Andreas Hofer and the insurrection in the Tyrol, 1809-1810

Period : Directory / 1st Empire
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This timeline forms part of our close-up on: Andreas Hofer and the insurrection in the Tyrol, 1809-1810.

26 December 1805

Article 8 the Peace of Pressburg
“H.M. of Germany and Austria … cedes and abandons: to H.M. the king of Bavaria … the county of the Tyrol, including the principalities of Brixen (Alto Adige) and Trento (the Trentino);”


20% increase in tax made on the Tyrol by Maximilian I, ruler of Bavaria, bankruptcies caused by the Continental System, new constitution for the kingdom of Bavaria resulting in the dissolution and reformation of the Tyrol’s institutional framework and the suppression of the name “Tyrol”, replacing it with three departments named after the three principal rivers. Increasing conscription (to which the people responded with mass desertion) and religious reforms seen as an attempt to destroy Catholicism, the religion of the Tyrol. Already in 1808, propaganda in the Tyrol was causing a state in active opposition (sourde fermentation).


January: Secret talks between the muscular peasant innkeeper, horse and wine dealer, Andreas Hofer, Archduke Johann and Stadion were held, mooting an insurrection in the Tyrol to act as a diversion for the main theatre in the Germanic states and to prevent Italian troops coming north.

15 February: Napoleon dispatched a round robin (lettre circulaire) to all the princes of the Confederation of the Rhine, reminding them of their commitment to France. Napoleon, intent on protecting his army from any rogue attacks during the forthcoming campaign against Austria, made clear to the princes that their engagement in the confederation pitched them against Austria. Any French army in Austria would have the confederation lands between them and France, and it was therefore crucial that these German territories remained allied to France and that any subversive behaviour was nipped in the bud. The letter effectively ordered the princes of the Confederation to exile any landowners in Austrian service and confiscate their estates.

9 April: Austrian troops led by Archduke Charles entered Bavaria signalling the beginning of the Wagram campaign.

10 April: Official beginning of the insurgency led by Hofer after the blessing of the Tyrolese flags.

9-13 April: Slaughter of Bavarian troops in the Tyrol and the expulsion of those not killed – total of 3,000 troops killed, injured or taken prisoner.

12 April: Innsbruck captured by Tyrolean tirailleurs.

14 April: Austrian troops led by Chasteler met up with Tirolese insurgents at Vipiteno. First victory over the Bavarian troops on the following day.

16 April: Austrian troops reached Innsbruck. Region officially liberated.

26 April: Eugène de Beauharnais‘ troops forced into retreat by Archduke Johann’s Austrian troops after the Battle of Sacile.

19-23 April: Napoleon defeated Austrian troops in battles at Teugen-Hausen, Abensberg, Landshut, Eckmühl and Ratisbon.

19 May: Lefebvre’s troops re-took Innsbruck. Peace returned to the region.

21-22 May: Ambiguous result for French troops at Aspern-Essling. Seen as a French defeat by the Austrians and Tyrolese.

25 and 29 May: Learning of Lefebvre’s intention to pull back to Salzburg, and in the light of Aspern-Essling, hostilities flare up, with Tyrolese tirailleurs taking the Berg Isel (a strategically important hill south of Innsbruck) and retaking Innsbruck (30 May). Hofer receives from the House of Habsburg a chain of honour (Ehrenkette) worth 3,000 ducats for his defence of the empire.

5-6 July: French victory over Austria at the battle of Wagram.

12 July: Archduke Charles signed an armistice after the battle of Znaim, agreeing to evacuate Austrian troops from the Tyrol. Napoleon’s reasons for accepting the armistice were “principally for the submission of the Tyrol” (Letter to Lefebvre, 30 July).

1 August: Lefebvre with 20,000 troops took possession of Innsbruck, abandoned by the Tyrolese.

13 August: Hofer once again took the Bergisel and he and his troops retook Innsbruck. Hofer remained regent of the Tyrol until 21 October. But his task was difficult. The city coffers had no money and his disgruntled troops were beginning to return home.

14 October: In the negotiations with the Austrians after Wagram, Napoleon demanded control over the Tyrol (it was important because of its position separating Germany and Italy and touching Switzerland). As per the Treaty of Schönbrunn, the Tyrol once again became Bavarian.

1 November: Hofer lost control of the Berg Isel and Innsbruck.

11 November: the uprising in the Tyrol begins again.


27-28 January: On 27th Franz Raffl was bribed into betraying Andreas Hofer, and Hofer was captured on 28th in a mountain hut not far from St Martin im Passeier. He was then transferred to the prison in Mantua and condemned to death.

20 February: execution of Andreas Hofer in Mantua.


Hofer’s mortal remains exhumed and reburied in the Hofkirche in Innsbruck.

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