xxxxxIt was in the spring of 1706 that the French located an Anglo-
xxxxxItxwas in the spring of 1706 when, under express orders from Louis XIV, the French commander, François de Neufville, Duke de Villeroi (1644-
xxxxxThe two sides were evenly matched in numbers -
xxxxxThe victory at Ramillies, fought 12 miles north of Namur in present-
THE BATTLE OF RAMILLIES 1706 (AN)
THE WAR OF THE SPANISH SUCCESSION
xxxxxIn the same year as the Battle of Ramillies, the Austrian general Prince Eugene of Savoy (1663-
xxxxxInxthe same year as the Battle of Ramillies, the Austrian general Prince Eugene of Savoy -
xxxxxIronically enough, Eugene was himself a Frenchman by birth. He was born in Paris in 1663, but, after a number of unsuccessful attempts to obtain a commission in Louis XIV's army, he renounced his French citizenship and in 1683 joined the Austrian army, then under the command of the Holy Roman Emperor Leopold I. His decision proved to be a real gain for Austria and a great loss for France. He soon distinguished himself on the battlefield, first against his former sovereign in the War of the Grand Alliance, and then against the Ottomans. It was he who, in 1697, at the age of 34, was appointed commander of the imperial army in Hungary and routed the Turks at the famous Battle of Zenta, forcing them to make sweeping concessions at the Peace of Karlowitz two years later. We are told that Louis XIV was so impressed with his courage and leadership ability that he offered to make him a marshal of France and ruler of the province of Champagne, but Eugene declined the offer.
xxxxxOn the outbreak of the War of the Spanish Succession, he served for a short while in Italy and then returned to Vienna in 1702 to become president of the Imperial Council of War. It was in this capacity that he shared with Marlborough in the great victory at Blenheim, and then went on to defeat the French at Turin. Later, as we shall see, he again allied with his friend Marlborough and shared in the victories at Oudenaarde and Malplaquet. Onlyxin 1712, towards the end of the war, was he defeated at Denain by the French, and forced to come to terms at the Treaties of Rastatt and Baden.
xxxxxThe War of the Spanish Succession once over, he received command of the Hungarian army and was soon fighting the Ottoman Turks again. As we shall see, he won a series of battles and brought the war to a satisfactory conclusion with the Treaty of Passarowitz in 1718 (G1). Six years later he became vicar-
xxxxxIncidentally, it was rumoured at one time that Eugene was an illegitimate son of Louis XIV, and that his mother had been exiled on account of the affair. If this were so, it could well account for the offhand treatment he received at the French court, and the reason why he failed to obtain a commission in the army.
Battle Plan: location unknown. Prince Eugene: by the French/Austrian painter and engraver Jacob van Schuppen (1670-