Combat of Schussenreid, 30 September 1796

The combat of Schussenreid (30 September 1796) was a small scale rearguard action fought during General Moreau's retreat from southern Germany after the failure of the French offensive across the Rhine in the summer of 1796.

War of the First Coalition - Rhine Front 1796
War of the First Coalition
Rhine Front 1796

By 28 September Moreau had crossed the Rivers Iller and Riss, and had taken up a position around the Federsee, with his left on the Danube and his right at Ravensburg. The French centre was posted around Steinhausen and Schussenried, just to the south of the lake. Moreau was determined to conduct a slow orderly retreat, and so decided to remain in this position for some days. 

Moreau was being slowly pursued by the Austrian Army of the Upper Rhine under General Latour. On the evening of 30 September his advance guard, had reached Grodt, just to the east of the French lines. Latour decided to attack Duhesme's division, which was posted around Schussenreid, but as the fighting developed Duhesme received reinforcements from Saint-Cyr, and the Austrian attack ended in failure.

In the aftermath of this success Moreau decided to attack the Austrian positions, defeating Latour at Biberach (2 October 1796), but by then the Archduke Charles was approaching fast from the north, and Moreau was forced to attempt to escape across the southern Black Forest. The French were caught and defeated by the Austrians at Emmendingen (19 October 1796) on the western slopes of the mountains and again at Schliengen (24 October 1796), just over ten miles north of Basle and the Swiss border.

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (16 February 2009), Combat of Schussenreid, 30 September 1796 , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/combat_schussenreid.html

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