Battle of Courtrai (1794)

The 2nd Battle of Courtrai (1012 May 1794) occurred during the War of the First Coalition near Kortrijk, Belgium, located about 85 kilometres (53 mi) west of Brussels.

Battle of Courtrai (1794)
Part of the War of the First Coalition

Map of Kortrijk by Joseph de Ferraris
Date1012 May 1794

10th May

  • British victory

11th May

  • French victory
Republican France Habsburg Austria
Great Britain
Commanders and leaders
Charles Pichegru Count of Clerfayt
Duke of York
60,000 40,000
Casualties and losses
Willems: 2,400, 13 guns
Courtrai: 1,000
Willems: 325
Courtrai: 1,500

The Republican French army under Jean-Charles Pichegru attacked the Coalition forces commanded by The Austrian Fieldmarshall François Sébastien Charles Joseph de Croix, Count of Clerfayt[1] and Prince Frederick, Duke of York and Albany.

On May 10, 1794, 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. This attack by the 7th Light Dragoons[2] is often referred to as the Battle of Willems [3] in Willems, Nord.[4]

But the attack on the Count of Clerfayt on the 11th, who had chased the French out of Courtrai with the help of Dutch Allies, proved successful for the French Troops, and forced Clerfayt to retreat to the north Thielt. Both sides lost between 700-800 Men.[1]

A clash to the north of Kortrijk (Courtrai) at Ingelmunster on the 12th ended the fighting.

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.


  1. Tucker, Spencer C. (2009-12-23). A Global Chronology of Conflict: From the Ancient World to the Modern Middle East [6 volumes]: From the Ancient World to the Modern Middle East. ABC-CLIO. ISBN 978-1-85109-672-5. p.978
  4. Fortescue, Sir John William (1918). British Campaigns in Flanders, 1690-1794: Being Extracts from "A History of the British Army,". Macmillan and Company, limited. p.319


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