Znojmo-Znaim 2019

The commemorative event dedicated to the 210th anniversary of the battle of Znaim with about 400 napoleonic re-enactors has three major aims this year: 1) to enlarge the program of the current commemorative events dedicated to the less known napoleonic battle fought on the territory of the actual Czech republic and offer a high standard program based on our experiences; 2) make the battle of Znaim better known among the public as the last decisive vistory of Napoleon’s military career, the decisive battle of 1809, and at the same time the last battle of archduke Charles; 3) commemorate the 210th anniversary in an attractive way. The program comprises camp life of the armies, exercice and maneuvers, a battle re-enactment, and an exhibition and a series of lectures on history of the war of 1809.

We will enjoy the presence of Mark Schneider in the role of Napoleon, and we’ll have a great opportunity to commemorate also the 250th birthday of Napoleon (a month earlier, yes); and the event will be concluded on 14th July, the French National Day.

The camp will be placed near the village of Unanov, located in the northen part of the battlefield, where the French army threatened to cut the Austrian line of retreat. It will be placed not far from the local open air pool which is a nice feature should the weather be too hot in July; the battle would take place on a nearby hill. The event itself will be preceded by a presentation of and exhibition dedicated to the battle at the Znaim castle offering rare original objects (mainly arms and equipment) from private collections on wednesday, and a conference on military history of 1809 on thursday. The troops will be allowed to join the event from wednesday morning.

The Austerlitz association and the Central European Napoleonic Society pick up again the subject of the battle of Znaim, and continue the series of events dedicated to this battle held with success in 2004, 2008 and 2009. Last year we did an event of nearly 200 re-enactors in the same place, and it was a good experience.

History of 1809

Not the famous battle of Wagram, but the battle of Znaim brought the end of the 1809 campaign (11-12 July). Austria, heavily burdened with conditions of the 1805 peace treaty, saw the chance to change its situation with the core of the French army being held in Spain since 1808. With the British financial support the Viennese war party prepared the offensive plan which counted with the general discontent in Germany with the new French-organized Europe. The Austrian H.Q. expected the smaller south German states to join their side however, as in 1805 the plan had failed. Napoleon returned from Spain with the new army composed mostly of the second-line units with important contingents from the Rheinbund states. He managed to push Austrian corps from Bavaria and after the month-lasting campaign he seized Vienna again. Afterwards followed the battle of Aspern-Essling where archduke Charles delivered the French Emperor the very first defeat in his so far brilliant career. However, it was not the decisive loss and six weeks later both armies stood again face to face on the same field. In the battle of Wagram Napoleon succeeded and forced Austrians to retreat. He followed them and in the vicinity of Znojmo where archduke Charles made his halt, last battle of the campaign took place but was ceased with the armistice. The peace treaty was signed only on October 14th in Schoenbrunn and brought another heavy stroke to Austrian politics and economy. For four years Austria became the compulsory French ally. In 1810, this was confirmed by the marriage of the Emperor Napoleon and Emperor Francis’ daughter Marie Louise.

Program of the event

Wednesday 10th July 2019

Thursday 11th July 2019 

  • conference on the battle of Znaim and the war of 1809 (in Znaim)
  • exhibition at the Znaim castle
  • camp in Unanov

Friday 12th July 2019 

  • arrival of the troops
  • exhibition at the Znaim castle

Saturday 13th July 2019 

10:00 opening of the camp for the public, parade

10:30-12:00 exercise and maneuvers

15:00-16:00 inauguration of a new monument at a mass grave near Unanov

16:30-17:30 parade for the 250th anniversary of Napoleon, Unanov

20:00 evening program with music in the camp, 250th anniversary of Napoleon 

Sunday 14th July 2019 

10:00 opening of the camp for the public, parade

10:30-11:30 preparations for the battle re-enactment, troops take positions

11:30-12:30 battle re-enactement

12:30 parade, defilé, 14th July