|Louis-Charles de La Motte-Ango, vicomte de Flers|
|Born||12 June 1754|
|Died||22 July 1794 (aged 40)|
|Rank||General of Division|
|Battles/wars|| Battle of Jemappes (1792)|
Battle of Mas Deu (1793)
Siege of Bellegarde (1793)
Battle of Perpignan (1793)
Louis-Charles de La Motte-Ango, vicomte de Flers (12 June 1754 – 22 July 1794) joined the French Royal army and rose in rank to become a general officer in the French Revolutionary Wars. After serving in the Austrian Netherlands, he was appointed to command the Army of the Eastern Pyrenees. His army suffered several defeats in May and June 1793, but he rallied his troops to win a defensive victory at the Battle of Perpignan in July. The all-powerful Representatives-on-mission arrested him in August 1793 for a minor setback and sent him to Paris under arrest. The Committee of Public Safety executed him by guillotine on trumped up charges in the last days of the Reign of Terror. De Flers is one of the names inscribed under the Arc de Triomphe.
A General Officer is an officer of high rank in the army, and in some nations' air forces or marines.
The French Revolutionary Wars were a series of sweeping military conflicts lasting from 1792 until 1802 and resulting from the French Revolution. They pitted France against Great Britain, Austria and several other monarchies. They are divided in two periods: the War of the First Coalition (1792–97) and the War of the Second Coalition (1798–1802). Initially confined to Europe, the fighting gradually assumed a global dimension. After a decade of constant warfare and aggressive diplomacy, France had conquered a wide array of territories, from the Italian Peninsula and the Low Countries in Europe to the Louisiana Territory in North America. French success in these conflicts ensured the spread of revolutionary principles over much of Europe.
The Austrian Netherlands was the larger part of the Southern Netherlands between 1714 and 1797. The period began with the acquisition of the former Spanish Netherlands under the Treaty of Rastatt in 1714 and lasted until its annexation during the aftermath of the Battle of Sprimont in 1794 and the Peace of Basel in 1795. Austria, however, did not relinquish its claim over the province until 1797 in the Treaty of Campo Formio. The Austrian Netherlands was a noncontiguous territory that consisted of what is now western Belgium as well as greater Luxembourg, bisected by the Prince-Bishopric of Liège. The dominant languages were German, Dutch (Flemish), and French, along with Picard and Walloon.
De Flers was born into a noble family in Paris on 12 June 1754. His parents were Ange Hyacinthe Ango de la Motte-Ango, comte de Flers (1719–1788) and Marie Madeleine Charlotte de Chertemps de Seuil, baroness de Reaux (1722–1775). De Flers enlisted in a cavalry regiment at a very early age. He embraced the French Revolution and became a marechal de camp in 1791. At the direction of General Charles Francois Dumouriez, de Flers established the camp of Maulde in 1792 and was badly wounded defending it. After recovering, he joined Dumouriez's invasion of Belgium as a division commander in 1792.
Major general is a military rank used in many countries. It is derived from the older rank of sergeant major general. The disappearance of the "sergeant" in the title explains the apparently confusing phenomenon whereby a lieutenant general outranks a major general while a major outranks a lieutenant.
On 6 November 1792 he commanded the Reserve of the Left Wing at the Battle of Jemappes. Under his command were two squadrons of Mounted National Gendarmes and a number of grenadier battalions.The French defeat at the Battle of Neerwinden on 18 March 1793, left de Flers commanding an isolated garrison at Breda. After a brief siege, he surrendered the place and was allowed to march out with the honors of war on 3 April.
The Battle of Jemappes took place near the town of Jemappes in Hainaut, Austrian Netherlands, near Mons during the War of the First Coalition, part of the French Revolutionary Wars. One of the first major offensive battles of the war, it was a victory for the armies of the infant French Republic, and saw the French Armée du Nord, which included a large number of inexperienced volunteers, defeat a substantially smaller regular Austrian army.
The Battle of Neerwinden saw a Republican French army led by Charles François Dumouriez attack a Coalition army commanded by Prince Josias of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld. The Coalition army's Habsburg Austrians together with a small contingent of allied Dutch Republic troops repulsed all French assaults after bitter fighting and Dumouriez conceded defeat, withdrawing from the field. The French position in the Austrian Netherlands swiftly collapsed, ending the threat to the Dutch Republic and allowing Austria to regain control of her lost province. The War of the First Coalition engagement was fought at Neerwinden, located 57 kilometres (35 mi) east of Brussels in present-day Belgium.
Breda is a city and municipality in the southern part of the Netherlands, located in the province of North Brabant. The name derived from brede Aa and refers to the confluence of the rivers Mark and Aa.
On 14 May General of Division de Flers assumed command of the Army of the Eastern Pyrenees.The War of the Pyrenees had opened badly for the French. The Spanish Army of Catalonia under Captain General Antonio Ricardos invaded France on 17 April with 4,500 men and routed the 400-man garrison of Saint-Laurent-de-Cerdans. Three days later, the Spanish force fell upon the 1,800 French defenders of Céret. The French were defeated with losses of 100 to 200 killed, wounded, and missing. In addition, 200 soldiers drowned in the Tech River trying to swim to safety. Ricardos reported losing only 17 men wounded.
The Army of the Eastern Pyrenees was one of the French Revolutionary armies. It fought against the Kingdom of Spain in Rousillon, the Cerdanya and Catalonia during the War of the Pyrenees. This army and the Army of the Western Pyrenees were formed by splitting the original Army of the Pyrenees at the end of April 1793 soon after the war started. Shortly after the Peace of Basel on 22 July 1795, the fighting ended and the army was dissolved on 12 October that same year. Many of its units and generals were transferred to join the Army of Italy and fought under Napoleon Bonaparte in 1796.
The War of the Pyrenees, also known as War of Roussillon or War of the Convention, was the Pyrenean front of the First Coalition's war against the First French Republic. It pitted Revolutionary France against the kingdoms of Spain and Portugal from March 1793 to July 1795 during the French Revolutionary Wars.
Antonio Ricardos Carrillo de Albornoz was a Spanish general. He joined the army of the Kingdom of Spain and fought against Habsburg Austria, the Portugal, and the First French Republic during a long military career. By embracing the Spanish Enlightenment, he earned the displeasure of conservative elements of society. He played an active role in reforming the Spanish military. Upon the outbreak of the War of the Pyrenees in 1793, the king sent him to command in Catalonia. He invaded Rousillon where he won several victories over the French. After his death in early 1794, the war went badly for Spain.
On 19 May, Ricardos with 7,000 troops advanced on de Flers' camp of Mas Deu, a group of medieval-era buildings established by the Knights Templar. In the Battle of Mas Deu, the French suffered losses of 150 killed, 280 wounded, three 6-pound cannons, and six ammunition wagons. The Spanish lost 34 killed and an unknown number wounded. De Flers fell back to the fortress of Perpignan where a battalion of National Guard mutinied and had to be disbanded. Rather than pursue his beaten enemy, Ricardos turned back to invest the Fort de Bellegarde.
The Poor Fellow-Soldiers of Christ and of the Temple of Solomon, also known as the Order of Solomon's Temple, the Knights Templar or simply the Templars, were a Catholic military order recognised in 1139 by the papal bull Omne datum optimum. The order was founded in 1119 and was active until 1312 when it was perpetually suppressed by Pope Clement V by the bull Vox in excelso.
The Battle of Mas Deu or Battle of Mas d'Eu on 19 May 1793 saw the French Revolutionary Army of the Eastern Pyrenees under Louis-Charles de Flers fighting Bourbon Spain's army of Catalonia led by Antonio Ricardos.
Perpignan is the prefecture of the Pyrénées-Orientales department in Southwest France. Perpignan was the capital of the former province and County of Roussillon and continental capital of the Kingdom of Majorca in the 13th and 14th centuries.
The powerful Bellegarde fortress guarded the Le Perthus pass at 300 metres (984 ft) altitude on the main road between Barcelona and Perpignan. De Flers tried to relieve the garrison without success, including an attempt by 3,350 men to escort a supply convoy through the siege lines on 29 May. While the Spanish army was preoccupied with the siege, de Flers drove another enemy force away from the port of Collioure. The Siege of Bellegarde ended on 24 June with a French surrender.
Le Perthus is a commune in the Pyrénées-Orientales department in southern France. Natives of Le Pertus are called Perthusiens and, in 2016, there were 586 inhabitants.
Barcelona is a city in Spain. It is the capital and largest city of the autonomous community of Catalonia, as well as the second most populous municipality of Spain. With a population of 1.6 million within city limits, its urban area extends to numerous neighbouring municipalities within the Province of Barcelona and is home to around 4.8 million people, making it the sixth most populous urban area in the European Union after Paris, London, Madrid, the Ruhr area and Milan. It is one of the largest metropolises on the Mediterranean Sea, located on the coast between the mouths of the rivers Llobregat and Besòs, and bounded to the west by the Serra de Collserola mountain range, the tallest peak of which is 512 metres high.
Collioure is a commune in the southern French department of Pyrénées-Orientales.
After the fall of Bellegarde, de Flers began arming the local farmers. Ricardos wrote a letter on 3 July protesting this, and threatening to hang any civilian caught with arms. De Flers replied that all Frenchmen were soldiers and that their only uniform was the tricolor cockade. He also promised to retaliate if the Spanish began shooting civilians.De Flers drilled his troops so that they might fight the Spanish regulars on more equal terms. He also put his men to work building field fortifications around Perpignan and drafted experienced coastal artillerists to serve the guns in his redoubts. When the Spanish attacked again his efforts paid off.
On 17 July, de Flers with 12,000 soldiers turned back an attack by Ricardos and 15,000 Spanish troops in the Battle of Perpignan. Historian Digby Smith called the Battle of Niel a French victory and gave French losses as 800 killed and wounded, plus one cannon captured. Smith listed Spanish casualties as only 31 killed, 131 wounded, and three captured.A second authority gave de Flers credit for good tactical leadership and stated that Spanish casualties numbered 1,000. When Ricardos sent five separate columns forward to envelop Perpignan, de Flers concentrated his main strength on the third column and defeated it. The fifth column turned back to assist the third column, but the French routed it as well to claim the victory. A third authority called the July battle a French triumph, but gave no details.
On 4 August 1793, a Spanish force captured Villefranche-de-Conflent in the Cerdagne. Though this was a relatively minor defeat, the Representatives-on-mission accused de Flers of treason. Arrested and sent to prison in Paris, de Flers was brought before a Revolutionary Tribunal the following year. The court condemned him to die for communicating with enemies of the state and for taking part in the Luxembourg Prison conspiracies, charges which one source called a "ridiculous pretext". De Flers went to the guillotine on 22 July 1794.Five days later, the government fell and Maximilien de Robespierre and his political allies quickly shared de Flers' fate. The name DEFLERS is inscribed on Column 33 of the Arc de Triomphe.
De Flers was married to Maximilienne Albertine Guillemine de Latre-Neuville. The couple had two children, a daughter Guillemine Aline Ange, born in 1787, and a son Charles Amédée Guillain who was born in 1789 and died in 1857. Guillemine married Alexandre René de Saffray (b. 1785) on 18 August 1828. Charles Amédée first married Anne Bernard Flavie de Froissard (1801–1835). His second wife was countess Nathalie Charlotte Ferdinande d'Oultremont (1818-1900).
The Second Battle of Boulou was a battle in the War of the Pyrenees, part of the French Revolutionary Wars. This battle saw the French Army of the eastern Pyrenees led by Jacques François Dugommier attacking the joint Spanish-Portuguese Army of Catalonia under Luis Firmin de Carvajal, Conde de la Union. Dugommier's decisive victory resulted in the French regaining nearly all the land they lost to the Kingdom of Spain in 1793. Le Boulou is on the modern A9 highway, 20 kilometres (12 mi) south of the department capital at Perpignan and 7 kilometres (4 mi) north of Le Perthus on the France-Spain border.
The Battle of Sant Llorenç de la Muga was fought on 13 August 1794 between an attacking Spanish–Portuguese army led by the Conde de la Unión and a French army commanded by Jacques François Dugommier. The local French defenders headed by Pierre Augereau and Dominique Pérignon repulsed the allies. The Spanish garrison of Fort de Bellegarde surrendered a month later.
Jacques François Coquille named Dugommier was a French general.
Pedro de Alcántara Téllez-Girón, 9th Duke of Osuna, Grandee of Spain, , was a Spanish nobleman. He led Spanish troops during the French Revolutionary Wars.
Luis Fermín de Carvajal, Conde de la Unión became a general officer in the army of the Kingdom of Spain. In 1794 during the French Revolutionary Wars, he commanded the Spanish Army in a mostly unsuccessful effort to hold back the army of the First French Republic. He died in battle fighting the French.
The Battle of Truillas was fought on 22 September 1793 during the French Revolutionary War between the French Army of the eastern Pyrenees led by Luc Siméon Auguste Dagobert and the Spanish Army of Catalonia under Antonio Ricardos. This attempt by the French to exploit their success in the Battle of Peyrestortes ended in a Spanish victory. Part of the War of the Pyrenees, the battle was fought near the village of Trouillas in the French department of Pyrénées Orientales, 12 km southwest of Perpignan.
Peyrestortes is a commune in the Pyrénées-Orientales department in southern France.
The Battle of the Black Mountain was fought from 17 to 20 November 1794 between the army of the First French Republic and the allied armies of the Kingdom of Spain and the Kingdom of Portugal. The French, led by Jacques François Dugommier defeated the Allies, who were commanded by Luis Firmín de Carvajal, Conde de la Unión. Though the Spanish right wing held, its left flank was driven back on the first day's fighting. On the last day of the battle, the French overran a key position and put the Spanish army to rout. The battle was remarkable in that both army commanders were slain. A Spanish artillery shell killed Dugommier early in the battle and Dominique Catherine de Pérignon assumed command of the French army. De la Union was shot dead while leading a cavalry charge on the last day of the fighting and was temporarily replaced by Jerónimo Girón-Moctezuma, Marquis de las Amarilas. The French victory led to the capture of Figueres and the Siege of Roses (Rosas), a port in Catalonia.
The Siege of Bellegarde commenced on 23 May 1793 and ended on 24 June 1793 when Colonel Boisbrulé's French garrison surrendered the Fort de Bellegarde to a Spanish army under the command of Antonio Ricardos. The capture of the fort gave Spain control of an important road through the Pyrenees. The siege took place during the War of the Pyrenees, part of the French Revolutionary Wars. Fort de Bellegarde is on a height overlooking the border town of Le Perthus, which lies on the modern A9 autoroute and Autovía A-7.
Eustache Charles Joseph d'Aoust was a general officer during the French Revolutionary Wars.
The Battle of Peyrestortes saw soldiers of the First French Republic fighting troops of the Kingdom of Spain during the War of the Pyrenees. Forces from the French Army of the Eastern Pyrenees, temporarily commanded by Eustache Charles d'Aoust and Jacques Gilles Henri Goguet, defeated two divisions of the Army of Catalonia led by Juan de Courten and Jerónimo Girón-Moctezuma, Marquis de las Amarillas. This Spanish setback in an attempt to capture Perpignan marked the high point of their invasion of Roussillon.
Jerónimo Morejón Girón-Moctezuma, 3rd Marquis de las Amarillas, born 7 June 1741 at Málaga and died 17 October 1819 at Seville, became a general officer in the army of the Kingdom of Spain and commanded division-sized combat units during the War of the Pyrenees in 1793 and 1794. Though he attained high rank, he displayed limited military talent. Shortly after succeeding to the top command of the Army of Catalonia, he was dismissed for blunders made on the battlefield.
Juan de Courten (elder) or Juan Antonio Curten Massenet or Juan Courten or Juan Curten began his Spanish military career in the War of the Austrian Succession at the age of 14. His father was a brigadier general of engineers who died in 1745. Courten fought in the Spanish–Portuguese War (1761–1763), the Invasion of Algiers in 1775, and the Great Siege of Gibraltar. He was the last Spanish governor of Oran in 1792. As a lieutenant general, he led an infantry division during the War of the Pyrenees against the First French Republic in several actions including Perpignan, Peyrestortes, Truillas, Boulou, and the Black Mountain. He was appointed Captain General of Aragon in 1795.
The Battle of Perpignan or Battle of Niel on 17 July 1793 saw the French Army of the Eastern Pyrenees led by Louis-Charles de Flers defending against an offensive by the Spanish Army of Catalonia commanded by Antonio Ricardos. The French turned back the Spanish attacks and forced their opponents to pull back. Perpignan is now the capital of Pyrénées Orientales department, but in 1793 was the chief city of Rousillon province. The action was fought during the War of the Pyrenees, part of the War of the First Coalition.
Hilarion-Paul-François-Bienvenu du Puget de Barbantane disgraced himself during the French Revolutionary Wars by abandoning the Army of the Eastern Pyrenees during a crisis. A nobleman, he was made colonel of the Aunis infantry regiment in 1788. He was promoted general of brigade in 1791 and general of division the following year. He intrigued to obtain command of the Army of the Eastern Pyrenees and got his wish when Louis-Charles de Flers was dismissed in August 1793. When the Spanish commander Antonio Ricardos surrounded Perpignan with a chain of fortified camps, Barbantane panicked and fled the city, going absent without leave.
The Battle of Collioure saw troops from the Kingdom of Spain attack a Republican French division during the War of the Pyrenees. The Spanish troops led by Gregorio García de la Cuesta were completely successful in ousting the French under Louis Pierre François Delattre from Collioure, Fort Saint-Elme and Port-Vendres. The contending sides were the Spanish Army of Catalonia commanded by Antonio Ricardos and the French Army of the Eastern Pyrenees led by François Amédée Doppet and Eustache Charles d'Aoust. In September 1793, the French successfully defended Perpignan from Spanish attack but December saw a series of French defeats. One of the French representatives on mission, Claude Dominique Côme Fabre was killed during the fighting at Collioure. Aoust and Delattre were arrested, condemned and executed by guillotine for the disaster.