The Smooth-talking Takeover of Tabor Bridge


Fragment of portrait of Joachim Murat, Prince d’Empire, Grand Duke of Clèves and of Berg, King of Naples under the name of Napoleon in 1808 (1767-1815), Marshal of France in 1804. François Gérard / Public Domain

In 1805, two French Marshals found themselves in quite a pickle -- Jean Lannes and Joachim Murat needed to cross the Danube at the Tabor bridge (a series of three bridges, actually) to reach Vienna. However, Austrian forces held the bridges and were prepared to destroy them before allowing the French to cross. With a brilliant talent for improvisation and more than a healthy dose of confidence, the Marshalls proceeded to con their way across the bridge without firing a shot. Listen in to learn more.