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The Napoleonic Wars 1792-1815

The Battle of Dürenstein

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The Battle of Dürenstein

Postby Mark » November 11th, 2013, 11:24 pm

Today is the 208th anniversary of the Battle of Dürenstein. To my shame I know little about this action except that it was fought between France on the one side and Russian and Austria on the other during the War of the Third Coalition.

More info can be found in this Wikipedia article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_D%C3%BCrenstein

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Re: The Battle of Dürenstein

Postby Maximrac » November 12th, 2013, 8:05 am

I knew very little of this battle aswell. Except that it was a prelude to Austerlitz. The wikipedia article is a good read(for wiki). Really interesting battlefield with the high ground obscuring view of the opposing forces. Which forced the battle to be fought in the plains in a sort of crescent shape.
Excellent scenario for a bit of wargaming.

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Re: The Battle of Dürenstein

Postby Mark » November 12th, 2013, 3:58 pm

I am normally a bit hesitant to link to Wikipedia articles as they are notoriously inaccurate. That said some of the Napoleonic battles seem to be reasonably well done and can offer an introduction to the subject.

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Re: The Battle of Dürenstein

Postby Dominique T. » November 13th, 2013, 8:56 am

Some pictures of the battlefield here :
http://napoleon-monuments.eu/Napoleon1er/Durnstein.htm
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Re: The Battle of Dürenstein

Postby Mark » November 13th, 2013, 3:47 pm

Great photos! Thanks for the link, Dominique!

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Re: The Battle of Dürenstein

Postby WuTian » November 3rd, 2016, 10:34 am

Kutuzov's son-in-law Tisenhausen had led a brave charge in the Battle of Dürenstein and stopped the French advance, in Austerlitz, he hoped to repeat it, however, this time he was killed on the spot. (Sokolov, Austerlitz Napoléon, l'Europe et la Russie, p. 262, 385)
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Re: The Battle of Dürenstein

Postby DaveH » November 3rd, 2016, 4:20 pm

The fatal thing for the Allies was that Heinrich Schmitt, who had masterminded Charles' 1796 campaign was killed by friendly fire. Had he been Allied CoS for the main campaign, things would have been rather different.
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Re: The Battle of Dürenstein

Postby WuTian » November 3rd, 2016, 6:17 pm

DaveH wrote:The fatal thing for the Allies was that Heinrich Schmitt, who had masterminded Charles' 1796 campaign was killed by friendly fire. Had he been Allied CoS for the main campaign, things would have been rather different.

Almobert and Colin had quoted an Austrian source in La Campagne de 1805 en Allemagne Tome IV Saint-Poelten et Krems, p. 161-2
Relation autrichienne, XI, 46 (Arch. de la guerre, Vienne) :
« On se déploya à environ 500 pas de la ville; l'ennemi avait, pendant ce temps, fait face à droite, et s’était replié sur une croupe courte et découverte entre le Danube et les vignobles, l'aile gauche à Loiben ; il plaça là son infanterie et 2 canons ; la cavalerie, 400 hommes environ, déployée devant Loiben. La cavalerie essaya de se faire jour en chargeant notre aile droite dans les vignes ; elle fut repoussée par une fusillade intense; notre aile gauche, composée de chasseurs, grimpa en tiraillant sur le coteau. Entre temps, notre colonne s'était entièrement déployée ; mais, tandis que la fusillade se prolongeait, la nuit était Tenue. De notre côté, nous continuâmes à tirer sans interruption, mais sans avancer, car on ne voyait rien, et sans que l'infanterie ennemie répondit sérieusement. Enfin, l’ennemi tira plusieurs coups à obus sur le chemin de Dürnstein, (chemin en remblai bordé de murs, comme il y en a souvent dans les pays de vignobles) lequel fut presque aussitôt abandonné par les Russes, qui se jetèrent & droite et à. gauche. Sur ce, le village de Loiben fut incendié par l’ennemi, ce qui éclaira tout le bassin entre Loiben et Dürnstein. En cet instant, nous aperçûmes la cavalerie ennemie sur ce chemin, qui mène à Dürnstein et Weissenkirchen; ce qui provoqua un feu violent de la part des Russes, de part et d’autre du chemin, où ils se fusillèrent les uns les autres. C’est là que le F. M. L. Schmidt trouva la mort. Comme il faisait assez clair, tout se précipita sur cette hauteur où était postée l’infanterie ennemie ; elle y posa les armes, au nombre de 1,000 hommes et nous reprîmes les deux canons perdus. »

Have you seen the original German texts?
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Re: The Battle of Dürenstein

Postby DaveH » November 3rd, 2016, 8:59 pm

I haven't researched this campaign, but it is probably a French translation (for propaganda purposes!) of the usual Relation put out by the Austrians after each major battle, based on the report to Vienna by the senior commander. The document is in the Vienna Kriegsarchiv in the Alte Feldakten 1805 Deutschland XI (for November) carton.

This https://books.google.co.uk/books/about/ ... edir_esc=y is a good little summary by Rainer Egger (formerly of the Kriegsarchiv staff) if you can read German.
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Re: The Battle of Dürenstein

Postby WuTian » April 3rd, 2017, 7:24 pm

DaveH wrote:I haven't researched this campaign, but it is probably a French translation (for propaganda purposes!) of the usual Relation put out by the Austrians after each major battle, based on the report to Vienna by the senior commander. The document is in the Vienna Kriegsarchiv in the Alte Feldakten 1805 Deutschland XI (for November) carton.

This https://books.google.co.uk/books/about/ ... edir_esc=y is a good little summary by Rainer Egger (formerly of the Kriegsarchiv staff) if you can read German.

Egger's tiny books ('Das Gefecht bei Dürnstein-Loiben 1805' and 'Das Gefecht bei Hollabrunn und Schörngrabern 1805') makes a good read. Thanks Dave!

Besides, it seems Schönhals used the same Austrian source in the Alte Feldakten 1805 Deutschland XI (for November) carton: https://books.google.com/books?id=yD5aAAAAcAAJ&pg=PA136.
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