War of the Austrian Succession

Dafato Team | Oct 1, 2022

Table of Content

Summary

The War of the Austrian Succession (1740-1748) was a war involving most of the major powers of Europe over the issue of Maria Theresa's succession to the Habsburg Monarchy. The war included peripheral events such as King George's War in North America, Jenkins' Ear War (which formally began on October 23, 1739), the First Carnatic War in India, the Jacobite uprising of 1745 in Scotland, and the First and Second Silesian Wars.

The cause of the war was the alleged ineligibility of Maria Theresa to succeed her father, Charles VI, in the possessions of the Habsburg monarchy in Europe, since Salic law precluded royal inheritance by a woman, and according to the Mutual Succession Pact of 1703 signed between Emperor Leopold I and his sons, if the male line of the Habsburg dynasty became extinct, the daughters of Joseph I would have a greater right to succession. This would be the essential justification for France and Prussia, united by Bavaria, to challenge the Habsburg power. Maria Theresa was supported by Great Britain, the Dutch Republic, Sardinia, and Saxony.

Since 1739, Spain had been fighting the Jenkins Ear War against Britain, which took place mainly in the Americas. It joined the war in Europe, hoping to regain its former possessions in northern Italy, now held by Austria. Having reconquered the Kingdom of Naples in 1735, this would restore the territories lost under the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713.

The war ended with the Treaty of Aquisgran in 1748, by which Maria Theresa was confirmed as Archduchess of Austria and Queen of Hungary, but Prussia retained control of Silesia. However, the underlying problems were not resolved; combined with political upheaval in Europe, this resulted in the Seven Years' War of 1756-1763.

The immediate cause of the War of the Austrian Succession was the death of Emperor Charles VI (1685-1740) who died leaving the question of the succession of Austrian territories inconclusive.

The Mutual Succession Pact of 1703 between Emperor Leopold I and his sons Joseph and Charles agreed that if the Habsburgs became extinct in the male line, their property would go first to Joseph's heiresses, and then to Charles'. Since Salic law excluded women from inheritance, this required the approval of the various Habsburg territories(The Habsburgs did not rule a unified kingdom but rather several different kingdoms with distinct institutions and laws) of and the Imperial Diet.

Joseph died in 1711, leaving two daughters, Maria Josepha and Maria Amalia, and Charles became the last male Habsburg. In April 1713, he issued the Pragmatic Sanction, allowing female inheritance, but then putting his own hypothetical daughters ahead of Joseph's.

The birth of Maria Theresa in 1717 ensured that the issue of succession dominated the rest of Charles' reign. In 1719, Charles demanded that his nieces Maria Josepha and Maria Amalia renounce their rights in favor of Maria Theresa in order to marry Frederick Augustus of Saxony and Charles Albert of Bavaria, respectively. Charles hoped that these marriages would secure his daughter's position, as neither Saxony nor Bavaria could tolerate the other controlling the Habsburg inheritance, but his actions undermined the logic of the arrangement. A family issue became European because of tensions within the Holy Roman Empire caused by dramatic increases in the size and power of Bavaria, Prussia, and Saxony, mirrored by the post-1683 expansion of Habsburg power into lands previously held by the Ottoman Empire. Further complexity then arose from the fact that the theoretically elected position of Holy Roman-German Emperor had been held by the Habsburgs since 1437. These were the centrifugal forces behind a war that reshaped the traditional European balance of power; the various legal claims were largely pretexts and seen as such.

Bavaria and Saxony refused to be bound by the Imperial Diet's decision, while in 1738 France agreed to support the 'just claims' of Charles Albert of Bavaria, despite previously accepting the Pragmatic Sanction in 1735. Attempts to compensate for this involved Austria in the War of the Polish Succession of 1734-1735 and the Russo-Turkish War of 1735-1739, being seriously weakened by the losses suffered. Compounded by the failure to prepare Maria Theresa for her new role, many European statesmen were skeptical. Austria might not survive the dispute that would follow Charles' death, which finally occurred in October 1740.

The war can be divided into three connected but distinct conflicts. First, Prussia and Austria fought the Silesian Wars for control of Silesia. Second, France aimed to weaken Austria in Germany, while Spain sought to regain the territories of Italy lost to Austria after the War of Spanish Succession. Third, Britain fought with France in an increasingly global contest for imperial supremacy. In the end, the French conquest of the Austrian Netherlands gave them clear dominance on land, while British naval victories made it even more dominant at sea.

For much of the eighteenth century, France approached its wars the same way: it would either allow its colonies to defend themselves or offer only minimal assistance (sending them only limited numbers of troops or inexperienced soldiers), anticipating that fighting for the colonies would likely be lost anyway. This strategy was to some extent imposed on France: geography, along with the superiority of the British navy, made it difficult for the French navy to provide significant supplies and support to the French colonies. Likewise, several long land borders made an effective domestic army imperative for any ruler of France. Given these military needs, the French government, surprisingly, based its strategy overwhelmingly on the army of Europe: it would keep most of its army on the European continent, hoping that this force would be victorious close to home. At the end of the War of Austrian Succession, France returned its European conquests, recovering lost assets abroad such as Louisbourg, largely restoring the status quo ante as far as France was concerned.

The British - by inclination and for pragmatic reasons - tended to avoid large-scale troop commitments on the continent. They sought to compensate for the disadvantage created in Europe by allying themselves with one or more continental powers whose interests were antithetical to those of their enemies, primarily France. In the war of the Austrian succession, the British were allied with Austria; by the time of the Seven Years' War, they were allied with their old enemy, Prussia. In sharp contrast to France, Britain strove to actively prosecute the war in the colonies once involved in the war, making the most of its naval power. The British followed a dual strategy of naval blockade and bombardment of enemy ports, and also utilized their ability to move troops by sea to the fullest extent. They harassed enemy shipping and attacked enemy outposts, often using settlers from nearby British colonies in the effort. This plan worked better in North America than in Europe, but it set the stage for the Seven Years' War.

Methods and technologies

European warfare in the early modern period was characterized by the widespread adoption of firearms in combination with more traditional bladed weapons. Eighteenth-century European armies were built around units of infantry massed armed with flintlock muskets and bayonets. Cavalry units of various weights armed with sabers and pistols were used for reconnaissance and shock tactics. Smooth-tipped artillery provided fire support and played the main role in siege warfare. In this period, strategic warfare focused on the control of major fortifications positioned to command the surrounding regions and roads, with prolonged sieges, a common feature of armed conflict, and decisive field battles relatively rare.

The War of the Austrian Succession and most European wars of the 18th century were fought as so-called cabinet wars, in which regular disciplined armies were equipped and supplied by the state to conduct war on behalf of the sovereign's interests. Occupied enemy territories were regularly taxed and extorted for funds, but large-scale atrocities against civilian populations were rare compared to conflicts in the previous century. Military logistics was the deciding factor in many wars, as armies had grown too large to sustain themselves in prolonged campaigns just by searching and looting. Military supplies were stored in centralized magazines and distributed by baggage trains that were highly vulnerable to enemy attack. Overall, armies were unable to sustain combat operations during the winter and usually established winter quarters in the cold season, resuming their campaigns with the return of spring.

Silesian Campaign of 1740

At the age of 28, Frederick II succeeded his father Frederick William I as king of Prussia on May 31, 1740. Although Prussia had grown in importance in recent decades, its disparate and scattered territories prevented it from wielding significant power, and Frederick intended to change that. The death of Emperor Charles VI on October 20, 1740, provided an opportunity to acquire Silesia, but he needed to do so before Augustus of Saxony and Poland could get ahead of him. Thanks to Frederick William I and Leopold I, Prince of Anhalt-Dessau, the Prussian army was better trained and led than its opponents. Frederick William had largely avoided entering recent fighting, while improving his standing army of 80,000 men that was disproportionately large at about 4% of his 2.2 million population. With a population of 16 million, Austria had an authorized standing force of 157,000 troops, although financial constraints meant that their actual size was considerably smaller than in 1740. Since they had a much larger area to defend, their army was more of a "sieve" than a shield against foreign invasion.

In addition to these qualitative advantages, Frederick secured a two-front war through a secret treaty with France in April 1739, which agreed that France would attack Austria to the west, while Prussia would do so to the east.  In early December 1740, the Prussian army assembled along the Oder River and on December 16 invaded Silesia without a formal declaration of war.

Austrian military resources were concentrated in Hungary and Italy, and they had less than 3,000 troops in Silesia, although that number increased to 7,000 just before the invasion. They kept the fortresses of Glogau, Breslau, and Brieg, but abandoned the rest of the province and withdrew to Moravia, and both sides went into winter quarters.

This campaign gave Prussia control of most of the richest province in the Habsburg Empire, containing a population of over a million, the commercial center of Breslau, along with the mining, weaving, and dyeing industries. However, Frederick underestimated Maria Theresa's determination to reverse his loss, while the retention of Austrian fortresses in southern Silesia meant that a quick victory could not be achieved.

Campaign of 1741

Earlier in the year, a new Austrian field army under General Wilhelm Reinhard von Neipperg relieved Neisse and marched on Brieg, threatening to cut off the Prussians. On April 10, Frederick's army captured the Austrians in the snow-covered fields near Mollwitz. It was the first time that Frederick led troops into battle. The victory Frederick achieved at the battle of Mollwitz was a learning experience for the young king, who left the field shortly before his troops defeated the Austrians; his tactics and cavalry were rather clumsy, and the victory was only achieved due to the discipline of the Prussian infantry and their veteran commander, Field Marshall Kurt von Schwerin.

Frederick obtained an alliance with the French against the Austrians by signing the Treaty of Breslau on June 5. Accordingly, the French began crossing the Rhine on August 15 and joined the forces of the Bavarian electors on the Danube and advanced toward Vienna. The combined forces of the French and Bavarians captured the Austrian city of Linz on September 14. At that point, however, the objective was suddenly changed and, after many countermoves, the anti-Austrian allies advanced, in three widely separated corps, toward Prague. A French corps moved through Amberge and Pilsen. The Elector marched on Budweis, and the Saxons (who had now joined the allies against Austria) invaded Bohemia through the Elbe valley. The Austrians could at first offer little resistance, but before long a considerable force intervened at Tábor between the Danube and the allies, and Austrian troops, including Neipperg, were soon moved from Silesia back west to defend the Austrian capital, Vienna, from the French.

With fewer Austrian troops in Silesia, Frederick had an easier time of it. The remaining fortresses in Silesia were taken by the Prussians. Before leaving Silesia, the Austrian general Neipperg made a curious agreement with Frederick, the so-called Klein-Schnellendorf agreement (October 9, 1741). By this agreement, the fortress of Neisse surrendered after a simulated siege, and the Prussians agreed to let the Austrians leave unmolested, freeing Neipperg's army to serve elsewhere. At the same time, the Hungarians, emboldened by Maria Theresa's personal appeal in September 1741, fielded a levée en masse, or "insurrection," which provided the regular army with an invaluable force of more than 60,000 soldiers. A new army was assembled under Field Marshal Khevenhüller in Vienna, and the Austrians planned an offensive winter campaign against the Franco-Bavarian forces in Bohemia and the small Bavarian army that remained on the Danube to defend the electorate.

Meanwhile, Saxon-born Maurice of Saxony and a small French force invaded Prague on November 26, 1741. Francis Stephan, husband of Maria Theresa, who commanded the Austrians in Bohemia, moved very slowly to save the fortress. The Elector of Bavaria, who now called himself Archduke of Austria, was crowned King of Bohemia (December 9, 1741) and elected to the imperial throne as Charles VII (January 24, 1742), but no active measures were taken.

In Bohemia, the month of December was occupied in mere skirmishes. On the Danube, Khevenhüller, the best general in the Austrian service, advanced on December 27, quickly drove the allies away, locked them up in Linz, and headed for Bavaria. Munich surrendered to the Austrians on the day of Charles VII's coronation.

At the end of this first act of the campaign, the French, under old Marshal de Broglie, held a precarious position in central Bohemia, threatened by the main army of the Austrians, and Khevenhüller was unopposed in Bavaria. Frederick made a secret truce with Austria and thus remained inactive in Silesia.

Campaign of 1742

Frederick was waiting for the truce to secure Silesia, for which he was fighting; although allied with the French, he did not wish to see them become the dominant power in Germany through the destruction of Austria. For their part, the French had aspirations to divide most of the Habsburg territories among themselves, Prussia, Bavaria, and Saxony. But with Khevenhüller's success and Hungary's enthusiastic "insurrection," Maria Theresa's opposition became firmer, and she publicized the provisions of the truce, to compromise Frederick with his allies. The war resumed. Frederick had not rested idly on his laurels. In the uneventful summer campaign of 1741, he found time to begin the reorganization of his cavalry. The training of Prussian cavalry had been neglected by Frederick's father - King Frederick William I. Probably because he himself was an infantryman at heart, cavalry training had also been ignored by "Old Dessauer," who was the real genius behind the Prussian army. Frederick was disappointed with the performance of his cavalry at the battle of Mollwitz. However, as a result of Frederick's training in the summer of 1741, the Prussian cavalry would soon adapt much better in the upcoming battles of the First Silesian War.

The Bavarian emperor Charles VII, whose territories were invaded by the Austrians, asked him to divert Moravia. In December 1741, therefore, Prussian general field marshal Kurt Christoph Graf von Schwerin crossed the border and captured Olmutz. Glatz was also invested and the Prussian army concentrated on Olmutz in January 1742. A combined plan of operations was made by the French, Saxons and Prussians for the rescue of Linz. But Linz soon fell. The French general Broglie on the Vltava, weakened by the departure of the Bavarians to oppose Khevenhüller, and of the Saxons to join forces with Frederick, was not in a position to take the offensive, and large forces under Prince Charles of Lorraine were in front of him from Budweis to Jihlava.

Frederic's march was made toward Iglau first. Brno was invaded at the same time (February), but the direction of the march changed and instead of moving against Prince Charles, Frederick advanced southward through Znojmo and Mikulov. The Prussians' extreme outposts appeared before Vienna. But Frederic's advance was a mere incursion, and Prince Charles, leaving a troop of soldiers in front of Broglie, marched to cut off the Prussians from Silesia. The Saxons, displeased and demoralized, soon left for their own country, and Frederick, with his Prussians, retreated by Svitavy and Litomyšl to Kutná Hora in Bohemia, where he was in contact with Broglie on the one hand and with Silesia on the other. No defense of Olmutz was attempted, and the small Prussian corps remaining in Moravia retreated toward Upper Silesia.

Prince Charles passed through Jihlava and Teutsch in search of Frederick. On May 17, 1742, Frederick turned and faced the pursuing Austrian forces. He fought the Austrians in what became known as the Battle of Chotusitz. After a severe fight, Frederick won a great Prussian victory. At Chotusitz, it was Frederick's newly reorganized and trained cavalry that actually won the victory and made up for his previous failures. The cavalry's conduct gave a serious prospect of its future glory, not only by its charges on the battlefield, but by its vigorous pursuit of the defeated Austrians.

At almost the same time as the Battle of Chotusitz was taking place, French field marshal François Broglie fell upon a portion of the Austrians left in Vltava and achieved a small, but morally and politically important, success in the action at Sahay near Budweis (24 May 1742). Frederick did not propose another combined movement. Frederick's victory at Chotusitz, along with Field Marshal Broglie's victory, convinced Maria Theresa to seek peace, even if it meant ceding Silesia to improve her position elsewhere. Thus, a separate peace between Prussia and Austria was signed in Breslau on June 11, 1742, which led to the end of the First Silesian War. However, the war of the Austrian succession continued.

Campaign of 1743

The year 1743 began disastrously for the forces of the new Holy Roman Emperor, Charles VII. The French and Bavarian armies were not working well together, and Field Marshal Broglie had been placed in command of the Allied army in Bavaria. This created tension between Broglie and the Bavarian commanders. Broglie openly argued with Bavarian field marshal Friedrich Heinrich von Seckendorff. No connected resistance was offered to the converging march of Prince Charles' army along the Danube, Khevenhüller of Salzburg toward southern Bavaria and Prince Lobkowitz of Bohemia toward the Naab River. The Bavarians, under the command of Count Minuzzi, suffered a severe setback at the town of Simbach near Braunau on May 9, 1743, at the hands of Prince Charles.

Now, an Anglo Allied army commanded by King George II retreated down the Main River to the village of Hanau. This army was formed on the lower Rhine after the withdrawal of the French army (from Westphalia), under the command of the Marquis de Maillebois. This allied army became known as the "Pragmatic Army" because it was drawn from a confederation of states supporting the Pragmatic Sanction of 1713, which made Maria Theresa the sole heir to the Habsburg territories.

The Pragmatic Army was advancing south, up the Main to Neckar before this retreat in the summer of 1743. A French army under Marshal Noailles was being assembled in the middle of the Rhine to deal with this new force. Marshal Noailles correctly anticipated that, given the problems faced by the pragmatic army, George II would take the entire pragmatic army back to the Main. Marshal Noailles made plans to create a trap for the pragmatic army and destroy it. However, Marshal Noailles' ally, Marshal Broglie, was now in full retreat. Bavarian fortresses were handed over one after another to Prince Charles. Marshal Noailles' French army, however, still intended to find victory, while Marshal de Broglie's Franco-Bavarian army was retreating to France. At Dettingen, Noailles attempted a daring maneuver to engage the British army, but his subordinate, the Duke of Gramont, without orders, attacked the pragmatic army and was defeated with heavy casualties.

King Frederick of Prussia was terrified by the defeat at Dettingen. Frederick saw that he now faced a coalition of potential rivals that included Austria, Britain, and Russia. However, Frederick soon realized that the coalition against him was not as strong as it seemed at first glance. Neither Austria nor the British knew how to exploit his victory at Dettingen. Marshal Noailles was driven almost to the Rhine by King George. The French and Bavarian army had been completely deceived and was in a most dangerous position between Aschaffenburg and Hanau in the pass formed by the Spessart Hills and the Main River. However, the Pragmatic Army did not quickly follow up on the attack. Thus, Marshal Noailles had time to blockade the takeover and there were posts everywhere. At that point, the Allied troops had to make their way through the French and Bavarian lines. Still, because of the heavy losses inflicted on the French, the Battle of Dettingen and the follow-up are rightly recognized as a remarkable victory of the Anglo-Austrian-Hanoverian guns.

The coalition against Frederick was suddenly weakened when the St. Petersburg court discovered a plot to overthrow Tsarina Elizabeth and bring back Ivan VI as Tsar, with his mother the Grand Duchess Anna Leopoldovna serving as regent for the child. Matters were much worse for the allies than against Frederick since an Austrian envoy was found to be intimately involved in the plot. The conspiracy became known as the "Botta Conspiracy."

Marshal Broglie, worn out by age and exertion, was soon replaced by Marshal Coigny. Broglie and Noailles were now on the strict defensive behind the Rhine. No French soldiers remained in Germany, and Prince Charles prepared to force his way across the Rhine River at Breisgau, while George II, King of Great Britain, advanced through Mainz to cooperate, attracting the attention of the French. The Anglo-allied army captured Worms, but after several failed attempts to cross the Rhine River, Prince Charles entered the winter quarters. The king followed his example, drawing his troops north to deal, if necessary, with the army that the French were concentrating on the southern Dutch border. Austria, Britain, the Dutch Republic and Sardinia were now allies. Saxony changed sides and the entry of Sweden made up for the loss of Russia to the allies. Frederick was still quiet. France, Spain, and Bavaria actively continued the fight against Maria Theresa.

While Botta's conspiracy captured all the attention during the summer of 1743, negotiations between the British, Austrians, and Sardinians continued quietly in the city of Worms. The Austrians desperately feared that Frederick II would soon invade the Austrian domains again. Thus, the Austrians sought a separate peace with Sardinia in Italy. Under the terms of the Treaty of Worms, signed on September 13, 1743, the Austrian Habsburgs ceded the entire territory of Italy located west of the Ticino River and Lake Maggiore in Sardinia. In addition, some land south of the Po River was also ceded to Sardinia. In return, Sardinia renounced its claim to Milan, secured the Pragmatic Sanction, and agreed to provide 40,000 troops for a joint Italian army to fight the Bourbons.

Campaign of 1744

The Second Silesian War began in 1744. Frederick of Prussia was uneasy with the universal success of the Austrians and their alliance with Sardinia. Consequently, he secretly concluded another alliance with Louis XV of France. France had until then presented itself as an auxiliary - its officers in Germany wore the Bavarian headdress - and was officially at war only with Great Britain. But now the French directly declared war on Austria and Sardinia (April 1744).

At this point, the French planned a distraction that they hoped would cause Britain to leave the war. A French army was assembled at Dunkirk to support the cause of Charles Edward Stuart in an invasion of Britain. Prince Charles Edward was the son of James Francis Edward Stuart, the Stuart house's pretender to the British throne, who was the son of James II, the last Stuart king of England. James II was deposed as king of England in 1688 in favor of his daughter Mary and her husband, the Protestant Prince of Orange, William III of the house of Orange-Nassau. A significant portion of the British population still awaited the return of the Stuart family. Louis XIV of France had provided great support for the Stuart cause. In fact, in 1715, France sponsored a revolt in Scotland, which the would-be Jaime joined, but was defeated. Forbidden to return to France by the new king, Louis XV, James sought refuge elsewhere. Finally, Pope Clement XI offered James and his family the use of the Palazzo Muti and a life annuity of 8,000 Roman scudos. Charles Edward was born and lived all his life in Palazzo Muti.

Charles Edward had much more charisma than his father, and now Louis XV was favorably disposed to help him create another uprising in Scotland. Louis XV sent Drummond de Balhaldy as an emissary from the Stuart "court" in Rome. French plans called for Charles to be in Dunkirk, France, to meet with the fleet on January 10, 1744, but Balhaldy had arrived in Rome only on December 19, 1743. Thus, there was very little time to waste. On December 23, 1743, Charles' father appointed him "prince regent" so that he could act in his own name. In the spring of 1744, Prince Charles secretly arrived in France and was about to board the ships that would take him to England. However, the night before he was to embark, a fierce storm blew up (this storm became known as the "Protestant Wind") and destroyed or dispersed the entire fleet. The violent storms destroyed the attempted crossing and the planned invasion was abandoned. However, Charles did not give up hope of restoring the Stuart family to the throne of England.

During the naval operations that were possible preparations for a coordinated French invasion of England, the largest sea battle of the war occurred on February 22, 1744. This naval battle took place in the Mediterranean off the coast of Toulon, France. A large British fleet under the command of Admiral Thomas Mathews, was blockading the French coast. A smaller French and Spanish naval force attacked the British blockade and damaged some of the British ships, forcing them to withdraw and seek repairs. Thus, the British blockade of the French coast was relieved and the Spanish fleet apparently controlled the Mediterranean Sea.

A Spanish squadron took refuge in the port of Toulon. The British fleet carefully watched this squadron from a port a short distance to the east. On February 21, 1744, the Spanish ships were put to sea with a French fleet. Admiral Mathews took his British fleet and attacked the Spanish fleet from February 22 to February 23, 1744, in what became known as the Battle of Toulon. However, the smaller Spanish fleet was allowed to escape. With the knowledge that a larger French fleet was sailing to the rescue, the British fleet was forced to retreat.

Although technically the Battle of Toulon was considered an English victory, in Britain the public feared that the combined French and Spanish ships were heading for the Straits of Gibraltar and a gathering of ships at Brest for a planned invasion of England. As a consequence, bitter recriminations were made against Admiral Mathews for letting the Spanish-French fleet escape and subsequently putting England at risk of invasion. Consequently, Mathews was tried in naval court and later found guilty.

Meanwhile, on the battlefields of northern Europe, Louis XV himself, with 90,000 men, invaded the Austrian Netherlands and took Menin and Ypres in July 1744. His supposed opponent, although devoid of Russian troops, still consisted of the same allied army, previously commanded by King George II, and composed of British, Dutch, German (Hanoverian) and Austrian troops.

The French fielded four armies. On the Rhine, Marshal Coigny had 57,000 troops against 70,000 Allied troops under Prince Charles. A new army of over 30,000 troops under Prince de Conti was located between the Meuse and Moselle rivers, which would later aid the Spanish in Piedmont and Lombardy. However, this plan was displaced immediately by the advance of Prince Charles, who, aided by veteran Marshal Traun, skillfully maneuvered his allied army over the Rhine near Philippsburg on July 1, 1744 and captured the Weissenburg lines cutting off Marshal Coigny and his army from Alsace.

A third French army, consisting of 17,000 men under the command of the Duke d'Harcourt, kept Luxembourg occupied.  Meanwhile, the fourth French army took the field in the summer of 1744. This was the army of Flanders, numbering 87,000 men and officially under the command of the King of France, Louis XV, but in fact he was being militarily advised by Marshal Noailles. When these French forces invaded the Austrian Netherlands, they outnumbered the Allied armies by a ratio of four to three. Moreover, as they marched into the Austrian Netherlands, they encountered confused resistance offered by the Dutch forces. Consequently, the French army in Flanders made rapid progress into the Austrian Low Countries. The situation became so desperate for the Dutch that the Dutch government sent an envoy to the king of France to seek peace. This peace request was rejected by the French.

However, the situation in the Austrian Netherlands was abruptly altered by the successful crossing of the Rhine on June 30, 1744 by Prince Charles and his allied army of 70,000 men. Marshal Coigny, pushed his way through the enemy at Weissenburg and withdrew to Strasbourg. Louis XV abandoned the invasion of southern Holland and his army descended to take a decisive part in the war in Alsace and Lorraine.

Finally, on July 12, 1744, Frederick II of Prussia received confirmation that Prince Charles had taken his army across the Rhine and into France. Thus, Frederick knew that Charles would not be able to present him with any immediate problems in the east. Consequently, on August 15, 1744, Frederick II crossed the Austrian border into Bohemia, and by the end of August, all 80,000 of his troops were in Bohemia. Austria's attention and resources were fully occupied for some time in a renewal of the war in Silesia. However, neither Maria Theresa nor her advisors expected the Prussians to march as fast as they did. Consequently, Frederick's invasion of Bohemia took the Austrian court by surprise, and the Prussian king had almost no opposition in Bohemia. A column consisting of 40,000 soldiers under Frederick passed through Saxony; another column of 16,000 men under "Young Dessauer" passed through Lusatia, while a third consisting of 16,000 soldiers under Count Schwerin advanced from Silesia. The destination of the three columns was Prague, and the objective was reached on September 2. The city was surrounded and besieged. Six days later, the Austrian garrison was forced to surrender. Three days after the fall of Prague, Frederick captured Tabor, Budweis, and Frauenberg.

Maria Theresa resurfaced: a new "insurrection" broke out in Hungary and a corps of soldiers was assembled to cover Vienna. Meanwhile, Austrian diplomats pulled Saxony over to the Austrian side. Because of Frederick's successful campaign in Bohemia, Prince Charles tried to withdraw from Alsace and cross the Rhine once again and attack the Prussians. At this point, the French had an excellent chance to attack the prince while he was in a vulnerable position crossing the Rhine. However, the French military command was distracted and could not take any action, and Charles was able to cross the Rhine once again unmolested by the French. The French were unable to act as King Louis XV suddenly became very ill with smallpox in Metz. The king's condition was so severe that many feared for his life. Only Count Seckendorf, commander of the Bavarians, pursued Prince Charles.

No move was made by the French, and Frederick found himself isolated and exposed to joint attack by the Austrians and Saxons. Count Traun, summoned by the Rhine, held the king in check in Bohemia with a united force of Austrians and Saxons. Hungarian irregulars also inflicted numerous minor setbacks on the Prussians. Finally, Charles arrived with the main army from the west. The campaign resembled that of 1742: the Prussian retreat was closely guarded and the rearguard pressed hard. Prague fell and Frederick was completely outmaneuvered by the united forces of the prince and Count Traun. The Prussian king was forced to retreat to Silesia with heavy losses. However, the Austrians did not gain a foothold in Silesia itself. On the Rhine, Louis XV, now recovered, had besieged and taken Freiburg, while the forces left in the north were reinforced and besieged southern Dutch fortresses. There was also a light war of maneuvers in the middle of the Rhine.

Campaign of 1745

In 1745, three of the biggest battles of the war took place: Hohenfriedberg, Kesselsdorf, and Fontenoy. The formation of the Quadruple Alliance of Great Britain, Austria, the Dutch Republic, and Saxony was concluded in Warsaw on January 8, 1745 by the Treaty of Warsaw. Twelve days later, on January 20, 1745, the death of the Holy Roman Emperor, Charles VII, subjected the imperial title to a new election. Charles VII's son and heir, Maximilian III of Bavaria, was not even considered a candidate for the imperial throne. The Bavarian army was again unhappy. Captured in its scattered winter quarters (Amberg action, January 7), it was driven from point to point by an Austrian army maneuver under the joint command of Count Batthyány, Baron Bernklau, and Count Browne. All the Bavarian garrisons fled to the east. The Bavarian army under Count Törring was divided and paralyzed. The French in the area under Count Ségur marched in to save the day. Count Sègur's force outnumbered the Austrian army under Count Batthyany, but Sègur and the French army were defeated at the battle of Pfaffenhofen. The young elector Maximilian III had to abandon Munich once again. The peace of Füssen followed on April 22, 1745, whereby Maximilian III secured his hereditary states on the condition that he supported the candidacy of Grand Duke Francis, consort of Maria Theresa.

Frederick II of Prussia was again isolated. No help was expected from France, whose efforts at the time were focused on the Flanders campaign. In fact, on March 31, 1745, before Frederick took the field, Louis XV and French Marshal Maurice of Saxony, commanding an army of 95,000 men, the largest force of the war, marched through the Scheldt valley and besieged Tournay. Tournay was defended by a Dutch garrison of 7,000 soldiers. In May 1745, a British army under the Duke of Cumberland attempted to break the French siege and relieve Tournay. Mauricio (who had just been appointed marshal in the French army) possessed very good intelligence and knew the route that Cumberland was using to attack his besieging forces. Thus, he could select the battlefield. Mauritius chose to attack the British allied army on a plain on the east side of the Scheldt River, about two miles southeast of Tournay, near the town of Fontenoy. There, the Battle of Fontenoy was fought on May 11, 1745. The fighting began at 5 a.m. with a barrage of French artillery from the British Allied forces, who were still trying to move into their proper positions for the planned attack on Tournay. At noon, the Cumberland troops halted and discipline began to dissolve. The British allied army sought cover in a retreat. It was a victory for the French that caught the attention of Europe because it overturned the mystique of British military superiority and highlighted the importance of artillery. On June 20, 1745, after the Battle of Fontenoy, the fortress of Tournay surrendered to the French.

In the summer of 1745, the French decided once again to take on Charles Edward Stuart's claim to the British throne. The goal was to start a revolt in Scotland that would divert British attention from the war on the continent in Europe and might even require Britain to leave the war altogether. On July 23, 1745, Charles landed on the island of Eriskay in the Hebrides, northwest of the mainland of Scotland. On July 25, 1745, he set sail again for the mainland. By the end of August 1745, Charles Edward had landed in Scotland and began issuing orders from troops loyal to the Jacobite cause to place him on the throne. The 'young suitor' had already collected 1,300 Scots prepared to fight in his Jacobite army. The defense of King George II's Hanoverian rule in Britain fell to General Sir John Cope, a veteran of the Battle of Dettingen. On August 31, 1745, Cope marched north with about 2,000 British government troops.

Charles Edward arrived in Perth on September 18, 1745 and Edinburgh surrendered to him on September 27, 1745. When Cope took his army to the town of Prestonpans in Scotland on October 1, 1745, he chose a stubble field that he considered well protected to camp his troops in. However, it was not as secure as he thought, and at sunrise the next morning, on October 2, 1745, Charles' Scottish troops attacked and defeated the British government army. With the defeat of the government army at Prestonpans, it appeared that all of Scotland belonged to Charles. By November 1745, his army consisted of 5,000 infantrymen and 300 cavalrymen. In mid-November 1745, he crossed the border into Scotland and invaded England.

As the Jacobite army moved south into England, Charles Edward kept assuring his troops that help and reinforcements from the English Jacobites would arrive at any moment. This advisory and reinforcements were desperately needed, as the Jacobites were far outnumbered by the three British government armies already in the field. Finally, on December 6, 1745, at Derby in central England, Charles was reluctantly persuaded by his senior officers to return to Scotland. Upon hearing about the turnaround at Derby, the French gave up their plans for an invasion of England. The Jacobites felt that they could more safely fight the Hanoverians in a defensive battle on Scottish soil, rather than fighting the British government army in England. On January 17, 1746, at the Battle of Falkirk Muir, 8,000 Scots, the largest number of troops assembled for the Jacobite cause during the uprising defeated 7,000 British troops. Finally, however, Charles Edward and his revolt were defeated on April 27, 1746 at the Battle of Culloden.

The maneuvers of the armies of both sides in the war on the upper Elbe occupied the entire summer. Meanwhile, the political questions of the imperial election and of an understanding between Prussia and Britain were pending. Austria's main efforts were directed toward the Main and Lahn valleys and Frankfurt, where the French and Austrian armies were maneuvering for a position from which the electoral corps would prevail. Austrian Marshal Traunte succeeded, and as a result, Franz Stephan, Maria Theresa's husband was elected Holy Roman Emperor on September 13, 1745. Frederick agreed with Great Britain to recognize the election a few days later, but Maria Theresa was not in compliance with the Treaty of Breslau of 1741, by which she was forced to recognize Prussia's annexation of Silesia. Maria Theresa was now attempting an additional appeal to the fortunes of war to regain Silesia. Saxony joined Austria in this last attempt to regain her lost territory.

In May 1745, the main Prussian army was stationed at Frankenstein. This army consisted of 59,000 soldiers and was equipped with 54 heavy cannons. Frederick discovered that a combined Austrian-Saxon army of about 70,000 soldiers under the command of Prince Charles was marching northeast toward Landeshut. To meet this threat to Silesia, Frederick II marched north toward Reichenbach. Before reaching Reichenbach, Frederick discovered that the prince was crossing the mountains from the west to the east side and that he planned to occupy the town of Hohenfriedberg. Therefore, Frederic camped his army at Schweidwitze waited for Charles to come to him. At this location, Frederick laid a trap for the superior Austrian-Saxon forces. In fact, the Prussian king was operating on the theory that "to catch a mouse, leave the trap open".  At 6:30 a.m. on June 4, 1745, while the Austrian-Saxon troops were still recovering from their long march, the trap was sprung on them at the Battle of Hohenfriedberg. The Austrian-Saxon forces were no match for Frederick's army and especially his cavalry, and they lost half their artillery and almost a quarter of their men. At 9 a.m., Prince Charles ordered a complete retreat back to Reichenberg.

A further advance by the prince quickly led to the Battle of Soor on September 30, 1745, fought on terrain destined to be famous in the Austro-Prussian War of 1866. Frederick commanded an army that at that time numbered only 20,000 troops in the vicinity of Soor. He was facing Charles Alexander with an army of 41,000 soldiers. He was initially in a position of great danger, but his army changed fronts in the face of the advancing enemy and, by his boldness and tenacity, he won a remarkable victory on September 30, 1745 at Soor.

But the campaign was not over. An Austrian contingent from the Main joined the Saxons under Field Marshal Rutowsky (1702-1764), and a combined movement was made toward Berlin by Rutowsky of Saxony and Prince Charles of Bohemia. The danger was great. Frederick rushed his forces from Silesia and marched as quickly as possible on Dresden in Saxony. Frederick won the actions of Katholisch-Hennersdorf on November 24, 1745 and Görlitz on November 25. Thus, Prince Charles was forced to abandon his plans to attack Silesia and rush to defend Saxony. A second Prussian army under 'Old Dessauer' advanced from Magdeburg to fight Rutowsky. The latter took up a strong position at Kesselsdorf between Meissen and Dresden, but the veteran Leopold attacked him directly and without hesitation on December 14, 1745. The Saxons and their allies were completely defeated after a hard fight at the Battle of Kesselsdorf. Leopold and Frederick then joined forces and took Dresden without a fight. Maria Theresa was finally forced to give in. In the Treaty of Dresden signed on December 25, 1745, she recognized the annexation of Silesia, as first recognized in the peace of Breslau in 1741. Frederick, on the other hand, recognized the election of Maria Theresa's husband, Francis I, as Holy Roman Emperor.

Italian Campaigns, 1741-47

In central Italy, an army of Spaniards and Neapolitans was assembled with the goal of conquering the Milanese. In 1741, the allied army of 40,000 Spaniards and Neapolitans under the command of the Duke of Montemar advanced toward Modena, and the Duke of Modena later allied with the Spaniards, but the vigilant Austrian commander Count Otto Ferdinand von Traun defeated them, captured Modena, and forced the Duke to make a separate peace.

The aggressiveness of the Spanish in Italy forced Empress Maria Theresa of Austria and King Charles Emmanuel of Sardinia to negotiate in early 1742. These negotiations were held in Turin. Maria Theresa sent her envoy Count Schulenburg and King Charles Emmanuel sent the Marquis of Ormea. On February 1, 1742, Schulenburg and Ormea signed the Convention of Turin, which resolved (or postponed the resolution of) many differences between Austria and Sardinia as well as formalizing an alliance between the two countries. In 1742, field marshal Count Traun resisted with ease against the Spanish and Neapolitans. On August 19, 1742, Naples was forced by the arrival of a British naval squadron in the port of Naples to withdraw its 10,000 troops from the Montemar force to provide defense at home. The Spanish force under Montemar was now too weak to advance into the Po valley and a second Spanish army was sent to Italy via France. Sardinia allied itself with Austria at the Convention of Turin, and at the same time no state was at war with France, which led to curious complications, with fighting in the Isère valley between Sardinian and Spanish troops in which the French took no part. At the end of 1742, the Duke of Montemar was replaced as head of the Spanish forces in Italy by Count Gages.

In 1743, the Spanish in Tanaro achieved a victory over Traun at the Battle of Campo Santo on February 8, 1743. However, the next six months were wasted in inaction and Georg Christian, joining Traun with reinforcements from Germany, led the Spanish back to Rimini. Watching from Venice, Rousseau hailed the Spanish retreat as "the best military maneuver of the whole century." The war between Spain and Sardinia continued in the Alps without much result, with the only battle of significance occurring at Casteldelfino (October 7-10, 1743), when an initial offensive by France was defeated.

In 1744, the Italian war became serious. Before the War of the Spanish Succession (1701-1714), Spain and Austria were ruled by the same royal house (Habsburg). Consequently, the foreign policies of Austria and Spain towards Italy had a symmetry of interests and these interests were generally opposed to the interests of France controlled by the Bourbon dynasty. However, since the Treaty of Utrecht and the end of the War of the Spanish Succession, the last childless Habsburg monarch (Charles II) was replaced by the Bourbon grandson of the French King Louis XIV, Philip of Anjou, who became Philip V in Spain. Now, symmetry of foreign policy interests toward Italy existed between Borubon France and Bourbon Spain, with Habsburg Austria usually in opposition. King Charles Emmanuel of Sardinia, followed the long established policy of opposition to Spanish interference in northern Italy. Now, in 1744, Sardinia was facing a grand military plan by the combined Spanish and French armies (called the army of Gallispan) for the conquest of northern Italy.

However, in implementing this plan, the generals of Gallispan's army were hampered by the different orders given from their respective governments, as well as the enmity between some of these generals. For example, the commander of the Spanish army in the field, Prince de Conti, could not get along or even reason with the Marquis de La Mina, the supreme commander of all Spanish forces. Conti felt that the marquis "blindly obeyed all orders coming from Spain" without considering the realities imposed by the War. In preparation for the military campaign, Gallispan's forces sought to cross the Alps in June 1744 and regroup the army at Dauphiné, joining there with the army on the lower Po.

The support of Genoa allowed a road to central Italy. While Prince de Conti remained in the north, Count Gages followed this road south. But then the Austrian commander, Prince Lobkowitz, took the offensive and drove Count de Gages' Spanish army further south toward the Neapolitan border near the small town of Velletri. Velletri, which was once known to have been the birthplace of Caesar Augustus, now from June to August 1744, became the scene of extensive military maneuvers between the Franco-Spanish army under Count Gages and the Austrian forces under Prince Lobkowitz. The King of Naples (the future Charles III of Spain) was increasingly concerned about the Austrian army operating so close to his borders and decided to help the Spanish. Together, a combined army of French, Spanish, and Neapolitans surprised the Austrian army on the night of June 16-17, 1744. The Austrians were routed from three important hills around the town of Velletri during the attack. This battle is sometimes called the "Battle of Nemi" because the small town of Nemi is located nearby. Because of this surprise attack, the combined army was able to take possession of the city of Velletri. Thus the surprise attack was also called the "first Battle of Velletri".

In early August 1744, the King of Naples paid a personal visit to the newly captured city of Velletri. Hearing about the king's presence, the Austrians developed a plan for a daring attack on Velletri. During dawn on August 11, 1744, about 6,000 Austrians, under the direct command of Count Browne, carried out a surprise attack on the city of Velletri. They were attempting to kidnap the King of Naples during his stay in the city. However, after occupying Velletri and searching the entire city, the Austrians found no trace of King Charles VII of Naples. It was later learned that Charles, upon realizing what was happening, fled through the window of the palace where he was staying and rode half-naked out of the city on horseback. This was the second Battle of Velletri. The failure of the attack on Velletri meant that the Austrian march towards Naples was over. The defeated Austrians were ordered north where they could be used in Piedmont in northern Italy to help the King of Sardinia against the Prince of Conti. The Count of Gages followed the Austrians north with a weak force. Meanwhile, the king of Naples returned home.

The war in the Alps and the Apennines had already been intensely contested before Prince de Conti and the Gallispan army descended from the Alps. Villefranche and Montalbán were invaded by Conti on April 20, 1744. After descending from the Alps, Prince Conti began his advance into Piedmont on July 5, 1744. On July 19, 1744, the Gallispan army engaged the Army of Sardinia in some desperate fighting at Peyre-Longue on July 18, 1744. As a result of the battle, the Gallispan army took control of Casteldelfino in what became known as the second Battle of Casteldelfino. Conti then moved to Demonte where, on the night of August 8-9, 1744, (just 36 hours before the Spanish army in southern Italy fought the second Battle of Velletri, as noted above), the Gallispan army took the fortress of Demonte from the Sardinians in the Battle of Demonte. The Sardinian king was defeated once again by Conti in a major battle at Madonna dell'Olmo on September 30, 1744, near Coni. Conti, however, was unable to take Coni's huge fortress and had to retreat in Dauphiné to his winter quarters. Thus, the Gallispan army never joined with the Spanish army under Count de Gages in the south, and now the Austro-Sardinian army was among them.

Nor was the campaign in Italy in 1745 a mere war of posts. The Convention of Turin of February 1742 (described above), which established a provisional relationship between Austria and Sardinia, caused some consternation in the Republic of Genoa. However, when this provisional relationship took on a more durable and reliable character at the signing of the Treaty of Worms (1743), signed on September 13, 1743, the government of Genoa became afraid. This fear of diplomatic isolation caused the Genoese Republic to abandon its neutrality in the war and join the Bourbon cause. Consequently, the Republic signed a secret treaty with the Bourbon allies: France, Spain, and Naples. On June 26, 1745, Genoa declared war on Sardinia.

Empress Maria Theresa, was frustrated with Lobkowitz's failure to stop Gage's advance. Consequently, Lobkowitz was replaced by Count Schulenburg. A change in command of the Austrians encouraged the Bourbon allies to attack first in the spring of 1745. Consequently, Count de Gages moved from Modena toward Lucca, the Gallispan army in the Alps under the new command of Marshal Maillebois (Prince Conti and Marshal Maillebois had exchanged commands during the winter of 1744-1745), advancing across the Italian Riviera to the Tanaro. By mid-July 1745, the two armies were finally concentrated among the Scriviae o Tanaro. Together, the Count de Gage's army and the Gallispan army made up an extraordinarily large number of 80,000 men. A quick march on Piacenza drew the Austrian commander there, and in his absence the allies completely defeated the Sardinians at the Battle of Bassignano on September 27, 1745, a victory that was quickly followed by the capture of Alexandria, Valenza, and Casale Monferrato.

Italy's complicated politics, however, are reflected in the fact that Count Maillebois was ultimately unable to take his victory into consideration. In fact, in early 1746, Austrian troops, liberated by the Austrian peace with Frederick II of Prussia, passed through the Tyrol into Italy. The Gallispan winter quarters in Asti, Italy, were abruptly attacked and a French garrison of 6,000 men in Asti was forced to capitulate. At the same time, Maximilian Ulysses, with an Austrian corps attacked the Allies in the Lower Po and disrupted communication with the main body of the Gallispan army in Piedmont. A series of smaller actions completely destroyed the large concentration of Gallispan troops and the Austrians regained the duchy of Milan and took possession of much of northern Italy. The allies split up, Maillebois covering Liguria, the Spanish marching against Browne. The latter was swift, and all the Spaniards could do to defend themselves was to entrench themselves in Piacenza, while Philip, infante of Spain and supreme commander of the Spanish forces, called Maillebois to his aid. The French, ably led and marching rapidly, joined forces once again, but their situation was critical, for only two marches behind them the army of the King of Sardinia was in pursuit and before them was the main army of the Austrians. The battle of Placencia on June 16, 1746, was fierce, but ended in an Austrian victory, with the Spanish army heavily beaten. This victory, allowed Austria to occupy Genoa and northern Italy until the end of the War.

The Netherlands, 1745-48

The British and Dutch withdrew from Fontenoy in good order, but the French-backed Jacobite rising in August 1745 forced the British to move troops from Flanders to deal with it. By the end of 1745, the French held the strategic cities of Ghent, Oudenarde, Bruges, and Dendermonde, as well as the ports of Ostend and Nieuwpoort, threatening Britain's ties with the Netherlands.

During 1746, the French continued their advance into the Austrian Netherlands, taking Antwerp and then withdrawing Dutch and Austrian forces from the area between Brussels and the Meuse. After defeating the Jacobite rebellion at Culloden, the British launched a diversionary attack on Lorient in a failed attempt to divert French forces, while the ''new'' Austrian commander, Charles of Lorraine, was defeated by Maurice of Saxony at the Battle of Rocourt in October.

The Dutch Republic itself was now in danger, and in April 1747 the French began to reduce their barrier fortresses along the border with the Austrian Netherlands. At Lauffeld on July 2, 1747, Mauritius won another victory over a British and Dutch army under the Prince of Orange and Cumberland; the French then besieged Maastricht and Bergen op Zoom, which fell in September.

These events gave greater urgency to the ongoing peace negotiations at the Congress of Breda, which took place to the sound of French artillery firing on Maastricht. After their renewed alliance with Austria, an army of 30,000 Russians marched from Livonia to the Rhine, but arrived too late to be of use. Maastricht surrendered on May 7, and on October 18, 1748, the war ended with the signing of the Peace of Aquisgran.

Negotiations between Britain and France had been taking place in Breda since June 1746; the terms they agreed upon were imposed on the other parties in Aachen. Despite their victories in Flanders, France's Finance Minister Machault repeatedly warned of the impending collapse of their financial system. The British naval blockade led to the collapse of French customs revenues and caused severe food shortages, especially among the poor; after the second battle of Cape Finisterre in October, the French navy could no longer protect its colonies or trade routes.

This was followed in November by a convention between Britain and Russia; in February 1748, a Russian corps of 37,000 arrived in the Rhineland. Although the Dutch city of Maastricht surrendered to French forces in May 1748, an end to the war was increasingly urgent. Louis XV, therefore, agreed to return the Austrian Netherlands, whose acquisition had cost so much. Few countrymen understood this decision; combined with the lack of tangible benefits to help Prussia, it led to the phrase "as stupid as peace."

A commission was set up to negotiate competing territorial claims in North America, but made very little progress. Britain got Madras back, in exchange for the restoration of Louisbourg in Nova Scotia, to the fury of the British colonists. Neither of the two main protagonists seemed to have gained much for their investment, and both saw the Treaty as an armistice, not a peace.

In Austria, reactions were mixed; Maria Theresa was determined to regain Silesia and resented British support for the occupation of Prussia. On the other hand, the Treaty confirmed her right to the monarchy, while the Habsburgs had survived a potentially disastrous crisis, regained the Austrian Netherlands without fighting, and made only minor concessions in Italy. Administrative and financial reforms made it stronger in 1750 to 1740, while its strategic position was strengthened as the Habsburgs were installed as rulers of important territories in northwestern Germany, the Rhineland, and northern Italy.

Of the other combatants, Spain maintained its dominance in Spanish America and made small gains in northern Italy. With French support, Prussia doubled in size with the acquisition of Silesia, but twice made peace without informing their ally; Louis XV no longer liked Frederick and now saw him as unworthy of trust. The war confirmed the decline of the Dutch Republic; combined with the feeling that they received little value for the subsidies paid to Maria Theresa, Britain began to align itself with Prussia rather than Austria in order to protect Hanover from French aggression.

These factors led to the realignment known as the Diplomatic Revolution of 1756 and the Seven Years' War from 1756 to 1763, which had been even larger in scale than its predecessor.

Sources

  1. War of the Austrian Succession
  2. Guerra de Sucessão Austríaca
  3. ^ The amount of British troops on the continent however never reached above 48,000 men[3]
  4. ^ Authorised strength in 1747, actual closer to 90,000 men
  5. ^ Royal Marines
  6. a b Clodfelter 2017, pp. 78.
  7. ^ Norman Davies, God's Playground: A History of Poland: Volume I: The Origins to 1795 (Columbia University Press: New York, 1982) p. 507.
  8. ^ Reed Browning, The War of Austrian Succession, p. 20.
  9. ^ Reed Browning, Frederick the Great: The Magnificent Enigma, p. 697.
  10. ^ Asprey, p. 129.
  11. ^ Asprey, p. 181.
  12. Lors du traité de Vienne de 1738, les duchés de Lorraine et de Bar ont été concédés à Stanislas Leszczynski, roi de Pologne déchu et en exil, beau-père de Louis XV, en attendant leur annexion par la France à sa mort.
  13. Localité de Silésie, aujourd'hui en Pologne. Page allemande : Geheimkonvention von Klein-Schnellendorf.
  14. Johann Leopold Bärenklau (1700-1746), cf. site Deutsche Biographie
  15. Le royaume de Sardaigne inclut alors l'île de Sardaigne, le Piémont et la Savoie.