At the Battle of Emmendingen, on 19 October 1796, the French Army of Rhin-et-Moselle under Jean Victor Marie Moreau fought the First Coalition Army of the Upper Rhine commanded by Archduke Charles, Duke of Teschen. Emmendingen is located on the Elz River in Baden-Württemberg, Germany, 9 miles north of Freiburg im Breisgau. The action occurred during the War of the First Coalition, the first phase of the larger French Revolutionary Wars.
After a summer of parrying between the two sides, the French were already withdrawing through the Black Forest to the Rhine. In close pursuit, the Austrians forced the French commander to split his force so he could cross the Rhine at three points via the bridges at Kehl, Breisach, and Hüningen. By mid-September, though, the Austrians controlled the approaches to the crossings at Breisach and Kehl. Moreau still wanted half his army to approach the Austrians at Kehl. The rugged terrain at Emmendingen complicated fighting, making it possible for the Habsburg force to snipe at the French troops, and to block any passage toward Kehl; rainy and cold weather further hampered the efforts of both sides, turning streams and rivulets into rushing torrents of water, and making roadways slippery. The fighting was fierce; two generals died in the battle, one from each side.
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