French Wartime Reconnaissance Balloon Launched

The first wartime reconnaissance balloon was launched on June 26, 1794, during the Battle of Fleurus, Belgium. It was an engagement between the French Republic army under General Jean-Baptiste Jourdan who was mounting counter attacks against the British Coalition Army commanded by Prince Josias of Coburg. The French use of the reconnaissance balloon l’Entreprenant was the first military use of an aircraft that influenced battle results.

      June 26, 1794
      General Jean-Baptiste Jourdan
      Fleurus, Belgium

Additional Information:

  • History of military ballooning – Wikipedia
    The first successfully flown balloons were made in France by the Montgolfier brothers in 1782–1783. … The first decisive use of a balloon for aerial observation was performed by the French Aerostatic Corps using the aerostat l’Entreprenant (“The enterprising one”) at the Battle of Fleurus in 1794.
  • Eugène Godard – Wikipedia
    Eugène Godard Ainé was a notable French aeronaut, born in Clichy on August 26, 1827, died … After attending the launch of a gas balloon in 1845 however, he found his passion had a new direction and began building balloons. … balloons, organize balloonists companies, and perform observation ascents for the military.
  • In World War I, balloons posed a deadly advantage – Mashable
    Mar 2, 2016 – Hot air balloons and dirigibles were first used for military reconnaissance in the … Observation balloons were critical assets to both sides in World War I. Newly … French soldiers with cylinders of hydrogen used to inflate … An observation balloon is launched near Ypres, Belgium to spot enemy artillery.
  • Balloon Reconnaissance, History |
    Dec 29, 2019 – The French used balloon reconnaissance extensively in the … For several decades, visionary military leaders had called for the use of balloons in warfare. … Around the same time as the first balloon launches, another French …
  • No. 2404: Napoleon’s Aerial Crown
    Napoleon’s megalomania thwarting the use of observation balloons. … The French flew both the first manned hot-air balloons, and the first hydrogen balloons, in 1783. … On June 2, 1794, that became the balloon’s military proving ground.

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