Battle of Honnecourt

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Battle of Honnecourt
Part of the Thirty Years' War and the
Franco-Spanish War (1635–59)
Pieter Snayers - The battle of Honnecourt 1642.jpg
The Battle of Honnecourt, by Peter Snayers.[1] Oil on canvas. in the Museo del Prado.
Date26 May 1642
Result Spanish victory
 Spain  France
Commanders and leaders
Francisco de Melo Comte de Guiche
Comte de Harcourt

10,000 men[2]

  • 8,000 infantry
  • 2,000 cavalry
20 guns

10,000 men[2]

  • 7,000 infantry
  • 3,000 cavalry
10 guns[2]
Casualties and losses
500 killed and wounded[2][3]


  • 3,200 killed
  • 500 wounded
  • 3,400 captured
10 guns captured[2]

The Battle of Honnecourt was a battle of the Thirty Years' War fought on 26 May 1642. The Spanish, led by Francisco de Melo, were victorious over the French under Antoine III de Gramont, Comte de Guiche.

A Spanish army under Melo and Jean de Beck besieged and captured the fortified town of Lens and exploited its success by advancing on the nearby fortress of La Bassee.[2] Henri, Count of Harcourt, commanding the French in army in Picardy and Antoine III de Gramont, commander of Champagne, moved to relieve the town.[2] Melo took 10,000 men, including 7,000 infantry in 12 regiments, from his army to intercept them.[2]

In the battle the French Champagne army took heavy casualties, losing 40% of its strength.[2] 1,200–2,000 killed and wounded and 2,500–3,000 men and 10 guns captured, leaving Northern France wide open for the Spanish army.[2][3] But the Spanish victory was not exploited because Francisco de Melo decided to be cautious.

One year later De Melo lost the historic Battle of Rocroi, making the battle of Honnecourt a footnote in history.



  1. ^ Hrnčiřík, Pavel: "La batalla de Honnecourt" de Peeter Snayers, Boletín del Museo del Prado, no. 41, pp. 60–69.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Guthrie 2003, p. 191.
  3. ^ a b c Bodart 1908, p. 68.


  • Bodart, G. (1908). Militär-historisches Kriegs-Lexikon (1618-1905).
  • Guthrie, William. P. (2003). The Later Thirty Years War: From the Battle of Wittstock to the Treaty of Westphalia. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press. ISBN 0-313-32408-5.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 50°02′15″N 3°11′47″E / 50.0375°N 3.1964°E / 50.0375; 3.1964