Welcome to *** Battle of the Day ***

Brought to you by ‘Clash of Steel’, an ongoing project to record, analyse, study and commemorate military engagements throughout history.
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The following anniversaries have been found for 29th November :
Anglo-Dutch War, First
The 364th anniversary of off Foreness Point (Battle, 29 November 1652)
– A victory for Dutch Fleet over English Fleet
Parliament had decided to reduce the size of the fleet over the winter months. Admiral Blake with only forty ships came up against the Dutch fleet of ninety-six ships under the command of Admiral Tromp. The English fought from noon until night fell and lost heavily in ships sunk and taken. As dusk fell they made for the safety of their harbours. It was after this battle that Tromp hoisted a broom to his masthead to indicate that he had swept the English from the sea.
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The French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars
The 224th anniversary of Antwerp (Battle, 29 November 1792)
(Part of French War of the First Coalition)
– A victory for French Forces over Coalition Forces [Austrians]
The small isolated garrison, the Coalition had withdrawn from the remainder of Belgium, did not stand a chance. Only a small number of Austrians were killed or wounded the rest were made prisoners of war.
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The 208th anniversary of the start of Somosierra (Battle, 29 November 1808 – 30 November 1808)
(Part of The Peninsular Campaign)
– A victory for French Army of Spain [Napoleon] over Spanish Army [San Juan]
San Juan’s force were sent to hold up the French approach to Madrid by blocking the Somosierra Pass. On the 29th San Juan’s forward positions in the village of Sepulveda were over run. On the 30th troops fron Victor’s corps were working their way round the Spanish position when Napoleon ordered his personal escort cavalry to charge straight up the pass. They almost succeeded but 60 of the 80 were killed. A more coordinated attack of infantry supported by guns and in the later stages heavy cavalry eventually won the day. San Juan was killed by his own men when he attempted to stem their flight.
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The 204th anniversary of the end of Crossing the Beresina (Battle, 21 November 1812 – 29 November 1812)
(Part of Napoleon’s Russian Campaign)
– A victory for French Forces over Russian forces
Napoleon’s Grande Armée had fallen to between 49,000 and 25,000 effectives [with possibly another 40,000 stragglers following on]. His line of march from Moscow to Minsk lead to a crossing of the river Beresina at Borisov. He had Kutusov with the main Russian army [65,000] in distant pursuit, Wittgenstein’s I Corps [30,000] closing from the north and Tshitshagov, Third Army of the West [34,000] approaching from the southwest across the road to Minsk. In a series of actions, by bluff, subterfuge, dogged fighting and brilliant engineering Napoleon was able to extricate a significant body of troops to link up with fresh troops and continue the retreat. Of the Russian high-command Kutusov was laggardly, Tchichagov was hesitant and only Wittgenstein showed spirit and determination.
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The 204th anniversary of the end of The Beresina Crossing (Engagement/Skirmish, 25 November 1812 – 29 November 1812)
(Part of Napoleon’s Russian Campaign, Crossing the Beresina)
– An inconclusive engagement between Grande Armée and Russian forces
General Eblé’s engineers constructed and heroically maintained two bridges from Studianka on the east bank to Brili on the west. On the 26th Oudinot [II Corps] crossed first followed by Ney [III Corps] . Other elements followed. The movement continued the next day and Napoleon crossed at 1300hrs on the 27th followed by the Imperial Guard. Victor’s IX Corps formed the rearguard. Valiant fighting held off the Russians from both ends of the bridges until the last elements of Victor’s Corps crossed at dawn on the 29th. Interspersed with all the formal movements were the actions, conditions and fates of the many stragglers attached to the Grande Armée. One indicator of the horrors they suffered was that the river was blocked by frozen corpses for weeks after the event.
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The 203rd anniversary of the end of Danzig (Battle, 16 January 1813 – 29 November 1813)
(Part of Napoleon’s Leipzig Campaign)
– A victory for Prussians & Russians over French & Allied Garrison
This important city port had been blockaded for almost a year. The Prusso-Russian figures refer to those present at the final capitulation; during the course of the siege their numbers had been as low as 15,000. An Anglo-Russian flotilla blockaded the seaward side of the port. Total casualties for the Prusso-Russians are not known. The French suffered 6,000 killed a further 6,000 sick, and 8,000 deserters, the remainder were captured.

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