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Encyclopedia > Archduke Charles
Archduke Charles
Archduke Charles

Erzherzog Karl von Österreich (en: Archduke Charles of Austria) (September 5, 1771April 30, 1847) was a son of Leopold II, Holy Roman Emperor (1747 – 1792) and his wife Maria Luisa of Spain (1745 – 1792). He was also a younger brother of Francis II, Holy Roman Emperor. Despite being epileptic, Charles achieved respect both as a commander and as a reformer of Austria's army. This image is in the public domain because its copyright has expired in the United States and those countries with a copyright term of life of the author plus 100 years. ... This image is in the public domain because its copyright has expired in the United States and those countries with a copyright term of life of the author plus 100 years. ... The title of Archduke ( in German Erzherzog) was invented in the Privilegium Maius, a forgery initiated by Duke Rudolf IV of Austria. ... September 5 is the 248th day of the year (249th in leap years). ... 1771 was a common year starting on Tuesday (see link for calendar). ... April 30 is the 120th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (121st in leap years), with 245 days remaining, as the last day in April. ... 1847 was a common year starting on Friday (see link for calendar). ... Holy Roman Emperor Leopold II Leopold II (born Peter Leopold Joseph) (Vienna, May 5, 1747 – Vienna, March 1, 1792) was Holy Roman Emperor from 1790 to 1792 and Grand-duke of Tuscany. ... Francis II Francis II, Holy Roman Emperor, who is also referred to as Francis von Habsburg or Emperor Franz I of Austria (February 12, 1768 – March 2, 1835) was the last Holy Roman Emperor, ruling from 1792 until August 6, 1806, when the Empire was disbanded. ...

Contents


Youth and early career

His youth was spent in Tuscany, at Vienna and in the Austrian Netherlands, where he began his career of military service in the war of the French Revolution. He commanded a brigade at the Battle of Jemappes, and in the campaign of 1793 distinguished himself at the Action of Aldenhoven and the Battle of Neerwinden. In this year he became Statthalter in Belgium and received the army rank of lieutenant field marshal, which promotion was soon followed by that to Feldzeugmeister. In the remainder of the war in the Low Countries he held high commands, and he was present at Battle of Fleurus. Tuscany (Italian Toscana) is a region in central Italy, bordering on Latium to the south, Umbria and Marche to the east, Emilia-Romagna and Liguria to the north, and the Tyrrhenian Sea to the west. ... Vienna (German: Wien [viːn]; Hungarian: Bécs) is the capital of Austria, and also one of Austrias nine federal states (Bundesland Wien). ... During the French Revolution (1789–1799) democracy and republicanism overthrew the absolute monarchy in France, and the French portion of the Roman Catholic Church was forced to undergo radical restructuring. ... The Battle of Jemappes (November 6, 1792) took place near the town of Jemappes in Hainaut, Belgium, near Mons. ... The Battle of Neerwinden (18 March 1793) took place near the village of Neerwinden in present-day Belgium between the Austrians under Prince Josias of Coburg and the French under General Dumouriez. ... The Low Countries, the historical region of de Nederlanden, are the countries (see Country) on low-lying land around the delta of the Rhine, Scheldt, and Meuse (Maas) rivers. ... The Battle of Fleurus, fought on June 26, 1794 was one of the most decisive battles in the Low Countries during the French, under Jourdan were able to more effectively concentrate their forces in order to achieve victory against the Austrian army under Saxe-Cobourg. ...


In 1795 he served on the Rhine, and in the following year was entrusted with the 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 and Würzburg, and drove him over the Rhine with great loss. He then turned upon Moreau's army, which he defeated and forced out of Germany. Jean-Baptiste Jourdan Jean-Baptiste, comte Jourdan (April 29, 1762 – November 23, 1833), was a marshal of France. ... Jean Victor Marie Moreau Jean Victor Marie Moreau (February 4, 1763 - September 2, 1813), French general, was born at Morlaix in Brittany. ... 1796 was a leap year starting on Friday. ... The Battle of Amberg resulted in an Austrian victory under Archduke Charles against the French under General Jourdan. ...


Napoleonic Wars

Victorious Archduke Charles of Austria during the Battle of Aspern-Essling (May 21-22, 1809)
Victorious Archduke Charles of Austria during the Battle of Aspern-Essling (May 21-22, 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 was once more opposed to Jourdan, whom he defeated in the battles of Osterach and Stokasch, following up his success by invading Switzerland and defeating Masséna in the First Battle of Zürich, after which he re-entered Germany and drove the French once more over the Rhine. Archduke Charles, Picture from German Wikipedia File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Archduke Charles, Picture from German Wikipedia File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... The Battle of Aspern-Essling (May 22, 1809), was fought between the French and their allies under Napoleon and the Austrians commanded by the archduke Charles. ... 1809 was a common year starting on Sunday (see link for calendar). ... 1797 was a common year starting on Sunday (see link for calendar). ... Bonaparte as general Napoleon Bonaparte ( 15 August 1769 – 5 May 1821) was a general of the French Revolution and was the ruler of France as First Consul (Premier Consul) of the French Republic from November 11, 1799 to May 18, 1804, then as Emperor of the French (Empereur des Français... The battle of Stockash was fought on May 3, French under General Lecourbe against the Austrians under the Prince of Lorainne. ... André Masséna, Marshal of France André Masséna (May 6, 1758 - April 4, 1817), Duke of Rivoli, Prince of Essling, was a French soldier in the armies of Napoleon and a Marshal of France. ... First Battle of Zurich - 4-7 June, 1799 French commander Marshal André Masséna Austrian commander Archduke Charles Conflict between revolutionary France and the Second Coalition (1798 - 1800) 40,000 Austrians defeat 30,000 French, who were forced to withdraw with 1700 casulities to the Austrians 3500. ...


Serving with distinction against Napoleon Bonaparte in 1796, Charles then beat lesser opponents such as General Jourdan and General Massena at the First Battle of Zurich June 1799. Napoleon I of France, by Jacques-Louis David. ... 1796 was a leap year starting on Friday. ... Jean-Baptiste Jourdan Jean-Baptiste, comte Jourdan (April 29, 1762 – November 23, 1833), was a marshal of France. ... André Masséna, Marshal of France André Masséna (May 6, 1758 - April 4, 1817), Duke of Rivoli, Prince of Essling, was a French soldier in the armies of Napoleon and a Marshal of France. ... First Battle of Zürich Conflict French Revolutionary Wars Date 4th–7th June 1799 Place Zürich, Switzerland Result Austrian victory First Battle of Zurich - 4-7 June, 1799 French commander Marshal André Masséna Austrian commander Archduke Charles Conflict between revolutionary France and the Second Coalition (1798 - 1800) 40,000 Austrians defeat... 1799 was a common year starting on Tuesday (see link for calendar). ...


Ill-health, however, forced him to retire to Bohemia, whence 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 diet of Regensburg, which met in 1802, resolved to erect a statue in his honour and to give him the title of saviour of his country, but Charles refused both distinctions. Bohemia For the place in the USA, see Bohemia, New York. ... The Battle of Hohenlinden near Munich was fought on December 3, 1800, during the French victory under General Moreau against the Austrians under Archduke Karl, forcing him to sign an armistice. ... Steyr is a town (population 39,495 as of 2001) in the Austrian federal state of Upper Austria, located on the Enns river. ...


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, and the defeats sustained on the Danube neutralized the success obtained by the archduke over Massena in the desperately fought Battle of Caldiero. With the conclusion of peace began his active work of army reorganization, which was first tested on the field in 1809. As generalissimo of the army he had been made field marshal some years before. For other uses of Danube, see Danube (disambiguation). ... The Battle of Caldiero took place on October 30, 1805. ... 1809 was a common year starting on Sunday (see link for calendar). ... Generalfeldmarschall (General Field Marshal, usually translated simply as Field Marshal, and sometimes written only as Feldmarschall) was a rank in the armies of several German states and also of the Holy Roman Empire and Austrian Empire which could be granted to active officers only in wartime. ...


In 1806 Francis II (now Francis I of Austria) named the Archduke Charles Commander in Chief of the Austrian army as well as 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 being the adoption of the nation in arms principle and of the French war organization and tactics. The new army was surprised in the process of transition 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, against the now heterogeneous army of which Napoleon disposed it succumbed only after a desperate struggle. (17th century - 18th century - 19th century - more centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 18th century refers to the century that lasted from 1701 through 1800. ...


Its initial successes were neutralized by the reverses of Abensberg, Landshut and Eckmuhl but, after the evacuation of Vienna, the archduke won the great Battle of Aspern-Essling and soon afterwards fought the still more desperate Battle of Wagram, at the close of which the Austrians were defeated but not routed. They had inflicted upon Napoleon a loss of over 50,000 men in the two battles. At the end of the campaign the archduke gave up all his military offices. The Battle of Abensberg took place on April 20, 1809, between the French and Bavarians under Napoleon which numbered about 90,000 strong, and 80,000 Austrians under the Archduke Charles. ... The Battle of Landesschut or Battle of Landshut was an engagement fought on June 23, 1760 during the Seven Years War. ... The Battle of Eckmühl was fought on April 22, 1809, and resulted in a French victory under Marshal Davout and Napoleon Bonaparte against the Austrians under the Archduke Charles. ... The Battle of Aspern-Essling (May 22, 1809), was fought between the French and their allies under Napoleon and the Austrians commanded by the archduke Charles. ... A bivouac of Polish Uhlans at Wagram painted by January Suchodolski. ...


Later life

Archduke Charles with family.
Archduke Charles with family.

Charles spent the rest of his life in retirement, except for a short time in 1815 when he was governor of Mainz. In 1822 he succeeded to the duchy of Saxe-Teschen. Archduke Charles married, in 1815, Princess Henrietta of Nassau-Weilburg (17971829). He had four sons, the eldest of whom, the Archduke Albert became one of the most celebrated generals in Europe, and two daughters, the elder Maria Theresa (18161867) became Queen of Naples. He died at Vienna on the 30th of April 1847. An equestrian statue was erected to his memory in Vienna, 1860. This image is in the public domain because its copyright has expired in the United States and those countries with a copyright term of life of the author plus 100 years. ... This image is in the public domain because its copyright has expired in the United States and those countries with a copyright term of life of the author plus 100 years. ... 1797 was a common year starting on Sunday (see link for calendar). ... 1829 was a common year starting on Thursday (see link for calendar). ... Archduke Albert of Austria (born August 3, 1817 in Vienna; died February 2, 1895, Arco (Austrian Habsburg general. ... 1816 was a leap year starting on Monday (see link for calendar). ... 1867 was a common year starting on Tuesday (see link for calendar). ...


Assessment of his achievements

The caution which the archduke preached so earnestly in his strategical works, he displayed in practice only when the situation seemed to demand it, though his education certainly prejudiced him in favour 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.


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 unfavourable 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 as 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. 1796 was a leap year starting on Friday. ...


Again and again he repeats 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 solicitude, 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 defence 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. A young Clausewitz Carl Phillip Gottlieb von Clausewitz (June 1, 1780 - November 16, 1831) was a Prussian general and influential military thinker. ...

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

The baneful influence of these antiquated principles was clearly shown in the maintenance of Königgratz-Josefstadt in 1866 as a strategic point, which was preferred to the defeat of the separated Prussian armies. 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. Download high resolution version (900x600, 128 KB)Archduke Charles statute in Vienna, GNU license, Peter Gerstbach, German Wikipedia File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Download high resolution version (900x600, 128 KB)Archduke Charles statute in Vienna, GNU license, Peter Gerstbach, German Wikipedia File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Heldenplatz in Vienna The Heldenplatz (Heroes Square) is a historical plaza in Vienna, where in 1938, Adolf Hitler announced the Anschluss of Austria to the German Reich. ... Vienna (German: Wien [viːn]; Hungarian: Bécs) is the capital of Austria, and also one of Austrias nine federal states (Bundesland Wien). ... 1866 is a common year starting on Monday. ... Battle of Montebello can refer to two battles, fought near Montebello, province of Pavia, in Northen Italy: 9 June 1800, the French defeats an Austrian army (battle of Montebello (1800); 20 May 1859, a combined Sardinian-French army defeats an Austrian army, during the Austro-Sardininan War (battle of Montebello...


On the battlefield, it is probably fair to say, Charles was comparable in skill and style to Sir Arthur Wellesley - quite conservative and yet exceedingly competent. That Wellesley emerged with a superior reputation is probably due to the fact that he only once faced Napoleon and even then was only co-commander of an Allied force. By contrast Charles was confronted by Napoleon in battle more times than any other commander. On these occasions the reliable and yet unimaginative tactics Charles was fond of were not sufficient (except on one occasion at Aspern-Essling) to defeat the unpredictable Corsican. Nonetheless Charles is a member of a pantheon of famous Napoleonic figures that includes the Emperor himself, Louis Nicolas Davout, Karl von Schwarzenberg, Alexander Suvorov, Gebhard Leberecht von Blücher and the aforementioned Sir Arthur Wellesley. Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington (1 May 1769–14 September 1852) was an Anglo-Irish soldier and statesman, widely considered one of the leading military and political figures of the 19th century. ... Davout, Marshal of France Louis Nicolas dAvout (May 10, 1770 – June 1, 1823), better known as Davout, duc dAuerstädt, prince dEckmühl, and a marshal of France. ... Karl Philipp Fürst zu Schwarzenberg (or Prince Karl Philipp zu Schwarzenberg (April 18, 1771 - October 15, 1820), Austrian generalissimo, was born at Vienna. ... Monument to Suvorov as youthful Mars, the Roman god of war (1801). ... Gebhard Leberecht von Blücher Gebhard Leberecht von Blücher (December 16, 1742 in Rostock (Mecklenburg) - September 12, 1819 in Krieblowitz (Silesia) (now Krobielowice in Poland)), Graf (Count), later elevated to Fürst von Wahlstatt, was a Prussian general who led his army against Napoleon I at the Battle of...


Writings and References

His writings were edited by Archduke Albert and his brother Archduke William in the Ausgewählte Schriften weiland Sr. K. Hoheit Erzh. Carl v. Osterreich (1862; reprinted 1893, Vienna and Leipzig), which includes the Grundsätze der Kriegskunst für die Generale (1806), Grundsätze der Strategie erläutert durch die Darstellung des Feldzugs 1796 (1814), Geschichte des Feldzugs von 299 (1819)--the two latter invaluable contributions to the history of the war, and papers on the higher art of war, on practical training in the field, etc.


See, besides the histories of the period,

  • Carl Freiherr Binder von Krieglstein: Geist und Stoff im Kriege. Vienna, 1896
  • Rudolf von Caemmerer, The development of strategical science during the 19th century. London, 1905 (ch. iv)
  • Eduard Duller: Erzherzog Karl. Vienna, 1847
  • F.J.A. Schneidawind: Carl, Erzherzog von Osterreich und die oesterreichische Armee. Vienna, 1840
  • F.J.A. Schneidawind:Das Buch vom Erzherzog Carl. Leipzig, 1847
  • Maximilian Friedrich von Thielen: Erzherzog Karl von Osterreich. 1858
  • H. von Zeissberg: Erzherzog Karl von Osterreich. Vienna, 1895
  • Moriz Edler von Angeli: Erzherzog Carl von Österreich als Feldherr und Heeresorganisator. Leipzig, 1896
  • Owen Connelly: Blundering to glory: Napoleon's military campaigns. Rev. ed. Wilmington, DE: SR Books, 1999 ISBN 0-842027-79-3


This article incorporates text from the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica, which is in the public domain. Heinrich, Ritter von Zeissberg (July 8, 1839 - May 27, 1899), Austrian historian, was born in Vienna, and in 1865 became professor of history at the university of Lemberg. ... Supporters contend that the Eleventh Edition of the Encyclopædia Britannica (1911) represents the sum of human knowledge at the beginning of the 20th century; indeed, it was advertised as such. ... The public domain comprises the body of all creative works and other knowledge—writing, artwork, music, science, inventions, and others—in which no person or organization has any proprietary interest. ...


  Results from FactBites:
 
Archduke Charles - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1473 words)
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, and the defeats sustained on the Danube neutralized the success obtained by the archduke over Massena in the desperately fought Battle of Caldiero.
Archduke Charles married, in 1815, Princess Henrietta of Nassau-Weilburg (1797–1829).
Nonetheless Charles is a member of a pantheon of famous Napoleonic figures that includes the Emperor himself, Louis Nicolas Davout, Karl von Schwarzenberg, Alexander Suvorov, Gebhard Leberecht von Blücher and the aforementioned Sir Arthur Wellesley.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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