French Revolutionary Wars Timeline: 1792

Go here for the French Revolutionary Wars in a Nutshell.

If these timelines of the French Revolutionary Wars are too detailed, check the  French Revolutionary Wars - Key Events, which are a summary of the years 1792-1802.

For events closer related to the Revolution see the  Timeline of the French Revolution 1789-1799.

Go here for the  Napoleonic Wars 1803-1815.


February 7, 1792
Holy Roman emperor
Leopold II and Prussia's king Frederick William II sign a treaty of alliance.


March 1, 1792
Holy Roman Emperor
Leopold II dies at Vienna. Leopold's son Francis becomes the new Holy Roman Emperor Francis II.


March 9, 1792
The new French Defense Minister is Pierre-Marie de Grave. He succeeds
Louis-Marie-Jacques-Almaric de Narbonne.


March 16, 1792
Assassination of Swedish king
Gustav III. He will not recover.


March 20, 1792
Legislative Assembly decrees the use of the guillotine.


March 25, 1792
King Louis XVI approves of the decree from March 20, 1792, introducing the  guillotine.

Also on March 25, 1792: France sends an ultimatum to Austria, advising to disperse all émigrés in their country, or else.


March 29, 1792
Gustav III dies.


April 4, 1792
The law number 1606 from April 4, 1792, concerning the French colonies, states that "Men of color and free negroes are admitted to vote in every parish assemblies, and are eligible to all places."

Meanwhile the Haitian Revolution is still in full swing on Saint Domingue.

April 13, 1792
Creation of the
Army of the Midi. Commander: Anne Pierre, marquis de Montesquiou-Fezensac.



The French Revolutionary Wars begin.
The War of the First Coalition begins.

April 20, 1792

France declares war on Austria, who, in turn, allies with Prussia. The
War of the First Coalition, the first chapter of the French Revolutionary Wars, has begun.


April 25, 1792
guillotine is used for the first time. Scoundrel Nicolas Jacques Pelletier, who had killed the person he wanted to rob, was awarded the honor.


April 29, 1792
France invades the Austrian Netherlands (Belgium) with two armies, and then retreats.

Armand-Louis de Gontaut, aka the Duke de Biron, leads the first army of 10,000 men to capture Mons, where Austrian General Beaulieu was stationed.

They had set up camp at Quiévrain the previous night. Now marching direction Mons, they made it as far as Boussu, (5 miles or 10 km west of Mons) where suddenly troops took flight, screaming "We have been betrayed."

This was the Battle of Mons, also called the Battle of Quiévrain.

Another army, led by General Théobald Dillon, was ordered by General Dumouriez to capture Tournai to avoid confrontation.

They march on Tournai but meet Austrian troops between Lamain and Marquoin. Skirmish ensues. Following orders, Dillon commands his men to retreat. His soldiers thought Dillon had betrayed them and killed him back at Lille.

This was the first Battle of Tournai in this war. See May 22, 1794, for more.

And here is Mons, Tournay, and Lille on a map:

Map Location Battles of Mons and Tournai
Map Location Battles of Mons and Tournai
Click to enlarge



May 9, 1792
The new French Defense Minister is Joseph Servan. He succeeds Pierre-Marie de Grave.


May 18, 1792
Russia invades Poland, thus triggering the Russo-Polish War of 1792. This war will end with the Second Partition of Poland on January 23, 1793.


May 20, 1792
Dr. Antoine Louis, inventor of the
guillotine, dies at Paris after having fallen ill.


June 12, 1792
The new French Defense Minister is
Charles-Francois Dumouriez. He succeeds Joseph Servan.


June 13, 1792
Recall of the Girondin ministers.


June 16, 1792
The new French Defense Minister is Pierre-Auguste Lajard. He succeeds
 Charles-Francois Dumouriez, who goes to war as commander of the Army of the North.


June 20, 1792
Parisians storm the Tuileries Palace, but this is nothing in comparison with what will be happening on August 10, 1792.


July 12, 1792
The Assemblee Legislative declares,

Many troops are advancing toward our borders. All those who hate freedom arm themselves against our constitution. Citizens, the country is in danger.

Lafayette, formerly commander of the
Army of the Center, becomes the new commander of the Army of the North. New commander of the Army of the Center is Luckner.


July 21, 1792
Luckner transfers to the Army of the North because Rochambeau had resigned. Today, Armand-Louis de Gontaut, duke de Biron is the new commander of the Army of the Rhine.


July 23, 1792
The new French Defense Minister is Charles-Xavier-Joseph Franquetot d'Abancourt. He succeeds Pierre-Auguste Lajard.


July 25, 1792
Brunswick Manifesto (Manifeste de Brunswick)

This manifesto is a threatening message from the Prussian General  Charles William Ferdinand Duke of Brunswick (Karl Wilhelm Ferdinand von Braunschweig) to the French, advising them to leave King Louis XVI and his family unharmed, or else.

This manifesto was not drafted by Brunswick himself, and he hesitated to sign it. And rightly so. For the Parisians, instead of being intimidated, it served as a unifier.

In response to this threat, the French will feel very patriotic and will accelerate. See August 10, 1792.


July 30, 1792
 Duke of Brunswick leaves Coblenz with his troops, expecting to reach Paris before fall. However, his troops will move much slower than that.


August 10, 1792
Storming of the Tuileries Palace. Overthrow of the monarchy.
France is now a republic.

Today is perhaps even more important in French history than July 14, 1789 (Storming of the Bastille).

The First Terror begins. It will end on September 20, 1792. (The Reign of Terror is the Second Terror)


August 11, 1792
The new French Defense Minister is the old Defense Minister Joseph Servan. He succeeds Charles-Xavier-Joseph Franquetot d'Abancourt.


August 13, 1792
The royal family is thrown into the Temple prison.


August 18, 1792
Lafayette is declared a traitor. Dumouriez is the new commander of the Army of the North (Armée du Nord).


August 19, 1792
 Duke of Brunswick and his troops cross the frontier to France.

The Princess of Lamballe is transferred from the Temple prison to the La Force prison.

In the night of August 19/20, Lafayette flees the country. But he gets arrested by the Prussians. They will transfer him to the Austrians, who will keep him a prisoner until 1797.


August 23, 1792
The Prussians take Longwy.


September 2, 1792
The Prussians take Verdun.

The September Massacres begin. This mass killing of prisoners is part of the First Terror and will last until September 6, 1792.

Moreton-Chabrillant is the new commander of the Army of the North. His post is temporary.


September 3, 1792
The Princess of Lamballe (Marie-Thérèse Louise de Savoie-Carignan) one of Marie-Antoinette's closest friends, is snatched from prison and lynched by the mob, and her head carried on a pike in front of the latter's window.


September 6, 1792
The September Massacres end. All in all, about 1,200 prisoners were killed by the mob. These massacres had started on September 2, 1792.


September 20, 1792
French victory at the
 Battle of Valmy. The French, led by Charles-François Dumouriez and François-Christophe Kellermann, fight against invading Prussians and Austrians.

The First Terror ends. It had begun on August 10, 1792. (The Reign of Terror is the Second Terror)


September 21, 1792
Formal abolition of the monarchy. Today, the proclamation from August 10, 1792 is legally confirmed.

The Legislative Assembly is replaced by the National Convention.


September 22, 1792
Proclamation of the Republic.

First day of the French Republican Calendar.
Today is 1 Vendémiaire, year I. But people don't know it yet because the French Republican Calendar won't be official until October 5, 1793, when it will be implemented retroactively.

Sometime between today and November 1792, Marianne becomes the name for the French Republic. Today, therefore, is her birthday, if you will. In pictures, she appears most of the time wearing a Phrygian cap, aka the cap of liberty. The French kept her on their government logo to this day.

Marianne Heading Liberté, Egalité, and Fraternité
Marianne Heading Liberté, Egalité, and Fraternité


September 25, 1792
The Convention decrees that "the Republic is one and inseparable."


September 28, 1792
La Bourdonnaye is the new commander of the
Army of the North.


September 29, 1792
D'Anselme calls his right wing of the Army of the Midi,
Army of the Var. The name will stick.


September 30, 1792
Battle of Spires. also spelled Speyer, French victory, led by
General Custine. 20,000 French troops against 12,000 Austrians. The French take 2,900 prisoners. The Austrians surrender.


October 1, 1792
The right wing of the Army of the North becomes the
Army of the Ardennes. Commander: Dumouriez. Formerly, it had been the right wing of the Army of the North.

The left wing of the Army of the Rhine becomes the Army of the Moselle. Commander: Kellermann.

Creation of the Army of the Interior. Commander: Berruyer.

Creation of the Army of the Pyrenees. Commander: Servan.

Creation of the Army of the Vosges. Commander: Custine.


October 4, 1792
The French, led by
General Custine march on Worms and the city immediately surrenders.


October 8, 1792
The Prussians abandon Verdun.


October 18, 1792
The new French Defense Minister is Jean-Nicolas Pache. He succeeds Joseph Servan.


October 19, 1792
The French besiege Mainz (Mayence).


October 21, 1792
Having been besieged since October 19, 1792, t
he city of Mayence (Mainz) surrenders to the French, led by
General Custine.

Bombardment of Mainz (Mayence) — October 1792
Bombardment of Mainz (Mayence) — October 1792
Contemporary engraving by unknown artist


October 22, 1792
The French, led by
General Custine take Frankfurt.

The Prussians abandon Longwy.


November 3, 1792
The French, led by
General Dumouriez invade the Austrian Netherlands.


November 6, 1792
 Battle of Jemappes. French victory.


November 13, 1792
The French take Brussels.


November 16, 1792
A French warship enters Ostend (Oostende, Ostende) without resistance.


November 17, 1792
The French take Malines (Mechelen.)


November 19, 1792
After the massacres of September and some victories in the war, the Convention declares that "it will grant fraternity and assistance to all people who want to regain their freedom."


November 20, 1792
Discovery of the famous iron chest at the Tuileries. A trial of Louis XVI becomes inevitable.


November 27, 1792
The French take Liège (Luik, Lüttich.)

The National Convention declares the annexation of Savoy (Savoie). In December it will become the département du Mont-Blanc.

Map Location of Savoy (Savoie) 1792
Map Location of Savoy (Savoie) 1792
Click to enlarge


November 29, 1792
Antwerp surrenders to the French.


December 2, 1792
Namur surrenders to the French.

Battle of Frankfurt. The Prussians and Hessians recapture Frankfurt from French  General Custine and his men.

The Army of the Midi (Army of the South) is split into the Army of the Alps (Commander: Kellermann) and the Army of Italy (Commander: Anselme).

D'Anselme and his " Army of the Var" (officially the right wing of the Army of the Midi) become the Army of Italy.


December 3, 1792
Louis XVI is incarcerated since August 13, 1792. What to do with him?
Robespierre speaks before the National Convention:

Neither prison nor exile can make public happiness indifferent to the existence of a dethroned king [...], a king whose name alone attracts the scourge of war on an agitated nation.  [...]

I state with regret the fatal truth: Louis must die, because the country must live.

The National Convention decrees that Louis XVI shall be tried by the National Convention.


December 10, 1792
General Dumouriez is again the commander of the Army of the North. He also has the command over the Army of the Ardennes.

The trial of the citizen Louis Capet (King Louis XVI) begins. Technically, it is still Louis XVI rather than Louis Capet, because of the Constitution from September 3, 1791. Either way, Louis' formal indictment lists 33 crimes.


December 11, 1792
Louis appears at his trial. His charges are read. Louis is interrogated by Barère, and has to respond to and justify each one of them.


December 12, 1792
Louis is granted a conseil de défense. Members of this legal counsel are François Denis Tronchet, former president of the bar association, Chrétien-Guillaume de Lamoignon de Malesherbes, two times a minister, and Raymond de Sèze, former judge and lawyer.


December 15, 1792
The French take Aachen (Aix-la-Chapelle.)


December 25, 1792
Louis XVI signs his Last Will


December 26, 1792
Louis presents his defense.

By speaking perhaps for the last time, I declare that my conscience does not reproach me, and that my defense counsel has told you the truth.

This is the second and last time that Louis personally appears at his trial. Louis' lawyers respond and plead not guilty on all 33 counts.

Louis XVI at His Trial Before the National Convention on December 26, 1792
Louis XVI at His Trial Before the National Convention on December 26, 1792
Louis XVI a la Convention nationale le 26 décembre 1792
Engraving by Pierre Adrien Le Beau, 1793
Bibliothèque nationale de France


December 27, 1792
New commander of the Army of Italy: Brunet (temp)


December 30, 1792
Valence is the new commander of the Army of the Ardennes, but still under
General Dumouriez (Army of the North, see December 10, 1792).




More History


French Revolution 1789–1799

Timelines of the French Revolution

French Revolution: Year 1789

French Revolution: Year 1790

French Revolution: Year 1791


French Revolutionary Wars 1792-1802

Timelines of the French Revolutionary Wars

French Revolutionary Wars: Year 1792

French Revolutionary Wars: Year 1793

French Revolutionary Wars: Year 1794

French Revolutionary Wars: Year 1795

French Revolutionary Wars: Year 1796

French Revolutionary Wars: Year 1797

French Revolutionary Wars: Year 1798

French Revolutionary Wars: Year 1799

French Revolutionary Wars: Year 1800

French Revolutionary Wars: Year 1801

French Revolutionary Wars: Year 1802


Napoleonic Wars 1803-1815

Timelines of the Napoleonic Wars

Napoleonic Wars: Year 1803

Napoleonic Wars: Year 1804

Napoleonic Wars: Year 1805

Napoleonic Wars: Year 1806

Napoleonic Wars: Year 1807

Napoleonic Wars: Year 1808

Napoleonic Wars: Year 1809

Napoleonic Wars: Year 1810

Napoleonic Wars: Year 1811

Napoleonic Wars: Year 1812

Napoleonic Wars: Year 1813

Napoleonic Wars: Year 1814

Napoleonic Wars: Year 1815



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