Battle of Le Bourget

Battle Of Le Bourget

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Battle of Le Bourget

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The Battle of Le Bourget was part of the siege of Paris during the Franco-Prussian War, fought between 27 and 30 September 1870.


General Carey de Bellemare commanded the northern section of the Paris defenses, which, being in the vicinity of Saint Denis, was considered the strongest point. Facing de Bellemare was a German salient in the town of Le Bourget, which was held by the Prussian Guard of the Army of the Meuse. The salient at Le Bourget left the Guard isolated and vulnerable. De Bellemare grew restless at the inactivity of the Paris defenses, which were under the overall command of Louis Jules Trochu.

The battle

On September 27 1870, without authorization from Trochu, de Bellemare attacked Le Bourget. Taken by surprise, the Prussian Guard fell back from the city. News of de Bellemare's victory was greatly welcomed by the citizens but when he asked for reinforcements to hold the position, Trochu refused. Ironically both sides felt the same way about the village of Le Bourget. Both Trochu and the Prussian Guard felt the village offered no strategic advantage and was vulnerable to enemy artillery. To the Guardsmen, the end of the war was in sight and felt that a counter-attack would only cause more bloodshed over an unnecessary objective. However, the commander of the Prussian Army of the Meuse, Crown Prince Albert of Saxony, felt otherwise. He ordered the village be retaken on September 30. Despite their reservations about the counter-attack, the Prussian...
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