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Stock# 47056
Description

First State of Riegel's Battle Plan and View of the Siege of Prague in 1742

Fine contemporary plan of Prague showing the positions of the Austrian soldiers as they besieged the French army occupying the city during the War of the Austrian Succession (1740-8).

Below the plan is a view of the Austrian camp as they bombard the city.

The plan shows the troop positions of the attacking Austrian Army, with the positions of the Cavalry, Infantry, Hungarians, Headquarters, etc.

This plan was originally published during the siege, with no mention of the escape: this state has the word 'Verbesserter' ('improved') added to the title in later editions.

Siege of Prague in 1742

French forces occupying Prague first, under the command of Duc 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 Duc de 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 December 16, 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 December 18, 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 December 26. The 6,000 men, mostly wounded and sick, that Belle-Isle left in Prague afterward successfully negotiated a withdrawal from the city with the honors of war.