Siege of Cambrai, 1677

Louis XIV made two attempts to take Cambrai, once in 1649 and again in 1657, however he was repulsed both times. During the Dutch Wars, Vauban proposed to cut Cambrai and Valenciennes off by taking Condé-sur-l'Escaut and Bouchain first, and using these two towns as bases from which to strike at Valenciennes and Cambrai.

The Siege of Cambrai 1677, as viewed from the south of the city - the citadel can be seen on the right.

This plan was put into operation in early 1677, Condé-sur-l'Escaut and Bouchain falling without much resistance, leaving the way open for the siege of Valenciennes, which surrendered on the 17th March 1677.

Cambrai was now isolated, with 3 fortresses to the north of it in French hands, the chance of relief was slim at best. Louis XIV was present in person at the siege, which was conducted by Vauban. The trenches were opened on the 22nd March, and the town was taken on the 5th April.

The citadel was surrendered by the Spanish garrison on the 19th April, after having endured 29 days of siege (town and citadel). They marched out with the full honours of war, and Louis XIV congratulated the Spanish Commander for putting up a tenacious defence. The 1677 campaign left the Hainaut region firmly in the grasp of Louis XIV, and opened the way for further advances deep into the Spanish Netherlands.

The Siege of Cambrai 1677, as viewed from the south of the city - the citadel can be seen on the right.
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