This day in 1743 marked the last time that a reigning English Monarch led his men into battle. King George II led British forces at the Battle of Dettingen, Bavaria, in which the British and their allies were victorious.
The Battle was part of the War of the Austrian Succession which pitted an alliance of Austria, Britain, the Hanoverians and Dutch against the French.
The Battle of Dettingen
The Battle of Dettingen was a one day long battle. The Allies were in retreat and had found themselves boxed into a potentially difficult situation as the French seemed to have bar far the stronger position. However a French commander launched an attack early. His men were initially quite successful, forcing back British infantry. However in doing so they also forced their own artillery to halt the prelimenary bombardment and opened a gap into which the Austrians, allies of the British, poured. With allied artillery able to pound the French forces who were lined up to engage, the French were soon forced to retreat and the Battle of Dettingen was a victory for the Allies.
After the Battle of Dettingen
The priority for King George II had been to get his forces back to his homeland, Hanover. As a result of this victory he was able to achieve this. However George’s involvement in the war was largely in his role as elector of Hanover. His use of British troops was not universally approved of by his ministers.
Other lasts in battle
Another ‘last’ in terms of battles also happened during George’s reign. The Battle of Culloden, fought in 1746, was the last pitched battle fought on British soil.
The anniversary of the last time that an English King won a battle on English soil is on the 29th June. King Charles I led his men successfully against at the Battle of Cropredy Bridge 29th June 1644.