1794 Battle of Fleurus: major victory by forces of the First French Republic under General Jean-Baptiste Jourdan over the Coalition Army (Great Britain, Hanover, Dutch Republic, and Habsburgs) first use of reconnaissance balloon

June 26, 2022

The Battle of Fleurus occurred during the War of the First Coalition (1792- 97) and was an important victory for forces of the French Republic under General Jean-Baptiste Jourdan. The battle occurred near Fleurus, Belgium, on 26 June 1794 and involved about 28,000 French soldiers against 20,000 Coalition troops.

Despite being outnumbered two to one in numbers, Jourdan attacked before dawn on a cold winter morning with artillery from all angles as his infantry marched forward. The British responded with their superior firepower but were routed at length by a series of charges led by Generals Dominique Vandamme and Auguste Marmont, who proved their skill at leading cavalry into action.

Interesting Facts about the Battle of Fleurus

  • The Battle of Fleurus was an essential victory in the Spring 1794 Campaign of the First Coalition. French troops commanded by General Jourdan defeated armies of The Holy Roman Empire, Great Britain, Hanover, and Hesse-Kassel (or Hesse-Cassel) under General Kinsky.
  • The Coalition Army took so many casualties that it spoiled a planned invasion by the French coastal fleet at Brest, leading to its surrender on 18 September 1796.
  • The battle occurred near the town of Fleurus, which is now part of the municipality of Fleron in the province of Hainaut, Belgium.
  • A memorial erected at the place in 1910 marks the site of the battlefield.
  • Major General Jean-Baptiste Jourdan (1762 – 1833) was a French general best known for his victory at Fleurus during the War of the First Coalition.
  • Major General Jean-Baptiste Jourdan is also famous for his subsequent command in chief after he helped contain Napoleon Bonaparte's 1796 Italian campaign against The First Coalition armies based in northern Italy.


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