Napoleon Wars French Spy Carl Schulmeister

About the French spy Carl Schulmeister who spied for France during Napoleon's campaign agaisnt Austria, his biography and history.

Carl Schulmeister. French. Worked for: France, Napoleon's campaign against Austria, 1805.

Schulmeister offered his services to the Austrians via a letter which claimed that the French, believing him to be an Austrian spy, had exiled him. He said that he was of noble Hungarian ancestry and wished to live in Austria in order to aid this country in its resistance against Napoleon. The bait worked, and Schulmeister was not only welcomed into the Austrian Army, but also became chief of intelligence. Acting as a double agent, he transmitted false information from Napoleon to the Austrians, and vital Austrian military secrets back to the Emperor. French newspapers, printed especially for Schulmeister's spy work, told the Austrians of French "unrest at home" and how Napoleon's troops in Germany were returning to quell the uprisings. Schulmeister planned an Austrian attack on the supposedly "retreating" troops of French Marshal Ney. The trap was successful, and Austria was forced to surrender. Schulmeister was "captured" by the French, "escaped," and returned to Austria to lay the foundations for Napoleon's great victory at Austerlitz. Although Schulmeister received large monetary rewards for his accomplishments in Austria and other hostile countries, he never received the one payment he desperately desired--the Legion of Honor decoration from France. Napoleon refused to "honor a spy." Schulmeister was captured after Waterloo, was ransomed for a large sum of money, and opened a tobacco stall in Strasbourg, the city in which he died in 1853.

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