Battle of Neuwied (1797)


Battle of Neuwied (1797)

Infobox Military Conflict
conflict=The Battle of Neuwied
partof=the French Revolutionary Wars


caption=
date=18 April 1797
place=Neuwied, present-day Germany
result=French victory
combatant1=flagicon|France First French Republic
combatant2=flag|Holy Roman Empire Habsburg Austria
commander1=Lazare Hoche
commander2=General Wermecek
strength1=
strength2=
casualties1=
casualties2=10,000

The Battle of Neuwied was fought on April 18, 1797. It resulted in the victory of French under General Louis Lazare Hoche against Austrians under General Wermecek. The Austrians lost 10,000 men, 27 cannons and 7 colors.

The battle

The battle opened with an Austrian cannonade causing an attack by the French right wing on the Austrian left wing under Pál Kray After several attacks against the key position on the Austrian right near the village of Bendorff, the French infantry, aided by several squadrons of chasseurs, were able to dislodge the Austrians from this position. A French cavalry charge drove the Austrians out of the village of Sayn. Hoche then launched a column under Antoine Richepanse in the pursuit of the retreating Austrians. Richepanse succeeded in capturing seven cannons, fifty caissons and 5 Austrian colors. The French infantry, supported by the guns of Lefebvre, managed to dislodge the Austrians from the vollage of Zolenberg, causing the final defeat of the Austrian left wing.

As the French right wing attacked the Austrian left wing, Hoche launched a second assault, this time on the Austrian center. After an artillery barrage, the grenadiers of general Grenier assaulted the redoubts of Hettersdorff and took the village in a bayonet charge, while the hussars of Michel Ney outflanked the Austrian center position from the left. These attacks forced the Austrian center to retreat.

After been dislodged by Richepanse, the Austrian left was rallied by Kray who was able to withstand further French attacks. To counter this, Hoche launched the grenadiers of Grenier and several squadrons of dragoons and hussars against Kray. Under this attack the Austrian left collapsed and in the pursuit the hussars captured 4000 men and 2 colors. On their part of the battlefield the French left wing under Championnet succeeded in driving the Austrians out of Altenkirchen and Kerathh.

Result

The Austrian army lost 3000 men in the battle and another 7000 men were captured in the aftermath of the battle. The French captured twenty-seven cannon and seven Austrian colors. Hoch's successful offensive was stopped by the preliminary negotiations which lead to the Treaty of Leoben.

References


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