14 April, 1814

Despite knowing of the abdication of Napoleon Bonaparte, the besieged governor of Bayonne, General Pierre Thouvenot, decided he would break out from the British encirclement.

On a pitch-black night, the general led 5000 men in a surprise attack against the British lines and threw the redcoat army into utter confusion.

Quick-reacting reinforcements contained the threat and then forced Thouvenot's men back.

The futile attempt cost the French just over 900 casualties and the British some 840. A major loss for the besieging army was when General Lord Andrew Hay was mortally wounded.

Bayonne was eventually surrendered on 27 April.


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