The Battle of Chiari was fought on 1 September 1701 during the War of the Spanish Succession. The engagement was part of Prince Eugene of Savoy's campaign to seize the Spanish controlled Duchy of Milan in the Italian peninsula, and had followed his victory over Marshal Catinat at the Battle of Carpi in July. Marshal Villeroi replaced Catinat as commander of the Franco–Spanish–Savoyard forces in the theatre, carrying with him orders from King Louis XIV to push the Imperialists out of Italy. Foreseeing Villeroi's intention of attacking at any price, Eugene entrenched himself in front of the small fortress of Chiari, and waited for the attack. In a battle that lasted several hours the Austrians inflicted heavy casualties on Villeroi's forces, gaining an overwhelming victory. The campaign established Eugene in Lombardy, and helped to persuade the Maritime Powers to come to the aid of the Emperor. Within a week of the battle England, the Dutch Republic, and Leopold I, had signed the second treaty of the Grand Alliance.
After his defeat at the Battle of Carpi on 9 July 1701 the French commander, Nicolas Catinat, precipitously retired behind the river Mincio, leaving Prince Eugene in command of the whole country between that river and the Adige. Eugene now effected the passage of the Mincio at Peschiera del Garda, driving the French farther back across the Oglio. .
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