the War of the Fifth Coalition in 1809. In this war, Polish forces of the Napoleon-allied Duchy of Warsaw and assisted by forces of the Kingdom of Saxony, fought against the Austrian Empire. By May, the Russian Empire joined against Austria. Polish troops withstood the Austrian attack on Warsaw defeating them at Raszyn, then abandoned Warsaw in order to reconquer parts of pre-partition Poland including Kraków and Lwów, forcing the Austrians to abandon Warsaw in futile pursuit.
In the Battle of Sankt Michael on 25 May 1809, Paul Grenier's French corps crushed Franz Jellacic's Austrian division at Sankt Michael in Obersteiermark, Austria. The action occurred after the initial French victories during the War of the Fifth Coalition, part of the Napoleonic Wars. Sankt Michael is located approximately 140 kilometers southwest of Vienna.
The Battle of Abensberg was fought on 20 April 1809, between an Allied force under the command of Emperor Napoleon I of France on one side and three Austrian corps led by Johann von Hiller, Archduke Louis of Austria, and Michael von Kienmayer. The Austrians formed the left wing of Archduke Charles, Duke of Teschen's main army and were under the overall command of Hiller. Napoleon's French troops, reinforced by troops from the Kingdom of Bavaria and the Kingdom of Württemberg outfought their opponents, inflicted heavy losses, and forced the Austrians to retreat to the southeast.
The Battle of Neumarkt-Sankt Veit on 24 April 1809 saw a Franco-Bavarian force led by Marshal Jean-Baptiste Bessières face an Austrian Empire army commanded by Johann von Hiller. Hiller's numerically superior force won a victory over the Allied troops, forcing Bessières to retreat to the west. Neumarkt-Sankt Veit is located ten kilometers north of Mühldorf and 33 kilometers southeast of Landshut in Bavaria.
In the Battle of Wörgl or Wörgel on 13 May 1809 a Bavarian force under French Marshal François Joseph Lefebvre attacked an Austrian Empire detachment commanded by Johann Gabriel Chasteler de Courcelles. The Bavarians severely defeated Chasteler's soldiers in series of actions in the Austrian towns of Wörgl, Söll, and Rattenberg. Wörgl is located 20 kilometres (12 mi) south of the modern-day German border on the upper Inn River.
The Battle of Sacile saw the Franco-Italian Army of Italy commanded by Eugène de Beauharnais face the Archduke John of Austria's Army of Inner Austria during the War of the Fifth Coalition. Believing that he was only opposed by the Austrian VIII Armeekorps, Eugène launched his right wing in a heavy attack against it. In the morning, the Austrians successfully held off Franco-Italian assaults on their left flank as Eugène reinforced the attack with troops from his left wing. Later in the day, John counterattacked Eugène's weakened left wing with the IX Armeekorps, forcing the Franco-Italian army to withdraw from the battlefield. The battle at Sacile was preceded by the action of Pordenone on 15 April in which the Austrian advance guard mauled the French rear guard. The Austrian victory compelled Eugène to retreat to the Adige River at Verona where he gathered reinforcements and planned a counteroffensive.
The Battle of Günzburg on 9 October 1805 saw General of Division Jean-Pierre Firmin Malher's French division attempt to seize a crossing over the Danube River at Günzburg in the face of a Habsburg Austrian army led by Feldmarschall-Leutnant Karl Mack von Lieberich. Malher's division managed to capture a bridge and hold it against Austrian counterattacks. The battle occurred during the War of the Third Coalition, part of the larger Napoleonic Wars.
The Battle of Tarvis from 16 to 17 May 1809, the Storming of the Malborghetto Blockhouse from 15 to 17 May 1809, and the Storming of the Predil Blockhouse from 15 to 18 May saw the Franco-Italian army of Eugène de Beauharnais attacking Austrian Empire forces under Albert Gyulai. Eugène crushed Gyulai's division in a pitched battle near Tarvisio, then an Austrian town known as Tarvis. At nearby Malborghetto Valbruna and Predil Pass, small garrisons of Grenz infantry heroically defended two forts before being overwhelmed by sheer numbers. The Franco-Italian capture of the key mountain passes allowed their forces to invade Austrian Kärnten during the War of the Fifth Coalition. Tarvisio is located in far northeast Italy, near the borders of both Austria and Slovenia.
The Dalmatian Campaign saw several battles fought between 30 April and 21 May 1809 by Auguste Marmont's First French Empire soldiers and Andreas von Stoichevich's Austrian Empire troops. The Austrians drove the French from their positions on the Zrmanja River at the end of April. But in mid-May, the French counterattack forced back the Austrians. The defenders offered stout resistance, but ultimately Marmont broke out of Dalmatia and joined Emperor Napoleon's army near Vienna with over 10,000 men. The campaign was fought during the War of the Fifth Coalition, part of the Napoleonic Wars. Dalmatia is part of the modern-day nation of Croatia.
Alois Graf von Gavasini led a combat brigade in the armies of Habsburg Austria and the Austrian Empire during a remarkable number of battles in the French Revolutionary Wars and Napoleonic Wars. A native of Bonn, he offered his services to Austria and won an award for bravery in 1790. While a field officer in the Italian campaign, he led the rear guard at Primolano in September 1796. Badly outnumbered by the French, he and his soldiers put up a vigorous fight until he was wounded and captured. At Arcole in November 1796, he commanded a brigade on the field of battle against Napoleon Bonaparte's French army. Promoted to general officer in the spring of 1800, he led a powerful brigade at Hohenlinden during that year's fall campaign in Bavaria. Though the battle ended in a decisive defeat, Gavasini's troops fought well before being forced to retreat. The 1805 campaign in Italy found him directing a reserve brigade at Caldiero. After briefly retiring, the warrior returned to lead a brigade at the battles of Sacile, Piave River, and Graz during the 1809 war. That year he retired from the army and did not return.
The Battle of Linz-Urfahr on 17 May 1809 saw soldiers from the Austrian Empire fighting against troops from two of Emperor Napoleon's allies, the Kingdom of Württemberg and the Kingdom of Saxony. An Austrian corps led by Feldzeugmeister Johann Kollowrat attacked General of Division Dominique Vandamme's Württembergers who held a fortified bridgehead on the north bank of the Danube opposite the city of Linz. As the combat got underway, Saxons led by Marshal Jean-Baptiste Bernadotte began reinforcing the defenders. This prompted Kollowrat to order a retreat, which was followed up by Napoleon's German allies.
In the Battle of Caldiero or Battle of Soave or Battle of Castelcerino from 27 to 30 April 1809, an Austrian army led by Archduke John of Austria defended against a Franco-Italian army headed by Eugène de Beauharnais, the Viceroy of the Kingdom of Italy. The outnumbered Austrians successfully fended off the attacks of their enemies in actions at San Bonifacio, Soave, and Castelcerino before retreating to the east. The clash occurred during the War of the Fifth Coalition, part of the Napoleonic Wars.
The Piave River 1809 Order of Battle shows the units and organization for the Franco-Italian and Austrian Empire armies that fought in the Battle of Piave River on 8 May 1809. Eugène de Beauharnais, the viceroy of the Kingdom of Italy defeated Archduke John of Austria. Eugène's Advance Guard crossed the river first and was assailed by Austrian cavalry and artillery. The French cavalry routed the opposing cavalry and captured 14 enemy guns. A lull followed as John arranged his infantry in a formidable defensive position. Meanwhile, Eugène struggled to pour reinforcements into the bridgehead as the Piave rose dangerously. In the afternoon, the viceroy sent Paul Grenier to drive back the Austrian left while Jacques MacDonald mounted an assault on the center. The attack succeeded in breaking the Austrian line and compelling John to order a retreat.
Vinko Knežević or Vincent Knesevich de Szent-Helena was a Croatian nobleman and general in the Habsburg Monarchy imperial army service. He fought in many battles during the Austro-Turkish War and the French Revolutionary Wars. In 1799 he led a hussar regiment at Cassano, the Trebbia and Novi. He commanded an infantry brigade at Marengo the following year and led Austrian Empire troops in the Tyrol in 1805 and at Graz in 1809. He served in various assignments on the Military Border from 1809 to 1812. From 1802 he lived on his estate Sveta Jelena in former Zala County, modern-day Međimurje County in northern Croatia. By the end of Napoleonic Wars he retired from military service as a General der Kavallerie in 1815. He became Proprietor of a dragoon regiment in 1809 and held that office until his death in 1832.