Mainz is surrounded by German troops
Military events were of decisive importance for the history of the Mainz Republic. This applies both to their beginnings and to their end. The latter was launched in the middle of March 1793 with a German offensive. The French troops were soon pushed out in the direction of Alsace. On the Middle Rhine, only Mainz remained with her right hand, the head of the Bridget. In contrast to the autumn of the previous year when Custine had taken the city, the fortifications were in good condition, the magazines were filled, and with enough 23,000 men sufficient soldiers were available for the defense.
The bombardment of Mainz from the Hochheimers heights.
The army of the attackers existed first Over 32,000, in July, finally, from over 44,000 soldiers. It was about Prussian, Austrian, Saxon, Hessian and Palatinate contingents under the supreme command of the Prussian General von Kalckreuth. His troops had closed the Siegeungsring around Mainz in the middle of April. It stretched right from the Rhine from Biebrich via Erbenheim and Hochheim to Ginsheim, on the left from Laubenheim via Hechtsheim, Marienborn and Finthen to Mombach. Three ship bridges united the individual parts of the siege armies, which initially did not have enough artillery and men to attack. There was, therefore, only a struggle between the fronts. Marienborn and Finthen to Mombach. Three ship bridges united the individual parts of the siege armies, which initially did not have enough artillery and men to attack. There was, therefore, only a struggle between the fronts. Marienborn and Finthen to Mombach. Three ship bridges united the individual parts of the siege armies, which initially did not have enough artillery and men to attack. There was, therefore, only a struggle between the fronts.
Fight between the suburbs
Among them were the (present) suburbs of Kostheim, Weisenau and Bretzenheim . While Kostheim, which was strategically important at the confluence of the Main River, changed its owner several times and was completely burned down, the Austrians and the French were forced to fierce street fighting. Bretzenheim lay in the middle of the fronts; Sometimes the besieged, sometimes the sieges settled here, requisitioned cattle, or set the church tower on fire. There were also violent battles at Zahlbach; Above the village, Mainz's Jacobins had created a new, advanced earth fortification, the Klubistenschanze (later Fort Stahlberg), which the Prussians and Austrians tried to conquer in vain.
Plan of the Siege of Mainz, 1793. The German troops are schematically depicted.
The famous "French breakfast" is also well-known: On 17 May representatives of both sides met between the fronts and entertained each other. Obviously the intention of the sieges was to demonstrate their good care situation. Moreover, these and other encounters of the enemies testify to their mutual personal respect, which has been preserved despite the severity of the struggle and ideological contrasts. The latter appeared in the word-warfare, which the simple soldiers of both sides delivered during the fighting pauses.
The bombing of Mainz as a media event
After the Germans received the necessary reinforcements and guns and the responsible military had agreed on the procedure, the bombardment of Mainz began on the 18th of June from the Hechtsheimer heights. According to Vauban's rules, which had developed the modern fortress war, the siege set up a system of ditches to bring their last 207 guns closer to the city. The siege and bombing of Mainz was a European media event, which has found its precipitation in numerous plans and views. A large number of people were traveling to observe the "war theater".
The fire of the Mainz Cathedral 1793. Oil painting by Georg Schneider.
While they watched from a very safe distance, such as the east towers of the cathedral, the Cathedral of the Lady of the Faith, the Jesuit Church, the Domdechanei, the Favorite, several palaces and numerous houses, the main fortress was scarcely damaged Body and life to fear possessions. As a matter of fact, there were several victims in their ranks, but the number of citizens who had been overthrown by bombardment was not several thousand, as can be read from time to time in the literature. It was much smaller and could hardly have exceeded twenty. The reasons for this were, above all, the opening up of the casemates for the civilian population, who could look for protection there, laying out the roads with dung, which prevented the exploding of many "bombs" The time of the bombardment was usually foreseen. It was only after the end of the siege that a major increase in the mortality among the main groups occurred as a result of an epidemic.
The inner enemy
If the city lost a large number of inhabitants during the siege, this is due to the mass expulsions which began with the onset of the invasion on March 30th. Probably about two thousand oath-winners, including clergy, civil servants, and not least almost all of the Jews, had to leave the city. The Rhine-German National Convention had issued corresponding decrees in order to be able to remove the revolutionary opponents from the city. In its implementation, an incident occurred on 9 April. On that day, the President of the General Administration, Hoffmann, had ordered the "exportation" of all still unsupervised citizens and their families, as well as the relatives of all the Mainzers so far reported.
When two or three thousand persons attended the bridge in the Rhine, the French Post directed the Gauttor. There, the municipal Nickhl told you that here too there was no passage and that there was no "exportation" at all. Thereupon there was a turmoil: Nickhl was injured and some Mainzs arrested. This desperate outburst of a larger mass of people was less trivialized by the Mainz newspaper as a weather-dependent mood.
French nationalist around 1793
The lack of understanding and severity of the radical Jacobins in their dealings with their opponents in this assessment and in the mass expropriations shows, in nuce, parallels to the Jacobin dictatorship which is currently being launched in France. Here and there, the actions of many revolutionaries were more and more distant from their original notions of democracy. This phenomenon was, in a sense, a manifestation of a siege mentality: the encirclement by the external enemy produced all the more severe measures against actual or supposed internal enemies. About 1500 of them eventually wanted to leave the city voluntarily to escape the persecution by the Jacobins and the dangers of bombardment. The Germans, however, did not accept them,
The emigrants were thus in an extremely precarious situation, because the French were initially no longer willing to leave them behind. It was only after one day that they declared themselves willing to do so, as long as the "exported" had to camp in the open air in a life-threatening situation.
Capitulation and revenge of the victors
With this attempt to emigrate, the "exports" ended one month before the surrender on July 23rd. On that day, the French General D'Oyre surrendered the fortress before the Germans, on whose side about 3,000 soldiers had fallen, had been able to shoot a breach and attack the storm. In this way, D'Oyre was able to negotiate a free withdrawal for his army, of which about 2,000 men had fallen, so that their fighting power would not be lost to the French Republic even though they could not be used against the Germans for a year. The French, too, did not feel themselves to be conquered, but, with a very self-confidence, singing the "Marseillaise" (Goethe: "the revolutionary Tedeum"), and proudly declared: "We will come again!". Even today in France, the "victorious Mayence" of 1793 is regarded as a glorious episode of French military history. One of the reasons for this is the fact that the siege of the fortress of Mainz had bound large groups of troops. D'Oyre, however, had not succeeded in obtaining binding security clauses for the Jacobins. Most were therefore victims of a Lynchjustiz. In it the hatred, which had accumulated among its fellow citizens due to the mass expropriations and the consequent expropriations. To obtain binding security clauses for the Jacobins. Most were therefore victims of a Lynchjustiz. In it the hatred, which had accumulated among its fellow citizens due to the mass expropriations and the consequent expropriations. To obtain binding security clauses for the Jacobins. Most were therefore victims of a Lynchjustiz. In it the hatred, which had accumulated among its fellow citizens due to the mass expropriations and the consequent expropriations.
Extract of the French soldiers from Mainz-through Prussian soldiers. Clubbers are "arrested" in the foreground.
The progromic riots, which several injured parties demanded, were only interrupted by the intervention of the Prussian commander. The Jacobins were imprisoned in various prisons and, if they were not regarded as hostages for Mainz, which had been deported to France, they had to face criminal prosecution.
Gradually the authorities of the Ancien regime resumed their work, but the court and nobility did not establish themselves permanently in the city. The buildings destroyed during the siege thus announced the end of the electoral Mainz.
Stauder, Heiner: The siege of the fortress of Mainz 1793. In: festung-mainz.de [27.03.2005], URL: <http://www.festung-mainz.net/bibliothek/aufsatz/festungsgeschichte/belagerung.html>