Battle of Linth River

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Battle of Linth River
2012-06-24-See-Gaster (Foto Dietrich Michael Weidmann) 292.JPG
The Linth River curves around the base of the Buchberg at left center before flowing into Lake Zurich.
Date25–26 September 1799
Result French victory
Flag of France.svg Republican France Banner of the Holy Roman Emperor (after 1400).svg Habsburg Monarchy
Flag of Russia.svg Russian Empire
Flag of Switzerland.svg Swiss
Commanders and leaders
Flag of France.svg Jean-de-Dieu Soult
Flag of France.svg Gabriel Molitor
Banner of the Holy Roman Emperor (after 1400).svg Friedrich Hotze  
Banner of the Holy Roman Emperor (after 1400).svg Franz Petrasch
Flag of Russia.svg Vasily Titov
Flag of Switzerland.svg Ferdinand Rovéréa
Banner of the Holy Roman Emperor (after 1400).svg Friedrich von Linkin
Banner of the Holy Roman Emperor (after 1400).svg Franz Jellacic
Flag of France.svg Soult: 12,700
Flag of France.svg Molitor: 2,600+
Banner of the Holy Roman Emperor (after 1400).svg 8,000, 19 vessels
Flag of Russia.svg 2,000
Flag of Switzerland.svg 2,000
Banner of the Holy Roman Emperor (after 1400).svg Linkin: 3,500
Banner of the Holy Roman Emperor (after 1400).svg Jellacic: 4,500
Casualties and losses
Soult: 1,100
Molitor: 1,300
3,500+, 20–25 guns

The Battle of Linth River (25–26 September 1799) 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.

Jean-de-Dieu Soult Prime Minister of France

Marshal General Jean-de-Dieu Soult, 1st Duke of Dalmatia, was a French general and statesman, named Marshal of the Empire in 1804 and often called Marshal Soult. Soult was one of only six officers in French history to receive the distinction of Marshal General of France. The Duke also served three times as President of the Council of Ministers, or Prime Minister of France.

Russian Empire former country, 1721–1917

The Russian Empire was an empire that extended across Eurasia and North America from 1721, following the end of the Great Northern War, until the Republic was proclaimed by the Provisional Government that took power after the February Revolution of 1917.

Friedrich Freiherr von Hotze Field Marshal, French Revolutionary Wars

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.


These defeats were the result of a mismanaged Allied strategy that planned to unite the forces of Korsakov and Hotze with Suvorov's Russian army coming north from Italy. In accordance with the strategy, Feldzeugmeister Archduke Charles, Duke of Teschen's powerful Austrian army had marched from Zürich to southern Germany a few weeks before. Masséna and Soult won their victories in the narrow time window between Charles' departure and Suvorov's arrival. On 24 September, Suvorov's Russians captured the Gotthard Pass and marched into Switzerland. However, with Korsakov and Petrasch driven out of the country, Masséna turned his full attention upon Suvorov's army, setting the stage for an epic alpine campaign.

Archduke Charles, Duke of Teschen Archduke of Austria

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.

Zürich Place in Switzerland

Zürich or Zurich is the largest city in Switzerland and the capital of the canton of Zürich. It is located in north-central Switzerland at the northwestern tip of Lake Zürich. The municipality has approximately 409,000 inhabitants, the urban agglomeration 1.315 million and the Zürich metropolitan area 1.83 million. Zürich is a hub for railways, roads, and air traffic. Both Zurich Airport and railway station are the largest and busiest in the country.

Battle of Gotthard Pass

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.


Allied strategy

In the summer of 1799, Allied strategists made what proved to be a gigantic strategic blunder. William Grenville, 1st Baron Grenville was the British Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs under Prime Minister William Pitt the Younger. Grenville drew up a plan whereby Korsakov with 45,000 Russians would be joined in Switzerland by Suvorov with 20,000 Russians marching north from Italy. Suvorov would take command of the combined army and drive Masséna's French army from western Switzerland. In the second phase, Suvorov would thrust into Franche-Comté, an area of France defended by only a few frontier fortresses. Meanwhile, Archduke Charles would move north into Germany, leaving 18,000 Austrians under Hotze to cooperate with the Russians. Charles and 60,000 troops would strike across the lower Rhine from southern Germany into France. On the North Sea coast, an Anglo-Russian army would invade the Batavian Republic, a satellite of France. The plan was sent on 8 June to Emperor Paul I of Russia, who gave it his blessing. Emperor Francis and his foreign minister Johann Amadeus von Thugut approved the plan because it came to them via Emperor Paul and it was a good excuse to get Suvorov out of Italy. [1] Fractures were appearing in the alliance as Russia and Austria were beginning to become suspicious of one another's aims. [2]

William Grenville, 1st Baron Grenville British politician, died 1834

William Wyndham Grenville, 1st Baron Grenville, was a British Pittite Tory and politician who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1806 to 1807, though he was a supporter of the British Whig Party for the duration of the Napoleonic Wars.

Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs United Kingdom government cabinet minister heading the Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Her Majesty's Principal Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, normally referred to as the Foreign Secretary, is a senior, high-ranking official within the Government of the United Kingdom and head of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. The Foreign Secretary is a member of the Cabinet, and the post is considered one of the Great Offices of State. It is considered a position similar to that of Foreign Minister in other countries. The Foreign Secretary reports directly to the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.

Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Head of UK Government

The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, until 1801 known as the Prime Minister of Great Britain, is the head of government of the United Kingdom. The Prime Minister directs both the executive and the legislature, and together with their Cabinet are collectively accountable for their policies and actions to the Monarch, to Parliament, to their political party and ultimately to the electorate.

On 7 August 1799, when the scheme was divulged to Archduke Charles, that general voiced his worries about the Russians, "I don't know how they will manage, especially if we take ourselves off any distance". Korsakov was shocked when the plan was revealed to him on 12 August. The Russian noted that his army's strength was 28,000 present under arms rather than the 45,000 assumed by the strategists. British agent William Wickham, who hoped to raise 20,000 pro-Allied Swiss troops, was disappointed that only 2,000 were recruited. [1] The Army of Condé, made up of 6,000 French Royalists, was marching from Russia but would not arrive in southern Germany until 1 October. [3] This situation was made worse because Hotze underestimated Massena's strength at 60,000 French and Swiss troops. In fact there were 76,000 altogether. [4]

William Wickham (1761–1840) British civil servant and politician, died 1840

William Wickham was a British civil servant and politician who was a founder of British foreign secret service activities during the French Revolution, and was later a Privy Counsellor and Chief Secretary for Ireland.

Army of Condé opposing the French Revolution

The Army of Condé was a French field army during the French Revolutionary Wars. One of several émigré field armies, it was the only one to survive the War of the First Coalition; others had been formed by the Comte d'Artois and Mirabeau-Tonneau. The émigré armies were formed by aristocrats and nobles who had fled from the violence in France after the August Decrees. The army was commanded by Louis Joseph de Bourbon, Prince de Condé, the cousin of Louis XVI of France. Among its members were Condé's grandson, the Duc d'Enghien and the two sons of Louis XVI's younger brother, the Comte d'Artois, and so the army was sometimes also called the Princes' Army.

On 15 August 1799, Suvorov and the Austro-Russian army won the Battle of Novi in northwestern Italy. [5] The Russian commander in chief wanted to pursue the beaten French army and chase it from Italy, but the Austrians put him off. In response to the loss of the Gotthard Pass, Suvorov sent Feldzeugmeister Paul Kray and 10,000 troops marching north on 18 August. Finally, on 25 August Suvorov received a letter from Emperor Francis stating that he must take his army into Switzerland. The Russian general asked for a two-month delay, but the Austrian emperor required that Suvorov march at once. Thugut also insisted that Charles take his army out of Switzerland immediately. In the end, the Allied strategy failed because of bad timing. Charles left Switzerland too early and Suvorov arrived in Switzerland too late. This left Korsakov and Hotze in a dangerous position to face Masséna's French army. [1]

Battle of Novi (1799) battle

The Battle of Novi saw a combined army of Habsburg Austrians and Imperial Russians under Field Marshal Alexander Suvorov attack a Republican French army under General Barthélemy Catherine Joubert. After a prolonged and bloody struggle, the Austro-Russians broke through the French defenses and drove their enemies into a disorderly retreat. Joubert was killed while French division commanders Catherine-Dominique de Pérignon and Emmanuel Grouchy were captured. Novi Ligure is in the province of Piedmont in Italy a distance of 58 kilometres (36 mi) north of Genoa. The battle occurred during the War of the Second Coalition which was part of the French Revolutionary Wars.

Battle of Amsteg

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.

Paul Kray soldier, and general in Habsburg service

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.


Andre Massena Renault - Andre Massena, duc de Rivoli, prince d'Essling, marechal de France (1756-1817).jpg
André Masséna

After the departure of Archduke Charles' army, the Allied troops in Switzerland were positioned as follows. Korsakov's 26,000-man Russian army held the line of the Limmat and Aare Rivers from Zürich northwest to the Rhine River. The northern shore of Lake Zurich was defended by 2,500 Austrians and Swiss under Feldmarschall-Leutnant Duke Alexander of Württemberg, 2,000 Russians, and a small squadron of vessels under Colonel James Ernest Williams. Of the 18,000 soldiers under his command, Hotze personally led the 8,000 troops holding the Linth between Lake Zurich on the west and the Walensee on the east. The remaining 10,000 Austrians belonged to Feldmarschall-Leutnant Friedrich von Linkin's division. Of these, General-major Franz Jellacic commanded 4,500 troops at Sargans while Linkin controlled the 5,500 soldiers in the Vorderrhein valley. General-major Franz Xaver von Auffenberg 2,000-man brigade was detailed to cooperate with Suvorov while Linkin personally directed General-major Joseph Anton von Simbschen's 3,500-strong brigade. Colonel Gottfried von Strauch's 4,570 Austrians were also directed to support Suvorov. Strauch's brigade was not part of Hotze's command; instead he reported to Feldmarschall-Leutnant Karl Joseph Hadik von Futak from the Army of Italy. [4]

Limmat river in Switzerland

The Limmat is a river in Switzerland. The river commences at the outfall of Lake Zurich, in the southern part of the city of Zurich. From Zurich it flows in a northwesterly direction, after 35 km reaching the river Aare. The confluence is located north of the small town of Brugg and shortly after the mouth of the Reuss.

Aare river in Switzerland and tributary of the Rhine

The Aare or Aar is a tributary of the High Rhine and the longest river that both rises and ends entirely within Switzerland.

Duke Alexander of Württemberg (1771–1833) Duke of Württemberg

Duke Alexander of Württemberg was a Duke of Württemberg. The son of Frederick II Eugene, Duke of Württemberg and of Sophia Dorothea of Brandenburg-Schwedt. His sister Sophie Dorothea married Tsar Paul I of Russia.

Friedrich von Hotze Friedrich von Hotze.jpg
Friedrich von Hotze

Masséna's Army of Helvetia included divisions under Generals of Division Soult, Joseph Chabran, Louis Klein, Jean Thomas Guillaume Lorge, Claude Lecourbe, Louis Marie Turreau, Philippe Romain Ménard, Louis-Antoine Choin de Montchoisy, and Generals of Brigade Édouard Mortier and Jean Joseph Amable Humbert. The main body under Massena numbered 34,000 in the divisions of Klein, Lorge, Ménard, Mortier, and Humbert. The main body faced Korsakov from Zürich down the Limmat and Aare Rivers to the Rhine. Chabran's 9,700 troops guarded the Rhine west to Basel. Turreau's 9,600 men occupied the Canton of Valais to the far southwest and Montchoisy's 2,500 troops garrisoned places in the rear. Lecourbe had 11,800 soldiers in his division. General of Brigade Charles-Étienne Gudin guarded the Gotthard Pass and General of Brigade Louis Henri Loison held the upper Reuss River valley. Soult's 12,700 men faced Hotze along the Linth between Lake Zurich and the Walensee. General of Brigade Gabriel Jean Joseph Molitor's troops were on Soult's right defending the upper Linth. Molitor's brigade belonged to Lecourbe's division, though it was well to the east of Gudin and Loison. [6] Molitor's brigade numbered 2,599 men. [7]

The line held by Soult and Molitor formed a vulnerable salient in the French defenses. This would be attacked by Linkin whose Austrians would move north across the mountains from the Vorderrhein into the Sernftal to support Hotze. Jellacic would march west along the south shore of the Walensee to outflank the French positions on the Linth. Helped by Jellacic's turning movement, Hotze would break through the French positions on the Linth and advance up the west shore of Lake Zurich. Once Hotze's forces arrived near Zurich, Korsakov would attack Masséna's main body. [8] Suvorov selected the Gotthard Pass as his entry point into Switzerland, though it was too rough for wheeled vehicles. He was assisted by Auffenberg's brigade which would march from Disentis to Amsteg in the upper Reuss valley. [9] Suvorov's main column was equipped with 25 Piedmontese 2-pounder mountain cannons. [10] The rest of Suvorov's artillery was sent across the Splügen Pass. [11]

Masséna learned from a spy that Korsakov planned to attack him on 26 September 1799. Therefore he made up his mind to assault Korsakov's position at Zurich a day earlier. The French commander in chief had no clue that Suvorov was advancing from Italy into Switzerland. [12] At 5:00 am on 25 September, the Second Battle of Zurich began with an assault crossing of the Limmat at Dietikon. Korsakov was completely outgeneraled and the Russians ended the day within the walls of Zürich. The next day, Korsakov's army broke out and marched north to Eglisau on the Rhine, losing its wagon train and much of its artillery. Lecourbe's troops had already been defeated by Suvorov on 24 September in the Battle of the Gotthard Pass. [13]


Linth River

Map shows the Linth River before it was channelized in 1811, with Lake Zurich (R) and the Walensee (L). Northeast is down. Stich Linthebene 1811.jpg
Map shows the Linth River before it was channelized in 1811, with Lake Zurich (R) and the Walensee (L). Northeast is down.

Soult's two brigades were led by Generals of Brigade Joseph Antoine Marie Mainoni and Anne Gilbert de Laval. Mainoni directed the 36th and 44th Line Infantry Demi-brigades while Laval commanded the 25th Light Infantry and 94th Line Infantry. The 10th Horse Chasseurs comprised the division's cavalry. Molitor's brigade consisted of the 84th Line Infantry. [14] Hotze's subordinates were Petrasch who defended the Linth between Uznach and Weesen and Alexander of Württemberg who held the north shore of Lake Zurich. Petrasch's Austrian division included three battalions each of Infantry Regiments Gemmingen Nr. 21, Bender Nr. 41, and Stain Nr. 50, two battalions of Infantry Regiment Nr. 60, and 10 squadrons of the Grenz Hussar Regiment. Württemberg directed six squadrons of Waldeck Dragoon Regiment Nr. 7, and the Roverea and Bachmann Swiss battalions. Williams commanded 19 vessels armed with 13 guns and manned by 211 crewmen. At Rapperswil on Lake Zurich were two Russian battalions of the Razumovsky Infantry Regiment under General-major Vasily Titov. [15] [16]

1796 map shows eastern Lake Zurich and the Linth River. Grynau is where the Linth sharply bends near Lake Zurich. Bilten and Schanis are to the lower right. Grafschaft Uznach.jpg
1796 map shows eastern Lake Zurich and the Linth River. Grynau is where the Linth sharply bends near Lake Zurich. Bilten and Schänis are to the lower right.

The Linth had two fords near Bilten and Schänis and bridges at Grynau Castle and the Tuilerie (brickworks). For ten days prior to his attack, Soult dressed himself in the uniform of a private soldier and spent one hour on sentry duty at a different forward post, carefully observing the Austrian positions. While the Austrians fired upon any soldiers who approached the banks of the Linth, they left sentries alone. On 22 September, Adjutant General Jean-Pierre Dellard of the 36th Line approached Soult and told him that he suspected a battle was imminent. He presented a plan to employ swimmers in advance of an assault crossing and Soult adopted it. Soult planned to cross at Bilten, preceded by Dellard's swimmers and at Grynau. Soult also commandeered some boats that he hoped might challenge Williams' small squadron. An artillery battery was built opposite Rapperswil in order to limit the Austrian squadron's movements on Lake Zurich. [17]

Jean-de-Dieu Soult Marechal-soult.jpg
Jean-de-Dieu Soult

On the night of 24 September, 2,000 soldiers brought up fascines which were used to create a 300 yards (274 m) long path through the marsh at Bilten. The path was then covered by wooden beams so that bridging materials could be brought up. That night Dellard and 150 swimmers approached the river, wearing only their shirts and with their breeches tied around their ankles. [17] At 2:30 am they slipped into the Linth. Each man had a pistol and cartridges tied to his head with a handkerchief, a lance tied to his left shoulder, and a saber in his mouth. There were also ten drummers and four buglers. Some men turned back and a few men drowned, including one drummer whose drum filled with water and dragged him down. Some Austrian sentries were dispatched with sabers and the group splashed through the march to rout a nearby outpost. Dellard gave the signal for the boats to cross the river then led his party to attack an Austrian camp, with musicians drumming and trumpeting, and the others firing their pistols. Some Swiss or Alsatians dressed in Austrian uniform went ahead, shouting in German, "Save yourselves. We are betrayed". Behind them, the French surged across the river in boats and rafts. [18]

A thick fog assisted Soult's attack which was also successful at Grynau Castle. The boats were used to ferry some soldiers across Lake Zurich to Schmerikon. Hotze was awakened at 4:00 am by cannon fire. He rode from his headquarters at Kaltbrunn to Schänis where he found his troops defending themselves stoutly. Hearing of trouble at Weesen, he turned toward the Walensee to investigate. On the way, Hotze rode into two French battalions in a forest and was shot dead, [19] together with his chief of staff, Colonel Plunket. [15] Petrasch took over the command but he brought up reinforcements too slowly. By the time they arrived, the French artillery was across the river and repulsed the Austrian counterattacks. Hard fighting went on until a final Austrian attack collapsed, with many of the soldiers captured. Meanwhile, Soult's improvised fleet attacked Rapperswil. Petrasch ordered the Russians and the Swiss to retreat to St. Gallen while withdrawing the Austrians first to Lichtensteig and then Rheineck. At St. Gallen, the Russians headed for northwest to Konstanz while the Swiss marched northeast to Rheineck at the southeast end of Lake Constance. [18]

Part of Petrasch's division was trapped at Weesen and compelled to surrender. Soult claimed to have captured 3,500 men, 25 guns, four colors, and Williams' flotilla. At Rapperswil, the French also seized a magazine of supplies intended for Suvorov's army. [20] Another source gave French losses as 1,100 killed, wounded, and missing. [21] The Allies lost 3,500 prisoners, 20 guns, 33 ammunition limbers, and the color of the 2nd Battalion of the Bender Regiment. The Russians reported 195 killed and 39 missing. [15]

Mollis and Glarus

Franz Jellacic Franjo Jelacic.jpg
Franz Jellacic

On 24 September, Jellacic marched from Sargans northwest to the Walensee and then west along its south shore to Mollis. He attacked Molitor's brigade the next day. This was the same day as Soult and Hotze were fighting on the lower Linth. Jellacic arrived in Soult's right rear, but was unable to dislodge Molitor's defenders in their positions along the upper Linth. [22] In addition to three battalions of the 84th Line, Molitor's force included three battalions of the 76th Line. Jellacic commanded one battalion of the Kaiser Infantry Regiment Nr. 1, two battalions of the Kaunitz Infantry Nr. 20, the Strozzi Light Battalion Nr. 1, the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th Battalions of the Peterwardeiner Grenz Regiment Nr. 9, the 1st Battalion of the Broder Grenz Nr. 7, and three squadrons of the Modena Dragoon Regiment Nr. 5. [15] Molitor counterattacked on 26 September after learning of Soult's victory. Jellacic began to retreat at 2:00 pm to Walenstadt on the western end of the Walensee. [22] Jellacic soon withdrew to Maienfeld in the Rhine valley. He lost 500 men captured. Other French and Austrian casualties are not known. [15]

Gabriel Molitor General Gabriel Jean Joseph Molitor.jpg
Gabriel Molitor

Linkin's force crossed the Panix, Segnas, and Kisten Passes on 25 September. When his troops descended into the Sernftal, they surprised two battalions of the 76th Line Infantry. Linkin scored a coup when 1,300 French soldiers surrendered in a body at Wichlen. [22] According to another source, the number of captured French soldiers was 900, though it notes that both the 1st and 2nd Battalions of the 76th lost their colors. [15] Simbschen's brigade, under Linkin, was made up of two battalions of the Kaiser Infantry Regiment Nr. 1, and one battalion each of the Kaunitz Infantry Nr. 20, Infantry Nr. 62, and Peterwardeiner Grenz Nr. 9. [23] On 26 September Linkin's force seized Schwanden and pushed back the 3rd Battalion of the 84th Line beyond Glarus. Soult sent the 1st and 3rd Battalions of the 44th Line to Molitor as reinforcements. [22]

Molitor attacked on 27 September but was repulsed. Linkin counterattacked later in the day but was unable to capture Glarus. The next day Linkin received a misleading message from an Austrian officer [22] that Suvorov was heading west toward Schwyz. On 29 September, Molitor attacked with five battalions, but the Austrians were holding their ground when a message arrived for Linkin at mid-morning. Possibly from a double agent, it falsely stated that the Muotatal was in French hands. Since he had not heard from Hotze or Suvorov, Linkin ordered a retreat and his troops retraced their steps up the Sernftal and over the mountains to the Rhine valley. [24] The French captured 300 Austrians. [23] Ironically, Molitor was unable to pursue because he received a report of an enemy column coming over the Pragel Pass into his rear. It was Auffenberg's brigade which was the advance guard of Suvorov's army. Molitor's troops hurried off to fight Auffenberg. [25]

On 26 September, Masséna read Lecourbe's report that Suvorov's army captured Gotthard Pass and would soon be at Altdorf. He sent Mortier's division marching south to Schwyz and ordered Soult's division to block the Linth valley near Schänis. [26] The French were now in a position to trap Suvorov's army between Schwyz and Glarus. [24]


Historian Ramsay Weston Phipps harshly criticized Korsakov and Petrasch for their rapid and lengthy retreat after the battles at Zürich and the Linth River. He noted that the two forces were badly defeated, but that it was important that they try to hold "each inch of ground" because their leaders knew Suvorov was approaching. Phipps wrote that they could have taken up a number of defensive positions between Lake Zurich and the Rhine. As it was, Massena only pursued Korsakov with 250 cavalry and two cannons. The Army of Condé was available and so were 5,400 Austrians under Friedrich Joseph, Count of Nauendorf. [27] Phipps thought that Jellacic and Linken showed "slackness" by abandoning their operations too easily. He compared them with Molitor, who showed great "tenacity". [25]


  1. 1 2 3 Duffy 1999, pp. 150–154.
  2. Duffy 1999, p. 115.
  3. Phipps 2011, p. 128.
  4. 1 2 Duffy 1999, p. 157.
  5. Duffy 1999, p. 148.
  6. Duffy 1999, pp. 160–163.
  7. Phipps 2011, p. 153.
  8. Duffy 1999, p. 158.
  9. Duffy 1999, p. 159.
  10. Duffy 1999, p. 166.
  11. Phipps 2011, p. 141.
  12. Phipps 2011, p. 130.
  13. Phipps 2011, pp. 131–134.
  14. Duffy 1999, p. 162.
  15. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Smith 1998, p. 168.
  16. Mikaberidze 2005, p. 397.
  17. 1 2 Phipps 2011, pp. 135–136.
  18. 1 2 Phipps 2011, p. 137.
  19. Duffy 1999, pp. 218–219.
  20. Phipps 2011, p. 138.
  21. Smith 1998, p. 167.
  22. 1 2 3 4 5 Duffy 1999, p. 220.
  23. 1 2 Smith 1998, p. 169.
  24. 1 2 Duffy 1999, p. 221.
  25. 1 2 Phipps 2011, p. 154.
  26. Phipps 2011, p. 149.
  27. Phipps 2011, p. 139.

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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).

Battle of Winterthur battle

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.

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.

Battle of Feldkirch battle during the War of the Second Coalition

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 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.

First Battle of Marengo (1799)

The First Battle of Marengo or Battle of San Giuliano saw Republican French soldiers under General of Division Jean Victor Marie Moreau launch a reconnaissance in force against a larger force of Habsburg Austrian and Imperial Russian troops led by Field Marshal Alexander Suvorov. The French enjoyed initial success, pressing back their opponents. However, large Austrian and Russian reinforcements soon arrived, causing the French to withdraw into Alessandria. This War of the Second Coalition action occurred near the town of Spinetta Marengo, located just east of Alessandria in northwest Italy.


Coordinates: 47°09′N9°01′E / 47.150°N 9.017°E / 47.150; 9.017