The siege of Mainz was a short engagement at the beginning of the War of the First Coalition. The victorious French army of Custine seized the town on October 21 1792,after three days of siege. The French occupied Mainz, and tried to install the Republic of Mainz there.
After the declaration of war by France against the Archduchy of Austria (1792) and the declaration against Mainz on 21 July 1792, Comte de Custine was given command of the Army of the Rhine to replace Nicolas Luckner, and in September occupied the southern Rhineland about the cities of Speyer and Worms. The regiments of the Duke of Nassau left the Fortress of Mainz on October 5.
After the French Revolution of 1789 the Prince Archbishop of Mainz, Friedrich Karl Joseph von Erthal, became a committed opponent who welcomed with open arms all French nobles fleeing the civil unrest. This made Mainz into an epicenter of the counter-revolution in Europe.
After the declaration of war by France to the Austrian Archduke Francis II in April 20, 1792, counter-revolutionaries n Mainz gathered in July promising to defeat the French revolutionaries and carrying out an "infliction of exemplary punishment." But the failure of the escape of Louis XVI to Varenne lead to the arrest and indictment of the king of France. Thus, on Aug. 4, 1792, the Archbishop of Mainz joined the Austro-Prussian coalition.
However, not only did the attempted invasion of France by the armies of the coalition fail on September 20 at the Battle of Valmy, but the Revolutionary Army proceeded on the offensive and crossed the Rhine, with the aim to take Mainz.
On 29 and 30 September 1792 the revolutionary armies under General Custine (replacing Nicolas Luckner as the head the Army of the Rhine), seized the city of Spire. As the French could not hold this position for long, they fell back four days later to Worms. In Mainz, there was panic: the regiments of the Duke of Nassau evacuated the fortress on October 5. The gentry, the bishops, the aristocrats and their servants quickly left the city. It is estimated that between a quarter and a third of the 25,000 inhabitants fled. The rest of the population declared themselves ready to defend the damaged fortifications. They had 5,000 volunteers, which was clearly insufficient to cover the huge enclosures of the city.
The French troops, now called "Army of the Vosges" by decision of the Convention, began the encirclement and siege of the city on October 18. On the night of October 18, the vanguard of General Jean Nicolas Houchard reached Weisenau.
"On the 19th, the army corps arrived in sight of Mainz and surrounded the place; our right was based in the village of Hechtsheim, on our left the Rhine; we occupied Bretzenheim, Zahlbach, the mill and the heights of Gonsenheim and head of Mombach woods; headquarters was established at Marienborn. One of our columns from this village Zahlbach, marched to within cannon shot of the town; the troops of Mainz, who lined the advanced works, fired and wounded few men. This operation complete, the howitzer batteries opened fire on the fort Hauptstein and the body of the place; but they were only field guns, and as the fortifications that surround the main forum for Mainz are very extensive, we quickly recognized the impossibility to wear down the city using six inch shells. The engineer commander Clémencey proposed to use red balls; Custine but laughed and said he would have the city without resorting to fire."
The rumor about the 13,000 besiegers spread. The war council chaired by Count Gymnich was terrified. Gymnich convened a civilian and military council to which was called the Baron of Stein, the Prussian Minister, Baron Fechenbach, canon of the cathedral chapter, Baron von Franz Joseph Albini, chancellor of the court, and M. de Kalckhoff, private adviser to the Prince Archbishop. These three dignitaries of the ecclesiastical court argued that it was necessary to defend Mainz, but the governor, the Prussian Minister and members of the Electoral body opened a contrary opinion, and in a final conference where the leaders of the military body were summoned, the council decided to surrender. The board decided to capitulate without a fight on Oct. 20. On the 21st the French entered the residential city of the Electoral, despite its elaborate fortifications that were supposed to protect the city.
After the assault this day was a milestone in future relations between France and the Holy Roman Empire. 20,000 soldiers occupied the city, more than the original population. The occupiers tried to convince people of the benefits of the Revolution. However, revolutionary ideas were not of immediate concern to the public, but the daily problems of supplying so great an occupation force. In addition, General Custine, who was housed at the Castle of the Prince Electors, provided all kinds of instructions for the protection of the university and the premises of the arch-bishop. Thus, many citizens of Mainz regarded the French not as invaders, but as liberators. Franz Konrad Macke served as mayor from February to July 1793.
Here's what one of the Germans said, who liked the arrival of the French:
"Finally, our people began to reject their chains and gain human dignity. Soon we will be free. A few days before the French attacked our city, I already felt a great joy. Freedom and equality finally won in Mainz! The French finally arrived to remove our despots, and the first of them was our prince-bishop, who had fled a few days earlier. I confess that I am delighted at the sight of the immense despair that gripped our noble lords. They were panicked at the approach of the French and piled everything they could carry and fled the city."— Johan Alois BECKER, letter to my best friend, November 29, 1792, Archives of Mainz (Germany), Series 1512.
The Battle of Hondschoote took place during the Flanders Campaign of the Campaign of 1793 in the French Revolutionary Wars. It was fought during operations surrounding the Siege of Dunkirk between 6 and 8 September 1793 at Hondschoote, Nord, France, and resulted in a French victory under General Jean Nicolas Houchard and General Jean-Baptiste Jourdan against the command of Marshal Freytag, part of the Anglo-Hanoverian corps of the Duke of York.
The War of the First Coalition is the traditional name of the wars that several European powers fought between 1792 and 1797 against initially the Kingdom of the French and then the French Republic that succeeded it. They were only lightly allied and fought without much apparent coordination or agreement; each power had its eye on a different part of France it wanted to appropriate after a French defeat, which never occurred.
The French Revolutionary Wars began in April 1792.
Adam Philippe, Comte de Custine was a French general. As a young officer in the Bourbon Royal army, he served in the Seven Years' War. In the American Revolutionary War he joined Rochambeau's Expédition Particulière supporting the American colonists. Following the successful Virginia campaign and the Battle of Yorktown, he returned to France and rejoined his unit in the Royal Army.
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.
The Republic of Mainz was the first democratic state on the current German territory and was centered in Mainz. A product of the French Revolutionary Wars, it lasted from March to July 1793.
Jean Nicolas Houchard (24 January 1739, Forbach, Moselle – 17 November 1793) was a French General of the French Revolution and the French Revolutionary Wars.
In the Siege of Mainz, from 14 April to 23 July 1793, a coalition of Prussia, Austria, and other German states besieged and captured Mainz from revolutionary French forces. The allies, especially the Prussians, first tried negotiations, but this failed, and the bombardment of the city began on the night of 17 June.
The Army of the Rhine was formed in December 1791, for the purpose of bringing the French Revolution to the German states along the Rhine River. During its first year in action (1792), under command of Adam Philippe Custine, the Army of the Rhine participated in several victories, including Mainz, Frankfurt and Speyer. Subsequently, the army underwent several reorganizations and merged with the Army of the Moselle to form the Army of the Rhine and Moselle on 20 April 1795.
The Flanders Campaign was conducted from 6 November 1792 to 7 June 1795 during the first years of the French Revolutionary Wars. A Coalition of states representing the Ancien Régime in Western Europe – Austria, Prussia, Great Britain, the Dutch Republic, Hanover and Hesse-Kassel – mobilised military forces along all the French frontiers, with the intention to invade Revolutionary France and end the French First Republic. The radicalised French revolutionaries, who broke the Catholic Church's power (1790), abolished the monarchy (1792) and even executed the deposed king Louis XVI of France (1793), vied to spread the Revolution beyond France's borders, by violent means if necessary.
The Army of the Moselle was a French Revolutionary Army from 1791 through 1795. It was first known as the Army of the Centre and it fought at Valmy. In October 1792 it was renamed and subsequently fought at Trier, First Arlon, Biesingen, Kaiserslautern, Froeschwiller and Second Wissembourg. In the spring of 1794 the left wing was detached and fought at Second Arlon, Lambusart and Fleurus before being absorbed by the Army of Sambre-et-Meuse. In late 1794, the army captured Trier and initiated the Siege of Luxembourg. During the siege, the army was discontinued and its divisions were assigned to other armies.
Siege of Mainz may refer to:
The Battle of Arlon saw a French Republican force under the command of Amable Henri Delaage face the Habsburgs's force led by Gottfried von Schröder. The French were victorious though they suffered higher casualties than the Austrians. The action was fought during the War of the First Coalition, part of the larger French Revolutionary Wars. Arlon is located in Belgium, a distance of 30 kilometres (19 mi) west of Luxembourg city.
Jean-Baptiste Meynier, born 22 April 1749 – died 3 December 1813, was a French soldier who served during the American Revolutionary War, the French Revolutionary Wars, and the Napoleonic Wars. Between 1792 and 1793, he rose from a captain to a general of division. During the Montenotte Campaign in 1796, he commanded a division under Napoleon Bonaparte, who had a low opinion of his military talent. In 1803 he was appointed to command the fortress of Mainz. He died there in 1813.
The Battle of Wervik, or of Wervik and Menin was fought on 12 and 13 September 1793 between 30,000 men of the French Army of the North commanded by Jean Nicolas Houchard, and 13,000 Coalition troops: the veldleger of the Dutch States Army, commanded by the William, Hereditary Prince of Orange and his brother Prince Frederick of Orange-Nassau, and a few squadrons of Austrian cavalry under Pál Kray, seconded by Johann Peter Beaulieu. The great superiority in numbers being on the French side the battle ended in a victory for France, with the Dutch army suffering heavy losses. Among the casualties was Prince Frederick, who was wounded in the shoulder at Wervik, an injury from which he never fully recovered. The combat occurred during the Flanders Campaign of the War of the First Coalition. Menen is a city in Belgium located on the French border about 100 kilometres (62 mi) west of Brussels.
Jean Marie Rodolphe Eickemeyer, also called Heinrich Maria Johann Rudolf Eickemeyer, was an engineer, mathematician, and general of the French Revolutionary Wars. Eickemeyer was born on 11 March 1753 in Mainz, and died 9 September 1825 in Gau-Algesheim, a town in the Mainz-Bingen district of present-day Rhineland-Palatinate.
Louis Dominique Munnier or Meunier, born 17 December 1734 in Phalsbourg, died in 1800 in Nancy, (Meurthe-et-Moselle), was a general of the French Revolutionary Wars. He joined the military in 1748 as an ensign, and progressed through the ranks. Embracing the French Revolution's principles, he became a colonel in the 62nd Infantry Regiment, serving at Valmy, Hondschoote, and Mainz.
The Battle of Friedberg, also called the Battle of Limburg, took place on 10 November 1793 between the French and the Prussian troops, during the French Revolutionary Wars.
The Battle of Limburg was a battle of the War of the First Coalition, itself part of the French Revolutionary Wars. It took place on 9 November 1792 at Limburg an der Lahn between French Revolutionary forces and Prussian troops, ending in a French victory.
The imperial election of 1792 was the final imperial election held to select the emperor of the Holy Roman Empire. It took place in Frankfurt on July 5.