Napoleon’s riseNapoleon, born on 15.August 1769 on this Island of Corsica, made a steep career in the course of the French Revolution due to his military talent. After a coup, he became First Consul of the French Republic, until he declared himself Emperor of the French in 1804.
In April 1805, Great Britain, Sweden and Russia formed a Coalition against France. In August 1805, Austria joined this so-called “Third Coalition”. After Emperor Francis I. of Austria (formerly last Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation as Francis II. and founder of the Hereditary Empire of Austria) sent his troops to Bavaria (an ally of France) on 8. September 1805, Napoleon declared war on Austria. The Austrian Army lost several combats around Ulm in Germany, after which the French marched towards Vienna. That was when they arrived in Loiben and Dürnstein three weeks later, where an Austrian-Russian Army had retreated before already.
The Battle of Dürnstein and Loiben
On 10. November 1805 the French advance party reached Dürnstein and after skirmishes with some smaller Russian units, won the plain between Dürnstein and Rothenhof. The Russians and Austrians had made the close town of Krems their headquarter.