Battles in the desert

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Battles in the desert

The French with three divisions, the center under Lefebvre, Soult on the right, and Ney on left, had already manouvered the Austrians off the line of the Seig, and out of a position at Ukerath since the beginning of the month. The Austrians tried to hold at Altenkirchen but after hard fight were pushed out.

The French Battles in the desert are unknown but are unlikely to have been great. The Austrians lost about 1, men and 12 guns. The French pursued the retreating Austrians vigorously; pushing them back to line of the Lahn river 50 km to the south.

EDITOR'S NOTE

The battle also led to their capturing vital Austrian magazines with badly needed supplies. Forced back from the line of the Lahn the French were in full retreat when General Kleber commanding their rearguard decided to turn and give the Austrian advance guard under Kray which he significantly outnumbered a lesson.

As it happened it it was the normally very capable Kleber that received the lesson. He learned that Austrian troops could indeed fight very hard and that in the pursuit the Austrian superiority in cavalry was something to be feared.

The French lost about 1, men killed or wounded and another taken prisoner. The Austrians lost to men killed or wounded.

The battle was undoubtly a caution to the French generals and a help to Austrian morale. Unfortunately for the Austrians, Bonapartes successes in Italy had led to half their Army of the Upper Rhine being being sent there.

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This significantly weakened the Austrian position along the southern portions of the Rhine and General Moreau commanding the opposing French Army of the Rhine and Mosselle was not slow to take advantage.

The Archduke Charles and the some 25, troops he commanded had to hurry south. The situation in the north reverted back into favoring the French.

The French under Moreau had stolen a few marchs on the already outnumbered Austrians under Latour, and managed to take a bridgehead across the Rhine opposite Strasbourg at Kehl by stealth and daring.

The north end was at the sea and the southern end rested on the quaking sands and salt flats of the Qattara Depression.

The Austrians fighting in the terriority of wavering allies held a strong position along the Kinzig River and so decided to try and hold out until reinforcements arrived despite being heavily outnumbered.

In the event the Austrians were unable to hold and had to fall back The French losses are unknown The Austrians lost about 1, men.

Battles in the desert

The Austrians lost what little hope they had of containing the French bridgehead. A bad situation had become worse. Having failed to hold the line of the river Kinzig the Austrian forces retreated a little north to the line of the River Murg.

Rastatt was one of the main positions on this line.

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