Combat of Schöngrabern

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Combat of Schöngrabern
Part of the War of the Fifth Coalition
Date10 July 1809
Location Hollabrunn, present-day Austria, then Austrian Empire
Result French victory
Belligerents
Flag of France.svg French Empire Flag of the Habsburg Monarchy.svg Austrian Empire
Commanders and leaders
Flag of France.svg Claude Legrand Flag of the Habsburg Monarchy.svg Prince Heinrich XV of Reuss-Plauen
Strength
11,000 men
24 cannons
27,000 men (6,000 engaged)
32 cannons
Casualties and losses
unknown unknown

The Combat of Schöngrabern was a relatively minor rearguard action fought by Austrian V Korps and supporting elements of the Kaiserlich-königliche Hauptarmee under Prince Heinrich XV of Reuss-Plauen against elements of the French IV Corps of the Grande Armée d'Allemagne, under the command of Claude Legrand. [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 brief combat ended in favour of the French but Reuss did manage to delay the French sufficiently in order to prevent them from getting to the battle of Znaim on 10 July. [1]

Context and battle

Following Johann von Klenau's successful Austrian rearguard action at Hollabrunn the day before, Austrian Prince Reuss, commander of V Korps, to which several additional units were attached for a total of 27,000 men and 32 cannons, took position near Schöngrabern. Reuss's orders were to form a rearguard and delay the enemy before him, preventing them from arriving at Znaim, where the main Austrian force was massed and combat was set to begin. Opposite to Reuss lay the vanguard of the Marshal André Masséna's IV Corps, under the overall command of General Legrand. Legrand's command was 11,000 men and 24 cannons strong and included the 1st division of IV Corps and the Corps cavalry. Masséna's orders were to push on towards Haugsdorf and then head to Znaim where General Auguste de Marmont's XI Corps had made contact with the enemy's main force. [1] [2]

Johann von Klenau Austrian General of Cavalry in Napoleonic Wars

Johann von Klenau, also called Johann Josef Cajetan von Klenau und Janowitz, was a field marshal in the Habsburg army. Klenau, the son of a Bohemian noble, joined the Habsburg military as a teenager and fought in the War of Bavarian Succession against Prussia, Austria's wars with the Ottoman Empire, the French Revolutionary Wars, and the Napoleonic Wars, in which he commanded a corps in several important battles.

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.

Marshal of the Empire military rank

Marshal of the Empire was a civil dignity during the First French Empire. It was created by Sénatus-consulte on 18 May 1804 and to a large extent resurrected the formerly abolished title of Marshal of France. According to the Sénatus-consulte, a Marshal was a grand officer of the Empire, entitled to a high-standing position at the Court and to the presidency of an electoral college.

Masséna sent his cavalry, as well as Legrand's and Claude Carra Saint-Cyr's infantry divisions towards Haugsdorf, while leaving Jean Boudet's division at Stockerau and Gabriel Jean Joseph Molitor's division in between. Executing his orders, Legrand moved forward but, towards 09:00, encountered staunch opposition towards Schöngrabern, a village in front of which Reuss had left a rearguard of 6,000. It took Legrand some time before he was able to take the position, with the Austrians leading a superb fighting retreat. Losses following this battle are unknown but it is clear that Masséna's march to Znaim had been delayed, as towards 20:00, he had to stop at Jetzlsdorf, with the divisions of Legrand, Carra Saint-Cyr and his cavalry after these troops had been fighting and then marching all day. The delaying action at Schöngrabern meant that Masséna was only able to arrive to the battle of Znaim on 11 July. However, Reuss also had difficulties in containing Masséna and was himself only able to arrive at Znaim late on the evening of 10 July. Masséna and Reuss would face each other again on 11 July, at the battle of Znaim. [1] [2]

Claude Carra Saint-Cyr French general and diplomat

For the French milliner, see Claude Saint-Cyr

Jean Boudet soldier from France

Jean Boudet was a French général de division of the French Revolutionary Wars and the Napoleonic Wars. The campaigns in which he was involved include the Saint-Domingue expedition. He was made a grand officer of the Légion d'honneur on 2 June 1809 and a knight of the Order of the Iron Crown, as well as a Comte de l'Empire in 1808. His name is engraved on the 16th column of the east side of the Arc de Triomphe in Paris.

Stockerau Place in Lower Austria, Austria

Stockerau is a town in the district of Korneuburg in Lower Austria, Austria.

Bibliography

International Standard Book Number Unique numeric book identifier

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References

  1. 1 2 3 4 Pigeard, 781
  2. 1 2 Pigeard 967.