French-born Austrian general who had many victories against the Turks, whom he expelled from Hungary in the Battle of Zenta (1697), and against France, including the battles of Blenheim, Oudenaarde, and Malplaquet during the War of the Spanish Succession (1701–14).
Eugène was born in Paris, the son of Prince Eugène Maurice de Savoie Carignan. When Louis XIV refused to give him a commission, Eugène entered the Austrian army, and served against the Turks at the defence of Vienna in 1683, and in the coalition war against the French on the Rhine and in Italy ten years later. Promoted to field-marshal in 1693, he put an end to Turkish power in Hungary at Zenta in 1697. During the War of the Spanish Succession he joined the British commander Marlborough in his great victories against the French and won many successes as an independent commander in Italy. He inflicted defeat on the Turks again between 1716 and 1718, and fought a last campaign against the French in 1734–35.
In the War of the Spanish Succession Eugène commanded Imperial forces against the French in Italy in 1701, but effected little of importance owing to the size of his army and was defeated by the French general Vendôme in 1702. In 1703 he became president of the council of war, took over command of the Imperial army, and assisted the Duke of Marlborough in his victory at the Battle of Blenheim in 1704. After being checked by Vendôme at Cassano in 1705 and twice wounded, he drove the French out of Italy and then shared with Marlborough the victories of Oudenaarde in 1708 and Malplaquet in 1709. However, after the retirement of Britain and Holland from the struggle, Eugène was unable to withstand the enemy on the Rhine and was defeated by the French commander Villars at Denain in 1712.
In 1716 war with the Turks recommenced and Eugène was successful on all fronts. He defeated an army of 150,000, twice the size of his own, at Peterwardein, took Temesvar, and then, after a desperate battle, took Belgrade in 1717. He commanded against the French again during the War of the Polish Succession (1733–35), and retained a strong influence on Austrian policy until his death.