Ott von Bátorkéz, Peter Karl
b. 1738, Gran (Esztergom)
d. 10 May 1809, Ofen (Buda)
"Freiherr, Feldmarschall-Lieutenant, and Commander of the Order of Maria Theresa. Descended, as several sources report, from a noble Hungarian family... Ott received his military training at the Engineer Academy, from which he joined IR no. 57 (at that time Freiherr von Andlau) as an ensign, in August 1756, at the age of 18 years. He fought with the regiment during the Seven Years War and distinguished himself in several actions and battles, especially at Landeshut and Liegnitz, in which latter action he was wounded in the head. For his good conduct, he was appointed lieutenant in the Pálffy Hussars. By the War of the Bavarian Succession, Ott was already a major in the Kalnoky Hussars, no. 2, and by the Turkish War of 1788 and 1789, he was a lieutenant-colonel. In the latter war he gave new proof of his bravery. On 19 June 1788 he was attacked by 2,000 Turks in his position of Valje Mulieri, before Törzburg, but drove the enemy back, and steadfastly held his position against renewed attacks. Soon afterwards, promoted to colonel, he won himself the Order of Maria Theresa by storming the entrenchments of Kalefat. With the colonel's division, without receiving orders, he penetrated into the entrenchments at the same time as infantry regiments Reisky and Jordis were carrying out their attack, impetuously attacked the enemy, drove him to flight, and pursued him energetically, with considerable advantage to Austrian arms. In the 23rd promotion (of 19 December 1790) Ott received the Knight's Cross for this feat of arms. In the following war against France, Ott's name often appeared among the heroes of the day, particularly in the campaign of 1793, at Offenbach, on 17 May, where he took several ammunition wagons and four cannon from the enemy; in the defence of the position of Schaid, on 18 and 19 September; in the advance on Brumpt [Brumath], on 18 October; and in the fighting which took place in the woods at the latter place. In the same year, Ott, who had meanwhile been promoted to General-Major, also distinguished himself in the Netherlands, where he drew up the plan for the attack on the entrenched position of Famars [nr Valenciennes], and carried it out with brilliant results. He also specially distinguished himself in the fierce action at Marchienne. In the campaigns on the Rhine in the two following years, 1794 and 1795, he again gave repeated proofs of soldierly bravery united with cleverness, in the execution of his undertakings. In 1796 he accompanied Field Marshal Wurmser to Italy, where he commanded the advance guard. On 29 July he took Salò, and on 11 September when Wurmser shut himself in Mantua, he provided the necessary reinforcements. In 1799, however, Ott's name was indelibly written in military history: on 20 April he took Brescia, and in the
battle of Cassano, on 26 and 27 April, he performed wonders of courage. He delayed General Montrichard in his advance towards Bologna, and during the siege of Mantua he covered the Duchies of Parma and Piacenza. The bloody three-day battle on the Trebbia, 17-19 June, was decided largely by Ott's cleverness and the perseverance of his division. Some weeks later, on 9 July, he took Fort Urban after three hours of combat. Another day of glory for Ott was that of the battle of Novi, on 15 August, in which he commanded the left wing and contributed considerably to the victory. He then besieged Ancona, occupied part of the Papal States, and united with the army of General Melas, which was operating in Piedmont. Between Savigliano and Marenne he engaged in a fierce fight with the division of General Grenier. Ott, though ill, was present at the engagement, and occupied Savigliano, from where he had driven the French, pursued the retreating French, took many prisoners and, driving the enemy before him through Val di Grana, reached Fort Domont. On 13 October 1799, Ott received as reward for his distinguished feat of arms, the Cross of Commander of the Order of Maria Theresa. In the campaign of 1800, Melas intended to make a joint attack through all the passes of the Apennines. In order to cut off the French army corps in Genoa from the main army, Ott was ordered to advance through the Trebbia valley against the extreme right wing of the French. Despite fierce French resistance, Ott captured Monte Cornua, then attacked Massena, who was moving towards Genoa, and defeated him. Meanwhile, the English fleet, which was seconding the victorious Austrian advance guard, made preparations to blockade Genoa. On 30 April, the Austrians jointly undertook the attack on Polcevera with Admiral Keith. The French gave way, but soon regained courage, and threw back the Austrians at several points, so they lost Fort Quezzi. But this misfortune was only of short duration. With unbending courage, Ott held on to Montecreto, and turned back every French attempt to capture this position. Massena was shortly obliged to capitulate, and Ott took over the occupation of the place. At Montebello, however, on 9 June, he suffered a terrible failure, in an attempt to unite with the mass of the Austrian army, but Berthier's entrance in battle at Casteggio thwarted this plan. Ott still fought with bravery at Marengo on 14 June, but was not able to prevent the victory of French arms. In the following year, Ott was made Inhaber of the 5th Hussar Regiment, ever afterwards the Radetzky Hussars, and went as a divisional general to Ofen [Buda], where he set up the noble Insurrection, which, however, won no laurels. This courageous general died in Ofen during the memorable year of 1809, a few days before that bloody Whitsun, at the age of 71 years." Wurzbach, C., von. Biographisches Lexikon des Kaiserthums Oesterreich, 1856-91, vol. 21, p. 125.