22 April 1809

The Napoleonic Guide's Suggested Tours

1809 Danube Campaign Battles Map

While the majority of Napoleon Bonaparte's army pursued the Austrians towards Landshut, Marshal Davout was to follow what was believed to be the smaller body of enemy troops towards Eckmuhl.

In fact, once again the brilliant marshal had been sent into danger's way with poor imperial intelligence. His 20,000 men found themselves up against 75,000 Austrians under the extremely capable Archduke Charles.

Knowing the calibre of his opponent, Charles initially attacked Davout with 40,000 troops.

Davout's III Corps defended soundly but, by 1pm, were being forced back by the overwhelming odds.

Riders came in to Davout informing him that Marshal Lannes was near with 30,000 fresh soldiers and so an immediate assault was ordered to tie the Austrians down.

The fighting was brutal, but the extra troops allowed two of France's best marshals to smash both Austrian wings.

By the time Charles ordered a retreat he had lost Eckmuhl, along with 7000 casualties and a further 5000 men captured. The French suffered 6000 casualties.

Davout became Prince of Eckmuhl for his efforts.




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