Battle of Aldenhoven (1794)

Last updated
Battle of Aldenhoven (1794)
Part of War of the First Coalition
Date2 October 1794
Location
Result French victory
Belligerents
Flag of France (1794-1815, 1830-1958).svg French Republic Banner of the Holy Roman Emperor (after 1400).svg Habsburg Monarchy
Commanders and leaders
Flag of France (1794-1815, 1830-1958).svg General Jourdan Banner of the Holy Roman Emperor (after 1400).svg Count of Clerfayt
Units involved
Army of Sambre-et-Meuse Austrian Army
Strength
99,000 76,000
Casualties and losses
"nearly equal" 3,800

The Battle of Aldenhoven or Battle of the Roer (2 October 1794) saw a Republican French army commanded by Jean Baptiste Jourdan attack a Habsburg army under François Sébastien Charles Joseph de Croix, Count of Clerfayt which was defending the line of the Roer River. The key crossing was won by the French right wing at Düren after heavy fighting. The Austrian retreat from the Roer conceded control of the west bank of the Rhine River to France. The battle occurred during the War of the First Coalition, part of a wider conflict called the Wars of the French Revolution. Aldenhoven is located in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia in Germany about 21 kilometres (13 mi) northeast of Aachen.

Habsburg Monarchy former Central European empire (1526–1804)

The Habsburg Monarchy, also called the Austrian Monarchy or Danubian Monarchy, is an unofficial umbrella term among historians for the kingdoms and countries in personal union with the Habsburg Archduchy of Austria between 1526 and 1804, when it was succeeded by the Austrian Empire. The Monarchy was a composite state of territories within and outside the Holy Roman Empire, and was united only in the person of the monarch. The dynastic capital was Vienna, except from 1583 to 1611, when it was moved to Prague. From 1804 to 1867 the Habsburg Monarchy was formally unified as the Austrian Empire, and from 1867 to 1918 as the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

François Sébastien Charles Joseph de Croix, Count of Clerfayt Austrian marshal

François Sébastien Charles Joseph de Croix, Count of Clerfayt, a Walloon, joined the army of the Habsburg Monarchy and soon fought in the Seven Years' War. Later in his military career, he led Austrian troops in the war against Ottoman Turkey. During the French Revolutionary Wars he saw extensive fighting and rose to the rank of Field Marshal.

Düren Place in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany

Düren is a town in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, between Aachen and Cologne on the river Rur.

Contents

After the Battle of Fleurus on 26 June 1794, the army of Austria began pulling back to the east while their British and Dutch allies withdrew to the north to defend Holland. There was a lull as the French armies paused to capture a number of fortresses held by the Coalition. Then, as Jean-Charles Pichegru's Army of the North prepared to overrun the Dutch Republic, Jourdan's Army of Sambre-et-Meuse turned northeast to drive the Austrians back to the Rhine, first winning the Battle of Sprimont in September. On 2 October, Jourdan launched attacks at Düren on the right, Aldenhoven and Jülich on the right center, Linnich on the left center and Ratheim on the left. After its victory, the Army of Sambre-et-Meuse captured Cologne and Bonn on the Rhine.

Battle of Fleurus (1794) battle in 1794

The Battle of Fleurus, on 26 June 1794, was an engagement between the army of the First French Republic, under General Jean-Baptiste Jourdan and the Coalition Army, commanded by Prince Josias of Coburg, in the most significant battle of the Flanders Campaign in the Low Countries during the French Revolutionary Wars. Both sides had forces in the area of around 80,000 men but the French were able to concentrate their troops and defeat the First Coalition. The Allied defeat led to the permanent loss of the Austrian Netherlands and to the destruction of the Dutch Republic. The battle marked a turning point for the French army, which remained ascendant for the rest of the War of the First Coalition. The French use of the reconnaissance balloon l'Entreprenant was the first military use of an aircraft that influenced the result of a battle.

Jean-Charles Pichegru French general

Jean-Charles Pichegru was a distinguished French general of the Revolutionary Wars. Under his command, French troops overran Belgium and the Netherlands before fighting on the Rhine front. His royalist positions led to his loss of power and imprisonment in Cayenne, French Guiana during the Coup of 18 Fructidor in 1797. After escaping into exile in London and joining the staff of Alexander Korsakov, he returned to France and planned the Pichegru Conspiracy to remove Napoleon from power, which led to his arrest and death. Despite his defection, his surname is one of the names inscribed under the Arc de Triomphe, on Column 3.

Army of the North (France)

The Army of the North or Armée du Nord is a name given to several historical units of the French Army. The first was one of the French Revolutionary Armies that fought with distinction against the First Coalition from 1792 to 1795. Others existed during the Peninsular War, the Hundred Days and the Franco-Prussian War.

Battle

At the end of September 1794, Jean Baptiste Jourdan's left wing was posted at Heinsberg. Jean Baptiste Kléber was there leading the divisions of Louis Friant, Joseph Léonard Richard and Jean Baptiste Bernadotte. Altogether, the Army of Sambre-et-Meuse had 99,000 troops deployed between Heinsberg and its right wing at Eschweiler, both places slightly west of the Roer River. The right wing under Barthélemy Louis Joseph Schérer included the divisions of François Séverin Marceau-Desgraviers, Jean Adam Mayer, and Honoré Alexandre Haquin. Before deciding to attack, Jourdan carried out reconnaissances of the Austrian positions which were made stronger by high water in the river. François Sébastien Charles Joseph de Croix, Count of Clerfayt's 76,000-strong Austrian army strengthened its positions by destroying the bridges and digging up the fords. [1]

Heinsberg Place in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany

Heinsberg is a town in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. It is the seat of the district Heinsberg. It is situated near the border with the Netherlands, on the river Wurm, approx. 20 km north-east of Sittard and 30 km south-west of Mönchengladbach.

Louis Friant French military commander

Louis Friant was born in the village of Morlancourt, 8 km south of Albert near the river Somme.

Eschweiler Place in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany

Eschweiler is a municipality in the district of Aachen in North Rhine-Westphalia in Germany on the river Inde, near the German-Belgian-Dutch frontier, and about 15 kilometres (9 mi) east of Aachen and 50 kilometres (31 mi) west of Cologne.

Clerfayt's army was deployed behind the steep-banked Roer with its left flank at Düren and its right flank at Roermond. However, the Austrian commander placed the bulk of his forces between Düren and Linnich, with an advanced west-bank position at Aldenhoven in front of his center at Jülich. The extreme right was in tenuous communication with the army of Prince Frederick, Duke of York and Albany near Grave. The positions around Aldenhoven were entrenched as were other portions of the line. [2]

Roermond Town and municipality in Limburg, Netherlands

Roermond is a city, a municipality, and a diocese in the southeastern part of the Netherlands.

Linnich Place in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany

Linnich is a town in the district of Düren in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. It is located on the River Rur, approx. 10 km north-west of Jülich.

Aldenhoven Place in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany

Aldenhoven is a municipality in the district of Düren in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. It is located approximately 5 km south-west of Jülich, 5 km north of Eschweiler and 20 km north-east of Aachen.

On 1 October 1794, General of Division Jourdan ordered Schérer and the Right Wing to seize Düren. In the center, Jourdan directed Jacques Maurice Hatry to take Altorp, Antoine Morlot and Jean Etienne Championnet to capture Aldenhoven and cross the river at Jülich, while François Joseph Lefebvre occupied Linnich. Meanwhile, Kléber and the Left Wing were instructed to move upstream from a position opposite Roermond and cross the Roer at Ratheim (near Hückelhoven). The Army of Sambre-et-Meuse numbered about 100,000 troops, the largest French army yet assembled in the war. The French were on the road on the morning of 2 October and only came into action near mid-day. [3]

Jacques Maurice Hatry French general

Jacques Maurice Hatry was a French general.

Antoine Morlot French general, notable for his participation in the battles of Kaiserslautern and Tudela

Antoine Morlot was a French division commander during the French Revolutionary Wars and Napoleonic Wars. After almost eight years of service in the French Royal Army, he became an officer in a local volunteer battalion during the French Revolution. In 1792 he fought with distinction at Thionville and other actions, earning a promotion to general officer in 1793. He was notable for his participation at the Battle of Kaiserslautern where he led a brigade. After another promotion he became a general of division in the Army of the Moselle. In 1794 he led his troops at Arlon, Lambusart, Fleurus and Aldenhoven.

François Joseph Lefebvre Marshal of France

François Joseph Lefebvre, Duc de Dantzig, was a French military commander during the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars and one of the original eighteen Marshals of the Empire created by Napoleon.

Notes

  1. Phipps, Ramsay Weston (2011). The Armies of the First French Republic: Volume II The Armées du Moselle, du Rhin, de Sambre-et-Meuse, de Rhin-et-Moselle. USA: Pickle Partners Publishing. p. 184. ISBN   978-1-908692-25-2.
  2. Thiers, Adolphe (1854). History of the French Revolution. 4. London: Richard Bentley. p. 49.
  3. Thiers (1854), p. 50

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References

Ramsay Weston Phipps was an Irish-born military historian and officer in Queen Victoria's Royal Artillery. The son of Pownoll Phipps, an officer of the British East India Company's army, he was descended from the early settlers of the West Indies; many generations had served in the British, and the English military. Phipps served in the Crimean War, had a stint of duty at Malta, and helped to repress the Fenian uprising in Canada in 1866.

International Standard Book Number Unique numeric book identifier

The International Standard Book Number (ISBN) is a numeric commercial book identifier which is intended to be unique. Publishers purchase ISBNs from an affiliate of the International ISBN Agency.

Coordinates: 50°53′45″N6°16′59″E / 50.89583°N 6.28306°E / 50.89583; 6.28306