War: War of the Austrian Succession or King George’s War.
Date: 11th October 1746
Place: Outside Liege on the west bank of the River Meuse in Flanders (Belgium).
Combatants: 120,000 French against 80,000 British, Hanoverians, Austrians and Dutch.
Generals: Marshall Saxe (French), Prince Charles of Lorraine (Austrian) and General Sir John Ligonier (British)
Size of the armies: 60,000 French. 40,000 Allied troops.
British Regiments: Roucoux is not a battle honour for any British regiment. The following regiments were present at the battle: Royal Scots Greys (2nd), 6th and 7th dragoons, 8th, 19th, 33rd and 43rd Foot.
During the Jacobite rebellion, which had brought almost all the British regiments back to Britain, Marshall Saxe continued with his invasion of Flanders, capturing Brussels, Antwerp, Namur and Charleroi. He now threatened to invade Holland. The Pragmatic Allies were forced to take up a position outside Liege where Marshall Saxe attacked them. The Allied right, resting on the River Jaar, was entrenched and strongly held by the Austrians.
The Hanoverian foot and four English battalions stood in the centre. The Hanoverian and British cavalry extended the line to Roucoux. The French gained access to Liege in the Allies’ rear.
The French then attacked the Dutch on the left and launched fifty-two battalions against the resisting several attacks the eight battalions were forced back. Finally the Dutch were forced to retreat across the rear of the British and Hanoverians, while General Ligonier held the French off with his British cavalry and the 19th and 43rd foot formed a rearguard. The army crossed the Meuse to safety.
Casualties: The Pragmatic Allies lost around 5,000 men. The French casualties were said to be around 10,000. The British regiments lost 350 killed and wounded of whom around 200 were lost by the 43rd Foot. The French captured 8 British and Hessian guns.
General Sir John Ligonier
Follow-up: Liege immediately fell to the French. The year was far advanced and both sides retired into winter quarters.
Regimental anecdotes and traditions: This is not a significant battle in British military history and no anecdotes or traditions are known.
Battle of Roucoux