Eugene of Savoy-Carignan or François Eugene of Savoy, best known as Prince Eugene (German: Prinz Eugen, Italian: Principe Eugenio), born October 18, 1663 in Paris and died April 21, 1736 in Vienna (Austria), was an officer in the service of the Austrian monarchy, who became Commander-in-Chief of the armies of the Holy Roman Empire. He is considered one of the greatest generals of his time.
Raised at the court of Louis XIV and originally destined for an ecclesiastical career, he decided at the age of 19 to take up the profession of arms. Faced with the king”s refusal to let his officers fight the Ottomans, Eugene left for Vienna to offer his services to the Habsburg monarchy. For over fifty years, Eugene served three emperors: Leopold I, Joseph I and Charles VI.
Eugene first took up arms against the Turks during the siege of Vienna in 1683 and then the Holy League War. His fame became immense after his victory at Zenta in 1697. His prestige increased during the War of the Spanish Succession where, with the Duke of Marlborough, he won several victories against the French troops (Höchstädt, Audenarde, Malplaquet, Turin). He was again victorious during the third Austro-Turkish war of 1716-1718, at Peterwardein and Belgrade.
At the end of the 1720s, the influence of Eugene of Savoy and his skilful diplomacy allowed the emperor to keep his allies during the struggles against the Bourbons of France and Spain. Weakened physically and morally, he was less successful as commander-in-chief of the army during the last conflict in which he took part, the War of the Polish Succession, from 1733 to 1735.
Despite this, his reputation in the Empire remains unmatched. Even if there are differences of opinion about his personality, there is no dispute about his achievements. Eugene enabled the Holy Roman Empire to limit French conquests; he pushed back the Ottomans, liberating central Europe after a century and a half of Turkish occupation; he was also a great patron of the arts, whose architectural legacy can still be seen in Vienna today.
The hotel of Soissons
Prince Eugene was born on October 18, 1663 at the Hotel de Soissons in Paris. He is the descendant of the youngest branch of the house of Savoy represented by the princes of Savoy-Carignan. He was the fifth son of Prince Eugène-Maurice de Savoie-Carignan (1635-1673), Count of Soissons and Dreux, and Olympe Mancini (1637-1708), niece of Cardinal Mazarin. Prince Eugene was baptized on February 17, 1668 in the church of Saint-Eustache in Paris: his godfather was his great-uncle Cardinal Francesco Maria Mancini, represented by Thomas of Savoy, and his godmother was his aunt Louise-Christine of Savoy-Carignan.
Prince Eugene”s father was a native of the Duchy of Savoy. His mother, a native of Rome, was the sister of Marie Mancini. She came to Paris at the age of 10, along with her sister, with Cardinal Mazarin, their uncle, in 1647. The Mancini sisters were brought up in the royal palace with the dauphin of France, the future Louis XIV, with whom Olympe had a passing affair. In 1657 she married Prince Eugene-Maurice of Savoy-Carignan, and gave him five sons, of whom Eugene was the youngest, and three daughters. The father of the young Eugene, colonel-general of the Swiss and Grisons, governor of Champagne, died prematurely at the age of thirty-eight, in 1673, while his youngest son was in his ninth year.
On her side, Olympe Mancini, attached to the French court, seems to stay away from her eight children. She is involved in the intrigues and plots of the court of Versailles. She will incur the disgrace of the king during the affair of poisons and will go into exile in 1680 in Brabant, leaving her children in the care of their paternal grandmother, Marie de Bourbon-Condé (Dowager Countess of Soissons). She will continue the education of her grandchildren intermittently in the castle of Condé, in Picardy, (today”s department of Aisne), and in the Hotel de Soissons in Paris.
As a child, Eugene was directed by his father towards an ecclesiastical career, as this was the fate destined for the cadets of the princely family. At the age of eight, he was tonsured and wore a cassock. He would wear it until 1682. He was of fragile constitution and modest bearing. His physical appearance was certainly not impressive. The Duchess of Orleans wrote of him, “He was never handsome…It is true that his eyes are not ugly, but his nose ruins his face; he has two large teeth that are visible all the time.” The young prince, who seems so unfit to practice the art of war, will later demonstrate that he is able to withstand the toughest fatigue and that he is of unfailing endurance.
He has no taste for the ecclesiastical state. He prefers to hear about sieges and battles, and he prefers to see soldiers armed with muskets marching than to attend a procession with its devout paraphernalia. Quinte-Curce and the life of Alexander the Great seduce him more than all the breviaries in the world. In February 1683, to the surprise of his family, he announced his intention to join the army. Now 19 years old, Eugene asked Louis XIV for the command of a company; but the king, who showed no compassion for the children of Olympus after his disgrace, refused him. The king notes: “The request was modest, but not the applicant. Nobody else has ever addressed me in such an insolent way “.
While waiting for a suitable opportunity, Eugene, whom Louis XIV and the court of Versailles derisively called “the little abbot”, practiced all the exercises intended for the military profession. He made rapid progress under the guidance of the best trainers. Troop management, tactics, strategy, horseback riding, weapons handling, attack and defense operations, including strongholds: nothing was spared him and he revealed real talents. The young prince Eugene was hurt by the disgrace of his mother exiled in Brussels and by the contempt that the sovereign and his ministers showed towards him. In his Memoirs, published for the first time, belatedly, in Weimar in 1809, he wrote about Louis XIV: “There is no Huguenot driven out by the revocation of the Edict of Nantes who has retained more hatred for him. So when Louvois said: So much the better, he will never return to this country, I swore that I would only return with arms in hand. I kept my word.
He secretly left for Vienna to offer his services to the court of Emperor Leopold I. He offered to take part in the fight against the Turks of the Ottoman Empire who had begun to invade the Holy Roman Empire through the Archduchy of Austria as well as the Kingdom of Hungary, a possession of the House of Austria located outside the Holy Roman Empire. They were laying siege to the city of Vienna when, on the night of July 26, 1683, Eugene left Paris; some members of his family had already preceded him into the ranks of the imperial army, in which he was to volunteer and face his first battles.
War against the Ottoman Empire
In May 1683, the Ottomans threatened Vienna and laid siege to it. The Grand Vizier Kara Mustafa, encouraged by the rebellion of Imre Thököly, had invaded Hungary with 100,000 to 200,000 men. Within two months, the Ottoman troops reached the Habsburg capital. Emperor Leopold I took refuge in Passau on the banks of the Danube, entrusting the command of the troops to the Duke of Lorraine Charles V. Eugene arrived in mid-August at Leopold I”s side; he was immediately incorporated into a combat unit. Eugene had no doubt about the scope of his new allegiance: “I will devote all my strength, all my courage and, if need be, to the last drop of my blood to the service of your Imperial Majesty.
Eugene immediately had the opportunity to prove his loyalty. In September, the imperial forces, commanded by the Duke of Lorraine, were ready to attack the army of the Sultan who was investing Vienna. They received the reinforcement of a powerful army of help, commanded by the king of Poland, Jean III Sobieski, with the addition of troops commanded by the electors of Bavaria and Saxony, Maximilien II Emmanuel of Bavaria and Jules-François of Saxe-Lauenbourg. On the morning of September 12, 1683, the Christian forces formed a battle on the southeastern slope of the Wienerwald massif, dominating the camp where the enemy was massed. After a day of struggle, the Ottomans were defeated: they abandoned all their artillery, their impedimenta and a large quantity of horses. The battle of Vienna thus puts an end to 60 days of siege and leads to the departure of the armies of the Sultan. Placed under the command of the Margrave of Baden, Eugène distinguished himself during the battle, earning a citation from the House of Lorraine and the Emperor.
On December 14, 1683, Prince Eugene was given command of the Kufstein dragoon regiment, whose commander had just died in battle. He was only twenty years old and had only served four months. The decree of his nomination to the rank of colonel was signed by the Emperor, “in appreciation and gracious consideration of the excellent qualities, of the skill of this one which are known to Us and of the bravery of which he has shown”. His regiment of dragoons will henceforth be called “dragoons of Savoy”.
In March 1684, Emperor Leopold I formed the Holy League with Poland and Venice to counter the Ottoman threat. In October 1684, Prince Eugene distinguished himself at the head of his regiment of Savoy dragoons at the siege of the stronghold of Buda defended by the Ottomans. He was wounded in the arm by a musket shot, but not seriously. During the next two years, Eugène continued to distinguish himself during the campaign against the Ottomans and was recognized as a dedicated and competent soldier. At the end of 1685, when he was only 22 years old, he was appointed marshal of camp. The Margrave of Baden was impressed by Eugene”s qualities: “This young man will, in time, occupy a place among those whom the world considers great leaders of armies.
In June 1686, the Duke of Lorraine undertook for the second time the siege of Buda which had been abandoned in 1684. During a fight against 3,000 Ottomans who were trying to leave the fort of Buda on July 27, 1686, Prince Eugene had a horse killed under him. The next day, during an assault, the prince was slightly injured. The command center of the Ottoman occupation forces in Hungary and the city of Buda will fall after a resistance of 78 days, on September 2, 1686. The Ottoman army collapsed all over Hungary, even in Transylvania and Serbia. After the fall of Buda, Prince Louis-Guillaume of Baden-Baden and Prince Eugene, at the head of a detachment of the army, laid siege to the city of Cinq-Églises, which the Ottomans evacuated by setting it on fire, to take refuge in the citadel. After an artillery duel, the 3,000 Ottoman soldiers surrendered, leaving behind 18 cannons, a large stock of ammunition and many horses.
At the beginning of the winter of 1686, Prince Eugene went on leave to attend the carnival in Venice. A new success followed in 1687 when, at the head of a cavalry brigade, he was an important actor in the victory of Mohács on August 12. The defeat was so serious for the Ottomans that their army mutinied. This revolt spread to Constantinople where the Grand Vizier was executed and Sultan Mehmed IV deposed. Once again, the courage of Prince Eugene earned him the recognition of his superiors, who gave him the honor of bringing the news of the victory to the Emperor in Vienna. For his record of service, Prince Eugene was promoted to Lieutenant General in November 1687. Finally, on November 6, 1688, during the siege of Belgrade, while leaving for the assault with the Elector of Bavaria, Prince Eugene shouted to the soldiers: “My children, follow us. We must win or perish”. The first one on the breach, followed by the volunteers, he received a wound from a saber blow which split his helmet. The janissary who had struck him was soon punished: Prince Eugene thrust his sword through his body and made him fall dead at his feet.
1688-1697: interlude in the West – war of the League of Augsburg
While in the east, Belgrade, evacuated by the Ottomans, fell to the imperial forces of Archduke Leopold I of Habsburg, commanded by Maximilian-Emmanuel of Bavaria, in the west, the armies of the French king, Louis XIV, crossed the Rhine and entered the Holy Roman Empire. Louis XIV hoped that a show of force would allow him to quickly resolve the dynastic and territorial conflicts that opposed him to the princes of the Empire along the eastern border of his kingdom. But his troop movements only strengthened the German resolve, and in May 1689, Leopold I and the Dutch signed the Great Alliance to repel French attacks.
Prince Eugene of Savoy was sent on a diplomatic mission to Turin, at the end of August 1689, by Emperor Leopold I, to his cousin, the Duke of Savoy Victor-Amédée II. The objective of Emperor Leopold I was to detach the Duke of Savoy from the influence of his powerful and cumbersome French neighbor and to make the Duke adhere to the alliance pact of the League of Augsburg. Prince Eugene will reveal all his diplomatic talents and persuade the duke of the advantages related to a reversal of alliance, by making him point out in particular that in the event of attack of the king of France he would be the first one to come to the help of his cousin… The duke of Savoy, convinced by arguments so skilfully deployed, decides to go in winter 1689 to the carnival of Venice – to escape the curiosity of the French attached to the court of Turin – and ratifies a treaty of alliance to the League of Augsbourg. From 1689, Prince Eugene was assured of receiving the revenues of the two abbeys of San Michele della Chiusa and Santa Maria di Casanova in Piedmont: from then on, he would be protected from the serious financial difficulties he had experienced in the past. Prince Eugene arrived in Vienna in the late fall of 1689 to report to Emperor Leopold I on his mission. The chroniclers indicate that he was charmed by the way his ambassador had carried out his mission. Eugene was promoted to general of cavalry.
Louis XIV knew about the adhesion of the Duke of Savoy to the League of Augsburg. The war in Piedmont was declared by both sides. The king of France ordered the marshal of Catinat to advance into Piedmont at the head of 12,000 men. The French troops camped under Pignerol while awaiting the arrival of reinforcements from Flanders and Germany. As soon as they arrived, the French took the square of Cahours (Cavour), near the Po river, and put the garrison to the sword. Faced with the French invasion, the Duke of Savoy asked for the help that the Emperor had promised him.
Accompanied by his friend the prince of Commercy, Eugène arrived hurriedly from Vienna in a post chair to assist his cousin. He tried, in vain, to dissuade him from engaging the combat with troops not very hardened, and strongly advised him to wait for the arrival of the 7 000 men of cavalry and infantry which were on the way and of which he was to take the command. Nothing was done and the Duke of Savoy engaged his troops in a disastrous battle which resulted in the defeat of Staffarda on August 18, 1690. Prince Eugene, having taken the lead of cavalry troops, gendarmes and guards of the corps of Savoy on the left wing, tried desperately to limit the catastrophe. He succeeded in saving the remains of the Savoyard army and saved his cousin from disaster, but he was slightly wounded by a soft bullet. The duke of Savoy lost 3,400 killed, 1,500 wounded and more than 2,000 prisoners in the battle.
Eugene was unimpressed with the men and their officers during the war in Italy: “The enemy would have been beaten long ago if everyone had done their duty,” he reported to Vienna. He had so much contempt for the imperial commander, Count Antonio Caraffa, that he threatened to leave the imperial army. In Vienna, Eugene”s attitude was perceived as the arrogance of a young parvenu and was not taken into consideration; but the Emperor was impressed by his passion for the imperial cause.
Prince Eugene returned to the aid of his cousin, Duke Victor-Amédée II of Savoy, at the head of the imperial army. He confronted the troops of Marshal de Catinat in Piedmont in skirmishes with uncertain results. Then he joined Turin, while the Court deplored the capture by Catinat of the fortress of Montmélian, in Savoy, on December 21, 1691. However, Duke Victor-Amédée II secretly used all the means of his diplomacy by meeting French emissaries and by proposing to them a possible reversal of alliance in favor of King Louis XIV, in return for the evacuation of his territories. Prince Eugène, warned of these maneuvers, succeeded in convincing him to break these negotiations and made him named by the Emperor, from 1692, generalissimo, in his place, of all the imperial troops operating in Savoy.
In the council of war, the duke of Savoy proposed, with the agreement of his generals, to attack the marshal of Catinat at Pignerol. Prince Eugène opposed it, by pointing out to him that this operation did not present any strategic interest. He estimates, on the other hand, that the best way to obtain the evacuation of the French is to invade the Dauphiné and Provence. The duke of Savoy having agreed to it, the imperial troops simulated an attack on Susa to oblige Catinat to move his troops who were going to lock themselves up there to organize the defense. During this time, the imperial army, led by prince Eugène under the nominal authority of his cousin, invaded the French territory and obtained numerous successes in the capture of the places of Dauphiné and Provence. But an unforeseen obstacle arose: the Duke of Savoy was suddenly afflicted with smallpox in Gap and his life was feared. Transported to Sisteron, he was treated by the Jesuits and prepared for death. But, having recovered his health, he decided to return to Savoy and repatriated the whole imperial army which passed through the mountains at the end of September 1692, without having obtained the slightest benefit from the action undertaken.
Once in Turin, Prince Eugene received the collar of the Order of the Golden Fleece sent to him by the King of Spain. Then he returned to Vienna where the Emperor expressed his satisfaction with his action and proposed to grant him the dignity of Field Marshal at the next promotion.
At the beginning of 1693, Prince Eugene, anxious to improve the fate of the States of Savoy, the cradle of his ancestors, still occupied by the French army of Marshal de Catinat, returned to the Court of Turin. There, he found his cousin, the duke Victor-Amédée II, who had kept the quality of generalissimo of the allied armies. In the midst of his war preparations, the Duke persisted in wanting to lay siege to Pignerol, at the head of a powerful army reinforced by German and Spanish troops. He entrusted the command to the Field Marshal Aeneas Sylvius of Caprara. He convened a council of war in Carignan and obtained the consent of his generals.
Prince Eugène, who in the meantime had been appointed Field Marshal by the Emperor on May 25, 1693, strongly advised him, as he had already done in 1692, against embarking on this adventure, which was far from being in keeping with his strategic skills, in the face of Marshal de Catinat. The latter had just received important reinforcements from King Louis XIV who intended to take his revenge for the disorders that the Duke had inflicted on him in Dauphiné and Provence during the year 1692.
After many marches and counter marches, the two armies met and engaged, on October 4, 1693, in the battle of La Marsaille, which ended in a crushing defeat for the Duke of Savoy. The toll was very heavy: 8,000 dead or wounded, 2,000 prisoners. Prince Eugène, at the head of the infantry, fought with all the means at his disposal in the center of the battle. He succeeded in making an orderly retreat of his troops. He returned to the court of Vienna during the winter to try to obtain new reinforcements for his cousin Victor-Amédée II. He gathered 45 000 men, among which Spanish reinforcements. But, for the second time, the duke negotiated secretly with the emissaries of Louis XIV and committed himself to neutralize his action in Savoy.
The defeat at La Marsaille prompted Duke Victor-Amédée II to negotiate a truce, followed by a peace agreement, with Louis XIV. In 1694, the Savoyard marquis Caron de Saint-Thomas and the marshal de Tessé met secretly at Lorette. They planned the basis of an agreement that would be largely followed by effect: neutrality of Savoy and apparent state of hostility. The secret is well kept until the secret Treaty of Pignerol, signed on May 30, 1696, confirming the neutrality of Savoy. Eugene will not have confidence in his cousin any more, but he will continue to show reverence towards him in his capacity as head of his own family. Their relations will remain tense. The honors of the war in Italy undoubtedly go to the French commander, Marshal Catinat, but Eugène, the only general of the Alliance, plays a determining role by his actions and his decisive results and succeeds in reinforcing his reputation at the end of the war of the League of Augsburg. The treaty of Pignerol was only made public on August 29, 1696. It was confirmed by the Treaty of Turin. On September 28, 1696, the French troops evacuated the Duchy of Savoy. And, on September 21, 1697, the treaty of Ryswick was signed, putting an end to the war of the League of Augsburg. The fortress of Montmélian was returned to the Savoyards after the signing of the peace.
1697: the battle of Zenta in Hungary, against the Ottomans
While the imperial army was occupied in Piedmont, facing the troops of Louis XIV, the Ottomans were able to retake Belgrade and reconquer Hungary. In August 1691, the imperial troops commanded by Louis-Guillaume of Baden-Baden had regained the advantage by severely defeating the Turks at the Battle of Slankamen on the Danube, securing the Habsburg possessions in Hungary and Transylvania. In 1697, on the recommendation of the president of the Imperial War Council, Ernst Rüdiger von Starhemberg, Prince Eugene was given supreme command of the imperial forces to deal with the threat of the troops of the new sultan, Mustafa II. This was his first independent command – from then on, he no longer had to put up with the extreme caution of Caprara and Caraffa or be annoyed by the reversals of Victor-Amédée. However, when he returned to his army, he found it in a state of “indescribable misery”. Confident and very sure of himself, prince Eugene, assisted in a competent way by Commercy and Guido Starhemberg, sets out to restore order and discipline.
Emperor Leopold I asked to act cautiously. But when he learns that the troops of Sultan Mustafa II are marching on Transylvania, Prince Eugene abandons any idea of a defensive campaign and decides to intercept the Ottomans when they cross the Tisza River at Zenta. On September 11, 1697, the imperial forces arrived in front of the enemy, late in the day. Eugene ensured the great mobility of his army, according to a precept used later by Napoleon, by obliging each cavalryman to take a foot soldier in croup during the approach of the Tisza. The Ottoman cavalry had already crossed the river, so Prince Eugene decided to attack immediately by arranging his men in a semi-circle. The vigor of the assault spread terror and confusion within the enemy army. At the end of the battle, the imperial army lost 2,000 men killed or wounded, but there were 30,000 victims among the Ottomans, including the grand vizier, Elmas Mehmet Pacha. Prince Eugene revealed his tactical skills, his ability to make bold decisions and to inspire his men with courage and strength to excel in battle against a dangerous enemy.
The battle of Zenta proved to be a decisive victory in the long war against the Ottomans, but the interests of Emperor Leopold I were now turned towards Spain where the imminent death of Charles II posed the problem of his succession. The Emperor put an end to the conflict with the Ottomans by signing the Treaty of Karlowitz on 26 January 1699. After a brief assault on the Ottomans in Bosnia culminating in the sack of Sarajevo, Prince Eugene returned to Vienna in November. He received a triumphant welcome. Thanks to the battle of Zenta, Eugene had become a European hero and was rewarded for his victory. The land that the Emperor gave him in Hungary provided him with a good income, allowing him to devote himself to his new taste for art and architecture.
Prince Eugene remains without family ties. Only one of his four brothers is still alive. His fourth brother, Emmanuel, died in 1676 at the age of 14; his third, Louis-Jules, was killed in battle in 1683 and his second, Philippe, died of smallpox in 1693. Louis-Thomas of Savoy-Carignan, his only surviving brother, exiled for having displeased Louis XIV, travelled through Europe in search of a situation before arriving in Vienna in 1699. With Eugene”s help, Louis found a place in the imperial army, only to be killed fighting the French in 1702. Of Eugene”s sisters, the youngest died in childhood, and the other two, Marie Jeanne-Baptiste and Louise-Philiberte, led dissolute lives. Driven out of France, Marie joined her mother in Brussels before fleeing to Geneva to marry a defrocked priest, with whom she lived an unhappy life until her death in 1705. Little is known about Louise”s life after her existence in Paris, except that at one point she lived for a time in a convent in Savoy, before dying in 1722.
1700-1713 : War of the Spanish Succession
The death without posterity of the king of Spain, Charles II, on November 1, 1700, gave rise to a conflict between the king of France Louis XIV and the Emperor Leopold I who each claimed the succession. England, the United Provinces, the Holy Roman Empire and Prussia, allied by the coalition treaty of the Grand Alliance of The Hague (September 7, 1701), declared war on France and Spain on May 15, 1702. The duke of Savoy, Victor-Amédée II, after having hesitated for a long time, approached the court of Vienna in 1702. He will break definitively his alliance with France on January 5, 1703, by joining the coalition. He thus makes enter Savoy in the war of Spanish Succession.
Prince Eugene crossed the Alps with about 32,000 men in May and June 1701. After a series of brilliant maneuvers at the head of the imperial army, reinforced by German troops, he was victorious over Marshal de Catinat at the battle of Carpi on July 9, 1701. On September 1, 1701, Prince Eugene was again victorious over Marshal de Villeroy in the battle of Chiari, in a deadly confrontation. As often during his career, the prince had to fight the war on two fronts, the enemy on the ground and the government in Vienna.
During the battle of Cremona, on the night of January 31 to February 1, 1702, Prince Eugene captured Marshal de Villeroy. However, Cremona remained in French hands and Marshal de Vendome, his first cousin and Villeroy”s successor, became the new commander of the town. Prince Eugene did not obtain the necessary reinforcements to face the more numerous French troops. The battle of Luzzara on August 15, 1702 proved to be inconclusive, even though Prince Eugene”s troops caused twice as many casualties in the opposing camp. Eugene returned to Vienna in January 1703.
Prince Eugene”s European reputation grew: the battles of Cremona and Luzzara were celebrated as victories in all the capitals of the Alliance. But, due to the conditions and the morale of his troops, the 1702 campaign in Piedmont was not successful. Emperor Leopold I, and the president of the Council of War, Henry von Mansfeld, undoubtedly blamed Prince Eugene for this, although the latter had mentioned his lack of means. The Emperor had to face a direct threat of invasion on his Bavarian border: in August 1702, the Elector of Bavaria Maximilian-Emmanuel had declared himself the ally of King Louis XIV. Meanwhile, in Hungary, a small-scale revolt began in May and quickly gained momentum. Economically, the country was close to bankruptcy, and Emperor Leopold I finally decided to change his government. At the end of June 1703, Prince Eugene succeeded Henry von Mansfeld as president of the Imperial War Council (Hofkriegsratspräsident). As head of the war council, Eugene was now part of the Emperor”s direct entourage. He was the first president since Raimondo Montecuccoli to retain command.
Reforms were immediately undertaken to improve the efficiency of the army: incentives, and when possible money, were sent to commanders on the battlefield; promotions and honors were distributed on the basis of competence rather than influence; discipline was improved. However, in 1703, the Austrian monarchy faced great dangers on several fronts. Sent by King Louis XIV, Marshal de Villars came to reinforce the troops of the Elector of Bavaria on the banks of the Danube; his troops directly threatened Vienna. Meanwhile, Marshal de Vendôme remained at the head of a large army in Piedmont and fought the weak imperial army commanded by Guido Starhemberg. The revolt led by Franz II Rákóczi in Hungary was equally dangerous, because by the end of the year it had reached Moravia and Lower Austria.
Dissension between Villars and the Elector of Bavaria prevented them from launching the assault on Vienna in 1703. At the beginning of 1704, the Duke of Marlborough marched south to rescue the city of Vienna. He obtained the presence of Prince Eugene, in order to have at his side a “zealous and experienced partisan”.
The victory of Blenheim was won on August 13, 1704, during the battle of Höchstädt. Prince Eugène, at the head of the right wing of the allied army, contained the superior forces commanded by the Elector of Bavaria and the Marshal of Marsin. On his side, the Duke of Malrborough made a breakthrough in the center of the French army, commanded by Marshal de Tallard. With more than 30,000 dead and wounded on the enemy side, the battle proved to be decisive: Vienna was saved and Bavaria out of the fight. France now faced a real danger of invasion, but Leopold I was still faced with two threats: the revolt of François II Rákóczi in Hungary and the invasion of the French army in northern Italy. Guido Starhemberg and the duke Victor-Amédée II of Savoy, do not have the means to stop the advance of the French troops commanded by the marshal of Vendôme. Only the city of Turin resisted, and the French began a siege.
Prince Eugene returned to Italy in April 1705, but his attempts to advance west of Turin were thwarted by the skilful manoeuvres of the Vendôme troops. Lacking ships and materials to build bridges, his army plagued by desertions and disease, and outnumbered by French troops, the imperial commander remained powerless. The promises of money and reinforcements from Leopold I proved illusory. Prince Eugène was forced to take action without having obtained the means he had demanded. He suffered a bloody defeat at the battle of Cassano on August 16, 1705. However, Emperor Leopold I died in May 1705. The accession to the throne of his son, Emperor Joseph I of Habsburg, finally allowed Prince Eugene to receive assistance. Joseph I proved to be a solid support in military operations: he was the most efficient Emperor he knew. It is also the reign during which he will be the happiest.
Having promised him his support, Emperor Joseph I agreed that Prince Eugene should invest in Italy, in order to bring aid and assistance to his cousin, Duke Victor-Amédée II of Savoy. Prince Eugene arrived on the scene in mid-April 1706, just in time to organize the orderly retreat of what remained of Count Reventlow”s imperial army, after the French victory of the Duke of Vendome at the battle of Calcinato on April 19, 1706. Vendome now prepared to defend the front along the Adige, determined to keep the imperial troops cut off from their eastern lines in the Alps, while the French army threatened Turin. However, simulating attacks along the Adige, Prince Eugene went south, crossed the Po in mid-July, foiled the maneuvers of the French commander and occupied a favorable position that allowed him to finally reach Savoy to assist the beleaguered capital. The siege of Turin, (from May to September 1706), remained famous in Italy. For more than three months, the Turinese, commanded jointly by the Austrian general Wirich de Daun and the Savoyard general Solaro della Margherita, valiantly resisted the French troops of the Duke of La Feuillade. They were delivered by the coordinated action of the imperial and Savoyard troops. The French army retreated in disorder to Pignerol during the counter-attack led by Prince Eugene and his cousin, Duke Amédée II of Savoy. It was during this siege defense that the episode of the sacrificial mission of the soldier Pietro Micca took place. He detonated a mine inside the galleries of the fortress of Turin to oppose the French grenadiers who were trying to penetrate the fortress by underground way. He is celebrated for his heroism throughout Italy.
Events outside of the Italian military theater were to have major consequences on the war being waged there. Marlborough”s crushing victory over Villeroy at the battle of Ramillies on May 23 caused Louis XIV to recall Vendôme to take command of the French troops in Flanders. For Saint-Simon, this transfer was a kind of deliverance for the French command, which “now began to feel that victory was unlikely, because Prince Eugene, who had received many reinforcements after the battle of Calcinato, was in a completely new situation in that part of the war. The duke of Orleans, under the command of Marsin, replaced Vendôme, but the indecision and the disorder of the French camp caused its loss. As a result, the army of Louis XIV was forced to leave northern Italy and the entire Po Valley came under the authority of the allies. Prince Eugene won a victory as significant as that of his friend Marlborough at Ramillies. The imperial victory in Italy marked the beginning of 150 years of governance, first personal for the House of Austria and then for the Austrian Empire, when it was founded in 1804, over Lombardy; Prince Eugene was appointed governor of Milan.
However, the year 1707 will prove to be disappointing as well for prince Eugene as for the Great Alliance. The Emperor and Prince Eugene, whose main objective was, after seizing Turin, to take Naples and Sicily which were in the hands of the allies of Philip, Duke of Anjou, had to reluctantly accept the plan of attacking Toulon elaborated by Marlborough. Toulon, indeed, was the home port of the French fleet in the Mediterranean. However, the disunity between the commanders of the Alliance – the Duke of Savoy, Prince Eugene, and the English admiral Shovell – condemned the expedition to failure. Although Prince Eugene approved of some forms of attack on the southeastern frontier of France, it was clear that he considered the expedition unfeasible and he did not show “the eagerness he had shown on other occasions. Large reinforcements of French troops put an end to the enterprise, and on August 22, 1707, the imperial army began its retreat. The capture, afterwards, of the city of Susa could not compensate for the complete failure of the Toulon expedition, and with it any hope of a victorious breakthrough by the Allies that year.
At the beginning of 1708, Prince Eugene succeeded in evading a transfer to Spain. Guido Starhemberg, sent in his place, allowed him to take command of the imperial army on the Moselle, and to unite again with Marlborough in the Spanish Netherlands. Encouraged by the confidence of Prince Eugene, the allied commanders developed a bold plan to engage the French army, which, under the command of Vendôme and the Duke of Burgundy, was preparing to besiege Oudenaarde. The battle of Oudenaarde on July 11, 1708 was a resounding success for the Allies. Marlborough now preferred a rapid advance along the coastline to bypass the main French fortresses, but the Dutch and Prince Eugene, worried about leaving their resupply corridors unprotected, favored a more cautious approach. Marlborough agreed and resolved to lay siege to the great fortress of Lille. While Marlborough led the covering forces, Prince Eugene supervised the siege of the city, which capitulated on October 22, 1708. However, Marshal Boufflers did not surrender the citadel until December 10, 1708. Prince Eugène was seriously wounded above the left eye by a musket ball. He also survived an attempt at poisoning.
By the end of 1710, the Duke of Marlborough and Prince Eugene had destroyed almost the entire belt of fortresses protecting France. Despite this, there was no glorious victory on the battlefield, and this was the last year of collaboration between the two allied commanders. In England, the new Tory (Conservative) government refused to see the new Emperor of the Romans, Charles VI, successor to Joseph I, also become King of Spain. This sentiment was shared by the Dutch and Germans. In January 1712, Prince Eugene arrived in England with the hope of convincing the government to abandon its policy of peace, but Queen Anne and her ministers remained inflexible. He arrived too late to support the Duke of Marlborough who, considered by the Tories to be the main obstacle to peace, was relieved of his duties. The House of Austria solidified its power outside the borders of the Holy Roman Empire: the Hungarian revolt was finally subdued. Prince Eugene would prefer to fight the rebels, but Emperor Joseph I offered them the lenient conditions of the Peace of Szatmár.
Prince Eugene prepared for a major campaign in 1712. During this campaign, he took possession of the fortress of Le Quesnoy in early July, before laying siege to Valenciennes and Landrecies. Marshal de Villars, taking advantage of the disunity of the allies, foiled Prince Eugene”s maneuvers and defeated the Dutch garrison of the Count of Albemarle at Denain on July 24, 1712. The French continued their momentum by seizing the main Allied base camp at Marchiennes, before retaking Douai, Le Quesnoy and Bouchain. In one summer, all the outposts laboriously conquered by the Allies over the years, and intended to serve as a springboard to France, were abandoned.
The victories of Marshal de Villars led to the Treaty of Utrecht, ratified on April 12, 1713. For his part, Prince Eugene tried to convince the Emperor of the Romans, Charles VI, to make peace, but the last minute requests at the time of the treaty of Utrecht were unacceptable to the Emperor and his ministers. Prince Eugene prepared a new campaign in 1713. But, in front of the lack of financing and supplies, its chances of success are weak. Taking position on the Rhine, and in great numerical superiority compared to the imperials, the marshal of Villars succeeds in leaving Eugene in doubt as for his real intentions. Thanks to successful feints and stratagems, the French commander took possession of Landau in August, then of Freiburg im Breisgau in November. With the Empire”s finances at an end and the German states reluctant to continue the war, Emperor Charles VI was forced to negotiate. Prince Eugene and Marshal de Villars began talks on November 26, 1713. The prince proved to be a fine negotiator and obtained favorable agreements in the Treaty of Rastatt signed on March 7, 1714. In spite of the failure of the campaign of 1713, Prince Eugene could declare that “in spite of the military superiority of our enemies and the defection of our Allies, the conditions of peace obtained will be more advantageous and more glorious than those which we obtained in Utrecht”.
War between the Empire and the Ottoman Empire. The capture of Belgrade
In 1716, Prince Eugene had to face the Ottoman armies whose Emperor, Charles VI, feared a new invasion of Hungary. At the beginning of August 1716, the Ottoman troops, comprising 120,000 men under the authority of the Sultan”s son-in-law, the Grand Vizier Damat Ali Pasha, marched from Belgrade towards Prince Eugene”s positions west of the fortress of Petrovaradin on the north bank of the Danube. The Grand Vizier intended to seize the fortress, but Prince Eugene gave him no chance. After ignoring calls for caution and foregoing a council of war, the prince decided to attack immediately, with more than 60,000 men, on the morning of August 5. At first, the Ottoman janissaries had some success, but after an offensive by the imperial cavalry on their flank, Ali Pasha”s forces found themselves in great confusion. While the Emperor”s forces lost nearly 5,000 men, the Ottomans retreating to Belgrade lost twice as many, including the Grand Vizier, who was personally involved in the battle and died of his wounds.
Prince Eugene succeeded in taking the fortress of Timişoara in the Banat in mid-October 1716, ending 164 years of Ottoman rule over the region, before turning his attention to the following year”s campaign and what he saw as the main objective of the war: the city of Belgrade. Located at the confluence of the Danube and Sava rivers, Belgrade was home to a garrison of 30,000 men commanded by Mustapha Pasha. The imperial forces laid siege to the city in mid-June 1717; by the end of July, large sections of the city had been destroyed by artillery. In the first days of August, a huge Ottoman army led by Halil Pasha, 150,000 to 200,000 strong, arrived on the plateau east of the city to rescue the garrison. The news of the imminent destruction of the imperial army went around Europe, but Prince Eugene had absolutely no intention of lifting the siege. His men suffered from dysentery and were subjected to a continuous bombardment from the plateau; the prince, knowing that only a decisive victory could get his army out of this delicate situation, decided to assault the reinforcing troops. On the morning of August 16, 40,000 soldiers of the imperial army marched through the fog, attacked the Ottomans by surprise and routed the army of Halil Pasha. A week later, Belgrade surrendered, effectively ending the war. This victory was the crowning achievement of Prince Eugene”s military career.
The Quadruple Alliance
While Prince Eugene fought the Ottomans in the east, unresolved conflicts following the treaties of Utrecht and Rastatt caused a resumption of hostilities between Emperor Charles VI and Philip V of Spain in the west. The representatives of a new French-English alliance, determined to ensure peace in Europe for their own dynastic security, called on both camps to mutually recognize their sovereignty, but Philip V remained intractable. On August 22, 1717, the prime minister, Alberoni, invaded Austrian Sardinia, in what seems to be the beginning of the reconquest by Spain of its former Italian empire.
Prince Eugene returned to Vienna just after the victory of Belgrade. He decided to detach part of his troops to Italy, while Emperor Charles VI ratified the pact of the Quadruple Alliance on August 2, 1718. After the signing of the Treaty of Passarowitz ending the war against the Ottomans, Prince Eugene decided to direct the operations from Vienna, far from the theater of operations. The efforts of war of Austria in Sicily are weak compared to the allied interventions. The pressure of the allied armies places Philip V of Spain in front of the obligation to sign the pact of the Quadruple Alliance, on January 25, 1720.
Governor General of the Netherlands
Prince Eugene became governor of the Netherlands – at that time, the Austrian Netherlands – in June 1716, but without settling there. He will remain in this position for eight years, while retaining the presidency of the Council of War. Drawing conclusions from the War of the Spanish Succession, he persuaded Emperor Charles VI to create a military school (förmliche Ingenieur-Academia) to meet this need. The Imperial Academy of Military Engineering was established on a provisional basis in 1717, and then on a permanent basis in 1720. Faced with the hostility of the guilds and the local nobility, he resigned on November 16, 1724. The art of government was ensured by plenipotentiary ministers, first Hercule-Louis Turinetti, Marquis de Prié whose unpopularity led him to resign in 1724. Prié resigned a few months later. The emperor appointed his sister Marie-Elisabeth of Austria as governess. Count Wirich de Daun, who succeeded the marquis de Prié as minister plenipotentiary, assumed the regency until the arrival of the archduchess.
The 1720s saw rapid changes in alliances between the European powers and an almost permanent diplomatic confrontation, mainly over unresolved issues concerning the Quadruple Alliance. The Emperor and the King of Spain continued to claim titles (exasperating France and England as much as Philip V) and Charles VI refused to remove the last remaining legal obstacles to settle the succession of Don Carlos to the duchies of Parma and Tuscany. Against all expectations, Spain and Austria are brought closer by the treaty of Vienna in April-May 1725. In response, England, France and Prussia concluded the Hanover alliance to counter the danger of a Spanish-Austrian hegemony in Europe. The next three years were filled with a continuous risk of war between the Western powers and the Spanish-Austrian bloc.
From 1726, Prince Eugene began to gradually regain his political influence. With the help of his numerous contacts throughout Europe, supported by the imperial vice-chancellor Schönborn, he succeeded in securing the support of powerful allies and in strengthening the position of the Emperor.
In August 1726, Russia joined the Spanish-Austrian alliance. Frederick William I of Prussia followed suit in October by leaving the Hanover Alliance and signing a mutual defense treaty with the Emperor. However, coming to the conclusion that the best way to ensure her son”s succession to the duchies of Parma and Tuscany was now to join England and France, Elisabeth Farnese abandoned the Spanish-Austrian alliance in 1729 with the signing of the Treaty of Seville. On the insistent advice of Eugene to resist any form of pressure, Charles VI sent troops to Italy to prevent the entry of Spanish garrisons into the disputed duchies. In fact, at the beginning of the year 1730, prince Eugene, who had not ceased to be bellicose during all this period, controlled again the Austrian policy.
In England, a policy of realignment emerged and the Franco-English agreement quickly faded. Considering that the resurgence of France was the most serious threat to England, the English government led by Sir Robert Walpole decided to reform the Anglo-Austrian alliance and signed the Second Treaty of Vienna on March 16, 1731. Eugene was the main Austrian minister instigating this alliance, believing once again that it would ensure the security of the Empire against Spain and France. The treaty obliged Charles VI to sacrifice the Company of Ostend, a rival to the English and Dutch trading companies, and to accept, unequivocally, the accession to the throne of Don Carlos over Parma and Tuscany. In return, King George II, as King of Great Britain and Elector of Hanover, guaranteed the Pragmatic Sanction, allowing the right of inheritance for the daughters of the imperial family. It was largely due to Eugene”s care that in January 1732 the Imperial Diet also guaranteed the Pragmatic Sanction, which, along with the treaties signed with England, Russia, and Prussia, marked the high point of Eugene”s diplomacy. The Treaty of Vienna infuriated the court of King Louis XV: the French were pushed aside and the Pragmatic Sanction, which increased the influence of the Habsburgs, was accepted. The Emperor also intended to marry his daughter and heiress, Maria Theresa, to Francis III of Lorraine (future Emperor Francis I), which posed an unacceptable threat to the French border. At the beginning of 1733, the French army was again ready for war. Only one reason was missing to justify it.
1734-1735: War of the Polish Succession
In 1733, the king of Poland and elector of Saxony, Augustus the Strong, died. There are then two pretenders to the throne: Stanislas Leszczyński, father-in-law of Louis XV, and Augustus, son of Augustus the Strong, supported by Russia, Austria and Prussia. The problem of the succession to the Polish throne allows Fleury, the main minister of state of Louis XV, to attack Austria and take Lorraine from Francis. In order to secure the support of Spain, France supported the granting of additional territories in Italy to the sons of Elisabeth Farnese. Prince Eugene entered the War of Polish Succession as President of the Imperial War Council and Commander-in-Chief of the army, but he was severely handicapped by the quality of his troops and the lack of funds. Now over 70 years old, the Prince was also affected by a rapid decline in his physical and mental capacities. France declared war on Austria on October 10, 1733, but without the support of the maritime powers – which, despite the Treaty of Vienna, remained neutral throughout the conflict – Austria could not commit the troops necessary to conduct an effective campaign. By the end of the year, Franco-Spanish troops had taken Lorraine and Milan. In early 1734, Spanish troops took possession of Sicily.
Prince Eugene took command of the troops on the Rhine in April 1734, but, being greatly outnumbered, he was forced to adopt a defensive strategy. In June, he undertook to rescue the city of Philippsburg, but without the dynamism or energy of the past. Prince Eugene was accompanied by the young Frederick II of Prussia, sent by his father to learn the art of war. Frederick learned much from Prince Eugene, recalling later in life the great personal debt he owed his mentor, but he was appalled by Prince Eugene”s mental state, writing afterwards that “his body was still there but his mind was gone. Prince Eugene would lead another campaign in 1735, again implementing a sensible defense strategy due to his limited resources. However, his immediate memory was now almost non-existent and his political influence disappeared completely; Gundaker Starhemberg and John Bartenstein then dominated the Conference in his place. Fleury, who was determined to limit the extent of the war and avoid a renewal of the Grand Alliance, granted generous peace terms to the Emperor in October 1735.
April 21, 1736 : death in Vienna
Prince Eugene returned to Vienna from his campaign in the War of the Polish Succession in October 1735, weakened. When Maria Theresa of Austria and Franz Stephan of Lorraine were married in February 1736, Prince Eugene was too ill to attend the ceremony. After playing cards at Countess Batthyány”s house on the evening of April 20, he returned to his room in the Stadtpalais. When his servants arrived to wake him up the next morning, on April 21, 1736, Prince Eugene was found dead of pneumonia.
Prince Eugene”s heart is preserved in a funeral chapel of the House of Savoy, in the Basilica of Superga in Turin, which he had planned to build with his cousin Victor-Amédée II during their victory over the French troops who were besieging the city”s citadel. The remains of his ashes were transported in a large procession to the Cathedral of St. Stephen in Vienna and buried in the Kreuzkapelle. His memory will remain for a long time in the memory of the Piedmontese and Savoyards who continue to celebrate the liberation of the siege of Turin in 1706.
Little is known about the private life of the young Prince Eugene before 1683, except through the letters and memoirs of the Duchess of Orleans, Elisabeth-Charlotte, sister-in-law of Louis XIV, who hated the Prince since he sided with Austria, and who described Eugene”s youth as “debauched”, based on the allegations of the duchess, As historian Derek Mc Kay, one of Eugene”s leading biographers, points out, Elisabeth-Charlotte”s reflections on Eugene were made years after Eugene left France, and only after he had severely mistreated the armies of her brother-in-law, Louis XIV. Between Eugene”s departure from France at the age of nineteen and his death in 1736, there are no further indications of homosexuality in his regard.
During the last twenty years of his life, Prince Eugene would have had female friendships, but he never married. Historians mention his long relationship with the Hungarian countess Eléonore Batthyány-Strattmann. He remained without legitimate posterity.
The rewards Prince Eugene received for his victories, his share of the spoils, and his regular income from his positions in the imperial government and from his abbeys in Savoy allowed him to contribute to the development of Baroque architecture. Eugene spent most of his life in Vienna in his Winter Palace, the Stadtpalais, built by Fischer von Erlach. The palace was both his official residence and his home, but for reasons that remain unclear, his association with Fischer ended before the building was completed, and he favored Johann Lukas von Hildebrandt as his personal chief architect. Eugene first employed Hildebrandt to complete the Stadtpalais before entrusting him with the design of a palace on his Danube island in Ráckeve. The construction of this one-story building began in 1701 and took twenty years. Despite this, probably due to the Rákóczi revolt, it seems that the prince visited it only once: after the siege of Belgrade in 1717.
Of more notable importance is the grandiose complex of the Belvedere Palace in Vienna. The single-story Lower Belvedere, with its exotic gardens and zoo, was completed in 1716. The Upper Belvedere, completed between 1720 and 1722, is a more important building. With its gleaming white stucco walls and copper roof, it became one of the wonders of Europe. Eugene and Hildebrandt also converted an existing building on his Marchfeld estate into a country residence, the Schlosshof, located between the Danube and the Morava, one of its tributaries. This building, completed in 1729, is much less elaborate than his other projects but strong enough to serve as a fortress in case of need. Eugene spent a lot of his free time in this place during his last years, giving great hunting parties there.
In the years following the peace of Rastatt, Prince Eugene became acquainted with a large number of scholars. Because of his position and sensitivity, they were eager to meet him: few of them could live without a patron and this was probably the main reason for his meeting with Gottfried Leibniz in 1714. He became friends with the French writer Jean-Baptiste Rousseau who, from 1716, received financial support from Eugene. Rousseau remained attached to the house of the Prince, probably helping in the library, until his departure for the Netherlands in 1722. Another of his acquaintances, Montesquieu, already famous for his Persian Letters when he arrived in Vienna in 1728, had fond memories of his time spent at the Prince”s table. Nevertheless, Prince Eugene had no literary pretensions of his own, and was not tempted like Maurice de Saxe or Marshal Villars to write his memoirs or books on the art of war. However, he became a great collector: his painting galleries were filled with Italian, Dutch and Flemish works of the 16th and 17th centuries; his library in the Stadtpalais was filled with more than 15,000 books, 237 manuscripts and a gigantic collection of engravings (books on natural history and geography were of particular interest), his supplier being Jean Mariette. Rousseau wrote: “It is difficult to believe that a man who carries on his shoulders the burden of almost all the affairs of Europe … can find so much time to read as if he had nothing else to do. Upon Prince Eugene”s death, his possessions and estates, with the exception of his estate in Hungary claimed by the Crown, became the possession of his niece, Princess Victoria, who immediately decided to sell everything. The works of art were bought by Charles-Emmanuel III of Sardinia. Eugene”s library, engravings and drawings were purchased by the Emperor in 1737 and have since become part of Austria”s national collections.
Napoleon I considered Prince Eugene to be one of the seven greatest commanders in history. Although military critics later disputed this statement, Prince Eugene was undoubtedly the greatest Austrian general. He was not a military innovator, but he had the ability to make an inadequate system work. He was equally adept as an organizer, strategist and tactician, believing in the primacy of battle and his ability to find the right moment to launch a victorious attack. The Prince of Saxony wrote in his Reveries on the Art of War that “the important thing is to see the opportunity and to know how to use it. Prince Eugene possessed this quality which is the greatest in the art of war and which is the test of the greatest geniuses.
Prince Eugene was a fan of toughness – when soldiers disobeyed orders, he said he was ready to kill them himself – but he rejected indiscriminate brutality, writing: “You should be tough only when, as is often the case, kindness proves to be useless. On the battlefield, Prince Eugene demanded courage from his subordinates, and expected his men to fight where and when he wanted them to. His criteria for promotion of his soldiers was based more on obedience to orders and courage on the battlefield than on their social standing. Generally speaking, his men obeyed because he was willing to push them as hard as he pushed himself. However, his role as President of the Imperial War Council proved to be less successful. During the long period of peace that followed the war between Austria and the Ottoman Empire, the idea of creating a separate field army or giving the garrison troops effective training to turn them into such an army was never considered by Prince Eugene. As a result, in the War of the Polish Succession, the Austrians were dominated by a much better prepared French army. Prince Eugene was largely responsible for this situation – according to him, unlike the army exercises and maneuvers conducted by Prussia under Frederick William, real fighters could only be trained in the run-up to a war. The confusion of the War of the Polish Succession had certainly left its mark on Frederick the Great, as had Eugene, as an example of the appalling decay into which troops could fall. He improved on these harsh judgments afterwards. He commented in 1758: “If I understand anything about my business, especially the more difficult aspects, I owe this advantage to Prince Eugene. From him I have learned to have great purposes constantly in view, and to devote all my resources to those ends.” For historian Christopher Duffy (en), it was this awareness of “grand strategy” that Frederick inherited from Prince Eugene.
Prince Eugene attached his personal values to his responsibilities: physical courage, loyalty to his sovereign, honesty, self-control in all circumstances. He expected these same qualities from his commanders. Prince Eugene”s approach was dictatorial, but he was willing to cooperate with individuals he considered his equal, such as Baden or Marlborough. The result was an austere figure who commanded respect and admiration rather than affection. The large equestrian statue in the center of Vienna commemorates the achievements of Prince Eugene. On one side is inscribed: “To the wise counselor of three Emperors”, and on the other, “To the glorious conqueror of Austria”s enemies”.
In honor of Eugene, four warships in different navies were named after him:
: document used as a source for the writing of this article.