Proclamation to the Soldiers before the
Battle of Eckmuhl: April, 1809
Proclamation to the Troops at Ratisbon:
Address to the Troops on Entering Vienna:
Proclamation to the Hungarians: 1809
Napoleon's Addresses: 1809 War with Austria
Compiled By Tom Holmberg
Proclamation to the Soldiers before the Battle
of Eckmuhl: April, 1809
"Soldiers: The territory of the Confederation of the Rhine has
been violated. The Austrian general supposes that we are to fly at
the sight of his eagles, and abandon our allies to his mercy. I arrive
with the rapidity of lightning in the midst of you. Soldiers: I was
surrounded by your bayonets, when the Emperor of Austria arrived at
my bivouac in Moravia. You heard him implore my clemency, and swear
an eternal friendship. Conquerors in three wars, Austria has owned
everything to our generosity. Three times she has perjured herself!
Our former successes are our guarantee for our future triumphs. Let
us march, then, and at our aspect, let the enemy recognize his conquerors."
Proclamation to the Troops at Ratisbon: April,
"Soldiers: You have justified my anticipation. You have supplied
by bravery the want of numbers, and have shown the difference which
exists between the soldiers of Cæsar and the armed rabble of Xerxes.
Within the space of a few days we have triumphed in the battles of
Thaun, Abersberg, and Eckmuhl, and in the combats of Peissing, Landshut,
and Ratisbon. One hundred pieces of cannon, forty standards, fifty
thousand prisoners, three bridge equipages, three thousand baggage-wagons
with their horses, and all the money chests of the regiments, are
the fruits of the rapidity of your marches, and of your courage.
The enemy, seduced by a perjured Cabinet, appeared to have lost all
recollection of you. His awakening has been speedy; you have appeared
more terrible that ever. Lately, he crossed the Inn, and invaded
the territory of our allies. Lately, he talked of nothing less than
carrying the war into the bosom of our country. Now, defeated, dispersed,
he flies, in consternation. Already my advance-guard has passed the
Inn. In one month we will be in Vienna."
Address to the Troops on Entering Vienna: May,
"In a month after the enemy passed the Inn, on the same day,
at the same hour, we entered Vienna. Their militia, their levies
en masse, their ramparts, created by the impotent rage of the
princes of the House of Lorraine, have fallen at the first sight of
you. The princes of that house have abandoned their capital, not like
the soldiers of honor, who yield to circumstance and the reverses
of war, but as perjurers haunted by the sense of their crime. In
flying from Vienna, their adieus to its inhabitants have been murder
and conflagration. Like Medea, they have with their own hands massacred
their own offspring. Soldiers: The people of Vienna, according to
the expression of a deputation of the suburbs, abandoned,
widowed, shall be the object of your regards. I take its good
citizens under my special protection. As to the wicked and turbulent,
they shall meet with exemplary justice. Soldiers: Be kind to the poor
peasants; to those worthy people who have so many claims upon your
esteem. Let us see in it but a proof of that divine justice which
punishes the ungrateful and the perjured.
Proclamation to the Hungarians: 1809
"Hungarians: The moment is come to revive your independence.
I offer you peace, the integrity of your territory, the inviolability
of your constitutions,—whether of such as are in actual existence,
or of those which the spirit of the time may require. I ask nothing
of you. I desire only to see your nation free and independent. Your
union with Austria has made your misfortunes. Your blood has flowed
for her in distant regions. Your dearest interests have always been
sacrificed to those of the Austrian hereditary states. You form the
finest part of the Empire of Austria, yet you are treated as a province.
You have national manners, a national language; you boast an ancient
and illustrious origin. Resume, then, your existence as a nation.
Have a king of your own choice, who will reside among you, and reign
for you alone."
Napoleon's Addresses: Selections from the Proclamations, Speeches
and Correspondence of Napoleon Bonaparte. Edited by Ida M. Tarbell.
(Boston: Joseph Knight, 1896.)
Placed on the Napoleon Series: February 2003
on Napoleon's Addresses | Napoleon
Himself Index ]