Battles of Komárom

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Battles of Komárom
Part of the Hungarian Revolution of 1848
Than Komaromi csata 1849 04 26.jpg
The First Battle. A painting by Mór Than
Date 26 April 1849
2 July 1849
11 July 1849
Location Komárom, Kingdom of Hungary
Result Undecided
Belligerents
1848as zaszlo.png Hungarian Revolutionary Army Flag of the Habsburg Monarchy.svg Austrian Empire
Commanders and leaders
1848as zaszlo.png Artúr Görgey
1848as zaszlo.png György Klapka
1848as zaszlo.png János Damjanich
Flag of the Habsburg Monarchy.svg Franz Schlik
Flag of the Habsburg Monarchy.svg Julius Jacob von Haynau

Three Battles of Komárom were fought in the Hungarian Revolution of 1848 between the Hungarian and Austrian armies at the Castle of Komárom.[1]

The Austrian legions were attacking Komárom from December 1848. Under the command of János Damjanich and György Klapka Hungarian troops arrived to liberate the city. Four days later the Hungarian legions were successful and beat Austrians.

On 18 June 1849 the 1,000-strong Russian army arrived to help the Austrian army and together they tried to attack and occupy the castle. They attacked the Hungarian army on 20 June at Pered and on 28 June at Győr, both of which ended with Hungarian defeat.

The second and the third battle at Komárom made another important chapter in the eight-month-long siege. Artúr Görgey and György Klapka, defenders of Komárom Castle, mounted a second attack on the Austrian army on 2 July 1849. The young Hungarian army successfully defended the castle even though the Austrian army outnumbered them. The third battle ended on 11 July when another Austrian attempt to break through the Hungarian defences also failed.

First battle[edit]

Görgey and Lajos Kossuth considered the first battle (or "Komárom-Szőny" battle) the most important battle of the Revolution. It decided the fate of Hungary. Because of this battle the Austrian army asked the Russian Czar for help. Görgey's army was approximately 24,000 strong, whereas the Austrian army had 30,000 men under the command of Franz Schlik.

The Hungarian army started the attack. Colonel Károly Knezich and his legion of 4,000 men crossed the River Danube. Meanwhile Colonel Pál Kiss occupied Újszőny, a district of Komárom, the Monastery of Koppány and the right bank of the Danube. Around 9 am Damjanich came out of the castle and with Kiss attacked Schlik. During this time Görgey attacked the Austrian army that was advancing towards Ács. Klapka moved to Ószőny. After a heavy fight the Austrian army dominated the battle, so the Hungarian army had to retreat to Csillagerőd ("Star Fort"). At the same time József Nagysándor attacked Schlik's army from the rear. Wilhelm von Montenuovo attacked Nagysándor and also Damjanich, but without success. Around 1 pm Görgey came into the battle. The Austrians advanced towards Győr with the loss of 2,000 men. The Hungarian loss was approximately 800 men.

Second battle[edit]

Memorial column for the Battle of Ács

The second battle, sometimes known as the Battle of Ács, started on 2 July. The Austrian Supreme Commander Julius Jacob von Haynau and Schlik jointly attacked Komárom at 5 am. Görgey commanded the right flank and the middle, and Klapka commanded the left flank. Károly Leiningen-Westerburg fought against the Austrian army at Mocsa, but after the first couple of successes the Hungarian army had to withdraw. Klapka, seeing the bigger Austrian army, withdrew his legion from Szőny to Újszőny.

Leiningen started the fight, but the Austrian army won it. Major Rakovszky and Ernő Poeltenberg's attacks were more successful. They occupied the monastery and Herkálypuszta. After this, Klapka gave the order to retake Ószőny. The fight at Ószőny ended with Hungarian success.

Meanwhile at the monastery the Austrians were successful: they occupied the vineyard on the hill and got nearer towards to the Hungarians. After they put their flag as a symbol of victory, they fought with the hiding Hungarians on Elisabeth Island. The Hungarians made them retreat to Ács.

After the attack on the monastery, around 5 pm, Klapka started to attack Ószőny. The Austrians won two attacks, but they lost the third and had to retreat to Mocsa. At the same time Poeltenberg and Görgey attacked the Ausrians and won. At Csém he confronted the Russian army and lost. Görgey had other unsuccessful attacks and he himself was injured. The battle ended around 8 pm. The Austrian army lost 900 men, the Hungarian loss was approximately 1,500 men.

Third battle[edit]

The main aim of the third Battle of Komárom's was to break through Haynau's blockade. Klapka took over the command of Görgey's army because of Görgey's injury. The Hungarian Government gave an order to the army to advance towards Maros. Görgey didn't follow the command because Haynau's army blocked the way south. The government gave a new order and on 11 July the Hungarian army started to attack the Austrians. New Hungarian troops arrived under the command of Ármin Görgey, and from Bátorkeszi under József Nagysándor.

The Hungarian army (comprising 58 infantry battalions, 68 cavalry battalions, and 200 cannon) were under the command of Colonel Aschermann, Poeltenberg, Leiningen, Nagysándor and General Pikéthy. The right flank fought with Schlik's army. Although Pikéthy was successful, the Hungarians could not turn this success to their advantage. At Csém there was a fierce artillery fight with great losses. Nagysándor couldn't win against the Austrian cavalry.

The battle finished at 5 pm with the retreat of the Hungarian troops. The Austrians lost 800 men, the Hungarians 1,500. This battle was the bloodiest fight during the revolution. The battle ended with no decisive victory to either side, even though it was the bloodiest of the entire Revolution.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Also referred to as Battle of Comorn in some English language sources.

References[edit]

  • Kecskés, László (1984). Komárom az erődök városa ("Komárom, the City of Fortresses") (in Hungarian). Budapest: Zrínyi. pp. 191–193. 
  • Révai Nagy Lexikona ("Révai's Complete Cylopaedia") (in Hungarian) XI. Budapest. 1914. p. 825.