Battle of Aspern-Essling
In the Battle of Aspern-Essling, Napoleon attempted a forced crossing of the Danube near Vienna, but the French and their allies were driven back by the Austrians under Archduke Charles. The battle was the first time Napoleon had been defeated in over a decade. However, Archduke Charles failed to secure a victory as Napoleon was able to successfully withdraw most of his forces. The French wanted to cross the Danube, a first crossing attempt on the Schwarze Lackenau on 13 May was repulsed with some 700 French losses. Lobau, one of the islands that divided the river into minor channels, was selected as the next point of crossing. Careful preparations were made, and on the night of 19–20 May the French bridged all the channels on the bank to Lobau. By the evening of the 20th many men had collected there. Massénas corps at once crossed to the bank and dislodged the Austrian outposts. The Archduke did not resist the passage and it was his intention, as soon as a large enough force had crossed, to attack it before the rest of the French army could come to its assistance.
Napoleon had accepted the risk of such an attack, but he sought at the time to minimize it by summoning every available battalion to the scene. His forces on the Marchfeld were drawn up in front of the bridges facing north, with their left in the village of Aspern and their right in Essling. Both places lay close to the Danube and could not therefore be turned, the French had to fill the gap between the villages, and move forward to give room for the supporting units to form up. Prince Johann of Liechtensteins Austrian reserve cavalry was in the center, during the 21st the bridges became more and more unsafe, owing to the violence of the current, but the French crossed without intermission all day and during the night. Kaiserlich-Königliche Hauptarmee, under the command of Charles of Austria, 3rd Column, Vanguard, notitz 3rd Column, Hohenzollern-Hechingen, Advance Guard Div. Brady Div. Dedovich 5th Column, Rosenberg/Hohenlohe, Rohan Div,3, Arrighi II Corps, Lannes †, Div. Saint-Hilaire † Div.
of reserve, Demont IV Corps, Masséna, lasalle Cavalry Reserve Corps, Bessières, Div. The French infantry fought with the old stubborn bravery which it had failed to show in the battles of the year. The three Austrian columns were unable to more than half the village
Austria, officially the Republic of Austria, is a federal republic and a landlocked country of over 8.7 million people in Central Europe. It is bordered by the Czech Republic and Germany to the north and Slovakia to the east and Italy to the south, the territory of Austria covers 83,879 km2. The terrain is mountainous, lying within the Alps, only 32% of the country is below 500 m. The majority of the population speaks local Bavarian dialects of German as their native language, other local official languages are Hungarian, Burgenland Croatian, and Slovene. The origins of modern-day Austria date back to the time of the Habsburg dynasty, from the time of the Reformation, many northern German princes, resenting the authority of the Emperor, used Protestantism as a flag of rebellion. Following Napoleons defeat, Prussia emerged as Austrias chief competitor for rule of a greater Germany, Austrias defeat by Prussia at the Battle of Königgrätz, during the Austro-Prussian War of 1866, cleared the way for Prussia to assert control over the rest of Germany.
In 1867, the empire was reformed into Austria-Hungary, Austria was thus the first to go to war in the July Crisis, which would ultimately escalate into World War I. The First Austrian Republic was established in 1919, in 1938 Nazi Germany annexed Austria in the Anschluss. This lasted until the end of World War II in 1945, after which Germany was occupied by the Allies, in 1955, the Austrian State Treaty re-established Austria as a sovereign state, ending the occupation. In the same year, the Austrian Parliament created the Declaration of Neutrality which declared that the Second Austrian Republic would become permanently neutral, Austria is a parliamentary representative democracy comprising nine federal states. The capital and largest city, with a population exceeding 1.7 million, is Vienna, other major urban areas of Austria include Graz, Linz and Innsbruck. Austria is one of the richest countries in the world, with a nominal per capita GDP of $43,724, the country has developed a high standard of living and in 2014 was ranked 21st in the world for its Human Development Index.
Austria has been a member of the United Nations since 1955, joined the European Union in 1995, Austria signed the Schengen Agreement in 1995, and adopted the euro currency in 1999. The German name for Austria, Österreich, meant eastern realm in Old High German, and is cognate with the word Ostarrîchi and this word is probably a translation of Medieval Latin Marchia orientalis into a local dialect. Austria was a prefecture of Bavaria created in 976, the word Austria is a Latinisation of the German name and was first recorded in the 12th century. Accordingly, Norig would essentially mean the same as Ostarrîchi and Österreich, the Celtic name was eventually Latinised to Noricum after the Romans conquered the area that encloses most of modern-day Austria, around 15 BC. Noricum became a Roman province in the mid-first century AD, heers hypothesis is not accepted by linguists. Settled in ancient times, the Central European land that is now Austria was occupied in pre-Roman times by various Celtic tribes, the Celtic kingdom of Noricum was claimed by the Roman Empire and made a province
The Austrian Empire was an empire in Central Europe created out of the realms of the Habsburgs by proclamation in 1804. It was an empire and one of Europes great powers. Geographically it was the second largest country in Europe after the Russian Empire and it was the third most populous after Russia and France, as well as the largest and strongest country in the German Confederation. Proclaimed in response to the First French Empire, it overlapped with the Holy Roman Empire until the dissolution in 1806. The Ausgleich of 1867 elevated Hungarys status and it became a separate entity from the Empire entirely, joining with it in the dual monarchy of Austria-Hungary. Changes shaping the nature of the Holy Roman Empire took place during conferences in Rastatt, on 24 March 1803, the Imperial Recess was declared, which reduced the number of ecclesiastical states from 81 to only 3 and the free imperial cities from 51 to 6. This measure was aimed at replacing the old constitution of the Holy Roman Empire, taking this significant change into consideration, the German Emperor Francis II created the title Emperor of Austria, for himself and his successors.
In 1804 the Holy Roman Emperor Francis II, who was ruler of the lands of the Habsburg Monarchy, founded the Empire of Austria. In doing so he created a formal overarching structure for the Habsburg Monarchy, to safeguard his dynastys imperial status he adopted the additional hereditary title of Emperor of Austria. Hungarys affairs remained administered by its own institutions as they had been beforehand, thus under the new arrangements no Imperial institutions were involved in its internal government. The fall and dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire was accelerated by French intervention in the Empire in September 1805, on 20 October 1805, an Austrian army led by general Karl Mack von Leiberich was defeated by French armies near the town of Ulm. The French victory resulted in the capture of 20,000 Austrian soldiers, Napoleons army won another victory at Austerlitz on 2 December 1805. Francis was forced into negotiations with the French from 4 to 6 December 1805, the French victories encouraged rulers of certain imperial territories to assert their formal independence from the Empire.
On 10 December 1805, the prince-elector Duke of Bavaria proclaimed himself King, finally, on 12 December, the Margrave of Baden was given the title of Grand Duke. In addition, each of these new countries signed a treaty with France, the Treaty of Pressburg between France and Austria, signed in Pressburg on 26 December, enlarged the territory of Napoleons German allies at the expense of defeated Austria. Certain Austrian holdings in Germany were passed to French allies—the King of Bavaria, the King of Württemberg, Austrian claims on those German states were renounced without exception. On 12 July 1806, the Confederation of the Rhine was established, comprising 16 sovereigns and this confederation, under French influence, put an end to the Holy Roman Empire. On 6 August 1806, even Francis recognized the new state of things and proclaimed the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire, as he did not want Napoleon to succeed him
Battle of Graz
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, before the Battle of Raab on 14 June, the Franco-Italian army left Broussiers division in its rear to besiege an Austrian garrison in the Graz citadel. When Gyulais force appeared before the town in late June, Broussier retreated, on the night of 25 June, Broussier sent two unsupported battalions of the 84th Line Infantry Regiment against the town. Surrounded by a superior force of Austrians, the French stubbornly defended their position until the next afternoon. The 84th was soon joined by Auguste Marmonts newly arrived French corps, Marmont attacked and forced Gyulai to retreat from Graz.
The castle hill, remained in possession of its Austrian garrison, shortly afterward, Emperor Napoleon I summoned both Marmont and Broussier to march to Vienna, where both participated in the climactic Battle of Wagram on 5 and 6 July. In recognition of its action, the 84th was allowed to inscribe UN CONTRE DIX on its colors. On 8 May 1809, the Viceroy of Italy, Eugène de Beauharnais and his Franco-Italian army defeated General der Kavallerie Archduke John of Austria at the Battle of Piave River, after the battle, John made the decision to split his army into two parts. He took the troops of Feldmarschall-Leutnants Albert Gyulai and Johann Frimont northeast to Villach and sent Ignaz Gyulai and this dispersal of the available Austrian military units made Eugènes subsequent invasion of Inner Austria considerably easier. Johns purpose in sending Ignaz Gyulai to Carniola was to raise the Croatian Feudal Ban, on 15 May, the troops reporting to Archduke John were distributed as follows. On the right flank, General of Division Jacques MacDonald led two divisions and General of Division Charles Randon de Pullys cavalry, altogether 14,000 troops.
General of Division Jean-Baptiste Rusca commanded a guard that marched on Eugènes left. Eugène captured two forts and defeated Albert Gyulai at the Battle of Tarvis from 15 to 18 May. Archduke John retreated from Villach toward Graz, where he arrived on 24 May, the next day, Greniers two divisions crushed Feldmarschall-Leutnant Franz Jellacics division in the Battle of Sankt Michael. Only 2,000 of Jellacics troops managed to join John at Graz, the rest were killed or captured. On 26 May, Eugène reached Bruck an der Mur and established contact with Napoleons main army which had occupied Vienna on 13 May, MacDonald occupied Ljubljana on 23 May, capturing 7,000 muskets,71 artillery pieces, and large supplies of food and munitions. Another French column occupied Trieste, seizing 22,000 British-supplied muskets intended for the use of the Hungarian and Croatian militia, ordered to move closer to Eugène, MacDonald marched northeast to Maribor where he met Grouchy and a cavalry-infantry force
Battle of Caldiero (1809)
The outnumbered Austrians successfully fended off the attacks of their enemies in actions at San Bonifacio and Castelcerino before retreating to the east. The clash occurred during the War of the Fifth Coalition, part of the Napoleonic Wars, in the opening engagements of the war, Archduke John defeated the Franco-Italian army and drove it back to the Adige River at Verona. Forced to detach forces to watch Venice and other enemy-held fortresses. Eugène probed at San Bonifacio on the 27th, on 29 April, he ordered part of his troops to make a holding attack against Soave while he sent an Italian force to seize the high ground on the Austrian right flank. On the 30th, the Austrians recaptured Castelcerino, which was lost the previous day, while this action was being fought, Johns army began its retreat to the Brenta River at Bassano. Caldiero is located 15 kilometres east of Verona, the towns of Soave and San Bonifacio lie along the Autostrada A4 about 25 kilometres east of Verona. Castelcerino is a village in the hills about 4.5 kilometres north of Soave.
See Sacile 1809 Order of Battle for a list of units, the VIII Armeekorps massed at Villach in Carinthia and the IX Armeekorps concentrated to the south at Ljubljana in Carniola, in modern-day Slovenia. General-major Andreas von Stoichevich was detached with 10,000 troops to observe General of Division Auguste Marmonts XI Corps in Dalmatia, a force of 26,000 Landwehr manned garrisons and defended Inner Austria. John wanted the VIII Armeekorps to march southwest from Villach while the IX Armeekorps moved northwest from Laibach, the two forces would join near Cividale del Friuli. At the start of the war, the Tyrolese people rose in revolt, under leaders such as Andreas Hofer they started attacking the Bavarian garrisons. Hoping to aid the rebellion, Austrian commander-in-chief Archduke Charles, Duke of Teschen ordered John to detach Chasteler and 10,000 Austrian troops to assist the Tyrolese, chastelers replacement as the commander of the shrunken VIII Armeekorps was Albert Gyulai, Ignaz Gyulais brother.
Suspecting that Austria planned to initiate a war, Napoleon built up the French part of the Army of Italy to six infantry, actually, a good many of the so-called French soldiers were Italians, because Napoleon had annexed parts of northwest Italy to the First French Empire. In addition, Eugène assembled three Italian infantry divisions so that the Franco-Italian army numbered 70,000 troops, the army was dispersed across northern Italy. Eugène never led large formations into battle, yet Napoleon appointed him commander of the Army of Italy, to prepare his stepson Eugène for the role, the emperor wrote him many detailed letters advising him how to defend Italy. He urged Eugène to fall back from the Isonzo River line to the Piave River if the Austrians invaded in strength, Napoleon made the point that the Adige River was an extremely important strategic position. He did not believe Austria was going to attack in April, Eugènes army remained somewhat dispersed. On 10 April 1809, the Austrian VIII Armeekorps advanced from Tarvisio while the IX Armeekorps crossed the Isonzo River near Cividale, by the 12th they joined near Udine and pushed to the west
Battle of Abensberg
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, after Marshal Louis-Nicolas Davouts hard-fought victory at Battle of Teugen-Hausen the previous day, Napoleon determined to break through the Austrian defenses behind the Abens River. The emperor assembled a provisional corps consisting of part of Davouts corps plus cavalry, Napoleon directed his German allies from the Kingdom of Bavaria and the Kingdom of Württemberg to attack across the Abens from the west, while Lannes thrust from the north toward Rohr. While the Austrians initially held the line, Lannes strike force crashed through Louis defenses farther east. On the left, the Austrians managed to conduct a capable rear guard action, the day ended with the Austrians barely holding onto a line behind the Große Laber River.
The next day, Hiller withdrew to Landshut, separating the left wing from the army under Generalissimo Archduke Charles. The French surrender of Regensburg on 20 April allowed Charles army a retreat route to the bank of the Danube. The Battle of Landshut was fought on 21 April, Archduke Charles stole a march on Napoleon when his army invaded the Kingdom of Bavaria on 10 April 1809. Even though the Austrian army took six days to march from the Inn River at the frontier to the Isar River. Napoleons deputy commander, Marshal Louis Alexandre Berthier mismanaged the Grande Armées concentration, the central mass of Archduke Charles 209, 600-man host crossed the Isar at Landshut on 16 April, but the next day Emperor Napoleon arrived at the front from Paris. On 19 April, Charles realized he had an opportunity to destroy Davout and he launched 65,000 troops in three powerful columns northwest as Davout attempted a flank march across his front. Luckily for the French, General of Cavalry Johann I Joseph, both sides fed in reinforcements as the infantry battled over a pair of parallel ridges in the Battle of Teugen-Hausen.
Ultimately, Davout brought superior forces to bear in the late afternoon and that night, Charles ordered Hohenzollern to withdraw a little to the east, closer to his main body. On the morning of 19 April, Archduke Charles requested that Hohenzollern provide a link between the III and V Armeekorps, the III Armeekorps commander detached General-Major Ludwig Thierrys 6, 000-man infantry brigade to his left. While the Battle of Teugen-Hausen raged, Thierry clashed with Bavarian troops near Arnhofen, on 20 April, Archduke Charles main body consisted of the III, IV, and I Reserve Armeekorps. These were arrayed near Dünzling and Eckmühl, feldzeugmeister Johann Kollowrats II Armeekorps spent 19 April attacking Regensburg from north of the Danube. While successfully defending the city, Colonel Louis Coutards 2, 000-man 65th Line Infantry Regiment ran dangerously low on small-arms ammunition, General of Cavalry Count Heinrich von Bellegardes I Armeekorps remained north of the Danube
Dalmatian Campaign (1809)
The Dalmatian Campaign saw several battles fought between 30 April and 21 May 1809 by Auguste Marmonts First French Empire soldiers and Andreas von Stoichevichs 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, the campaign was fought during the War of the Fifth Coalition, part of the Napoleonic Wars. Dalmatia is part of the nation of Croatia. At the beginning of the conflict, the Austrians thrust across the Zrmanja, after the Austrian defeat and subsequent retreat from Italy of the army of Archduke John of Austria, Marmont launched his own offensive. The French beat the Austrians at Pribudić, capturing Stoichevich, two more actions were fought at Gračac on 17 May and Gospić on 21 May before Marmont reached Ljubljana in Carniola. Continuing north, the French general fought in the Battle of Graz on 25 and 26 June, in addition, General of Division Marmont commanded a French corps in occupation of Dalmatia.
At the end of the War of the Third Coalition on 26 December 1805, since that time, Marmont had administered the region. Because Marmonts troops had trained with the Grande Armée at the Camp de Boulogne, Marmonts so-called Army of Dalmatia consisted of two infantry divisions commanded by Generals of Division Joseph Hélie Désiré Perruquet de Montrichard and Bertrand Clausel. Soyes brigade included the 18th Light and 5th Line Infantry Regiments, de Launays brigade was made up of the 79th and 81st Line Infantry Regiments. Clausels 2nd Division comprised the brigades of Generals of Brigade Alexis Joseph Delzons, the divisional artillery included the 3rd and 9th companies of the 8th Foot Artillery Regiment, with six 6-pound cannons and two 5-inch howitzers in each company for a total of 16 guns. Delzons led the 8th Light and 23rd Line Infantry Regiments and Bachelu directed the 11th Line Infantry Regiment, the 11th Line had three battalions, while the other regiments only had two battalions each.
Average battalion strength was approximately 700, the Army of Dalmatia was provided with an especially powerful artillery contingent of 78 guns led by General of Brigade Louis Tirlet. The large corps artillery included the 7th, 8th, 9th, 14th. The 10th company of the 7th Foot Artillery Regiment had six 12-pound cannons, the 14th and 15th companies of the 2nd Foot Artillery Regiment each consisted of six 6-pound cannons. The 3rd squadron of the 24th Chasseurs à Cheval Regiment completed the corps, Marmonts chief of staff was General of Brigade Jacques-Antoine-Adrien Delort. On 15 May, Stoichevich commanded about 8,100 troops, including roughly 7,740 infantry,120 infantry, the Austrian regular infantry consisted of two battalions each of the Liccaner Grenz Infantry Regiment Nr. 1, two battalions of the Warasdiner Szent-George Grenz Infantry Regiment Nr,6, one battalion of the 1st Deutsch Banat Grenz Infantry Regiment Nr
Battle of Piave River (1809)
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. The initial Austrian invasion of Venetia succeeded in driving the Franco-Italian defenders back to Verona, at the beginning of May, news of Austrian defeats in Bavaria and inferiority in numbers caused Archduke John to begin retreating to the northeast. When he heard that his enemies were crossing the Piave, the Austrian commander turned back to give battle, Eugène ordered his vanguard across the river early in the morning. It soon ran into vigorous Austrian resistance, but the arrival of French cavalry stabilized the situation by mid-morning, rapidly rising waters hampered the buildup of French infantry reinforcements and prevented a significant portion of Eugènes army from crossing at all.
In the late afternoon, Eugène launched his attack which turned Johns left flank. Damaged but not destroyed, the Austrians continued their withdrawal into Carinthia, at the beginning of the 1809 conflict between the Austrian Empire and the First French Empire, General of Cavalry Archduke John led his Army of Inner Austria in an invasion of northeastern Italy. Emperor Napoleon I appointed his stepson Eugène to be Viceroy of Italy, on 16 April, John defeated Eugène at the Battle of Sacile near the Livenza River. During this time an Austrian force led by Feldmarschall-Leutnant Johann Gabriel Chasteler de Courcelles advanced south from the Tyrol, capturing Trento on 23 April, in the face of these two threats, Eugènes Franco-Italian army withdrew 130 kilometres from Sacile to the Adige River. Once the Franco-Italian army arrived near Verona it gathered reinforcements, Baraguey dHilliers halted Chastelers drive in the upper Adige valley. Because Archduke John sent a division to blockade Venice, his army arrived on the Adige with only about 30,000 troops, much fewer than Eugène.
Napoleons victory in the Battle of Eckmühl and the subsequent retreat of Archduke Charles, caused Emperor Francis II to order John to fall back, anticipating an Austrian withdrawal, Eugène created a Light Brigade consisting of three voltiguer battalions, a squadron of light cavalry, and two cannon. The voltiguer units were formed by taking the skirmisher companies from infantry battalions, Eugène placed this pursuit force under General of Brigade Armand Louis Debroc. Archduke John deployed his right flank behind the small Alpone River between Soave and Albaredo dAdige, near the old Arcole battlefield, while his left flank defended the Adige south to Legnago. In a series of clashes between 27 and 30 April, John successfully fended off Eugènes efforts to turn his flank in the Battle of Caldiero. Austrian losses numbered 700 killed and wounded, plus 872 captured or missing, the French suffered about 1,400 casualties. On 1 May, Archduke John ordered his army to withdraw to the east, in several clashes on 2 May, the Austrian rear guard held off the French, inflicting 400 killed and wounded including Debroc wounded.
Austrian losses were only 200 killed and wounded, but the French rounded up an additional 850 stragglers, the Austrians paused on the Brenta River until 5 May, continued retreating to the Piave
War of the Fifth Coalition
The War of the Fifth Coalition was fought in the year 1809 by a coalition of the Austrian Empire and the United Kingdom against Napoleons French Empire and Bavaria. Major engagements between France and Austria, the participants, unfolded over much of Central Europe from April to July. After much campaigning in Bavaria and across the Danube valley, the war ended favourably for the French after the struggle at Wagram in early July. The resulting Treaty of Schönbrunn was the harshest that France had imposed on Austria in recent memory, Austria lost over three million subjects, about one-fifth of her total population, as a result of these territorial changes. Although the Fifth Coalition ended, Britain and Portugal remained at war with France in the ongoing Peninsular War, there was peace in central and eastern Europe until Napoleons invasion of Russia in 1812, which led to the formation of the Sixth Coalition in 1813. Europe had been embroiled in warfare, pitting revolutionary France against a series of coalitions, after five years of war, the French Republic subdued the First Coalition in 1797.
A Second Coalition was formed in 1798, only to be defeated, in March 1802, France and Great Britain, its one remaining enemy, agreed to end hostilities under the Treaty of Amiens. For the first time in ten years, all of Europe was at peace, many disagreements between the two sides remained unresolved, and implementing the agreements they had reached at Amiens seemed to be a growing challenge. Britain resented having to turn all of its colonial conquests since 1793 when France was permitted to retain most of its conquered territory in Europe. France, was upset that British troops had not evacuated the island of Malta, in May 1803, Britain declared war on France. With the resumption of hostilities, Napoleon planned an invasion of England, in December 1804, an Anglo-Swedish agreement led to the creation of the Third Coalition. British Prime Minister William Pitt spent 1804 and 1805 in a flurry of diplomatic activity geared towards forming a new coalition against France and neutralising the threat of invasion.
Mutual suspicion between the British and the Russians eased in the face of several French political mistakes, and by April 1805, in August 1805, the French Grande Armée invaded the German states in hopes of knocking Austria out of the war before Russian forces could intervene. On 25 September, after great secrecy and feverish marching,200,000 French troops began to cross the Rhine on a front of 160 miles, Mack had gathered the greater part of the Austrian army at the fortress of Ulm in Bavaria. Napoleon hoped to swing his forces northward and perform a movement that would find the French at the Austrian rear. The Ulm Maneuver was well executed, and on 20 October Mack and 23,000 Austrian troops surrendered at Ulm, the French captured Vienna in November and went on to inflict a decisive defeat on a Russo-Austrian army at Austerlitz in early December. Austerlitz led to the expulsion of Russian troops from Central Europe and the humiliation of Austria, Austerlitz incited a major shift in the European balance of power.
Prussia felt threatened about her security in the region and, alongside Russia, a vigorous French pursuit through Northern Germany finished off the remnants of the Prussian army
Battle of Ratisbon
During the assault, Marshal Jean Lannes led his troops up ladders onto the walls, and Napoleon was wounded in his ankle by a small artillery round. The shot had been fired at distance and did not severely hurt the Emperor. Following his victory at Eckmühl on 22 April Napoleon summoned his first ever council of war, five battalions from II Korps defended the city, while 6,000 cavalry and some infantry battalions held the hilly ground outside. At dawn on 23 April the French advance continued in a movement toward Ratisbon, with General Louis-Pierre Montbrun coming from the southwest. Only did the French discover the bridge, but its last defenders were able to hold on. By noon the French infantry had arrived and formed up around the medieval defenses. Lannes was given charge of its capture and opened up an artillery bombardment, two infantry assaults on the main gates had already failed with heavy losses, when at 3,00 P. M. General Henri Gatien Bertrand, head of the engineers, smashed a breach in the wall with heavy artillery near the Straubing gate.
Walking to observe the gap, Napoleon was struck by a canister round in the left foot but was able to mount his horse and ride around. Three small parties with siege ladders failed to scale the damaged wall, Lannes men could not bring themselves to advance into the maelstrom a fourth time and so, Lannes grabbed a scaling ladder and renewed his appeal. Then, amid an embarrassed silence, he shouted, I will let you see that I was a grenadier before I was a marshal. He took the ladder and moved forwards, but was restrained by his aides. His troops, shamed into action by the despair of their leader, the fourth assault party carried the walls and within minutes French troops were pouring into the now-doomed Ratisbon. A street-by-street battle raged for hours until the French could secure. The last 300 defenders surrendered soon after, French casualties, including a wounded-in-the-ankle Bonaparte, were between 1,500 and 2,000 while the Austrians lost at least 6,000 men killed, injured or captured. Sending Marshal Louis Davout to guard the north bank across the Danube, robert Brownings poem Incident of the French Camp describes a probably fictional incident during the battle