Battle of Sahay

Battle of Sahay
Part of the War of the Austrian Succession
Date24 May 1742
LocationZahájí, southern Bohemia
Result French victory
 Austria[1]  France
Commanders and leaders
Habsburg Monarchy Count Lobkowitz Kingdom of France Duc de Broglie
Kingdom of France Duc de Belle-Isle
Casualties and losses
500[3] 250[3]

The Battle of Sahay or Zahájí was fought on May 24, 1742 near village of Zahájí, about 15 km (10 mi) NW of Budweis (nowadays České Budějovice) in southern Bohemia, between the French under the Duc de Broglie and the Austrians under Lobkowitz. The battle was part of the War of the Austrian Succession and was conducted in cooperation with the Prussians under Frederick the Great who had defeated the Austrians a week previously at the battle of Chotusitz. Broglie won a small, but politically important, victory which combined with Frederick's success at Chotusitz disposed Maria Theresa to cede Silesia in the peace of Breslau on June 11, 1742.[4]

Preliminary Maneuvers

Croatian pandurs from 1742.

Lobkowitz marched on an advanced French post at Frauenberg and investing it on May 18 began a bombardment with twelve cannon and some mortars. Broglie, joined by Belle-Isle on May 19, moved to relieve the post.

The battle

The engagement began at about four in the afternoon. The Austrians were drawn up in line of battle with their left on the village of Sahay which they occupied with 300 Pandur irregular light infantry. Their left was covered by some swampy ground with woods on a height to their right and rear. The French, with superior numbers, pressed the attack. They attempted to flank the marsh with some cavalry and attacked Sahay with an advanced guard of grenadiers, driving the Pandours from the village which they set on fire to cover their retreat.

The Austrians fell back to the woods in disorder but recovered and counter-attacked. A cavalry charge by three regiments of Austrian cuirassiers was launched from some rising ground in front of the woods against the French Carabiniers who were supported by two dragoon regiments. The French cavalry flanked the Austrian cavalry and the Austrians were repulsed. The infantry on both sides attacked each other but the French pushed the Austrians back to the woods. The French regiment Navarre making three bayonet charges. The Austrian cavalry rallied behind the infantry and charged again but were again forced back with the Hohenzollern cuirassiers distinguishing themselves but suffering severely.

The battle ended around eight in the evening with the Austrians retreating during the night losing some 500 killed and six cannon. The French losses were about 250.


    • "The Austrian imperial standard has, on a yellow ground, the black double-headed eagle, on the breast and wings of which are imposed shields bearing the arms of the provinces of the empire . The flag is bordered all round, the border being composed of equal-sided triangles with their apices alternately inwards and outwards, those with their apices pointing inwards being alternately yellow and white, the others alternately scarlet and black" (Chisholm 1911, p. 461)
    • "The imperial banner was a golden yellow cloth...bearing a black eagle...The double-headed eagle was finally established by Sigismund as regent..." (Smith 1975, pp. 114–119)
  1. Larned 1922, p. 691.
  2. 1 2 Mauvillon 1756, p. 113.
  3. Hannay 1911, p. 41.


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