Battle of Le Cateau (1794)

The Battle of Le Cateau (29 March 1794) took place at the start of the 1794 Flanders Campaign during the War of the First Coalition, part of the French Revolutionary Wars. It saw three Republican French divisions led by Antoine Balland, Jacques Gilles Henri Goguet and Jacques Fromentin attack a Habsburg Austrian force commanded by Paul Kray. The Austrians drove off the French and inflicted four French casualties for every Austrian casualty.

Battle of Le Cateau (1794)
Part of the War of the First Coalition
Date29 March 1794
Result Coalition victory
Habsburg Austria Republican France
Commanders and leaders
Paul Kray Antoine Balland
Jacques Goguet
Jacques Fromentin
7,000 15,000
Casualties and losses
293 1,200, 4 guns

The Action

Le Cateau-Cambrésis is located 24 kilometres (15 mi) southwest of Cambrai. Pre-empting the opening of the Allied offensive, the French launched an attack on Austrian positions at Le Cateau, and at Beauvais and Solesmes, two villages in the vicinity of Landrecies. These positions were carried by the Republicans, but Austrian cavalry were moved forward in advance of the forward units and charged. In the face of this counterattack, the French were stricken with panic and fled, leaving behind 5 guns and 400 dead. Many prisoners were taken, including sixty dragoons who had dismounted and run into a wood. Austrian losses in comparison were 120 men.[1]

Three weeks later, the Coalition army would launch its spring offensive and open the Siege of Landrecies.[2][3]


  1. T. N. Longman p.31
  2. Phipps 2011, p. 285.
  3. Smith 1998, p. 72.


  • Phipps, Ramsay Weston (2011). The Armies of the First French Republic: Volume I The Armée du Nord. USA: Pickle Partners Publishing. ISBN 978-1-908692-24-5.
  • Smith, Digby (1998). The Napoleonic Wars Data Book. London: Greenhill. ISBN 1-85367-276-9.
  • Longman, T. N. (1794). A Full, Accurate and Impartial History of the Campaign; from January 1794, to the present time. London.

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