I'm listening to Mike Duncan's podcast, Revolutions, episode 3.44, and in it, he details the misfortunes of the French bumbling about the wrong side of the Rhine.

According to Duncan, Carnot, now a director of France, ordered an attack on the Austrians, now that military victories were going the French way. However, when attacking, he kept trying to cause a double pincer at the strongest of the Austrian's fortifications. This seemed surprising the second time around, as he knew from the first time that the Austrians would stop at nothing to prevent the armies from linking up.

Did he underestimate the power of the Austrians? Or was Carnot's military strategy just not that good, as his other major military accomplishment seemed to able to be attributed to Saint-Just? Or was he just oddly fixated on the double pincer strategy? Am I just reading to much into this?



The plan was to pin down the troops in their fortifications while encouraging the Austrians to split their forces. The Austrians would then be defeated piecemeal. This was successful in the past. It just so happened that, this time, Austrians got smart and instead attacked the French columns one at a time.

In Carnot's credit, his generals were pursuing a retreating enemy and he was probably trying not to restrain their aggressiveness.

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