Siege of Verdun, 29 August-2 September 1792

The siege of Verdun (29 August-2 September 1792) was the second and last military success during the Austrian and Prussian invasion of France at the start of the War of the First Coalition. The Allied army crossed the French border in mid-August, heading for Paris, but Karl Wilhelm Ferdinand, duke of Brunswick, the commander of the army, was not a great supporter of the Allied plan, and progress was slow. The border fortress of Longwy fell on 23 August, and the Allied then advanced towards Verdun.

War of the First Coalition - Rhine Front 1792
War of the First Coalition -
Rhine Front 1792

The great fortress was not prepared to resist a long siege, but even so the governor of the town, Colonel Nicholas Beaurepaire, was determined to resist for as long as possible. Beaurepaire was outvoted by the municipal officers, and either shot himself during a council of war or was murdered. On 31 August Brunswick summoned Verdun to surrender without success, but after a short artillery bombardment the fortress capitulated on 2 September.

The Allied army continued to advance slowly towards Paris, allowing the French to gather a large army under Dumouriez and the elder Kellerman. On 20 September the Allies failed to break the French lines at Valmy, and in the aftermath of the battle pulled back across the French border. On 14 October Verdun was retaken by the French.

Napoleonic Home Page | Books on the Napoleonic Wars | Subject Index: Napoleonic Wars

How to cite this article: Rickard, J (8 January 2009), Siege of Verdun, 29 August-2 September 1792 , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/siege_verdun_1792.html

Help - F.A.Q. - Contact Us - Search - Recent - About Us -  Subscribe in a reader - Join our Google Group - Cookies