Siege of Antwerp (1832) - History

History

When the Dutch withdrew from Belgium after the campaign called the Ten Days Campaign, they left a garrison in the citadel of Antwerp, which resulted in a second operation of the Armée du Nord of Marshal Gérard, who returned with his army to Belgium November 15, 1832, when he laid siege to Antwerp.

The Dutch general Chassé, a former soldier of Napoleon, bombarded the city of Antwerp from the fort using heated shot, setting fire to hundreds of homes and causing many casualties among the civilian population. This caused the intervention of the Belgian volunteers who until then had been kept out of combat. Meanwhile, the Belgian army, gradually formed and re-equipped, went to defend the dikes of the Scheldt north of Antwerp, preventing the Dutch from damaging them.

For several decades, the siege tactics of the Vauban fortresses were limited to the method of the saps and parallels, usually causing the surrender of the besieged soon after the fortifications were pierced. The Armée du Nord conceived of the idea of using one of the first large mortars. Unlike guns and muskets that shoot in a straight line, mortars can fire a projectile through a curve that allows it to land directly on top of the fortress's defenders' heads.

Leopold I gave several guns of various calibers to France and Marshal Gerard received a sword of honor offered by the King and the Belgian government in gratitude. The French Monument, carved in 1897 to celebrate the memory of French soldiers who fell for the capture of Antwerp in 1832, is currently in Tournai following the refusal of the city of Antwerp to host this monument.

In June 1837, to celebrate the marriage of the Duke of Orleans, the Champ de Mars in Paris served to represent the scene of the mock capture of the citadel of Anvers.

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