Battle of Aldenhoven (1794)

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Battle of Aldenhoven (1794)
Part of War of the First Coalition
Date 2 October 1794
Location Aldenhoven, Germany
Result French victory
France Republican France Habsburg Monarchy Habsburg Austria
Commanders and leaders
France Jean Baptiste Jourdan Habsburg Monarchy Count of Clerfayt
Units involved
Army of Sambre-et-Meuse Austrian Army
100,000 unknown
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 Austrian 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.

After the Battle of Fleurus on 26 June 1794, the army of Austria began pulling back to the northeast while their British and Dutch allies withdrew to the north to defend Holland. 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.


Clerfayt's army was deployed behind the steep-banked Roer River 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 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.[1]

On 1 October 1794, General of Division Jean Baptiste Jourdan ordered General of Division Barthélemy Louis Joseph Schérer and the Right Wing to seize Düren. In the center, Jourdan directed General of Division Jacques Maurice Hatry to take Altorp, Generals of Division Antoine Morlot and Jean Etienne Championnet to capture Aldenhoven and cross the river at Jülich, while General of Division Francois Joseph Lefebvre occupied Linnich. Meanwhile, General of Division Jean Baptiste 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, which was 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.[2]


  1. ^ Thiers, Adolphe (1854). History of the French Revolution 4. London: Richard Bentley. p. 49. 
  2. ^ Thiers (1854), p. 50


Coordinates: 50°53′45″N 6°16′59″E / 50.89583°N 6.28306°E / 50.89583; 6.28306