Siege of Mannheim, 10 October-22 November 1795

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The siege of Mannheim of 10 October-22 November 1795 was a result of the failure of the French offensive across the Rhine in the autumn of 1795. This offensive had seen one French army under General Jourdan cross the Rhine around Dusseldorf and advance south towards Mainz, while a second French army, under General Pichegru had captured Mannheim (20 September 1795). The Austrian commander on the Rhine, General Clerfayt, had responded by moving north to intercept Jourdan, while a second Austrian army under General Würmser advanced from the Black Forest to threaten Pichegru.

In the aftermath of the fall of Mannheim Pichegru had sent a small force east towards Heidelberg, but that force had been defeated on 25 September and the survivors retreated to Mannheim. Pichegru then remained inactive while Jourdan advanced south. On 10 October, while Jourdan was besieging Mainz, Würmser arrived outside Mannheim and began the blockade.

At this point the city was only blockaded from the east, for Pichegru still held the west bank, but on 11 October Jourdan was forced to retreat to the north, and on 29 October General Clerfayt broke the siege of Mainz and emerged on the west bank of the Rhine. The Austrians were now between the two French armies.

Over the next two weeks the Austrians forced Pichegru ever further south. On 10 November the French were forced out of their positions on the Pfrim, and on 13 November they were forced away from Frankendahl. This gave the Austrians command of the west bank of the Rhine opposite Mannheim, and isolated the garrison. On 22 November the garrison of Mannheim surrendered and the French lost their foothold east of the Rhine.

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (11 February 2009), Siege of Mannheim, 10 October-22 November 1795 , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/siege_mannheim_1795.html

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