Capture of Porrentruy

Last updated
Capture of Porrentruy
Part of the French Revolutionary Wars
Date28 April 1792

French victory

Flag of France (1790-1794).svg France

Banner of the Holy Roman Emperor (after 1400).svg Austria

Commanders and leaders
Banner of the Holy Roman Emperor (after 1400).svg Wappen Bistum Basel.svg the Prince-Bishop of Basel
~3000 400

The Capture of Porrentruy was a short siege of the Swiss town of Porrentruy, held by Austria, by the French. It took place on 28 April 1792 during the War of the First Coalition and was a French victory.

Switzerland Federal republic in Central Europe

Switzerland, officially the Swiss Confederation, is a sovereign state situated in the confluence of western, central, and southern Europe. It is a federal republic composed of 26 cantons, with federal authorities seated in Bern. Switzerland is a landlocked country bordered by Italy to the south, France to the west, Germany to the north, and Austria and Liechtenstein to the east. It is geographically divided between the Alps, the Swiss Plateau and the Jura, spanning a total area of 41,285 km2 (15,940 sq mi), and land area of 39,997 km2 (15,443 sq mi). While the Alps occupy the greater part of the territory, the Swiss population of approximately 8.5 million is concentrated mostly on the plateau, where the largest cities are located, among them the two global cities and economic centres of Zürich and Geneva.

Porrentruy Place in Jura, Switzerland

Porrentruy is a Swiss municipality and seat of the district of the same name located in the canton of Jura.

Habsburg Monarchy Former monarchy in Europe from 1282 to 1918

Habsburg Monarchy is an umbrella term used by historians for the lands and kingdoms of the House of Habsburg, especially for those of the Austrian branch. Although from 1438 until 1806 the head of the House of Habsburg was also Holy Roman Emperor, the empire itself is not considered a part of the Habsburg Monarchy.



On 20 April 1792, France declared war on the king of Bohemia and Hungary, who five days earlier had given Louis XVI of France an ultimatum regarding the possessionary princes of the Alsace. Whole French regiments such as the Régiment de Royal-Allemand cavalerie and the Hussards de Saxe had emigrated or switched sides. [1] However, the coalition forces were slow to press their advantage and the armée du Rhin's commander Nicolas Luckner decided to attack the stronghold at Porrentruy to prevent an invasion. He had a camp of 12,000 men at far end of the Basse-Alsace, between Lauterbourg, Landau and Weissembourg.

Louis XVI of France King of France

Louis XVI, born Louis-Auguste, was the last king of France before the fall of the monarchy during the French Revolution. He was referred to as citizen Louis Capet during the four months before he was guillotined. In 1765, at the death of his father, Louis, son and heir apparent of Louis XV, Louis-Auguste became the new dauphin of France. Upon his grandfather's death on 10 May 1774, he assumed the title "King of France and Navarre", which he used until 4 September 1791, when he received the title of "King of the French" until the monarchy was abolished on 21 September 1792.

Alsace Place in Grand Est, France

Alsace is a cultural and historical region in eastern France, on the west bank of the upper Rhine next to Germany and Switzerland.

<i>Hussards de Saxe</i> cavalry unit set up in France under the Ancien Régime

The Régiment des Hussards de Saxe was a cavalry unit set up in France under the Ancien Régime in 1741 as the Chasseurs de Fischer.

Luckner commanded Adam Philippe, Comte de Custine to advance into Porrentruy province, which belonged to the prince-bishop of Basel. This would avoid this portion of the French frontier being invaded. [1] At the head of 2,000 men, with colonel Charles Grangier de La Ferriere, commander of the 23rd Infantry Regiment, as his second-in-command and followed by three infantry battalions, an artillery company and around 300 dragoons, Custine marched into the province and demanded Porrentruy's surrender. It had a garrison of 400 Austrians, but the prince-bishop did not want to support a siege and marched the garrison away to Bienne. Custine thus captured Porrentruy without a fight and was able to dig in on the Laumont mountain to defend the valleys of Fribourg, Bienne, Basel and Solothurn.

Adam Philippe, Comte de Custine French general

Adam Philippe, Comte de Custine was a French general. As a young officer in the Bourbon Royal army, he served in the Seven Years' War. In the American Revolutionary War he joined Rochambeau's Expédition Particulière supporting the American colonists. Following the successful Virginia campaign and the Battle of Yorktown, he returned to France and rejoined his unit in the Royal Army.

Fribourg Place in Switzerland

Fribourg or Freiburg is the capital of the Swiss canton of Fribourg and the district La Sarine. It is located on both sides of the river Saane/Sarine, on the Swiss Plateau, and is a major economic, administrative and educational center on the cultural border between German and French Switzerland (Romandy). Its Old City, one of the best-maintained in Switzerland, sits on a small rocky hill above the valley of the Sarine.

Basel Place in Basel-Stadt, Switzerland

Basel or Basle is a city in northwestern Switzerland on the river Rhine. Basel is Switzerland's third-most-populous city with about 180,000 inhabitants.


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  1. 1 2 Victoires, conquêtes, désastres, revers et guerres civiles des Français, volume 7

Coordinates: 47°25′05″N7°04′40″E / 47.4181°N 7.0778°E / 47.4181; 7.0778

Geographic coordinate system Coordinate system

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