Prince Eugene of Savoy
Born in Paris, Eugene grew up around the French court of King Louis XIV. Based on his physique and bearing, the Prince was initially prepared for a career in the church. Following a scandal involving his mother Olympe, he was rejected by Louis XIV for service in the French army, Eugene moved to Austria and transferred his loyalty to the Habsburg Monarchy. Spanning six decades, Eugene served three Holy Roman Emperors, Leopold I, Joseph I, and Charles VI, the Princes fame was secured with his decisive victory against the Ottomans at the Battle of Zenta in 1697, earning him Europe-wide fame. Renewed hostilities against the Ottomans in the Austro-Turkish War consolidated his reputation, with victories at the battles of Petrovaradin, nevertheless, in Austria, Eugenes reputation remains unrivalled. Eugene died in his sleep at his home on 21 April 1736, Prince Eugene was born in the Hôtel de Soissons in Paris on 18 October 1663. His mother, Olympia Mancini, was one of Cardinal Mazarins nieces whom he had brought to Paris from Rome in 1647 to further his, the Mancinis were raised at the Palais-Royal along with the young Louis XIV, with whom Olympia formed an intimate relationship.
Yet to her disappointment, her chance to become queen passed by. The King remained strongly attached to Olympia, so much so that many believed them to be lovers, after falling out of favour at court, Olympia turned to Catherine Deshayes, and the arts of black magic and astrology. Embroiled in the affaire des poisons, suspicions now abounded of her involvement in her husbands death in 1673. From the age of ten, Eugene had been brought up for a career in the church, in February 1683, to the surprise of his family, Eugene declared his intention of joining the army. The request was modest, not so the petitioner, he remarked, no one else ever presumed to stare me out so insolently. Denied a military career in France, Eugene decided to service abroad. One of Eugenes brothers, Louis Julius, had entered Imperial service the previous year, when news of his death reached Paris, Eugene decided to travel to Austria in the hope of taking over his brothers command. It was not a decision, his cousin, Louis of Baden, was already a leading general in the Imperial army, as was a more distant cousin, Maximilian II Emanuel.
On the night of July 26,1683, Eugene left Paris, by May 1683, the Ottoman threat to Emperor Leopold Is capital, was very real. With the Turks at the gates, the Emperor fled for the refuge of Passau up the Danube. It was at Leopold Is camp that Eugene arrived in mid-August, although Eugene was not of Austrian extraction, he did have Habsburg antecedents
Battle of Denain
The Battle of Denain was fought on 24 July 1712, as part of the War of the Spanish Succession. It resulted in a French victory under Marshal Villars against Austrian, the War of Spanish Succession had raged since 1701. After over a decade of war, France was in a dark period, in 1708, after the rout of Oudenaarde, nearly all the strongholds of northern France were under the control of the Austro-British coalition. There was an economic crisis leading to famine and high mortality in the populace, the command of the French northern army went to Marshal Villars in 1709, who wasted no time in seeing to its reorganization. Frances precarious position had stabilized, the Allies were unable to achieve their goal of forcing harsh terms on the Bourbons. In May 1712, Villars prepared to take the offensive, the French gathered an army of 200,000 men on the northern border, stretching from Arras to Cambrai. The Allied northern army was positioned along the Scarpe between Douai and Marchiennes, occupying the communes of Denain and Landrecies, in June, Prince Eugene besieged and captured Le Quesnoy.
The Duke of Ormonde withdrew his forces during the siege, leading to a rift between the British and the rest of the Allies, after a detailed examination of the enemy dispositions, Villars decided in the greatest secrecy to attack Denain. Elements of the French cavalry were sent to seize the bridges crossing the river Selle which ran through le Cateau to join the Scheldt opposite Denain. During the evening a French detachment took up positions around a mill at Haspres and that night the French infantry began to march towards Prince Eugene’s forces at Landrecies. In response to threat, Prince Eugene reinforced Landrecies, weakening the Allied right wing holding Denain. At dawn, Villars swung the line of advance of his army, at seven o’clock the French infantrymen reached Neuville-sur-Escaut and were immediately ordered to seize the bridges across the Scheldt. At eight o’clock, the Allies were surprised to discover the large French presence in the area, the Earl of Albermarle, at the head of the Dutch garrison in and around Denain, warned Prince Eugene, but the Prince of Savoy was not greatly concerned at the time.
By one in the afternoon the attack had developed to the point of an assault on the palisade at Denain, the French sappers led the infantry against heavy fire and took Denain at the point of the bayonet. Many defenders were killed and the remaining Dutch infantry attempted to escape across the mill bridge, realizing the gravity of the situation, Prince Eugene attempted to force his way across the Scheldt at Prouvy to help Albemarle. This left the Prince of Savoys army blocked on the flank by the Scheldt. There and his staff were taken prisoner, together with some 4,100 troops, the battle was not immediately recognised to be as decisive as it turned out to be, most of Prince Eugenes army was relatively unscathed. However, with the loss of Denain the Allied position began to unravel, David G. Marlborough as Military Commander
Battle at The Lizard
Duguay-Trouin and Forbin were two of the most successful French naval commanders and they caused much damage to the allied merchant fleet. On 20 October 1707 a large merchant fleet consisting of 80 to 130 English ships left Plymouth for Portugal with supplies for the war in Spain, there were five escorting English ships under command of Commodore Edwards. The next day near Lizard Point they were spotted by 2 French squadrons of 6 ships each. This battle was almost a complete victory for the French, the 80-gun Cumberland and the 50-gun ships Chester and Ruby were taken, the 80-gun Devonshire defended herself for several hours against seven French ships until she caught fire and blew up, only three men escaping out of 500. French sources speak of 60 ships out of 80, some British of none at all, probably the truth is somewhere in between, Polak in Bibliographie maritime française speaks of 15 merchant ships captured. Battles of the British Navy, from A. D.1000 to 1840, bell & Daldy publishing ASIN, B00087UD9S Jean et Michèle Polak, Bibliographie maritime française Commission Française dHistoire Militaire HMS Chester HMS Devonshire
Ferdinand de Marsin
Ferdinand, comte de Marsin was a French general and diplomat, who was Marshal of France. He was born in Liège as the son of John Gaspar Ferdinand de Marchin, Comte de Granville, Marsin served in Flanders, and was wounded at the Battle of Fleurus. He took part in the Battle of Neerwinden and the siege of Charleroi, in 1701–1702 he was French ambassador in Spain. In the War of the Spanish Succession, he was present at the Battle of Luzzara and he became marshal in 1703, after the battle of Speyerbach. In 1704 he was defeated at the Battle of Blenheim, together with Tallard, imprisoned in the same city, he died a few days later. Biography of Ferdinand comte de Marchin
War of the Spanish Succession
The War of the Spanish Succession was a major European conflict of the early 18th century, triggered by the death in 1700 of the last Habsburg King of Spain, the infirm and childless Charles II. Charles II had ruled over a vast global empire, and the question of who would succeed him had long troubled the governments of Europe, the English, the Dutch and the Austrians formally declared war in May 1702. By 1708, the Duke of Marlborough and Prince Eugene of Savoy had secured victory in the Spanish Netherlands and in Italy, France faced invasion and ruin, but Allied unity broke first. With the Grand Alliance defeated in Spain and with its casualties mounting and aims diverging and British ministers prepared the groundwork for a peace conference, and in 1712 Britain ceased combat operations. The Dutch and German states fought on to strengthen their own negotiating position, the Treaty of Utrecht and the Treaty of Rastatt partitioned the Spanish empire between the major and minor powers. The European balance of power was assured, in the late 1690s the declining health of King Charles II of Spain brought to a head the problem of his succession, a problem which had underlain much of European diplomacy for several decades.
The empire was in decline, but remained the largest of the European overseas empires, unlike the French crown, the Spanish crowns could all be inherited by, or through, a female in default of a male line. The next in line after Charles II, were his two sisters, Maria Theresa, the elder, and Margaret Theresa, the younger, Maria Theresa had married Louis XIV in 1660 and by him she had a son, Dauphin of France. The testament of her father, Philip IV, reiterated this waiver and bequeathed the reversion of the whole of the Spanish dominions to his younger daughter, Margaret Theresa. However the French, using in part the excuse that the dowry promised Maria Theresa was never paid, nor was it clear whether a princess could waive the rights of her unborn children. Leopold I married Margaret Theresa in 1666, at her death in 1673 she left one living heir, Maria Antonia, who in 1685 married Max Emanuel, Elector of Bavaria. Shortly before her death in 1692, she gave birth to a son, if he chose, Louis XIV could attempt to assert his will on Spain by force of arms, but the Nine Years War had been an immense drain on Frances resources.
To seek a solution and gain support, Louis XIV turned to his long-standing rival William of Orange. England and the Dutch Republic had their own commercial and political interests within the Spanish empire, the Maritime Powers were in a weakened state and both had reduced their forces at the conclusion of the Nine Years War. Louis XIV and William III, sought to solve the problem of the Spanish inheritance through negotiation, based on the principle of partition, to take effect after the death of Charles II. However, the bulk of the empire – most of peninsular Spain, the Spanish Netherlands, the Spanish Empire was now divided between the three surviving candidates. By this new treaty Archduke Charles would receive most of Spain, the Spanish Netherlands and the overseas empire. For Leopold I, control of Spain and its empire was less important than Italy
Battle of Blenheim
The Battle of Blenheim, fought on 13 August 1704, was a major battle of the War of the Spanish Succession. The overwhelming Allied victory ensured the safety of Vienna from the Franco-Bavarian army, Louis XIV of France sought to knock Emperor Leopold out of the war by seizing Vienna, the Habsburg capital, and gain a favourable peace settlement. Vienna was pressure from Rákóczis Hungarian revolt from its eastern approaches. Realising the danger, the Duke of Marlborough resolved to alleviate the peril to Vienna by marching his forces south from Bedburg, after securing Donauwörth on the Danube, Marlborough sought to engage the Electors and Marsins army before Marshal Tallard could bring reinforcements through the Black Forest. However, with the Franco-Bavarian commanders reluctant to fight until their numbers were deemed sufficient, the battle has gone down in history as one of the turning points of the War of the Spanish Succession. Bavaria was knocked out of the war, and Louis hopes for a victory came to an end.
France suffered over 30,000 casualties including the commander-in-chief, Marshal Tallard, before the 1704 campaign ended, the Allies had taken Landau, and the towns of Trier and Trarbach on the Moselle in preparation for the following years campaign into France itself. By 1704, the War of the Spanish Succession was in its fourth year, Vienna had been saved by dissension between the two commanders, leading to the brilliant Villars being replaced by the less dynamic Marshal Marsin. In the courts of Versailles and Madrid, Viennas fall was confidently anticipated, a scarlet caterpillar, upon which all eyes were at once fixed, began to crawl steadfastly day by day across the map of Europe, dragging the whole war with it. Marlboroughs march started on 19 May from Bedburg,20 miles north-west of Cologne, the army consisted of 66 squadrons,31 battalions and 38 guns and mortars totalling 21,000 men. This force was to be augmented en route such that by the time Marlborough reached the Danube, whilst Marlborough led his army, General Overkirk would maintain a defensive position in the Dutch Republic in case Villeroi mounted an attack.
In this assumption Marlborough proved correct, Villeroi shadowed the Duke with 30,000 men in 60 squadrons and 42 battalions, such a long march would almost certainly involve a high wastage of men and horses through exhaustion and disease. However, Marlborough was convinced of the urgency – I am very sensible that I take a deal upon me, he had earlier written to Godolphin, but should I act otherwise. Whilst Allied preparations had progressed, the French were striving to maintain, Tallard returned with his own force to the Rhine, once again side-stepping Thüngens efforts to intercept him. The whole operation was a military achievement. On 26 May, Marlborough reached Coblenz, where the Moselle meets the Rhine, If he intended an attack along the Moselle the Duke must now turn west, instead, the following day the army crossed to the right bank of the Rhine. There will be no campaign on the Moselle, wrote Villeroi who had taken up a position on the river. A second possible objective now occurred to the French – an Allied incursion into Alsace, with Villeroi shadowing Marlboroughs every move, Marlboroughs gamble that the French would not move against the weakened Dutch position in the Netherlands paid off
Siege of Bonn (1703)
The Siege of Bonn took place in 1703 during the War of the Spanish Succession when an Allied force laid siege to and forced the surrender of the French garrison of the city of Bonn. The Allied forces were part of a field army commanded by John Churchill. The siege was portrayed in a painting by Alexander van Gaelen. It was the siege of the city in thirty years
The Monarchy was a composite state composed of territories within and outside the Holy Roman Empire, united only in the person of the monarch. The dynastic capital was Vienna, except from 1583 to 1611, from 1804 to 1867 the Habsburg Monarchy was formally unified as the Austrian Empire, and from 1867 to 1918 as the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The two entities were never coterminous, as the Habsburg Monarchy covered many lands beyond the Holy Roman Empire, the monarchy had no official name. The entity had no official name, Austrian Empire, This was the official name. Note that the German version is Kaisertum Österreich, i. e. the English translation empire refers to a territory ruled by an emperor, Austria-Hungary, This was the official name. An unofficial popular name was the Danubian Monarchy often used was the term Doppel-Monarchie meaning two states under one crowned ruler, Crownlands or crown lands, This is the name of all the individual parts of the Austrian Empire, and of Austria-Hungary from 1867 on.
The Hungarian parts of the Empire were called Lands of the Holy Hungarian Crown of Saint Stephen or Lands of Holy Stephens Crown, the Bohemian Lands were called Lands of the St. Wenceslaus Crown. Burgenland came to Austria in 1921 from Hungary, Salzburg finally became Austrian in 1816 after the Napoleonic wars. Vienna, Austrias capital became a state January 1,1922, after being residence and Lower Austria, were split into Austria above the Enns and Austria below the Enns. Upper Austria was enlarged after the Treaty of Teschen following the War of the Bavarian Succession by the so-called Innviertel, formerly part of Bavaria. Hereditary Lands or German Hereditary Lands or Austrian Hereditary Lands, In a narrower sense these were the original Habsburg Austrian territories, i. e. basically the Austrian lands, in a wider sense the Lands of the Bohemian Crown were included in the Hereditary lands. The term was replaced by the term Crownlands in the 1849 March Constitution, within the Habsburg Monarchy, each province was governed according to its own particular customs.
Until the mid 17th century, not all of the provinces were even necessarily ruled by the same members of the family often ruled portions of the Hereditary Lands as private apanages. An even greater attempt at centralization began in 1849 following the suppression of the revolutions of 1848. For the first time, ministers tried to transform the monarchy into a bureaucratic state ruled from Vienna. The Kingdom of Hungary, in particular, ceased to exist as a separate entity, in this system, the Kingdom of Hungary was given sovereignty and a parliament, with only a personal union and a joint foreign and military policy connecting it to the other Habsburg lands. When Bosnia and Herzegovina was annexed, it was not incorporated into either half of the monarchy, instead, it was governed by the joint Ministry of Finance. Austria-Hungary collapsed under the weight of the various unsolved ethnic problems that came to a head with its defeat in World War I, to these were added in 1779 the Inn Quarter of Bavaria, and in 1803 the Bishoprics of Trent and Brixen