|Battle of Raab|
|Part of War of the Fifth Coalition|
|Commanders and leaders|
|Eugène de Beauharnais|| Archduke John |
|Casualties and losses|
|3,000–4,000 killed or wounded||10,300 killed, wounded, captured, or missing|
The Battle of Raab or Battle of Győr (Hungarian: Győri csata) 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.
Hungarian is a Finno-Ugric language spoken in Hungary and several neighbouring countries. It is the official language of Hungary and one of the 24 official languages of the European Union. Outside Hungary it is also spoken by communities of Hungarians in the countries that today make up Slovakia, western Ukraine (Subcarpathia), central and western Romania (Transylvania), northern Serbia (Vojvodina), northern Croatia, and northern Slovenia. It is also spoken by Hungarian diaspora communities worldwide, especially in North America and in Israel. Like Finnish and Estonian, Hungarian belongs to the Uralic language family. With 13 million speakers, it is its largest member in terms of speakers.
The Napoleonic Wars (1803–1815) were a series of major conflicts pitting the French Empire and its allies, led by Napoleon I, against a fluctuating array of European powers formed into various coalitions, financed and usually led by the United Kingdom. The wars stemmed from the unresolved disputes associated with the French Revolution and its resultant conflict. The wars are often categorised into five conflicts, each termed after the coalition that fought Napoleon: the Third Coalition (1805), the Fourth (1806–07), the Fifth (1809), the Sixth (1813), and the Seventh (1815).
Győr is the most important city of northwest Hungary, the capital of Győr-Moson-Sopron County and Western Transdanubia region, and — halfway between Budapest and Vienna — situated on one of the important roads of Central Europe. The city is the sixth-largest in Hungary, and one of the seven main regional centres of the country.
During the 1809 campaign in Italy, Viceroy Eugène de Beauharnais led the Franco-Italian army while General der Kavallerie Archduke John of Austria commanded the Austrian army. At the outbreak of war, John moved rapidly to defeat his opponent at the Battle of Sacile on 16 April. This victory drove Eugène back to the Adige River. The front remained static for a few weeks despite attacks by Eugène in the Battle of Caldiero. Meanwhile, an Austrian force bottled up the corps of General of Division Auguste Marmont in Dalmatia. After the Austrian defeat at the Battle of Eckmühl, John received orders to retreat in order to cover the strategic left flank of the army in southern Germany.
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.
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.
John fought Eugène in a tough rearguard action at the Battle of Piave River on 8 May. Up to this moment, John and his soldiers had fought well. Now, John probably committed a serious blunder by splitting up his command. With the main army he fell back to the northeast. By the second week of May, John and Feldmarschallleutnant Albert Gyulai stood at Tarvisio with 8,340 troops. Feldmarschallleutnant Johann Maria Philipp Frimont's 13,060-man Mobile Force lay at nearby Villach. Feldmarschallleutnant Ignaz Gyulai with 14,880 men of the IX Armeekorps defended the Ljubljana (Laibach) area to the southeast of Villach. Far to the west-northwest, Feldmarschallleutnant Johann Gabriel Chasteler de Courcelles and 17,460 soldiers of the VIII Armeekorps held the region around Innsbruck. Feldmarschallleutnant Franjo Jelačić and the 10,200-strong Northern Division was stationed at Salzburg to the northwest. Finally, General-major Andreas von Stoichewich's 8,100 men continued to pin Marmont in Dalmatia to the south of Ljubljana. By this time a large proportion of John's forces was made up of hastily raised landwehr infantry.
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.
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 13 May, Marshal François Joseph Lefebvre and a Bavarian army wrecked part of Chasteler's corps at the Battle of Wörgl near Innsbruck.On 17 May, John received orders to cut the communications of Emperor Napoleon's Grand Army by moving north. However, the archduke delayed too long in carrying out this assignment. Though badly isolated, Jelačić remained near Salzburg until 19 May. When he finally got moving it was too late. A French corps under General of Division Paul Grenier cut the Northern Division to pieces at the Battle of Sankt Michael on 25 May. John pulled back to Graz, but when he heard of Jelačić's disaster, he decided to retreat east into Hungary.
François Joseph Lefebvre, Duc de Dantzig, was a French military commander during the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars and one of the original eighteen Marshals of the Empire created by Napoleon.
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.
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.
During May, small Grenz infantry forces heroically defended the mountain passes during the Battle of Tarvis. At Malborghetto Valbruna, 400 soldiers held a blockhouse against 15,000 Frenchmen between 15 and 17 May and only 50 men survived. The French admitted only 80 casualties.At the Predil Pass blockhouse, 250 Austrians and 8 cannon held off 8,500 French soldiers for three days. On 18 May, when the position was finally overrun, the Grenzers were killed to a man. The French admitted suffering 450 casualties. At Tarvisio (Tarvis) itself, Eugène inflicted a serious defeat on Albert Gyulai's outnumbered division.
Grenz infantry or Grenzers were light infantry troops who came from the Military Frontier in the Habsburg Monarchy. This borderland formed a buffer zone between Christian Europe and the Ottoman Empire, and the troops were originally raised to defend Austria against the Ottoman Turks. When there was no danger of war against the Ottomans, the Grenzer regiments were employed by the Habsburgs in other theatres of war, although one battalion of each regiment would always remain guarding the border.
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.
Malborghetto Valbruna is a comune (municipality) in the Province of Udine in the Italian region Friuli-Venezia Giulia.
In mid-May, Marmont defeated Stoichewich's forces in the Dalmatian Campaign. He moved north in a fighting advance, arriving at Ljubljana on 3 June. Marmont then combined with General of Division Jean-Baptiste Broussier and fought Ignaz Gyulai's Austrians in the Battle of Graz from 24 to 26 June. His 11,000 XI Corps soldiers, plus Broussier, force-marched to join Napoleon near Vienna and fought at the Battle of Wagram.
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.
Jean-Baptiste Broussier was a French Divisional General of the French Revolutionary Wars and Napoleonic Wars.
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.
John joined with the Hungarian Insurrection forces (militia) at Győr (Raab). He intended to cross to the north bank of the Danube and move northwest through Bratislava (Pressburg) to unite with the main army, which was commanded by his brother Archduke Charles, Duke of Teschen, Generalissimo of the Austrian armies. Napoleon ordered Eugène to pursue and destroy John's army. The Franco-Italian troops caught up with the Austrians in mid-June and forced John to give battle.
Army of Italy: Prince Eugène de Beauharnais (39,902, 42 guns)
Though John's 35,000-man army was only a little less numerous than Eugène's 40,000 soldiers, the quality of his soldiers was markedly inferior. Many thousands of the Habsburg troops were poorly trained Austrian landwehr (19,000 men) and Hungarian insurrection militia (16,000 men).The archduke knew this and planned to fight a defensive battle in a strong position. Feldmarschall Archduke Joseph, Palatine of Hungary outranked John and was present on the field, but John exercised effective command of the army.
John drew up his army behind the Pándzsa stream, facing generally west. The Pándzsa ran roughly from south to north across his front, emptying into the Raab River to the north. In the vicinity of the battlefield, the Raab ran from west to east, protecting John's north flank. The fortress of Győr was on the south side of the river a short distance to the northeast. John hoped the marshy banks of the Páncza to the south would discourage a French envelopment from that direction. The enclosed and stoutly-built Kis-Megyer farm stood on the east bank of the Páncza. Just east of Kis-Megyer farm rose Szabadhegy hill. On the hill's north side lay Szabadhegy hamlet.
John deployed FML Mécsery's 5,947 cavalry to defend his left flank behind the Pándzsa. He turned Kis-Megyer into a major strongpoint by packing FML Colloredo's 7,778 infantry into the farm and its environs. Jelačić's 7,517 soldiers defended the right flank in front of Szabadhegy hamlet. FML Frimont's 7,863-man reserve stood on Szabadhegy hill. Oberst Bésán's 1,546 horsemen held the ground between Jelačić's right and the Raab River. FZM Davidovich held some field works on the north side of the river with about 4,000 Hungarian militia.
Eugène took MG Grouchy from his corps command and reassigned him to command the 5,371 troopers in the cavalry divisions of MG Montbrun, BG Guèrin, and BG Colbert. These were posted on the right (south) flank with the intention of turning John's left flank. Eugène ordered Grenier to assault the Austrian center with the 15,662 men of his two divisions. MG d'Hilliers was instructed to attack the Austrian right with his single division of 8,315 soldiers. Eugène held the troops from Grouchy's corps in reserve, MG Pacthod's 5,166-foot soldiers and MG Sahuc's 1,280 cavalry. He also kept back MG Pully's 1,470 dragoons and MG Lechi's 2,438 Italian Guards.
In the first rush, MG Durutte's troops stormed across the Pándzsa and seized Kis-Megyer farm, but the Austrians quickly took it back. In bitter fighting, the farm changed hands five times. Finally, John committed GM Kleinmeyer's powerful brigade. Four grenadier battalions and the soldiers of the Alvinczi Infantry Regiment # 19 pushed back MG Seras' troops, then fell upon Durutte's division near the farm. Meanwhile, MG Severoli's division pushed back Jelačić and took part of Szabadhegy hamlet. John sent GM Gajoli's brigade from the reserve to deal with this threat. The Austrian counterattack succeeded in panicking the soldiers of Grenier and d'Hilliers. They abandoned their gains and ran back to the west side of the Pándzsa and safety.
Deducing that the three Austrian cannon defended the best crossing point over the Pándzsa, Grouchy ordered up his 12 guns. French cannon fire soon silenced the opposing artillery pieces, allowing Grouchy's horsemen to begin fording the stream. When the French cavalry charged, covered by a cannonade, the Insurrections Hussars soon took flight. Only the Ott Hussar Regiment # 7 and the Archduke Joseph Hussar Regiment # 2 put up serious resistance and both units suffered heavy losses. Grouchy wheeled his troopers to the left to roll up John's left flank.
Faced with a crisis, John redeployed his units in an L-shaped line. His right flank still ran along the Pándzsa, but at Kis-Megyer farm, the line bent to face south along the Szabadhegy hill. John sent Bésán's horsemen from the right flank to cover the new left flank on the east side of Szabadhegy hill. For his second assault, Eugène sent in Pacthod's division and Lechi's Italian Guards from his reserve. The second infantry attack slowly made headway. Finally, the Italian Guard cleared Kis-Megyer farm. John, fearing envelopment from Grouchy's cavalry, ordered a retreat northeast into Győr fortress.
The Franco-Italians suffered 3,000–4,000 killed and wounded.The Austrian regulars and Landwehr lost 747 killed, 1,758 wounded, and 2,408 captured for a total of 4,913 casualties. There were also 1,322 soldiers reported missing, giving a total of 6,235 men subtracted from John's army. The insurrection troops lost in excess of 4,100, of which 80% were missing. Total Austrian losses came to 10,300. John's army retreated northeast to Komárno, leaving a garrison in Győr. The fortress surrendered on 22 June with 2,500 soldiers after a weak resistance.
One historian writes,
Archduke John now reaped the dubious fruits of his incredibly ill-advised policy of breaking up his army after the Battle of Piave River. This defeat foiled any hopes that Archduke John would be able to bring any significant forces to help in the epic struggle against Napoleon at Wagram on 5 and 6 July.
Eugène soon joined Napoleon with 23,000 soldiers.While these men fought at the Battle of Wagram, John was only able to bring 12,000 men to that field and he intervened too late to have any effect.
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 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.
Paul Grenier joined the French royal army and rapidly rose to general officer rank during the French Revolutionary Wars. He led a division in the 1796-1797 campaign in southern Germany. During the 1800 campaign in the Electorate of Bavaria he was a wing commander. Beginning in 1809, in the Napoleonic Wars, Emperor Napoleon I entrusted him with corps commands in the Italian theater. A skilled tactician, he was one of the veteran generals who made the Napoleonic armies such a formidable foe to the other European powers. After the Bourbon Restoration he retired from the army and later went into politics. Grenier is one of the Names inscribed under the Arc de Triomphe.
Baron Franjo Jelačić Bužimski was a Croatian nobleman, a member of the House of Jelačić. He began his service in the Habsburg army as a Grenz infantry officer and fought against the Ottoman Turks. During the French Revolutionary Wars he received promotion to the rank of general officer and won an outstanding victory at Feldkirch. His later career proved that his martial abilities were limited. He twice led independent division-sized forces in the Napoleonic Wars, with unhappy results. He was Proprietor (Inhaber) of an Austrian infantry regiment from 1802 until his death.
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 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.
Joseph-Armand Ritter von Nordmann, was a French officer in the French Royal Army. He transferred his allegiance to Habsburg Austria during the French Revolution, like other French émigrés. In Austrian service he fought capably against his former country during the French Revolutionary Wars and the Napoleonic Wars.
Count Albert Gyulay de Marosnémethi et Nádaska or Albert Gyulai von Máros-Németh und Nádaska, born 12 September 1766 – died 27 April 1835, a Hungarian, joined the army of Habsburg Austria and fought against Ottoman Turkey. He served against the First French Republic in the Flanders Campaign and on the Rhine. Severely wounded in 1799, he survived a trepanning operation and briefly retired from military service. He returned to active service and commanded an army corps during the War of the Fifth Coalition, part of the Napoleonic Wars. He led his troops in several important battles during the Austrian invasion of Italy in 1809, including one where he was in independent command. Though appointed to command troops in 1813 and 1815, he missed combat in both campaigns. He was Proprietor (Inhaber) of an Austrian infantry regiment from 1810 until his death. The more famous Ignác Gyulay, Ban of Croatia was his older brother.
Louis-Michel-Antoine Sahuc, born 7 January 1755 – died 24 October 1813, joined the French Royal Army and spent 20 years there before fighting in the French Revolutionary Wars. He rose to command a French cavalry regiment and later became a general officer. During the Napoleonic Wars he held important cavalry commands in three of Emperor Napoleon I of France's wars.
Peter, Freiherr von Vécsey or Peter Vécsey de Hernádvécse et Hajnácskeő was an Imperial Austrian military commander of Hungarian descent who took part in the French Revolutionary Wars and Napoleonic Wars. As a Freiherr (Baron), he was a member of the Austrian landless nobility. He make his mark while leading cavalry units and advanced in rank to become a general officer in 1808. He led an independent brigade during part of the 1809 campaign, and was mortally wounded while leading his troops in battle.
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.
Pierre François Joseph Durutte joined the French army at the beginning of the French Revolutionary Wars. Rapidly promoted for feats of bravery under fire at Jemappes in 1792 and Hondschoote in 1793, he found himself appointed to serve as a staff officer. He distinguished himself during the Anglo-Russian invasion of Holland in 1799 and received promotion to general officer. During the successful 1800 campaign he fought in Jean Victor Marie Moreau's army. Promoted again in 1803, his career then stalled because of his association with the banished Moreau and his unwillingness to see Napoleon Bonaparte as emperor.
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.
Charles Louis Dieudonné Grandjean became a French division commander and saw extensive service during the Napoleonic Wars. In 1792 he gave up his legal career to enlist in the infantry and served in the Army of the Rhine. In March 1799 he earned promotion to general of brigade by distinguished actions at Verona. That year he led an Army of Italy brigade at Magnano, the Trebbia, Novi and Genola. In 1800 he fought at Stockach and Hohenlinden. Grandjean was awarded the Commander's Cross of the Légion d'Honneur in 1804 and elevated in rank to general of division in 1805. During the War of the Fourth Coalition he led a division at Stralsund and Kolberg. Transferring to Spain he fought at the First and Second Sieges of Zaragoza in 1808–09. Later that year he led a division at the Battle of Wagram. Grandjean and his division participated in the 1812 French invasion of Russia after which they were besieged and captured at Danzig in 1813. He rallied to Napoleon during the Hundred Days and was placed on the inactive list. In 1821 he was elected to the Chamber of Deputies. His surname is one of the names inscribed under the Arc de Triomphe, on Column 16.