Archduke Charles, Duke of Teschen

Archduke Charles Louis John Joseph Laurentius of Austria, Duke of Teschen (German: Erzherzog Karl Ludwig Johann Joseph Lorenz von Österreich, Herzog von Teschen; 5 September 1771 – 30 April 1847) 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.[1]

He began his career fighting the revolutionary armies of France. Early in the wars of the First Coalition, he saw victory at Neerwinden in 1793, before being defeated at Wattignies 1793 and Fleurus 1794. In 1796, as chief of all Austrian forces on the Rhine, Charles defeated Jean-Baptiste Jourdan at Amberg and Würzburg, and then won a victory at Emmendingen that forced Jean Victor Marie Moreau to withdraw across the Rhine. He also defeated opponents at Zürich, Ostrach, Stockach, and Messkirch in 1799. He reformed Austria's armies to adopt the nation-at-arms principle. In 1809, he entered the War of the Fifth Coalition and inflicted Napoleon's first major setback at Aspern-Essling, before suffering a defeat at the bloody Battle of Wagram. After Wagram, Charles saw no more significant action in the Napoleonic Wars.

As a military strategist, Charles was able to successfully execute complex and risky maneuvers of troops. However, his contemporary Carl von Clausewitz criticize his rigidity and adherence to "geographic" strategy.

Austrians nevertheless remember Charles as a hero of the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic wars.

Youth and early career

Charles, Archduke of Austria - Lawrence 1819
Archduke Charles, Duke of Teschen

Charles was born in Florence, Tuscany. His father, then Grand Duke of Tuscany, generously permitted Charles's childless aunt Archduchess Marie Christine of Austria and her husband Albert of Saxe-Teschen to adopt and raise the boy in Vienna. Charles spent his youth in Tuscany, at Vienna and in the Austrian Netherlands, where he began his career of military service in the wars of the French Revolution. He commanded a brigade at the Battle of Jemappes (1792), and in the campaign of 1793 distinguished himself at the Action of Aldenhoven and the Battle of Neerwinden. In this year he became Governor of the Habsburg Netherlands, an office he lost with the occupation of the Low Countries by the French revolutionaries in 1794. The year he became Governor he also received the army rank of Lieutenant Field Marshal. Shortly thereafter another promotion saw him made Feldzeugmeister (equivalent of Lieutenant General). In the remainder of the war in the Low Countries he held high commands, and was present at the Battle of Fleurus (1794).[2]

In 1795 he served on the Rhine, and in the following year, he was entrusted with chief control of all the Austrian forces on that river. His conduct of the operations against Jourdan and Moreau in 1796 marked him out at once as one of the greatest generals in Europe. At first falling back carefully and avoiding a decision, he finally marched away, leaving a mere screen in front of Moreau. Falling upon Jourdan, he beat him in the battles of Amberg (August) and Würzburg (September), and drove him over the Rhine with great loss. He then turned upon Moreau's army, which he defeated and forced out of Germany (Battle of Emmendingen, October).[2]

Napoleonic Wars

Johann Peter Krafft 003
Victorious Archduke Charles of Austria during the Battle of Aspern-Essling (21–22 May 1809).

In 1797 he was sent to arrest the victorious march of General Bonaparte in Italy, and he conducted the retreat of the over-matched Austrians with the highest skill. In the campaign of 1799 he once more opposed Jourdan, whom he defeated in the battles of Ostrach and Stockach, following up his success by invading Switzerland and defeating Masséna in the First Battle of Zurich, after which he re-entered Germany and drove the French once more over the Rhine.[2][3]

Ill-health, however, forced him to retire to Bohemia, but he was soon recalled to undertake the task of checking Moreau's advance on Vienna. The result of the Battle of Hohenlinden had, however, foredoomed the attempt, and the archduke had to make the armistice of Steyr. His popularity was now such that the Perpetual Diet of Regensburg, which met in 1802, resolved to erect a statue in his honor and to give him the title of savior of his country, but Charles refused both distinctions.[2]

In the short and disastrous war of 1805 Archduke Charles commanded what was intended to be the main army in Italy, but events made Germany the decisive theatre of operations; Austria sustained defeat on the Danube, and the archduke was defeated by Massena in the Battle of Caldiero. With the conclusion of peace he began his active work of army reorganization, which was first tested on the field in 1809.[2]

In 1806 Francis II (now Francis I of Austria) named the Archduke Charles, already a field marshal, as Commander in Chief of the Austrian army and Head of the Council of War. Supported by the prestige of being the only general who had proved capable of defeating the French, he promptly initiated a far-reaching scheme of reform, which replaced the obsolete methods of the 18th century. The chief characteristics of the new order were the adoption of the nation in arms principle and the adoption of French war organization and tactics. The army reforms were not yet completed by the war of 1809, in which Charles acted as commander in chief, yet even so it proved a far more formidable opponent than the old and was only defeated after a desperate struggle involving Austrian victories and large loss of life on both sides.[2]

Its initial successes were neutralized by the reverses of Abensberg, Landshut and Eckmühl but, after the evacuation of Vienna, the archduke won a strong victory at the Battle of Aspern-Essling but soon afterwards lost at the Battle of Wagram. At the end of the campaign the archduke gave up all his military offices.[2]

Later life

Karl AustriaTeschen Henriette NassauWeilburg
Archduke Charles with family.

When Austria joined the ranks of the allies during the War of the Sixth Coalition, Charles was not given a command and the post of commander-in-chief of the allied Grand Army of Bohemia went to the Prince of Schwarzenberg. Charles spent the rest of his life in retirement, except for a short time in 1815 when he was military governor of the Fortress Mainz. In 1822 he succeeded to the duchy of Saxe-Teschen.[2]

On 15 September/17 September 1815 in Weilburg, Charles married Princess Henrietta of Nassau-Weilburg (1797–1829). She was a daughter of Frederick William of Nassau-Weilburg (1768–1816) and his wife Burgravine Louise Isabelle of Kirchberg.

Frederick William was the eldest surviving son of Karl Christian of Nassau-Weilburg and Princess Wilhelmine Carolina of Orange-Nassau.

Wilhelmine Carolina was a daughter of William IV, Prince of Orange and Anne, Princess Royal and Princess of Orange. Anne was in turn the eldest daughter of George II of Great Britain and Caroline of Ansbach.

Charles died at Vienna on 30 April 1847. He is buried in tomb 122 in the New Vault of the Imperial Crypt in Vienna.[4] An equestrian statue was erected to his memory on the Heldenplatz in Vienna in 1860.

Assessment of his achievements

The caution which the archduke preached so earnestly in his strategic works, he displayed in practice only when the situation seemed to demand it, though his education certainly prejudiced him in favor of the defensive at all costs. He was at the same time capable of forming and executing the most daring offensive strategy, and his tactical skill in the handling of troops, whether in wide turning movements, as at Würzburg and Zürich, or in masses, as at Aspern and Wagram, was certainly equal to that of any leader of his time, with only a few exceptions.[2]

Archduke Charles at Battle of Ostrach
Archduke Charles at the Battle of Ostrach

According to the Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition, his campaign of 1796 is considered almost faultless. That he sustained defeat in 1809 was due in part to the great numerical superiority of the French and their allies, and in part to the condition of his newly reorganized troops. His six weeks' inaction after the victory of Aspern is, however, open to unfavorable criticism. As a military writer, his position in the evolution of the art of war is very important, and his doctrines had naturally the greatest weight. Nevertheless, they cannot but be considered antiquated even in 1806. Caution and the importance of strategic points are the chief features of his system. The rigidity of his geographical strategy may be gathered from the prescription that "this principle is never to be departed from."[2]

Again and again he repeated the advice that nothing should be hazarded unless one's army is completely secure, a rule which he himself neglected with such brilliant results in 1796. Strategic points, he says, not the defeat of the enemy's army, decide the fate of one's own country, and must constantly remain the general's main concern, a maxim which was never more remarkably disproved than in the war of 1809. The editor of the archduke's work is able to make but a feeble defense against Clausewitz's reproach that Charles attached more value to ground than to the annihilation of the foe. In his tactical writings the same spirit is conspicuous. His reserve in battle is designed to "cover a retreat."[5]

Archduke Charles Statue
Statue of Archduke Charles on the Heldenplatz in Vienna

The baneful influence of these antiquated principles was clearly shown in the maintenance of Königgrätz-Josefstadt in 1866 as a strategic point, which was preferred to the defeat of the separated Prussian armies, and in the strange plans produced in Vienna for the campaign of 1859, and in the almost unintelligible Battle of Montebello in the same year. The theory and the practice of Archduke Charles form one of the most curious contrasts in military history. In the one he is unreal, in the other he displayed, along with the greatest skill, a vivid activity which made him for long the most formidable opponent of Napoleon.[6]

He was the 831st Knight of the Order of the Golden Fleece in Austria.

Creation of the Austrian Staff

When Karl Mack von Leiberich became chief of staff of the army under Prince Josias of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld in the Netherlands, he issued the Instruktionspunkte fur die gesamte Herren Generals, the last of 19 points setting out the roles of staff officers, dealing with offensive and defensive operations, while helping the Commander-in-chief. In 1796, Archduke Charles augmented these with his own Observationspunkte, writing of the Chief of Staff: “he is duty bound to consider all possibilities related to operations and not view himself as merely carrying out those instructions”.[7] On 20 March 1801, Feldmarschalleutnant Duka became the world's first peacetime Generalquartiermeister at the head of the staff and the wartime role of the Chief of Staff was now focused on planning and operations to assist the Commander. Archduke Charles produced a new Dienstvorschrift on 1 September 1805,[8] which divided the staff into three: 1) Political Correspondence; 2) the Operations Directorate, dealing with planning and intelligence; 3) the Service Directorate, dealing with administration, supply and military justice. The Archduke set out the position of a modern Chief of Staff: “The Chief of Staff stands at the side of the Commander-in-Chief and is completely at his disposal. His sphere of work connects him with no specific unit”. “The Commander-in-Chief decides what should happen and how; his chief assistant works out these decisions, so that each subordinate understands his allotted task”. With the creation of the Korps in 1809, each had a staff, whose chief was responsible for directing operations and executing the overall headquarters plan.

Issue

Name Birth Death Notes
Archduchess Maria Theresa of Austria 31 July 1816 8 August 1867 Married Ferdinand II of the Two Sicilies, had issue.
Archduke Albert, Duke of Teschen 3 August 1817 2 February 1895 Married Princess Hildegard of Bavaria, had issue.
Archduke Karl Ferdinand 29 July 1818 20 November 1874 Married Archduchess Elisabeth Franziska of Austria, had issue.
Archduke Frederick Ferdinand 14 May 1821 5 October 1847 Died unmarried.
Archduke Rudolph of Austria 25 September 1822 11 October 1822 Died in childhood.
Archduchess Maria Karoline of Austria 10 September 1825 17 July 1915 Married her first cousin Archduke Rainer of Austria, third son of Archduke Rainer of Austria and Princess Elisabeth of Savoy-Carignano.
Archduke Wilhelm of Austria 21 April 1827 29 July 1894 Died unmarried.

Ancestry

Ancestors of Archduke Charles, Duke of Teschen[9]
16. Charles V, Duke of Lorraine
8. Leopold, Duke of Lorraine
17. Eleanor of Austria
4. Francis I, Holy Roman Emperor
18. Philippe I, Duke of Orléans
9. Élisabeth Charlotte d'Orléans
19. Elizabeth Charlotte of the Palatinate
2. Leopold II, Holy Roman Emperor
20. Leopold I, Holy Roman Emperor
10. Charles VI, Holy Roman Emperor
21. Eleonor Magdalene of Neuburg
5. Maria Theresa of Austria
22. Louis Rudolph, Duke of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel
11. Elisabeth Christine of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel
23. Christine Louise of Oettingen-Oettingen
1. Archduke Charles, Duke of Teschen
24. Louis, Grand Dauphin of France
12. Philip V of Spain
25. Maria Anna Victoria of Bavaria
6. Charles III of Spain
26. Odoardo Farnese, Hereditary Prince of Parma
13. Elisabeth Farnese
27. Dorothea Sophie of Neuburg
3. Maria Luisa of Spain
28. Augustus II of Poland
14. Augustus III of Poland
29. Christiane Eberhardine of Brandenburg-Bayreuth
7. Maria Amalia of Saxony
30. Joseph I, Holy Roman Emperor
15. Maria Josepha of Austria
31. Wilhelmine Amalia of Brunswick-Lüneburg

Works

  • Grundsätze der Kriegskunst für die Generale (1806)
  • Grundsätze der Strategie erläutert durch die Darstellung des Feldzugs 1796 (1814)
  • Geschichte des Feldzugs von 1799 in Deutschland und in der Schweiz (1819)

References

  1. ^ Eugene Tarle, Napoleon.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Chisholm 1911, p. 935.
  3. ^ Rothenberg, Gunther E. (2007). Napoleon’s Great Adversaries: Archduke Charles and the Austrian Army 1792–1914. Gloucester: Spellmount, Stroud.
  4. ^ Archduke Charles' short biography in Napoleon & Empire website, displaying a photograph of his tomb in Vienna
  5. ^ Chisholm 1911, pp. 935-936.
  6. ^ Chisholm 1911, p. 936.
  7. ^ Osterreichische Militärische Zeitschrift (Streffleur, Vienna) 1860 III, 229-233
  8. ^ Regele, O.: Generalstabschefs aus vier Jahrhunderten (Vienna) 1966, p.55
  9. ^ Genealogie ascendante jusqu'au quatrieme degre inclusivement de tous les Rois et Princes de maisons souveraines de l'Europe actuellement vivans [Genealogy up to the fourth degree inclusive of all the Kings and Princes of sovereign houses of Europe currently living] (in French). Bourdeaux: Frederic Guillaume Birnstiel. 1768. p. 109.

Further reading

  • Criste, Oscar "Erzherzog Carl" (3 vols) (Vienna 1912)
  • Eysturlid, Lee "The Formative Influences, Theories, and Campaigns of the Archduke Carl of Austria" (2000)
  • Hertenberger, H & Wiltschek, F "Erzherzog Karl: der Sieger von Aspern" (1983)
  • Rothenberg, Gunther E. Napoleon's Great Adversary: Archduke Charles and the Austrian Army, 1792-1814. Staplehurst: Spellmount, 1995. ISBN 1873376405

External links

Archduke Charles, Duke of Teschen
Cadet branch of the House of Lorraine
Born: 5 September 1771 Died: 30 April 1847
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Albert Casimir
Duke of Teschen
1822–1847
Succeeded by
Albert
Government offices
Preceded by
Maria Christina of Austria
Albert Casimir of Saxony
Governor of the Austrian Netherlands
1793–1794
Office abolished
Honorary titles
Preceded by
Archduke Maximilian Franz of Austria
Grand Master of the Teutonic Order
1801–1804
Succeeded by
Archduke Anton Victor of Austria
Archduchess Mechthildis of Austria

Archduchess Mechthildis of Austria (11 October 1891 – 6 February 1966) was a daughter of Archduke Charles Stephen of Austria and a first cousin of King Alphonso XIII of Spain. She was a member of the Teschen branch of the House of Habsburg-Lorraine and an Archduchess of Austria and Princess of Hungary, and Bohemia by birth. In 1913 she married Prince Olgierd Czartoryski. The couple had four children and lived in Poland until the outbreak of World War II when they emigrated to Brazil.

Archduke Karl Ferdinand of Austria

Archduke Karl Ferdinand of Austria (Vienna, 29 July 1818 – Gross Seelowitz (Židlochovice Castle), 20 November 1874) was the second son of Archduke Charles, Duke of Teschen (1771–1847) and Princess Henrietta of Nassau-Weilburg, and the maternal grandfather of King Alfonso XIII of Spain.

A son of the "hero of Aspern" he started a military career in Infantry Regiment 57 in Brno. Later he received command of a brigade in Italy and fought against the insurgents in Prague in 1848.

In 1859 he was a general in Moravia and Silesia and returned to Brno in 1860. He became a Lieutenant Field Marshal of the Austrian Army.

Archduke Wilhelm Franz of Austria

Archduke Wilhelm Franz Karl of Austria-Teschen (German: Erzherzog Wilhelm Franz Karl von Habsburg-Lothringen, 21 April 1827 – 29 April 1894) was an Archduke of Austria from the House of Habsburg.

He was born in Vienna as the son of Archduke Charles, Duke of Teschen (1771–1847) and Princess Henrietta of Nassau-Weilburg (1797–1829). He was a grandson of Leopold II (1747–1792) and nephew of Franz II (1768–1835), the last two Holy Roman Emperors.

He held the office of Grand Master of the Teutonic Knights from 1863 until his death in 1894. He gained the rank of Feldzeugmeister in the service of the Austrian Army in January 1867, after commanding the artillery and being wounded at the Battle of Königgrätz (1866). He was Governor of the Federal Fortress of Mainz.

Archduke Wilhelm of Austria died unmarried and without issue on 29 July 1894 in Weikersdorf after falling from a horse. He had been riding in Baden when his horse was frightened by a motor car. The horse bolted, and the Archduke was thrown. One of his feet remained stuck in the stirrup, and he was dragged more than 100 yards. He died without regaining consciousness. His death was attributed to a concussion on the brain. The archduke was 67 years old.

Battle of Aldenhoven (1793)

The Battle of Aldenhoven (1 March 1793) saw the Habsburg Austrian army commanded by Prince Josias of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld attack a Republican French force under René Joseph de Lanoue. The Austrians successfully crossed the Roer River and engaged in a cavalry charge led by Archduke Charles, Duke of Teschen which routed the French and inflicted heavy losses. The War of the First Coalition battle occurred near Aldenhoven, a city in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany located about 55 kilometres (34 mi) west of Cologne.

After a victory in the Battle of Jemappes on 6 November 1792, the French army of Charles Francois Dumouriez conquered most of the Austrian Netherlands. That winter, Dumouriez attempted to overrun the Dutch Republic while Francisco de Miranda besieged Maastricht, covered by Lanoue's troops along the Roer. Sent by the Austrian government to reconquer Belgium, Coburg's troops attacked early on the morning of 1 March and dispersed the French. The Battle of Neerwinden on the 18th of March would decide who controlled the Austrian Netherlands.

Battle of Altenkirchen

The Battle of Altenkirchen (4 June 1796) saw two Republican French divisions commanded by Jean Baptiste Kléber attack a wing of the Habsburg Austrian army led by Duke Ferdinand Frederick Augustus of Württemberg. A frontal attack combined with a flanking maneuver forced the Austrians to retreat. Three future Marshals of France played significant roles in the engagement: François Joseph Lefebvre as a division commander, Jean-de-Dieu Soult as a brigadier and Michel Ney as leader of a flanking column. The battle occurred during the War of the First Coalition, part of a larger conflict called the Wars of the French Revolution. Altenkirchen is located in the state of Rhineland-Palatinate in Germany about 50 kilometres (31 mi) east of Bonn.

The French opened the Rhine Campaign of 1796 by ordering Kléber to attack south out of his bridgehead at Düsseldorf. After Kléber won sufficient maneuver room on the east bank of the Rhine River, Jean Baptiste Jourdan was supposed to join him with the remainder of the Army of Sambre-et-Meuse. But this was only a distraction. When the Austrians under Archduke Charles, Duke of Teschen moved north to oppose Jourdan, Jean Victor Marie Moreau would cross the Rhine far to the south with the Army of Rhin-et-Moselle. Kléber carried out his part of the scheme to perfection, allowing Jourdan to cross the Rhine at Neuwied on 10 June. The next action was the Battle of Wetzlar on 15–16 June.

Battle of Biberach (1796)

The Battle of Biberach was fought on 2 October 1796 between a First French Republic army led by Jean Victor Marie Moreau and a Habsburg Austrian army led by Maximilian Anton Karl, Count Baillet de Latour. The French army paused in its retreat toward the Rhine River to savage the pursuing Austrians. The action occurred during the War of the First Coalition, part of the French Revolutionary Wars. Biberach an der Riss is located 35 kilometres (22 mi) southwest of Ulm.

During the summer of 1796, the two armies of Jean-Baptiste Jourdan in the north and Moreau in the south advanced into southern Germany. They were opposed by Archduke Charles, Duke of Teschen who oversaw two Austrian armies under Latour and Wilhelm von Wartensleben. At the Battle of Amberg on 24 August 1796, Charles and Wartensleben combined to throw superior strength against Jourdan while Moreau was separated from his colleague. After Jourdan was beaten again at the Battle of Würzburg on 3 September, Moreau was forced to abandon southern Bavaria to avoid being cut off from France. As the outnumbered Latour doggedly followed the French retreat, Moreau lashed out at him at Biberach. For a loss of 500 soldiers killed and wounded, Moreau's troops inflicted 300 killed and wounded on their enemies and captured 4,000 prisoners, 18 artillery pieces, and two colors. After the engagement, Latour followed the French at a more respectful distance. The next action was the Battle of Emmendingen on 19 October.

Battle of Tourcoing

The Battle of Tourcoing (18 May 1794) saw a Republican French army directed by General Joseph Souham defend against an attack by an Austrian, British, and Hanoverian Coalition army under Austrian Prince Josias of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld and Prince Frederick, Duke of York and Albany. The French army was temporarily led by Souham in the absence of its normal commander Jean-Charles Pichegru. Threatened with encirclement, Souham and division commanders Jean Victor Marie Moreau and Jacques Philippe Bonnaud improvised a counterattack which defeated the Coalition's widely separated and badly coordinated columns. The War of the First Coalition action was fought near the town of Tourcoing, just north of Lille in northeastern France.

The Coalition battle plan drawn up by Karl Mack von Leiberich launched six columns that attempted to envelop a part of the French army holding an awkward bulge at Menen (Menin) and Kortrijk (Courtrai). The French were able to hold off François Sébastien Charles Joseph de Croix, Count of Clerfayt's northern column as the southern columns of Franz Joseph, Count Kinsky and Archduke Charles, Duke of Teschen made slow progress. Meanwhile, Souham concentrated his main strength on the three center columns against the overall command of Prince Frederick, Duke of York and Albany and inflicted a costly setback on the Coalition's Habsburg Austrian, British and Hanoverian troops. The action is sometimes referred to as the Battle of Turcoine, a gesture towards the English pronunciation of the town.

Battle of Valvasone (1797)

The Battle of Valvasone (16 March 1797) saw a First French Republic army led by Napoleon Bonaparte attack a Habsburg Austrian army led by Archduke Charles, Duke of Teschen. The Austrian army fought a rear guard action at the crossing of the Tagliamento River but was defeated and withdrew to the northeast. The next day, a French division cut off and captured an Austrian column in the Capitulation of Gradisca. The actions occurred during the War of the First Coalition, part of the French Revolutionary Wars. Valvasone is located on the west bank of the Tagliamento 20 kilometres (12 mi) southwest of Udine, Italy. Gradisca d'Isonzo lies on the Isonzo River 14 kilometres (9 mi) southwest of Gorizia, Italy.

Bonaparte saw the Siege of Mantua to a successful conclusion when Dagobert Sigmund von Wurmser surrendered on 2 February 1797. The French commander cleared his south flank by Claude Perrin Victor's victory over the Papal States at the Battle of Faenza the following day. Meanwhile, Emperor Francis II of Austria recalled Archduke Charles from Germany to hold northeast Italy. In March Bonaparte launched an offensive designed to break through the Austrian army's defenses. At Valvasone, the French encountered part of their opponents' army and drove it back. For the loss of 500 men, the French inflicted 700 casualties on the Austrians and captured six guns.

The following day, Jean-Baptiste Bernadotte's French division isolated an enemy column and forced its surrender at Gradisca d'Isonzo. A total of 2,500 Austrian soldiers, 10 artillery pieces, and eight colors were captured. When several retreating Austrian columns made for the Tarvis Pass to the northeast, the French raced to cut them off. The Battle of Tarvis occurred over three days beginning on 21 March as the Austrians struggled to escape. Bonaparte's forward thrust carried his army within 75 miles (121 km) of Vienna, where the Preliminaries of Leoben were concluded in mid-April 1797.

Battle of Verona (1805)

The Battle of Verona was fought on 18 October 1805 between the French Army of Italy under the command of André Masséna and an Austrian army led by Archduke Charles, Duke of Teschen. By the end of the day, Massena seized a bridgehead on the east bank of the Adige River, driving back the defending troops under Josef Philipp Vukassovich. The action took place near the city of Verona in northern Italy during the War of the Third Coalition, part of the Napoleonic Wars.

In the fall of 1805, Emperor Napoleon I of France planned for his powerful Grande Armée to fall upon and crush the Austrian Empire army in southern Germany. The French emperor hoped to win the war in the Danube valley. To help accomplish this purpose, Napoleon wanted Masséna to hold Archduke Charles' large army in Italy for as long as possible.

In order for Masséna to grapple with his enemies, it was necessary to establish a bridgehead on the east bank of the Adige. During the battle, the French attacked across the river, cleared two suburbs, and seized some high ground on the opposite bank. The Austrians suffered considerably more casualties than the French in the encounter. This clash set the stage for the subsequent Battle of Caldiero on 29 to 31 October.

Battle of Wetzlar (1796)

The Battle of Wetzlar (15 June 1796) saw a Habsburg Austrian army led by Archduke Charles, Duke of Teschen launch an attack on a Republican French army under Jean-Baptiste Jourdan in its defenses on the Lahn River. The War of the First Coalition action ended in an Austrian victory when most of the French army began retreating to the west bank of the Rhine River. On the 19th the combat of Uckerath was fought as the Austrians pursued the French left wing. Wetzlar is located in the state of Hesse in Germany a distance of 66 kilometres (41 mi) north of Frankfurt.

In the Rhine Campaign of 1796, Jourdan's Army of Sambre-et-Meuse won a foothold on the east bank of the Rhine after defeating its opponents at Altenkirchen on 4 June. This was part of a plan to lure Archduke Charles to the north so that the Army of Rhin-et-Moselle under Jean Victor Marie Moreau could breach the Rhine defenses in the south. The strategy worked as designed. When Charles came north with heavy forces to drive back Jourdan, Moreau successfully mounted an assault crossing of the Rhine at Kehl near Strasbourg.

Battle of Wiesloch (1799)

The Battle of Wiesloch (German: Schlacht bei Wiesloch) occurred on 3 December 1799, during the War of the Second Coalition, part of the French Revolutionary Wars. Lieutenant Field Marshal Anton Count Sztáray de Nagy-Mihaly commanded the far right wing protecting the main Austrian army in Swabia, under the command of Archduke Charles, Duke of Teschen. With the victory at Wiesloch (on 3 December), Sztáray's force drove the French from the right bank of the Rhine and relieved the fortress at Philippsburg.

Battle of Würzburg

The Battle of Würzburg was fought on 3 September 1796 between an army of Habsburg Austria led by Archduke Charles, Duke of Teschen and an army of the First French Republic led by Jean-Baptiste Jourdan. The French attacked the archduke's forces, but they were resisted until the arrival of reinforcements decided the engagement in favor of the Austrians. The French retreated west toward the Rhine River. The action occurred during the War of the First Coalition, part of the French Revolutionary Wars. Würzburg is 95 kilometres (59 mi) southeast of Frankfurt.

The summer of 1796 saw the two French armies of Jourdan and Jean Victor Marie Moreau advance into southern Germany. They were opposed by Archduke Charles, who supervised two weaker Austrian armies commanded by Wilhelm von Wartensleben and Maximilian Anton Karl, Count Baillet de Latour. At the Battle of Amberg on 24 August, Charles managed to concentrate superior numbers against Jourdan, forcing him to withdraw. At Würzburg, Jourdan attempted a counterattack in a bid to halt his retreat. After his defeat, Charles forced Jourdan's army back to the Rhine. With his colleague in retreat, Moreau was isolated and compelled to abandon southern Germany.

Joseph Anton von Simbschen

Joseph Anton von Simbschen (6 October 1746 – 14 January 1820) served in the Austrian army during the War of the First Coalition as a staff officer in Italy. He rose in rank to general officer and fought at Loano, Limburg, and Neuwied. During the War of the Second Coalition in 1799 he led the Austrian forces at Amsteg in Switzerland and later earned promotion to Feldmarschall-Leutnant. He led a division during the German campaign in 1800. His actions at Caldiero in 1805 earned him the Order of Maria Theresa. Simbschen was seen as a braggart and loudmouth, qualities which earned him many enemies. When his friend Archduke Charles, Duke of Teschen resigned from the army in 1809, Simbschen's enemies pounced; he was court-martialed, cashiered, and sentenced to house arrest in 1813. The Aulic War Council imposed a harsher prison sentence in 1815, but in 1818 his military rank and awards were restored.

Karl Friedrich von Lindenau

Karl Friedrich von Lindenau (1746 – 21 February 1817), served in the Prussian army before an incident compelled him to switch allegiance to Habsburg Austria in 1789. A staff officer at the beginning of the French Revolutionary Wars, he was asked to mentor the young Archduke Charles, Duke of Teschen. The association with Charles lasted for the rest of his military career. After being promoted to general officer in 1797, he led a brigade during the 1799 campaign and was elevated in rank to division commander. In 1803 he was appointed Proprietor (Inhaber) of an infantry regiment. In 1805 he fought with distinction while leading a grenadier division in Italy. The 1809 campaign found him leading an infantry division in Germany, after which he retired from active service.

Maria Theresa of Austria (1816–1867)

Maria Theresa of Austria (Maria Theresia Isabella; 31 July 1816 – 8 August 1867) was the second wife of Ferdinand II of the Two Sicilies. She was the eldest daughter of Archduke Charles, Duke of Teschen and Princess Henrietta of Nassau-Weilburg.

Her paternal grandparents were Leopold II, Holy Roman Emperor and Maria Luisa of Spain. Her maternal grandparents were Frederick William of Nassau-Weilburg (1768–1816) and his wife Burgravine Louise Isabelle of Kirchberg.

Maria Theresa was Princess-Abbess of the Theresian Royal and Imperial Ladies Chapter of the Castle of Prague (1834-1835).

Prince Louis, Count of Trani

Prince Louis Maria of Bourbon-Two Sicilies, Count of Trani (1 August 1838, Naples – 8 June 1886, Paris) was the eldest son of Ferdinand II of the Two Sicilies and his second wife Archduchess Maria Theresa of Austria.

His maternal grandparents were Archduke Charles, Duke of Teschen and Princess Henrietta of Nassau-Weilburg, Duchess of Teschen. The Duke of Teschen was a son of Leopold II, Holy Roman Emperor. The Duchess of Teschen was a great-granddaughter of Anne, Princess Royal and Princess of Orange, herself a daughter of George II of the United Kingdom.

Princess Henrietta of Nassau-Weilburg

Henrietta Alexandrine Friederike Wilhelmine of Nassau-Weilburg, then of Nassau (areas now part of Germany) (30 October 1797 Palace Ermitage, Bayreuth – 29 December 1829, Vienna) was the wife of Archduke Charles, Duke of Teschen. Her husband was a notable general of the Napoleonic Wars and victor of the Battle of Aspern-Essling against Napoleon I of France.

Wilhelm von Wartensleben

Gustav Wilhelm Ludwig Count Wartensleben (11 October 1734 – 21 April 1798) was a Swedish nobleman active in the Dutch military.

He was born in Hesse-Kassel. He was the younger son of the Swedish royal house and the princely Hesse house of Schaumburg. His father was Karl Philip Christian, Count Wartensleben, and his mother was Albertine Louise, the former Baroness von Quadt and Wykradt. Initially he joined the Dutch army, but transferred his talents to the Habsburg army in 1758, commissioned as a major. He was assigned to the Szluiner Grenz Infantry Regiment. For his service in the War of the Bavarian Succession he was promoted to Colonel and Proprietor of the Infantry Regiment Nr. 28, a position he held from 1779 until his death on 21 April 1798. He received the Knights' Cross of the Military Order of Maria Theresa on 22 April 1790. He commanded the autonomous force of the Lower Rhine in 1796. When his force finally joined that of Archduke Charles, Duke of Teschen in August 1796, their combined efforts inflicted the first defeat of the summer campaign on the French army, at the Battle of Amberg. He was mortally wounded at the Battle of Emmendingen on 19 October 1796, in which his left arm was shattered by French caseshot, and died over a year later in Vienna.

Österreichische Militärische Zeitschrift

The Österreichische Militärische Zeitschrift (Austrian Military Journal, ISSN 0048-1440) is a bimonthly academic journal for defence matters, covering reports and analyses in the fields of security policy and military science. The journal was established in 1808 by Archduke Charles, Duke of Teschen. Moritz Gomez de Parientos (1744–1810) was the first editor-in-chief. The content is written in German. Some abstracts are available in French and English.

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.