The Austrian army 1805-1809 – BOX 3 volumes
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Even when a history writer would have wanted to celebrate the greatest European power (on land), namely the Austrian Empire, he certainly would not had chosen the terrible year 1809. What for the military apparatus in Vienna could have been a beginning of a Great Military Reform, the triumph of the Generalissimus Archduke Charles, became one of the worst nightmares of Habsburg history.
In short, after a series of unfortunate events and bad military conduct, Austria disappeared from the European scene, losing further important territories but, above all, losing its mighty armies. The author chooses to tell about that period, evaluating the military organization, starting from the recruitment, up to the details of the various units, because that army, was the largest army fielded by Austria before the Great War: man told about 600,000 men, including the Levies of regional volunteers, called Landwehr (in the territories of the Austrian Crown) and Insurrectio (in the territories of the Crown of St. Stephen)….
At the end, Austria entered into war with the most powerful military force of the whole Napoleonic Period (in numbers of fighters), an effort which hardly seemed possible and which surprised the world. Unfortunately its three armies (and the Landwehr) did not surprised Bonaparte, who kicked.
By Enrico Acerbi
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