Hofer, Andreas

REBEL LEADER (AUSTRIA)
BORN 22 Nov 1767, St. Leonhard im Passeier: Herberg Am Sande - DIED 20 Feb 1810, Mantova, Lombardia
GRAVE LOCATION Innsbruck, Tirol: Hofkirche, Universitńtstrasse 2

Andreas Hofer was the son of the innkeeper at the Sandhof Inn in St. Leonhard in Tyrol. He inherited the inn and also traded wine and horses in nearby Northen Italy. He married Anna Ladurner. In 1791 he was elected into the parliament of Tyrol, the Landtag. He was a sharpshooter and a captain in the Austrian Army in the war against the French. After Austria was defeated Tyrol became part of Bavaria in 1805. He became a leader of the movement against Bavaria and in 1809 he was a member of the delegation that asked Francis I of Austria for support in case of an uprising.

Francis I promised his support and Hofer started plotted an insurrection. On 9 April 1809 the uprising started in Innsbruck.On 11 April Bavarian troops were defeated in Sterzing and Innsbruck was occupied that same day and Austrian forces entered the city soon afterwards. Hofer moved on to capture Bolzano and Trentino.

But after Napoleon defeated the Austrians in a series of battles the Austrians withdrew and Hofer was forced to retreat into the mountains. The Bavarians recaptued Innsbruck on 19 May 1809. Hofer defeated the Bavarians again during the Battle of Bergisel from 25 to 29 May 1809. Francis I again promised his support, but after Napoleon defeated the Austrians again in the Battle of Wagram Tyrol was again ceded to Bavaria. A force of 40,000 troops recaptured Innsbruck. But Hofer attacked again and retook Innsbruck after the third Battle of Bergisel in August.

For two months Hofer ruled in name of the Empreror of Austria. Francis I promised again that he would support Tyrol, but during the Treaty of Sch÷nbrunn of 14 October it was again ceded to Bavaria. After a promise of amnesty Hofer laid down the weapons on 8 November, but he took them u pagain after false reports of Austrian victories. He was defeated by the French troops and fled into the mountains. He hid in a hut in the Passeiertal but there was a prize on his head and his neighbour Franz Raffl betrayed him. He was captued by Italian troops and sent to Mantova for a court-martial.

The court martial disagreed on the sentence until a message from the Viceroy was received that communicated Napoleon's order to give Hofer a fair trial and then shoot him. He was executed on 20 February, giving the order to fire himself. Napoleon later told Prince Metternich that Hofer was executed against his wishes. Hofer became a martyr in Germany and Austria. In 1823 his remains were transferred from Manova to Innsbruck and a marble statue was placed on his tomb in the Hofkirche in 1834.

Related persons
• defeated Lefebvre, Franšois Joseph, Duc de Dantzig

Events
11/4/1809Start of the insurrection against Bavaria in Tyrol. The insurrection was led by Andreas Hofer and within a short time Innsbruck and Hall were taken from Bavaria. 
29/5/1809Bavarian troops defeated by Tyrolean rebels at the Isel 
13/8/1809Andreas Hofer defeats the army of Lefebvre near the Isel [Lefebvre, Franšois Joseph, Duc de Dantzig]
20/1/1810French troops arrest Andreas Hofer. Hofer was hiding in a hut but he was betrayed by the farmer Raffl. He was take nto Mantua with his family to stand trial. 
20/2/1810Andreas Hofer is executed in Mantova. The court martial coulnt agree on the death penalty, but the Italian Viceroy sent the order that he should be killed within 24 hours so that the Austrians wouldn't be able to interfere. Hofer refused to be blindfolded and gave the order to fire himself. His family was enobled by the emperor of Austria. 

Images

The grave monument of Andreas Hofer at the Hofkirche, Innsbruck.
Picture by Androom (19 aug 2019)

 

Sources
Winkler Prins Encyclopedie (editie 1909), 1909
Andreas Hofer - Wikipedia


Hofer, Johanna

Published: 05 Jan 2020
Last update: 05 Jan 2020