Siege of Maubeuge (1793)

The Siege of Maubeuge (30 September – 16 October 1793) was a siege of the city of Maubeuge by an Austrian force of 60,000 men[1]:58 under the Prince of Saxe-Coburg during the War of the First Coalition. It was defended by a 20,000-strong garrison under the French Republican generals Desjardin and Mayer.[2]:66 The Prince was aiming to clear his march on Paris, but he had to raise the siege after the Republican victory at the battle of Wattignies and the prospect of the armée de la Moselle coming to raise the siege.

Siege of Maubeuge
Part of the French Revolution
Date30 September – 16 October 1793
Result French victory
Republican France Habsburg Austria
Dutch Republic
Commanders and leaders
Jacques Desjardin Prince Josias of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld
Prince of Orange
Garrison: 24,107
Relief Army: 45,000
Siege Army: 26,000
Observation Army: 37,000


At the end of summer 1793, the Republican forces came to secure Dunkirk, but the situation on the northern frontier remained delicate. The strongholds of Condé, Quesnoy and Valenciennes were effectively in the hands of the First Coalition.[2]:66 The Austrian commander in chief laid siege to Maubeuge, to the east of the main theatre of war, to guarantee his line of advance towards Paris.[2]:66 The French generals defending it were experienced but short on supplies.[2]:66

When he learned of the imminent arrival of the armée de la Moselle, the Prince left a major force of 33,000 men to continue the siege under the count of Clerfayt[2]:68 and moved to the Wattignies plateau to the south of Mauberge. After two days' fighting at Wattignies, the Prince ordered a general retreat on 16 October and raised the siege.[2]:71 After failing to take Maubeuge, the British and Austrian forces withdrew north and temporarily abandoned their plan to march on Paris.


  1. Digby Smith, The Greenhill Napoleonic Wars Data Book : Actions and Losses in Personnel, Colours, Standards and Artillery, 1792-1815, Greenhill Books, 1998 (ISBN 1-85367-276-9)
  2. Frédéric Hulot, Le Maréchal Jourdan, Pygmalion, June 2010 (ISBN 978-2-7564-0299-4)

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