Battle of Courtrai (1794)
|Battle of Courtrai (1794)|
|Part of War of the First Coalition|
Map of Kortrijk by Joseph de Ferraris
|Commanders and leaders|
Count of Clerfayt|
Duke of York
|Casualties and losses|
Willems: 2,400, 13 guns|
The 2nd Battle of Courtrai (10–12 May 1794) saw a Republican French army under Jean-Charles Pichegru launch attacks on Coalition forces commanded by François Sébastien Charles Joseph de Croix, Count of Clerfayt and Prince Frederick, Duke of York and Albany. On the 10th the attack on the Duke of York was repulsed in what is often called the Battle of Willems. But the attack on the Count of Clerfayt on the 11th proved successful. A clash to the north of Kortrijk (Courtrai) at Ingelmunster on the 12th ended the fighting. The War of the First Coalition battle was fought near Kortrijk, Belgium, located about 85 kilometres (53 mi) west of Brussels.
On 10 May 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. The following day, the French shifted the weight of their attacks against Clerfayt and forced him to retreat to the north. 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.
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