Battle of Sans Culottes Camp

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Battle of Sans Culottes Camp
Part of War of the Pyrenees
Date5 February 1794
Result French victory
France Republican France Spain Kingdom of Spain
Commanders and leaders
France Jean de Frégeville
France Augustin Lespinasse
Spain Ventura Caro
Spain José de Urrutia
Units involved
Army of the Western Pyrenees Army of Navarre and Guipuzcoa
unknown 13,000
Casualties and losses
235 335

The Battle of Sans Culottes Camp (5 February 1794) saw a Spanish Royal army commanded by José de Urrutia y de las Casas attack part of the Republican French Army of the Western Pyrenees under Jean-Henri-Guy-Nicolas de Frégeville. The Spanish assault seized two key positions behind the Bidasoa River but was unable to overrun the main position, called Sans Culottes Camp after an eight-hour contest. The War of the Pyrenees action was fought at a location described as being "in front" of (that is, west of) Saint-Jean-de-Luz near the modern border between Spain and France.

Ventura Caro y Fontes had 20,000 troops in the Spanish Army of the West Pyrenees. He ordered his left wing near Irun and center in the Baztan Valley to attack the French camps behind the Bidasoa. French army artillery chief Augustin de Lespinasse gave up the outlying fortifications in order to concentrate his strength in the main camp. By the time Frégeville arrived on the scene, the Spanish attack had lost its momentum. Bon-Adrien Jeannot de Moncey, later a Marshal of France under Napoleon, was promoted to general of brigade for his distinguished actions during the battle.


  • Cust, Edward (1859). "Annals of the Wars: 1783-1795". Retrieved 11 May 2015.
  • Phipps, Ramsay Weston (2011). The Armies of the First French Republic: Volume III The Armies in the West 1793 to 1797 And, The Armies In The South 1793 to March 1796. USA: Pickle Partners Publishing. ISBN 978-1-908692-26-9.
  • Smith, Digby (1998). The Napoleonic Wars Data Book. London: Greenhill. ISBN 1-85367-276-9.

Coordinates: 43°21′47″N 1°41′56″W / 43.36306°N 1.69889°W / 43.36306; -1.69889