Herman Maurice, Comte de Saxe (1696-1750)

Acknowledged illegitimate son of the Elector of Saxony, Saxe's early career was aided by the support of his father, who sent him to serve under Prince Eugene of Savoy in the Netherlands, before buying him command of a German regiment in the French army, a not unusual state of affairs at the time. He made a name for himself in French service, and during the War of the Austrian Succession rose to the highest ranks in the French army. In 1743, Marshal de Noailles placed him in command of a planned invasion of England that was foiled by the Royal Navy. He was created a Marshal of France on 26 March 1744, with command of one French army in Flanders, where he soon found himself outnumbered by an allied army with British, Austrian and Dutch contingents, led by the duke of Cumberland, but Saxe was able to prevent them using their numbers against him, and by 1745 he had the numerical advantage. He met the allied army at Fontenay (10 May 1745), where despite his own illness, he was victorious, and although Cumberland was able to extract most of his army, Saxe was able to conquer most of the Austrian Netherlands (modern Belgium). In 1747 he was appointed Marshal-General of France, only the third man to be appointed to the post, and controled most of the French war effort from Brussels. His occupation of the Netherlands was contested by the allies, again under the duke of Cumberland, and once again, when they met at Laeffelt (2 July 1747), Saxe was victorious. After peace was made, Saxe retired to his chateau, where he died on 30 November 1750.
How to cite this article: Rickard, J. (8 November 2000), Herman Maurice, Comte de Saxe (1696-1750), http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/people_saxe.html

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