|Battle of Höchstädt|
|Part of the War of the Second Coalition|
|Commanders and leaders|
|Jean Victor Marie Moreau||Pál Kray|
|Casualties and losses|
|approximately 2,000||5,000 dead, wounded and captured|
The Battle of Höchstädt was fought on 19 June 1800 on the north bank of the Danube near Höchstädt, and resulted in a French victory under General Jean Victor Marie Moreau against the Austrians under Baron Pál Kray. The Austrians were subsequently forced back into the fortress town of Ulm. Instead of attacking the heavily fortified, walled city, which would result in massive losses of personnel and time, Moreau dislodged Kray's supporting forces defending the Danube passage further east. As a line of retreat eastward disappeared, Kray quickly abandoned Ulm, and withdrew into Bavaria. This opened the Danube pathway toward Vienna.
The Danube, known by various names in other languages, is Europe's second longest river, after the Volga. It is located in Central and Eastern Europe.
Höchstädt an der Donau is a town in the district of Dillingen, Bavaria, Germany. It is situated near the banks of the Danube River. It consists of the following suburbs: Höchstädt an der Donau, Deisenhofen, Oberglauheim, Schwennenbach and Sonderheim. The town is the seat of the municipal association Höchstädt an der Donau, which includes the towns Blindheim, Finningen, Lutzingen and Schwenningen.
Jean Victor Marie Moreau was a French general who helped Napoleon Bonaparte to power, but later became a rival and was banished to the United States.
The Danube passage connecting Ulm, Donauwörth, Ingolstadt and Regensburg had strategic importance in the ongoing competition for European hegemony between France and the Holy Roman Empire; the army that commanded the Danube, especially its passage through Württemberg and Bavaria, could command access to the important cities of Munich and the seat of Habsburg authority: Vienna. The end result of the battle was the opposite of what had occurred on those same fields almost 100 years earlier, when the armies of the Grand Alliance had faced the armies of France during the War of the Spanish Succession. At the Second Battle of Höchstädt in 1704, called the Battle of Blenheim by the English, the overwhelming Allied victory ensured the safety of Vienna from the Franco-Bavarian army, thus preventing the collapse of the Grand Alliance. France's loss during that engagement opened the pathway into France for the allied English and Austrian forces.
DonauwörthGerman: [ˌdoːnaʊˈvøːɐ̯t]) is a town and the capital of the Donau-Ries district in Swabia, Bavaria, Germany. It is said to have been founded by two fishermen where the rivers Danube (Donau) and Wörnitz meet. The city is part of the scenic route called "Romantische Straße"
Ingolstadt is a city in Bavaria, Germany, on the banks of the River Danube, in the centre of Bavaria. In 2016, it had 133,638 citizens, making it the fifth largest city in Bavaria. It is part of the Munich Metropolitan Region.
Regensburg is a city in south-east Germany, at the confluence of the Danube, Naab and Regen rivers. With more than 150,000 inhabitants, Regensburg is the fourth-largest city in the State of Bavaria after Munich, Nuremberg and Augsburg. The city is the political, economic and cultural centre and capital of the Upper Palatinate.
Although the First Coalition forces achieved several initial victories at Verdun, Kaiserslautern, Neerwinden, Mainz, Amberg and Würzburg, the efforts of Napoleon Bonaparte in northern Italy pushed Austrian forces back and resulted in the negotiation of the Peace of Leoben (17 April 1797) and the subsequent Treaty of Campo Formio (October 1797). This treaty proved difficult to administer. Austria was slow to give up some of the Venetian territories. A Congress convened at Rastatt for the purposes of deciding which southwestern German states would be mediatised to compensate the dynastic houses for territorial losses, but was unable to make any progress. Supported by French republican forces, Swiss insurgents staged several uprisings, ultimately causing the overthrow of the Swiss Confederation after 18 months of civil war. By early 1799, the French Directory had become impatient with stalling tactics employed by Austria. An uprising in Naples raised further alarms, and recent gains in Switzerland suggested the timing was fortuitous for the French to venture on another campaign in northern Italy and southwestern Germany.
The first Battle of Verdun was fought on 29 August 1792 between French Revolutionary forces and a Prussian army during the opening months of the War of the First Coalition. The Prussians were victorious, gaining a clear westward path to Paris.
The Battle of Kaiserslautern saw a Coalition army under Charles William Ferdinand, Duke of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel oppose a Republican French army led by Lazare Hoche. Three days of conflict resulted in a victory by the Prussians and their Electoral Saxon allies as they turned back repeated French attacks. The War of the First Coalition combat was fought near the city of Kaiserslautern in the modern-day state of Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany, which is located about 60 kilometres (37 mi) west of Mannheim.
The Battle of Neerwinden saw a Republican French army led by Charles François Dumouriez attack a Coalition army commanded by Prince Josias of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld. The Coalition army's Habsburg Austrians together with a small contingent of allied Dutch Republic troops repulsed all French assaults after bitter fighting and Dumouriez conceded defeat, withdrawing from the field. The French position in the Austrian Netherlands swiftly collapsed, ending the threat to the Dutch Republic and allowing Austria to regain control of her lost province. The War of the First Coalition engagement was fought at Neerwinden, located 57 kilometres (35 mi) east of Brussels in present-day Belgium.
At the beginning of 1800, the armies of France and Austria faced each other across the Rhine. Feldzeugmeister Pál Kray led approximately 120,000 troops. In addition to his Austrian regulars, his force included 12,000 men from the Electorate of Bavaria, 6,000 troops from the Duchy of Württemberg, 5,000 soldiers of low quality from the Archbishopric of Mainz, and 7,000 militiamen from the County of Tyrol. Of these, 25,000 men were deployed east of Lake Constance (Bodensee) to protect the Vorarlberg. Kray posted his main body of 95,000 soldiers in the L-shaped angle where the Rhine changes direction from a westward flow along the northern border of Switzerland to a northward flow along the eastern border of France. Unwisely, Kray set up his main magazine at Stockach, near the northwestern end of Lake Constance, only a day's march from French-held Switzerland.
The (Princely) County of Tyrol was an estate of the Holy Roman Empire established about 1140. Originally a jurisdiction under the sovereignty of the Counts of Tyrol, it was inherited by the Counts of Gorizia in 1253 and finally fell to the Austrian House of Habsburg in 1363. In 1804 the Princely County of Tyrol, unified with the secularised Prince-Bishoprics of Trent and Brixen, became a crown land of the Austrian Empire in 1804 and from 1867 a Cisleithanian crown land of Austria-Hungary.
Lake Constance is a lake on the Rhine at the northern foot of the Alps, and consists of three bodies of water: the Obersee or Upper Lake Constance, the Untersee or Lower Lake Constance, and a connecting stretch of the Rhine, called the Seerhein. These waterbodies lie within the Lake Constance Basin, which is part of the Alpine Foreland and through which the Rhine flows.
Vorarlberg is the westernmost federal state (Bundesland) of Austria. It has the second-smallest area after Vienna, and although it has the second-smallest population, it also has the second-highest population density. It borders three countries: Germany, Switzerland and Liechtenstein. The only Austrian state that shares a border with Vorarlberg is Tyrol to the east.
General of Division Jean Victor Marie Moreau commanded a modestly-equipped army of 137,000 French troops. Of these, 108,000 troops were available for field operations while the other 29,000 watched the Swiss border and held the Rhine fortresses. Napoleon Bonaparte offered a plan of operations based on outflanking the Austrians by a push from Switzerland, but Moreau declined to follow it. Rather, Moreau planned to cross the Rhine near Basel where the river swung to the north. A French column would distract Kray from Moreau's true intentions by crossing the Rhine from the west. Bonaparte wanted Claude Lecourbe's corps to be detached to Italy after the initial battles, but Moreau had other plans.Through a series of complicated maneuvers in which he flanked, double flanked, and reflanked Kray's army, Moreau's forces lay on the eastern slope of the Black Forest, while portions of Kray's army was still guarding the passes on the other side. Battles at Engen and Stockach were fought on 3 May 1800 between the Moreau's and Kray's armies. The fighting near Engen resulted in a stalemate with heavy losses on both sides. However, while the two main armies were engaged at Engen, Claude Lecourbe captured Stockach from its Austrian defenders under the Joseph, Prince of Lorraine-Vaudemont. The loss of this main supply base at Stockach compelled Kray to retreat north to Messkirch, where his army enjoyed a more favorable defensive position. It also meant, however, that any retreat by Kray into Austria via Switzerland and the Vorarlberg was cut off.
Basel is a city in northwestern Switzerland on the river Rhine. Basel is Switzerland's third-most-populous city with about 180,000 inhabitants.
Claude Jacques Lecourbe, born in Besançon, was a French general during the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic wars.
The Black Forest is a large forested mountain range in the state of Baden-Württemberg in southwest Germany. It is bounded by the Rhine valley to the west and south. Its highest peak is the Feldberg with an elevation of 1,493 metres (4,898 ft). The region is roughly oblong in shape with a length of 160 km (99 mi) and breadth of up to 50 km (31 mi).
On 4 and 5 May, the French launched repeated and fruitless assaults on the Messkirch. At nearby Krumbach, where the Austrians also had the superiority of position and force, the 1st Demi-Brigade took the village and the heights around it, which gave them a commanding aspect over Messkirch. Subsequently, Kray withdrew his forces to Sigmaringen, followed closely by the French. Fighting at nearby Biberach an der Ris ensued on 9 May; action principally consisted of the 25,000 man-strong French "Center", commanded by Laurent de Gouvion Saint-Cyr against a Habsburg force of similar size.Again, on 10 May, the Austrians withdrew with heavy losses, this time to Ulm.
Sauldorf is a municipality in the district of Sigmaringen in Baden-Württemberg in Germany.
Sigmaringen is a town in southern Germany, in the state of Baden-Württemberg. Situated on the upper Danube, it is the capital of the Sigmaringen district.
The Battle of Biberach on 9 May 1800 saw a French First Republic corps under Laurent Gouvion Saint-Cyr engage part of a Habsburg Austrian army led by Pál Kray. After an engagement in which the Austrians suffered twice as many casualties as the French, Kray withdrew to the east. The combat occurred during the War of the Second Coalition, part of the French Revolutionary Wars. Biberach an der Riss is located 35 kilometres (22 mi) southwest of Ulm.
Sources are unclear which forces were present. Certainly, it was approximately 40,000 troops, and possibly 60,000, well above the 10,000–30,000 total Austrian and Württemberg numbers. Contemporary accounts place the 94th Demi-brigade at the center of action in Gremheim, a village between Höchstädt and Donauwörth, about half a mile (800m) from Blindheim.This suggests the presence of General Claude Jacques Lecourbe 's Corps, including the forces of generals Laval, Molitor, Jardon, and VanDamme. This is also confirmed in an extract of Moreau's dispatch to the French Minister of War, published in the London Chronicle, 10 June 1800. "The 6th chasseurs, 13th cavalry, 4th hussars and 11th chasseurs distinguished themselves in this affair. The rest of the division, and that of LeClere, passed rapidly the Danube... General Grenier was equally well prepared." In his Art of War, Baron Antoine-Henri Jomini also refers to General Dedon-Duclos as having a key role in the French success at Höchstädt.
The Allied force included approximately 20,000 Habsburg regulars and Württemberg's contingent of troops raised for the war:
Total Austrian/Württemberg force: 20,000 men.
Kray assumed that Moreau would follow him to fortress at Ulm, on the Danube, where he arrayed most of the Austrian regulars and Württemberg contingent and supplies. This position gave him ready access to both shores of the river and effectively, he assumed, blocked Moreau's path into Bavaria. At several points east on the Danube, he posted modest forces to protect the river crossings there, and to dismantle, if necessary, the stone bridges across the river. Several bridges crossed the river between Ulm and Donauwörth, which lay downstream to the east, and each presented a strategic point at which to rupture Kray's potential line of march into Bavaria: Leipheim, Günzburg, Gundelfingen, Lauingen, Dillingen, Höchstädt, Gremheim, and Elchingen.
According to Moreau's narrative, he intended to force Kray to either come to battle outside Ulm, or to abandon the city. Ulm obstructed unfettered French access into Bavaria, and blocked the main force of the Army of the Rhine.To keep his forces secure, accepted military wisdom required that Moreau secure at least half of the crossings of the river, and that his troops follow a line of march perpendicular to the river. This would prevent them from having to fight a battle (or a skirmish) with their backs to the river. The more bridges his force could take, the more secure the approach on Ulm.
Moreau appeared to march toward Ulm, which lay some twenty miles east of Sigmaringen and Biberach an der Ris, where his army and Kray's had engaged a few days earlier. Instead of striking directly at the well-fortified and supplied city, however, his force suddenly veered to the east and struck at the smaller forces posted between Ulm and Donauwörth.Lecourbe first secured posts in Landsberg and Augsburg, and left sufficient rearguard troops to protect himself from Prince Reuss-Plauen, who remained in the Tyrol guarding mountain access to Vienna. He then approached Dettingen, Blindheim (Blenheim) and Höchstädt. The Corps of General Grenier has been posted with their right flank to the Danube and Gunzburg, and their left flank at Kinsdorf. General Richepanse protected both shores of the Iller, covering the road from Ulm south to Memmingen, and secured communication with Switzerland; there, he withstood considerable skirmishing with the Austrians. Three divisions of reserve remained at the hamlets of Kamlack and Mindel, to support the attack made by General Lecourbe on Ulm, in a case it should succeed, or Grenier's attack upon Gunzburg, in case Lecourbe should not succeed.
Lecourbe made several feints on the bridge at Dillingheim, but his reconnaissance suggested instead that he focus on the bridges at Gremsheim, Blindheim and Höchstädt, which he did the next day.A small group of 80 or so men from the 94th Demi-Brigade managed a spectacular crossing of the river. After stripping their clothing and weapons, and loading them into a small raft, the naked men swam the river, pulling their weapons on rafts behind them. Once reaching the other side, they took possession of several guns and some ammunition, wood, and materials. Here they held their position until some artillery men managed to scramble across the wreck of the bridge at Gremsheim and support them. The pioneers and bridge builders reconstructed the bridges under Austrian fire, allowing the remainder of the 94th crossed the river. This accomplishment seemed to mark the turning point of the action, at least it did to Moreau, who mentioned it at length in his dispatch. A full Austrian Corps maintained a stand at Höchstädt, but were dislodged by repeated attacks of carabiners, cuirassiers and hussars, who took about 2,000 of the Austrians and Würtembergers as prisoners, along with some cannons and standards.
Once the French had secured the downstream shores of the Danube, Kray had no choice but to evacuate his corps from Ulm, leaving only a small garrison behind. The French invested the fortress at Ulm immediately, and on the 20th, the 6th Chasseurs captured a convoy of 300 wagons loaded with grain.A few days later, a general armistice halted all fighting. Emperor Francis II dismissed Pál Kray and appointed his brother, the 18-year-old Archduke John, to command the Austrian army. To bolster the inexperienced archduke, the emperor named Franz von Lauer as deputy commander and Oberst (Colonel) Franz von Weyrother as Chief of Staff.
The campaign culminating in Kray's evacuation of Ulm was one of Moreau's most resounding triumphs. Napoleon Bonaparte had given Moreau specific instructions about the conduct of the campaign, all of which Moreau had ignored. Regardless, their combined efforts damaged Habsburg military operations. In Spring 1800, while Moreau wrecked Austrian defenses in Germany, Massena and Desaix ran into stiff Austrian offensives in Northern Italy. Napoleon brought in the reserve corps and defeated the Austrians at Marengo. The battle near Höchstädt, five days after the Austrian disaster at Marengo, allowed the French to take Munich. The combined efforts forced the Habsburgs to accept an armistice ended hostilities for the rest of the summer, but the French extracted massive levies on the Bavarians. Despite these significant losses—both of them decisive—the Austrians were reluctant to accept disadvantageous peace terms. In mid-November, the French ended the truce and Moreau inflicted another significant and decisive defeat at Hohenlinden on 3 December 1800.The subsequent Peace of Lunéville stripped Austria of much of her Italian territories, obliged the Habsburgs to recognize the French satellites in the Low Countries, Switzerland, and northern Italy, and laid the groundwork for the mediatization of the small independent ecclesiastical and secular imperial polities by the duchies of Baden and Württemberg, and the Electorate of Bavaria.
The Battle of Stockach and Engen was fought on 3 May 1800 between the army of the First French Republic under Jean Victor Marie Moreau and the army of Habsburg Austria led by Pál Kray. The fighting near Engen resulted in a stalemate with heavy losses on both sides. However, while the two main armies were engaged at Engen, Claude Lecourbe captured Stockach from its Austrian defenders. The loss of his main supply base at Stockach compelled Kray to order a retreat. Stockach is located near the northwestern end of Lake Constance while Engen is 20 kilometres (12 mi) west of Stockach. The action occurred during the War of the Second Coalition, part of the French Revolutionary Wars.
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.
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.
Dillingen, or Dillingen an der Donau is a town in Swabia, Bavaria, Germany. It is the administrative center of the district of Dillingen.
The French Revolutionary Wars continued from 1799 with the French fighting the forces of the Second Coalition. Napoleon Bonaparte had returned from Egypt and taken control of the French government. He prepared a new campaign, sending Moreau to the Rhine frontier and personally going to take command in the Alps, where French forces had been driven almost out of Italy in 1799.
Blindheim is a municipality in the Bavarian district of Dillingen in southern Germany, consisting of several villages. It is north of Augsburg, on the left bank of the Danube River. Its population is roughly 1,700.
Baron Paul Kray of Krajova and Topolya, was a soldier, and general in Habsburg service during the Seven Years' War, the War of Bavarian Succession, the Austro–Turkish War (1787–1791), and the French Revolutionary Wars. He was born in Késmárk, Upper Hungary.
Lauingen is a town in the district of Dillingen in Bavaria, Germany. It is located on the left bank of the Danube, 5 km west of Dillingen, and 37 km northeast of Ulm.
The [First] Battle of Stockach occurred on 25 March 1799, when French and Austrian armies fought for control of the geographically strategic Hegau region in present-day Baden-Württemberg. In the broader military context, this battle constitutes a keystone in the first campaign in southwestern Germany during the Wars of the Second Coalition, part of the French Revolutionary Wars.
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).
Pierre Marie Barthélemy Ferino,, was a general and politician of France. Born in the Savoy, he was the son of a low-ranking officer in the Habsburg military. In 1789, during the French Revolution, he went to France, where he received a commission in the French Army. In 1793, his troops deposed him, for his strict discipline, but he was immediately reinstated and rose rapidly through the ranks of the general staff. He helped to push the Austrians back to Bavaria in the 1796 summer campaign, and then covered Moreau's retreat to France later that year, defending the Rhine bridge at Hüningen until the last units had crossed to safety.
The Army of the Danube was a field army of the French First Republic. Originally named the Army of Observation, it was expanded with elements of the Army of Mainz (Mayence) and the Army of Helvetia (Switzerland). The army had three divisions plus an advance guard, a reserve, and an artillery park. The artillery park was under the command of Jean Ambroise Baston de Lariboisière and consisted of 33 cannons and 19 howitzers operated by 1,329 non-commissioned officers and cannoneers as well as 60 officers. There were approximately 25,000 members of the Army, the role of which was to invade southwestern Germany, precipitating the War of the Second Coalition.
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.
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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.
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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.