Battle of Abensberg

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Emperor Napoleon gives a speech to the Bavarian soldiers on the morning of the battle

The name Battle of Abensberg summarizes several battles that took place between April 19 and 20, 1809, mainly between the Abens and Große Laaber rivers . On these days, the Austrian army under Archduke Karl and the French army under Emperor Napoleon met with different intentions on a very broad front between Mainburg an der Abens in the south and Peising near Bad Abbach in the north. There were major skirmishes at Offenstetten , Kirchdorf , Siegenburg , Rohr and Rottenburg . The battles near Pfaffenhofen an der Ilm , Peising (near Bad Abbach ), Langquaid , Thann, Teugn and Hausen (→ Battle of Teugn-Hausen ) were closely related to these battles .

Since the above-mentioned battles developed out of the same movement of the two armies, they were all very closely intertwined and influenced one another. Therefore, the fights between the Abens and the Große Laaber from April 19-22 cannot actually be separated from each other. In the older literature they are therefore often summarized as part of the "Battle of Regensburg" or "Campaign near Regensburg" (→ main article " Battle of Regensburg ").

The battle and its aftermath

Simplified overview plan for the battle (the Württemberg division under Vandamme was, however, under the personal direction of Emperor Napoleon outside Offenstetten on the morning of the battle)

On the morning of April 20, the left Austrian wing with the weak army corps of Archduke Ludwig stood near Siegenburg and with Field Marshal Lieutenant Hiller's army corps near Mainburg. Through the fighting on April 19, Marshal Davout not only succeeded in re-establishing contact with the main French army, but also in maintaining his position at Hausen. Since the outpost battles near Abensberg in the late afternoon of that day had shown that the Austrians had apparently left only weak cover troops between the Abens and the Große Laaber, Emperor Napoleon wanted to take this opportunity and break through the Austrian army at this point. To this end, early in the morning of April 20, he placed the divisions under the command of Davout and which had arrived at Arnhofen the day before to Marshal Lannes as a new (provisional) army corps. He ordered the marshal, who had just arrived at headquarters from Spain, to break through the Austrian front with his new corps with an attack in the direction of Rohr and then push through to Rottenburg, thereby completely cutting off the left Austrian wing from the main army under Archduke Karl , which Napoleon suspected to be near Regensburg or Straubing. During this attack, Marshal Davout was supposed to hold the Austrians to the Große Laaber and Marshal Lefebvre and General Vandamme were supposed to tie up Archduke Ludwig's troops between Offenstetten and Siegenburg.

At 9 o'clock, Emperor Napoleon gave the signal for a general attack. The 60,000 men under the personal orders of Emperor Napoleon faced only 24,000 Austrians between Siegenburg and Bachl. While General Vandamme attacked near Offenstetten and the Bavarians near Biburg and Siegenburg and slowly pushed back, the troops under Marshal Lannes pushed through Bachl to Rohr with little hindrance. When Archduke Ludwig learned in the early afternoon that the French had already taken Rohr, he gave the order to retreat to Pfeffenhausen, where Field Marshal Lieutenant Hiller was meanwhile already with the VI. Austrian Army Corps had marched. When Hiller heard there that the French had already reached Rohr, he sent some of his troops to Rottenburg to stop their advance there. With the rest of his army corps, he marched on to Türkenfeld an der Kleine Laaber to sit in front of the French, and that night marched on to Landshut, where Archduke Ludwig followed him with the V Army Corps before dawn (→ Battle of Landshut ).

During this day (April 20th) Archduke Karl re-established contact with the Austrian troops in the Upper Palatinate north of the Danube with the conquest of Regensburg. However, on April 22nd, with the fighting at Schierling and Eggmühl (→ Battle of Eggmühl ), he was first pushed to Regensburg and then across the Danube. The result was that the entire Austrian army then had to retreat towards Vienna.

Aftermath and memory of the battle

Because in the Battle of Abensberg (in the narrower sense the fighting between Abensberg, Siegenburg, Offenstetten and Kirchdorf on April 20) on the French side the Bavarian troops under the leadership of the French Marshal Lefebvre had fought and left the battlefield as victor the city of Abensberg on December 31, 1809 by a decree of King Maximilian I Joseph a new coat of arms that contains two crossed swords. A memorial stone today commemorates the battle on the Napoleonshöhe in Abensberg.

In 2009 the city of Abensberg commemorated the events of April 19 and 20, 1809 with an extensive cultural program.

The painter Wilhelm von Kobell recalled the Battle of Arnhofen in 1809 in his painting from 1813 . The 204 cm × 321 cm painting is owned by the Residenzmuseum in Munich .


  1. today district of Abensberg
  2. present name Herrnwahlthann
  3. the designation “Battle of Teugn-Hausen” for the battles at these locations not otherwise in use in German-language literature; the older literature uses the expression "battle or battle near Hausen". In French literature, the term "Bataille de Thann" is used here (meaning Herrnwahlthann); Austrian literature usually speaks of the battle at Hausen and Dünzling.
  4. ^ Lossau: Characteristics of Napoleon's wars. Vol. 3, 1843; Pelet: Emperor Napoleon's campaign in Germany 1809. Vol. 1, 1824; KK Generalstab (ed.): The campaign of 1809 in southern Germany. Vol. 1, ÖMZ 1862/63 (1865); Schneidawind: The war of Austria against France in 1809. Vol. 1, 1824; Welden: The war of 1809. 1872.
  5. The Archduke's V Army Corps had to "cede" part of its cavalry and an infantry division to the right wing of the army that had marched off to Regensburg the day before
  6. ^ Lossau: Characteristics of Napoleon's wars. Vol. 3, 1847, p. 40. On that day, both Hiller and Archduke Ludwig were only given the task of "observing" the movements of the French army south of the Danube and not getting involved in a major battle ( Schneidawind : Carl, Erzherzog von Österreich. Vol. 2, 1840, p. 103).
  7. ↑ In fact, only the Austrian Thierry Brigade at Offenstetten (almost 5000 men) and Rohr General Schustek with four squadrons of hussars (approx. 600 riders) and at Bachel a mixed detachment under General Pfanzelter (approx. 1000 men) stood in this wide gap the Austrian III. Army Corps had left there. The III. In the evening the army corps stood on the heights north of Langquaid near Grub and Paring (Lossau: Characteristics of Napoleon's wars. Vol. 3, 1847, p. 57).
  8. Völderndorff: War History of Bavaria under King Maximilian Joseph I. Vol. 2, 1826, p. 79 writes that it was "eight o'clock"; therefore it is not certain whether the time given by Pelet refers to local time or Paris time.
  9. At the beginning of the attack, Vandamme was deployed in front of Bruchhof, the Crown Prince of Bavaria in front of Offenstetten, Wrede on the left bank of the Abens to take action against Siegenburg, and Deroy stood behind Abensberg as a reserve (Völderndorff: War history of Bavaria under King Maximilian Joseph I. Vol. 2, 1826, p. 78f)
  10. ^ Lossau: Characteristics of Napoleon's wars. Vol. 3, 1847, pp. 30-62
  11. ^ Lossau: Characteristics of Napoleon's wars. Vol. 3, 1847, pp. 30-62; Schneidawind: Carl, Archduke of Austria. Vol. 2, 1840, pp. 101-116.
  12. ^ The Crown Prince Ludwig, Wrede and Deroy (Deroi) divisions. In addition to the Bavarian soldiers, the Württemberg soldiers under General Vandamme and other Rhine Confederation troops as well as French divisions fought on this day (Lossau: Characteristics of Napoleon's Wars. Vol. 3, 1847, pp. 30-58)