Adrien Maurice, duc de Noailles (1678-1766)
French soldier who gained his reputation during the War of the Spanish Succession and the War of the Polish Succession before rising to command the French armies during the later stages of the War of the Austrian Succession. He became a member of the Royal Council in March 1743, at the same time as gaining command. On 25 May 1743 he crossed the Rhine into the Empire at the head of a 70,000 strong army, but was defeated at the battle of Dettingham (27 June), and forced back across the Rhine. In 1744 he was in favour of an active policy east of the Rhine, but the Austrians moved first, and Noailles found himself chasing the Austrian army out of Alsace and Lorraine, where he missed a chance to do great damage to the Austrian army while it was re-crossing the Rhine back into the Empire. Despite this, he came to see Britain as a more dangerous enemy of France than Austria was, and in 1745 was amongst the French ministers who saw that the Hapsburgs could not be stopped from regaining the Imperial title. 1746 saw him in a diplomatic role, attempting to repair the relationship between France and Spain, damaged by disagreements over the fighting in Italy.
How to cite this article:
Rickard, J. (20 November 2000), Adrien Maurice, duc de Noailles (1678-1766), http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/people_noailles.html