1709 – Campaign in the Alps

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Hierarchical Path: War of the Spanish Succession (Main Page) >> Campaigns >> 1709 – Campaign in the Alps

The campaign lasted from June to September 1709


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

The winter of 1708-1709 had been terrible in Europe in general and in France in particular, where agricultural products had been destroyed and magazines almost completely emptied. Grain had to be imported from North Africa and there were not enough vessels to protect the convoys transporting it. Money was also lacking for supply and the pay of the soldiers. Without recruits, without provisions on the frontiers, without means to assemble armies early enough to prevent the enterprises of the Allies, with mutiny in the garrisons, desertion and very low morale, things were not looking good for the French arms.

The Allies on the other hand had been less affected. their own countries having suffered less from frost and their merchant fleets being able to supply them in part.

For the coming campaign, France planned to deploy five armies:

  • in Flanders (150 bns, 220 sqns) under the Maréchal de Villars
  • on the Rhine under the Maréchal d'Harcourt
  • in Dauphiné under the Maréchal de Berwick
  • in Catalonia under the Maréchal de Besons with the Marquis de Bay commanding the Spanish Army
  • in Roussillon under the Duc de Noailles

For their part, the Allies also put five armies in the field:

On the frontier of the Alps, the Allies were now masters of Fenestrelle, Exilles and Perosa, and of the valleys of Saint-Martin (probably Saint-Martin-de-Belleville), Pragelato, Oulx and Bardonecchia. They could launch their offensive in several directions: through the Tende Pass to enter the County of Nice; the Barcelonnette Valley to penetrate into Provence or Dauphiné; through the Oulx Valley to attack Briançon; through the Galibier Pass to advance on Grenoble; or through the Mont-Cenis Pass and the Aosta Valley to invade Savoie.

Now that the Pope had come to an agreement with the Allies, they could concentrate their forces against France, supported by an Anglo-Dutch fleet in the Mediterranean.

During winter, there was no unified command of the French troops on this frontier. Command was divided between

  • the Comte de Medavi in Savoie, assisted by M. de Toralba in the Maurienne Valley; M. de Dillon in Dauphiné
  • M. de Grignan in Provence
  • M. d’Artaignan in the County of Nice


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


In January 1709, the Comte de Medavi, who had established his headquarters in Chambéry, inspected the Rhône to determine how to defend the various crossings on this river. He then visited the valleys of the Maurienne and Tarantaise and decided that it was useless to try to re-establish the entrenchments of Modane and Saint-Maurice (probably Bourg-Saint-Maurice). Similarly, M. Dillon reconnoitred the frontier of Dauphiné and recommended to the Court to establish a fortified camp near Briançon. Similarly, M. de Guerchois wanted to establish an entrenched camp near Barraux. M. d'Artaignan, who had his headquarters in Grasse, visited all the outposts which could secure Provence in the Alps, along the Var River and on the coast between the Var and Rhône. He decided to establish two redoubts at Hyères and two others at Fréjus to prevent any landing. He also took measures to establish other redoubts at various places along the coast.

On 15 February, Duke Victor Amadeus of Savoy began to raise militia. In Turin, preparations were being made for a siege.

In March, Imperial troops stationed in the regions of Ferrare, Bologna and Romagna were instructed to march towards Parma, Piacenza and Milan. Other Imperial troops had already marched to Finale and Vado in preparation for a transfer to Catalonia.

At the beginning of April work began on three redoubts at Sospello to delay the advance of the Allies. Work also continued to complete the entrenchments along the Var River. The Court also ordered to put the milices gardes-côtes in state of readiness and to raise 3,000 militiamen in Provence to form 6 militia bns.

On 11 April, M. Le Guerchois began to erect a bastioned tower at Fort de l’Arche.

The French magazines could barely provide enough provisions to the troops. This led to mutiny among the troops and upheaval among the population.

On 26 April, the Duke of Berwick arrived at Grenoble to take command of the French Army of the Alps. He was informed that provisions would last only until the end of May.

On 1 May, Berwick set off from Grenoble to inspect the frontier of Dauphiné, visiting Gap, Embrun and Mont-Dauphin. He also ordered to established the planned entrenched camp on the heights near Brian]on and sent 32 bns to occupy this camp.

On 7 May, M. Dillon began the work on the entrenched camp near Briançon.

By 11 May, M. de Dillon already had 12 bns in the vicinity of Briançon and 6 bns were expected on 18 May and 12 bns, on 25 May. The same day, the Maréchal de Berwick set off from Grenoble for Toulon, by way of Aix-en-Provence and Marseille.

By 24 May, Berwick had received only 1,500 quintals of wheat from Bourgogne. This was just sufficient to guarantee the subsistence of the troops posted in Savoie until mid-June. Meanwhile, the troops of Dauphiné had enough provisions until 12 June and those of Provence until early June.

During his sojourn in Provence, Berwick redirected some troops towards Castellane, Colmars and Seyne, leaving only 9 bns and 2 dragoon rgts to M. d’Artaignan.

On 25 May, Berwick left for Savoie, reaching Chambéry.

On 26 May, Berwick visited the country between Montmélian to the Lac du Bourget.

On 27 May, Berwick went to Saint-Pierre-d’Albigny.

On 1 June, Berwick went from Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne to Valloire.

On 2 June, Berwick reached Briançon, where he was informed that Count Daun was in Turin and that Imperial troops were gradually arriving in Piedmont.

After these inspections, Berwick decided to placed 19 bns under the command of M. de Medavi and M. de Thoy in Savoie. Medavi had to defend the Maurienne Valley, and Thoy, the Tarantaise Valley. Berwick himself would take position in the Monestier Valley with the main body of his army.

By 16 June, of the 84 bns forming his army: 24 bns were destined for the Monestier Valley; 17 bns to cover Briançon; 5 bns in the Queyras Valley; 9 bns in the Barcelonnette Valley; 13 bns in the Maurienne Valley; 6 bns in the Tarantaise Valley; 9 bns in Provence and in the County of Nice; and 1 bn for Grenoble. Berwick only had 16 sqns at his disposal: 6 in Provence, 3 near Embrun and 7 in the Tarantaise Valley. There were another 22 sqns in Franche-Comté, who had been ordered by Berwick to march to Savoie, but the Court decided to keep them in Franche-Comté.

Provisions were so depleted that Berwick decided, on his own initiative to use 20,000 écus from the revenue of the Province of Savoie to buy wheat in Auvergne.

On 18 June, Louis XIV wrote to Berwick to authorise him to take 10 or 12 sqns in Franche-Comté until the arrival of the cavalry that the king had transferred from Spain to the Alps. However, the Court also transferred 3 of the 6 sqns stationed in Provence to the Province of Vivarais to quench another uprising of the Camisards. Berwick had also transferred 3 bns to Vivarais for the same reason.

On 1 July, Berwick sent a brigade of 5 bns under M. de Broglie to Valloire to cover the line of communication between the Monestier and Maurienne Valley, leaving on 19 bns in the Monestier Valley; 10 bns in the Maurienne Valley; 9 bns in the Tarantaise Valley. 14 bns around Briançon; 6 bns in the Queyras Valley; 9 bns in the Barcelonnette Valley; 3 detached bns in the Province of Vivarais; 9 bns in Provence and in the County of Nice; and 2 bns in Monaco. The 13 sqns were deployed as follows: 3 sqns in Provence; 3 bns in the vicinity of Embrun; and 7 sqns in the Tarantaise Valley.

On 1 July, Berwick personally went to Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne.

On 2 July, Berwick went to Saint-André and ordered to break all bridges between Saint-André and Mont-Cenis.

On 3 July, Berwick inspected the positions of M. de Thoy at Saint-Maurice and, considering the position too exposed, ordered to relocated the 5 bns occupying it to the heights of Vulmis. He also posted 6 sqns on the plain of Saint-Maurice and transferred 2 bns under M. de La Fare to Moûtiers to prevent the Allies from crossing the Isère River.

On 4 July in the evening, M. de Béranger, colonel of Bugey Infanterie, was detached with 4 grenadier coys, 100 fusiliers and 60 dragoons to reconnoitre in the direction of the Petit-Saint-Bernard.

On 5 July at daybreak, Béranger’s detachment reached the bridge of Seran and made itself master of the position. It then marched to Thuile and stormed the place, which was defended by 80 men. In this action the Allies lost 20 men killed and 40 taken prisoners. From the prisoners, Béranger learned that there were only 2 rgts in the Aosta Valley, that the German troops who had reached Ivrea had been redirected towards Susa. Béranger’s detachment then returned to its camp.

On 7 July, Berwick arrived at his camp near Bez, where he was informed that Allied pioneers were repairing the roads of Mont-Cenis and that the main army was concentrated in the vicinity of Susa. Each day, desertion increased (Hessy Infanterie had already lost 300 men) and provisions were very scarce. Berwick sent Hessy Infanterie to Gap and Embrun.

On 10 July, Berwick sent 6 of the 9 bns under M. Le Guerchois from the Barcelonnette Valley to Guillestre, so that they would be closer to his own corps in the Monestier Valley. The same day, M. de Broglie informed Berwick that the Allies were encamped on the Mont-Cenis.

On 11 July

  • Allies
    • Daun’s Corps took position between Lans-le-Bourg and Termignon with approx. 10,000 men.
  • French
    • Medavi and Broglie informed Berwick that the Allies had reached Lans-le-Bourg. On of Medavi’s detachment was posted at Aussois, and Broglie advanced to Saint-Michel with another detachment.
    • Informed of Daun’s advance, Berwick sent 2 infantry brigades to reinforce the Marquis de Broglie at Valloire, and ordered M. Le Guerchois, who was encamped at Guillestre with 6 bns, to move closer to Briançon.

On 13 July, an Allied detachment reached Modane and requisitioned the inhabitants to re-establish the bridge and to bake bread for the Allies. Meanwhile Daun marched to Aussois.

On 14 July in the morning, 6 bns took position in the entrenched camp near Briançon.

By mid-July, the Allies had 18 bns in the area of Exilles and Fenestrelle. Their cavalry was near Orbassano. However most of their infantry was posted under Daun between Aussois and Bourget, near the frontier with Savoie, while General Schulenburg was on the road to Bozel with 6,000 men.

On 16 July, Schulenburg reached Bozel.

On 17 July

  • Allies
    • Rehbinder reached Salbertrand with 12 bns and some cavalry.
  • French
    • M. de Thoy informed Berwick that he had sent his baggage to Conflans and was considering the evacuation of Saint-Maurice.
    • Berwick remained in his positions near Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne, waiting to see the direction of the Allied offensive. He was well positioned to rapidly move to the support of his detached corps within 24 hours.
    • Medavi also waited to see the development of the Allied offensive before committing his forces.

On 19 July

  • French
    • Medavi, informed that the Allies were attacking his positions at the head of the Tarantaise Valley, sent 2 bns from Aiguebelle to Conflans. Then, learning that the detachment of M. de Thoy had been isolated, he marched 6 bns from his camp of Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne into the Tarantaise Valley.
    • Medavi found Thoy’s detachment at Feissons, between Moûtiers and Conflans, where it had retired in good order.
    • Medavi then detached 2 of his 6 bns to reinforce the 2 bns previously sent to Conflans. He kept the 4 other bns remained with him at Fréterive. Thoy remained at Feissons.
    • Berwick sent 1 infantry brigade from his camp to Valloire.
  • Allies
    • An Allied detachment encamped near Moûtiers.

On 20 July

  • French
    • The infantry brigade sent by Berwick marched from Valloire and made a junction with Medavi’s Corps at Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne.
    • Berwick personally went to Valloire, closely followed by another infantry brigade, which crossed the Galibier Pass and encamped at Bonnemin (unidentified location). Furthermore, the Dauphin Dragons encamped between Bonnemin and Valloire.
    • M. de Grignan sent the Fimarcon Dragons from Fréjus to Seyne, ready to enter Dauphiné, as ordered by Berwick.
    • M. Dillon was still near Briançon with 22 bns.
    • In the evening, fearing to be attacked, Daun set off from Saint-André and retired eastwards, breaking the bridge of Modane behind him.

On 21 July

  • Allies
    • Daun encamped at Aussois.
    • Rehbinder, who had advanced up to Oulx, retired to Exilles.
  • French
    • Berwick sent back M. de Chamarande with 1 infantry brigade to the Monestier Valley to secure the Bussières Pass, while he remained at Valloire with four brigades.
    • Medavi returned to Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne, where he had only 8 bns.
    • Thoy remained at Feissons with 11 bns and 22 sqns.

On 22 July, Daun marched to Sollières.

On 23 July

  • Allies
    • Daun took the road of the Vannoise and marched by way of Bozel to Moûtiers, leaving only a small detachment at Termignon to guard the banks. On his way, he abandoned 8,000 bread rations at Modane.
    • 6 bns belonging to Rehbinder’s Corps arrived at Termignon.

On 25 July

  • French
    • Now convinced that Daun intended to attack Thoy’s Corps at Feissons, Berwick sent Medavi’s detachment from Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne to Fréterive.
    • Berwick instructed Thoy to retire behind the Arly opposite Conflans.
    • Berwick marched with 10 bns from Valloire to Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne.
    • Berwick asked M. Dillon to send 6 bns from the area Briançon to Valloire and ordered Muret and Chamarande, who were posted at Valloire, to join him at Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne with 14 bns and 1 dragoon rgt as soon as possible.
    • Dillon would still have 22 bns to guard the entrenched camp near Briançon and the Buffières Pass.

On 26 July

  • Allies
    • The 6 bns of Rehbinder, joined by 4,000 horse marched from Termignon towards Moûtiers.
  • French
    • Berwick inspected his positions at Fréterive.

On 27 July

  • French
    • Berwick sent 2 bns across the Isère River to establish an entrenchment.
    • Berwick had a meeting with M. de Thoy at Conflans. He then went to Montmélian to reconnoitre the débouchés on the plain and to Aiguebelle, where he waited for more news about the movements of the Allies.

On 28 July

  • French
    • Berwick ordered all his troops to move leftwards, covered by the Arc River, leaving only 3 bns at Valloire under the Chevalier de Givry to maintain communication with the Galibier Pass; 3 bns at Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne under the Marquis de Broglie.
    • Berwick wrote to the Court to mention that, with the Allies extending their front, he might not be able to penetrate into the plain of Chambéry up to Lake Geneva.

On 29 July

  • French
    • M. de Saint-Pater encamped with 9 bns near Saint-Étienne-de-Cuines; M. de Chamarande with 10 bns near the bridge of Espierres (unidentified location); M. de Muret at Aiguebelle with 5 bns and 1 dragoon rgt; M. de Maulevrier on the right bank of the Isère with 4 bns; and Berwick from Aiguebelle to Croix-des-Blanches ('unidentified location) with 6 bns and 1 dragoon rgt to reinforce the 2 bns already posted there.
    • Berwick was still waiting for the cavalry which had been sent from Spain
    • Seeing that a large cavalry corps was on its way to reinforce the Allies, Berwick ordered M. de Thoy to retire to the heights of Montailleur, on the right bank of the Isère. He also instructed him to make a junction with the troops posted near Fréterive, as soon as the Allies would march on Conflans, and to post 4 bns under M. de Béranger at the Tamiez Pass; and 2 dragoon rgts under M. de Prades at Faverges.

On 30 July

  • French
    • Berwick detached M. Béranger with 400 men to occupy the Tamiez Pass because his initial order had not been executed.
    • Berwick assembled 19 bns and 17 sqns near Montmélian; M. de Muret took position with 5 bns and 3 dragoon sqns took position at the mouth of the Arc River on the Isère, near the Croix d’Aiguebelle, 12 km from Montmélian; M. de Chamarande was at Aiguebelle with 15 bns; M. de Cadrieu at Saint-Étienne-de-Cuines with 4 bns; the Marquis de Broglie remained at Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne with 3 bns; and the Chevalier de Givry at Valloire with 3 bns.

On 31 July

  • French
    • In the evening, Berwick was informed that the Allies had crossed the Arly and were encamped at l’Hôpital, where they were building ovens. He sent orders to the infantry brigade posted at the Croix-d’Aiguebelle to rejoin the main body at Montmélian.

On 1 August

  • French
    • The infantry brigade previously posted at the Croix-d’Aiguebelle arrived at Montmélian. Another brigade, previously posted at Aiguebelle replaced it at the Croix-d’Aiguebelle.
    • At Montmélian, the French continued to improve the entrenchments of their camp and the defensive works of the place.
    • Berwick reconnoitred the plain of Chambéry and the débouchés by which the Allies could gain access to it. He sent M. de Prades to Annecy with his 2 dragoon rgts. He also detached 100 men to the height of Thuile. He ordered M. Dillon to send 6 of his 22 bns to Valloire.

On 7 August

  • French
    • Berwick was informed that 2 Allied cavalry rgts, arriving from Orbassano, had joined the Allies at their camp, while others had entered the Tarantaise Valley. He sent 1,500 men under M. de Maulevrier to prevent the Allies from entering the Bauges.

On 8 August

  • Allies
    • The army operating in Savoie consisted of 43 to 45 bns, 10 of which were posted between Moûtiers and Conflans to guard the fords on the Isère River.; and of 10 cavalry or dragoon rgts, forming a total of 42 sqns.
    • 4 cavalry rgts arrived from Piedmont at Moûtiers.

On 10 August

  • French
    • The dragoon rgt, which had been sent from Spain, through the Province of Vivarais, finally reached Francin, 3 km west of Montmélian; while the dragoon rgt left behind in the region of Briançon joined the troops posted at the Croix-d’Aiguebelle.
    • The French Court ordered the militias of the neighbouring provinces on the Upper Rhône.
    • The supply convoy sent from Lyon, Montauban and Marseille were still on the way and flour was running short. Furthermore, there was no money to pay troops. Indiscipline was rapidly spreading and entire outposts deserted.

On 15 August

  • Allies
    • A detachment advanced from Conflans and occupied Faverges.

On 17 August

  • Allies
    • Additional troops marched from Conflans to Faverges.

On 18 August

  • Allies
    • The entire army marched to a new encampment between Conflans and the mountains. All the infantry posted at Moûtiers was ordered to join the army, with the exception of 2 bns which were left behind.

On 19 August

  • French
    • Berwick detached M. de Cilly with the 9 dragoon sqns of the camp of Francin and 5 bns to encamp near Chambéry. He also instructed M. de Prades to retire to Seyssel with his dragoons, if ever he was forced to evacuate Annecy.
    • Berwick reconnoitred once more the country around Chambéry and found a good position to deploy his army, with its right at the village of Barberaz and its left anchored on the Leisse River, on a front of only 2,500 paces. He planned to occupy these new positions with 30 bns and 15 sqns in his first line, and 15 bns and 13 sqns in second line.

On 21 August

  • Allies
    • A large detachment marched on Annecy.
  • French
    • M. de Prades evacuated Annecy and retired to Seyssel with his 2 dragoon rgts, detaching a third dragoon rgt under M. de La Fare to guard the passes at Lucey, Arlon (unidentified location) and Cressin.

On 21 August

  • Allies
    • The detachment which had marched on Annecy, obtained the surrender of the small garrison of the Castle of Annecy.
  • French
    • Berwick sent 6 sqns from the camp of Aiguebelle to reinforce M. de Cilly near Chambéry. He also detached 11 grenadier coys under Colonel de Polastron to Chanaz on the Rhône; and 5 grenadier coys and 500 fusiliers under Lieutenant-Colonel de Bachelet to Lake Bourget.
    • 1 cavalry rgt sent from Spain arrived at Chambéry.

On 24 August

  • French
    • Louis XIV, who had been informed of the offensive of General Mercy in Alsace, wrote to Berwick to ask him to immediately transfer 2 dragoon rgts (6 sqns) to Franche-Comté.

On 25 August

  • Allies
    • Part of the main army marched from Conflans to Faverges. A strong outpost was also established at the Tamiez Pass.
    • 2 bns were transferred from Mont Cenis to Moûtiers.

On 26 August

  • Allies
    • In the morning a detachment appeared near Fréterive to forage, but Muret’s grenadiers forced them to retire.

On 27 August

  • Allies
    • In the region of Briançon, Rehbinder advanced towards Oulx with 14 bns, 1 cavalry rgt, 1 dragoon rgts and 500 Waldensians and encamped near Cezane (Cesana Torinese).

On 28 August

  • Engagement at La Vachette
    • Two hours before daybreak, Rehbinder sent 3,000 foot, 200 dragoons, the 500 Waldensians from his camp near Cezane to the heights opposite the French entrenched camp of Briançon.
    • Rehbinder then marched with the rest of his infantry and 200 dragoons towards La Vachette, where the French had an outpost in a crenelated and palisaded house, defended by 50 men.
    • Early in the morning, M. Dillon sent 7 grenadier coys and 7 picquets under the Marquis de Montmorency, colonel of Bresse Infanterie to La Vachette, closely followed by 2 bns of Beauvoisis Infanterie under Brigadier de Montet. Dillon then ordered the troops of the entrenched camp of Briançon to take up arms.
    • Dillon then marched with 2 grenadier coys and 50 fusiliers de montagne to the Mont-Genèvre to reconnoitred the movements of Rehbinder’s Corps, which was climbing down the mountain.
    • Dillon retired to La Vachette with his reconnaissance party. He reinforced the 50 men occupying the fortified house with another 100 men, placed 2 grenadier coys at the head of the village to guard the barrier and the bridge. The rest of the grenadiers and fusiliers were deployed to the left and right of the bridge, and the 2 bns behind the village, hidden from view.
    • The Allies deployed in front of the fortified house and attacked it. The defenders drove back three assaults.
    • Dillon then made a sortie from the fortified house and the Allies backed away and deployed in order of battle.
    • Dillon attacked the Allies and pushed them back to the defile of Mont-Genèvre.
    • In this affair, according to Dillon, the Allies lost more and 600 men and 25 officers killed or wounded, and the French captured 100 prisoners.
  • French
    • When Berwick was informed of the engagement of La Vachette, he ordered M. d’Artaignan to send the 3 bns of Castelas Infanterie to Briançon.

On 29 August

  • French
    • Berwick received the king’s letter ordering him to transfer 2 dragoon rgts to Franche-Comté. Berwick immediately ordered 1 dragoon rgt and 2 cavalry rgts, which were at Valence and Vienne, on their way to join his army, to redirect their march towards Franche-Comté.

The Maréchal de Berwick then decided to threaten the region of Exilles and thus to induce the Allies to move their army closer to Piedmont. Accordingly, M. Dillon advanced with 1,500 foot towards Saint-Sicaire (San Sicario Alto). Rehbinder reacted by recalling 2 bns from Fenestrelle, concentrating 10 bns in the entrenchment of Saint-Colomban (San Colombano) near Exilles, and dispersing 5 bns in the Pragelas (Pragelato) and Saint-Martin valleys.

Berwick then learned that General had been defeated at Rumersheim on 26 August, and that Alsace and Franche-Comté were not threatened any more. He sent a courier to his generals to recall the troops (1 dragoon rgt and 2 cavalry rgts) sent to the support of these provinces. The courier joined them and redirected their march towards the Rhône Valley.

On 2 September

  • Allies
    • Daun advanced to Annecy with all his cavalry, with the exception of 2 rgts left behind at Conflans. Daun also had 3,000 foot with him.
  • French
    • M. de Prades and M. de La Fare were at the head of 10 sqns, 400 foot and the militia of the neighbouring regions to defend the Rhône.

On 4 September, the Allies received 10 small field guns.

On 5 September, French troops occupied the Castle of Sainte-Hélène, overlooking the Allied camp.

On 6 September

  • French
    • 1 cavalry rgt returning from Franche-Comté reached Seyssel.
    • M. de Polastron was posted at Lucey with 11 grenadier coys to guard the canal linking Lake Bourget to the Rhône, while 5 coys occupied the Castle of Bourget.
    • M. de Cilly occupied a strong position near Chambéry, preventing the Allies to march from Chambéry to Montmélian.
    • Berwick also took various measures to strengthen his positions on the Arc and Isère rivers.

On 7 September

  • Allies
    • In Dauphiné, Rehbinder’s Corps moved into the entrenchments of Saint-Colomban near Exilles. Rehbinder had only 10 bns with him, having detached 4 bns in the Tarantaise Valley.
  • French
    • Berwick sent 4 bns from Briançon to new positions at Valloire and Saint-Étienne-de-Cuines.

On 11 September

  • French
    • M. de Cilly, who was posted in the plain of Chambéry with 20 sqns, foraged in the direction of Aix (Aix-les-Bains). His parties advanced up to Rumilly and Alby without meeting opposition.
  • Allies
    • Daun had retired from Annecy to Faverges, leaving only the necessary troops to guard the town and the castle.

On 12 September

  • Allies
    • The troops sent by Rehbinder in the Tarantaise Valley were encamped near Ayme.

On 15 September

  • Allies
    • 6 sqns set off from Conflans and took the road to Moûtiers.

On 18 September

  • Allies
    • A few sqns left the camp of Moûtiers, crossed the Isère at Conflans and marched towards Moûtiers.

On 22 September

  • Allies
    • The detachment, which had been left behind to occupy Annecy, retired to Faverges.

On 23 September

  • Allies
    • All troops assembled at Faverges, as well as those posted at the Tamiez Pass, rejoined the main army at Conflans.

On 24 September

  • Allies
    • The main army marched from Conflans to Aigue-Blanche, it crossed the Arly on four bridges.

On 25 September

  • Allies
    • The cavalry of the main army took the road of the Petit Saint-Bernard.
  • French
    • Berwick marched Aiguebelle.
    • Berwick ordered the Chevalier de Givry to march from Valloire to Briançon with his 6 bns, and M. de Broglie to replace Givry at Valloire with his 7 bns.

On 26 September

  • Allies
    • The detachment, which had reached Beaufort, retired towards Exilles.
  • French
    • Berwick encamped at Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne with 22 bns and 1 dragoon rgt. He had left M. de Cadrieu at Saint-Étienne-de-Cuines with 11 bns and 1 dragoon rgt.

On 27 September

  • Allies
    • The detachment arriving from Beaufort reached Exilles.

On 29 September

  • French
    • Berwick arrived at Valloire with the main body of his army.
    • M. de Medavi remained at Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne with 12 bns.
    • M. de Cilly was posted with 12 bns and all the cavalry on the right bank of the Isère.

On 30 September

  • French
    • The 24 sqns destined to winter in Franche-Comté set off from the right bank of the Isère.
    • Berwick went to Briançon and distributed his troops (84 bns) in various camps from the Province of Savoie to the County of Nice:
      • 24 bns remained in Savoie
      • 27 bns were in the region of Briançon
      • 10 bns in the Queyras.
      • 5 bns near Guillestre
      • 9 bns in the Barcelonnette Valley
      • 6 bns remained in Provence and in the County of Nice
      • 3 bns remained in the Province of Vivarais, where they had previously been detached

On 3 October, Berwick re-established his headquarters at the bridge of Cervières, 10 km to the south-east of Briançon.

On 10 October, Berwick received a letter from the king, instructing him to join the Army of Flanders as soon as possible to serve under the command of the Maréchal de Boufflers.

On 11 October

  • French
    • Berwick sent his troops to cantonments:
      • 30 bns in the region of Briançon under Dillon, Muret and Caraccioli
      • 10 bns in the Queyras Valley under M. de Cadrieu
      • 1 bn in Guillestre
      • 10 bns in the Barcelonnette Valley under M. Le Guerchois
    • Medavi cantoned the troops of Savoie at Saint-Michel and Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne and Montmélian.
    • Berwick moved his headquarters to Grenoble and personally left for Versailles, leaving command to M. de Medavi.

On 18 October, M. de Medavi arrived at Briançon.

On 21 October

  • French
    • Medavi personally went to Grenoble.
    • 1 bn set off from Aiguebelle and marched towards Auvergne.

The Franco-Spanish troops (80 bns and 18 sqns) took up their winter-quarters:

  • 18 bns and 8 sqns in Savoie
  • 37 bns and 4 sqns in Dauphiné
  • 25 bns and 6 sqns in Provence and the County of Nice


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. 9, 1855, pp. 117-211