Battle of Carpi - The Battle

The Battle

After five weeks' cautious manoeuvring on both sides, Eugene found an unguarded spot about 10 km southeast of Legnago near the town of Castagnaro. With the usual precautions of secrecy (deceiving even his own army), he crossed the lower Adige in the night of the 8th-9 July, and overpowered the small cavalry corps that alone was encountered at Carpi (July 9).

Catinat at once concentrated his scattered army backwards on the Mincio, while Eugene turned northward and regained touch with his old line of supply, Roveredo-Rivoli. For some time Eugene was in great difficulties for supplies, as the Venetians would not allow his barges to descend the Adige. At last, however, he made his preparations to cross the Mincio close to Peschiera del Garda and well beyond Catinat's left, with the intention of finding a new supply area about Brescia. This was executed on the 28th of July.

Catinat's cavalry, though coming within sight of Eugene's bridges, offering no opposition. It seems that the marshal was well content to find that his opponent had no intention of attacking the Spanish possessions in the Peninsula, at any rate Catinat fell back quietly to the Oglio. But his army resented his retreat before the much smaller force of the Austrians and, early in August, his rival Tessé reported this to Paris, whereupon Marshal Villeroy, a favourite of Louis, was sent to take command.

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