Andreas Hofer, 1809 Double Eagle Double eagle

Austrian Dispatches

Austrians advancing Austrian National Hymn Land den Berge

The Austrian Army, despite terrible campaign difficulties rendering their C-in-C temporarily hors de combat, can now announce that Gavin Woods will be the new administrator of the Austrian Army webpages and will soon start work. This will entail updating all officer records and promotions, and adding a II Korps to give the new recruits their promised and well-deserved commands. All officers should pass on their dossiers summarizing point totals and present ranks to C-in-C Dermot Quigley to speed up this process at the e-mail address:

Order of Leopold

There will be a complete shake-up to get this heavy beast rolling. You can expect new and exciting webpages for our army very soon. To distinguish the voluntary work of Oberst-Lt Gavin Woods, I hereby award him the medal of the Austrian Imperial Order of Leopold, established to reward just such noble subjects for outstanding service to the Emperor and State. Hurrah!

Now, I call upon all fervent Austrian defenders of the faith to conscientiously forward their dispatches to headquarters, and to continue with rekindled fervour their fight to rid Europe of the Usurper and his armies.

God save the Emperor!

Dermot Quigley
C-in-C Austrian Army

A Tribute to Andreas Hofer

While the campaign of Eckmühl, Aspern-Essling and Wagram raged to the north, and Prince Eugène squared-off with the Archduke John to the south, innkeeper Andreas Hofer of Sankt Leonard led his fellow Tyroleans in armed revolt against Bavaria, striving for reunification with Austria. This most unwelcome thorn in Napoleon's side was doomed by the Austrian defeat at Wagram and the subsequent Treaty of Schönbrunn (October, 1809). Abandoned by his Hapsburg patrons, Hofer waged a desperate guerrilla campaign in the Alps until captured in January, 1810. He was excuted on February 20, 1810 in the dry-moat of the Citadella of Mantua, a site which has become a shrine of Austrian nationalism.

Panorama of the Battle of Bergisel, 1809 (click to enlarge)

Andreas Hofer Lied

Andreas Hofer Lied

Zu Mantua in Banden
Der treue Hofer war,
In Mantua zum Tode
Führt ihn der feinde Schar;
Es blutete der Brüder Herz
Ganz Deutschland, ach! in Schmach und Schmerz,
Mit ihm das Land Tyrol!

Die Hände auf dem Rücken
Der Sandwirt Hofer ging
Mit Ruhig festen Schritten
Ihm schien der Tod gering
Der Tod, den er so manchesmal
Vom Iselberg geschickt in's Thal
Im Heil'gen Land Tyrol!

Doch als aus Kerkergittern
Im festen Mantua
Die Treuen Waffenbrüder
Die Händ' er strecken sah
Da rief er laut: Gott sei mit euch
Mit dem verrathnen Deutschen Reich
Und mit dem Land Tyrol!

Dem Tambour will der Wirbel
Nicht unterm Schlägel vor,
Als nun der Sandwirt Hofer
Schritt durch das finstre Thor.
Der Sandwirth noch in Banden frei
Dort stand er fest auf der Bastrei,
Der Mann vom Land Tyrol!

Dort soll er niederknieen,
Er sprach: Das thu' ich nit!
Will sterben, wie ich stehe,
Will sterben, wie ich stritt.
So wie ich steh'auf dieser Schanz,
Es leb' mein guter Kaiser Franz,
Mit ihm das Land Tyrol!

Andreas Hofer Execution Site, Mantua 1810

Und von der Hande die Bande
Nimmt ihm der Korporal,
Und Sandwirth Hofer betet,
Allhier zum letzten Mal;
Dann ruft er: Nun so trefft mich recht,
Gebt Feuer! Ach wie schiesst ihr schlecht!
Ade mein Land Tyrol!

The Ballad of Andreas Hofer

To Mantua in shackles
The loyal Hofer went
In Mantua to death
Amidst the enemy horde;
Brotherly hearts bled
Throughout Germany, Oh! in anger and sorrow
Along with the land of Tyrol!

His hands bound behind his back,
Hofer the innkeeper walked forth
With firm and steady stride
Counting death a small thing,
The death that met so many men
In Iselberg's fateful valley
In the sacred land of Tyrol!

Through the prison bars
Of mighty Mantua
His faithful war-brothers
Extended their hands
And called aloud: God is with you,
With the betrayed German Empire
And with the land of Tyrol!

The drummer beat
A long roll
As the innkeeper Hofer
Marched through the sinister gate.
The innkeeper, still bound,
Stood unflinching before the bastion,
The man from the land of Tyrol!

They ordered him to kneel.
He replied: I will not!
I will die standing,
I will die upright.
So stood I in the battle-line,
For love of our good Emperor Francis
And love of the land of Tyrol!

And from his hands the Corporal
Took off the binding cords,
And the innkeeper Hofer prayed
In his final minute of life;
Then shouted he: I meet my God with a righteous heart!
Fire! Ah, they shoot badly!
Farewell, my land of Tyrol!

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