The Battle of Friedlingen was fought in 1702 between France and the Holy Roman Empire. The Imperial forces were led by Louis William, Margrave of Baden-Baden, while the French were led by Claude Louis Hector de Villars. The French were victorious.
|Battle of Friedlingen|
|Part of the War of the Spanish Succession|
The Battle of Friedlingen, unknown author
|Kingdom of France||Holy Roman Empire (Imperial Army)|
|Commanders and leaders|
|Claude Louis Hector de Villars||Louis William, Margrave of Baden-Baden|
|17,000 men, 35 cannons||14,000 men|
|Casualties and losses|
The French were seeking to expand their influence on the eastern bank of the river Rhine. In the autumn of 1702, Villars received orders from Louis XIV to attack Swabia. The French forces needed to join their Bavarian allies and defeat the Imperial troops that stood between them.
The French crossed the Rhine at Weil am Rhein, just north of Basle on 14 October 1702. Villars attacked the Imperial army at Friedlingen. The future field marshal Louis William entrenched his army and managed to hold the French for some time. He then retreated in good order to the North.
It was a Pyrrhic victory for Villars. French losses differ between different sources, but were certainly high: Between 1,600 and 2,700 dead and wounded, whereas the Imperial forces lost between 3,000 and 4,000 men. Villars was also prevented from joining the Bavarians.
The villages on the eastern bank of the Rhine suffered much damage, especially Weil am Rhein.
- "...the standard of France was white, sprinkled with golden fleur de lis..." (Ripley & Dana 1879, p. 250).
- On the reverse of this plate it says: "Le pavillon royal était véritablement le drapeau national au dix-huitième siecle...Vue du chateau d'arrière d'un vaisseau de guerre de haut rang portant le pavillon royal (blanc, avec les armes de France)" (Vinkhuijzen collection 2011).
- "The oriflamme and the Chape de St Martin were succeeded at the end of the 16th century, when Henry III., the last of the house of Valois, came to the throne, by the white standard powdered with fleurs-de-lis. This in turn gave place to the famous tricolour"(Chisholm 1911, p. 460).
- Bodart 1908, p. 128.
- Lynn (1999), p. 276.
- Batailles françaises, 6e série, page 80 
- Batailles françaises, 6e série, page 79 
- nowadays a suburb of Weil am Rhein
- The Spanish Succession 1702
- Bodart, Gaston (1908). Militär-historisches Kriegs-Lexikon (1618-1905). Retrieved 4 March 2022.
- Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. 10 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. pp. 454–463. .
- Ripley, George; Dana, Charles A., eds. (1879). "Flag". The American Cyclopædia. Vol. 8. p. 250.
- "The Vinkhuijzen collection of military uniforms: France, 1750-1757". New York Public Library. 25 March 2011 . Archived from the original on 8 March 2013.
- Lynn, John A. (1999), The Wars of Louis XIV 1667-1714, Longman, ISBN 978-0-582-05629-9