With Napoleon and the bulk of the French Army tied up in Spain during 1808, the Austrians planned to attack in Bavaria, one the French Allied states of the Confederation of the Rhine. Taking advantage of the absence of the Emperor and many of the veterans of the French Grande Armee, they hoped that the rest of Germany would rise in revolt against the French, and possibly to persuade Prussia to join the conflict.
Despite Napoleon being well aware of Austrian plans, he delayed his departure from Paris as long as possible to avoid accelerating events. Left to exercise greater judgement than he was accustomed to, Marechal Berthier, Napoleon’s Chief of staff and nominal Army commander in the Emperor’s absence, misunderstood the endless stream of instructions emanating from France, and wound up spreading his troop in a dangerously dispersed fashion. When the Austrians, led by Archduke Charles (Erzherzog Karl in German) attack came sooner than Napoleon had anticipated, they had a real opportunity to defeat the French in detail, setting the stage for one of the most fascinating campaigns of the Napoleonic Wars.
Planned Commands (some larger formations will likely be split among 2 or more players depending upon the number of participants, especially Davout)
Napoleon, Davout, Oudinot, Lefebvre, Massena, Lannes, Vandamme, Rouyer
Archduke Charles, Belegarde, Kolowrath, Hohenzollern, Rosenberg, Ludwig, Hiller, Liechtenstein, Hofer
Please contact me if interested in participating: Gonsalvo AT aol DOT com
** Note that present plans call for running a different variation of the same event Thursday July 8 at Historicon in Lancaster, PA, later this year.
What did Napoleon Bonaparte mean to the British people? This engaging book reconstructs the role that the French leader played in the British political, cultural, and religious imagination in the early nineteenth century. Denounced by many as a tyrant or monster, Napoleon nevertheless had sympathizers in Britain. Stuart Semmel explores the ways in which the British used Napoleon to think about their own history, identity, and destiny.
Many attacked Napoleon but worried that the British national character might not be adequate to the task of defeating him. Others, radicals and reformers, used Napoleon’s example to criticize the British constitution. Semmel mines a wide array of sources—ranging from political pamphlets and astrological almanacs to sonnets by canonical Romantic poets—to reveal surprising corners of late Hanoverian politics and culture.
Stuart Semmel is assistant professor of history at the University of Delaware.