The combat of Bamberg (4 August 1796) was a rearguard action fought during General Wartensleben's retreat along the Main during General Jourdan's second invasion of Germany in 1796. At the end of July Wartensleben had retreated from his camp close to Würzberg north-east to the Main at Zeil. This move didn't fit in with the overall Austrian plan, for a retreat towards the Danube, and the Archduke Charles ordered Wartensleben to pull back south-east at high speed. After sending his unnecessary baggage north towards Coberg, Wartensleben retreated up the Main to Bamberg on the Regnitz. When the French approached Bamberg, he continued his retreat, moving south down the Regnitz to Altendorf, leaving a strong rearguard at Bamberg.
On 4 August Grenier's and Championnet's divisions were both advancing towards Bamberg. Their vanguards both wanted the honour of being the first into Bamberg and got too far ahead of the main force. As they approached Bamberg the leading French forces were almost surrounded by the Austrian rearguard, and for some time were in danger of being overwhelmed. Only the arrival of the main body of their divisions saved them from total defeat. When the main French forces reached the fight the Austrians pulled back and rejoined the main force at Altendorf. The French advance guards took heavy casualties during the combat.
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