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Battle of Blenheim

From Academic Kids

Template:Battlebox The Battle of Blenheim was a major battle of the War of the Spanish Succession, fought on August 13, 1704. A French and Bavarian army, under Count Camille de Tallard and Maximilian II Emanuel, elector of Bavaria, were advancing on the Austrian capital of Vienna. To counter this threat, the Austrian commander Eugene of Savoy moved north and his British and Dutch allies under the Duke of Marlborough moved south from the Low Countries. They first met up with each other, then encountered their opponents at the small Bavarian village of Blenheim (in German, Blindheim), near Höchstädt, Germany. The battle was decisive in Austrian and British favour, and the French were thrown back across the Rhine. Bavaria was knocked out of the war and occupied, and the French allies of Savoy and Portugal promptly changed sides.

The allied army had 52,000 men. Marlborough, commanding the Dutch, British, Hanoverian, Prussian, Hessian and Danish contingents, was in the center, Eugene on the right, and a third group was on the left — up against the Danube River. The French and Bavarians numbered some 60,000. The battle opened with the allied left attacking the French right twice and being driven back, while the French left attacked Eugene's forces on the right, which held their ground. As the French centre (uncommonly consisting of cavalry) was weakened by the need to reinforce the engaged flanks, Marlborough attacked and routed it. Wheeling left he rolled up the flank of the French right, driving many into the river and removing them from the battle. Savoy's troops then cleaned up the remaining adversaries on his side. French casualties were approximately 30,000, split evenly between those taken prisoner and those who were wounded or killed. The allies suffered about 12,000 casualties.

British historian Sir Edward Creasy considered the battle of Blenheim to be one of the pivotal battles in history. He wrote: "Had it not been for Blenheim, all Europe might at this day suffer under the effect of French conquests resembling those of Alexander in extent and those of the Romans in durability."

After the battle Blenheim Palace was built for the Duke of Marlborough in recognition of the service to his country during the battle.

See also

One of the RAF's fast fighter bombers of the Battle of Britain, the Bristol Blenheim, is named in commemoration of this battle.de:Schlacht von Höchstädt fr:Bataille de Blenheim pl:Bitwa pod Blenheim pt:Batalha de Blenheim

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