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Charles, 1771–1847, archduke of Austria; brother of Holy Roman Emperor Francis II. Despite his epilepsy, he was the ablest Austrian commander in the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic wars; however, he was handicapped by unwise decisions imposed on him from Vienna. After the disastrous campaign of 1805, Charles was appointed minister of war and chief commander of the Austrian forces. He reorganized the army and headed the patriotic faction at court. In 1809 he defeated Napoleon I at Aspern (May) but was beaten at Wagram (July). In both battles he exacted a heavy toll from the French. Shortly afterward he retired because of political differences with Francis. He was also called Charles Louis.

See F. L. Petre, Napoleon and the Archduke Charles (1908).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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