Battle of Mouscron

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Battle of Mouscron
Part of the French Revolutionary Wars
Mouscron.jpg
The Battle of Mouscron 1794 by Charles Louis Mozin
Date 26–29 April 1794
Location Mouscron, present-day Belgium
Result French victory
Belligerents
France Republican France Habsburg Monarchy Habsburg Austria
Commanders and leaders
France Charles Pichegru
France Joseph Souham
Habsburg Monarchy Count of Clerfayt
Strength
28,000 10,000
Casualties and losses
1,500, 6 guns 1,760, 13 guns

The Battle of Mouscron (26–29 April 1794) was a series of clashes between the combined Habsburg Austrian and Hanoverian corps of François Sébastien de Croix de Clerfayt and the Republican French Army of the North under Jean-Charles Pichegru. During the fighting, the French captured Mouscron, but the Coalition forces recaptured the town on the 28th before being driven out again on the 29th. This secondary but significant action of the Flanders Campaign happened during the War of the First Coalition, part of the French Revolutionary Wars. Mouscron is located in Belgium, close to the French border and 10 kilometres (6 mi) south of Kortrijk (Courtrai).

Battle[edit]

In late April 1794 the Allied army under Prince Josias of Coburg lay besieging the fortress of Landrecies. The overall French strategy was to outflank the Allies by attacking their northern and southern flanks, however delays held up this plan. In the meantime Pichegru made several relief attempts in the centre, but all were repulsed, on 26 April one of the columns commanded by René-Bernard Chapuy was almost completely destroyed at the Battle of Beaumont-en-Cambresis by the Prince Frederick, Duke of York and Albany. These Republican failures led to the surrender of Landrecies on April 30.

On the French left wing in the north however a diversion in Flanders had more success. On 29 April the two divisions of Jean Victor Marie Moreau and Joseph Souham, 50,000 men strong, debouched from Lille and marched against the Allied right wing under Clerfayt. They recaptured the fortress of Kortrijk and drove Clerfayt back at Mouscron, enabling them to recapture Menin. Clerfayt tried unsuccessfully to recapture Kortrijk on 10 May.

The significance of this action was the dilemma placed on Coburg. With the fall of Landrecies the road to Paris was open, however feeling their flanks threatened the Allies halted, giving the Republic time to launch their flanking movements. The next significant action of this front was the Battle of Tourcoing.

References[edit]