1809 in France

Events from the year 1809 in France.

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1809
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Battle of Aspern-Essling

In the Battle of Aspern-Essling (21–22 May 1809), 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 personally defeated in over a decade. However, Archduke Charles failed to secure a decisive victory as Napoleon was able to successfully withdraw most of his forces.

Battle of Ciudad Real

The Battle of Ciudad Real was fought on 27 March 1809 and resulted in a French victory under General Sebastiani against the Spanish under General Conde de Cartojal.

French 4th Corps (with attached Polish division under general Valance) had to cross the bridge over the Guadiana River which was defended by the Spanish corps of Count Urbina Cartaojal. Polish lancers of the Legion of the Vistula under colonel Jan Konopka charged through the bridge taking it by surprise, then outflanked Spanish infantry and attacked it from behind as the main French and Polish forces crossed the bridge, and attacked the Spanish front lines.

The battle was over when undisciplined Spanish soldiers dispersed, and began to retreat in the direction of Santa Cruz.

Józef Rudnicki, adjutant-major of the 4th Infantry Regiment of the Legion, described the battle in his diaries (spelling according to the original):

"as soon as the French regiments of the 4th Corps met our division, we rushed immediately toward the Consuegra and Ciudad Real, before of which town we found the Spanish corps, waiting for us on good positions. We were outnumbered, but thanks to the rational orders of the general Sebastiani, in some od four hours on 27 March 1809 the Spaniards were defeated and dispersed. They were retreating in chaos toward Almagro, where the Order of Calatrava has its home, and toward the Santa Cruz de Mudela, and even further, into the Sierramorena Mountains."The Spanish corps lost some 2000 men killed or wounded and many more were taken prisoner. After the battle the count of Cartojal was deprived of command for incompetency, and replaced by general Venegas, hero of the Spanish War of Independence, and later the viceroy of New Spain.

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 and A9 highways.

Before the Battle of Raab on 14 June, the Franco-Italian army left Broussier's division in its rear to besiege an Austrian garrison in the Graz citadel. When Gyulai's force appeared before the town in late June, Broussier retreated, allowing the Austrians to resupply the garrison. On the night of 25 June, Broussier sent two unsupported battalions of the 84th Line Infantry Regiment against the town. Surrounded by a greatly superior force of Austrians, the French stubbornly defended their position until the next afternoon, then broke out of the encirclement.

The 84th was soon joined by Auguste Marmont's newly arrived French corps. Marmont then attacked and forced Gyulai to retreat from Graz. The castle hill, however, 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 heroic action, the 84th was allowed to inscribe UN CONTRE DIX (One Against Ten) on its colors.

Battle of Hollabrunn (1809)

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.The battle ended in favour of the Austrians, with Masséna forced to break off the combat and wait for his remaining divisions to reinforce him, but the French Marshal was able to gather crucial intelligence about the intentions of his enemy.

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, intending to slow Eugène's pursuit of his army.

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 Eugène's army from crossing at all. In the late afternoon, Eugène launched his main attack which turned John's left flank and finally overran his main line of defense. Damaged but not destroyed, the Austrians continued their withdrawal into Carinthia (in modern-day Austria) and Carniola (in modern-day Slovenia).

Battle of Raab

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.

Battle of Ratisbon

The Battle of Ratisbon, also called the Battle of Regensburg, was fought on 23 April 1809, during the Napoleonic Wars, between the army of the First French Empire, led by Napoleon I, and that of the Austrian Empire, led by Archduke Charles. Scene of the last engagement of the Bavaria phase of the campaign of 1809, the brief defense of the city and installation of a pontoon bridge to the east enabled the retreating Austrian army to escape into Bohemia. 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 great distance and did not severely hurt the Emperor, but caused a contusion.

Battle of Sacile

The Battle of Sacile (also known as the Battle of Fontana Fredda) 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.

In April 1809, Archduke John quickly invaded Venetia in northeastern Italy. On 15 April at Pordenone, the Austrian advance guard routed the French rear guard, inflicting heavy losses. Undeterred by this setback and believing he enjoyed a numerical superiority over his opponents, Eugène attacked the Austrians east of Sacile the following day. Though the two sides were equal in numbers of foot soldiers, the Austrians possessed a two-to-one advantage in cavalry, and this turned out to be a key factor in their victory.

Eugène withdrew his army 130 kilometres (81 mi) to a defensible position at Verona on the Adige river, where he reorganized his army and received reinforcements. At Verona, the Franco-Italian army was secure from Archduke John's army advancing from the east and a second Austrian column threatening it from the Tyrol in the north. By the end of April, news of French victories in the Danube valley caused John to fall back to the east, with Eugène in pursuit.

Battle of Sankt Michael

In the Battle of Sankt Michael (or Sankt Michael-Leoben) 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.

Originally part of the Danube army of Archduke Charles, Jellacic's division was detached to the south before the Battle of Eckmühl and later ordered to join the army of Archduke John at Graz. As it retreated southeast toward Graz, Jellacic's division passed across the front of

Eugène de Beauharnais' Army of Italy, which was advancing northeast in pursuit of Archduke John. When he learned of Jellacic's presence, Eugène sent Grenier with two divisions to intercept the Austrian column.

Grenier's lead division duly intercepted Jellacic's force and attacked. Though the Austrians were able to hold off the French at first, they were unable to get away. The second French division's arrival secured a clear numerical superiority over Jellacic, who was critically short of cavalry and artillery. Grenier's subsequent French assault broke the Austrian lines and captured thousands of prisoners. When Jellacic joined John it was with only a fraction of his original force.

Battle of Tarvis (1809)

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 (Malbotghet Wolfstal) 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.

Eugène's main column marched up the Fella River valley, which runs east and west in the area of the fighting. On 15 May the column found itself blocked by the Malborghetto fort. Attacking in greatly superior force, Eugène's troops captured the fort on the morning of the 17th. Later that day, the Franco-Italians routed Gyulai's division from its positions near Tarvisio (Tarvis), inflicting heavy losses. A second Franco-Italian column, attempting to join Eugène from the south, was halted on the 15th by the Predil fort. On 18 May, Predil fell to assault and the defenders were killed to the last man. Monuments at both forts honor the Austrians who gave their lives in the fighting.

Battle of Teugen-Hausen

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.

Also on 19 April, clashes occurred at Arnhofen near Abensberg, Dünzling, Regensburg, and Pfaffenhofen an der Ilm. Together with the Battle of Teugen-Hausen, the fighting marked the first day of a four-day campaign which culminated in the French victory at the Battle of Eckmühl.

Austria's invasion of the Kingdom of Bavaria caught Emperor Napoleon I of France's Franco-German army by surprise. Though the advance of Archduke Charles' Austrian army was slow, mistakes by Napoleon's subordinate Marshal Louis-Alexandre Berthier placed Davout's corps in great peril. As Davout withdrew southwest from Regensburg on the south bank of the Danube, Charles tried to intercept the French with three powerful attacking columns.

The first Austrian column missed the French altogether, while Davout's cavalry held off the second column. The third column crashed head-on into one of Davout's infantry divisions in a meeting engagement. Generals of both armies led their troops with courage and skill as the troops fought over two ridges. French reinforcements finally pushed the Austrians off the southern ridge late in the afternoon and Charles ordered a retreat that night. This opened a clear path for Davout to join the main body of the French army on 20 April.

Battle of Wörgl

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.

The County of Tyrol rose in revolt at the start of the War of the Fifth Coalition. The hardy mountaineers rapidly banded together in irregular units and killed, captured, or routed the area's Bavarian and French garrisons. The rebels were soon joined by Feldmarschall-Leutnant Chasteler's regular division sent from the Austrian Army of Inner Austria.

In mid-May, Lefebvre advanced on the Tyrol from the north and northeast with the Bavarian VII Corps. After the Bavarians mauled Chasteler's regulars at Wörgl, the Austrian general abandoned the Tyrol and attempted to join with the retreating army in Hungary. The victory allowed the Bavarians to temporarily reoccupy Innsbruck, though not without additional fighting. The Tyrolean Rebellion, however, was far from over. Even after the regular Austrian armies met defeat at the Battle of Wagram in early July, the revolt resisted all efforts to stamp it out. The back of the rebellion was finally broken in November and only fizzed out in February 1810.

Battles of Bergisel

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 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.

Combat of Korneuburg

The Combat of Korneuburg was a relatively minor rearguard action fought by Austrian VI Korps of the Kaiserlich-königliche Hauptarmee under Johann von Klenau against elements of the French IV Corps of the Grande Armée d'Allemagne, under the command of Claude Legrand. The brief combat ended in favour of the French.

Combat of Schöngrabern

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.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.

Combat of Stockerau

The Combat of Stockerau was a minor rearguard cavalry skirmish fought by elements of the cavalry of Austrian VI Korps of the Kaiserlich-königliche Hauptarmee under Ludwig von Wallmoden-Gimborn against a single Hessian Guard Chevauleger regiment, under the command of French General Jacob François Marulaz. The combat ended in favour of the Austrians.

Dalmatian Campaign (1809)

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.

At the beginning of the conflict, the Austrians thrust across the Zrmanja and forced the French back to the fortified cities. 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, and moved north. Two more actions were fought at Gračac on 17 May and Gospić on 21 May before Marmont reached Ljubljana (Laibach) in Carniola. Continuing north, the French general fought in the Battle of Graz on 25 and 26 June and in the decisive Battle of Wagram on 5 and 6 July.

Treaty of Schönbrunn

The Treaty of Schönbrunn (French: Traité de Schönbrunn; German: Friede von Schönbrunn), sometimes known as the Peace of Schönbrunn or Treaty of Vienna, was signed between France and Austria at Schönbrunn Palace near Vienna on 14 October 1809. The treaty ended the Fifth Coalition during the Napoleonic Wars, after Austria had been defeated at the decisive Battle of Wagram on 5-6 July.

Walcheren Campaign

The Walcheren Campaign was an unsuccessful British expedition to the Netherlands in 1809 intended to open another front in the Austrian Empire's struggle with France during the War of the Fifth Coalition. Around 40,000 soldiers, 15,000 horses together with field artillery and two siege trains crossed the North Sea and landed at Walcheren on 30 July. This was the largest British expedition of that year, larger than the army serving in the Peninsular War in Portugal. The Walcheren Campaign involved little fighting, but heavy losses from the sickness popularly dubbed "Walcheren Fever". Although more than 4,000 British troops died during the expedition, only 106 died in combat; the survivors withdrew on 9 December.

1809 in Europe
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