Archduke Charles, Duke of Teschen

Noble person

1771 – 1847

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Who was Archduke Charles, Duke of Teschen?

Archduke Charles of Austria, Duke of Teschen was an Austrian field-marshal, the third son of emperor Leopold II and his wife Infanta Maria Luisa of Spain. He was also the younger brother of Francis II, Holy Roman Emperor. Despite being epileptic, Charles achieved respect both as a commander and as a reformer of the Austrian army. He was considered one of Napoleon's most formidable opponents.

He began his career fighting the revolutionary armies of France. Early in the wars of the First Coalition, he saw victory at Neerwinden in 1793, before tasting defeat at Wattignies 1793 and Fleurus 1794. In 1796, as chief of all Austrian forces on the Rhine, Charles out-generaled Jean-Baptiste Jourdan at Amberg and Würzburg, and forced Jean Victor Marie Moreau to withdraw across the Rhine, and followed these victories with others at Zürich, Ostrach, Stockach, and Messkirch in 1799. He reformed Austria's armies to adopt the nation at arms principle; in 1809, he went into the War of the Fifth Coalition with confidence and inflicted Napoleon's first major setback at Aspern-Essling, before suffering a defeat at the bloody Battle of Wagram. Following Wagram, Charles saw no more significant action in the Napoleonic Wars.

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