Battle of Turin - Background

Background

At the outbreak of the conflict, Victor Amadeus, backed by his cousin Eugene, generalissimo of the Imperial troops, had taken the risk to side with Austria's Habsburgs since they were the sole power in Europe that could grant his state a total independence after a final victory. However, in case of defeat, Piedmont and Savoy would be wiped off the European maps.

King Louis XIV of France, allied with Spain, replied by invading first Savoy and then Piedmont itself. As the Spanish armies occupied Lombardy, Piedmont found itself surrounded from every side. Attacked by three armies, the Savoyards lost Susa, Vercelli, Chivasso, Ivrea and Nice (1704). The last stronghold was the Citadel of Turin, a fortification built in the mid-16th century.

In August 1705 the French-Spanish armies were ready to attack, but De la Feuillade deemed his troops insufficient and waited for reinforcements. This choice turned out to be wrong, as it allowed the Piedmontese to fortify the city up to the neighbouring hills and to prepare for a long siege.

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