|Battle of Lincelles|
|Part of the French Revolutionary Wars|
|Commanders and leaders|
The Battle of Lincelles was an action that took place as part of a larger manoeuvre on 17 August 1793 in the Flanders Campaign of the War of the First Coalition. It was fought between the forces of Revolutionary France under the command of Jean Baptiste Jourdan and Antoine Anne Lecourt de Béru, versus those of Great Britain under the Frederick Augustus, Duke of York and Albany and the Dutch Republic under the Hereditary Prince of Orange. The action resulted in a coalition victory.
The War of the First Coalition is the traditional name of the wars that several European powers fought between 1792 and 1797 against the French First Republic. Despite the collective strength of these nations compared with France, they were not really allied and fought without much apparent coordination or agreement. Each power had its eye on a different part of France it wanted to appropriate after a French defeat, which never occurred.
France, officially the French Republic, is a country whose territory consists of metropolitan France in Western Europe and several overseas regions and territories. The metropolitan area of France extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, and from the Rhine to the Atlantic Ocean. It is bordered by Belgium, Luxembourg and Germany to the northeast, Switzerland and Italy to the east, and Andorra and Spain to the south. The overseas territories include French Guiana in South America and several islands in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans. The country's 18 integral regions span a combined area of 643,801 square kilometres (248,573 sq mi) and a total population of 67.02 million. France is a unitary semi-presidential republic with its capital in Paris, the country's largest city and main cultural and commercial centre. Other major urban areas include Lyon, Marseille, Toulouse, Bordeaux, Lille and Nice.
Great Britain is an island in the North Atlantic Ocean off the northwest coast of continental Europe. With an area of 209,331 km2 (80,823 sq mi), it is the largest of the British Isles, the largest European island, and the ninth-largest island in the world. In 2011, Great Britain had a population of about 61 million people, making it the world's third-most populous island after Java in Indonesia and Honshu in Japan. The island of Ireland is situated to the west of Great Britain, and together these islands, along with over 1,000 smaller surrounding islands, form the British Isles archipelago.
In the Autumn of 1793 the Allied forces of Prince Josias of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld were poised to invade France. The Hereditary Prince of Orange held Menin with 10,000 Dutch troops, with instructions to cover the movement of the corps of the Prince Frederick, Duke of York and Albany in his advance towards Dunkirk. To facilitate this and take advantage of York's nearby support Orange decided to lead a column against the French-held village of Lincelles, while another under the Friedrich Karl August, Prince of Waldeck and Pyrmont attacked La Blaton slightly to the north.
Prince Frederick Josias of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld was a general in the Austrian service.
William I was a Prince of Orange and the first King of the Netherlands and Grand Duke of Luxembourg.
Menen is a municipality located in the Belgian province of West Flanders. The municipality comprises the city of Menen proper and the towns of Lauwe and Rekkem. The city is situated on the French/Belgian border. On January 1, 2006, Menen had a total population of 32,413. The total area is 33.07 km² which gives a population density of 980 inhabitants per km².
News of the attack reached the French forces under command of Jean-Baptiste Jourdan and Antoine Anne Lecourt Béru, who were mustering to launch their own raid against Menin. Immediately Jourdan directed these forces, 5,000 strong, to retake the lost posts. This was achieved, Béru's column retaking Lincelles, whilst the brigade of Jacques MacDonald advanced from Quesnoy-sur-Deûle, surprised the Dutch at Blaton and captured 7 cannon. Representative Jean Pierre Dellard, who came up after the action, later wrote, "The interior of the redoubts, which had just been taken, afforded a spectacle of fearful carnage".
Jean-Baptiste Jourdan, 1st Comte Jourdan, enlisted as a private in the French royal army and rose to command armies during the French Revolutionary Wars. Emperor Napoleon I of France named him a Marshal of France in 1804 and he also fought in the Napoleonic Wars. After 1815, he became reconciled to the Bourbon Restoration. He was one of the most successful commanders of the French Revolutionary Army.
Étienne Jacques Joseph Alexandre MacDonald, 1st Duke of Taranto was a Marshal of the Empire and military leader during the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars.
Quesnoy-sur-Deûle is a commune in the Nord department in northern France.
The Prince of Orange appealed to the Duke of York for reinforcements, and at around 2.00 pm the nearest troops, Gerard Lake's brigade consisting of three battalions of Foot Guards, were dispatched. Lake arrived on the field at 6.00 pm and attempted to rally some of the scattered Dutch, but it quickly became apparent they had no more stomach for fighting. So, despite being vastly outnumbered, he determined to attack alone with just 1,122 men.
The Diary of Lieutenant Thomas Powell (14th Foot) records "It was about 1 of clock at night before we could get clear of the Dutch"On top of the hill in front of Lincelles the French held two large redoubts plus other works that covered the road, as well as their flanks being covered by woods and ditches. Lake deployed on the hill under a heavy artillery fire, the 1st Guards at the front, with the Coldstream Guards and 3rd Guards forming up on their left. The Guards delivered three or four musket volleys and charged the position, stormed the earthworks, chased the Republicans through the village and captured 10 guns. Lake then re-formed on the other side of the hill. Béru attempted another stand but was again charged and broken, his men fleeing to Bondues. Jourdan, who tried to stem the flight with a battalion in reserve, wrote, "It was not a retreat but a rout".
The Grenadier Guards is an infantry regiment of the British Army. It can trace its lineage back to 1656 when Lord Wentworth's Regiment was raised in Bruges to protect the exiled Charles II. In 1665, this regiment was combined with John Russell's Regiment of Guards to form the current regiment, known as the 1st Regiment of Foot Guards. Since then, the regiment has filled both a ceremonial and protective role as well as an operational one. In 1900, the regiment provided a cadre of personnel to form the Irish Guards; while later, in 1915 it also provided the basis of the Welsh Guards upon their formation.
The Coldstream Guards is a part of the Guards Division, Foot Guards regiments of the British Army.
Bondues is a commune in the Nord department in northern France.
At Blaton to the left Macdonald heard the news of the rout and withdrew in good order to Quesnoy-sur-Deûle. The French then retreated to Lille where they were reformed.
Lille is a city at the northern tip of France, in French Flanders. On the Deûle River, near France's border with Belgium, it is the capital of the Hauts-de-France region, the prefecture of the Nord department, and the main city of the European Metropolis of Lille.
Lake held the position until nightfall supported by two Dutch battalions,until relieved by six battalions of Hessians and two British. He'd captured 12 guns (two of them Dutch pieces lost during the retreat of Orange's men), 70 prisoners and a colour, for the loss of 39 dead and 139 wounded men and officers, Captain-Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Bosville of the 2nd Guards being one of the dead.
The Duke of York then continued his advance towards Ypres and Furnes, before opening the Siege of Dunkirk.
Fortescue wrote of Lake's intervention, "The action was undoubtably most brilliant, and the conduct of the men beyond all praise... but it is a grave reflection on the Duke of York that he should so thoughtlessly have exposed some of his best troops to needless danger, leaving them isolated and unsupported for several hours".Alfred Burne disagreed, "Lake did indeed call for help, but on what seems inadequate grounds: he was in no real danger. To have diverted a bigger proportion of the British army from the march to Dunkirk merely to engage in a transient fight in order to oblige the Dutch would have been to infringe the principle of economy of force".
The Battle of the Dunes, also known as the Battle of Dunkirk, was fought on 14 June 1658. It was a victory of the French army and their Commonwealth of England allies, under Turenne, one of the great generals of his age, over the Spanish army and their English Royalist and French Fronde rebels, led by John of Austria the Younger and Louis II de Condé. The battle was part of the Franco-Spanish War and the concurrent Anglo-Spanish War, and was fought near Dunkirk a fortified port city on the coast of the English Channel in what was then the Southern Netherlands that belonged to Habsburg Spain. The French army had laid siege to Dunkirk and the Spanish army was attempting to raise the siege.
The Battle of Hondschoote took place during the Flanders Campaign of the Campaign of 1793 in the French Revolutionary Wars. It was fought during operations surrounding the Siege of Dunkirk between 6 and 8 September 1793 at Hondschoote, Nord, France, and resulted in a French victory under General Jean Nicolas Houchard and General Jean-Baptiste Jourdan against the command of Marshal Freytag, part of the Anglo-Hanoverian corps of the Duke of York.
The Battle of Wattignies saw a Republican French army commanded by Jean-Baptiste Jourdan attack a Coalition army directed by Prince Josias of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld. After two days of combat Jourdan's troops compelled the Habsburg covering force led by François Sébastien Charles Joseph de Croix, Count of Clerfayt to withdraw. The War of the First Coalition victory allowed the French to raise the Siege of Maubeuge. At a time when failed generals were often executed or imprisoned, Jourdan had to endure interference from Lazare Carnot from the Committee of Public Safety. The village, renamed Wattignies-la-Victoire in honor of the important success, is located 9 kilometres (6 mi) southeast of Maubeuge.
Prince Frederick, Duke of York and Albany was the second son of George III, King of the United Kingdom and Hanover, and his consort Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz. A soldier by profession, from 1764 to 1803 he was Prince-Bishop of Osnabrück in the Holy Roman Empire. From the death of his father in 1820 until his own death in 1827 he was the heir presumptive to his elder brother, George IV, in both the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and the Kingdom of Hanover.
The Army of the North or Armée du Nord is a name given to several historical units of the French Army. The first was one of the French Revolutionary Armies that fought with distinction against the First Coalition from 1792 to 1795. Others existed during the Peninsular War, the Hundred Days and the Franco-Prussian War.
The Battle of Tournay (1794) or Tournai was fought on 22 May 1794 as part of the Flanders Campaign in the Belgian province of Hainaut on the Schelde River between French forces under General Pichegru and Coalition forces under Prince Josias of Coburg, in which the Coalition forces were victorious.
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 Siege of Dunkirk took place in the Autumn of 1793 when British, Hanoverian, Austrian, and Hesse-Kassel troops under the command of Prince Frederick, Duke of York besieged the fortified French border port of Dunkirk, as part as the Flanders campaign of the French Revolutionary Wars. Following a Coalition defeat at the Battle of Hondshoote they were forced to raise the siege and withdraw northeast.
The Flanders Campaign was conducted from 6 November 1792 to 7 June 1795 during the first years of the French Revolutionary Wars. A Coalition of states representing the Ancien Régime in Western Europe – Austria, Prussia, Great Britain, the Dutch Republic, Hanover and Hesse-Kassel – mobilised military forces along all the French frontiers, with the intention to invade Revolutionary France and end the French First Republic. The radicalised French revolutionaries, who broke the Catholic Church's power (1790), abolished the monarchy (1792) and even executed the deposed king Louis XVI of France (1793), vied to spread the Revolution beyond France's borders, by violent means if necessary.
The Battle of Beaumont-en-Cambresis 26 April 1794 was an action forming part of a multi-pronged attempt to relieve the besieged fortress of Landrecies, during the Flanders Campaign of the French Revolutionary War. The British and Austrians under the Duke of York defeated a French advance northwards from Cambrai commanded by René Chapuis.
The Army of the Moselle was a French Revolutionary Army from 1791 through 1795. It was first known as the Army of the Centre and it fought at Valmy. In October 1792 it was renamed and subsequently fought at Trier, First Arlon, Biesingen, Kaiserslautern, Froeschwiller and Second Wissembourg. In the spring of 1794 the left wing was detached and fought at Second Arlon, Lambusart and Fleurus before being absorbed by the Army of Sambre-et-Meuse. In late 1794, the army captured Trier and initiated the Siege of Luxembourg. During the siege, the army was discontinued and its divisions were assigned to other armies.
General Sir David Dundas was a British Army officer who fought in the Seven Years' War and French Revolutionary Wars, wrote important texts on the Principles of Military Movements and then served as Commander-in-Chief of the Forces from 1809 to 1811.
Heinrich Wilhelm von Freytag was an officer in the service of the Electorate of Brunswick-Lüneburg (Hanover).
The Battle of Raismes took place on 8 May 1793, during the Flanders Campaign of the Wars of the French Revolution, between the French Republican army of the Marquis de Dampierre and the Allied Coalition army of the Prince of Saxe-Coburg, and resulted in an Allied Victory.
The Siege of Valenciennes took place between 13 June and 28 July 1793, during the Flanders Campaign of the War of the First Coalition. The French garrison under Jean Henri Becays Ferrand was blockaded by part of the army of Prince Josias of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, commanded by the Prince Frederick, Duke of York and Albany. Valenciennes fell on 28 July, resulting in an Allied victory.
The Battle of Wervik, or of Wervik and Menin was fought on 12 and 13 September 1793 between 30,000 men of the French Army of the North commanded by Jean Nicolas Houchard, and 13,000 Coalition troops: the veldleger of the Dutch States Army, commanded by the William, Hereditary Prince of Orange and his brother Prince Frederick of Orange-Nassau, and a few squadrons of Austrian cavalry under Pál Kray, seconded by Johann Peter Beaulieu. The great superiority in numbers being on the French side the battle ended in a victory for France, with the Dutch army suffering heavy losses. Among the casualties was Prince Frederick, who was wounded in the shoulder at Wervik, an injury from which he never fully recovered. The combat occurred during the Flanders Campaign of the War of the First Coalition. Menen is a city in Belgium located on the French border about 100 kilometres (62 mi) west of Brussels.
Paul-Alexis Dubois commanded French divisions during the War of the First Coalition and was killed in action fighting against Habsburg Austria. He enlisted in a French infantry regiment in 1770 and transferred into the cavalry in 1776. Thereafter he served in several different cavalry and infantry regiments. From sous-lieutenant in 1791, he served in the Army of the Moselle and was rapidly promoted to general of brigade by August 1793. After briefly commanding an infantry division in the Army of the Rhine at Wissembourg he switched back to the Army of the Moselle to fight at Kaiserslautern before being wounded at Froeschwiller in December 1793.
Georg Wilhelm Baron von dem Bussche-Haddenhausen was a general officer of Hanoverian soldiers during the War of the First Coalition who famously led one of the Coalition columns at the Battle of Tourcoing. In 1743 he joined the Hanoverian military service and fought in the War of the Austrian Succession and Seven Years' War, fighting at Minden and Lutterberg. He led a battalion at Gibraltar in the American Revolutionary War. In the War of the First Coalition he led his soldiers at Valenciennes, Hondschoote, Mouscron, Tourcoing and Tournai. On 11 December 1794 while defending the Bommelerwaard in the Dutch Republic, his hand was taken off by a cannonball and he died shortly afterward.
The 1st Battle of Courtrai took place on 15 September 1793, near Courtrai, now known as Kortrijk, Belgium. the battle occurred two days after the Battle of Menin during the Flanders Campaign of the Wars of the French Revolution, fought between a Division of the Nicolas Houchard's French Republican Army of the North under Joseph de Hédouville, and an Austrian force under Johann Beaulieu, supported by a British detachment from the forces of the Duke of York. It resulted in an Allied victory that brought an end to Houchard's campaign, and led directly to his dismissal and subsequent execution.
General Lowther Pennington, 2nd Baron Muncaster was a British Army general who saw active service during the American Revolution and the French Revolutionary Wars. Pennington seems to have been frequently at odds with his fellow officers: his arrival in America was signalized by a duel with the Royal Navy captain who brought him over, and in 1793, he was publicly reprimanded by the Duke of York for court-martialing an adjutant over a trifle. After thirty years of service in the Coldstream Guards, he received the colonelcy of the 131st Regiment of Foot in 1795, only for it to be disbanded the next year. He married late in life, in 1802, and promptly had one son. His last command was a Royal Veteran Battalion in 1806, which he resigned in 1813 upon inheriting his brother's barony and estates, dying five years later.