“We Have Defended Ourselves” is the name of the event through which military history aficionados commemorated the 200th anniversary of the siege of Bratislava by French Napoleonic troops in 1809 on Saturday, June 27. Peter Kováč of the Slovak Society of Military History and Historical Firearms Shooters told the TASR newswire on that day that this was the seventh re-enactment of the battle from 200 years ago. The public could see also accompanying attractions, such as the demonstration of the movement of troops in the field and equestrian and weapons training.
A park in Bratislava over the last weekend thus became a contemporary home for the members of French Napoleonic troops and Austrian troops who set up their camp here on Friday afternoon. Kováč estimated that some 100 tents had been set up at the site.
“The siege of Bratislava lasted for two months... We will try to make just a little part of it,” he said to TASR, adding that re-enacting “a battle is always the culmination of our meeting”.
To carry out the re-enactment, the members of the society asked their friends from the Czech Republic and Hungary to come. The battle included 290 soldiers of French and Austrian troops, 13 cannons, and 12 horses. The troops of French Emperor Napoleon I tried to conquer Bratislava for more than a month. Bratislava resisted them until July 14, 1809 but on that date the gates of the town opened after a truce was signed between Austria and France. TASR
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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29. Jun 2009 at 14:00