The Battle of Mannheim was fought between a Habsburg Austrian army commanded by Archduke Charles, Duke of Teschen and a Republican French army under Jacques Léonard Muller. Most of the French Army of the Rhine had retreated to the west bank of the Rhine River, leaving the division of Antoine Laroche Dubouscat to hold Mannheim on the east bank. Despite assistance by Michel Ney, Laroche's division was beaten and driven out of the city when attacked by Charles and a much superior force. The War of the Second Coalition action occurred in the city of Mannheim, located in the state of Baden-Württemberg in southwest Germany about 80 kilometres south of Frankfurt.
In the summer of 1799, Muller's 18,000-man army had the mission of drawing Charles' Austrian army away from Switzerland, the central and western portions of which were held by André Masséna's army. Moving south from Mannheim, the Army of the Rhine laid siege to Philippsburg. Provoked by this threat to his strategic rear, Charles and 30,000 troops moved north against Muller, who quickly withdrew. Muller erred in leaving Laroche to be mauled by Charles, but his campaign became a strategic success when Masséna severely defeated a Russian army at the Second Battle of Zurich on 25 and 26 September.
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