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Battle of Borgo (Borgo)

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Battle of Borgo
Part of French invasion of Corsica
1794 Jeffreys Map of Corsica, France - Geographicus - Corsica-jeffreys-1794

Corsica at the time of the battle
Date 8th October 1768
Location Borgo, Corsica
Result Corsican victory
Belligerents
Republic of Corsica Kingdom of France
Commanders and leaders
Pasquale Paoli
Clément Paoli
Marquis de Chauvelin
Comte de Marbeuf
Marquis de Ludre (POW)
Strength
15,000 38,000
Casualties and losses
600 killed
c. 1200 wounded
6500 killed
25,000 captured
10,000 wounded

The Battle of Borgo was a battle between Corsican and French forces over control of the town of Borgo on 8 October 1768, during the French invasion of Corsica.

Prelude

In October 1768, Pasquale Paoli tried to recapture Borgo, where a French force of 700 men under de Ludre was entrenched awaiting reinforcements. During this time. Pasquale Paoli ordered his entire force to march on Borgo, whilst Clément Paoli kept a watch on Pascal's rear to prevent Grand-Maison from descending from Oletta, where he had taken refuge. The main roads between Bastia and Borgo were also kept under surveillance by the Corsicans. The marquis de Chauvelin learned of the fate awaiting his countrymen and sent Grand-Maison towards Borgo. Marbeuf and Chauvelin left Bastia with 3,000 men to join the force in Borgo. Ludre and his 700 men entrenched themselves in Borgo awaiting the assault. Paoli inspired his troops by telling them "Patriots, recall the Corsican Vespers, when on this very spot you destroyed the French. The honour of the fatherland and public liberty today need all your valour. Europe is watching you.".

Course

Battle commenced on the morning of 8 October 1768 and lasted ten hours. Grand-Maison tried in vain to defeat Clément Paoli and his men.

Late in the afternoon Chauvelin was hit and killed by a random musket ball. This prompted the French army to rout, abandoning the field and most of their artillery pieces. Marbeuf managed to lead a semi-orderly retreat back to Bastia with part of his regiment, while Ludre surrendered.

French public opinion was shocked and outraged at the defeat, prompting King Louis XV to dismiss the duc de Choiseul, who had sponsored the expedition. No further attempts were made to occupy the island.

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