I’ve been Erik Durschmied’s new book, Blood of Revolution. I’m enjoying this book as I have his previous works. But I was somewhat curious about one of the chapters.
Durschmied devotes a chapter of his book to the story of Andreas Hofer and the Tyrolean resistance to Napoleon’s invasion in 1809. Durschmied seems to feel that Hofer and the Tyroleans were an inspiration to all of Europe and their example was one of the reasons for Napoleon’s eventual downfall. The reason for my surprise at this is that, despite the fact that I consider myself fairly historically literate, I’d never heard of Hofer (or the Tyrolean resistance) before this week.
I’ve always associated Napoleon’s downfall with his disastrous Russian invasion, the “bleeding ulcer” of his Spanish occupation, the stout hearted lads of the Royal Navy, and the general failure of a one man dictatorship. But maybe I’ve just been too parochial; maybe the Hofner-inspired resistance in Central Europe was a big factor as well. Or maybe it’s Durschmied who’s being parochial; he’s originally from Austria (of which Tyrol is a part) and might be giving too much credit to a hometown hero.
So my question is; is Andreas Hofer a well-known figure in European history that I’ve somehow missed? Or is he just world famous in Austria?