The First Coalition
1792 to 1797
principal parties of the first attempt to defeat the French
Revolution were Austria and Prussia, the leaders of
which - Frederick William II and Leopold II - wanted to
restore King Louis XVI
to the throne.
The execution of Louis XVI
catapulted Britain into the alliance, with Spain joining
in March of 1793.
August of 1792, an 80,000-man army entered France under
the reticent Duke of Brunswick, capturing key fortresses
on its march towards Paris.
Half of the force was Prussian and 30,000 were Austrian,
French emigres and minor German states made up the rest.
the Allied army was a force of 36,000 Frenchmen, a combination
of troops from General Francois
Kellerman's army and that of General
stood his ground at Valmy
where French artillery caused huge casualties in the enemy
ranks and Brunswick took it as a good excuse to return home.
In Germany, a French invasion force under General
Adam Custine threatened Frankfurt for a time, but it
was in the Netherlands that the greatest successes occurred.
moved against the Austrian provinces - the southern Catholic
provinces of the Netherlands - and caught the retreating
Hapsburg army at Jemappes.
Within two weeks he had taken Brussels and Paris annexed
the territory. 1793 saw serious moves by the Allies to deal
with the upstart revolutionaries and with Custine bottled
up in Mainz by Brunswick, an Austrian army led by Prince
Frederick of Saxe-Coburg sought to recover the Netherlands.