Battle of Amstetten

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Battle of Amstetten
Part of the War of the Third Coalition
Jean Charles Nicaise Perrin - Jean Lannes, duc de Montebello, Maréchal de France.jpg
Perrin: Jean Lannes, Duke of Montebello
Date5 November 1805
Location48°07′00″N 14°52′00″E / 48.1167°N 14.8667°E / 48.1167; 14.8667
Result inconclusive[1]
 France Holy Roman Empire Habsburg Empire
Russian Empire Russia
Commanders and leaders
France Joachim Murat
France Jean Lannes
Holy Roman Empire Michael Kienmayer
Russian Empire Pyotr Bagration
Around 10,000 soldiers 6,700-7,900[1] soldiers
Casualties and losses
1,000[2] Russian Empire:
300 killed or wounded
<700 prisoners
Austrian Empire:
1,000 killed, wounded, or prisoners
  current battle
  Napoleon in command
  Napoleon not in command

The Battle of Amstetten was a minor engagement during the War of the Third Coalition between the First French Empire and the alliance of Austria and Russia. It occurred on 5 November 1805, when the retreating Russo-Austrian troops, led by Mikhail Kutuzov, were intercepted by Marshal Joachim Murat's cavalry and a portion of Marshal Jean Lannes' corps. Pyotr Bagration defended against the advancing French troops and allowed the Russian troops to retreat. This was the first fight in which a major part of the Russian Army opposed a significant number of French troops in the open.[3] The total number of Russo-Austrian troops was around 6,700, while the French troops numbered roughly 10,000 troops. The Russo-Austrian forces suffered more casualties but were still able to successfully retreat.


The Battle of Amstetten took place during the War of the Third Coalition, which lasted from 1803 to 1806. This battle took place immediately after the Austrian surrender in the Ulm Campaign. Following the surrender of Karl Mack von Leiberich in the Battle of Ulm, the Russian forces led by Kutuzov decided to retreat along the Danube to regroup with other Russian troops. Napoleon was determined to pin down the Russian army and sent Joachim Murat and Jean Lannes to intercept the retreating Russian army.[1]


The French army initially caught up the Russians around Enns, Austria roughly 50 km west of Amstetten and then again at Oed, which was 3 km west of Amstetten. Bagration decided to fend off the French Army at Amstetten and posted his infantry and cavalry atop the hills on both sides of the main road. The artillery was positioned on the main road for the best line of fire. Murat led an initial charge with his cavalry escort of two squadrons against three Austrian cavalry regiments. His troops were overwhelmed and forced to fall back. Murat's troops were then reinforced by Nicolas Oudinot’s grenadiers who were able to prevent Bagration’s advance and forced his line to retreat back into Amstetten. Murat waited for the balance of his column to arrive with Lannes. Lannes was ordered to move against positions held by Bagration and proceeded to attack. Bagration requested reinformancements and was then joined by Miloradovich along with four infantry regiments, ten cavalry regiments and extra artillery. As the battle persisted, The Russian Jägers were forced to fall back and a further attack upon Amstetten routed a Grenz infantry battalion. The battle dwindled down by nightfall.[4]


One thousand Austrian soldiers were killed, wounded, or captured. Three hundred Russian soldiers were killed or wounded, and fewer than seven hundred were captured. Bagration successfully performed his duty as the rear guard and allowed the remaining Russo-Austrian troops to retreat overnight. The Russo-Austrian troops suffered more casualties than the French army, but there is still confusion regarding who won the battle with both sides stating they were outnumbered.


  1. ^ a b c Rickard 2012.
  2. ^ Bruce 1981, p. 21.
  3. ^ Kagan 2007, p. 458.
  4. ^ Goetz 2005, pp. 66-.


  • Bruce, George (1981). Harbottle's Dictionary of Battles. Van Nostrand Reinhold. ISBN 0-442-22336-6.
  • Bowden, Scott (1997). Napoleon and Austerlitz. Chicago: Emperor's Press. ISBN 0-9626655-7-6.
  • Kagan, Frederick W. (2007). The End of the Old Order: Napoleon and Europe, 1801–1805. Da Capo Press. ISBN 978-0306811371.
  • Rickard, J. (2012). Battle of Amstetten, 5 November 1805. ISBN 978-0306811371. Archived from the original on 2021-07-28.
  • Goetz, Robert (2005). 1805, Austerlitz : Napoleon and the destruction of the Third Coalition. ISBN 1853676446.

External links[edit]

  • Napoleonic wargame site featuring an article with orders of battle and a map [1].
  • Media related to Battle of Amstetten at Wikimedia Commons
Preceded by
Battle of Cape Ortegal
Napoleonic Wars
Battle of Amstetten
Succeeded by
Battle of Dürenstein