Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Wargame Wednesday: Liechtenstein Part II

This post to supplement my CH post.

Initial French advance, March 1799

French advance into Liechtenstein on 6 March, 1799.

The main areas of battle in Liechtenstein in 1799.  Top arrow is the path to Feldkirch and bottom arrow is the direction the French took after crossing the Rhine to take a vital mountain pass.

The map is an excerpt taken from the 2nd Military Survey of the Austrian Hungarian Empire, 1816 - 1821.  Per General Thomas Graham in his A Contemporary Account of the 1799 Campaign in Germany and Switzerland, "Masséna caused a bridge to be thrown over the river at Azmooz, opposite the narrow pass of Luciensteig, and marched to that point with 5,000 or 6,000 men".

If I had to guess the bridge was probably built to the left of the arrow and place name of Trubbach.

Graham continues: "The Austrians, though not surprised, yet not having sufficient time to make every preparation for their defense, stood firm. They checked the enemy by a well continued cannonade at Balzers (located east of the top arrow) and near Mayenfeld (off map to the south of Luziensteig in the SE corner of the map), and bravely defended the approach to the Steig".  Despite a strong defense the fortifications at St. Luziensteig were taken on the evening of 6 March.

Above is an excerpt from a map published in 1797. North is to the right and the Rhine is on top of the map.  Balzers is just north of the woods and mountainous terrain.  I added this map as it shows the open nature of the terrain around Balzers, less built up than it was on the 1816-1821 map above. If you open the map and zoom in you can see the French may have had to contend with marshy terrain, funneling their advance in places and with limited cover from Austrian artillery.

Below is a map excerpt showing Feldkirch in 1797.

The top of the map is not true north.  The French advanced eastwards along the red road starting in the top left corner.  A good description of both battles for Feldkirch and another map can be found here.

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