First Battle of Höchstädt
|Battle of Höchstädt|
|Part of the War of the Spanish Succession|
Kingdom of France|
Electorate of Bavaria
|Commanders and leaders|
Leopold I, Prince of Anhalt-Dessau
Claude de Villars|
Maximilian II Emanuel
|Casualties and losses|
|11,000 dead, wounded and prisoners||1,000 dead and wounded|
The First Battle of Höchstädt was fought on 20 September 1703, near Höchstädt in Bavaria, and resulted in a French-Bavarian victory under Marshal Villars against the Austrians under General Hermann Otto of Limburg Styrum. The battle was part of the War of the Spanish Succession (1701–1714) over who had the right to succeed Charles II as king of Spain.
On 15 September, the main force of the Imperial Army under Louis William, Margrave of Baden-Baden had taken the free city of Augsburg, threatening Bavaria from the west. A force of men under Count Styrum, which Baden had left north of the Danube river, moved east and reached Höchstädt on 19 September. Villars and Maximilian II Emanuel, Elector of Bavaria, moved their army to intercept this force, ordering another French force of 7,000 men under d'Usson near Dillingen to attack from the rear.
The French plan almost failed as d'Usson attacked too soon, and his army, inferior in numbers, was pushed back by Limburg Styrum. However, Villars and Maximilian Emanuel arrived just in time, falling upon the Imperial army before it could adjust its positions. It was only thanks to the tremendous resistance of the rearguard under Leopold I, Prince of Anhalt-Dessau that Limburg Styrum managed to save his army and reach Nördlingen.
The Austrians lost 11,000 men, many of them taken prisoner, 37 cannons, and the entire supply train. The French and Bavarians lost 1,000 men.
A year later, the Second Battle of Höchstädt was fought, usually known in English as the Battle of Blenheim. (This should not be confused with the 1800 Battle of Höchstädt during the French Revolutionary Wars, which is also known as the Second Battle of Höchstädt.)
- All dates in the article use the Gregorian calendar. The Julian calendar as used in England in 1703 differed by eleven days; thus the battle of Höchstädt was fought on 19 September in the Julian calendar. (See Adoption of the Gregorian calendar for a more detailed explanation.)
- Perrett B. (1992) The Battle Book: Crucial Conflicts in History from 1469 BC to the Present, Arms and Armour Press; ISBN 978-1-85409-328-8
- Eggenberger D. (1985) An Encyclopedia of Battles: Accounts of Over 1,560 Battles from 1479 B.C. to the Present, Dover Publications Inc; ISBN 0-486-24913-1
- Maps of the battle (in German)