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Siege of Bergen op Zoom (1814)

The Siege of Bergen op Zoom (8 March 1814), took place during the War of the Sixth Coalition between a British force led by Thomas Graham, 1st Baron Lynedoch and a French garrison under Guilin Laurent Bizanet and Jean-Jacques Ambert. The initial British assault force seized part of the defenses, but a well-managed French counterattacked and compelled much of the assault force to surrender. Bergen op Zoom is a port in the Netherlands about 70 kilometres (43 mi) south of Rotterdam and 40 kilometres (25 mi) north of Antwerp in Belgium.

Assault

French General Guilin Laurent Bizanet had 2,700 soldiers in the garrison when, under cover of night and using local intelligence, Graham attacked. The French, however, were positioned well, and the population allied with them as they fought in the streets. The attacking British troops took heavy casualties. General Bizanet remained in control of Bergen op Zoom until a peace accord was signed.

Forces and casualties

One source named Bizanet as the governor and Jean-Jacques Ambert as the French commander. The 2,700-man French garrison sustained 500 killed and wounded and 100 captured during the action. Of the 4,000 troops in the British assault force, 2,100 were killed, wounded or captured. In addition to the units listed below, the source counted the 2nd Battalion of the 35th Foot in the assault force. The Guards Brigade consisted of three companies of the 1st Foot Guards and four companies each of the 2nd Foot Guards and 3rd Foot Guards, all from the 2nd Battalions of the regiments.[1]

British Order of Battle

Graham formed his troops into four columns as follows:[2]

Commander Unit Number of Men
1st Column Colonel Lord Proby Brigade of Guards 1,000
2nd Column Lieutenant-colonel Morrice, 69th Foot 55th Foot 250
69th Foot 350
33rd Foot 600
3rd Column Lieutenant-colonel Henry, 21st Foot 21st Foot 400
91st Foot 100
37th Foot 150
4th Column Brigadier-general Gore / Lieutenant-colonel Carleton 44th Foot 300
Flank companies of the 21st and 37th Foot 200
1st Foot 600
Total 3,950

Notes

  1. ^ Smith 1998, pp. 508–509.
  2. ^ C. J. Barrington (pub) 1814, p. 377-78.

References

  • Alison, Archibald (1842). History of Europe from the Commencement of the French Revolution to the Restoration of the Bourbons. 10. Paris: Baudry's European Library. Retrieved 13 February 2016.
  • C. J. Barrington (pub) (1814). The Military Panorama, Or, Officer's Companion.
  • Nafziger, George (1994). "French Garrisons in the Lowlands, 1 January 1814" (PDF). United States Army Combined Arms Center. Retrieved 21 February 2016.
  • Smith, Digby (1998). The Greenhill Napoleonic Wars Data Book. London, UK ; Mechanicsburg, PA, USA: Greenhill Books ; Stackpole Books. ISBN 9781853672767. OCLC 37616149.