Battle of Courtrai (1794)

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Battle of Courtrai (1794)
Part of the War of the First Coalition
Kortrijk, Belgium ; Ferraris Map.jpg
Map of Kortrijk by Joseph de Ferraris
Date 10–12 May 1794
Location Kortrijk, Belgium

10th May

  • British victory

11th May

  • French victoy
France Republican France Habsburg Monarchy Habsburg Austria
United Kingdom Great Britain
Electorate of Brunswick-Lüneburg Hanover
Hesse Hesse-Darmstadt
Commanders and leaders
France Charles Pichegru Habsburg Monarchy Count of Clerfayt
United Kingdom Duke of York
60,000 40,000
Casualties and losses
Willems: 2,400, 13 guns
Courtrai: 1,000
Willems: 325
Courtrai: 1,500

The 2nd Battle of Courtrai (10–12 May 1794) saw a Republican French army under Jean-Charles Pichegru launch attacks on Coalition forces commanded by François Sébastien Charles Joseph de Croix, Count of Clerfayt and Prince Frederick, Duke of York and Albany. On the 10th the attack on the Duke of York was repulsed in what is often called the Battle of Willems. But the attack on the Count of Clerfayt on the 11th proved successful. A clash to the north of Kortrijk (Courtrai) at Ingelmunster on the 12th ended the fighting. The War of the First Coalition battle was fought near Kortrijk, Belgium, located about 85 kilometres (53 mi) west of Brussels.

On 10 May the French infantry formed square to repel Coalition cavalry charges for the first time during the war. Later in the day, after being bombarded by British artillery, three squares were finally broken with heavy losses. The following day, the French shifted the weight of their attacks against Clerfayt and forced him to retreat to the north. As a result of the battle, the French Army of the North maintained the grip on Kortrijk and Menen (Menin) which it had won in the Battle of Mouscron in April. The next Coalition attempt to eliminate the French hold on the area resulted in the Battle of Tourcoing a week later.


Coordinates: 50°50′N 3°16′E / 50.833°N 3.267°E / 50.833; 3.267