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For God and KaiserThe Imperial Austrian Army, 1619-1918$
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Richard Bassett

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780300178586

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300178586.001.0001

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Shattering the Myth

Shattering the Myth

Aspern and Essling

(p.242) Chapter 10 Shattering the Myth
For God and Kaiser

Richard Bassett

Yale University Press

This chapter starts by discussing the reform of the Austrian army. The keystone of this reform was the elevation of the Archduke Charles. Putting aside the petty intrigues and jealousies of the court, Emperor Francis appointed his brother “Generalissimus,” supreme commander, as well as President of the Aulic Council. Charles immersed himself in turning the Austrian army into a modern force, capable of holding its own against Napoleon. His reforms included the creation of the Landwehr (militia) and Reserveanstalt (reserve depot), which provided a source of manpower that could release regular soldiers for the front line once hostilities broke out; the adoption of a “corps” system of army organisation; strengthening of the Empire's light infantry capabilities; and the overhaul of the Austrian staff system. The remainder of the chapter covers the battle between the French and Austrians over the villages of Aspern and Essling.

Keywords:   Emperor Francis, Austrian army, military reform, Archduke Charles, Napoleon, French army, Aspern, Essling

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