Siege of Brussels

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Siege of Brussels
Part of: War of the Austrian Succession
date January 29 - February 22, 1746
place Brussels (Austrian Netherlands)
output French victory, capture of the city
Parties to the conflict

France Kingdom 1792France France

Habsburg MonarchyHabsburg Monarchy Austria


Maurice de Saxe

Count Eugène de Lannoy de la Motterie

Troop strength
22,000 12,000

The siege of Brussels lasted from January to February 1746 and was part of the War of the Austrian Succession . A French army under the command of Lieutenant General Maurice de Saxe besieged and captured the capital of the Austrian Netherlands .

In 1745, much of the British mainland army had been called back to England to put down the Jacobite and Charles Edward Stuart revolt. So only a few troops could be opposed to the French. Encouraged by this fact, the Maréchal de Saxe moved in front of Brussels and enclosed the city. After just a few weeks, two breaches were made in the ramparts, and the Austrian defenders were forced to capitulate.

As a result, the governor of the Austrian Netherlands, Wenzel Anton von Kaunitz-Rietberg , had to withdraw with his administration to Antwerp . This siege brought about a serious change in the views of the Austrian allies, particularly Great Britain and the United Netherlands , who had considered themselves protectors of Brussels. As a late consequence of this, Kaunitz found himself a decade later as a negotiator in the Austro-French negotiations when Austria turned away from Great Britain and turned to France, making Austria an ally of France in the Seven Years War .

After Brussels, other cities and fortresses in the Austrian Netherlands were conquered by France, such as Mons and Namur .

Brussels remained in French hands until the Treaty of Aachen was signed in 1748 . In January 1749 the French left the city and returned it to Austria.


  • Reed Browning: The War of the Austrian Succession. Alan Sutton Publishing, 1994.
  • Stephen Brumwell: Paths of Glory. The Life and Death of General James Wolfe. Continuum International Publishing Group, ISBN 978-0-7735-3261-8 .
  • John Manchip White: Marshal of France. The Life and Times of Maurice de Saxe. Rand McNally & Co., 1962.