Battle of Haslach-Jungingen


Battle of Haslach-Jungingen

Infobox Military Conflict
conflict=Battle of Haslach-Jungingen
partof=the War of the Third Coalition
date=October 11, 1805
place=Haslach, present-day Germany
result=French victory
combatant1=flagicon|France First French Empire
combatant2=flag|Austrian Empire
commander1=Pierre Dupont
commander2=Karl Mack von Lieberich
strength1=7,500
strength2=25,000
casualties1=2,400 total:
1,100 killed and wounded
900 captured
11 cannon captured
casualties2=4,100 total:
1,100 killed and wounded
3,000 captured
2 cannon captured
notes=
The Battle of Haslach-Jungingen, fought on 11 October 1805 at Ulm-Jungingen north of Ulm at the Danube, was part of the War of the Third Coalition, which was a part of the greater Napoleonic Wars.

Background

During the Ulm Campaign, Napoleon's Grand Army had executed a massive right wheel to trap the Austrian army led by Karl Mack von Lieberich. Starting on the Rhine River, facing east, the various French corps arrived on the Danube River, facing south. From the Danube, using Marshal Michel Ney's VI Corps as a pivot, the Grand Army continued its right wheel until most of Naploeon's corps were facing west. The bulk of the Austrian army was now trapped, though Napoleon did not know exactly where most of the enemy units were located.

The French believed that the Austrian garrison of Ulm formed part of a rearguard, not a large army. Marshal Joachim Murat was placed in command of the VI Corps on the north bank and the V Corps and a large force of cavalry on the south bank. His mission was to drive west toward Ulm.

On October 11, Murat ordered Marshal Michel Ney to move the bulk of his VI Corps to the south bank of the Danube. Ney argued that the north bank force was too small but Murat brushed him off with the comment, "I know nothing of plans except those made in the face of the enemy." Ney reluctantly complied with his orders, leaving only the division of Pierre Dupont on the north bank, supported by Tilly's VI Corps cavalry.

The battle

Later that day, Dupont found himself faced with 25,000 Austrian troops, including 10,000
cavalry. The Austrians were under the command of Mack and his corps commander Karl Schwarzenberg. Dupont felt that retreat would lead to an Austrian pursuit and the destruction of his division, so he chose instead to attack the numerically superior Austrians.

Dupont's 5,300-man 1st Division of the VI Corps was made up of three battalions of 9th Light Infantry and four battalions each of the 32nd and 96th Line Infantry Regiments under Generals of Brigade Jean Rouyer and Jean Marchand. Tilly's cavalry brigade included the 26th Chasseur and 1st Hussar Regiments, plus the 2nd, 15th and 17th Dragoons. This made a total of 2,200 horsemen.

As the battle progressed, Field Marshal Mack came to believe that the French troops he was now facing were part of an advance guard, not an isolated group, which prevented him from committing all of his reserves. This blunder allowed Dupont to hold off the Austrians long enough for nightfall to come, at which point he withdrew with 3,000 Austrian prisoners and 2 captured cannons. In addition, the Austrians lost 1,100 killed or wounded. Mack was lightly wounded.

The Austrians inflicted a loss of 1,500 killed and wounded, 900 captured and 11 cannons on Dupont's command. The Austrian Latour Light Dragoons Nr. 4 seized the eagle of the 15th Dragoons. The 17th Dragoons also lost an eagle.

trategic consequences

Murat's error gave Mack a great opportunity to break out to the east on the north bank of the Danube. Mack's very weak leadership and Dupont's aggressive response prevented the Austrian army from escaping the trap that Napoleon had set for them. For a few more days, only Dupont and some cavalry blocked the north bank while Mack dithered. On October 14 at the Battle of Elchingen, the rest of Ney's corps attacked across the river to the north bank. This plugged one of Mack's few remaining escape hatches.

References

* Chandler, David, "The Campaigns of Napoleon" Macmillan, 1979.
* Smith, Digby. "The Napoleonic Wars Data Book" Greenhill, 1998.

External links

* [http://www.napoleon-series.org/military/listings/c_3rdcoalition.html Napoleon Series]
* [http://www.napoleonicminiatureswargame.com/haslachob.html Napoleon Miniatures Wargame Society of Toronto]
* [http://www.napoleonguide.com/battle_haslach.htm Napoleon guide]


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