Battle of Teugen-Hausen


Battle of Teugen-Hausen

Infobox Military Conflict
conflict=Battle of Teugn-Hausen
partof=the War of the Fifth Coalition


caption=
date=19 April, 1809
place=Teugen, Bavaria
result=French victory
combatant1=flagicon|Austrian Empire Austrian Empire
combatant2=flagicon|France First French Empire
commander1=Archduke Charles
Franz Xavier Prince zu Hohenzollern-Hechingen
commander2=Napoleon I
Marshal Davout
strength1=28,000
strength2=28,000
casualties1=4,000 killed and wounded
casualties2=4,000 killed and wounded
The Battle of Teugn-Hausen was fought on 19 April 1809, and resulted in a French victory under Marshal Louis Nicolas Davout over the Austrian Army of Archduke Charles of Austria. The Battle was the first engagement of a four day campaign which culminated in the French victory at the Eckmühl.

Background

In the early hours of 10 April 1809, 140,000 Austrian troops under Archduke Charles crossed Inn River into Bavaria, while simultaneously Archduke John crossed the Italian border with his Austrian Army of Italy. This two pronged offensive marked the start of the War of the Fifth Coalition. The Austrian Empire's aim was to engage and destroy the French and Allied forces in these areas while the majority of Napoleon's veteran Grande Armée was engaged in Spain fighting the Peninsular War.

Napoleon had not expected the Austrians to declare war and launch an offensive in the Spring of 1809. As such, the first few weeks of the campaign resulted in several setbacks for the French. As the Austrian Armies cut swathes into Bavaria and Italy, Napoleon rushed back from Spain, ordering Marshal Berthier to begin forming La Grande Armee d'Allemange (The Grand Army of Germany) from French and Allied units located on the Danube front.

The Austrians continued their advance into Bavaria, forcing the Bavarian Army before them. Marshal Davout's veteran III Corps had been located near Regensburg. In the confusion following the Austrian attack and subsequent advance, Davout found himself isolated near Regensburg on the banks of the Danube.

On 16 April, Archduke John's Army of Italy inflicted a defeat on Viceroy Prince Eugène de Beauharnais Franco-Italian Army at the Battle of Sacile.

Battle

Archduke Charles realised the tenuous position of Davout's corps. With its back to the Danube, a defeat of Davout's force would likely result in its complete destruction. The opportunity to destroy one of the few veteran units available to the French on the Danube front was seized by Charles, and he dispatched three corps from his army to locate and destroy Davout's corps. The Austrians moved Northwards towards Regensburg, the last known location of Davout.

Meanwhile, Davout had moved his forces Southeast in an attempt to link up with Bavarian and other French units. At 11am on 19 April, near the village of Teugn, "Feldmarschall" Prinz von Hohenzollern-Hechingen's Austrian III.Korps blundered into Davout's corps, advancing over the line of march of General Comte Saint Hilaire's division.

The terrain around Teugn is heavily wooded, and so lines of communication were severely hampered. Hohenzollern, realising that he had discovered Davout's force, immediately deployed his III.Korps to rebuff the inevitable French attack. He also sent to inform the Archduke, and to request that the nearby IV.Korps as well at Charles' Grenadier reserve be brought to bear on Davout's force. The close terrain hampered the courier, and when the Archduke finally received the message, hesitated to deploy his reserve without clearer intelligence. In failing to act, Charles lost the opportunity to destroy one of Napoleon's elite corps.

Davout's superior skill and the quality of his troops, meant that Hohenzollern's force was severely outmatched. Davout soon pushed III.Korps back towards the village of Hausen, thus opening the line of communication with his Bavarian Allies advancing from the West. The battle was over by 5pm, when a heavy thunderstorm put an end to the action. Both sides had suffered around 4,000 casualties, but Davout's III Corps was the clear victor. Davout soon linked up with friendly forces near Abensberg.

The battle of Teugn-Hausen was a missed opportunity for Archduke Charles to severely weaken Napoleon's "Armée d'Allemagne" early in the 1809 campaign.

French Forces

III Corps ("Maréchal Louis-Nicolas Davout")
** Corps Artillery Reserve
* 2nd Division ("Général de Division Friant")
** 33ème Régiment d'lnfanterie de Ligne
** 108/111ème Ligne (Brigade)
** 48ème Régiment d'lnfanterie de Ligne
** Divisional Artillery
* 4th Division, ("Général de Division Saint Hilaire")
** 3ème Régiment d'lnfanterie de Ligne
** 57ème Régiment d'lnfanterie de Ligne
** 10ème Régiment d'Infanterie Légère
** 72ème Régiment d'lnfanterie de Ligne
** 105ème Régiment d'lnfanterie de Ligne
** Divisional Artillery
* 3rd Division (Général de Division Gudin")
** 7ème Régiment d'Infanterie Légère
** 21ème Régiment d'Infanterie Légère
** 25ème Régiment d'lnfanterie de Ligne
** 85ème Régiment d'lnfanterie de Ligne
** Divisional Artillery

Austrian Forces

III Korps ("Feldmarschall Prinz von Hohenzollern-Hechingen")
** Position Battery
** Heavy Battery
* Advance Guard (General Vukassovich)
** 1.Erherzog Karl Legion
** Grenz Regiment "Peterwardeiner"
** Erherzog Ferdinand Hussars
** Horse Artillery
* Division Lusignan, ("General Lusignan")
** IR7 Schröder
** IR56 Colloredo
** Position Battery
* Division St. Julien, ("General St. Julien")
** IR12 Manfredini
** IR23 Würzburg
** IR20 Kaunitz
** IR38 Württemburg
** Position Battery
* I.Reservekorps ("Archduke Charles") - Not Committed
** Grenadier Brigade
** Grenadier Brigade
** Grenadier Brigade

References


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