Museum of Civilisation in Europe and the Mediterranean © Photo RMN-Grand Palais - F. Raux

The French cavalry at the Battle of Sedan.
Anonymous engraving.

The Battle of Sedan took place on 1 September 1870. It was an absolute defeat for the French army and resulted in the capture of Napoleon III. Particularly noteworthy were the desperate attempts of General Margueritte's horse soldiers on the Illy plateau to the northwest of the citadel of Sedan, whose repeated but unsuccessful charges resulted in the disorderly withdrawal of French troops inside the citadel.