Siege of Nieuport, 22-29 October 1793

The siege of Nieuport (22-29 October 1793) was an unsuccessful French attempt to capture the channel ports being used by the British Army in Belgium in 1793, and came in the aftermath of the French victory at Wattignies on 15-16 October. A French column of 12,000 men, under the command of General Vandamme, left Dunkirk, captured Furnes (just across the Belgian border), and then on 24 October opened a bombardment of Nieuport.

Nieuport was defended by just under 1,300 men, made up of the British 53rd Foot, two weak Hessian battalions and a few dragoons. A third battalion of Hessians reached the port on 27 October, but the town was saved by the prompt reaction of the main Allied commanders. Earlier in the month the Duke of York had moved east to Englefontaine in an attempt to help the Prince of Saxe-Coburg besiege Maubeuge. Once he discovered that his communications with Britain were under threat, the Duke of York moved west, followed by Saxe-Coburg with half of his army.

On the evening of 28 October General Grey reached Ostend, and sent the 42nd foot and four companies of light infantry to Nieuport. On the same night the Duke of York, with the main force, reached Camphin, close to Lille. On the next morning, realising that the relief army was near, Vandamme abandoned the siege, leaving four guns behind. Soon after this the campaign ended for the year,

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (15 January 2009), Siege of Nieuport, 22-29 October 1793 ,

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