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Battle of Dettingen

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Battle of Dettingen

Battle of Dettingen
Part of the War of the Austrian Succession

George II at Dettingen
Date 27 June 1743
Location Dettingen (now Karlstein am Main), Bavaria
Result Allied victory[1]
 Great Britain
Commanders and leaders
George II
Earl of Stair
Duke of Arenberg
Marshal von Neipperg
Duc de Noailles
Duc de Gramont

15 British battalions
18 British squadrons

14 Austrian battalions
10 Austrian Squadrons

13 Hanoverian battalions
16 Hanoverian squadrons

98 guns
23,000[5][6] engaged of 45,000

5 Infantry Brigades

27 Squadrons

56 guns
Casualties and losses

2,000 – 3,000[7][8]

  • British: 337 Horse, 494 Foot
  • Hanoverians: 20 Horse, 533 Foot
  • Austrians: 65 Horse, 912 Foot[9]


  • 526 Horse
  • 3680 Foot[Note 1]
  • 33 Artillerymen

The Battle of Dettingen (Frankfurt, with guns on the Hessian bank but most of the combat on the flat Bavarian bank. The village of Dettingen is today the town of Karlstein am Main, in the extreme northwest of Bavaria.


  • Prelude 1
  • Battle 2
  • Aftermath 3
  • Notable incidents 4
  • Legacy 5
  • Notes 6
  • References 7
  • Further reading 8
  • External links 9


The allied army was known as the Pragmatic Army because it was a confederation of states that supported the

  • The Battle of Dettingen 1743
  • Die Schlacht bei Dettingen 1743 (German)

External links

  • Chandler, David. The Art of Warfare in the Age of Marlborough. Spellmount Limited, (1990): ISBN 0-946771-42-1
  • Browning, Reed.The War of the Austrian Succession, St. Martin's Press, New York, (1993): ISBN 0-312-12561-5
  • Hamilton, Lieutenant-General F.W..Origin and History of the First or Grenadier Guards, London, 1874, Vol. II.
  • Mackinnon, Daniel. Origin and services of the Coldstream Guards, London 1883, Vol.1.
  • Morris, Edward Ellis.The Early Hanoverians, London, 1886.
  • Rolt, Richard, Historical memoirs of His late Royal Highness William-Augustus, duke of Cumberland, London, 1767. [8]
  • Wright, Robert, The Life of Major-General James Wolfe, London 1864.

Further reading

  1. ^ Lecky, W.E.H..A history of England in the eighteenth century, London, 1878, Volume 1, p. 423. "The battle of Dettingen was truly described as a happy escape rather than a great victory...".[5]
  2. ^ 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica, entry National Flags: "The Austrian imperial standard has, on a yellow ground, the black double-headed eagle, on the breast and wings of which are imposed shields bearing the arms of the provinces of the empire . The flag is bordered all round, the border being composed of equal-sided triangles with their apices alternately inwards and outwards, those with their apices pointing inwards being alternately yellow and white, the others alternately scarlet and black ." Also, Whitney Smith, Flags through the ages and across the world, McGraw-Hill, England, 1975 ISBN 0-07-059093-1, pp.114 – 119, "The imperial banner was a golden yellow cloth...bearing a black eagle...The double-headed eagle was finally established by Sigismund as regent...".
  3. ^ George Ripley, Charles Anderson Dana, The American Cyclopaedia, New York, 1874, p. 250, "...the standard of France was white, sprinkled with golden fleur de lis...". *[6] The original Banner of France was strewn with fleurs-de-lis. *[7]:on the reverse of this plate it says: "Le pavillon royal était véritablement le drapeau national au dix-huitième siecle...Vue du chateau d'arrière d'un vaisseau de guerre de haut rang portant le pavillon royal (blanc, avec les armes de France)."
  4. ^ Chandler, David. The Art of Warfare in the Age of Marlborough. Spellmount Limited, (1990): ISBN 0-946771-42-1, p.306: Some statistics taken from Chandler
  5. ^ The Gentleman's magazine, London, 1743, Volume 13, p.429, gives 23,000
  6. ^ Hamilton, Lieutenant-General F.W..Origin and History of the First or Grenadier Guards, London, 1874, Vol. II, p.109, gives French under Grammont at 20,000 in 5 Brigades.
  7. ^ Hamilton, Lieutenant-General F.W..Origin and History of the First or Grenadier Guards, London, 1874, Vol. II, p.111
  8. ^ The Gentleman's magazine, London, 1743, Volume 13, p. 385. Details of allied losses. Townshend, Sir Charles Vere Ferrers. The military life of Field-Marshal George first marquess Townshend, London, 1901, p.39, gives a total of 2,322 killed and wounded.
  9. ^ Rolt gives 930, p. 75.
  10. ^ Townshend, Sir Charles Vere Ferrers. The military life of Field-Marshal George first marquess Townshend, London, 1901, p.41.
  11. ^ Hesse State Archive Marburg 21 WHK Wilhelmshöher Kriegskarten Bd. 21: Österreichischer Erbfolgekrieg 1740–1748 bis zum Aachener Frieden Relation S3, gives a total of 4104 killed or wounded. A German document gives somewhat higher totals for the artillery and cavalry which are used here.
  12. ^ Edward E. Morris, The Early Hanoverians, London, 1886, pp.123- 127.
  13. ^ See DBNL. De Gids Jaargang 1885 (in Dutch), p.300.
  14. ^ Stephen Brumwell, Paths of Glory, London, 2006, ISBN 1-85285-553-3, P.31
  15. ^ Robert Wright, The Life of Major-General James Wolfe, London, 1864, p.44
  16. ^ Duffy, Christopher The Military Experience in the Age of Reason, 1998, Wordsworth Editions Ltd., Hertfordshire, ISBN 1-85326-690-6, p. 19, "the Comte de Stainville (later Duc de Choiseul) three times heard Marshall Noailles order the army to reoccupy the position...".
  17. ^ Morris, Edward Ellis.The Early Hanoverians, London, 1886, p.126, of the Maison du Roi cavalry: "The charge came with such force that it broke, at least in parts, the three front lines of the British, but could not break the fourth."
  18. ^ Morris, Constance Lily. Maria Theresa – The Last Conservative, 1937, p.108, gives four battalions.
  19. ^ Robert Wright, The Life of Major-General James Wolfe, London, 1864, pp. 44–45.
  20. ^ Daniel Mackinnon, Origin and services of the Coldstream Guards, London 1883, Vol.1, p. 358
  21. ^ Brumwell, Stephen, Paths of Glory, London, 2006, ISBN 1-85285-553-3, pp. 30–31.
  22. ^ M'Crie, Thomas, Memoirs of Sir Andrew Agnew of Lochnaw, London, MDCCCL, p.9. Anderson, William (1863). The Scottish Nation: Or, The Surnames, Families, Literature, Honours, and Biographical History of the People of Scotland 2. Fullarton. p. 679. 
  23. ^ War memorials Archive


  1. ^ Missing unrecorded and not included
  2. ^ Many British sources from the time express the date as 16 June (according to the 'Julian calendar', which was still in use in Britain at the time) instead of 27 June according to the Gregorian calendar. Britain adopted the Gregorian calendar in 1752.


Dettingen House at Deepcut is the Headquarters of The Royal Logistic Corps, and houses the Museum of Army Logistics.

Dettingen has since 1947 been the name of one of the training companies at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. In recent years it has been the training unit for short courses (for example the Territorial Army Officers' Commissioning Courses) run at the Academy. Additionally, it is the name of 4 (Dettingen) Troop at Army Training Regiment Winchester.

The two parties had agreed before the battle that the sick and wounded who fell into the hands of the enemy would be cared for and not considered prisoners of war. When the allies retreated, they left behind most of their wounded and the French respected the agreement, a precursor of the Geneva Convention.

In memory of this victory, Handel composed his Dettingen Te Deum and Dettingen Anthem.


[23] During the battle a private soldier,

During the battle, Lieutenant-Colonel Sir

Royal Scots Fusilier

Notable incidents

With the French defeat at Dettingen, the Duc de Noailles missed the best opportunity to win the war at a stroke for the French. Had the French prevailed the Pragmatic Army would have had to surrender or starve and the King of Great Britain, George II, might have fallen prisoner to Louis XV.[21]


Some six hours passed with the British, Austrians and Hanoverians trying to form an advance in this confined position. At one point, George II's horse ran off with him; it was halted by Ensign Cyrus Trapaud, who received a promotion as a reward. James Wolfe wrote that the Pragmatic first line of infantry consisted of 9 regiments of British foot, 4 or 5 Austrian regiments and some Hanoverian regiments.[15] About noon, against orders,[16] Gramont impatiently attacked the allies with the Maison du Roi cavalry, initially with some success, breaking through the British front lines, throwing the British cavalry into their infantry and capturing a number of standards.[17] The French infantry followed and they too had initial success, throwing back several British regiments of foot. However, the charge forced the French artillery to stop firing and, with the attack spent and the French out of their defenses, the allies counter-attacked. An Austrian brigade of three regiments[18] advanced into a gap made by the British retiring[19] and charged the French infantry in the flank while a large Hanoverian artillery battery cannonaded the French line.[20] The French line collapsed with the Allies driving Gramont's force across and into the river with the British foot quick off the step for their earlier hardships. As a consequence the road to Hanau was opened which allowed the Allies to continue their retreat and re-supply.

On 27 June, the Pragmatic Army marched west from the town of Aschaffenburg, along the line of the north bank of the Main river, right into the famous 'mousetrap'[14] set by Noailles at the village of Dettingen cutting the allies' line of retreat to Hanau. There, behind the Forbach stream running into the Main, Noailles had stationed the Duc of Gramont with a blocking force of some 23,000 troops in a line that ran from Dettingen to the Spessart Heights behind the marshy stream and had lined the south bank of the Main with artillery that could fire without interference on the Pragmatic army's left flank while about 12,000 French troops marched north on Aschaffenburg crossing the Main behind the allied army. Thickly wooded hills to the Pragmatic Army's right flank prevented the allies from turning Gramont's position.

John Dalrymple, Lord Stair
Adrien-Maurice, Duc de Noailles.


The Austrian commander, the Duke of Arenberg, proposed to follow the Hanau, just what the French wanted. This was the result of skillful maneuvering and harassment by a French army of some 45,000 led by Noailles.


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