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Historically, possession of the town was disputed between Germany and France. Formerly, there was a fortress located at the town, whose location was mentioned by Carl von Clausewitz. In Book VI of On War, he suggested that "If a fortress cannot be located directly on a river, it is better not to place it in the immediate vicinity, but some fifty to sixty miles away; otherwise the river will cut through and interfere with its sphere of influence with respect to all the points mentioned above." He then mentions in a footnote "Philippsburg was a perfect example of how not to site a fortress. Its location was that of an idiot standing with his nose against the wall.". The fortress was besieged in 1688 and 1734.