The Cemetery at Essling

Friedhof Essling or Essling cemetery was located on the north-eastern edge of Essling village and saw some of the first and last of the fighting in the village. It provided a strong position in what was a difficult to defend section of the village and much hard fighting took place there but it wasn’t well placed being out on its own and relatively small. Unsurprisingly, the cemetery is still there today. Looking at the actual location, it’s clear that it is slightly further east than most maps put it. Also, it lies on the east of the road running north-south – the present Schafflerhofstrasse – not on the west as most maps appear to place it. As a going concern, it didn’t take much research to discover a plan of the graveyard – after all, plots are still being offered for sale! From the plan, the Alter Teil or old part of the cemetery can be seen situated in the north-west corner of the present graveyard. My reading of the plan gave the old graveyard a size of roughly 45 x 45m – so smaller than some maps would have us believe. At my battlefield scale of 1:2,500, this gave a footprint of only 18 x 18mm  importantly, not enough to accommodate one of my infantry bases. For wargames purposes, my model would have to accommodate at least one base. So it would have to be slightly enlarged scale-wise but that shouldn’t create any tactical imbalance.
Cemetery outline.
Cemetery satellite photo. © Google Inc.
Cemetery plan.
The map from Post 25 showing, presumably, the location of Essling cemetery at the eastern edge of the village.
The French took possession of the graveyard but were forced out on 21 May by the under- sized Austrian infantry regiment No. 55 and the third battalion of IR9. The French tried but failed to wrestle the cemetery back and it was only in French hands again with the attack of the Young Guard in the final stages of the battle on 22 May shortly before the French withdrawal.
POST 110