Battle of Kempen

Battle of Kempen
Part of the Thirty Years' War
Kempenerheide.jpg
Engraving by Matthäus Merian in the Theatrum Europaeum
Date17 January 1642
LocationKempen, present-day North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
ResultFranco-Hessian victory
Belligerents
 France
Electorate of Saxony Saxe-Weimar
Landgraviate of Hesse-Kassel

 Holy Roman Empire

Commanders and leaders
Kingdom of France Comte de GuébriantHoly Roman Empire Guillaume de Lamboy (POW)
Strength

9,500[1][2][3]
23 guns

  • 2,000 French-Weimar infantry
  • 3,500 French-Weimar cavalry
  • 2,000 Hessian infantry
  • 2,000 Hessian cavalry
9,000 present[2]
6,000 effective[4]
6 guns
Casualties and losses

375[1]


115 killed
260 wounded

6,500–7,000[5][2][6]


4,000 killed and wounded
2,000–2,500 killed
3,000–5,000 captured
6 guns
120 or 166 flags and standards

The Battle of Kempen was a battle during the Thirty Years' War in Kempen, Westphalia on 17 May 1643. It resulted in the victory of a French-Weimar-Hessian army under the French Comte de Guébriant and the Hessian Generalleutnant Kaspar Graf von Eberstein against the Imperial Army under General Guillaume de Lamboy, who was captured.[5]

Background

Guébriant's Franco-Weimarian Army of Germany consisted of 2,000 infantry in 12 regiments and 3,500 cavalry in another 12 regiments.[3] It joined up with Eberstein's Hessian army of 4,000 men, split in equal halves of infantry and cavalry, in December 1641 near the Rhine.[3] The Allies crossed the Rhine at Wesel and began to ravage the vicinity of Cologne. Lamboy, whose Imperial force of 9,000 men and 6 guns had been assisting the Spanish in the Low Countries, crossed the Meuse as Imperial Field Marshal Melchior Graf von Hatzfeldt marched from winter quarters in Würzburg with 7,000 reinforcements. Guébriant resolved to attack Lamboy before Hatzfeldt could arrive.[4] The Allies were also running out of food. A third of Lamboy's men were combat ineffective due to sickness or lack of weapons. Overconfident, he ignored his instructions to wait for Hatzfeldt and set up a strong position behind a double ditch near Hüls.[4]

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