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  • Writer's pictureGeorge Castrioti

February 1st, 1702 - The Battle of Cremona

Conflict: The War of the Spanish Succession

Combatants: Austrians vs. French

Location: Italy

Outcome: Austrian victory

The death of Charles II in 1700 left the throne of Spain in contention between two European monarchs: Louis XIV of France and Leopold I the Habsburg emperor. Louis sought to place his grandson Phillip on the Spanish throne, while Leopold sought the same for his second son, the Archduke Charles.

In September of 1701, an Austrian army under the command of Prince Eugene was entrenched at Chiari, Italy. The French forces, now commanded by Marshal Duke Francois de Villeroi, attacked the Austrian positions but were thrown back. Both armies retired to winter quarters: the French to Cremona, the Austrians to the east of Chiari.

However, on February 1st of 1702, Prince Eugene led his troops in a surprise night attack on Cremona. The Austrians killed 1,000 French soldiers and captured Villeroi and several other officers. The Austrians could not penetrate the citadel, however, and had to retreat before the arrival of French reinforcements.

The Raid on Cremona by Karl von Blaas. (Karl von Blaas, CC BY-SA 4.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons)

Points of Interest:

  • The struggle over the throne of Spain would not be resolved until 1714. Phillip was confirmed the king of Spain; Austria received the Spanish Netherlands.

  • England also became embroiled in the conflict. Fighting between the English and French in North America was known as Queen Anne's War.

Prince Eugene of Savoy (1663-1736) by an unknown artist
François de Neufville de Villeroy (1644-1730) by Alexandre-François Caminade



Dupuy, Trevor N., Johnson, Curt, & Bongard, David L. (1992). The Harper's Encyclopedia of Military Biography. New York: Castle Books (HarperCollins).

Dupuy, R. Ernest & Dupuy, Trevor N. (1993). The Harper's Encyclopedia of Military History. New York: HarperCollins.

Eggenberger, David (1985). An Encyclopedia of Battles: Accounts of Over 1,560 Battles from 1479 B.C. to the Present. New York: Dover Publications, Inc.   

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