1706 – Rákóczi Uprising in Hungary

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Hierarchical Path: War of the Spanish Succession (Main Page) >> Campaigns >> 1706 – Rákóczi Uprising in Hungary

The campaign lasted from August to December 1706

Description

Since the beginning of 1706, negotiations about an armistice had been held in Tyrnau and Miskolcz.

The single squadron of the Colona von Fels Dragoons was directed to Italy.

On 8 May, a two months armistice was signed in Pressburg (present-day Bratislava/SK). Within the following weeks, Emperor Joseph I freed Rákoczy's wife of and his sister who had been detained in Vienna and sent them back to Hungary. Peace negotiations continued for several months.

On 12 July, the representatives of the rebels presented their conditions. Part of them were unacceptable for Vienna and when the armistice came to an end, hostilities resumed.

Imperial forces in Hungary were now under the command of Guido Starhemberg and Johann Pálffy who instructed Rabutin to lay siege to Kaschau. For his part, Rákoczy marched with 12,000 men from Neuhäusel to Gran (present-day Esztregom/HU),

On 14 August, Rákoczy laid siege to Gran. Colonel Kucklender surrendered after a few days. Rákoczy then sent Simon Forgách to besiege Pressburg.

Contrarily to his orders, Forgách and his troops conducted a raid into Austria, plundering the country. Guido Starhemberg occupied Kapusvár and effected a junction with Pálffy near Gran.

On 9 October, the (French) commander of Gran, Colonel Bonafoux surrendered against safe conduct. Forgách, who should have come to the relief of the city was still plundering Austria. Rákoczy punished him, Forgách was imprisoned at first in Krasznahorka (present-day Krásná Hôrka/SK) and later on at the Castle of Munkácz.

The garrison of Kaschau (4,000 men) was under the command of Daniel Esterházy. The city was well equipped, and Bercsényi and Károlyi were not far away with their troops. The villages in the neigbouhrhood of Kaschau had been burned down, there was no food for soldiers and horses. Due to such bad circumstances, Rabutin was forced to abandon his design on Kaschau and to return to Tokay. His troops were in a very poor condition, nearly naked, most of them sick.

When Lorenz Pekry penetrated into Transylvania with 5,000 men, Rabutin sent Colonel Tige with some cavalry (2,500 men) to protect the country while Rabutin took his winter-quarters at Ofen with the rest of his corps.

Pekry was defeated by Tige at the Battle of Kotsárd but he announced to Rákoczy that he had won the battle.

At the end of the year, Rákoczy held a meeting with his commanders at Rosenau (present-day Rožnava/SK). The financial situation of the rebels had been getting worse, the copper coins stamped by the rebels had not been accepted by the inhabitants. Rákoczy established a tax on estates which temporarily solved the problem but generated confrontation between the lower nobility and farmers.

Even if Pekry had been defeated in Transylvania, his corps received enough new recruits from the inhabitants so that he could act against Colonel Tige in the future. Tige's few troops were in very bad shape and unpaid for months. The Court in Vienna consider to give up Transylvania but Emperor Joseph I was against such a plan.

References

Fessler, Dr. I. A.: Die Geschichte der Ungern, part IX. File 19. Leipzig 1825

Vojenské dejiny Slovenska, file II, Bratislava 1995

Acknowledgement

Harald Skala for the initial version of this article