Jul 10, 2016

The battlefield of Győr/Raab

I have visited a friend who lives in Győr, and while I was there I made sure to visit the site of the only battle fought on Hungarian soil in the Napoleonic wars. We took the bus on Saturday afternoon and were on the field in less than twenty minutes.

It was a bit confusing to find the landmarks at first, but comparing all the available maps and some navigation with Google Street View helped me locate these.

Initially raised in 1897, commemorating all participants, the monument was broken down after World War I, rebuilt in the inter-war era, torn down again after World War 2 under Socialist rule, then reinstated at the 200th anniversary, at which time the metal statue was stolen right before the ceremony, to be found again later. On the four sides of the marble column are a plaque with the names of the Austrian and Hungarian generals, mention of the losses, and another one commemorating the Graz Landwehr and Colonel Hummel, defending the manor on the other side of the stream while the rest of the army retreated. On the four corners there are four cannon barrels half buried.

View from the monument towards the Kismegyer manor, with Szabadhegy radio station in the background, roughly the position of the Austrian heavy batteries. The chapel on the church hill where Archduke Johann stood was also visible to the right, but was too far away for my phone camera. Further to the right was the position of the Insurrectio cavalry.

A photo taken on the bridge, facing north-west along the Pándzsa, towards the Austrian center and right flank. The stream has been artificially regulated and has higher banks, also low water because the hot July weather. At some spots it is still surrounded by thick vegetation.

Looking at the monument from the manor, in the way of the main French advance. The lay of the land is pretty flat, so the French did not have the same advantage for their guns as the Austrians did, however, they had more cannon, better crews and better doctrine.

The ground floor of the building is in private use, so we could only look at it from the outside. The manor was surrounded by high walls at the time of the battle.

We could have walked some more along the stream, but these were the main spectacles of the otherwise rather small field, and the bus was about to leave, so we've left it there.