The Battle of Dettingen took place on 27 June 1743 at Dettingen on the River Main, Germany, during the War of the Austrian Succession. The British forces, in alliance with those of Hanover and Hesse, defeated a French army under the duc de Noailles. George II commanded his troops in the battle, and this marked the last time a British monarch personally led his troops on the field. The battle straddled the river about 18 miles east of Frankfurt, with guns on the Hessian bank but most of the combat on the flat Bavarian bank. The village of Dettingen is today the town of Karlstein am Main, in the extreme northwest of Bavaria.
The allied army was known as the Pragmatic Army because it was a confederation of states that supported the Pragmatic Sanction of 1713 agreements to recognize Maria Theresa as sovereign of the Habsburg Empire. The British force of 17,000 men under John Dalrymple, 2nd Earl of Stair, had landed at Ostend in the Austrian Netherlands on 10 July 1742. Here it joined the Pragmatic Army, some 50,000 strong at the start of the campaign, also containing 16,000 Hanoverians with the balance made up of Austrians, Hessians and Dutch. The army remained here inactive until January 1743, when King George II ordered Dalrymple to march into Germany, leaving the Hessians and some Austrian troops to protect the Netherlands. The internal divisions in the Dutch Republic delayed their army of 20,000 so that it came too late to participate in the campaign.
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