Ulm Synopsis (1 of 2)

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<p>By June 6 French forces were approaching the Danube River at multiple points and in a position to cut off the Austrian army concentrated around Ulm from its primary lines of communication. At this point Mack could have retreated southeast toward Innsbruck, in the direction of Austrian forces stationed in the Tyrol and closer to those in Italy. Mack instead decided to stand at Ulm, apparently with the idea of holding out long enough for the Russians to arrive. Mack additionally held out the possibly of attacking from Ulm Napoleon’s own lines of communication. Such appears for instance to have been the logic behind the Austrian movements leading up to the battle of G&#252;nzberg on October 9.</p>
<p>For his part Napoleon realized that he had achieved an advantageous position against the Austrians but he remained uncertain of their exact location or intentions in the days that followed. Napoleon initially believed that Mack was withdrawing and that Ulm contained nothing more than a small rearguard. He later thought that Mack would attempt to breakout and thus positioned his forces for in anticipation of a major battle. It was not until October 12 that Napoleon realized that the main Austrian force was still at Ulm that he concentrated the bulk of his army toward Ulm with the intention of fighting a decisive battle with Austrian forces. That battle would not take place. On October 15 French forces had effectively surrounded Ulm and Napoleon sent an emissary to demand the army’s surrender. Mack refused but was overruled by the unanimous request of the seven lieutenant field marshals and two major generals serving under his command. On October 17 Mack and Napoleon agreed to a capitulation and on October 20 the Austrian army at Ulm surrendered.</p>

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