26 June, 1794

An important battle in deciding the fate of the infant French republic, Fleurus is also noted for being one of the first battles to include aerial reconnaissance.

It occurred when a sizeable Austrian army under the Prince of Saxe-Coburg moved to attack a French army pushing into the Netherlands.

Saxe-Coburg's 52,000 regulars took on General Jean-Baptiste Jourdan's 75,000 troops, many of them conscipts, and found the going tough.

His poorly coordinated attacks were quickly countered by Jourdan who was able to observe the Austrian moves from several military balloons.

The battle, which lasted about six hours, was a major reverse for the First Coalition and ended Austrian control over the Netherlands.

French losses have been put at about 4000, while the Austrians suffered 2300 casualties.



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