Sunday, August 22, 2010

Austerlitz - Telnitz

Telnitz is a very unassuming little village with nothing to indicate the vital part it played in the battle. This church was the scene of bitter fighting throughout the day, but we could find no plaque to record that fact. Fortunately we had an excellent guide in Alan Rooney; otherwise we could have spent hours exploring the village and still found nothing of interest.

The village was the southern end of Napoleon’s position. It was lightly held, to encourage the allies to attack this end of the line. But reinforcements were due from Vienna, which should start to arrive during the morning. The allies took the bait, and the village was the scene of desperate fighting throughout the battle.

This is the first sight the Austrian light infantry would have had as they approached the village and the early morning mist started to clear. There is little cover, and the French were forced to fall back into the village.

This impressive well had nothing to do with the battle, but was in the centre of the field over which the allies would attack again and again. For the first time during this visit the weather was good enough to allow us to have a picnic on the battlefield, and this seemed a very appropriate spot to have it.

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