1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Polish Succession War

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POLISH SUCCESSION WAR (1733-1735), the name given to a war which arose out of the competition for the throne of Poland between the elector August of Saxony, son of August II. (the Strong), and Stanislaus Leszcynski, the king of Poland installed thirty years before by Charles XII. of Sweden and displaced by August the Strong when Charles's projects collapsed. The claims of Stanislaus were supported by France, Spain and Sardinia, those of the Saxon prince by Russia and the empire, the local quarrel being made the pretext for the settlement of minor outstanding claims of the great powers amongst themselves. The war was therefore a typical 18th century “war with a limited object,” in which no one but the cabinets and the professional armies were concerned. It was fought on two theatres, the Rhine and Italy. The Rhine campaigns were entirely unimportant, and are remembered only for the last appearance in the field of Prince Eugène and Marshal Berwick—the latter was killed at the siege of Philippsburg—and the baptism of fire of the young crown prince of Prussia, afterwards Frederick the Great. In Italy, however, there were three hard-fought—though indecisive—battles, Parma (June 29, 1734), Luzzara (Sept. 19, 1734) and Bitonto (May 25, 1735), the first and last won by the Austrians, the second by the French and their allies. In Poland itself, Stanislaus, elected king in September 1733, was soon expelled by a Russian army and was afterwards besieged in Danzig by the Russians and Saxons (Feb.-June 1733).