1706 – Campaign in Piedmont

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Hierarchical Path: War of the Spanish Succession (Main Page) >> Campaigns >> 1706 – Campaign in Piedmont

The campaign lasted from April to December 1706

Introduction

This is a preliminary version of the article which will be later improved by integrating details
from the work of the Vienna War Archive

As in previous years, the Duc de Vendôme commanded the Franco-Spanish army in Italy for the campaign of 1706. His goals were to submit the Duchy of Savoy while preventing an Imperialist army under Prince Eugène de Savoie from making a junction with the Savoyard Army in Piedmont. Vendôme had to divide his forces in two armies: one operating at the source of the Po River; the other, on the banks of Lake Garda. Vendôme was once more seconded by the Duc de La Feuillade, who was charged of operations in Piedmont and of the planned siege of Turin. Meanwhile, Vendôme directly confronted Prince Eugène in Lombardy.

The Duc de La Feuillade asked for 6,000 militia to complete his regiments, but his request was declined by the Court.

During the discussions for the planned siege of Turin, M. de Lapara proposed to make two distinct attacks: one against the hornwork of the city, the other against the citadel. However, M. de Vauban disagreed and proposed to first attack the heights on the right bank of the Po and to seize the entrenchments of the Capucins. He estimated that the army could make itself master of this location within three weeks and that its occupation would allow to ease the capture of the city. Then, the army could turn its attention to the citadel, a final siege that would require about two months. For such a siege, Vauban asked for an army of 45,000 foot and 10,000 horse. Without such a force, he thought that any plan to besiege Turing should be postponed to the next year and that the army should rather lay siege to Cuneo. The Duc de La Feuillade disagreed with Lapara and Vauban, and insisted on the importance of attacking the citadel directly. He argued that with only 62 bns, he could not undertake two simultaneous attacks. He planned to occupy Moncalieri on the right bank of the Po before attacking the citadel.

Vendôme was favourable to the plan of the Duc de La Feuillade.

At the beginning of March 1706, the Court chose the plan of the Duc de La Feuillade for the siege of Turin.

Description

Map of the Duchy of Savoy in 1700 published in Wikimedia Commons by user Raymond Palmer and released in the public domain

On 1 April, the Duc de Vendôme, the Prince de Vaudémont and the Duc de La Feuillade held a conference in Milan where they agreed that, from the 25 Spanish bns, 13 bns would guard the place of the Duchy of Milan, 8 bns would join the Army of Lombardy and 4 bns would campaign in Piedmont. The Prince de Vaudémont also promised that the Duchy of Milan would provide 4,000 pioneers and 1,200 wagons and some guns for the siege of Turin. Meanwhile, Vendôme would do his best to drive the Imperialists out of the region of Brescia but would avoid to give battle as long as the siege of Turin had not come to a conclusion.

In mid-April, Vendôme defeated the Imperialists at Calcinato in Lombardy and drove them back to the mountains.

On 7 May, the Duc de La Feuillade went to Chivasso while M. de Gévaudan assembled 21 bns and 10 sqns under the walls of Susa. He destined 6 bns and 10 sqns to the escort of the provisions and of the artillery and 13 bns to stay in various places.

Duke Victor Amadeus of Savoy was at the head of 11,000 foot and 5,000 horse, including an Imperialist Contingent. All these troops were in Turin, Cuneo, in the region of Mondovi and in the region of Asti. Furthermore, he could count on his militia to harass the siege corps while his regular troops would defend his capital. Since the end of the previous campaign, the Duke of Savoy had built many redoubts around Turin and new entrenchments in the suburb on the right bank of the Po and on the Capucins height.

On 9 May, the Duc de La Feuillade set off from Chivasso. His troops assembled on the Orco crossed this river and the Malone and encamped with their right towards Lombardore and their left at San Benigno where the headquarters were established.

On 10 May, the troops of the Duc de La Feuillade marched to Nole, near Cirié. Bridges were thrown over the Stura River.

On 11 May, the troops of the Duc de La Feuillade crossed the Stura and encamped near the farmsteads of Robassomero.

On 12 May, the troops of the Duc de La Feuillade marched to Druento where they were joined by M. de Gévaudan with 1 dragoon rgt which he had brought from Susa. These dragoons escorted a convoy of artillery to Caselette.

On 13 May, the Duc de La Feuillade marched to Pianezza and his army reoccupied the positions which it had occupied during the previous year with its right at Lucento and its left at the park of the Venaria along the Po; the infantry in first line; the cavalry, in second.

On 14 May

  • Franco-Spanish
    • The Duc de La Feuillade sent the artillery and the pontoons to the camp of M. de Gévaudan and ordered him to throw two bridges over the Dora Riparia, one at Lucento and the other at Pianezza.
    • The army of the Duke de La Feuillade corps began to work at the construction of lines between the Dora Riparia and the Po. La Feuillade planned to cross the Dora Riparia and get closer to Turin as soon as his lines would be ready, leaving 15 bns in these lines.

On 16 May, the Allied cavalry moved its camp to Colegno.

On 19 May, M. de Guerchy crossed the Dora Riparia at Pianezza with 2 grenadier coys and all the hussars to reconnoitre the area.

On 20 May

  • Franco-Spanish
    • The lines between the Dora Riparia and the Po being completed, the Duc de La Feuillade marched to Pianezza where he joined Gévaudan’s Corps. He then crossed the Dora Riparia in two columns and encamped near Grugliasco, his right on the road leading from Turin to Rivoli and his left at Collegno. 10 grenadier coys occupied the chapel of Notre-Dame de Lauze situated in front of the camp. M. d’Arène had been left behind in the lines with 18 bns and 10 sqns.
    • The Duc de La Feuillade was informed that the Duke of Savoy had retired most of his troops from Asti, leaving only a small garrison of 40 regulars and some militia in the castle.
  • Allies
    • The Allied cavalry retired from Colegno and took refuge under the guns of Turin.

On 22 May, at daybreak, La Feuillade’s Army marched in four columns, advancing directly on Turin. The duke then installed his camp with its left anchored to the bank of the Dora Riparia and its right, to a large hedge bordered by farmsteads, about 100 paces beyond the road leading to Pinerolo. As soon as the camp had been established, work began on the line of contravallation from the Dora Riparia to the road leading from Turin to Rivoli.

The Franco-Spanish army then undertook the Siege of Turin (see this article for a detailed description of the operations of the siege) which would last until September. However, during this siege, the Duke of Savoy continued to operate in Piedmont while an Imperialist relief army tried to break through the Franco-Spanish lines of defence in Lombardy to come to the rescue of the besieged city. Furthermore, the Duc de La Feuillade conducted operations in Piedmont.

By 30 May, the 34 sqns (each of 120 men) of the Allied cavalry were encamped at Moncalieri on the opposite bank of the Po River. A bridge of boats, with a bridgehead protected by two strong redoubts guarded by 2 bns, linked their camp to Turin.

On 14 June in the afternoon, M. d’Estaing and M. de Guerchy set off from the camp before Turin with 15 grenadier coys, the carabiniers and 19 dragoon sqns and crossed the Po River at Chivasso where they encamped. The Duc de La Feuillade had decided to pass to the other bank of the Po and to dislodge the Allied cavalry from Moncalieri.

On the night of 14 to 15 June, Estaing and Guerchy were followed by 11 bns belonging to the army and 2 bns of the garrison of Chivasso.

On 15 June

  • Franco-Spanish
    • At daybreak, the Duc de la Feuillade left the camp before Turin with 39 sqns to join his troops operating on the opposite bank of the Po. He left 50 bns and 21 sqns under M. de Chamarande to continue the siege of Turin.
    • Estaing and Guerchy advanced to Monte-Alto (probably Montaldo Torinese), about 6 km from Chieri.

On the night of 15 to 16 June, fearing for his positions at the Capucins now that the Franco-Spanish were operating on the opposite bank of the Po, the Duke of Savoy sent most of his infantry from Turin to these defensive works.

On 16 June, La Feuillade’s Corps made a junction with d’Estaing’s and Guerchy’s detachments at Monte-Alro. On his arrival, La Feuillade was informed that the garrison of Chieri consisted only of militia, he immediately marched against the place with his grenadiers, his dragoons and his carabiniers. The place opened its gate.

On the night of 18 to 19 June, the Duke of Savoy, who had rejoined his cavalry at Moncalieri with the court and his baggage, marched towards Cherasco. He had left FML Wirich Daun in command in Turin with 6 Imperial bns, the Savoyard infantry, 500 horse (including 1 sqn of Colona von Fels Dragoons) and 1,000 dismounted cavalrymen to defend the city.

On 19 June, the Duc de La Feuillade marched towards Moncalieri. His vanguard and his hussars under M. de Filtz drove back 2 troops of horse. His troops entered into Moncalieri without meeting any resistance. 5 bns and 2 sqns under M. d’Angennes occupied the place; 2 other bns and 2 sqns were posted in Chieri; and 1 other bn along with the Montferrat Militia were posted along the Po to protect the line of communication with Chivasso by way of Monte-Alto and Bardassano. The rest of the corps of the Duc de La Feuillade encamped near Moncalieri where a bridge was thrown across the Po at the location of the previous bridge of boats of the Allies.

On 20 June, the Duc de La Feuillade detached the Comte d’Estaing with 300 picked foot, 2 dragoon sqns, 1 Spanish sqn, 8 cannon and some miners to attack the Castle of Asti. The Prince de Vaudémont had promised a reinforcement of 800 men from the garrison of Finale. La Feuillade then took dispositions to follow the Duke of Savoy in the direction of Cherasco with 12 bns, all his cavalry, 16 heavy artillery pieces, 20 four-pdr guns and 6 mortars.

On 21 June, the Duc de La Feuillade joined his troops at Moncalieri after inspecting the siege works near Turin. He marched to Sommariva del Bosco with his cavalry while his infantry and artillery reached Carmagnola. Upon his arrival at Sommariva, La Feuillade was informed that the Duke of Savoy had left the town at 4:00 a.m. the same day. La Feuillade wanted to continue his march, hoping to catch up with the rearguard of the Allies. However, he learned that the Duke of Savoy had already crossed the Stura at Cherasco, so he stopped at Sommariva. La Feuillade also sent orders to assemble all the militia of the Montferrato at Ceva where it would be joined by a detachment of the garrison of Finale.

On 22 June, the Duke of Savoy left the Dragoni di Genevois, 500 Imperialist horse and some militia under the command of Colonel La Marre of the Savoyen Dragoons to defend Cuneo.

On 23 June early in the morning, La Feuillade marched to Bra with his cavalry.

On 24 June, the infantry and artillery of the Duc de La Feuillade joined his cavalry near Bra. The Allied cavalry was encamped behind Cherasco on a very advantageous height in the angle formed by the Stura and the Tanaro. After reconnoitring the camp of the Allies, La Feuillade realised that it was unassailable and decided to surround it. He sent 2 dragoon rgts to reinforce M. d’Estaing, who had already made himself master of the town of Asti and was planning an attack on the castle. He also sent M. de Mauroy with 6 grenadier coys and 1,000 horse to put Saluzzo and Fossano to contribution. La Feuillade ordered to throw bridges across the Stura and then personally returned to inspect Turin.

On 25 June, M. de Mauroy crossed the Stura above from Cherasco and marched upstream along this river, seeing the Allied cavalry moving along the opposite bank and establishing outposts from places to places up to Sant’ Albano to observe his own movements. Mauroy reached a location opposite Fossano and the Duke of Savoy took position on the fords facing this town with 2,000 horse.

On 26 June, the Duc de La Feuillade made a junction with Mauroy’s detachment before Fossano, bringing 8 cannon and pontoons with him. As the Franco-Spanish artillery opened fire, the Allies moved their camp back and the Duc de La Feuillade immediately threw a bridge on the Stura. The last pontoon was barely in place when the Duke of Savoy retired to Sant’ Albano with all his cavalry and took position behind a ravine. The Duc de La Feuillade encamped before Sant’ Albano.

The Duc de La Feuillade decided to attack the small garrison (900 men) left behind in Cherasco.

On 29 June, the Duc de La Feuillade reconnoitred the vicinity of Cherasco and realised that the place would require a formal siege. When he was informed that the Duke of Savoy had retired to Cuneo, La Feuillade abandoned his design against Cherasco, preferring to follow the duke and to cut his line of supply.

On 1 July

  • Franco-Spanish
    • The Duc de La Feuillade marched with his cavalry and part of his infantry to Margarita on the Brobio River between Cuneo and Mondovi.
    • The rest of La Feuillade’s infantry under M. de Vibray decamped from Bra and marched in the direction of Mondovi.

On 2 July early in the morning, the Duc de La Feuillade marched on Mondovi with 400 horse and La Feuillade Infanterie (2 bns). A small detachment of Allied cavalry (80 men) managed to reach Mondovi and close the gate of the bridge just before La Feuillade’s arrival. However, this detachment soon came out by the opposite gate and retired to Cuneo. La Feuillade’s grenadiers broke the doors of the gate and entered into Mondovi which soon surrendered. The militia guarding the citadel abandoned it, freeing 140 French prisoners. The Duc de La Feuillade found the Prince and the Princess of Carignan with their daughters, the Count of Susa, the children of the Comte de Soissons, several ladies of the Savoyard Court and a few magistrates from Turin, who had taken refuge in this town. La Feuillade allowed the Prince of Carignan to retire to his estate of Racconigi on the Maira River.

On 3 July

  • Franco-Spanish
    • The Duc de La Feuillade placed La Feuillade Infanterie in Mondovi. The 2 grenadier coys of this regiment occupied the Castle of San Michele on the road to Ceva. He also sent 2 bns with 4 cannon and 2 mortars under M. de Marignan to make themselves master of the Castle of Ceva which was only defended by peasants. Meanwhile, M. de Sartirane marched from Finale with 2,000 foot (regulars and Montferrato militia) and Spanish sqns to assist Marignan.
    • The Franco-Spanish troops, which were encamped at Margarita, marched towards the Upper Gesso, between Borgo (maybe Borgo San Giuseppe) and Cuneo, and reached Spinetta, where they were joined by the Duc de La Feuillade. The Duke of Savoy had already crossed the Stura and retired to Cervasca with the Allied cavalry, leaving only 2 dragoon rgts near Cuneo on the left bank of the Gesso. The Duc de La Feuillade planned to surround the 2 dragoon rgts in Cuneo and to force the Duke of Savoy to retire southwards to the Tende Pass while M. de Sartirane would occupy Ceva and thus cut the road leading to Genoa. For these reasons, La Feuillade retired to Fossano, leaving only 7 bns and 19 sqns under M. de Goesbriant at Spinetta with instruction to occupy Boves to cut another line of retreat to the Duke of Savoy. Goesbriant was also instructed to protect his camp with ditches which would allow him to leave his baggage there under the guard of a single infantry rgt, while the rest of his detachment would follow the Duke of Savoy if he tried to retire towards Cherasco. For his part, the Duc de La Feuillade would march from his camp at Fossano along the left bank of the Stura and throw a bridge on the river opposite Goesbriant’s position.

On 4 July, La Feuillade was informed that the Duke of Savoy had marched to Saluzzo to retire by the Lucerna Valley.

On 5 July, La Feuillade marched to Savigliano and detached M. de Marignan with 2 bns and 4 cannon to join M. de Sartirane at Ceva. He also sent orders to M. de Goesbriant to send 3 bns and 3 sqns of his corps to Savigliano. La Feuillade then confided command to M. d’Aubeterre with orders to attack the Duke of Savoy after the arrival of the reinforcements sent by Goesbriant, if the Duke was still at Saluzzo. La Feuillade then departed for Turin to evaluate the progress of the siege.

Until 6 July, Vendôme completely baffled all attempts of Prince Eugène to slip past him through Lombardy into Piedmont. However, on the night of 5 to 6 July, the Imperialists managed to cross the Adige near Pettorazza.

On 7 July

  • Franco-Spanish
    • The reinforcements sent by Goesbriant (3 bns, 3 sqns) arrived at Savigliano. M. d’Aubeterre was now at the head of 5 bns and 47 sqns.
    • In the morning, d’Aubeterre’s Corps set off from Savigliano and crossed the Vraita: the cavalry forded it while the infantry used a ferry.
  • Engagement near Saluzzo
    • The French vanguard (500 horse) took some prisoners and advanced up to a suburb of Saluzzo called “Capucins,” where 500 Allied horse were deployed at the outskirt of this suburb.
    • The vanguard attacked them and forced them to retire towards on the main body which was crossing the Po River.
    • M. de Mauroy, reinforced by 1 cavalry brigade under the Chevalier de Savines, tried to catch up with the Allied rearguard between Saluzzo and the Po. However, the rearguard charged them and threw them in disorder.
    • M. d’Aubeterre made himself master of Saluzzo and encamped nearby.
  • Allies
    • All the Allied cavalry crossed the Po and took the road to Cavour.

Meanwhile, D’Estaing made himself master of the Castle of Asti, the garrison surrendering as prisoners of war; and Sartirane and Marignan captured the town of Ceva and initiated the attack of the castle. The Duc de La Feuillade was now confident to be master of Turin before the end of August. However, the French Court had received intelligence that Prince Eugène would soon receive important reinforcements (including 9,000 Hessians), that he had been instructed to force the passage of the Adige River at all cost, and that the Maritime Powers were sending approx. 9,000 men aboard their fleet to reinforce the Duke of Savoy. Chamillart, the War Minister, wrote to his son-in-law, the Duc de La Feuillade, to stress the importance of the siege of Turin and to ask him to concentrate all his efforts towards this goal.

On 8 July, the Duc d’Orléans, sent from Versailles to replace Vendôme in Italy, arrived at the camp near Turin where he was received by the Duc de La Feuillade. He was not satisfied by the progress of the siege.

On 10 July, the Duc d’Orléans sent the Duc de La Feuillade to Saluzzo with orders to pursue the Allied corps of the Duke of Savoy, and then to send back part of his forces to Turin to assist the siege corps.

On 11 July

  • Franco-Spanish
    • After giving instructions to M. de Chamarande, the Duc d’Orléans left the camp before Turin for Milan.
    • The Duc de La Feuillade arrived at Saluzzo to assume command of the corps posted there under M. d’Aubeterre.

On 12 July, the corps of the Duc de La Feuillade crossed the Po and advanced to Cavour.

The same day (12 July), in Lombardy, Prince Eugène managed to cross the Canalbianco. Vendôme decided to retire behind the Mincio.

On 13 July, the corps of the Duc de La Feuillade marched from Cavour to Pinerolo where it was joined by 10 grenadier coys belonging to the siege corps. La Feuillade intended to march against the Duke of Savoy who was posted near Rubiana at the entry of the Lucerna Valley. However, he was informed that some 1,350 inhabitants of the valley had taken arms and joined the Duke of Savoy who had dismounted all his cavalry and sent their horses in remote mountains. La Feuillade considered that the type of outpost warfare, which he would have to fight, would not produce any tangible results and would be risky. He finally decided to abandon the pursuit and to return to Turin where he would concentrate his efforts on the siege.

On 16 July, Colonel La Marre at the head of the Savoyen Dragoons re-occupied Saluzzo.

On 17 July, the Duc de La Feuillade arrived at Turin with most of the infantry of his corps. He had sent his cavalry back to Moncalieri and Chieri.

On 18 July

  • Franco-Spanish
    • The 30 sqns destined to reinforce Vendôme’s Army set off from Chieri and Moncalieri under the command of M. d’Aubeterre.
    • The Duc d’Orléans, accompanied by the Maréchal de Marsin, arrived at Vendôme’s headquarters at Volta In Lombardy. The latter had been recalled to supersede Villeroy in the Low Countries.
  • Imperialists
    • A large Imperialist corps crossed the Po on a bridge at Polesella without meeting any resistance. The road to Piedmont was now opened to Prince Eugène.

On 22 July, the Duc de La Feuillade received orders from the Duc d’Orléans to be in readiness to march to Stradella with 20 bns and join d’Aubeterre’s 30 sqns which had been ordered to take position there.

On 23 July, the Duke of Savoy marched with the cavalry and some militia to

On 30 July, 50 sqns belonging to the army of the Duc de La Feuillade set off from Chieri and Moncalieri to reinforce the army of the Duc d’Orléans, leaving only 26 sqns under the Comte d’Estaing at Moncalieri to cover the siege of Turin.

On 15 August, the Duc de La Feuillade informed the Duc d’Orléans that he intended to make a stand at Chieri against the army of Prince Eugène. He asked him to send back 39 sqns of his own cavalry along with the 6 dragoon rgts dragoons and 4 bns serving in Lombardy. The Duc d’Orléans immediately sent orders to M. d’Aubeterre to set off from Cremona and Pavia with his 39 sqns and to join the Duc de La Feuillade at Chieri. He also prepared to send 5 bns instead of the 4 which had been requested.

On 18 August, the Duke of Savoy reached Chieri, east of Turin and sent from there a small convoy to Turin with ammunition and the necessary provisions. The convoy of 150 artillery horses was led by Lieutenant-Colonel Baron Zierotin from the Pfalz-Neuburg Cuirassiers and escorted by Colonel La Marre with the Savoyen Dragoons.

In the night of 18 to 19 August, the Allied convoy reached Raglie. It then lost its way and bumped into French outposts at Notre-Dame-de-Pilon near Turin. Only Colonel La Marre with 30 horse managed to cross the Po River and to reach Turin. The rest of the convoy returned to Chieri.

On 19 August, after his failed attempt to resupply Tutin, the Duke of Savoy returned to his old camp near La Motta.

On 20 August early in the morning, the Chevalier de Luxembourg set off from Saint-Fremont’s camp in Lombardy with the 5 bns that the Duc d'Orléans had promised to send to the Duc de La Feuillade at Turin. 100 wagons transported these bns.

On 25 August, the Chevalier de Luxembourg arrived at Chivasso with his 5 bns.

On ?? August, the infantry of the Duc d’Orléans (now only 22 bns), arriving from Lombardy, crossed the Sesia and marched towards Chivasso, which it reached after three days.

On 26 August, the Duc d’Orléans and the Maréchal de Marsin left Valenza and went to Crescentino.

On 27 August, the Chevalier de Luxembourg arrived before Turin with his 5 bns.

On ?? August, the cavalry of the Duc d’Orléans marched from Valenza.

On 28 August

  • Franco-Spanish
    • The cavalry of the Duc d’Orléans joined his infantry at Chivasso. It was later left at Settimo.
    • The Duc d’Orléans and the Maréchal de Marsin personally went to Turin where they inspected the trenches. The found the siege corps in poor conditions.

On 29 August, Prince Eugène’s Army crossed the Tanaro River at Isola d’Asti, between Alba and Asti. The heads of his columns made a junction with the forces of the Duke of Savoy at his camp at Motta (more probably Montà) near Carmagnola.

On 30 August

  • Franco-Spanish
    • The Duc d’Orléans wrote to Louis XIV to inform him of the situation before Turin. He had deployed 30 bns in the mountains near Turin; started work to improve the entrenchments between the Dora Riparia and the Po. The army had enough provisions until 9 September.
    • In the evening, 22 grenadier coys belonging to the Army of Lombardy arrived before Turin.

On 31 August

  • Allies
    • Prince Eugène’s Army encamped at Villastellone.
  • Franco-Spanish
    • The Duc d’Orléans sent orders to his infantry at Chivasso and his cavalry at Settimo to join him before Turin.

On 1 September

  • Allies
    • The armies of the Duke of Savoy and of Prince Eugène effected a junction at Villastellone on the right bank of the Po, between Carmagnola and Moncalieri. The duke and Prince Eugène reconnoitred the French positions from the heights of Chieri and considered them as unassailable. They sent some regulars with approx. 8,500 militia under the Count de Santena to take positions in these parts. They established two bridges on the Po, opposite Carignano.
  • Franco-Spanish
    • The Duc d’Orléans held a council of war with M. de Chamarande, the Duc de La Feuillade, M. d’Albergotti, M. de Saint-Fremont, Lord Galmoy, the Comte de Vibray, d’Arène, d'Estaing and de Murcey. Most generals thought that it would be better to wait for the enemy well entrenched in the lines of circumvallation but M. d’Albergotti was of the opinion that most of the cavalry and 40 bns could be sent out to observe the Allied army. These advices were forwarded to the Court at Versailles for the final decision.

After their junction, the two Allied armies were deployed with their infantry in first and second lines and their cavalry in third and fourth lines. The cavalry was placed under the command of G.d.C Marquis de Langallerie.

On 4 September

  • Allies
    • The Allied army crossed the Po at Carignano and encamped at Beinasco on the Sangone.
  • Franco-Spanish
    • The infantry and cavalry of the Duc d’Orléans were all assembled before Turin.
    • Informed that the army of the Allies counted only 23,000 men, the Duc d’Orléans proposed to march against them, but all his generals disagreed.

On 5 September, the Allied army marched up to the Dora Riparia, encamping with its left opposite Pianezza and its right extending to the highway leading from Turin to Rivoli. The Allies captured a convoy of powder and flour coming from Susa under M. de Bonelle.

On 6 September

  • Allies
    • The Allies crossed the Dora Riparia and established their left on the Stura River and their right at Pianezza. The Duke of Savoy and Prince Eugène, after reconnoitring the French positions, had carefully chosen the weakest part of the circumvallation where there were few entrenchments. The headquarters were established at Venaria on the Stura.
  • Franco-Spanish
    • The Duc d’Orléans proposed to attack the Allies with the forces assembled around Turin. Again, his generals disagreed.
    • The French commanders sent workers to erect entrenchments between the Dora Riparia and the Stura. The Duc d’Orléans wanted to recall 30 bns, which under M. d’Albergotti were posted in the mountains, but the Maréchal de Marsin disagreed, saying that the duke did not have the authority to raise the siege of Turin. Therefore, only 17 bns were deployed in a single line between the two rivers with 65 sqns to support them. The rest of the army was disseminated along the lines between the Dora Riparia and the Po, or employed to guard the trenches and the bridges.

On 7 September, Eugène and Victor Amadeus attacked the French lines round Turin. In the ensuing Battle of Turin, owing to the disagreements of their generals, the various corps of the defenders, though superior in total numbers, were beaten in detail by the well-concerted attacks of Eugène, Victor Amadeus and the Turin garrison. Marsin was killed and many of the boldest officers in the army lost heart. The Duc d’Orléans planned to retire towards the heights of Moncalieri and then to march towards Alessandria before retreating towards the Duchy of Milan to establish contact with the forces of M. de Vaudémont and M. de Medavi. However, M. d’Arène informed him that the Allies were already masters of Moncalieri and Chieri, which was not the case. The generals of the Duc d’Orléans convinced him to retire towards Pinerolo.

On 8 September

  • Allies
    • At 3:30 a.m., the Allies entered into Turin.
  • Franco-Spanish
    • The Duc d’Orléans personally reached Pinerolo. He was joined there by the troops previously posted on the left bank of the Po which brought 45 cannon with them. M. de Saint-Fremont and the Chevalier de Luxembourg leading the rearguard. Before leaving, they had broken down the bridges of the Dora Riparia.
    • Throughout the day until late at night, the other troops (47 bns, 40 sqns), which had previously been posted on the right bank of the Po, gradually reached Pinerolo.

By 9 September in the morning, the entire Franco-Spanish army was assembled at Pinerolo. It had not been followed by the Allies during its retreat. However, it was now isolated from the Franco-Spanish troops occupying Lombardy and it cruelly lacked provisions. In such a situation, the Duc d’Orléans decided to move closer to the French Province of Dauphiné.

On 12 September, the Duc d’Orléans set off from Pinerolo with his army and marched to Perosa (probably Perosa Argentina).

On 13 September, the Duc d’Orléans’ Army marched to Fenestrelle.

On 14 September

  • Allies
    • The Allied army (approx. 65 bns and 96 sqns) marched from Turin to Rondissone, after having razed the French lines and resupplied the city.
  • Franco-Spanish
    • The Duc d’Orléans’ Army sojourned at Fenestrelle.

On 15 September

  • Allies
    • The Allied army crossed the Dora Baltea and encamped at Cigliano, leaving a detachment before Chivasso to recapture the place.
  • Franco-Spanish
    • The Duc d’Orléans’ Army marched to Oulx from where the cavalry, now reduced to only 5,000 men went to the regions of Embrun and Gap.

On 17 September

  • Allies
    • The Allied army marched to San-Germano.
    • A detachment recaptured Chivasso where it took 1,200 prisoners.
  • Franco-Spanish
    • What was left of the army of the Duc d’Orléans cantoned part in the valleys from Perosa to Susa and Oulx; part in the region of Briançon; part in the Province of Dauphiné; part in Savoie and in the Tarentaise where the 10 dismounted dragoon rgts were sent. All places conquered in the previous years in the region of Piedmont, Alessandria, Pavia and Tortona remained occupied by weak garrisons.
    • A detachment of 1,500 horse, which had escorted a convoy on the day of the Battle of Turin, had taken refuge in Casale.
    • Another detachment of 500 horse, previously covering the towns of Valenza and Pavia had taken refuge in these places.

The Duc d’Orléans formed the project to re-enter into Italy at the beginning of November with an army of 60 bns and 80 sqns and sent his proposal to Versailles.

On 18 September, the Allied army reached Vercelli which had been evacuated by the Franco-Spanish. Prince Eugène led his army back in Lombardy to conquer the Duchy of Milan while the Duke of Savoy gradually reconquered Piedmont.

On 20 September

  • Allies
    • Prince Eugène's Army reached Novara, which capitulated on the same day.
    • A detachment under M. de Saint-Remy made itself master of the town and castle of Bard (unidentified location) in the Aosta Valley. He then blockaded Ivrea which would surrender a few days later.
    • Other Allied detachments recaptured Crescentino and the dungeon of Verrua.

On 22 September, the Allied army reached the banks of the Ticino River.

On the night of 22 to 23 September, the Allied army crossed the Ticino River at Sesto Calende and other fords.

From this date, the operations of the army of the Allies, when it returned to Lombardy after the victory of Turin, are described in the article 1706 – Campaign in Lombardy.

On 5 October, the Duc d’Orléans went from Oulx to Briançon to speed the preparation for an advance into Italy. He established his headquarters in Briançon.

On 6 October, M. de Besons arrived at Briançon to report on the state of the army of the Duc d’Orléans.

On 27 October, realising that an offensive of the Duc d’Orléans in Italy could not succeed, Louis XIV sent him a letter where he instructed him to send his army in its winter-quarters.

On 30 October, the Duc d’Orléans received the letter of Louis XIV, when his troops were already on the march towards Susa.

In the first days of November, the troops of the Duc d’Orléans marched to their winter-quarters.

On 13 November, the Duc d’Orléans left his army to return to Versailles, leaving command to the Duc de La Feuillade.

On 16 November, M. de Marquessac, who commanded at Casale, retired in the castle with the garrison.

On 25 November, the Allies opened the trench before the Castle of Casale.

On 29 November, the Allies made themselves masters of Tortona after a siege of five weeks. The commander of the place, M. de Ramiroix was killed while defending the place.

On 6 December, M. de Marquessac surrendered the Castle of Casale to the Allies after a siege of only 12 days.

The Duke of Savoy then returned to Turin and sent his troops in quarters in Piedmont.

Outcome

Despite the French victory at Castiglione, the Battle of Turin practically ended the war in Italy.

References

This article incorporates texts from the following books which are now in the public domain:

  • Pelet and François Eugène de Vault: Mémoires militaires relatifs à la Succession d'Espagne sous Louis XIV
    • Vol. 6, pp. 137-142, 159-168, 181-190, 201-207, 247, 254, 260, 269, 274-282, 294, 299, 308, 323-324, 340-346, 361
  • Wengen. F.: Geschichte des k. u. k. 12. Dragoner-Regiments Prinz Eugen v. Savoyen, Brandeis, 1879
  • Spanish Succession, War of the, in Encyclopaedia Britannica (c1910-1922), Vol. 25, pp. 603-604
  • Dedekind, F.: Geschichte des k. k. Kaiser Franz Joseph I. Dragoner-Regimentes Nr. 11, Vienna 1879