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Battle of Cassano
Part of the War of the Spanish Succession
Date 16 August 1705
Location Cassano d'Adda, Lombardy, present-day Italy
Result Minor Tactical French victory[1]
France[2] France Habsburg Monarchy Habsburg Austria
Louis Joseph, duc de Vendôme Eugene of Savoy
Leopold I, Prince of Anhalt-Dessau
30,000 29,000
Casualties and losses
5,000[3] 4,000+[4]

The Battle of Cassano, fought on 16 August 1705, was a hard fought battle in the Italian theatre of the War of the Spanish Succession. Both sides suffered serious casualties, but the French were victorious.


The battle

In 1705, Vendôme's army and a fresh corps from France were engaged in the attempt to subdue Victor Amadeus and his new Austrian allies and they were so far successful that the duke implored the emperor to send a fresh army. Eugene commanded this army, opposed to which was a force under Vendôme's brother Philippe, called the Grand Prior. This man, a lazy amateur, let himself be surprised by Eugene's fierce attack on the line of the Adda. The day was restored however, and the Austrians prevented to cross the river, thanks to Vendôme's opportune arrival and dauntless courage.


Eugene of Savoy was injured during the battle and left Italy for treatment in Austria. Dessau was also wounded and his Prussian contingent was decimated. The Austrian army had finally to retire towards Tyrol for the winter. Still, Eugene's activity had greatly relieved the pressure on Piedmont, enabled Turin to hold out, and kept the half-hearted Duke of Savoy true to his new alliance. Indeed, the French put off the subjugation of Piedmont until next year, by Louis's orders.

Therefore, there was no direct result from this battle. Despite the great loss of life, the battle is all but forgotten. In total 4,000 men were killed, and at least 6,000 were wounded, and an unknown number of soldiers drowned in the river.


  1. ^ Wars of the age of Louis XIV, 1650-1715: an encyclopedia of global warfare, Ed. Cathal J. Nolan, (ABC-CLIO, 2008), 72.
  2. ^ 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...". *[1]The original Banner of France was strewn with fleurs-de-lis. *[2]: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)."[3] from the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica: "The oriflamme and the Chape de St Martin were succeeded at the end of the 16th century, when Henry III., the last of the house of Valois, came to the throne, by the white standard powdered with fleurs-de-lis. This in turn gave place to the famous tricolour."
  3. ^ Jones, 286.
  4. ^ Jones, Archer, The art of war in the Western world, (University of Illinois Press, 1987), 286.

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