Friday, January 13, 2012


A Report in the Vienna Chronicle on the action at Padua, Italy, 14 October 1805.

By the General commanding 5th Column, General of Cavalry Heinrich von Bellegarde.

My column had been deployed in and around Padua since September watching and waiting for any sign of movement by the French from the direction of Mantua.

The 8th Column of Feldmarschalleutnant Paul von Davidovich was in support at Venice.
The 4th Column was positioned opposite Vencia with the 6th Column in support.

On the 12th October light cavalry under Oberst Ludwig Graf Wallmoden-Gimborn made contact with advance cavalry of the French VIII Corps of Marshal Massena.

By the 13th October Marshal Massena was in position to attack Padua on the 14th October, however the Archduke (Charles) had ordered the 5th Column to attack from Padua and the 8th Column to cross the Brenta river in support (half of this column had already deployed from Venice with the rest arriving by the evening of the 14th).

The French VIII Corps attacked the 5th Column on the 14th, the 8th Column’s 8th Cavalry and 15th Infantry deployed in Padua with the 7th Cavalry and 16th Infantry to cross during the day.  I deployed the 5th Column in depth from the centre to the right flank intending to over throw the French left flank and roll up their position.

From the opening solvo’s from the French batteries things did not go well on the right flank.
The 1st Battalion Erzherzog Ferdinand Hussar Regiment was over thrown by French cuirassiers as was the 2nd Battalion Erzherzog Ferdinand Hussar Regiment, together with the Erzherzog Karl Uhlan Regiment, the French cuirassiers with some Hussars saw off these regiments but were in turn forced to withdraw.

While this battle was taking place on the right the Austrian centre was pressing home it's attack against the French artillery.  The 1st and 2nd   Battalions of the 3rd Oguliner Grenz Regiment suffered over 400 casualties and the Levenehr Dragoon Regiment also lost over 500 men but both regiments with the support of the 1st Battalion 30th Prinz de Ligne Infantry  Regiment and the Hohenlohe Cheavauxleger Regiment over run all the French batties in the centre.
On the Austrian left at Padua the 8th Column was pushing through the town under constant fire from 3 French batteries.  The Ansbach Kuirassier Regiment, Erzherzog Joseph Hussar Regiment, 26th Neugebauer Infantry Regiment and the 31st Beniowsky Infantry Regiments all attacked the and took or routed all the French batteries and their supporting infantry.
The day ended with the French right and centre in rout or withdrawing and their left under growing pressure from our right flank.

The Archduke was determined to keep the pressure the VIII Corps on the next day.
While this was going on the 4th Column was crossing the Brenta river into Vicenza as the French IX Corps moved south-west.  The 6th Column moved into position to support the 4th Column.

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