Schwarzenberg was possibly Austria's leading soldier of the Revolutionary
and Napoleonic Wars.
skilled in warfare and a talented organiser, Schwarzenberg was also
the man who helped arrange Napoleon
Bonaparte's marriage to Marie-Louise
and created the Austrian Landwehr.
a young man he not only honed his military skills and physical fitness,
but also studied hard - particularly science.
first taste of real action came when he joined the Austrian army
in 1787 and fought against the Turks, although it was for his performances
against revolutionary France in the Netherlands that brought him
to his superior's attention.
1796 Schwarzenberg was promoted to major-general and was leading
a division as a lieutenant-general by 1800. At Hohenlinden
he is credited with saving the Austrian right wing during the loss
to Jean Moreau.
1801 he became the Austrian representative to Tsar
the Austerlitz campaign in 1805
Schwarzenberg led an army corps and was one of the determined men
who left General Mack and fought
their way out of the trap at Ulm. He
then rallied the other escapees.
by ill health, Schwarzenberg briefly retired but, in 1808, played
a major role in forming Austria's landwehr forces and was again
sent as ambassador to Russia.
1809 he returned to leading a reserve cavalry division at Wagram
during which his energetic and skilled rearguard defence earnt him
promotion to General of Cavalry.
next diplomatic posting was to Paris where he became very friendly
with Napoleon and negotiated the marriage with Marie-Louise. While
in Paris tragedy struck Schwarzenberg when a fire interrupted a
ball held at his home and his sister-in-law, among many others,
good relations with the French emperor meant Schwarzenberg was the
obvious choice as the general to lead the Austrian corps against
Russia in 1812. He did very well in the position and came out of
the campaign as a Field Marshal.
period as ambassador to France followed but when relations soured
between Bonaparte and the Austrians he returned home to head the
Army of Bohemia.
to lead the allied armies in the Liberation
of Germany Schwarzenberg's diplomatic skills were much needed.
He was defeated at Dresden on 26-27
August, he recovered - despite the presence of three monarchs -
to crush Napoleon's chances of reviving his fortunes at Leipzig.
1814 he again took on the French, this time on French soil, and
after Napoleon's exile became President of the Hofkreigsrat or Austrian
was given great honours for his part in defeating the French emperor
but was given little time to celebrate them or the peace. In 1817
he suffered a paralysing stroke and only three years later was killed
by a second.