Siege of Bellegarde, May-25 June 1793

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The siege of Bellegarde (May-25 June 1793) was an early Spanish success during the War of the Convention which saw them capture the important French border fortress of Bellegarde, on the main road across the eastern Pyrenees from Catalonia to Perpignan. The War of the Convention began on 7 March 1793 with a French declaration of war, but it was the Spanish who moved first. In April an army under General Ricardós advanced across the border and approached Perpignan. A small Spanish force was left at Bellegarde, which sits on a hill to the south-west of the town of Le Perthus, to prevent the 1,200 strong garrison, under Colonel Bois Brûlé from operating in the Spanish rear, but in May Ricardós received reinforcements, and he began a full scale blockade of the fortress.

The Spaniards summoned the garrison to surrender, and then began a full scale bombardment. Three batteries of mortars and cannons were set up outside the fortress. The Spanish bombardment lasted for forty days. Forty-two of the fifty French guns were dismounted, and eventually a practical breach was made in the walls. Bois-Brûlé assembled a council of war which decided to capitulate. On 25 June the 900 surviving members of the garrison marched out with the full honours of war and went into captivity in Spain. The Spanish campaign in eastern France lasted into the next year, but in May 1794 the French began their own siege of Bellegarde, and on 17 September 1794 the Spanish garrison surrendered.

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (26 February 2009), Siege of Bellegarde, May-25 June 1793 , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/siege_bellegarde_1793.html

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