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Siege of Riga (1812)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Siege of Riga
Part of the French invasion of Russia
Siege of Riga 1812 Postcard.jpg

Siege of Riga depicted in a postcard
Date24 July – 18 December 1812[1]
Riga, Russian Empire now Latvia
56°57′N 24°6′E / 56.950°N 24.100°E / 56.950; 24.100
Result Russian victory
First French Empire French Empire
Kingdom of Prussia Prussia
Russian Empire Russian Empire
United Kingdom United Kingdom
Commanders and leaders
First French Empire Jacques MacDonald
Kingdom of Prussia Julius von Grawert
Kingdom of Prussia Ludwig Yorck
Russian Empire Magnus G. von Essen
Russian Empire Filippo Paulucci
Russian Empire Ivan F. Emme

United Kingdom Thomas Byam Martin
28,000-32,500[1][2] 27,000[1][2]
  current battle
  Prussian corps
  Austrian corps

The siege, lasting from July to December 1812, was tried in vain by Marshal Jacques MacDonald, with a force of 30,000 men of the Grande Armée, facing Russian defenders under command of military governor of Riga Magnus Gustav von Essen (who in October 1812 was replaced by Filippo Paulucci) and Riga commandant Ivan Fyodorovich Emme.[3] The defenders were aided by the British Baltic squadron under Rear Admiral Thomas Byam Martin.[4]


The English Admiral, Martin, contributed greatly to the defence of Riga with his gunboats.[4]

The division of gunboats under Captain Stuart had proceeded up the Boldero river, to cooperate with the garrison of Dunamunde. The British destroyed the only bridge of Kalnezeen.[5]

In August, Martin led a British-Russian force on a diversionary naval raid on the major French base at Danzig.[6]


The French did not try to storm Riga and eventually withdrew in December 1812, what finally led to the Convention of Tauroggen[7]


  1. ^ a b c Clodfelter 1980, p. 175.
  2. ^ a b Bodart 1908, p. 446.
  3. ^ Gorshman 1996, pp. 626-627.
  4. ^ a b Naval Chronicle 1812, p. 159.
  5. ^ Naval Chronicle 1812, p. 253.
  6. ^ Grainger 2014, p. 207.
  7. ^ Riehn 1990, p. 398.


Further read

  • Robson, Martin (2014). A History of the Royal Navy: Napoleonic Wars. I.B.Tauris. ISBN 9781780765440.

In popular culture

This page was last edited on 13 July 2021, at 15:07
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