Battle of Ettlingen

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Battle of Ettlingen
Part of the French Revolutionary War
Date 9 July 1796
Location Ettlingen, Baden-Württemberg, present-day Germany
Result French victory
Belligerents
France French Republic Habsburg Monarchy Habsburg Austria
Commanders and leaders
France Jean Moreau Habsburg Monarchy Archduke Charles
Units involved
France Army of Rhin-et-Moselle Habsburg Monarchy Army of the Upper Rhine
Strength
36,000[1] 32,000[1]
Casualties and losses
2,400[1] 2,600[1]

The Battle of Ettlingen on 9 July 1796 was fought during the French Revolutionary Wars between the armies of the First French Republic and Habsburg Austria near the town of Malsch, 9 kilometres (6 mi) southwest of Ettlingen. The Austrians under Archduke Charles, Duke of Teschen tried to halt the eastward advance of Jean Victor Marie Moreau's French army. After a tough fight, the Austrian commander conceded victory to the French and retreated east toward Stuttgart.

Background[edit]

Forces[edit]

June 1796 found General of Division Jean-Baptiste Jourdan's French Army of Sambre-et-Meuse operating on the middle Rhine while Jean Victor Marie Moreau's Army of Rhin-et-Moselle threatened to cross the lower Rhine River. To defend southern Germany, Feldzeugmeister Archduke Charles' Army of the Lower Rhine defended the Lahn River near Koblenz and Feldzeugmeister Maximilian Baillet de Latour's Army of the Upper Rhine held the line of the Rhine opposite Strasbourg.

French successes[edit]

Moreau's army included 71,581 infantry and 6,515 cavalry. He formed these into a Right Wing led by General of Division Pierre Marie Barthélemy Ferino, a Center commanded by General of Division Louis Desaix, and a Left Wing under General of Division Laurent de Gouvion Saint-Cyr.[2] Desaix and the Center won clashes at Maudach, northwest of Speyer on 15 June and Renchen on 28 June. Meanwhile, Moreau staged a successful assault crossing of the Rhine at Kehl on 24 June. Leaving Feldzeugmeister Wilhelm von Wartensleben to lead the Army of the Lower Rhine, Charles soon arrived from the north with reinforcements and took command of the Army of the Upper Rhine from Latour.[3]

Rastatt[edit]

At Rastatt on 5 July, the 19,000 infantry and 1,500 cavalry of General of Division Alexandre Camille Taponier's reinforced division of the Left Wing sparred with 6,000 Austrians led by Feldmarschall-Leutnants Karl Aloys zu Fürstenberg and Johann Meszaros von Szoboszlo. Rather than directly attacking his enemies, Taponier turned both Austrian flanks, forcing his enemies to pull back east toward Ettlingen. Casualties on both sides were light. The Austrians lost 200 soldiers and three guns captured.[4]

Battle[edit]

Austrian army[edit]

On 9 July, Archduke Charles stood to fight at Malsch, 10 kilometres (6 mi) west of Rastatt on 9 July. The archduke commanded 32,000 troops organized in 25 infantry battalions and 24 cavalry squadrons. The line infantry was made up of one battalion of the Archduke Charles Infantry Regiment Nr. 3, two battalions of the Carl Schröder Infantry Regiment Nr. 7, four battalion of the Reisky Infantry Regiment Nr. 13 and three battalions each of Infantry Regiments Manfredini Nr. 12, d'Alton Nr. 15, Nádasdy Nr. 39, Franz Kinsky Nr. 47 and Pellegrini Nr. 49. The Riera, Retz, Reisinger, Apfaltrern, and Candiani Grenadier battalions formed the elite infantry.[1] The cavalry units were four squadrons each of the Archduke Franz Cuirassier Regiment Nr. 29, Grand Duke Albert Carabinier Regiment Nr. 5 and Archduke John Dragoon Regiment Nr. 26, and six squadrons each of Siebenburgen Hussar Regiment Nr. 47 and Waldeck Dragoon Regiment Nr. 39.[5]

Combat[edit]

Moreau had 36,000 men available in 45 battalions and 55 squadrons. It is not clear which divisions participated in the fighting. To open the battle, Archduke Charles launched an assault against the French center. After serious fighting, this attack failed to dislodge the French. When Saint-Cyr sent troops to outflank the Austrians, Archduke Charles ordered a withdrawal east-southeast to Pforzheim.[1]

Result[edit]

French losses numbered 2,000 killed and wounded, plus 400 captured. The Austrians suffered 1,300 killed and wounded, with 1,300 captured. The Austrian retreat continued for 60 kilometres (37 mi) to Stuttgart. East of that city, the two armies skirmished at Bad Cannstatt on 21 July. The Austrians subsequently fell back another 80 kilometres (50 mi).[1] The next clash would be the Battle of Neresheim.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g Smith, p. 117
  2. ^ Smith, p. 111
  3. ^ Smith, pp. 114-115
  4. ^ Smith, p. 116
  5. ^ Smith, p. 117. Before 1798, the Austrian army numbered cavalry regiments from 1 to 43. See the German Wikipedia page. Hussars Nr. 47 cannot be identified, though Siebenburgen clearly refers to a Grenz regiment.

References[edit]

External sources[edit]

Coordinates: 48°56′36″N 8°24′33″E / 48.94333°N 8.40917°E / 48.94333; 8.40917