Talk:Battle of Eckmühl

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The leading sources on this period, such as Chandler's Campaigns of Napoleon and Rottenberg's Napoleon's Great Adversary and Emperor's Last Victory, treat the fighting from April 19 - 24, 1809, as a single, continuous series of engagements, all of which comprise the "Battle of Eckmuhl". Given the existing structure of the "War of the Fifth Coalition" articles, adopting that position is perhaps too radical a change, but at a minimum the article needs to be expanded to incorporate the 21st.

The thrust of the original "Strategic Situation" focused solely on the fact that the battle led to the evacuation of Bavaria by the Austrians. Though a positive outcome from the French perspective, that was a purely secondary outcome. The Austrians had caught the French with their pants down around their ankles when they began the war on April 9. This initial surprise was compounded by further errors on both the German and Italian fronts forcing Napoleon to be constantly reacting to Austrian initiatives. The crucial importance of Eck was that, thereafter, Napoleon regained the strategic initiative. The war was far from over, but after Eckmuhl the battles occurred where and when Napoleon chose, on grounds of HIS choosing.

I began this at the office, where I don't have my books to hand, so I limited my initial edit to the "Strategic Situation" section that I can do from memory. Tonight I'll start revising the description of the battle itself with all my sources at hand.

Paco Palomo 21:27, 11 July 2006 (UTC)