Siege of Prague (1742)
French forces first under the command of de Broglie were surrounded by a large Austrian army in June 1742. A French relief column forced the Austrians to partially lift the siege in September, at which time de Broglie escaped from the besieged city, leaving it under the command of Belle-Isle. When the Austrians renewed the siege after halting the advance of the French relief, conditions in the city became quite difficult, but the Austrians failed to maintain a tight cordon around the city. On 16 December, Belle-Isle led 14,000 troops out of the city on a ten-day march to the French-held city of Cheb. In wintry conditions, Belle-Isle succeeded in fending off Austrian scouting parties until the army reached the Bohemian Forest four days later.
The Austrian command did not learn of the French departure until 18 December, but believed they had successfully cut off all the routes of escape when Belle-Isle boldly led his army off the road and into the mountains. After a difficult crossing in which weather and disease took a marked toll on the French army, they reached Cheb on 26 December. The 6,000 men, mostly wounded and sick, that Belle-Isle left in Prague afterward successfully negotiated a withdrawal from the city with the honours of war.
- 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica, entry National Flags: "The Austrian imperial standard has, on a yellow ground, the black double-headed eagle, on the breast and wings of which are imposed shields bearing the arms of the provinces of the empire. The flag is bordered all round, the border being composed of equal-sided triangles with their apices alternately inwards and outwards, those with their apices pointing inwards being alternately yellow and white, the others alternately scarlet and black." Also, Whitney Smith, Flags through the ages and across the world, McGraw-Hill, England, 1975 ISBN 0-07-059093-1, pp.114 - 119, "The imperial banner was a golden yellow cloth...bearing a black eagle...The double-headed eagle was finally established by Sigismund as regent...".
- Browning, pp. 120-128