The Battles of Bergisel were four battles fought between the forces of Emperor Napoleon I of France and the Kingdom of Bavaria against Tyrolese militiamen and a contingent of Austrian regular soldiers at the Bergisel hill near Innsbruck. The battles, which occurred on 25 May, 29 May, 13 August, and 1 November 1809, were part of the Tyrolean Rebellion and the War of the Fifth Coalition.
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 (Princely) County of Tyrol was an estate of the Holy Roman Empire established about 1140. Originally a jurisdiction under the sovereignty of the Counts of Tyrol, it was inherited by the Counts of Gorizia in 1253 and finally fell to the Austrian House of Habsburg in 1363. In 1804 the Princely County of Tyrol, unified with the secularised Prince-Bishoprics of Trent and Brixen, became a crown land of the Austrian Empire in 1804 and from 1867 a Cisleithanian crown land of Austria-Hungary.
The Bergisel is a hill that lies to the south of Innsbruck, Austria, in the area of Wilten, where the Sill river meets the Inn Valley.
The Tyrolean forces, loyal to Austria, were led by Andreas Hofer, Josef Speckbacher, Peter Mayr, Capuchin Father Joachim Haspinger, and Major Martin Teimer. The Bavarians were led by French Marshal François Joseph Lefebvre, and Bavarian Generals Bernhard Erasmus von Deroy and Karl Philipp von Wrede. After being driven from Innsbruck at the start of the revolt, the Bavarians twice reoccupied the city and were chased out again. After the final battle in November, the rebellion was suppressed.
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.
Andreas Hofer was a Tyrolean innkeeper and drover, who in 1809 became the leader of the Tyrolean Rebellion against the revolutionary Napoleonic invasion during the War of the Fifth Coalition. He was subsequently captured and executed.
Josef Speckbacher was a leading figure in the rebellion of the Tyrol against Napoleon.
After his humiliating defeat of the Austrian Empire in the War of the Third Coalition, Napoleon transferred the County of Tyrol to Bavaria. When the new rulers imposed conscription and Bavarian legal codes on the territory, they flouted ancient Tyrolean social and religious rights.Before the outbreak of the War of the Fifth Coalition, Austrian agents circulated the Tyrol to take advantage of the existing tensions. When Archduke Charles, Duke of Teschen invaded Bavaria on 10 April 1809, the Tyrol exploded in revolt.
The War of the Third Coalition was a European conflict spanning the years 1803 to 1806. During the war, France and its client states under Napoleon I defeated an alliance, the Third Coalition, made up of the Holy Roman Empire, Russia, Britain and others.
The War of the Fifth Coalition was fought in 1809 by a coalition of the Austrian Empire and the United Kingdom against Napoleon's French Empire and Bavaria. Major engagements between France and Austria, the main participants, unfolded over much of Central Europe from April to July, with very high casualty rates for both sides. Britain, already involved on the European continent in the ongoing Peninsular War, sent another expedition, the Walcheren Campaign, to the Netherlands in order to relieve the Austrians, although this effort had little impact on the outcome of the conflict. After much campaigning in Bavaria and across the Danube valley, the war ended favourably for the French after the bloody struggle at Wagram in early July.
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.
The Tyrol 1809 Order of Battle lists the regular units and organizations of both armies.
On 11 April Hofer and 5,000 armed peasants scored a victory at Sterzing in the South Tyrol when they captured 420 Bavarians of the 4th Light Infantry Battalion.
Sterzing is a comune in South Tyrol in northern Italy. It is the main village of the southern Wipptal, and the Eisack River flows through the medieval town.
Under Teimer and other leaders, the Tyroleans irregulars won a brilliant initial success. Attacked incessantly for 48 hours, Lieutenant General Baron Kinkel surrendered his Innsbruck garrison of 3,860 Bavarian soldiers on 13 April.A body of 2,050 French conscripts under hard-drinking General of Division Baptiste Pierre Bisson unwittingly marched into the trap. After an ineffectual defense, the French also put up the white flag. The rebels seized five cannon, two mortars, considerable equipment, and many muskets. The captured material would keep the rebellion supplied with weapons for months.
Baptiste-Pierre-François Bisson joined the French army and rose rapidly in rank during the French Revolutionary Wars. He served as a division commander in the Grande Armée of Emperor Napoleon in 1805 and 1807, playing a leading role at the Battle of Friedland. He was captured by Tyrolean rebels in 1809. Known as a gourmand, he became very fat before dying prematurely. His surname is one of the Names inscribed under the Arc de Triomphe.
Soon reinforced by a regular Austrian division under Feldmarschallleutnant Johann Gabriel Chasteler de Courcelles, the Tyrolese posed a threat to the rear areas of Napoleon's armies in northern Italy and Bavaria. One column of irregulars stiffened by a few regulars under General-Major Franz Fenner raided the area of Lake Garda in Italy. In consequence, Viceroy of Italy Eugène de Beauharnais was forced to provide substantial Franco-Italian garrisons to guard the area.
In early May, Napoleon directed Marshal François Joseph Lefebvre and the VII Corps (made up of Bavarians) to move against the Tyrol.The Bavarian garrison of Kufstein Fortress was relieved on 11 May. Lefebvre routed Chasteler at the Battle of Wörgl on 13 May. After several more actions, Lefebvre occupied Innsbruck around 19 May.
On 25 May 1809, Lieutenant General Deroy's 3rd Bavarian Division clashed with the Tyrolese rebels at the Bergisel. Deroy committed 4,000 troops and 12 artillery pieces to the combat. Hofer commanded the rebel army and his lieutenants were Speckbacher, Teimer, Josef Eisenstecken, and Oberstleutnant Ertel. Hofer's army included 9,400 armed rebels and 900 Austrian regulars. The regulars included one battalion each of the 16th Lusignan Infantry Regiment and 45th De Vaux Infantry Regiment, two companies of the 9th Jäger battalion, a half-squadron of the 3rd O'Reilly Chevau-léger Regiment and five guns. The Bavarians lost 20 to 70 dead and 100 to 150 wounded, while inflicting losses of 50 dead and 30 wounded on the Tyrolese. Though historian Digby Smith labels the action a Bavarian victory, his narrative says the battle was a draw. He notes that the rebels, discouraged that more local people had not joined the revolt, retreated to the south.
The rebels returned on 29 May and subjected Deroy to a second attack, which he resisted with 5,240 troops organized in 12 battalions, eight squadrons, and 18 guns. The 13,600 Tyrolese irregulars were joined by 1,200 Austrian regulars and six pieces of artillery. The rebels included 35 North Tyrol and 61 South Tyrol schützen and landsturm companies. The Bavarians managed to hold their ground after suffering 87 dead, 156 wounded, and 53 missing. The rebels lost 90 dead and 160 wounded. [ unreliable source? ]The next day, low on ammunition and food, Deroy evacuated Innsbruck and retreated to Kufstein Fortress in the north.
After Napoleon's war-winning victory at the Battle of Wagram on 5 and 6 July,Lefebvre invaded the Tyrol again and Deroy won a minor action at the Lueg Pass on 24 July. However, the Tyrol responded to Hofer's call for another uprising. About 5,000 Tyrolese led by Haspinger and Speckbacher smashed French General Marie François Rouyer's 3,600 Confederation of the Rhine troops at Franzensfeste on 4 and 5 August. The Ducal Saxon Infantry Regiment was annihilated with 988 casualties, while the Bavarians lost an additional 100 men and two cannons. Tyrolean losses were trifling. The valley is still known as the Sachsenklemme (Saxon Trap). The next day, Lefebvre arrived with the 1st Bavarian Division, but he was also repulsed by the Tyrolese. On 8 and 9 August at Prutz, 920 Tyrolese led by Roman Burger routed Oberst Burscheidt's 2,000 soldiers of the 10th Bavarian Infantry and 2nd Dragoon Regiments, which belonged to Deroy's 3rd Division. The Tyrolese inflicted 200 killed and wounded on their enemies while capturing 1,200 men and two cannons. Rebel losses were only seven killed.
On 13 August, Hofer and 18,000 Tyrolese fought Deroy's division in the third battle of Bergisel. Four Bavarian battalions belonging to General Siebein's 2nd Brigade lost 200 dead and 250 wounded. The 70 companies of rebels lost 100 dead and 220 wounded. After taking hostages from leading local families, Lefebvre abandoned Innsbruck and the last occupation troops were gone from the Tyrol by 18 August.
Speckbacher and 2,000 irregulars attacked the Bavarian garrisons in the villages of Lofer, Luftenstein, Unken, and Mellek on 25 September. Of the 700 soldiers belonging to the Leib Infantry Regiment # 1, 50 were killed and wounded, 300 captured, and 100 missing. The troops were dispersed with only two companies in each village. The detachment in Mellek broke out and retreated north to Bad Reichenhall; the other garrisons were wiped out.On the same day Haspinger with 2,400 Tyrolese and four guns evicted General-Major Stengel's brigade from the Lueg Pass near Golling an der Salzach. The 3,500 Bavarians and three cannons retreated north to Salzburg. Lefebvre, with 2,000 of Stengel's troops attacked Hallein on 3 October. Haspinger's force, which had lingered in the town, was chased back into the mountains, leaving their six cannons behind.
At this time, Jean-Baptiste Drouet, Comte d'Erlon replaced Lefebvre in command of VII Corps and the third invasion of the Tyrol was launched. On 17 October, the 1st Bavarian Division led by General-Major Rechberg caught Speckbacher and his 2,000 men by surprise at Bodenbichl. The Tyrolese failed to properly picket their camp and the 3,000 Bavarians inflicted a serious defeat on the irregulars. Rebel losses were 300 dead and 400 captured, while the Bavarians admitted only seven casualties. For this action, Rechberg was awarded the Military Order of Max Joseph from his grateful sovereign.
The fourth battle of Bergisel took place on 1 November 1809. Lieutenant General Wrede's 2nd Bavarian Division defeated Hofer's and Haspinger's 70 companies of irregulars. The Bavarians committed 6,000 troops and 12 guns to the action and lost only one killed and 40 wounded. The 8,535 Tyrolese suffered 350 killed, wounded, and captured, and abandoned five cannons. The fourth battle and the disaster at Bodenbichl broke the back of the rebellion.
Hofer was betrayed to the French on 28 January 1810 and was shot on 20 February 1810 at Mantua in Italy.
The history of Tyrol, a historical region in the middle alpine area of Central Europe, dates back to early human settlements at the end of the last glacier period, around 12,000 BC. Sedentary settlements of farmers and herders can be traced back to 5000 BC. Many of the main and side valleys were settled during the early Bronze Age, from 1800 to 1300 BC. From these settlements, two prominent cultures emerged: the Laugen-Melaun culture in the Bronze Age, and the Fritzens-Sanzeno culture in the Iron Age.
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.
The Battle of Ebelsberg, known in French accounts as the Battle of Ebersberg, was fought on 3 May 1809 during the War of the Fifth Coalition, part of the Napoleonic Wars. The Austrian left wing under the command of Johann von Hiller took up positions at Ebersberg on the Traun river. The French under André Masséna attacked, crossing a heavily defended 550-meter-long bridge and subsequently conquering the local castle, thus forcing Hiller to withdraw. Ebelsberg is now a southern suburb of Linz, situated on the south bank of the Traun, a short distance above the place where that stream flows into the Danube River.
The Kaiserjäger, were formed in 1895 as four normal infantry regiments within the Common Army of Austria-Hungary. Despite the name "Tirol" in its title its members were not just recruited from the crown land of Tyrol but also from other parts of the monarchy. The regiments were disbanded in 1918 with the end of the k.u.k. monarchy. The word Jäger is a characteristic term used for light infantry or light infantrymen in German-speaking military context.
Baron Josef Philipp Vukassovich was a Croatian soldier who joined the army of Habsburg Monarchy and fought against both Ottoman Empire and the First French Republic. During the French Revolutionary Wars, he commanded a brigade in the 1796–1797 Italian campaign against Napoleon Bonaparte. He led a division during the Napoleonic Wars and received a fatal wound in action.
The Tyrolean Rebellion of 1809 was a rebellion of peasants in the County of Tyrol led by Andreas Hofer against the occupation of their homeland by the French and Bavarian troops within the context of the War of the Fifth Coalition against Napoleon I.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Bernhard Erasmus von Deroy from the Electorate of the Palatinate became a noted general officer in the army of Bavaria. His military career began shortly after the start of the Seven Years' War. During the French Revolutionary Wars he first served on the side of the Coalition against the French revolutionaries, then fought as an ally of the First French Empire during the Napoleonic Wars. Deroy and his colleague, Karl Philipp von Wrede, were dominant personalities in the Bavarian military during the era of Napoleon Bonaparte.
At the beginning of the War of the Fifth Coalition on 9 April 1809, the armies of the Austrian Empire invaded the Kingdom of Bavaria, an ally of the First French Empire, and the Kingdom of Italy, a French satellite. After Austria's defeat in the War of the Third Coalition the County of Tyrol and the Vorarlberg were ceded to Bavaria in the Fourth Peace of Pressburg on 26 December 1805. Angry at the imposition of Bavarian laws and conscription, the Tyrolese rebelled in support of Austria. During the first week, local irregular forces killed or captured the main Bavarian garrison and also forced a French force to capitulate.
Konstantin Ghilian Karl d'Aspré von Hoobreuk, served in the army of Habsburg Austria during the French Revolutionary Wars. In the Napoleonic Wars, he made a mark in two major campaigns. In 1809, he was briefly Proprietor (Inhaber) of an infantry regiment and rose to command a division. His son Konstantin d'Aspré (1789–1850) also became an Austrian general.
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.
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.
Andreas Hofer is a 1929 German silent historical film directed by Hans Prechtl and starring Fritz Greiner, Maly Delschaft and Carl de Vogt. It is based on the story of the Tyrolean innkeeper and patriot Andreas Hofer who led an Austrian uprising against Bavarian and French troops during the Napoleonic Wars.
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.