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Dettingen 1743

Miracle on the Main

Michael McNally Sean O'Brogain



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01 December 2020
Series: Campaign
The death of the Emperor Charles VI in 1741 was the catalyst for a conflict ostensibly about the female inheritance of the Hapsburg patrimony but, in reality, about the succession to the Imperial Throne. The great European powers were divided between those, such as Britain, who supported the Pragmatic Sanction and the rights of the Archduchess Maria-Theresia, daughter of Charles VI, and those who challenged it, including Bavaria which were supported by France.

The conflict quickly escalated into what is now known as the War of the Austrian Succession, and a series of turbulent political events brought the crisis to a head on the road to Hanau, near Dettingen. There, the French moved to put into place a complex manoeuvre which had the potential to end the war at a single stroke. A column of French troops would cross the Main near Dettingen and block the road to Hanau, their orders being to simply hold their ground and bar the route of the Allied British and Hanovarian advance. A second column would cross the Main behind the enemy and then follow their line of march northwards. The bulk of the army would use a combination of bridges and pontoon-bridges to cross the Main and engage the enemy from the flank as they were strung out on the line of march. However, the plan relied heavily on the blocking force, and command of this crucial sector fell to an inexperienced nobleman Louis-Auguste, Duc de Grammont, who chose to attack rather than hold his position. Consequently, the manoeuvre failed and the French broke, fleeing for the Main and safety, with the Gardes Francaises famously swimming the river.

Supported by specially commissioned artwork including maps and battleplates, this title explores the battle in depth, detailing its build-up, events, and aftermath, as well as analysing the strengths and weaknesses of the commanders, armies, and tactics of both sides.
Illustrated by:   Sean O'Brogain
Imprint:   Osprey
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Volume:   352
Dimensions:   Height: 248mm,  Width: 184mm, 
Weight:   316g
ISBN:   9781472836809
ISBN 10:   1472836804
Series:   Campaign
Pages:   96
Publication Date:  
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active
Origins of the Campaign Chronology Opposing Commanders Opposing Forces Opposing Plans The Campaign Aftermath The Battlefield Today Bibliography Index

Born in London in 1964, Mike McNally is the author of best-selling studies of the pivotal battles of the Boyne and Aughrim and is currently studying the role of the Irish Brigade in French service from the Boyne to Fontenay. The author of several books for Osprey, with his varied areas of interest he continues to research such diverse subjects as Irish military history, the campaigns of Marlborough and the German colonial campaigns during World War I. Sean O'Brogain lives and works in Donegal, Ireland. He has a BA (Hons) in Scientific and Natural History illustration from Lancaster University and has worked for a wide range of clients. Apart from Osprey, these include the University of Manchester, An Post, the National Museum of Ireland, and the Irish Office of Public Works, as well as a variety media companies, museums, councils, and private individuals.

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