Combat of Schöngrabern

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This article is about the combat of 1809. For the 1805 battle, see Battle of Schöngrabern.
Combat of Schöngrabern
Part of the War of the Fifth Coalition
Date 10 July 1809
Location Hollabrunn, present-day Austria, then Austrian Empire
Result French victory
Belligerents
France French Empire Austrian Empire Austrian Empire
Commanders and leaders
France Claude Legrand Austrian Empire Prince Heinrich XV of Reuss-Plauen
Strength
11,000 men
24 cannons
27,000 men (6,000 engaged)
32 cannons
Casualties and losses
unknown unknown

The Combat of Schöngrabern was a relatively minor rearguard action fought by Austrian V Korps and supporting elements of the Kaiserlich-königliche Hauptarmee Hauptarmee under Prince Heinrich XV of Reuss-Plauen against elements of the French IV Corps of the Grande Armée d'Allemagne, under the command of Claude Legrand.[1]

The brief combat ended in favour of the French but Reuss did manage to delay the French sufficiently in order to prevent them from getting to the battle of Znaim on 10 July.[1]

Context and battle[edit]

Following Johann von Klenau's successful Austrian rearguard action at Hollabrunn the day before, Austrian Prince Reuss, commander of V Korps, to which several additional units were attached for a total of 27,000 men and 32 cannons, took position near Schöngrabern. Reuss's orders were to form a rearguard and delay the enemy before him, preventing them from arriving at Znaim, where the main Austrian force was massed and combat was set to begin. Opposite to Reuss lay the vanguard of the Marshal André Masséna's IV Corps, under the overall command of General Legrand. Legrand's command was 11,000 men and 24 cannons strong and included the 1st division of IV Corps and the Corps cavalry. Masséna's orders were to push on towards Haugsdorf and then head to Znaim where General Auguste de Marmont's XI Corps had made contact with the enemy's main force.[1][2]

Masséna sent his cavalry, as well as Legrand's and Claude Carra Saint-Cyr's infantry divisions towards Haugsdorf, while leaving Jean Boudet's division at Stockerau and Gabriel Jean Joseph Molitor's division in between. Executing his orders, Legrand moved forward but, towards 09:00, encountered staunch opposition towards Schöngrabern, a village in front of which Reuss had left a rearguard of 6,000. It took Legrand some time before he was able to take the position, with the Austrians leading a superb fighting retreat. Losses following this battle are unknown but it is clear that Masséna's march to Znaim had been delayed, as towards 20:00, he had to stop at Jetzlsdorf, with the divisions of Legrand, Carra Saint-Cyr and his cavalry after these troops had been fighting and then marching all day. The delaying action at Schöngrabern meant that Masséna was only able to arrive to the battle of Znaim on 11 July. However, Reuss also had difficulties in containing Masséna and was himself only able to arrive at Znaim late on the evening of 10 July. Masséna and Reuss would face each other again on 11 July, at the battle of Znaim.[1][2]

Bibliography[edit]

  • Pigeard, Alain - Dictionnaire des batailles de Napoléon, Tallandier, Bibliothèque Napoléonienne, 2004, ISBN 2-84734-073-4

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Pigeard, 781
  2. ^ a b Pigeard 967.