SNC038 Trooper, Austrian Uhlans, 1809
In 1805, Austrias humiliating defeat at Austerlitz at the hands of the upstart French Emperor, and the subsequent Treaty of Pressburg confirmed that the once all-powerful Austrian army badly needed an overhaul. The obvious choice for the job was Emperor Francis younger brother, the Archduke Charles, who was acknowledged to be the finest general in the realm. In the event Francis paranoia about his brother, together with traditional Habsburg conservatism were to combine to slow down the reform process. Between 1806 and 1808 the Habsburg empire swung back and forth between calls to join a war effort against France and the peace party, led by Charles, who believed more time was needed to complete the army reforms. By the end of 1808 the war party had gained the upper hand and the country began preparations for war.