The combat of Offheim (7 July 1796) was a French victory during General Jourdan's advance from his bridgehead over the Rhine at Neuwied up to the line of the Lahn. On 7 July Jourdan left his camps around Neuwied and advanced east along the Lahn. General Poncet's division was split. Six battalions were left to guard the camps and to blockade the fortress at Ehrenbreitstein, while the rest of his force covered the lower Lahn from the Rhine up to Diez. General Championnet's troops were sent further up the Lahn, towards Runckel and Merenberg. Between them Bernadotte advanced down both banks of the Elz, a tributary of the Lahn that flows into it just below Limburg.
As the French marched past his front General Werneck, with part of the Austrian reserve, advanced onto the heights of Offheim (north of Limburg) in an attempt to catch Championnet's rearguard. This put them directly in Bernadotte's way, and his grenadiers, who were leading the advance, ran into the Austrians. A sharp fight developed, which ended with a French victory, and the capture of the parts of Limburg north of the Lahn.
At about the same time General Demas captured the bridge and town of Runkel, a little further upstream, and General Grenier's advance guard reached Weilburg, just under ten miles to the north east. General Lefebvre was operating even further to the east, on the left bank of the Dill, which flows into the Lahn close to Wetzlar. The loss of Runkel and the threat to the right wing of their position on the Lahn convinced the Austrians to fall back again, and on 9 July the French crossed the Lahn in force.
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