Battle of Hollabrunn (1809)

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Battle of Hollabrunn
Part of the War of the Fifth Coalition
Date9 July 1809
Location Hollabrunn, present-day Austria, then Austrian Empire
Result Austrian victory
Belligerents
Flag of France.svg French Empire Flag of the Habsburg Monarchy.svg Austrian Empire
Commanders and leaders
Flag of France.svg André Masséna Flag of the Habsburg Monarchy.svg Johann von Klenau
Strength
11,000 men 17,000 men
Casualties and losses
unknown unknown

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. [1]

A rearguard is that part of a military force that protects it from attack from the rear, either during an advance or withdrawal. The term can also be used to describe forces protecting lines, such as communication lines, behind an army. Even more generally, a rearguard action may refer idiomatically to an attempt at preventing something though it is likely too late to be prevented; this idiomatic meaning may apply in either a military or non-military context.

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.

Imperial and Royal Army during the Napoleonic Wars

The Imperial and Royal or Imperial Austrian Army was strictly speaking, the armed force of the Holy Roman Empire under its last monarch, the Habsburg Emperor Francis II, although in reality, it was nearly all composed of the Habsburg army. When the Holy Roman Empire was dissolved in 1806, it assumed its title of the Army of the Austrian Empire under the same monarch, now known as Emperor Francis I of Austria.

Contents

The battle ended in favour of the Austrians, with Masséna forced to break off the combat and wait for his remaining divisions to reinforce him, but the French Marshal was able to gather crucial intelligence about the intentions of his enemy. [2]

Context and battle

The French victory at the Battle of Wagram on 6 July forced the commander of the Kaiserlich-königliche Hauptarmee Hauptarmee, the main Austrian army, Archduke Charles of Austria-Teschen, to retreat. In spite of the defeat, the retreat was orderly and very well handled. The French, commanded by Napoleon I, were initially unsure about the exact direction, with reports saying that the Austrians were retreating towards Bohemia, but it was still unclear whether they would retreat using the road to Brünn or the road to Znaim. Other reports from, sent by General Louis-Pierre Montbrun were indicating that the Austrians were actually retreating towards Moravia. Masséna sent scouts towards Krems and the district of Horn and was able to ascertain that the enemy was not retreating in that direction, but he was unable to conclude where they would retreat. It thus took the French a few days after the battle of Wagram, before they could gather enough intelligence to really understand where the Austrians were going. However, by 8 July, things began to clarify for Napoleon, mainly due to intelligence sent by Auguste de Marmont, commander of XI Corps and the significance of a series of combats fought by elements of Masséna's Corps against the VI Korps under Klenau. These combats, fought at Korneuburg and Stocerau allowed Masséna to inform Napoleon that a large Austrian force was indeed retreating towards Bohemia. [3] [4] [1]

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.

Brno Statutory city in Moravia, Czech Republic

Brno is the second largest city in the Czech Republic by population and area, the largest Moravian city, and the historical capital city of the Margraviate of Moravia. Brno is the administrative center of the South Moravian Region in which it forms a separate district. The city lies at the confluence of the Svitava and Svratka rivers and has about 400,000 inhabitants; its greater metropolitan area is home to more than 800,000 people while its larger urban zone had a population of about 730,000 in 2004.

Austrian commander Klenau, with an initial force of 18,000 men and 64 cannons had orders to delay the French pursuit. On 9 July, Klenau decided to make another stand, this time near Hollabrunn, around 55 kilometers northwest of Vienna. Following the initial skirmishes, Klenau's force was still 17,000 men strong and it now occupied a strong position. Opposite to him, Masséna only had under his immediate control General Claude Legrand's 1st division of IV Corps, the Corps cavalry under General Jacob François Marulaz and the cuirassiers from the 2nd heavy cavalry division of General Raymond-Gaspard de Bonardi de Saint-Sulpice. Masséna promptly engaged Klenau, while at the same time conducting a full reconnaissance of the battlefield, which enabled him to write to the Emperor and reconfirm that no Austrian regiments were heading towards Krems. Masséna's attacks were at first successful, but Klenau counterattacked and repulsed the French and then opposed staunch resistance to any further attacks. The outnumbered Masséna was forced to break off the combat and wait for his other three infantry divisions, knowing that Claude Carra Saint-Cyr's division would be able to rejoin him shortly, but that Gabriel Jean Joseph Molitor's and Jean Boudet's were much too far off to be of any assistance. [2] [4] [1]

Hollabrunn Place in Lower Austria, Austria

Hollabrunn is a district capital town in the Austrian state of Lower Austria, on the Göllersbach river.

Vienna Capital city and state in Austria

Vienna is the federal capital and largest city of Austria, and one of the 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.

Jacob François Marulaz French general

Jacob François Marulaz or Marola, born 6 November 1769, died 10 June 1842, joined the Army of the Kingdom of France as a cavalry trooper and rose to become a field officer during the French Revolutionary Wars. Under the First French Empire, he became a general officer and fought under Emperor Napoleon I of France in two notable campaigns.

Aftermath

Battle losses are unknown and, although an Austrian victory, the battle of Hollabrunn did allow Masséna to write to Napoleon and report that he was on the right track following the Austrians, whose main body was retreating along the river Thaya near Laa an der Thaya. Johann von Klenau would later be awarded the Military Order of Maria Theresa for his actions at the battle of Wagram and gallant rearguard actions after that battle. Meanwhile, Archduke Charles of Austria-Teschen regrouped a large force at Jetzelsdorf, on the Pulkau river, but he later evacuated this position, after receiving intelligence that a French force was approaching Znaim from the east. The next major combat would be the one at Znaim, where the Austrians demanded an armistice. [2] [4] [1]

Thaya river in Central Europe

The Thaya is a river in Central Europe, the longest tributary to the Morava River. It is 224 km (139 mi) long and meanders from west to east in the border area between Lower Austria (Austria) and South Moravia, though the frontier does not exactly follow the river's course in most parts. Its source is in two smaller rivers, namely the German Thaya and the Moravian Thaya, flowing together at Raabs.

Laa an der Thaya Place in Lower Austria, Austria

Laa an der Thaya is a town in the Mistelbach District of Lower Austria in Austria, near the Czech border. The population in 2016 was 6224.

Military Order of Maria Theresa order of the Austro-Hungarian Empire

The Military Order of Maria Theresa was the highest military honour of the Habsburg Monarchy, Austrian Empire and Austro-Hungarian Empire.

Bibliography

David Geoffrey Chandler was a British historian whose study focused on the Napoleonic era.

International Standard Book Number Unique numeric book identifier

The International Standard Book Number (ISBN) is a numeric commercial book identifier which is intended to be unique. Publishers purchase ISBNs from an affiliate of the International ISBN Agency.

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References

  1. 1 2 3 4 Pigeard, 386.
  2. 1 2 3 Rothenberg, 208.
  3. Rothenberg, 207-208.
  4. 1 2 3 Naulet, 76.

Coordinates: 48°34′N16°6′E / 48.567°N 16.100°E / 48.567; 16.100