The Battle of Bergen, also called the Battle of Bergen-Binnen, was fought on 19 September 1799, and resulted in a French-Dutch victory under General Brune and General Daendels against the Russians and British under the Duke of York who had landed in North Holland. The battlefield is marked by the Russisch Monument (1902).
In the history of France, the First Republic, officially the French Republic, was founded on 22 September 1792 during the French Revolution. The First Republic lasted until the declaration of the First Empire in 1804 under Napoleon, although the form of the government changed several times. This period was characterized by the fall of the monarchy, the establishment of the National Convention and the Reign of Terror, the Thermidorian Reaction and the founding of the Directory, and, finally, the creation of the Consulate and Napoleon's rise to power.
The Batavian Republic was the successor of the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands. It was proclaimed on 19 January 1795, and ended on 5 June 1806, with the accession of Louis I to the throne of Holland. From October 1801 onward, it was known as the Batavian Commonwealth. Both names refer to the Germanic tribe of the Batavi, representing both the Dutch ancestry and their ancient quest for liberty in their nationalistic lore.
Herman Willem Daendels was a Dutch politician who served as the 36th Governor General of the Dutch East Indies between 1808 and 1811.
The Duke of York landed on 15 September, and assumed the command of the army, which now amounted to about 30,000 men with 1,200 light cavalry. On 19 September the forces, under the Duke of York, formed in four columns, moved forward from Schagerbrug.
Schagerbrug is a town in the Dutch province of North Holland. It is part of the municipality of Schagen, and was the main town of the former municipality of Zijpe. It lies about 2 km northeast of the town of Schagen.
At this period the Allies possessed a superiority of force with which it was decided to strike a decisive blow as early as possible. The Dutch, numbering 12,000, were in a strong position around Langedijk, somewhat in advance of the French, who, by drawing in all detachments, had raised their field strength to 10,000 men, who were positioned in Alkmaar, Bergen, Schoorl, and Egmond aan Zee.
Bergen is a municipality and a town in the Netherlands, in the province of North Holland. Its North Sea beaches make it a popular destination for tourists. In 2001, the municipality was formed from a merger of the former municipalities of Egmond, Schoorl, and the smaller community of Bergen proper that had existed since 1811.
Prince Frederick, Duke of York and Albany
|Left Column - LTG Sir Ralph Abercromby|
|Division||Brigade||Regiments and Others|
|4th Brigade |
|Right Column - Johann Hermann von Fersen|
|Division||Brigade||Regiments and Others|
|1st Brigade |
|2nd Brigade |
|2nd Brigade |
|Advance Guard |
|Left-Centre Column - LTG Sir James Pulteney|
|Division||Brigade||Regiments and Others|
|3rd Brigade |
|5th Brigade |
|Right-Centre Column - LTG David Dundas|
|Division||Brigade||Regiments and Others|
|1st Guards Brigade |
|2nd Guards Brigade|
The British and Russian commanders noticed that the Republicans had left their right uncovered, and a very strong position unoccupied. This would have been difficult to correct if the attack on that flank had been vigorously carried out. They had also left Amsterdam undefended on the only side by which it was accessible.
Amsterdam is the capital city and most populous municipality of the Netherlands. Its status as the capital is mandated by the Constitution of the Netherlands, although it is not the seat of the government, which is The Hague. Amsterdam has a population of 854,047 within the city proper, 1,357,675 in the urban area and 2,410,960 in the metropolitan area. The city is located in the province of North Holland in the west of the country but is not its capital, which is Haarlem. The Amsterdam metropolitan area comprises much of the northern part of the Randstad, one of the larger conurbations in Europe, which has a population of approximately 8.1 million.
The plan of operations was as follows: The left column was to turn the enemy's right, on the Zuiderzee; the right was to drive the enemy from the heights of Camperduin, and to seize Bergen; the right-centre had to force the position at Warmenhuizen and Schoorldam, and to cooperate with the right column; while the left-centre had to obtain possession of Oudkarspel, on the main road leading to Alkmaar.
The Zuiderzee was a shallow bay of the North Sea in the northwest of the Netherlands, extending about 100 km inland and at most 50 km wide, with an overall depth of about 4 to 5 metres (13–16 feet) and a coastline of about 300 km. It covered 5,000 km2 (1,900 sq mi). Its name means "southern sea" in Dutch, indicating that the name originates in Friesland, to the north of the Zuiderzee. In the 20th century the majority of the Zuiderzee was closed off from the North Sea by the construction of the Afsluitdijk, leaving the mouth of the inlet to become part of the Wadden Sea. The salt water inlet changed into a fresh water lake now called the IJsselmeer after the river that drains into it, and by means of drainage and polders, an area of some 1,500 km2 (580 sq mi) was reclaimed as land. This land eventually became the province of Flevoland, with a population of nearly 400,000 (2011).
Camperduin (Kamperduin) is a small village in the Dutch province of North Holland. It is a part of the municipality of Bergen, and lies about 12 km northwest of Alkmaar.
Warmenhuizen is a town in the Dutch province of North Holland. It is a part of the municipality of Schagen, and lies about 8 km northwest of Heerhugowaard.
The enemy's left was advantageously posted on the high sand hills which extend from the sea, in front of Petten, to the town of Bergen. The ground over which the centre columns had to move was intersected every three or four hundred yards by broad, deep, wet ditches and canals. The bridges across the few roads leading to the points of attack were destroyed, and obstacles had been carefully arranged.
Petten is a town in the Dutch province of North Holland. It is a part of the municipality of Schagen, and lies about 15 km northwest of Alkmaar, on the North Sea. The population is ca. 1900.
Contrary to all reasonable expectations, the force under Sir Ralph Abercromby took no direct part in this action; consequently the allied troops engaged amounted to no more than between 15,000 and 18,000 men. The corps under Sir Ralph Abercromby began their march on the evening of 18 September, but his advance was delayed by the bad state of the roads, and he arrived at Hoorn many hours later than was expected. The objectives that would have been gained by this column would have had a material effect on the result of the whole expedition, and could only be attempted while the Duke of York possessed the superior force.
The battle was commenced by Russian forces, which had by 8 am, September 19, obtained possession of Bergen. In vain did they expect support from their British allies, which had not even lined up for the battle, because the British and Russian commanders had neglected to synchronize their clocks. As a result, Russian forces were rapidly encircled by the French, Hermann was made prisoner and his second-in-command Jerepsoff killed,while their troops were forced back through Bergen to Schoorl, which they also had to abandon.
This village was retaken by Major-General Manners’ Brigade, which was then reinforced by two battalions of Russians, by Major-General D’Oyley's Brigade of Guards, and by the 35th Regiment, under Prince William. The action was renewed by these troops, who in their turn repulsed the enemy; but a lack of ammunition and the exhausted state of the corps engaged in that part of the field obliged them to retire on Petten and the Zijpe Canal.
The column under Lieutenant-General Dundas attacked the village of Warmenhuizen at dawn, where the enemy, with a large force of artillery, was strongly positioned. Three battalions of Russians, under Major-General Sedmoratsky, moving from Krabbendam, gallantly stormed the left of the village, with the 1st Regiment of Guards entering it on the right at the same time. The Grenadier battalion of Guards, the 3rd Regiment of Guards and the 2nd battalion 5th Regiment which had been previously detached to march upon Schoorldam to keep up the communication with Sir James Pulteney, were joined by the remainder of the column, which, after taking Warmenhuizen, had been reinforced by the 1st battalion 5th Regiment, and the whole moved forward and seized the village. They held it under artillery fire until the conclusion of the action.
The left-centre column, though opposed by the bulk of the Batavian army, under General Daendels, had overcome all opposition and taken possession of Oudkarspel, thus securing the direct line of advance on Alkmaar. Sir Ralph Abercromby had equally well accomplished his task by capturing the town of Hoorn, on the coast of the Zuiderzee, and placing himself in a favourable position for completing the turning movement. However, in consequence of the partial failure on the right, it was considered necessary to recall all the troops and re-occupy the former position.
The strength of the column which attacked Bergen would have been more than sufficient if it had been employed correctly. This column was numerically superior to the enemy, but it moved in mass in an intersected country, did not cover its flanks, and its operations having, contrary to order, been commenced long before daylight, its fire was probably more destructive to itself than to the enemy. That the other columns were not too weak for their tasks is shown by their having taken and held, until recalled, the points against which they had been directed.
The losses on both sides were considerable:
British: 6 officers, 2 sergeants, 109 rank-and-file killed; 43 officers, 20 sergeants, 2 drummers, 345 rank-and-file, wounded; 22 sergeants, 5 drummers, 463 rank-and-file, missing.
Russians: 1,741 non-commissioned officers, rank-and-file, and 44 officers, killed or captured. 1,225, including 49 officers, wounded.
Republicans: 3,000 prisoners, including 60 officers. 16 guns taken.
The newly appointed Russian Commander-in-Chief, Mikhail Kutuzov, who was rushing from St. Petersburg to assume command of Russian forces, learned about the debacle at Hamburg and, deeming the campaign to be doomed, promptly returned to Russia.
The Republicans re-occupied all the positions from which they had been driven, and their general line of defence was now covered on the right by inundations, the only roads across which were covered by field works. The space between Alkmaar and the Zuiderzee was thus rendered defensible by small numbers, and Amsterdam was secured on the land side. The remainder of the army, which had been reinforced, was concentrated between the Langedijk and the sea, and the post of Oudkarspel was strengthened by additional works, and by inundations. Schoorldam and Koedijk were also fortified. The next major engagement took place at Castricum on 6 October.
The Battle of Novi saw a combined army of Habsburg Austrians and Imperial Russians under Field Marshal Alexander Suvorov attack a Republican French army under General Barthélemy Catherine Joubert. After a prolonged and bloody struggle, the Austro-Russians broke through the French defenses and drove their enemies into a disorderly retreat. Joubert was killed while French division commanders Catherine-Dominique de Pérignon and Emmanuel Grouchy were captured. Novi Ligure is in the province of Piedmont in Italy a distance of 58 kilometres (36 mi) north of Genoa. The battle occurred during the War of the Second Coalition which was part of the French Revolutionary Wars.
The Battle of Trebbia or the Napoleonic Battle of the Trebbia was fought near the Trebbia River in northern Italy between the joint Russian and Habsburg Austrian army under Alexander Suvorov and the Republican French army of Jacques MacDonald. Though the opposing armies were approximately equal in numbers, the Austro-Russians severely defeated the French, sustaining about 6,000 casualties while inflicting losses of 12,000 to 16,500 on their enemies. The War of the Second Coalition engagement occurred west of Piacenza, a city located 70 kilometres (43 mi) southeast of Milan.
The Battle of Alexandria or Battle of Canope, fought on 21 March 1801 between the French army under General Menou and the British expeditionary corps under Sir Ralph Abercromby, took place near the ruins of Nicopolis, on the narrow spit of land between the sea and Lake Abukir, along which the British troops had advanced towards Alexandria after the actions of Abukir on 8 March and Mandora on 13 March.
General Claude-Étienne Michel, an officer in Napoleon's army, was second in command of the Chasseur Division of the Guard and commander of its Brigade of Middle Guard. He may be the officer who uttered the words often attributed to Pierre Cambronne "La Garde meurt et ne se rend pas" "The Guard dies, and does not surrender".
By 1799, the French Revolutionary Wars had resumed after a period of relative peace in 1798. The Second Coalition had organized against France, with Great Britain allying with Russia, Austria, the Ottoman Empire, and several of the German and Italian states. While Napoleon's army was still embroiled in Egypt, the allies prepared campaigns in Italy, Switzerland, and the Netherlands.
Sir Eyre Coote KB was an Irish-born British soldier and politician who served as Governor of Jamaica. He attained the rank of general in the British Army and was created a Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath (KCB) before being stripped of his rank and honours in 1816 after conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman.
The 92nd Regiment of Foot was a British Army infantry regiment, raised in 1794. Under the Childers Reforms it amalgamated with the 75th (Stirlingshire) Regiment of Foot to form the Gordon Highlanders in 1881.
The Battle of Castricum saw a Franco-Dutch force defeat an Anglo-Russian force near Castricum, Netherlands. The battle was fought during the War of the Second Coalition against Revolutionary France between French and Dutch forces under the command of General Guillaume Brune and Herman Willem Daendels and British and Russian forces under the command of the Duke of York, Sir Ralph Abercromby and the Prince of Orange.
The Battle of Famars was fought on 23 May 1793 during the Flanders Campaign of the War of the First Coalition. An Allied Austrian, Hanoverian, and British army under Prince Josias of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld defeated the French Army of the North led by François Joseph Drouot de Lamarche. The action occurred near the village of Famars in northern France, five km south of Valenciennes.
The Battle of Boxtel (Bokstel) was fought in the Dutch province of North Brabant on 14–15 September 1794, during the War of the First Coalition. It was part of the Flanders Campaign of 1793–94 in which British, Dutch and Austrian troops had attempted to launch an invasion of France through Flanders. It is often remembered as being the debut action of Lt Col Arthur Wesley, who later became Arthur Wellesley, the 1st Duke of Wellington.
On 1 March 1815 Napoleon Bonaparte escaped from his imprisonment on the isle of Elba, and launched a bid to recover his empire. A confederation of European powers pledged to stop him. During the period known as the Hundred Days Napoleon chose to confront the armies of Prince Blücher and the Duke of Wellington in what has become known as the Waterloo Campaign. He was decisively defeated by the two allied armies at the Battle of Waterloo, which then marched on Paris forcing Napoleon to abdicate for the second time. However Russia, Austria and some of the minor German states also fielded armies against him and all of them also invaded France. Of these other armies the ones engaged in the largest campaigns and saw the most fighting were two Austrian armies: The Army of the Upper Rhine and the Army of Italy.
Alkmaar railway station serves the town of Alkmaar, Netherlands. It is located approximately 40 km northwest of Amsterdam. The station opened on 20 December 1865 and is located on the Den Helder–Amsterdam railway. The train services are operated by Nederlandse Spoorwegen and it is an Intercity station, where all trains stop.
The Battle of Callantsoog followed the amphibious landing by a British invasion force under Lieutenant-General Sir Ralph Abercromby near Callantsoog in the course of the Anglo-Russian invasion of Holland of 1799. Despite strong opposition by troops of the Batavian Republic under Lieutenant-General Herman Willem Daendels the British troops established a bridgehead and the Dutch were forced to retreat.
The Anglo-Russian invasion of Holland was a military campaign from 27 August to 19 November 1799 during the War of the Second Coalition, in which an expeditionary force of British and Russian troops invaded the North Holland peninsula in the Batavian Republic. The campaign had two strategic objectives: to neutralize the Batavian fleet and to promote an uprising by followers of the former stadtholder William V against the Batavian government. The invasion was opposed by a combined Franco-Batavian army slightly smaller. Tactically, the Anglo-Russian forces were successful initially, defeating the defenders in the battles of Callantsoog and the Krabbendam, but subsequent battles went against the Anglo-Russian forces. Following a defeat at Castricum, the Duke of York, the British supreme commander, decided upon a strategic retreat to the original bridgehead in the extreme north of the peninsula. Subsequently, an agreement was negotiated with the supreme commander of the Franco-Batavian forces, General Guillaume Marie Anne Brune, that allowed the Anglo-Russian forces to evacuate this bridgehead unmolested. However, the expedition partly succeeded in its first objective, capturing a significant proportion of the Batavian fleet.
The Battle of Krabbendam of 10 September 1799 was fought during the Anglo-Russian invasion of Holland between forces of the French Republic and her ally, the Batavian Republic, under the command of French general Guillaume Marie Anne Brune on one side, and a British division under general Sir Ralph Abercromby on the other. The British division had established a bridgehead in the extreme north of the North-Holland peninsula after the Battle of Callantsoog (1799). Brune tried to dislodge them before they could be reinforced by further Anglo-Russian forces, but the British prevailed. This enabled the British and their Russian allies to land their expeditionary force and to break out of the bridgehead during the Battle of Bergen (1799).
The Battle of Alkmaar was fought on 2 October 1799 between forces of the French Republic and her ally, the Batavian Republic under the command of general Guillaume Marie Anne Brune, and an expeditionary force from Great Britain and her ally Russia, commanded by Prince Frederick, Duke of York and Albany in the vicinity of Alkmaar during the Anglo-Russian invasion of Holland. Though the battle ended in a tactical draw, the Anglo-Russians were in a position at the end of the battle that favored them slightly in a strategic sense. This prompted Brune to order a strategic withdrawal the next day to a line between Monnickendam in the East and Castricum in the West. There the final battle of the campaign would take place on 6 October.
In the Battle of Guttstadt-Deppen on 5 and 6 June 1807, troops of the Russian Empire led by General Levin August, Count von Bennigsen attacked the First French Empire corps of Marshal Michel Ney. The Russians pressed back their opponents in an action that saw Ney fight a brilliant rearguard action with his heavily outnumbered forces. During the 6th, Ney successfully disengaged his troops and pulled back to the west side of the Pasłęka (Passarge) River. The action occurred during the War of the Fourth Coalition, part of the Napoleonic Wars. Dobre Miasto (Guttstadt) is on Route 51 about 20 kilometers (12 mi) southwest of Lidzbark Warmiński (Heilsberg) and 24 kilometers (15 mi) north of Olsztyn (Allenstein). The fighting occurred along Route 580 which runs southwest from Guttstadt to Kalisty (Deppen) on the Pasłęka.
Pierre François Joseph Durutte joined the French army at the beginning of the French Revolutionary Wars. Rapidly promoted for feats of bravery under fire at Jemappes in 1792 and Hondschoote in 1793, he found himself appointed to serve as a staff officer. He distinguished himself during the Anglo-Russian invasion of Holland in 1799 and received promotion to general officer. During the successful 1800 campaign he fought in Jean Victor Marie Moreau's army. Promoted again in 1803, his career then stalled because of his association with the banished Moreau and his unwillingness to see Napoleon Bonaparte as emperor.
The Battle of Feldkirch saw a Republican French corps led by André Masséna attack a weaker Habsburg Austrian force under Franz Jellacic. Defending fortified positions, the Austrians repulsed all of the French columns, though the struggle lasted until nightfall. This and other French setbacks in southern Germany soon caused Masséna to go on the defensive. The War of the Second Coalition combat occurred at the Austrian town of Feldkirch, Vorarlberg, located 158 kilometres (98 mi) west of Innsbruck.
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The above text is an extract from an article compiled by the British Army's Intelligence branch of the Quartermaster-General's department in 1884.