A discursive look at Napoleonic & ECW wargaming, plus a load of old Hooptedoodle on this & that

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Andreas Hofer

Rather belatedly, I've organised a family holiday - this year we are going to Vorarlberg, in Austria. Since this is, as near as not worth bothering, the Tirol (I'm sure I will be killed on the spot if I suggest such a thing when I get there), I thought I would do a bit of planning for holiday reading material of an appropriately regional, Napoleonic nature. I know little or nothing of Andreas Hofer, for example, so am on the lookout for a good book in English about the troubles in the Tirol in 1809 - if anyone has any recommendations I would be very appreciative. I don't expect to spend a lot of time visiting battlefields, but a day or so in Innsbruck looks a good bet, and the Berg Isel must be worth a visit. Ideally, I am looking for a book which will not require excess baggage charges on the plane (so my Elting & Esposito atlas is out). All recommendations would be most welcome.

The subject of Napoleonic holidays has always tickled at the back of my mind - I have a fantasy of taking a leisurely motor tour down the Danube, Ingolstadt via Ratisbon down to Wagram - that sort of thing. The odd battlefield, the odd glass of beer, lots of reading. Such a holiday might well be grounds for divorce, so I have not suggested it seriously to Mme Foy.

The picture at the top is Andreas Hofer ohne Hut, which is a lot less well known than Andreas Hofer mit Hut (below). I've also managed to download a very large illustration of Hofer suitable for putting on a T shirt - I'll maybe give that a miss. Of course, I could be the only visitor to the area who is not wearing such a shirt - how embarrassing would that be?


  1. Spent our holidays in the Tyrol at Kitzbul last summer and came across various statues/plaques to the revolt in the Tyrol in 1809 . Must admit I'd not thought of it before we went , there are mention in ' Thunder on the Danube' by -- the name escapes me but I've not been able to find a book in English on the subject .

  2. Hi - yes, I've got the John Gill trilogy but haven't read it yet(now there's a surprise!) - I gather there's bits on the Tirol revolt, but mostly the books follow Napoleon around pretty faithfully. I've downloaded a translation of 'Andreas Hofer' onto my eReader, but it's basically a historical novel, written by Luise Maehlbach around 1868 - not exactly a riveting read! There's plenty of Hofer stuff in German, but I have to lie down quite frequently when I read German. I'm still looking around Google Books etc.

    Cheers - thanks for commenting


  3. If you dig deep in plastic soldier review you will find there are figures for that situation, even though their review will act like they are useless. (Also Spanish guerrillas) oh I did not mean to distract you. (SHQ has them too) Now I've really done it.

    I saw a very nice musical show in Innsbruck with Holzhacker Tanz, Alpenhorns, cowbells and crystal glasses of water as instruments and played very well. Would like the CD as I cannot play the LP any more. There is a version to be found on you tube, by different people. This type music, and simply talking with locals, will leave an impressionistic impression better than the reading will do as to how these things are remembered and continued by the people there.

    So will the historical novel, just by seeing how things are presented and worded.

    Wikipedia will give the facts and point at what they think are the important aspects. Gill will relate it to the Napoleonic campaigns that went on around it, and give you a handle that you can grasp, since one hand is already on it.

    Madame might very much enjoy such trips--consider working in riverboat cruises part of the way.

  4. The only book besides the aforementioned Gill magnum opus that I've read which tells the Hofer story (and it didn't specify if he was mit or ohne Hut)is Stopping Napoleon by Tom Pocock (ISBN-10: 0719566045). Although it concentrates mainly on British activity in the Meditteranean, it goes into some detail about the Tyrol revolt devoting a whole chapter to it. Might be worth a read for the context of the revolt as well.

    Enjoy your trip!

  5. Thanks - I appreciate that very much - I've ordered a cheapo copy of the Pocock book from Abe Books - seems interesting.

  6. As you know I'm not a great reader but I have read Ms Muhlbach's book, as it happens. Its OK - I have a 19 century translation and the style is kind of stuffy. I had a look at old wiki and I see that Hofer was executed in 1810 so he didnt have a long career did he? Suspect he is a popular icon rather than genuine miltary leader so maybe the historical romance is as good as it gets. Dont say this to the Austrians.My piont is that if you want details on the Tyrol revolt then looking under Hofer might not get you so much. If its not in the big histories then maybe it wasnt a big deal to anyone other than the locals.

    Enjoyed the rant on the NOTW. Personally I hope Murdoch's bottom festers. Shouldnt say that, his people will find me.