(c) The Austrian War of 1809 (Eckmiihl, Aspern and Wagram).
Thus on the 21st of May the battle of Aspern or Essling began.
Whilst the campaign of 1809 had seriously shaken the faith of the marshals and the higher ranks in the infallibility of the emperor's judgment, and the slaughter of the troops at Aspern and Wagram had still further accentuated the opposition of the French people to conscription, the result on the fighting discipline of the army had, on the whole, been for good.
News having been received that Napoleon had suffered a serious check at the battle of Aspern, near Vienna (May 22, 1809), Wellesley next determined - leaving Beresford (20,000) near Ciudad Rodrigo - to move with 22,000 men, in conjunction with Cuesta's Spanish army (40,000) towards Madrid against Victor, who, with 25,000 supported by King Joseph (50,000) covering the capital, was near Talavera.
- Napoleon, having avenged Aspern by the victory of Wagram (July 6, 1809), despatched to Spain large reinforcements destined to increase his army there to about 370,000 men.
Until 1892 it contained only ten of the present districts; in that year nine outlying districts were incorporated with the town; in 1900 Brigittenau was created out of part of the old district of Leopoldstadt, and in 1905 the Floridsdorf district was made up by the incorporation of the following former suburbs: Aspern-an-der-Donau, Donaufeld, Floridsdorf, Gross-Jedlersdorf, Hirschstetten, Jedlesee, Kagran, Leopoldau, Lobau-Insel and Stadlau.
ASPERN - ESSLING, Battle Of (1809), a battle fought on the 21st and 22nd of May 1809 between the French and their allies under Napoleon and the Austrians commanded by the archduke Charles (see Napoleonic Campaigns).
His forces on the Marchfeld were drawn up in front of the bridges facing north, with their left in the village of Aspern (Gross-Aspern) and their right in Essling (or Esslingen).
Both places lay close to the Danube and could not therefore be turned; Aspern, indeed, is actually on the bank of one of the river channels.
Three under Hiller, Bellegarde and Hohenzollern were to converge upon Aspern, the other two, under Rosenberg, to attack Essling.
The battle began at Aspern; Hiller carried the village at the first rush, but Massena recaptured it, and held his ground with the same tenacity as he had shown at Genoa in 1800.
The two armies bivouacked on their ground, and in Aspern the French and Austrians lay within pistol shot of each other.
Massena swiftly cleared Aspern of the enemy, but at the same time Rosenberg stormed Essling at last.
In Aspern Massena had been less fortunate, the counter-attack of Hiller and Bellegarde being as completely successful as that of Lannes and St Hilaire.
Aspern had been lost, and graver news reached Napoleon at the critical moment.
Battle of Aspern-Essling >>