Showcases - Various Topics

Andreas Hofer and the freedom fighters of Tyrol 1809/10 (Showcase 17)

After his victory at Austerlitz 1805 Napoleon was in the position to dictate the peace treaty of Preßburg (15.12.1805) and occupy the former Austrian territories in southern Germany and Italy. By this the Austrian Empire´s Upper Rhine district Vorderösterreich was transferred to the Margrave of Baden. Tyrol and Vorarlberg were transferred to Bavaria.

When the uprising of the Spanish people in 1808 seemed to initiate the decline of Napoleons power, Austria was encouraged to counterattack. When Austria went to war in April 1809 among the territories under French occupation it was only Tyrol where a peoples´ upheaval occurred. On 12 April 1809 the capitol Innsbruck was taken by the freedom fighters of Tyrol under commander Andreas Hofer. The Bavarian occupators were expelled.

The defeat of the Austrian army at Wagram was followed by an invasion of French troops in Tyrol. The peace treaty of Schönbrunn (14.11.1809) compelled Austria to surrender Tyrol. But the freedom fighters of Tyrol, encouraged by their military successes, refused to submit to France. At Bergisel near Innsbruck the Tyrol contingent was beaten by the predominance of almost 50000 French soldiers. Again Tyrol was occupied by French and Bavarian troops. A traitor helped the French to catch Andreas Hofer. On 20.2.1810 he was executed in Mantua.