Siege of Bergen op Zoom (1747)

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Siege of Bergen op Zoom
Bergen op Zoom fortress
Bergen op Zoom fortress
date July 1747 to September 1747
place Bergen op Zoom , Netherlands
output Conquest by the besiegers
Parties to the conflict

Republic of the Seven United ProvincesRepublic of the Seven United Provinces United Netherlands Great Britain
Great Britain kingdomKingdom of Great Britain 

France Kingdom 1792France France


Republic of the Seven United ProvincesRepublic of the Seven United Provinces General Cronstrom

France Kingdom 1792FranceLieutenant-General de Lowendal

Troop strength
10,000 30,000

8,000 favored, wounded or sick

20,000 fallen, wounded or sick

The siege of Bergen op Zoom was an event in the War of the Austrian Succession between the troops of the French army of the Maréchal de Saxe , under the command of Lieutenant-général Ulrich Frédéric Woldemar de Lowendal (German: Ulrich von Löwendal ), a later Maréchal de France , who had invaded the Dutch Republic of the Seven United Provinces and the occupation of the fortress of Bergen op Zoom, which they besieged in 1747 .

The siege

After the victory in the battle of Lauffeldt, the Maréchal Moritz von Sachsen ordered an army under the command of Lieutenant-général von Löwendal, an expert in this kind of warfare, to enclose and siege the fortress Bergen op Zoom. This was considered impregnable, and then the leader of the British troops, the Duke of Cumberland , and also the one to protect his Austrians of Maastricht parked General Batthyány familiar.

Bergen op Zoom was heavily fortified, with sufficient crews and ample supplies. In addition, the access to the sea was under the control of the fortress, so that a supply from the sea could not be prevented. The Dutch were therefore not particularly concerned.

On July 1, 1744, the French opened the trenches and on July 2, the artillery was set up so that the bombardment of the city could begin. The besieged made minor trips to disturb the pioneers who had begun to drive mines under the redoubts , lunettes and bastions . Artillery fire was also directed at the engineers from the ramparts, and countermines began to be dug. After a month of siege, the attackers had advanced to the covered path. However, the fortress was not yet defeated, the defenders still held a lunette in the main attack section. More than 75 mines had now been dug.

For the French, the time was on their necks when the coming autumn rains would have a destructive effect on the excavated earthworks of the siege ring. On September 18, 1747, the French commander launched a surprising general attack at 4 a.m., which took the defenders by surprise. This prank was followed by the total collapse of the defenders and the capture of the fortress. The subsequent brutal looting of the city was condemned across Europe.

The Maréchal de Saxe blamed Löwendal for this, but wrote to the king:

"" Sire, il n'est pas de moyen terme, vous devez le pendre, ou le faire Maréchal de France. »“

(Sire, there is no middle ground, either you let him down or you make him Marshal of France)

The siege of Bergen op Zoom cost the attackers about 20,000 dead, wounded and sick people, the defenders about 8,000 dead, wounded and sick people.


The fall of the fortress sparked disagreement between the Netherlands and Great Britain. The British government had to realize that it had overestimated the resilience of the Dutch against the French attackers. The Dutch in turn accused their allies of having done nothing to relieve the besieged city.

The removal of this important fortress finally opened the way for the attackers to the Netherlands and the Electorate of Hanover .


  1. the expression for the beginning of the siege at the time
  2. ↑ the latter also happened


  • Référence en Siege of Bergen op Zoom (1747)
  • Vie du Maréchal de Lowendal , Marquis de Sinety, Paris, Bachelin-Deflorenne, 1867.