Eugene of Savoy

(Francois Eugene)


Eugene, Prince of Savoy, was an exacting and well-praised military commander who led the Hapsburg army for fifty years, in battles such as the War of the Spanish Succession and the Austro-Turkish War. He fought in dozens of major battles in five wars, over the course of his career and is widely regarded as the greatest general in Austrian history. Although a Frenchman by birth, Prince Eugene transferred his loyalties to the powerful Hapsburg Monarchy, where he was recognized as a brilliant strategist of outstanding character.

Born a weak child, Eugene was destined for monastic life until he spoke up of his desire to join the French army. King Louis XIV, however, refused his request for soldiers, so the young man went instead to Central Europe, where he served with his two cousins under the rule of Holy Roman Emperor Leopold I. He received his first recognition following the Great Turkish War, when he was commended by the Emperor for his skill in combat. The next major battle for Eugene was the Nine Years’ War against France; he remained frustrated by his commanders and contemptuous of their decisions, but Leopold was so impressed by his skill that he granted him the Field-Marshall, and he emerged from the war with an improved reputation. Meanwhile, the Turks had recaptured the recently surrendered city of Belgrade, and Eugene, as newly-chosen commander of the Imperial army, was told to hold a defensive campaign against the Ottomans. Instead, Eugene chose to attack and cut off the Turkish army, winning a decisive victory for the Hapsburgs and destroying his opponents. He returned home a hero.

During the War of the Spanish Succession, Eugene was Austria’s most successful and most commanding officer. He won several small victories against the French, among them the Battle of Carpi, but, starving and short of supplies, he and his men were forced to return to Vienna empty-handed. He went on to become president of the Imperial War Council, and he fought in several more battles against neighboring powers before his chief political opponent, Prince Salm, retired, effectively making him sole leader of the Austrian government. He continued to battle the French as well as the Turks, the latter culminating in the Austro-Turkish War. He passed away in Vienna following the War of the Polish Succession.

Key events during the life of Eugene of Savoy:

Siege of Vienna
Was made a Major-General
Start of Nine Years' War
Promoted to Field-Marshal
Made Supreme Commander of the Hapsurg forces
War of the Spanish Succession
Elected president of the Imperial War Council
Chosen as governor of the Netherlands
War of the Polish Succession
Died after suffering from pneumonia

Book Links
Prince Eugene  by  George Upton

Other Resources

Story Links
Book Links
Louis XIV  in  Famous Men of Modern Times  by  John H. Haaren
Wars with Russia  in  Greatest Nations: Vol X—Turkey  by  Charles F. Horne
 in  Greatest Nations: Vol X—Turkey  by  Charles F. Horne
Leopold I  in  The History of Germany  by  Henrietta Elizabeth Marshall
Battle of Blenheim  in  The Awakening of Europe  by  M. B. Synge

Image Links

Prince Eugene of Savory
Prince Eugene of Savory
 in Back Matter
Prince Eugene and the Marshal De Villars
Prince Eugene and the Marshal De Villars
 in Back Matter

The Hero of Zenta.
 in  Prince Eugene, the Noble Knight

Prince Eugene before King Louis the Fourteenth.
 in  Prince Eugene, the Noble Knight

Prince Eugene before the battle of Malplaquet.
 in  Prince Eugene, the Noble Knight

Prince Eugene at Belgrade
 in  Prince Eugene, the Noble Knight

Short Biography
Louis XIV French King who expanded the borders of France, and lived in great pomp and splendor.