Battle of Neumarkt-Sankt Veit

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Battle of Neumarkt-Sankt Veit
Part of the War of the Fifth Coalition
Rott nahe Oberdietfurt.JPG
Rott River near Oberdietfurt, 10 km downstream. The Bavarians suffered heavy losses while retreating across the Rott.
Date24 April 1809
Result Austrian victory
Flag of the Habsburg Monarchy.svg Austrian Empire Flag of France.svg First French Empire
Flag of Bavaria (striped).svg Kingdom of Bavaria
Commanders and leaders
Flag of the Habsburg Monarchy.svg Johann von Hiller
Flag of the Habsburg Monarchy.svg Archduke Louis
Flag of the Habsburg Monarchy.svg Michael von Kienmayer
Flag of France.svg Jean Bessières
Flag of Bavaria (striped).svg Karl von Wrede
Flag of France.svg Gabriel Molitor
27,000 to 28,000 [1] Less than 20,661 [2]
Casualties and losses
800 [3] to 898 [4] 2,602 [3]

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.

France Republic with mainland in Europe and numerous oversea territories

France, officially the French Republic, is a sovereign state whose territory consists of metropolitan France in Western Europe and several overseas regions and territories. The metropolitan area of France extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, and from the Rhine to the Atlantic Ocean. It is bordered by Belgium, Luxembourg and Germany to the northeast, Switzerland and Italy to the east, and Andorra and Spain to the south. The overseas territories include French Guiana in South America and several islands in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans. The country's 18 integral regions span a combined area of 643,801 square kilometres (248,573 sq mi) and a total population of 67.0 million. France is a unitary semi-presidential republic with its capital in Paris, the country's largest city and main cultural and commercial centre. Other major urban areas include Lyon, Marseille, Toulouse, Bordeaux, Lille and Nice.

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.

Jean-Baptiste Bessières Marshal of France

Jean-Baptiste Bessières, 1st Duc d' Istria was a Marshal of France of the Napoleonic Era. His younger brother, Bertrand, followed in his footsteps and eventually became a divisional general. Their cousin, Géraud-Pierre-Henri-Julien, also served Napoleon I as a diplomat and Imperial official.


On 10 April 1809, Archduke Charles, Duke of Teschen's surprise invasion of the Kingdom of Bavaria put the Grande Armée of Emperor Napoleon I of France at a disadvantage. On 19 April, Charles failed to take advantage of his opportunities and Napoleon struck back with savage force against the Austrian left wing under Hiller. After battles on 20 and 21 April, Hiller's troops were driven into a headlong retreat to the southeast.

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.

Kingdom of Bavaria kingdom in Central Europe between 1806–1918, from January 1871 part of the German Empire

The Kingdom of Bavaria was a German state that succeeded the former Electorate of Bavaria in 1805 and continued to exist until 1918. The Bavarian Elector Maximilian IV Joseph of the House of Wittelsbach became the first King of Bavaria in 1805 as Maximilian I Joseph. The crown would go on being held by the Wittelsbachs until the kingdom came to an end in 1918. Most of Bavaria's present-day borders were established after 1814 with the Treaty of Paris, in which Bavaria ceded Tyrol and Vorarlberg to the Austrian Empire while receiving Aschaffenburg and Würzburg. With the unification of Germany into the German Empire in 1871, the kingdom became a federal state of the new Empire and was second in size, power, and wealth only to the leading state, the Kingdom of Prussia. In 1918, Bavaria became a republic, and the kingdom was thus succeeded by the current Free State of Bavaria.

The Grande Armée was the army commanded by Napoleon I during the Napoleonic Wars. From 1805 to 1809, the Grande Armée scored a series of historic victories that gave the French Empire an unprecedented grip on power over the European continent. Widely acknowledged to be one of the greatest fighting forces ever assembled, it suffered terrible losses during the French invasion of Russia in 1812 and never recovered its tactical superiority after that campaign.

Having temporarily disposed of Hiller, Napoleon turned north with his main army against Archduke Charles. On 22 and 23 April, the Franco-Germans defeated Charles' army and forced it to withdraw to the north bank of the Danube. Meanwhile, Napoleon sent Bessières to pursue the Austrian left wing with minor forces. Not knowing that Charles had been defeated, Hiller turned back upon his pursuer, defeating Bessières near Neumarkt-Sankt Veit. Once he found that he was alone on the south bank facing Napoleon's main army, Hiller retreated rapidly to the east in the direction of Vienna.

Danube River in Central Europe

The Danube is Europe's second longest river, after the Volga. It is located in Central and Eastern Europe.

Vienna Capital city and state of 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 Czechia, 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.


On 10 April 1809, Archduke Charles invaded the Kingdom of Bavaria with 209,000 Austrian soldiers and 500 artillery pieces. [5] A set of orders from Emperor Napoleon in Paris was transmitted poorly and misunderstood by Marshal Louis Alexandre Berthier. By the time Napoleon arrived at the front on the 17th, his Franco-German army invited defeat in detail. [6] On the morning of the 19th, Charles gained a position in which he might have severely punished Marshal Louis Davout's isolated III Corps. Instead, Davout escaped defeat in the hard-fought Battle of Teugen-Hausen. [7]

Paris Capital city of France

Paris is the capital and most populous city of France, with an area of 105 square kilometres and an official estimated population of 2,140,526 residents as of 1 January 2019. Since the 17th century, Paris has been one of Europe's major centres of finance, diplomacy, commerce, fashion, science, as well as the arts. The City of Paris is the centre and seat of government of the Île-de-France, or Paris Region, which has an estimated official 2019 population of 12,213,364, or about 18 percent of the population of France. The Paris Region had a GDP of €709 billion in 2017. According to the Economist Intelligence Unit Worldwide Cost of Living Survey in 2018, Paris was the second most expensive city in the world, after Singapore, and ahead of Zurich, Hong Kong, Oslo and Geneva. Another source ranked Paris as most expensive, on a par with Singapore and Hong Kong, in 2018. The city is a major railway, highway, and air-transport hub served by two international airports: Paris-Charles de Gaulle and Paris-Orly. Opened in 1900, the city's subway system, the Paris Métro, serves 5.23 million passengers daily, and is the second busiest metro system in Europe after Moscow Metro. Gare du Nord is the 24th busiest railway station in the world, but the first located outside Japan, with 262 million passengers in 2015.

Battle of Teugen-Hausen 1809 battle in the Napoleonic wars between the French and the Austrians

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.

On 20 April, the Austrian left wing was strung-out on a 13 kilometer front behind the Abens River from Mainburg in the south to Biburg in the north. The left wing consisted of the V Armeekorps under Feldmarschall-Leutnant Archduke Louis of Austria, the VI Armeekorps led by Feldmarschall-Leutnant Hiller, the small II Reserve Armeekorps commanded by Feldmarschall-Leutnant Michael von Kienmayer, and a detachment from the III Armeekorps. [8] In total, there were about 42,000 Austrians. Napoleon launched 55,000 troops at his enemies in the Battle of Abensberg, inflicting 6,710 casualties, and forcing them to retreat. [9] In command of the left wing since his arrival that morning, [10] Hiller elected to continue withdrawing southeast toward Landshut, thus separating Hiller's three corps from Archduke Charles' main body near Regensburg. [11]

Abens river in Germany

The Abens is a river in Bavaria, Germany, and a right-bank tributary of the Danube. Its source is near Au in der Hallertau. Some 71 kilometres (44 mi) long, it flows generally northward through the small towns of Au in der Hallertau, Rudelzhausen, Mainburg, Siegenburg, and Abensberg. It empties into the Danube at Eining, part of Neustadt an der Donau.

Mainburg Place in Bavaria, Germany

Mainburg is a town in the district of Kelheim, in Bavaria, Germany. It is situated on the river Abens, 30 km northwest of Landshut and 30 km southeast of Ingolstadt.

Biburg Place in Bavaria, Germany

Biburg is a municipality in the district of Kelheim in Bavaria in Germany.

Napoleon beat Hiller again in the Battle of Landshut on 21 April, seizing a crossing over the Isar River and driving the Austrians farther to the southeast. Until 2:30 am on 22 April, Napoleon mistakenly believed that Hiller's three corps represented the main Austrian army. When he realized his error, he sent most of his troops marching north to crush Archduke Charles. [12] On 22 April, the Franco-Germans defeated Charles at the Battle of Eckmühl and forced him to withdraw through Regensburg to the north bank of the Danube the following day. [13] Napoleon instructed Bessières to pursue Hiller and placed him in charge of one reinforced cavalry division and two infantry divisions. [14]

Battle of Landshut (1809) battle

The Battle of Landshut took place on 21 April 1809 between the French, Württembergers and Bavarians under Napoleon which numbered about 77,000 strong, and 36,000 Austrians under the General Johann von Hiller. The Austrians, though outnumbered, fought hard until Napoleon arrived, when the battle subsequently became a clear French victory.

Isar river in Tyrol, Austria and Bavaria, Germany

The Isar is a river in Tyrol, Austria and Bavaria, Germany. Its source is in the Karwendel range of the Alps in Tyrol; it enters Germany near Mittenwald, and flows through Bad Tölz, Munich, and Landshut before reaching the Danube near Deggendorf. At 295 km (183 mi) in length, it is the fourth largest river in Bavaria, after the Danube, Inn, and Main. It is Germany's second most important tributary of the Danube after the Inn.

Battle of Eckmühl battle

The Battle of Eckmühl fought on 21 April – 22 April 1809, was the turning point of the 1809 Campaign, also known as the War of the Fifth Coalition. Napoleon I had been unprepared for the start of hostilities on 10 April 1809, by the Austrians under the Archduke Charles of Austria and for the first time since assuming the French Imperial Crown had been forced to cede the strategic initiative to an opponent. Thanks to the dogged defense waged by the III Corps, commanded by Marshal Davout, and the Bavarian VII Corps, commanded by Marshal Lefebvre, Napoleon was able to defeat the principal Austrian army and wrest the strategic initiative for the remainder of the war.

The bulk of Hiller's force, numbering 27,000 to 28,000 troops, [1] lay near Mühldorf and Neuötting on the Inn River at noon on 23 April. A 10,000-strong division under Feldmarschall-Leutnant Franz Jellacic held Munich. Feldmarschall-Leutnant Dedovich's brigade from the IV Armeekorps, which had been blockading Passau, was assigned to Hiller's command and moved to Braunau am Inn. Hiller noticed that the French pursuit had slackened on the 22nd and 23rd and decided to counterattack. A letter from Emperor Francis I urging him to help defend Archduke Charles' south flank strengthened the left wing commander's resolve. Neither the emperor nor Hiller realized that Charles had withdrawn to the north bank of the Danube. [15]


Battle of Neumarkt-Sankt Veit, 24 April 1809 Battle of Neumarkt-Sankt Veit.JPG
Battle of Neumarkt-Sankt Veit, 24 April 1809

On the night of 22 April, Napoleon instructed Bessières to advance with Lieutenant General Karl Philipp von Wrede's Bavarian division from the VII Corps, General of Division Gabriel Jean Joseph Molitor's French infantry division from the IV Corps, and General of Brigade Jacob François Marulaz's IV Corps cavalry division. The emperor planned for the pursuit to cross the Inn and capture Braunau am Inn. [16] On the 24th, Napoleon ordered Marshal François Joseph Lefebvre, the commander of VII Corps, to take the division of Lieutenant General the Crown Prince of Bavaria to recapture Munich from Jellacic. If necessary, he could call on Lieutenant General Deroy's Bavarian division also. [15] Bessières, with Wrede's division, reached Neumarkt-Sankt Veit on 22 April. From there he sent Marulaz to probe toward the Inn River. [17]

Late on 23 April, Hiller recrossed the Inn at Mühldorf and ordered Jellacic to advance from Munich toward Landshut. That day, Marulaz's advance guard marched southeast toward the Inn. A short distance north of Mühldorf at the village of Erharting, the 3rd Chasseurs à Cheval Regiment collided with Hiller's advance elements. The French horsemen were quickly driven back on two supporting units, the 19th Chasseurs à Cheval and an infantry battalion. Marulaz pulled back in the direction of Neumarkt-Sankt Veit. [17]

On the morning of 24 April, Hiller advanced in three columns. His right column of 12 infantry battalions and nine cavalry squadrons attacked Wrede at 8:00 am. The Bavarian general held high ground to the southeast of Neumarkt with 10 battalions and eight squadrons. On the far right, an advance guard under Joseph Radetzky von Radetz felt its way to the north toward Landau an der Isar. Hiller's center column struck Marulaz's position and drove the cavalry back. [17] In addition to his own division, Marulaz had General of Brigade Charles Claude Jacquinot's light cavalry brigade from the III Corps attached. [14]

In the face of Austrian assaults, Wrede held his ground until noon. Seeing that the opposing flanking columns threatened to envelop his Bavarians, Bessières ordered a retreat about 1:00 pm. By this time, Molitor had arrived from Vilsbiburg and sent two regiments to cover Wrede's retreat while holding his other two regiments in reserve. Nevertheless, the Austrians continued to press the Bavarians hard and captured Neumarkt at about 3:00 pm. Wrede's soldiers suffered significant losses as they struggled across the Rott River. Once his enemies got across the Rott, which runs eastward into the Inn near Schärding, Hiller called off the battle. Bessières conducted an orderly retreat to Vilsbiburg. [4]


Francis Loraine Petre gives Austrian casualties as 776 killed and wounded, plus 122 captured. He writes that Wrede lost 586 killed and wounded. [4] Digby Smith lists 1,692 Bavarians killed and wounded, plus another 910 missing or captured. Smith notes that the Austrians lost 800 casualties. [3] To Smith's total must be added Bessières' reported losses of 200 among the cavalry. On the night of 24 April, Hiller got word of the defeat of Archduke Charles and immediately pulled back to Neuötting. [4]

Jellacic was unable to carry out his orders to threaten Landshut. He found out about Archduke Charles' defeat and evacuated Munich on the evening of the 23rd. When Jellacic got Hiller's orders of the 23rd, he tried to reoccupy Munich. Before he reached the Bavarian capital, he received new orders from Hiller instructing him to retreat to Salzburg. [18] Eventually, General of Division Paul Grenier's corps from the Army of Italy crushed Jellacic's wandering division on 25 May at the Battle of Sankt Michael in Styria. [19]

When Napoleon received news of the Battle of Neumarkt, he sent Marshal Jean Lannes with a corps of 25,000 to support Bessières. By this time Hiller was in full retreat to the east. [18] The French emperor directed André Masséna and the IV Corps to take the road to Passau, while Bessières and Lannes (who now led the II Corps) took a route farther south. [20] The next major action was the Battle of Ebelsberg on 3 May. [21]

Order of battle

Austrian forces

Johann von Hiller Johann Freiherr von Hiller.JPG
Johann von Hiller

Returns from 20 March 1809, less detachments
Left Wing: Feldmarschall-Leutnant Johann von Hiller

Archduke Louis LudwigLitho.jpg
Archduke Louis
Michael Kienmayer Michael von Kienmayer.jpg
Michael Kienmayer


French-Allied forces

Jean-Baptiste Bessieres Jeanbabtistebessieres.JPG
Jean-Baptiste Bessières

Returns from 16 April 1809
Provisional Corps: Marshal Jean-Baptiste Bessières

Gabriel Molitor General Gabriel Jean Joseph Molitor.jpg
Gabriel Molitor


  1. 1 2 Petre, p 154
  2. Bowden & Tarbox, pp 59-61. Add strengths of Jacquinot, Molitor, Marulaz, and Wrede. Casualties unknown for 1923 April.
  3. 1 2 3 Smith, pp 293-294
  4. 1 2 3 4 Petre, p 219
  5. Epstein, p 54
  6. Epstein, p 58
  7. Arnold, pp 92-93
  8. Arnold, pp 106-107
  9. Petre, p 139
  10. Petre, p 137
  11. Epstein, p 63
  12. Chandler, pp 689-690
  13. Epstein, p 69
  14. 1 2 Esposito & Elting, map 99
  15. 1 2 Petre, p 217
  16. Petre, p 187
  17. 1 2 3 Petre, p 218
  18. 1 2 Petre, p 220
  19. Petre, p 303
  20. Epstein, p 100
  21. Smith, p 298
  22. Bowden & Tarbox, pp 70-71. Less Jellacic's detachment.
  23. 1 2 Arnold, p 260. Jellacic had exchanged Hoffmeister's brigade for Dollmayer's at the beginning of the war.
  24. Petre, p 103. These units joined Hiller at Moosburg on 18 April. They belonged to Dollmayer's brigade, but since Dollmayer was at Munich, they never joined it.
  25. Bowden & Tarbox, pp 69-70
  26. Petre, p 102
  27. Bowden & Tarbox, p 72. Order of battle.
  28. Arnold, p 175
  29. Bowden & Tarbox, p 60. Includes three staff members.
  30. Bowden & Tarbox, p 59
  31. Bowden & Tarbox, p 61. Includes 250 headquarters guards
  32. Bowden & Tarbox, p 60. Includes 16 staff members.

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Coordinates: 48°22′N12°30′E / 48.367°N 12.500°E / 48.367; 12.500