Siege of Le Pouzin, 5-15 October 1574

The siege of Le Pouzin (5-15 October 1574) was one of a number of sieges that took place in the south of France during the gap between the Fourth and Fifth Wars of Religion.

The small town or large village of Le Pouzin, on the west bank of the Rhône, was considered to be a strong position, only approachable by four men at a time. It was defended by a small Huguenot garrison commanded by the veteran leader Montbrun, the victory of the short first siege of Livron in June 1574. The attacking army was also led by the same man as at Livron, François de Bourbon, Prince Dauphin d'Auvergne, the eldest son of the Duke of Bourbon-Montpensier. This time Dauphin had a much more substantial force under his command, somewhere between 12,000 and 18,000 men made up of France, Swiss, German and Piedmontese contingents. The increase in the size of his army was due to the arrival of the new king, Henry III, in the south of France in early September on his way back from Poland. Catherine de Medice had reached Lyons in late August and immediately began to raise new troops for her son.

Dauphin began the siege with a general assault, but this was repulsed and he settled down to conduct a formal siege. The weak walls of the town were quickly shattered, and by mid-October it was clear that the place would soon fall. Montbrun and the garrison managed to escape to Privas, and on 15 October the town was occupied by Dauphin's army. It was then sacked and burnt.

The French Religious Wars 1562-1598, Robert Jean Knecht. A useful guide to the complex series of nine French Wars of Religion, including an examination of who the wars began and the main players on both sides, narrative accounts of the wars, overviews of the most important battles and sieges. Also looks at the impact of the wars on France’s neighbours, many of whom got dragged into the conflict, and on a selection of soldiers and civilians. Supported by a series of maps that help show how complex the conflict was
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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (1 March 2011), Siege of Le Pouzin, 5-15 October 1574 , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/siege_le_pouzin.html

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