Austria, Archduke Charles, Coloured Mezzotint
Archduke Charles of Austria, (1771- 1847). Field marshal. As the younger brother of Francis 11, the Holy Roman Emperor, he was largely given control of the army after 1794. He began his career fighting the revolutionary armies of France, his campaign in Italy in 1796 being a particular achievement. He became commander in chief of the Austrian army in 1806., successfully carrying out reforms of the army structure.
The chief characteristics of the new order were the adoption of the nation in arms principle and the adoption of French war organization and tactics. The army reforms were not yet completed by the war of 1809, yet even so it proved a far more formidable opponent than the old and was only defeated after a desperate struggle involving Austrian victories and large loss of life on both sides.
Its initial successes were neutralized by subsequent reverses but, after the evacuation of Vienna, the archduke won a strong victory at the Battle of Aspem Essling but soon afterwards lost at the Battle of Wagram. At the end of the campaign the archduke gave up all his military offices.
In 1808, when Napoleon crowned his brother Joseph king of Spain, Archduke Charles said to his brother, emperor Francis II, "Now we know what Napoleon wants, he wants everything."
Archduke Charles was nephew to Marie Antoinette, being the third son of Joseph 11. He achieved considerable success against the revolutionary armies of France and was one of the few formidable opponents of Napoleon.
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