Karl, Archduke of Austria, Duke of Teschen

BORN 5 Sep 1771, Firenze, Toscana - DIED 30 Apr 1847, Wien
BIRTH NAME Karl Ludwig Johann Josef Lorenz of Austria
GRAVE LOCATION Wien: Kapuzinergruft, Tegetthoffstraße 2 (New vault, Tomb 122)

Son of Holy Roman emperor Leopold II and younger brother of emperor Franz II. He grew up in Vienna and he began his military career in the Austrian Netherlands in the war of the French Revolution. He distinguished himself at Jemapes (1792) and Neerwinden (1793). In 1796 he was put in command of the Austrian forces at the Rhine. He defeated Jourdan at Amberg and Würzburg and drove him over the Rhine. He also defeated Moreau who had to leave Germany with his troops.

In 1797 he had to retreat when Napoleon Bonaparte entered Italy, but in 1799 he defeated Jourdan again and defeated Masséna at Zürich. During the war of 1805 he was he defeated by Masséna at Caldiero. After the peace between Austria and France was signed he started to reform the army. After his initial success at Aspern in 1809, the Austrians were defeated once more by the French and he gave up his military offices.

When the war against the French broke out once more Schwarzenberg was in put in command instead of him and apart from being military governor of Mainz for a while in 1815 he stayed in retirement. In 1815 he married the eighteen year old Princess Henrietta of Nassau-Weilburg and in 1822 he became Duke of Saxe-Teschen.

He died in 1847 in Vienna and a large statue of him was unveiled at the Heldenplatz in Vienna in 1860.

Related persons
• employed Schlegel, Friedrich von

3/9/1796The Austrians defeat the French near Würzburg. They Austrians were commanded by Archduke Karl and the French by Jourdan. 
8/9/1800Johann von Habsburg is suddenly put in command of the army. This happened in the middle of the Second Coalition war. After Archduke Karl had resigned after difference with emperor Franz II he was put in command by his brother. In reality field marshall Franz von Lauer was in command and told Johann what to do. 
22/4/1809Davout defeats the Austrians near Eckmühl. The battle was opened by Davout and the Bavarian army. In the afternoon Napoleon joined in with the of Lannes and Masséna as well as the Württemberg troops under Vandamma. After a cavelry attack the Austrians under Archduke Karl were forced to withdraw to Regensburg. He lost 6,000 of his 26,000 soldiers during the battle. The French troops counted 65,000 heads and suffered much smaller losses. Shortly after the battle Regensburg and Munich were occupied by the French. Davout received the title Prince of Eckmühl. [Davout, Louis-Nicholas, Duke of Auerstädt][Lannes, Jean, Duc de Montebello][Masséna, André, duc de Rivoli, prince d'Essling]
21/5/1809The Austrians defeat the French near Aspern. The battle took place on 21 and 22 May. Karl, Duke of Teschen commanded the Austrians in their biggest succes against the Napoleontic troops. It was said that Napoleon, who stayed at the Lobau Isle in the Donau river, afterwards conceived a son with his mistress Maria Walewska. The Austrians soon lost their advantage during the Battle of Wagram. Karl was hunoured as big hero and received a statue in Vienna. [Lannes, Jean, Duc de Montebello][Masséna, André, duc de Rivoli, prince d'Essling][Walewska, Maria ]


The tomb of Karl, Duke of Teschen in the Kapuzinergruft, Vienna.
Picture by Androom (31 Aug 2002)


The statue of Erzherzog Karl at the Heldenplatz near the Hofburg, Vienna.
Picture by Androom (22 Sep 2004)


Reformer, Republikaner und Rebellen, Das andere Haus Habsburg-Lotharingen, Piper, München, 1995
Winkler Prins Encyclopedie (editie 1909), 1909
Archduke Charles, Duke of Teschen - Wikipedia

Karlweiss, Oskar

Published: 16 May 2010
Last update: 02 May 2022