The Battle of Dürenstein (11 November 1805) was an engagement in the
Napoleonic Wars during the War of the Third Coalition, fought in the
Wachau Valley of the Danube, 73 kilometers (45 mi) upstream from
Vienna, Austria. A combined force of Russian and Austrian troops trapped
a French division commanded by Théodore Maxime Gazan, part of the VIII
Corps under Édouard Mortier. Pursuing the Austrian retreat from
Bavaria, Mortier had overextended his three divisions. Mikhail
Illarionovich Kutuzov, commander of the Coalition force, enticed Mortier
to send Gazan’s division into a trap, and the French troops were caught
in a valley between two Russian columns. They were rescued by the timely
arrival of a second division, under Pierre Dupont de l’Étang. The
battle extended well into the night. Both sides had losses of around
4,000 wounded or dead, and both claimed victory. Austria lost Johann
Heinrich von Schmitt, one of its most capable chiefs of staff. After the
Russo-Austrian defeat at the Battle of Austerlitz three weeks later,
Austria withdrew from the war.
Today’s selected anniversaries:
Arab–Byzantine wars: Rashidun Arabs under Khalid ibn al-Walid
captured Damascus from the Byzantine Empire.
During Bacon’s Rebellion, Virginia settlers led by Nathaniel
Bacon burned the colonial capital of Jamestown to the ground.
New Zealand became the first country to introduce universal
suffrage, following the women’s suffrage movement led by Kate Sheppard
Ötzi, a well-preserved natural mummy of a man from about
3300 BC, was discovered by two German tourists.
The Royal Thai Army overthrew the elected government of Thai
Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra while he was in New York City for a
meeting of the United Nations General Assembly.
Wiktionary’s word of the day:
1. (Britain, West Country, West Midlands) Yes.
2. Used stereotypically in imitation of pirates.
Wikiquote quote of the day:
“Fancy thinking the Beast was something you could hunt and kill!
You knew, didn’t you?” said the head. For a moment or two the forest and
all the other dimly appreciated places echoed with the parody of
laughter. “You knew, didn’t you? I’m part of you? Close, close, close!
I’m the reason why it’s no go? Why things are what they are?”
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