Siege of Mainz, 14 April-23 July 1793

The siege of Mainz of 14 April-23 July 1793 saw a Prussian army recapture this key city on the west bank of the Rhine, which had fallen into French hands after a three day long siege in 1792. At that point the city had been poorly defended, but in 1793 it contained a garrison of 23,000 men under the command of the engineer François d'Oyré.

War of the First Coalition - Rhine Front 1793
War of the First Coalition
Rhine Front 1793

The city was surrounded by the Allies on 30 March, but was not invested until 14 April. The Prussians then took two months to prepare their siege works, and did not begin bombarding the outer defences until 5 June. The main bombardment began on 18 June.

The garrison held out for a month, before on 17 July a council of war decided to open negotiations, despite d'Oyré wanting to fight on. Negotiations began on the following day, and on 23 July the defenders accepted the Prussian terms. They were allowed to march out of Mainz with the honours of war, on the condition that they did not serve against France's external enemies for one year. The Convention refused to accept these terms, and ordered all of the officers involved to return to Paris for trial. Amongst the officers involved in the surrender was General Kléber, who had been trapped in the city. Many of the troops involved were sent west (including Kléber), where they helped to put down the revolt in the Vendée.

The French attempted to recapture Mainz in a third siege (14 December 1794-29 October 1795) but this ended in failure. The city was surrendered to France in the treaty of Campo Formio of 17 October 1797, and again in the peace of Luneville in 1801, and remained in French hands until 1814.

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (13 January 2008), Siege of Mainz, 14 April-23 July 1793 ,

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