The First Coalition (3)

1792 to 1797

Revolutionary zeal continued to build in 1794 with victories at Tourcoing, Hooglede and Fleurus.

Jourdan captured Brussels and Antwerp and finally drove the Austrians from the Netherlands.

On the southern border, French forces checked moves from Spanish armies, but lost Corsica, its West Indies holdings and the naval battle of First of June.

The northern Netherlands - the United Provinces - were Protestant and joined the fight against France when its southern cousins were annexed into Revolutionary France.

Early in 1795, General Jean Pichegru moved against the Protestant Dutch and seized its ice-locked fleet with horsemen.

The Netherlands was now under complete French control.

On 16 May, Prussia quit the war and signed the Treaty of Basle. Soon after, Spain and the minor German states also made their peace with France.

In June, the British navy landed 3500 pro-royalist and émigré troops in France at Quiberon. The hope was to ferment unrest, but the plan underestimated French resolve and Hoche moved quickly to crush the insurgents.

The uprising was short-lived and fewer than half of the landed troops escaped back to Britain.

One major loss for France was that of General Pichegru who, defeated at Mainz on 29 October, defected to the Austrians rather than face the wrath of his superiors, or the bite of the guillotine.

In 1796, the two remaining protagonists - France and Austria - squared up to each other in Germany and Italy.


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