Under Fire

After short battles the French gave up the Munot

The Munot was only once the scene of hostilities. In 1798 French troops occupied Switzerland during the Second Coalition War. However, their advance against Austria in March 1799 failed. When retreating to the Rhine they took up positions in Schaffhausen and the Munot. On April 13, 1799, Austrian units counterattacked. After brief skirmishes, the French surrendered the Munot and retreated south across the Rhine. To prevent the Austrians from pursuing them they destroyed the wooden Grubenmann Rhine Bridge.

On 1st May 1800 Schaffhausen was again occupied by French troops and heavy street fighting broke out.

During sewer works in 2002, skeletal remains were found some 400 metres from the Munot at Emmersbergstrasse. The analyses showed that the remains were those of six French soldiers.

Bild: Stadtarchiv Schaffhausen, J 00.01/031

Bild: Stadtarchiv Schaffhausen, J 00.01/031

The Rhine bridge designed by Ulrich Grubenmann (1709–1783) was set alight by French troops on 13th April 1799. Painting by Johann Martin Beck, 1825.

Bilder: Kantonsarch%C3%A4ologie Schaffhausen

Bilder: Kantonsarchäologie Schaffhausen

Slash, stab and gunshot wounds on the skeletons attest to the brutality of war. The uniform buttons found with the deceased bore the inscription “République française”.