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The attack and capture of Ratisbon - 23 April 1809

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  • The attack and capture of Ratisbon - 23 April 1809

    Regensburg on the Danube, or Ratisbonne in French, was occupied by Baron de Coutaud's 65th Ligne on 19th April 1809, with orders to defend the strategic bridge over the Danube. The 65th repulsed several Austrian attacks on the 20th, but the unit was eventually compelled to surrender when the ammunition had run out. The following day a battle developed at Eckmühl, south of Ratisbon, and the intact bridge over the Danube provided the Austrian forces an alternate route of retreat.

    The battle at Eckmühl resumed on the 22nd of April, resulting in a French victory. Austrian troops south of the Danube were evacuated during the night via the Ratisbon bridge. Six battalions of infantry were left in Ratisbon to delay the French pursuit. The following day, Bavarian artillery breached the city wall near the Straubing gate, and assault parties from Marbot's division eventually carried the position. However, before the main bridge could be secured, it was blown up by the Austrians.

    It was during the artillery bombardment at Ratisbon that Napoleon was wounded for the first and only time in his military career: a bullet struck the Emperor on the right heel as he was giving instructions to Marshal Lannes. Word of the wounding spread rapidly, and the French army is said to have been on the verge of panic until the Emperor showed himself on horseback.

    Napoleon’s defeat of the Austrians opened the door to Vienna for the French Army.

    After the battle, Napoleon said to his troops:
    Proclamation to the Troops at Ratisbon: April, 1809
    "Soldiers: You have justified my anticipation. You have supplied by bravery the want of numbers, and have shown the difference which exists between the soldiers of Cćsar and the armed rabble of Xerxes. Within the space of a few days we have triumphed in the battles of Thaun, Abersberg, and Eckmuhl, and in the combats of Peissing, Landshut, and Ratisbon. One hundred pieces of cannon, forty standards, fifty thousand prisoners, three bridge equipages, three thousand baggage-wagons with their horses, and all the money chests of the regiments, are the fruits of the rapidity of your marches, and of your courage. The enemy, seduced by a perjured Cabinet, appeared to have lost all recollection of you. His awakening has been speedy; you have appeared more terrible that ever. Lately, he crossed the Inn, and invaded the territory of our allies. Lately, he talked of nothing less than carrying the war into the bosom of our country. Now, defeated, dispersed, he flies, in consternation. Already my advance-guard has passed the Inn. In one month we will be in Vienna."

    References:
    http://www.miniatures.de/html/int/ca...egensburg.html
    http://www.geocities.com/Paris/3024/stories.htm (tale of heroism at the walls of the city)

    If anyone has a map of this battle, I would love to see it.

    JS
    Barcsi János ispán vezérőrnagy
    Time Magazine's Person of the Year for 2003 & 2006


    "Never pet a burning dog."

    RECOMMENDED WEBSITES:
    http://www.mormon.org
    http://www.sca.org
    http://www.scv.org/
    http://www.scouting.org/

  • #2
    1st Map

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    • #3
      2nd Map
      :thumb:

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      • #4
        Thanks Napoleonrocks! Those are perfect. In fact, the maps are so good I recognize some of the roads, not just the cities. That's what I needed.

        JS
        Barcsi János ispán vezérőrnagy
        Time Magazine's Person of the Year for 2003 & 2006


        "Never pet a burning dog."

        RECOMMENDED WEBSITES:
        http://www.mormon.org
        http://www.sca.org
        http://www.scv.org/
        http://www.scouting.org/

        Comment

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