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Battle of Kaiserslautern

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Source: Djmaschek

Copyright: CC 3.0

The Battle of Kaiserslautern saw an army from the Kingdom of Prussia and Electoral Saxony led by Wichard Joachim Heinrich von Möllendorf fall upon a single French Republican division under Jean-Jacques Ambert from the Army of the Moselle. The Prussians tried to surround their outnumbered adversaries but most of the French evaded capture. Nevertheless, Möllendorf's troops inflicted casualties on the French in the ratio of nine-to-one and occupied Kaiserslautern. While the Prussians won this triumph on an unimportant front, the French armies soon began winning decisive victories in Belgium and the Netherlands. The battle occurred during the War of the First Coalition, part of the French Revolutionary Wars. In 1794 Kaiserslautern was part of the Electoral Palatinate but today the city is located in the state of Rhineland-Palatinate in Germany about 67 kilometres west of Mannheim.
In December 1793, the French drove the soldiers of Habsburg Austria and Prussia from French soil in the Second Battle of Wissembourg and took positions beyond the eastern frontier. That spring the Army of the Moselle sent heavy reinforcements to northeast France, leaving the Rhine front lightly defended by troops under Jean René Moreaux. Taking advantage of French weakness, the main Prussian assault was aimed at Ambert who could only try to save as many of his troops as possible. Also on 23 May an Austro-Prussian army attacked the Army of the Rhine under Claude Ignace François Michaud but was repulsed at the Battle of Schifferstadt. After losing Kaiserslautern, the two French armies withdrew to positions closer to the frontier. Having expended almost the only initiative they displayed in 1794, the Prussians allowed their offensive to sputter to a halt.


Copyright: CC 3.0

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