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Ebelsberg

3 May, 1809

While the main Austrian army retreated away from the double defeats at Abensberg and Eckmuhl, a 40,000-strong rearguard under General Hiller moved to slow the French progress towards Vienna.

Hiller prepared his men behind the river Traun and watched as Marshal Andre Massena and 22,000 men approached.

For once, French intelligence let Massena down and he ordered a risky cross-river attack, not knowing that Marshal Jean Lannes was moving to outflank the Austrian positions.

To get to the main Austrian force established on the ridge behind Ebelsberg, Massena had first to cross a heavily defended bridge and capture the town and its castle.

His advance division managed the first two objectives, albeit at heavy cost, and then had to fend off local counterattacks and at one stage looked as it may not be able to hold.

Massena rushed reinforcements in and the French then threw back the defenders and took the castle.

Despite his advantage in numbers, Hiller did not launch a major counterattack and instead withdrew.

The Austrians lost some 2000 killed and wounded and 4000 more prisoners, while Massena suffered almost 3000 casualties.

 

 

 
 
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