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On This Day… A Rare Defeat For Napoleon

Written by: George Chittenden : 17 May 2019

It was on this day, 22nd May back in 1809 when Napoleon lost his first battle in over ten years, the Battle of Aspern-Essling, near Vienna in Austria. During his long and fruitful military career Napoleon only ever lost eight battles, out of an eye-watering sixty. His domination over Europe was shaken following his disastrous invasion of Russia in 1812. Napoleon was defeated in 1814 and banished to Elba, but of course he returned and was finally defeated in 1815 at Waterloo.

The Battle of Aspern-Essling

The Battle of Aspern-Essling

On this day in 1809 though he lost over 20,000 men including one of his best field commanders and closest friends, Marshal Jean Lannes, who died after being hit by an Austrian cannonball. Napoleon also lost one of his Generals, whose leg was torn off by a cannonball. Napoleon wasn’t fully defeated though, and his army regrouped. A month later they attempted to cross the Danube once again, and this time they gained a decisive victory over the Austrians at the Battle of Wagram.

Are you already curious to discover what happened tomorrow? Have a great day.

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