1712 – Siege of Landrecies

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Hierarchical Path: War of the Spanish Succession (Main Page) >> Sieges >> 1712 – Siege of Landrecies

The siege lasted from July to August 1712

Introduction

On 6 June 1712, the Allies had held a council of war where it was decided to lay siege to the Fortress of Le Quesnoy and, after its capture, to the Fortress of Landrecies.

On 24 June, the British General Lumley arrived at the camp of Prince Eugène de Savoie and told him that the Duke of Ormond had been ordered, with all troops in British pay, to occupy Dunkerque. Nevertheless, Prince Eugène managed to persuade the generals of the Dutch troops in British pay to remain with him.

In July, after the capture of Le Quesnoy, Despite, the withdrawal of the British Contingent, Prince Eugène retained his original plan to besiege the Fortress of Landrecies. The Prussian General Duke Leopold von Anhalt-Dessau was entrusted with the command of the siege corps which marched to Landrecies. His corps consisted of 34 bns and 30 sqns.

On 17 July, the Allied siege corps marched to a camp on the right bank of Sambre extending from Maroilles to Or.

On 18 July, the siege of Landrecies started. 30 bns and 30 sqns were on right bank of the Sambre, 4 bns on the left.

Map

Map of the siege of Landrecies in 1712 – Courtesy: Dinos Antoniadis

The fortifications of Landrecies were in good conditions and the fortress was supplied with everything necessary.

The garrison consisted of 6 infantry rgts under the command of M. du Barail.

Description

On 18 July, the Allied opened the trench. It traced a circumvallation-line extending 2.4 km on the left bank of the Sambre River and 1.2 km on its right bank, some 3,000 paces from the fortress. An "Observation army" of 67 bns and 220 sqns under the direct command of Prince Eugène was positioned between Fontaine-au-bois and Thiant. The left wing of this army deployed near Fontaine-au-bois covered the line of communication with Anhalt-Dessau's siege corps.

The Dutch General of Cavalry Earl of Albemarle defended the bridgehead and the bridge of boats at Denain with 10 bns and 23 sqns. His corps started to erect another wooden bridge.

Furthermore, Secquin was posted with a detachment of 7 bns between Thiant and Denain, and Berckhoffer with another detachment (6 bns and 3 sqns) in Fenain.

On 24 July, Albemarle was defeated in the Battle of Denain. Form 25 July, a French force under Broglie blockaded Marchiennes, where the Allies had their most important magazines.

The Dutch now feared the Fortress of Douai and other fortresses and called for an operation to relieve Douai. Since Prince Eugène was dependent on the Dutch after the withdrawal of the British, he had to give in to their urging and took the necessary steps to raise the siege of Landrecies.

General Grovestine, who was returning from his foray into the Province of Champagne, received the order to march to Tournai and to harass the enemy with his detachment.

On 1 August, the Allies sent a few bns as reinforcements to the garrison of Le Quesnoy

On 2 August, the Allies sent a reinforcement of 1 bn and 300 horse to the garrison of Bouchain. The same day in the morning, Prince Eugène raised the siege of Landrecies and the siege artillery was transported to Le Quesnoy. The siege corps made a junction with the main army at Poix.

Order of Battle

Allied Order of Battle

Commander of the Siege Corps: General Duke Leopold of Anhalt-Dessau

Summary: 34 bns, 30 sqns


Infantry (34 bns) under FML Prince Holstein-Beckand FML Fechenbach, seconded by Major-Generals Borck, Zibelsdorff, Viçouse and Bonneval

  • Bonar's Brigade (6 bns)
    • ??? Holstein (1 bn)
    • Imperial Deutschmeister (1 bn)
    • Würzburg Tastungen (1 bn)
    • Imperial Baden (1 bn)
    • Palatine Freudenberg (1 bn)
    • Palatine Dillenburg (1 bn)
  • Coseritz and Hompesch Brigade (23 bns)
    • Saxon Garde zu Fuss (1 bn)
    • Saxon Königin (1 bn)
    • Hessian Leibgarde zu Fuß (1 bn)
    • Hessian Dönhoff (1 bn)
    • Dutch Hollandsche Gardes (1 bn)
    • Dutch (Scot) Lauder (1 bn)
    • Dutch (Scot) Murray (1 bn)
    • Dutch Buchwitz (1 bn)
    • Prussian Markgraf Albrecht (1 bn)
    • Dutch (Prussian) Kronprinz (1 bn)
    • Württemberg Leib-Regiment (1 bn)
    • Dutch Nassau-Dillenburg (1 bn)
    • Dutch Vegelin (1 bn)
    • Dutch Els (1 bn)
    • Hessian Prinz Maximilian (1 bn)
    • ??? Smith (1 bn)
    • Dutch Lindeboom (1 bn)
    • Dutch Fagel (1 bn)
    • Prussian Leib-Regiment (1 bn)
    • Prussian Varenne (1 bn)
    • ??? Heyden (1 bn)
    • Danish Plessen (1 bn)
    • Danish Praetorius (1 bn) aka Oldenborgske
  • Beaupré's Brigade (4 bns)

Cavalry (30 bns) under FML Falkenstein, seconded by Major-Generals du Portail and Prince Württemberg

  • Kneyl's Brigade (13 sqns)
    • Imperial Savoyen Dragoons (1 sqn)
    • Imperial Fels Dragoons (1 sqn)
    • ??? Württemberg (1 sqn)
    • Imperial Pálffy Cuirassiers (1 sqn)
    • Imperial Falkenstein Cuirassiers (1 sqn)
    • Imperial St. Croix Cuirassiers (1 sqn)
    • Palatine ?Leib-Regiment? (1 sqn) maybe Carabiniers
    • Palatine Haen Dragoons (1 sqn) former Leiningen
    • Palatine Wittgenstein Dragoons (1 sqn)
    • Saxon Milkau Dragoons (1 sqn)
    • Holsteiner von der Nath Dragoons (1 sqn)
    • Dutch Erbprinz van Hesse-Cassel Cavalry (2 sqns)
  • Albe's Brigade (17 sqns)
    • Dutch Erbach Cavalry (2 sqns)
    • Dutch Athlone Cavalry (2 sqns)
    • Dutch Vittinghof Cavalry (1 sqn)
    • Dutch Nassau-La Leck Cavalry (2 sqns)
    • Prussian Albe Dragoons (4 sqns)
    • Danish Grabow Cuirassiers (1 sqn)
    • ??? Kneyl (1 sqn)
    • Hanoverian Ghelen Dragoons (3 sqns)
    • Wallon Walef Dragoons ( 1 sqn)

French Order of Battle

Commander of the fortress: General du Barail

Summary: 6 infantry rgts

References

Eberswald, H. S. v.: Spanischer Successions-Krieg Feldzug 1712, II. ser. V. file, Vienna 1889

Acknowledgement

Harald Skala for the initial version of this article