The Battle of Rocoux
By GAYET, 1746
Plan qui represente les differentes positions de l’Armee du Roy et de celle des Allies depius le 6. 7.bre jusqu’au 19 . 8bre aux environs de Tongres, Liege et Maestricht Leve Geometriquement en 1746.
- Author: GAYET
- Publication date: 1746.
- Physical description: Manuscript plan with original colour, dissected and mounted on linen, key to upper left below title.
- Dimensions: 960 by 1080mm. (37.75 by 42.5 inches).
- Inventory reference: 2707
The plan extends from north to south from Bilsen to Liege, and west to east from Auly to Viset, and depicts rivers, forests, villages, towns, churches, and roads; elevation is shown by shading. To the left of the plan is a key to the French army listing, infantry, cavalry, dragoons, hussars, and the King’s Household cavalry. To the lower left is a key to the French and Allied armies: French infantry are marked white and red, cavalry blue, hussars blue and red, dragoons red, Grassins dark and light blue, and Morlieres dark blue and red; Allied troops, infantry yellow and cavalry green.
The plan shows the build up to the Battle of Rocoux on 11 October 1746.
The French army was commanded by Marshall Saxe and the Allied army by Prince Charles of Lorraine and Austria and the British General Sir John Ligonier. Saxe had nearly completed his campaign to take Flanders and was threatening to invade the Netherlands. The allies took up a position next to Liège with the Dutch under Waldeck on the left from Liège to Rocoux, the British and Hanoverians in the center and the Austrians on the right almost to the River Jaar.
The French main attack went against the Dutch portion on the left of the allied line between Liege and Rocoux. Heavily outnumbering the Dutch, the French defeated them on the third assault. The Dutch were forced to withdraw behind the British and Hannoverian lines. In the face of a general French advance the allied line began to give way. The Austrians on the allied right were not engaged and made no attempt to take the initiative and advance against the French left flank. Lingonier’s cavalry and some British, Hanoverian and Dutch infantry formed a rear guard that held off the French as the army withdrew. The French were victorious, although the allied army escaped from destruction. Liège fell soon after.
This was the second great victory of three for Saxe, after Fontenoy and prior to Lauffeld. The French were victorious, immediately capturing Liège and breaking Austrian control over the Austrian Netherlands for the remainder of the war.
Scale; (approx.) 3.5cm by 1km.
Charles Louis d’Albert de Luynes (1717–1771) was a French nobleman and member of the House of Albert. He was the fifth Duke of Luynes as well as Duke of Chevreuse.
He took part in the war in 1733 in the War of the Polish Succession. He also took part in campaigns in 1735 and 1745, the latter in the War of the Austrian Succession, and was injured in combat at Sahay at the head of the Dragoons. He participated in the attack of Prague in 1742, and also assisted in various sieges and battles of the era.
In 1754, he was created a Colonel General of the Dragoons. From 1757 to 1771, he was the Gouverneur de Paris (Military governor of Paris), an ancient and prestigious rank representing the king in the capital. He also was created a Knight of the Order of the Holy Spirit at Versailles on 2 February 1759.
He died in Paris in his Hôtel. He was buried at the Chapelle de Saint Jean l’Évangeliste at the Église Saint-Sulpice, Paris.