King George II, The Last British Monarch To Lead His Troops In Battle

George II: The Last British Monarch To Lead His Troops In Battle

King George II, The Last British Monarch To Lead His Troops In Battle

On the 27th of June 1743 King George II made history, becoming the last British Monarch to lead their troops into battle.

Now largely forgotten the War of Austrian Succession consumed much of Europe for 8 years. 

Fought on the pretext of stopping a woman, Maria Theresa, succeeding to the Habsburg thrones what it really was all about was a power battle for influence, territory and trade.

The likes of Austria, Great Britain and the Dutch Republic squared off against France, Prussia and Spain, and in 1741 diplomacy rapidly deteriorated into warfare.

By 1743 the French and Bavarian armies were struggling to work together unlike the 35,000 strong Anglo-Allied army commanded by George II.

Read: The British Warship That Nearly Sparked A War With America 

At Dettingen, in what is now Germany's Bavaria, the British king astride his horse personally led his soldiers onto the field of battle - the last time such an event occurred.

Perhaps more importantly George's 'Pragmatic Army' won the encounter and defeated the French. If he had lost in all likelihood the British monarch would have become the prisoner of France's Louis XV.

Success came in part from the likes of The Royal Scots Fusiliers, whose commander Lieutenant-Colonel Sir Andrew Agnew of Lochnaw ordered his regiment not to fire until they could see the whites of the enemy's eyes.
After the battle when chided by George II for letting a French cavalry charge get through his ranks Sir Andrew remarked: "Ay, please Your Majesty, but they didna' gang back again."
Though George II's actions in the battle were admired, the war became unpopular with the British public, who felt that the king wasn't putting British interests first.
German-born George Augustus, coincidentally also the last British monarch born outside the United Kingdom, reigned until 1760 - when aged 76 he died of a ruptured heart while sat on the toilet.

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