23 April, 1809
Napoleonic Guide's Suggested
Danube Campaign Battles Map
the Austrians after the victory at Eckmuhl,
Napoleon Bonaparte found
the garrisoned old city at Ratisbon was a defensive shield
for Archduke Charles'
escape across the Danube.
to keep his sword at the backs of the Austrians, Bonaparte
had no time for a siege and so gave Marshal
Jean Lannes the task of storming the city.
well supported attempts were made on the walls, and both
were pushed back with heavy casualties.
men could not bring themselves to advance into the maelstrom
a third time and so, exasperated, Lannes grabbed a scaling
ladder and renewed his appeal.
amid an embarrassed silence, he angrily shouted: "I will
let you see that I was a grenadier before I was a marshal
and still am one."
took the ladder and moved forwards, but was physically restrained
by his aides.
His troops, shamed into action by the despair of their leader,
rushed forward. The third assault party carried the walls
and within minutes French troops were pouring into the now-doomed
casualties, including a wounded-in-the-ankle Bonaparte,
were between 1500 and 2000 while the Austrians lost at least
6000 men killed, injured or captured.
Marshal Louis Davout to
guard the north bank across the Danube, Bonaparte was now
free to move on Vienna.