The Passau campaign is the fourth phase of the larger 1813 Campaign. It covers the period 12 June to 20 June 1813 and the fighting in southern Germany between Third French Army and the Austrians.
It has been done as a separate blog in order to keep all of the relevant reports together and to avoid making the main campaign blog too long and complicated.
We started the campaign on 3 March 2010 and finished on 10 July 2010
The full campaign report can be read at:
Background to the Campaign
Napoleon is confident that the Austrian army will remain neutral during 1813. Not only did they fight alongside the French in Russia the previous year, but also Napoleon is married to the daughter of the Emperor Ferdinand. Despite this he sends Marshal Oudinot to Munich to take command of the Bavarian and Baden armies, to reorganize them and to ensure that no Austrian troops are sent north to join the allies.
Austria has long resented earlier defeats at the hands of the French. Observing the French defeat and retreat from Russia, Ferdinand forms an alliance with the allies to strike at France through Bavaria.
The Austrian advance down the Danube valley comes as a complete surprise to Oudinot.
Summary of the Campaign
On 12 June the Archduke Charles enters Bavaria at the head of two corps, the remaining two to join him as quickly as possible.
The following day Marshal Oudinot orders his army to concentrate between Passau and Salzburg.
On 14 June the Austrians enter Altheim and isolate 9 Bavarian corps on the northern bank of the river Danube at Passau.
Next day 2 Austrian corps take Mattsee and isolate 11 Bavarian corps at Salzburg.
On 16 June 11 Bavarian corps attack Mattsee to open communications with Passau. They are defeated and retreat to Salzburg.
10 Bavarian corps are marching west to the proposed concentration area but are defeated at Altheim on 17 June and retreat towards Munich
10 Bavarian corps halt at Branau and hold the Austrians at bay long enough to allow 9 corps to cross the river Danube and join them. A determined attack by 1 and 3 Austrian corps force them both to retire towards Munich at nightfall.
11 corps are now isolated at Salzburg, and on 20 June they are attacked by 2 Austrian corps. The Austrians lose the battle and are forced to withdraw south into the alpine passes away from the main army
20 June – 2 Austrian corps attack Salzburg, are defeated and forced to withdraw south into the alpine passes away from the main Austrian army.
The next day Archduke orders his remaining three corps to attack Reishach before the
Bavarians at Salzburg can march north against his flank. Oudinot has concentrated three of his corps who defeat the Austrians and force them to withdraw east towards Linz.
After a very good start Archduke Charles ends the campaign with his army widely dispersed and must withdraw to Linz to allow his army time to regroup if he is to hold the road to Vienna.
Despite his failure to concentrate his army to meet the Austrian attack, Marshal Oudinot finally defeats the Austrian army to save Munich and drives them back to their start point. He is now well placed to go on to the offensive and advance towards Vienna.