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Battle of Wertingen
Part of the War of the Third Coalition
Colonne de la Grande Armée Bataille de Wertingen bas-relief-15.jpg
Bas-relief of the battle from the Column of the Grande Armée
Date8 October 1805
LocationWertingen, present-day Germany
Result French victory
Belligerents
France First French Empire  Holy Roman Empire
Commanders and leaders
France Joachim Murat
France Jean Lannes
Holy Roman Empire Franz von Auffenberg
Units involved
France Cavalry Reserve
France V Corps
Holy Roman Empire Auffenberg's Corps
Strength
12,000 5,500
Casualties and losses
200+ killed or wounded 400 killed or wounded
2,900 captured

In the Battle of Wertingen (8 October 1805) Imperial French forces led by Marshals Joachim Murat and Jean Lannes attacked a small Austrian corps commanded by Feldmarschall-Leutnant Franz Xaver von Auffenberg. This action, the first battle of the Ulm Campaign, resulted in a clear French victory. Wertingen lies 28 kilometres (17 mi) northwest of Augsburg.

Background[edit | edit source]

Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte had launched his 200,000-man Grand Army across the Rhine. This huge mass of maneuver wheeled to the south and crossed the Danube River to the east of (i.e., behind) General Karl Freiherr Mack von Leiberich's concentration at Ulm. Unaware of the force bearing down on him, Mack stayed in place as Napoleon's corps spread south across the Danube, slicing across his lines of communication with Vienna.

Order of Battle[edit | edit source]

French Forces[edit | edit source]

Austrian Forces[edit | edit source]

  • III Corps, Austrian Army of Bavaria; Feldmarschalleutnant Franz Xaver von Auffenberg[1]
    • 1st Division; Feldmarschalleutnant Ludwig Wilhelm Anton, Graf Baillet de Latour-Merlemont
      • Cavalry
        • Cuirassier Regiment Albert #3 (8 squadrons)
        • Chevauléger Regiment Rosenberg #6 (6 squadrons)
      • 1st Brigade
        • Combined Grenadiers (4 battalions)
        • Infantry Regiment Kaunitz #20 (4 battalions)
        • Infantry Regiment Chasteler #64 (1/2 battalion)
      • 2nd Brigade
        • Infantry Regiment Erzherzog Ludwig #8 (3 battalions)
        • Infantry Regiment Jellačič #62 (4 battalions)
    • 2nd Division; Feldmarschalleutnant Friedrich Franz Xaver, Prinz du Hohenzollern–Hechingen
      • Chevauléger Regiment Latour #4 (2 squadrons)
      • Hussar Regiment Palatine #12 (4 squadrons)
      • Infantry Regiment Stuart #18 (3 battalion)
      • Infantry Regiment Spork #25 (5 battalions)
      • Infantry Regiment Württemberg #38 (Grenadier battalion)
      • Infantry Regiment Reuss–Greitz #55 (4 battalion + Grenadier battalion)

Battle[edit | edit source]

Apparently because his troops were surprised, Auffenberg seems to have only brought nine battalions and one squadron,[2] about 5,500 men, into action. There are conflicting accounts. One historian talks about individual battalions being broken by cavalry or surrounded and forced to surrender.[3] Another writer says that Austrian grenadiers formed in a massive square which resisted cavalry charges until the French brought up Oudinot's grenadiers.[4]

French losses are stated as 319 killed and wounded.[5] The Austrians suffered 400 killed and wounded, plus 2,900 men and 6 cannons captured.[3] One historian says 2,000 Austrians were captured.[2] Cut off from Vienna, the Austrians retreated westward toward their base at Ulm.

Smith remarks; "It is not clear why ... Mack had sent this small force to such an isolated position." He added, "His continual reorganisation of the troops on the battlefield sowed confusion and demoralisation."[3]

References[edit | edit source]

  • Bowden, Scott, "Napoleon and Austerlitz", Chicago, The Emperor's Press, 1997, ISBN 0-9626655-7-6
  • Chandler, David. Dictionary of the Napoleonic Wars. New York: Macmillan, 1979. ISBN 0-02-523670-9
  • Emmert, H. D. Wargamers Digest Magazine. "A History of Broken Squares 1798-1915," January 1979.
  • Smith, Digby (1998). The Greenhill Napoleonic Wars data book. London, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland: Greenhill Books. ISBN 978-1-85367-276-7. OCLC 37616149. 

Footnotes[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Smith, p. 203.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Chandler, p 489
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Smith, p 203
  4. Emmert, p 14
  5. Bowden, Scott (1997). Napoleon and Austerlitz. Chicago: The Emperor's Press. p. 185. ISBN 0-9626655-7-6. 

External links[edit | edit source]

Coordinates: 48°33′20″N 10°40′45″E / 48.5556°N 10.6792°E / 48.5556; 10.6792

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