** war and social upheaval: War of the Spanish Succession

War of the Spanish Succession: Military Campaign

Figure 1.--Here the Duke of Marlborough is depicted signing the despatch at Blenheim reporting the great victory (1704). The scene was painted by Robert Alexander Hillingford in 1828.

Marlbourgh oversaw perhaps the most brilliant series of military engagements in British history, and not along the coast and in Britain. This was another war agaiunstg Louis XIV's great armies. Louis sought to force the Holy Roman Emperor, Leopold, out of the war by seizing his capital, Vienna. He thus could have denanded a advantageous peace settlement. The dangers to Vienna were considerable--the greatest since Sulliman's siege (17th century). Marlbourgh gained his victories deep in the heart of Central Europe and often against supperior forces. No other British commander haa comparable record. Marlborough conducted ten victorious campaigns, carrying out over over 30 major seiges, and amazingly never lost a single battle. After Marlbourogh's initial success in the Low Countries, the Grand Coalition faced a major crisis. The French supported by the Bavarians attacked the Austrians and were moving toward Vienna. Only English support could save Austria which was a principal member of the coalition. Fighting in the Low Countries was one thing, there the English Army was never far from a Channel or North Sea port where the Royal Navy could deliever supplies and reinforcements. An English army had never before ventured deep into the hear of Europe and would never do so again until Wold War II. Louis XIV of France sought to knock the Holy Roman Emperor, Leopold, out of the war by seizing Vienna, the Habsburg capital, and gain a favourable peace settlement. The dangers to Vienna were considerable. To aid the Autrians, Marlborough, demonstrated his mastery of military tactics and strategy. He marched his army 250 miles across Germany to engage the and defeat the main body of the French Army at Blenheim (1704). There he secured the greatest battle victory in British Army history. He destroyed two thirds of the French Army and capturing its commander, Marshall Tallard. The overwhelming Allied victory led by Marlbourgh ensured the safety of Vienna from the large Franco-Bavarian army, thus preventing the collapse of the reconstituted Grand Alliance. Even after the French defeat at Blenheim, however, the war continued. Fifhting occurred in the Low Countries, Italy, and Spain. Neither side could decisively defeat the other and a stalemate resulted. Marlborough and Prince Eugène succedded in a serious of important victories after Blenheim, including Gibraltar (1704), Ramillies (1706), Oudenarde (1708), and Malplaquet (1709).


Navigate the Children in History Website:
[Return to Main War of the Spanish Sucession page]
[Return to Main 18th century war page]
[Return to Main Peace oif Utrecht page]
[About Us]
[Introduction] [Biographies] [Chronology] [Climatology] [Clothing] [Disease and Health] [Economics] [Freedom] [Geography] [History] [Human Nature] [Ideology] [Law]
[Nationalism] [Presidents] [Religion] [Royalty] [Science] [Social Class]
[Bibliographies] [Contributions] [FAQs] [Glossaries] [Images] [Links] [Registration] [Tools]
[Children in History Home]

Created: 10:12 PM 1/15/2021
Last updated: 10:13 PM 1/15/2021