Volume II - Chapiter 11 (... cont'd ... Part 2)
The size of the armies ranged against him would have daunted anyone but the Emperor.
Napoleon arrived in Strasburg on September 26 at 5:00 p.m., having left Saint-Cloud two days earlier at 4:00 in the morning.
Just before crossing the Rhine Napoleon made his famous proclamation to French troops in which he blamed the Austrians’ aggression and English gold. “Whatever the obstacles we have to face, we will be victorious and we will not rest until we have planted our “Eagles” upon the territory of our enemies”.
(all rights reserved)
September 30, before crossing the
“Whatever the obstacles we have to face, we will be victorious and we will not rest until we have planted our “Eagles” upon the territory of our enemies”.
General Mack’s hopes are dashed
by General Mack, 80,000 Austrians invaded
Mack, Baron of Leiberich (1752-1828) Commander-in-chief of the main
Austrian army. After the Austrian defeat, he was unjustly blamed
for the capitulation of
plan consisted of attacking and, of course, defeating the Austrians
before they could join up with the Russians, and then making for
that the enemy general would be waiting for him at the end of the
October 6, six army corps had already formed a threatening semi
circle to the north and northwest of
On October 8, Lannes and Murat attacked an Austrian corps at Wertingen. The enemy immediately scattered, leaving the two marshals with several cannon and 2,000 prisoners.
the same day, Soult entered
himself, at the head of the Grande Armée crossed the
enemy was already cut off from the capital. To tighten the noose,
Ney was ordered to move closer to
complete the encirclement, the Emperor set up headquarters at
he was caught in a trap from which he could not escape, Mack tried
every means to withdraw with minimal losses. He decided to stay
in place, hoping that the arrival of the Russians from
At that point, Mack gave up attempting to break through the knot that was about to strangle him, and tried instead to keep open the routes along which help could reach him. He dispatched a division south to Memmingen, and another north to Elchingen.
While Soult captured Memmingen and made 5,000 Austrians surrender arms, Marshal Ney clashed with the enemy at Elchingen and carried the day. Austrian losses amounted to 3,000 prisoners and many pieces of field artillery. It was a day when Marshal Ney, leading the 6th Corps, gave proof not only of the daring that made him an incomparable leader of men, but also of the military prowess that enabled him to beat the Austrians in six successive engagements, of which the most important was the Battle of Elchingen. When Napoleon created the imperial nobility in 1808, he recognized Ney’s outstanding service by making him Duke of Elchingen.
Ney (1769-1815) was one of Napoleon’s most famous marshals, celebrated
for his courage and impetuosity in action. Of humble origins, he
joined the army at an early age as a simple hussar in 1787 and nine
years later in 1796, he was promoted to general.
1805, at the head of the VI Corps, he displayed his military talents
to the full by defeating Austrian troops in several engagements
at the start of the campaign. His most significant victory during
the Battle of Elchingen, Archduke Ferdinand and a force of some
30,000 tried to open a route to
was contained in
Two days later, the heights of Michelsberg overlooking the city fell to the French.
had no recourse other than to defend
If he wished, the Emperor could launch an attack without notice. The imminent onslaught would be horrific. But…