22 April 1809, about 2 P.M.:

Napoleon had now reached the field. Accompanied by Masséna and his staff, he turned to his left at Buchhausen and reached the heights of Lindach. What he saw thence cannot be better described than in the words of Pelet...

We perceived, through its whole breadth, this battlefield rising gently in an amphitheatre. The summits of the hills were crowned with fine forests; the valleys opened before us, bare enough, but cultivated and separated from one another by hills of slightly marked feature. There was the valley of Eckmühl (running from south to north), up which wound the Ratisbon road, and there was that of the two Laichlings, separated from one another by a small wood....At our feet we saw the Laaber, flowing from the large village of Schierling on the left through green and damp pasturages. We could follow the twistings of its bed, planted with willows and poplars, in the bottom of a valley a mile broad, adorned by fine villages, cut up by little canals and shady roads, and having sides sloping gently up. On our right, the heights rose to the wooded hills of Rogging, dominating the neighborhood and apparently destined to play a great part in the battle.

F. Loraine Petre, Napoleon and the Archduke Charles

Photo locations south of Eggmühl

Photo locations south of Eggmühl

Looking north from Napoleonshohe east of Oberdeggenbach

Looking north from the Napoleonshohe hill east of Oberdeggenbach and west of Pinkofen. Local legend has it that Napoleon stood here to observe the battle of 22 April 1809. The heights of Rogging are at the right rear, Unterdeggenbach (note square church tower) at left.


Looking northwest from Napoleonshohe

Looking northwest from the Napoleonshohe over Unterdeggenbach and Eggmühl to the heights above Kraxenhöfen, the Austrian main line of defence. The Bettelberg is directly behind the church tower, the Deisenberg to the left.


Looking WNW from Napoleonshohe

Looking west-northwest from the Napoleonshohe toward Schierling.


Commemorative plaque on Napoleonshohe

Commemorative plaque on the Napoleonshohe.


Lindach church

The church at Lindach. Napoleon is said to have used the steeple as an observatory.


Looking WNW from Lindach toward Schierling

Looking west-northwest from Lindach toward Schierling.


Looking north from Lindach

Looking north from Lindach. Unterlaichling, distinguished by its bright white church tower, is just right of center. The Deisenberg hill is just to the right of the village.


Grosse Laaber

The Große Laaber stream between Schierling and Unterdeggenbach, looking east-northeast.


The Napoleon Inn, Eggmühl

Sign over the door of the Gastätte (Inn) Napoleon, in the center of the village of Eggmühl. While the Inn may well have been in business since 1630, it is doubtful that it adopted the present name before 1809!


Schloss Eggmühl

Schloss (château) Eggmühl. Now an Altenheim (old folks' home).

It was just after 2 P.M. when Hügel's light brigade reached the bridge of Eckmühl, at which they found one of Wukassowich's battalions. The other was in the village and château of Eckmühl. In 1809 the village was surrounded by a dilapidated wall, which has now disappeared. Round the château was an earthen rampart, which is still to be seen. As an advanced post in a field of battle, both were capable of a long defence. One of Hügel's battalions, after being twice beaten off, captured the passage of the river, followed its defenders across the 200 yards of open ground to Eckmühl, and took both village and château, with 300 prisoners in the latter.

F. Loraine Petre, Napoleon and the Archduke Charles


Earthen rampart of Schloss Eggmühl

The earthen rampart of Schloss Eggmühl, looking south (Schloss to the left, center of village to the right).


Photo locations north of Eggmühl

Photo locations north of Eggmühl

Panorama from the Bettelberg hill north of Eggmühl

A stretch of dead ground ran along the base of the heights where the Austrian guns were deployed. Taking advantage of this fold in the terrain, Seydewitz quickly moved his 6½ squadrons east until they were below and just left of the batteries, swung into line and charged up the slope. With Bubenhofen on the right and Taxis on the left, the troopers were met with a storm of canister, but they galloped ahead and were soon happily sabring the scrambling Austrian gunners. Five pieces were already in Bavarian hands when GM Karl von Stutterheim counter-attacked with eight Austrian squadrons (four each of Vincent and Stipsicz). Disordered by their charge and weakened by losses, the Bavarians retreated down the hill but reformed rapidly among the other Allied cavalry gathered in the low ground west of Eggmühl.

This first attack had been repelled, but pressure on the Austrian centre did not ease. With the Württembergers forming on their left and GD Raymond de Bonardi, Comte de St. Sulpice's cuirassiers coming up on their right, the Bavarians stormed forward again at about 3:30. Now there was no time for clever manoeuvring, the brigade rode straight for the guns, reached them, but was again repulsed by a cavalry counter-attack (four squadrons of Vincent, three of Stipsicz). While still engaged with the Bavarians, however, the Austrian horsemen were hit by the Württemberg regiments. This support allowed Seydewitz to disengage and hastily reorder his ranks for yet another assault. To throw back the Württembergers, the last Austrian reserves (the remaining five squadrons of Stipsicz) were now committed into the swirling fury on the hillside, but the French heavies were trotting up and the Bavarians were ready to charge again. St. Sulpice's stately troopers rode over the Austrian hussars and the Allied cavalry spurred up the slope in unison. Breaking upon the enemy centre like a great wave, they scattered the remaining Austrians and took off in pursuit.

John H. Gill, With Eagles to Glory

Looking east from Bettelberg

Looking east from the Bettelberg. This was the site of a 16-gun Austrian battery, keystone of the Austrian defense and a major objective of the Franco-Bavarian attacks on the afternoon of 22 April, 1809.


Looking southeast from the Bettelberg

Looking southeast from the Bettelberg, over Eggmühl village, Unterdeggenbach, and the Napoleonshohe hill.


Looking south from Bettelberg

Looking south from the Bettelberg. Unterdeggenbach is at the left, Lindach at the center, and the eastern outskirts of Schierling at the extreme right.


Looking southwest from Bettelberg

Looking southwest from the Bettelberg toward Schierling.


Looking west from Bettelberg

Looking west from the Bettelberg toward the Deisenberg. Unterlaichling is just behind the wood in the middle distance, beneath the steep western slope of the Deisenberg.


Panorama from the Deisenberg hill east of Unterlaichling
Looking southwest from Deisenberg

Looking southwest from the Deisenberg. The village of Paring is visible in the distance at the far right. Schierling is at left.


Looking south from the Deisenberg

Looking south from the Deisenberg over the valley of the Große Laaber. Lindach is on the first ridge in the center. Schierling is on the right.


Looking southeast from Deisenberg

Looking southeast from the Deisenberg. Eggmühl is left of center, Unterdeggenbach behind and to the right of Eggmühl.


Looking east from Deisenberg

Looking east from the Deisenberg. The summit of the Bettelberg is just beyond the copse of trees. The white-walled buildings of Kraxenhöfen are visible right of center, and Eggmühl village at far right.


Looking north from Deisenbereg

Looking north from the Deisenberg. The nearby village is Oberlaichling. The distant woods lie halfway between Oberlaichling and Obersanding.


Looking northwest from Deisenberg

Looking northwest from the Deisenberg. The unwooded hill on the left is the Laimberg, where Friant's artillery was deployed.

The last-named general took his artillery, the six guns which had done so well the previous day, on to the Laimberg, whence he could command Ober-Laichling and the slopes beyond. Hence he sent forward the 33rd, with the 48th on its left. Through the great wood on his left (Leibholz and Mitterholz) adavanced the 108th and 111th, whilst the 15th light infantry stood in reserve behind the centre of the division. The Austrian fire was heavy and earthworks had been thrown up at Ober-Laichling. The attack in that direction was at a standstill when one battalion of the 48th dashing forward stormed many of the works and almost reached the crest of the hill. The other two battalions, and the 33rd following on, held firm the ground thus conquered.

F. Loraine Petre, Napoleon and the Archduke Charles


Looking west from Deisenberg

Looking west from the Deisenberg. Unterlaichling lies in the valley below the copse of trees on the crest, which was heavily fought over on 22 April 1809.

In the meantime, a brutal, bloody fight had developed in the little copse above Unter Laichling. As Seydewitz was suffering his first repulse, St. Hilaire's Division and the Bavarian 14th Infantry undertook a second assault on the wood. The French bore the brunt of the battle, St. Hilaire's 10e Légère's casualties exceeding 600 in the struggle for the town and wood, but the 14th's--more than 200--were also high. The little clump of trees was soon in Allied hands for a second time, but the skirmishers who swarmed out on to the plateau were again scattered by Stutterheim's cavalry.

John H. Gill, With Eagles to Glory


Looking west from Unterlaichling

Looking west from the southwest edge of Unterlaichling. This farm road leads due west to the Kolbinger Holz (the woods south of Kolbing). St. Hilaire's Division attacked from these woods at about 2:30 PM on 22 April 1809:

At the same time, St. Hilaire's attack started, supported by Deroy on his right. The 10e Légère, under Berthezène, supported by the 105e Ligne, had no great difficulty in capturing Unter-Laichling, where they took several hundred prisoners. The little hanging wood on the steep slope above Unter-Laichling was less easy, and cost more in men to take; but, presently, the French were just emerging from it driving the Austrians before them on to the Hinter-berg [main summit of the Deisenberg], when Stutterheim, with four squadrons of hussars, attacked them in the nick of time and brought them to a standstill and to a long musketry fire, at the wood and Heu Kurbe [northern extension of the Deisenberg], with the two Austrian infantry regiments.

F. Loraine Petre, Napoleon and the Archduke Charles


Looking east at Unterlaichling

Looking east at Unterlaichling, the hanging copse, and the Deisenberg hill, with the Vorberg (southern extension of the Deisenberg) extending to the right.

On the left, Deroy's line infantry came at Unter Laichling from the south, while GD Louis Le Blond, Comte de St. Hilaire's Division (Davout's Corps) attacked from the north-west. Gotthardt's battery was posted on the hill just north of Schierling to provide supporting fire. Led by their division commander, the [Bavarian] 14th Infantry advanced 'with varying manoeuvres according to the situation of the terrain, moving from one position to another in columns, deployed in line or spread out en eventaille'. The assault was successful. The Austrian defenders were thrown out of the little village and the tiny woods above it, leaving two companies to be captured in the churchyard by the French. Unfortunately, the Allied infantry pursued too far and was set upon by Austrian chevauxlegers as they tried to debouch from the copse. Fleeing from the cavalry, they lost part of the wood to the reformed Austrian infantry.

John H. Gill, With Eagles to Glory


Looking northwest from Oberlaichling

Looking northwest from Oberlaichling, toward the Laimberg hill and the ground over which Friant's Division attacked to take the village.


Looking north from Oberlaichling

Looking north from Oberlaichling toward the Leibholz (left) and Oberholz (right), through which Friant's 108e and 111e Ligne attacked, defeating three Austrian regiments and ouflanking Oberlaichling on the north.


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