Sunday 4 February 2024

Landshut Campaign – Day 7

Campaign Map

French accept defeat and retreat

1st Austrian army – occupy Essenbach
2nd Austrian army – regroup at Reisbach
3rd Austrian army – occupy Dorfen

7th French army – surrender Essenbach
8th French army – retreat and abandon Landshut
9th French army – retreat


When news of the loss of Dorfen reached Marshal Massena he was reorganising 8th Bavarian corps following their victory at Landshut. Having saved his main depot, the Marshal was confident that he could still win the campaign. A victory at Dorfen would mean that two Austrian corps had been defeated and both retreated. This would allow him to march north to relieve 7th Bavarian corps under siege at Essenbach.

But a defeat presented a different situation. Essenbach was on the brink of surrender, with only one days supplies left for the garrison. Although he still held Landshut, both of his flanks were now unprotected. Within 24 hours Schwarzenberg could bring the best part of three armies, surround him at Landshut and destroy 8th Bavarian corps.

Reluctantly he ordered 8th corps to retreat and abandon Landshut. He was also abandoning 7th corps at Essenbach, and they surrendered as soon as they received news of his retreat.


This was an interesting campaign, and also a colourful one.

Interesting because although the Austrians won five of the six battles, they could easily have lost the campaign. Had 3rd corps failed to take Dorfen it would have had to retreat to Muhldorf. This would have allowed Massena to raise the siege of Essenbach. With his whole army within easy reach of the main French depot at Landshut he could easily resupply, reorganise and reinforce his battered army.

The Austrian army was out of supply. They would have to retreat to Ratisbon district in order to be closer to their main supply base at Ratisbon. In doing so they would suffer more attrition casualties. Fortunately there was no likehood of a French pursuit, but it would still take many weeks to rebuild their battered army.

Colourful because the 7th French army was composed of Bavarian and Baden troops. Their light blue and dark blue uniforms contrasted well with the Austrian white. The result was a colourful battlefield/wargames table.

Although the outcome was uncertain until the last battle, it would have been very unfair had the Austrians lost the campaign. Having won five of the six battles they had demonstrated that they were the better of the two armies.


  1. Thistlebarrow,

    It was a very interesting campaign, and it was nice to see the Austrians doing well for a change.

    Where are you going next?

    All the best,


  2. Hi Bob

    Glad you enjoyed it
    The next campaign phase is northern Germany - Napoleon v Blucher!
    My wargame Napoleon never seems to do as well as the historical one
    Really hard to get the balance right without making him a superman




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