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War of Austrian Succession: Battle of Dettingen


War of Austrian Succession: Battle of Dettingen

George II at the Battle of Dettingen, 1743

Photograph Courtesy of commons.wikimedia.org


The Battle of Dettingen occurred during the War of Austrian Succession (1740-1748)


Fought in Bavaria, the Battle of Dettingen took place on June 27, 1743.

Commanders & Armies at the Battle of Dettingen:

Pramatic Army

  • King George II
  • 35,000 men (English, Hanoverians, Austrians)


  • Adrien-Maurice, duc de Noailles
  • 26,000 men


The Battle of Dettingen was a British victory, which allowed the Pragmatic Army to continue its strategic withdrawal to Flanders. In the fighting, the Pramatic Army suffered 2,500 casualties, to 4,000 for the French.

Battle Summary:

Organized and led by King George II, the Pragmatic Army was assembled to aid Britain's allies in the War of Austrian Succession, as well as to protect the king's lands in Hanover. Marching into Bavaria from its bases in Flanders, the army encamped near the town of Aschaffenburg. Pausing while the king attended functions in Mainz, the army was soon outmaneuvered by the French led by the Duc de Noailles. Cutting off the British supply lines to Flanders, Noailles forced the king to take action. After a week of reduced rations, George II ordered the army to move back towards Flanders via Hanau and Frankfurt.

Seeing an opportunity to attack the Pragmatic Army from two directions, Noailles split his forces, placing the bulk across the British line of advance in Dettingen, while racing down the opposite bank of the Main with the remainder. On the morning of June 27th, the Pragmatic Army encountered the force at Dettingen. Seeing Noailles' troops moving along the river, George II's commanders ordered a blocking force sent back towards Aschaffenburg to deal with the threat.

After mid day, the French in Dettingen, under the Duc de Grammont, advanced and launched as series of uncoordinated attacks on the Pragmatic Army's lines. Repulsed with heavy casualties, the French soon began to flee back across the Main, opening the road for the British to continue their retreat to Flanders. The Battle of Dettingen was the last time a reigning British monarch led troops in battle.

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