Saturday, August 28, 2010

Austerlitz - Sokolnitz

Unlike Telnitz, which we covered last week, Sokolnitz is a very interesting village to visit. Both played a critical, and similar, part in the battle of Austerlitz. Both are on the right flank of Napoleon’s position, with Telnitz on the far right. Sokolnitz is larger than Telnitz, and contains a small castle a large walled garden and a number of large buildings similar to the Granary at Essling.

The castle is separate from the village, and behind the large walled garden called The Pheasantry. Both changed hands a number of times during the battle.

The battle opened with the attack on Telnitz, and was quickly followed by a larger attack on Sokolnitz. The loss of either would have allowed the allies to sweep around Napoleon’s right flank.

This is the view of the Pratzen heights from The Pheasantry (large walled garden) at Sokolnitz. The allied columns would have marched down from the heights and crossed this ground as they approached the village.

There are 12 holes in the stone wall of The Pheasantry on the side facing the Pratzen heights. This is where the French artillery was positioned to fire on the allied columns as they approached the village. All have now been covered with a cross and the words 1805 as shown above.

This is the track leading into the village. It is flanked by stone barns, which would have given good cover to the defenders. This village was the scene of the most savage fighting of the whole battle, and subject to attack after attack throughout the day.

At the far end of the village is this large stone building, apparently for storing grain. It looks very similar to The Granary at Essling. It was held by the French against repeated attacks, and formed the pivot for subsequent French counter attacks. Slightly further up the road is a small ridge, where the French rallied each time they were forced to abandon the village.

No comments:

Post a Comment