The Battle of Frauenfeld was a military encounter during the War of the Second Coalition (1799-1802). It took place on 25 May 1799 between Austrian and French troops. The battle ended in the evening with the retreat of the Austrians, but on the following day the French withdrew.
The War of the Second Coalition (1798–1802) was the second war on revolutionary France by the European monarchies, led by Britain, Austria and Russia, and including the Ottoman Empire, Portugal, Naples, various German monarchies and Sweden. Their goal was to contain the expansion of the French Republic and to restore the monarchy in France. They failed to overthrow the revolutionary regime and French territorial gains since 1793 were confirmed. In the Treaty of Lunéville in 1801, France held all of its previous gains and obtained new lands in Tuscany, Italy, while Austria was granted Venetia and the Dalmatian coast. Britain and France signed the Treaty of Amiens in March 1802, bringing an interval of peace in Europe that lasted for 14 months. By May 1803 Britain and France were again at war and in 1805 Britain assembled the Third Coalition to resume the war against France.
The Swiss Old Confederacy was occupied by the French Empire in 1798 and the French-supported Helvetic Republic was established on its territory. Thus, at the beginning of the War of the Second Coalition, French troops under General André Masséna (1758–1817) were operating on Swiss soil. After defeats in the Battle of Feldkirch und der Battle of Stockach, the French had to pull back and abandon eastern Switzerland. Two Austrian armies under General Friedrich von Hotze (1739–1799) and Archduke Charles (1771–1847) pursued them. They sought to unite these two armies as quickly as possible. On 22 May 1799, the vanguard of the Archduke's army reached Frauenfeld, where they stopped in order to meet up with the vanguard of General Hotze's army, which occurred on 24 May.
The First French Empire, officially the French Empire, was the empire of Napoleon Bonaparte of France and the dominant power in much of continental Europe at the beginning of the 19th century. Although France had already established an overseas colonial empire beginning in the 17th century, the French state had remained a kingdom under the Bourbons and a republic after the Revolution. Historians refer to Napoleon's regime as the First Empire to distinguish it from the restorationist Second Empire (1852–1870) ruled by his nephew as Napoleon III.
In Swiss history, the Helvetic Republic (1798–1803) represented an early attempt to impose a central authority over Switzerland, which until then had consisted of self-governing cantons united by a loose military alliance.
André Masséna, 1st Duc de Rivoli, 1st Prince d'Essling was a French military commander during the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars. He was one of the original eighteen Marshals of the Empire created by Napoleon, with the nickname l'Enfant chéri de la Victoire.
After the advance troops of the Austrians had already linked up, General Massena who was stationed at Winterthur decided to make an attempt to prevent the enemy's main forces from linking together. At this point he posted four French and two Helvetian Battalions, a company of Helvetian sharpshooters, five squadrons of Hussars and eight cannons under General Charles Nicolas Oudinot (1767–1847) and General Augustin Keller(1754–1799) to meet the enemy at Frauenfeld. General Nicolas Soult (1769–1851) followed in reserve with three more French and three Helvetian battalions.
Winterthur is a city in the canton of Zürich in northern Switzerland. It has the country's sixth-largest population, estimated at over 108,000 people, and is the ninth largest agglomeration with about 138,000 inhabitants. Today Winterthur is a service and high-tech industrial satellite city within Greater Zürich, located about 20 kilometres (12 mi) northeast of downtown Zürich, and only 20 minutes by train.
A battalion is a military unit. The use of the term "battalion" varies by nationality and branch of service. Typically a battalion consists of 300 to 800 soldiers and is divided into a number of companies. A battalion is typically commanded by a lieutenant colonel. In some countries, the word "battalion" is associated with the infantry.
A company is a military unit, typically consisting of 80–150 soldiers and usually commanded by a major or a captain. Most companies are formed of three to six platoons, although the exact number may vary by country, unit type, and structure.
On the morning of 25 May 1799, around 5 o'clock, General Oudinot encountered the weak Austrian garrison at Frauenfeld. These troops slowly withdrew over the Thur. Around 9 o'clock however more troops from Hotze's army arrived (six battalions and six squadrons) under General Petrasch of Wyl, on the left flank and in the rear of the French. The French were forced to bring their main force up against this new enemy. About 22,000 Austrians were now arrayed against about 14,000 French and Swiss troops.This clash continued without a clear victor until evening. As a result, there were very heavy losses. The Adjutant General of the Helvetian troops himself, General Johann Weber (1752–1799) fell victim to a sharpshooter. Since the outcome of the battle was so unclear, General Petrasch decided to retreat at 7 o'clock in the evening. The Austrians lost about 2,000 men in the battle (mostly captured) and two cannons.
Thur is a 131-kilometre-long (81 mi) river in north-eastern Switzerland. Its source is near the mountain Säntis in the south-east of the canton of St. Gallen. In this canton it flows through the Toggenburg region and the town Wil. After Wil it flows through the canton of Thurgau and its capital Frauenfeld. The final 19 kilometres (12 mi) of the Thur are in the canton of Zürich. It flows into the river Rhine on the border with Germany, south of Schaffhausen.
During the battle, two further columns of Massena's army attacked the Austrian archduke's main forces near Rorbas and Andelfingen in order to push them back over the Thur. After some initial success, however, the French were themselves pushed back. Despite the tactical success at Frauenfeld, Massena's position thus remained untenable and he led a withdrawal in the direction of Zurich on 26 May. Contemporaries, like Carl von Clausewitz, criticised Massena for having three columns (and the reserve under Soult) operate separately from one another instead of concentrating his whole force against Hotze's army. Only in this way, they said, could he have defeated the Austrians.
Rorbas is a municipality in the district of Bülach in the canton of Zürich in Switzerland.
Carl Philipp Gottfriedvon Clausewitz was a Prussian general and military theorist who stressed the "moral" and political aspects of war. His most notable work, Vom Kriege, was unfinished at his death. Clausewitz was a realist in many different senses and, while in some respects a romantic, also drew heavily on the rationalist ideas of the European Enlightenment.
Because of the failure of the French attack on the Archduke's army and the subsequent French retreat, there was no further obstacle to the union of the two Austrian armies. After further defeats, the French army scored a victory at the end of September in the Second Battle of Zurich. After this, the French regained the city of Frauenfeld and other territory.
The Second Battle of Zurich was a key victory by the Republican French army in Switzerland led by André Masséna over an Austrian and Russian force commanded by Alexander Korsakov near Zürich. It broke the stalemate that had resulted from the First Battle of Zurich three months earlier and led to the withdrawal of Russia from the Second Coalition. Most of the fighting took place on both banks of the river Limmat up to the gates of Zürich, and within the city itself.
Archduke Charles Louis John Joseph Laurentius of Austria, Duke of Teschen was an Austrian field-marshal, the third son of Emperor Leopold II and his wife, Maria Luisa of Spain. He was also the younger brother of Francis II, Holy Roman Emperor. Despite being epileptic, Charles achieved respect both as a commander and as a reformer of the Austrian army. He was considered one of Napoleon's more formidable opponents.
The French Revolutionary Wars were a series of sweeping military conflicts lasting from 1792 until 1802 and resulting from the French Revolution. They pitted the French Republic against Great Britain, Austria and several other monarchies. They are divided in two periods: the War of the First Coalition (1792–97) and the War of the Second Coalition (1798–1802). Initially confined to Europe, the fighting gradually assumed a global dimension. After a decade of constant warfare and aggressive diplomacy, France had conquered a wide array of territories, from the Italian Peninsula and the Low Countries in Europe to the Louisiana Territory in North America. French success in these conflicts ensured the spread of revolutionary principles over much of Europe.
In the First Battle of Zurich on 4 – 7 June 1799, French general André Masséna was forced to yield the city to the Austrians under Archduke Charles and retreat beyond the Limmat, where he managed to fortify his positions, resulting in a stalemate.
By 1799, the French Revolutionary Wars had resumed after a period of relative peace in 1798. The Second Coalition had organized against France, with Great Britain allying with Russia, Austria, the Ottoman Empire, and several of the German and Italian states. While Napoleon's army was still embroiled in Egypt, the allies prepared campaigns in Italy, Switzerland, and the Netherlands.
During the French Revolutionary Wars, the revolutionary armies marched eastward, enveloping Switzerland in their battles against Austria. In 1798, Switzerland was completely overrun by the French and was renamed the Helvetic Republic. The Helvetic Republic encountered severe economic and political problems. In 1798 the country became a battlefield of the Revolutionary Wars, culminating in the Battles of Zürich in 1799.
The Italian and Swiss expeditions of 1799 and 1800 were undertaken by a combined Austro-Russian army under overall command of the Russian General Alexander Suvorov against French forces in Piedmont, Lombardy and Switzerland as part of the Italian campaigns of the French Revolutionary Wars in general and the War of the Second Coalition in particular.
The Army of the Danube was a field army of the French Directory in the 1799 southwestern campaign in the Upper Danube valley. It was formed on 2 March 1799 by the simple expedient of renaming the Army of Observation, which had been observing Austrian movements on the border between French First Republic and the Holy Roman Empire. It was commanded by General Jean-Baptiste Jourdan, 1st Comte Jourdan (1762–1833).
Friedrich Freiherr (Baron) von Hotze, was a Swiss-born general in the Austrian army during the French Revolutionary Wars, campaigned in the Rhineland during the War of the First Coalition and in Switzerland in the War of the Second Coalition, notably at Battle of Winterthur in late May 1799, and the First Battle of Zurich in early June 1799. He was killed at the Second Battle of Zurich.
Friedrich Joseph of Nauendorf, a general in Habsburg service during the French Revolutionary Wars, was noted for his intrepid and daring cavalry raids. Like most Austrian officers of the French Revolutionary Wars, he joined the military as a young man, and served in the War of Bavarian Succession. In the war's opening action, he successfully repelled a Prussian border raid, which earned him the admiration of the Empress Maria Theresa's son, Joseph. His continued success in the Habsburg border wars with the Ottoman Empire added to his reputation as a commander.
The Battle of Winterthur was an important action between elements of the Army of the Danube and elements of the Habsburg army, commanded by Friedrich Freiherr von Hotze, during the War of the Second Coalition, part of the French Revolutionary Wars. The small town of Winterthur lies 18 kilometers (11 mi) northeast of Zürich, in Switzerland. Because of its position at the junction of seven roads, the army that held the town controlled access to most of Switzerland and points crossing the Rhine into southern Germany. Although the forces involved were small, the ability of the Austrians to sustain their 11-hour assault on the French line resulted in the consolidation of three Austrian forces on the plateau north of Zürich, leading to the French defeat a few days later.
Christoph Karl von Piacsek was a Hungarian officer in Habsburg military service during the French Revolutionary Wars. He was born in 1749 in Klobusics, in the commune of Trencsén, in the Kingdom of Hungary. As a Rittmeister, or captain of cavalry, in the 9th Hussar Regiment, he received the Knight's Cross of the Military Order of Maria Theresa in 1789, after combat in Tabor during Austria's wars with the Ottoman Empire, and, as a colonel, commanded the 9th Hussars, 1793–1797. In 1793, during the War of the First Coalition, the 9th Hussars were part of the Army of the Rhine (Austrian), and participated in the skirmishes at Offenbach, Knittelsbach, and Otterheim, and, later, at the storming of the Wissembourg line at Lauffenberg. Following this action, Piacsek, Major Baron von Szoreyny, and several other officers were honored.
Franz, Freiherr von Petrasch was an Austrian general officer serving in the Austrian Empire during the French Revolutionary Wars. He was the third generation of a bourgeois family in which two brothers, seeking adventure, joined the Habsburg military and rose through the ranks. The family was elevated to the Moravia nobility in the early eighteenth century, and to the Hungarian nobility in 1722.
Battle of Oberwald occurred on 13–14 August 1799 between French forces commanded by General of Division Jean Victor Tharreau and elements of Prince Rohan's corps in southern Switzerland. The Austrian regiment was commanded by Colonel Gottfried von Strauch. Both sides engaged approximately 6,000 men. The French lost 500 killed, wounded or missing, and the Austrians lost 3,000 men and two guns. Oberwald is a village in Canton Valais, at the source of the Rhône River, between Grimsel and Furka passes.
The Battle of Mannheim was fought between a Habsburg Austrian army commanded by Archduke Charles, Duke of Teschen and a Republican French army under Jacques Léonard Muller. Most of the French Army of the Rhine had retreated to the west bank of the Rhine River, leaving the division of Antoine Laroche Dubouscat to hold Mannheim on the east bank. Despite assistance by Michel Ney, Laroche's division was beaten and driven out of the city when attacked by Charles and a much superior force. The War of the Second Coalition action occurred in the city of Mannheim, located in the state of Baden-Württemberg in southwest Germany about 80 kilometres (50 mi) south of Frankfurt.
The Battle of Feldkirch saw a Republican French corps led by André Masséna attack a weaker Habsburg Austrian force under Franz Jellacic. Defending fortified positions, the Austrians repulsed all of the French columns, though the struggle lasted until nightfall. This and other French setbacks in southern Germany soon caused Masséna to go on the defensive. The War of the Second Coalition combat occurred at the Austrian town of Feldkirch, Vorarlberg, located 158 kilometres (98 mi) west of Innsbruck.
The Battle of Kircheib was a military engagement during the War of the First Coalition. On 19 June 1796, French and Austrian troops clashed at Kircheib in the Westerwald uplands in present-day Germany. Sometimes it is called the Battle of Uckerath after another nearby village, Uckerath, which belongs today to Hennef.
The Battle of Amsteg saw a Republican French division under General of Division Claude Lecourbe face a brigade of Habsburg Austrian soldiers led by General-major Joseph Anton von Simbschen. Lecourbe's offensive began on 14 August when six columns of French infantry advanced on the upper Reuss valley from the north and east. By 16 August, Lecourbe's forces had driven Simbschen's Austrians from the valley and seized control of the strategic Gotthard Pass between Italy and Switzerland.
The Battle of Linth River saw a Republican French division under General of Division Jean-de-Dieu Soult face a force of Habsburg Austrian, Imperial Russian, and Swiss soldiers led by Feldmarschall-Leutnant Friedrich Freiherr von Hotze in Switzerland. Soult carefully planned and his troops carried out a successful assault crossing of the Linth River between Lake Zurich and the Walensee. Hotze's death early in the action disorganized the Allied defenders who were defeated and forced to retreat, abandoning supplies accumulated for Field Marshal Alexander Suvorov's approaching army. On the same day, General of Division André Masséna's French Army of Helvetia defeated Lieutenant General Alexander Korsakov's Russian army in the Second Battle of Zurich and a French brigade turned back another Austrian force near Mollis. Both Korsakov's Russians and Hotze's survivors, led by Feldmarschall-Leutnant Franz Petrasch withdrew north of the Rhine River.
The Battle of Gotthard Pass or Battle of St. Gotthard Pass saw an Imperial Russian army commanded by Field Marshal Alexander Suvorov supported by two Habsburg Austrian brigades attack a Republican French division under General of Division Claude Lecourbe. The Austro-Russian army successfully captured the Gotthard Pass after stiff fighting on the first day. Suvorov's main body was assisted by a Russian flanking column led by Lieutenant General Andrei Rosenberg and a smaller Austrian flanking column under General-major Franz Xaver von Auffenberg. The next day, Suvorov's army fought its way north along the upper Reuss River valley past the Teufelsbrücke in Schöllenen Gorge. By 26 September the army reached Altdorf near Lake Lucerne.