1706 – Siege of Menin

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Hierarchical Path: War of the Spanish Succession (Main Page) >> Sieges >> 1706 – Siege of Menin

The siege lasted from 4 to 22 August 1706

Introduction

After the capitulation of Ostend (6 July 1706), the Duke of Marlborough marched to Courtrai (Kortrijk), intending to capture Menin (Menen), a first class French fortress recently constructed.

Menin had a garrison of 6,000 men commanded by the Comte de Caraman.

In August, Marlborough’s Allied Army invested Menin.

Map

Map of the siege of Menin in 1706 – Copyright: Dinos Antoniadis
Key to the map:
1 Great communication bridge
2 Communication bridges
3 Opening of the Right Attack
4 Opening of the Left Attack
5 Cannon Batteries
6 Mortar Batteries
7 Small Hand Mortars
8 The two locations where Allied miners worked to blow up the ravelin
9 The location where the mine of the defenders exploded

The position of the Fortress of Menin near the French border led to many sieges in the history of the city. There were as many as 22 sieges between 1579 and 1830.

From 1668 to 1713, the city was part of France. Between 1679 and 1689, Vauban turned Menin into a model-fortification (1679–1689).

Description of Events

On 4 August 1706, the Allies started digging the trenches in front of Menin.

By August, the Allied lines were complete and approach trenches were begun.

By 9 August, 72 cannon and 24 mortars were in action and other guns were on their way.

On 15 August, the covered way was stormed.

On 18 August, the Allies installed themselves on the glacis and controlled of the covered way.

By 21 August, a large breach was formed.

In the morning of 22 August, the Allies started a fierce bombardment. Before it became necessary to storm the breach, the governor surrendered on terms.

The garrison was allowed to march out of Menin with full honors and was escorted to Douai.

Outcome

By the time the Allies had made themselves masters of Menin, the French had an army in the field again.

On 27 August, the Allies began the siege of Dendermonde. It was led by Marlborough's brother. The place surrendered at the beginning of September and its garrison became prisoners of war.

In 1715, the “Treaty of the Barrier” granted the Dutch Republic the right to have a garrison in Menin, as well as in five other places in Flanders, to constitute a "barrier" against a possible French aggression. Menin remained a barrier-place for the Dutch Republic against France from 1715 to 1781.

Orders of Battle

Allies

Commander-in-Chief: John Churchill, Duke of Marlborough

Summary: 50 bns, 24 sqns

Siege Corps (32 bns, 24 sqns)

Infantry (32 bns)

  • British Webb (1 bn)
  • ??? Hay (1 bn) unidentified unit
  • British Ivens (1 bn) probably Evans's Foot
  • British Welch Regiment of Fuzileers (1 bn) aka Ingoldsby's Foot
  • ??? Mortiengry (1 bn) unidentified unit
  • Hanoverian Rantzow (1 bn)
  • Hanoverian Saint-Pol (1 bn)
  • Hanoverian Gohr (1 bn)
  • Hanoverian Starcke (1 bn)
  • Dutch Hertog van Saksen-Eisenach (1 bn)
  • Dutch Vegelin van Claerbergen (1 bn)
  • ??? Ysslingen (1 bn) unidentified unit
  • Prussian Garde (1 bn) unidentified unit, maybe the Prussian Leib-Regiment
  • Dutch (Prussian) Kronprinzen (1 bn)
  • ??? Erbprinz von Hesse (1 bn) unidentified unit, probably the Hessian Erbprinz Friedrich Infantry
  • ??? Lottum (1 bn) unidentified unit, probably the Prussian Lottum Infantry
  • Dutch Soutelande (1 bn)
  • Dutch (Scot) Lauder (1 bn)
  • Dutch Baron Pallandt (1 bn)
  • Dutch Dedem (1 bn)
  • Dutch Heukelom (1 bn)
  • Dutch Oranje-Friesland (1 bn)
  • ??? Haxhousen (1 bn) unidentified unit
  • Dutch Hollandsche Gardes (1 bn)
  • Dutch Slangenburg (1 bn)
  • Dutch (Swiss) Albemarle (1 bn)
  • Dutch Heyden (1 bn)
  • Dutch (Swiss) Chambrier (1 bn)
  • Dutch (Scott) Murray of Melgum (1 bn)
  • Dutch (Swiss) Tscharner (1 bn)
  • ??? Donnep (1 bn) unidentified unit
  • ??? Prince Carl (1 bn) unidentified unit

Cavalry (24 sqns)

  • British Wood's Horse (1 sqn)
  • British Carabineers (1 sqn) aka Wyndham’s Horse
  • British Cadogan’s Horse (1 sqn)
  • Hanoverian Garde du Corps (2 sqns)
  • Hanoverian Reden Cavalry (2 sqns)
  • Hanoverian Croix de Fréchapelle Cavalry (2 sqns)
  • ??? Van der Nath (1 sqn) unidentified unit
  • ??? Anspach (1 sqn) unidentified unit, maybe the Anspach-Bayreuth hired unit Schmettau Dragoons or the Prussian Ansbach Dragoons
  • ??? Schlippenbach (1 sqn) unidentified unit, maybe the Dutch Schlippenbach Dragoons or the Prussian Schlippenbach Horse
  • ??? Wittgenstein (1 sqn) unidentified unit, maybe the Prussian Wittgenstein Dragoons or the Palatine Wittgenstein Dragoons
  • Dutch Garde Dragonders (2 sqns)
  • ??? Pouwel (2 sqns) unidentified unit
  • Dutch Chanclos (2 sqns)
  • Dutch Dompré (2 sqns)
  • ??? Wittenberg (1 sqn) unidentified unit
  • ??? Rantzau (1 sqn) unidentified unit, probably the Danish 2nd Sjællandske Cuirassiers
  • Danish Livgarden til Hest (1 sqn)

Reinforcements of 8 August (6 bns)

Infantry (6 bns)

  • ??? La Loo (1 bn) unidentified unit
  • Dutch Salisch (1 bn)
  • Dutch Fagel (1 bn)
  • Dutch Ranck (1 bn)
  • Hanoverian Gauvin (1 bn)
  • Prussian Grumbkow (1 bn)

Reinforcements of 14 August under Lieutenant-General Fagel (12 bns)

Infantry (12 bns)

  • British Tatton (1 bn)
  • ??? Gebbin (1 bn) unidentified unit
  • ??? Cappel (1 bn) unidentified unit, may the Dutch Baron van Keppel or the Dutch (Swiss) Capol
  • ??? Colliar (1 bn) unidentified unit, probably the Dutch (Scot) Colyear
  • ??? Tscharmer (1 bn) unidentified unit, maybe a second battalion of the Dutch (Swiss) Tscharner
  • ??? Zwerin (1 bn) unidentified unit, probably the Prinz von Mecklenburg Schwerin
  • Dutch (Swedish) Graaf van Oxenstierna (1 bn)
  • Hanoverian Coseritz (1 bn)
  • Hanoverian Du Breuille (1 bn)
  • Dutch Prince Royal Hollandais (1 bn) unidentified unit
  • Prussian Anhalt-Zerbst (1 bn)
  • Dutch (Prussian) Kronprinzen (1 bn) mentioned twice

Franco-Spanish

Commander-in-Chief: Lieutenant-General Comte de Caraman

Summary: 6,000 men (12 bns and 4 dragoon sqns)

References

Clash of Steel – Menin

Folkers, Maarten: 1706, Ramillies and Turin

Royal Collection Trust – Menen, 1706 Plan du Siège de la Ville de Menin avec ses Environs et du Campement de l’Armée des Alliés sous le Commandement de Mons.r le General Zalichs pour l’Attaque de ladite Ville

Wikipedia Menen

Acknowledgements

Dinos Antoniadis for the initial version of this article.