Today in History - July 3rd. 1676 - Leopold I, Prince of Anhalt-Dessau

July 3rd. 1676 marks the birth of Leopold of Anhalt- Dessau.

Leopold was born as the ninth of tenth sons of John George II
of Anhalt-Dessau and Henriette Catherine of Nassau, daughter of
Frederick Henry, Prince of Orange.

From his early youth Leopold was fascinated by the army.
In 1693 he entered the Prussian army, in the same year he inherited his
principality.

His first campaign (1695) took place in The Netherlands with
the Siege of Namur.


Leopold I, Prince of Anhalt-Dessau- picture: Wikipedia

The young prince fell in love with Anna Louise Föhse, a daughter
of a pharmacist. His mother tried to break up their relationship by
sending her son abroad. This didn't help, the two were married on
September 8th. 1698 and they would have ten children. First their
marriage was considered as morganatic (lower stand). Later, on
December 29th. 1701, it was made official by imperial decree.

Leopold and his wife - source picture: wikipedia


In 1702 the War on the Spanish Succession broke out. Leopold
took the command of a Prussian corps on the Rhine.

In 1703 he received the rank lieutenant-general.
Later he participated inter alia in:
the Siege of Bonn,
the Battle of Cassano
Battle of Turin
Great Northern war

Leopold also became one of the most influential members of the
Prussian Governing circle of King Frederick William I. The two
were volunteers in the army at the same time.

Between the battles Leopold served the army with training the
soldiers. He was nicknamed the old Dessauer.

Leopold died on April 7th. 1747 at the age of 70.