Pfälzi succession war

the Pfälzi succession war (1688 - 1697), also Orléans war mentioned, became by the death of the cure prince of the Pfalz Karl II., Son by Karl I. Ludwig, released. Actually it was a French war, thatin the region of the Kurpfalz as well as large parts of South West German country took place. It is counted from historians to the cabinet wars.

table of contents


cure prince Karl I. Ludwig, the son Friedrichs V., the winter king, the political relationship to the adjacent France had originally intended by the wedding of its daughter Elizabeth Charlotte (as Liselotte of the Pfalz history entered) with duke Philipp of Orléans, the brother of the French “sun kingLudwig stabilize.

However the wedding caused the opposite: After the death of KarlII. stressed Ludwig XIV. the Kurpfalz as an inheritance of its sister-in-law. However by the catholic collateral line Pfalz Neuburg residing in Duesseldorf one did not give way to this demand.

France saw a strategic advantage in the fact that the emperor and/or. Austria in the Turk war was bound. ClearA war goal was the safety device and the development of French areas on German soil.

war process


France tried to lend to its demands reproduction by occurring to 1688 in the Pfalz and the linksrheinische area. The emperor,backinsured by Augsburger alliance, answered with the so-called realm war to the threat. 1689 stepped England, Savoyen and the Netherlands the alliance against the French expansionist tendencies with (“large alliance “). This created it first, the Frenchmen back urge. Forwardsthe evacuation devastated French troops the area exactly the same, as them run it in the war after a renewed raid over the Rhine 1692/93 again do should. A goal was the destabilization of the area, over in a potential marching-up areato leave against France no bases. Numerous cities, villages, castles and locks of the Kurpfalz, of Kurtrier and the Mark county bathing were put partially several times in debris and ash. Also Mannheim, Heidelberg (including its lock, 1693) and Speyer (including the emperor cathedral, 1689) were destroyed.

With the military operations in Germany it came to not one field battle. The goal of the Frenchmen was rather to set the opponent by purposeful destruction under pressure. ThatA goal of the realm army was it to make for the Frenchmen a further penetrating impossible on German areas (Swabia, Franconia) what also succeeded. Own offensive actions on linksrheinische areas did not take place however.

French enterprises against Great Britain

with FrenchAssistance succeeded it 1689 to the former English king Jakob II. (fallen 1688 by William of Oranien) first to conquer Ireland nearly completely. These conquests were lost however fast again, after as a William III.on the king throne Oranier comeon the Irish island landed. Jakob II. fled to France.

Die Schlacht von Barfleur, 29. Mai 1692 von Richard Paton, gemalt im 18. Jh.
The battle of Barfleur, 29. May 1692 painted by smelling pool of broadcasting corporations Paton, in 18. Jh.

1692 tried the Frenchmen a second time, Jakob II. on English throne back toobring. This time troops should translate directly to England, to 30,000 men and a large cargo fleet were at the disposal. It succeeded however to the Englishmen in the sea-battles with cape Barfleur and La Hougue [1] (28. May to 2. June), thoseto destroy French fleet to a large extent, with which translating to England became impossible.


relative easy play had France in Italy, since the Austrians were bound against the Turks. It succeeded here within a short time, completely to Savoyen tooconquer. This security had in the later peace negotiations however little effect, France had also this conquest to again give up.


led the Netherlands in the Netherlands against an allied army from Germans (from different handing hurrying, z. B. Brandenburg [2]), Englishmen and Dutchmen war. The French army was led by the marshal of Luxembourg and achieved three victories in field battles:

also on this scene gave it a real winner. It succeeded to the allied one despite its military inferiority to maintain the position as far as possible.

naval warfare

the fight between France on the one handand England with its allied Spain and the Netherlands on the other hand took place mainly to sea. Scene were in particular the English Channel, in addition, west India (conquest of Cartagena by the Frenchmen 1697) and Newfoundland.

In French history successes leftthe Kaperkapitäns Jean Bart a lasting impression. Zusammen mit anderen Kaperkapitänen gelang es ihm zwischen 1692 und 1697, insgesamt über 4.000 Schiffe zu erbeuten. This changed however nothing in the fact that France in the course of the war its power toLake by the absence of its own battle fleet lost.

On the peace treaty these arguments had to sea little influence.

peace treaty

1697 was terminated the Pfälzi succession war by the peace by Rijswijk. The former German realm Reich Strasbourg and thatentire Elsass became French. All other occupied German areas had to be vacated.


although the profit of the Elsass with some interruptions to today existence, was the war for France everything else has as a success. It loadedin particular the national budget immensely, and some requirements acquired in previous wars were lost. Time for the consolidation of the finances of the state had France hardly, because already 1700 pulled by the death of the Spanish king the next large war, the Spanish succession war, Europeinto its spell.

Great Britain strengthened its supremacy to sea, since the French fleet was at the same time to a large extent destroyed and also the allied Dutchmen had to accept large losses.


to the land war in Germany:

  • George local castle (Hrsg.), Siegfried fiddler: War natureand warfare in the age of the cabinet wars, Bernhard & Graefe publishing house, Augsburg 1986, ISBN 3-7637-5478-4

to the land war in Ireland:

  • Michael McNally: Battle OF the Boyne 1690 - The Irish campaign for the English crown, Osprey Publishing, 2005, ISBN 184176891X

To the land war in the Netherlands:

  • John A Lynn: The French Wars 1667-1714 - The Sun King RK was, Osprey Publishing, 2005, ISBN 1841763616

to the naval warfare:

  • Helmut Pemsel: Naval supremacy volume I, Bernhard & Graefe publishing house, Augsburg 1996, ISBN 3-89350-711-6
  • Heinz new churches: To sea power in the mirror of history, Transpress publishing house, Berlin 1982

see also


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