Ramillies 1706: Marlborough's tactical masterpiece by Michael McNally

By Michael McNally

Ramillies 1706 info the most vital clashes within the warfare of the Spanish Succession, a conflict that safe the Duke of Marlborough's position in historical past and helped ensure the way forward for Europe.

In 1706, because the warfare of Spanish Succession dragged on, France's Louis XIV was once longing for peace, yet he sought after it on his phrases. consequently, instead of status at the protecting, French armies on all fronts swung over to the offensive. Marlborough made up our minds to counter by way of launching a pre-emptive strike. the 2 aspects met at Ramillies on may possibly 23rd.
Enjoying a virtually parity in numbers the French took up place alongside a river line, anchoring each one in their flanks on a marshy zone, thereby surrendering the initiative to Marlborough, who proceeded to probe opposed to either flanks. utilizing a sequence of deceptions and feints, Marlborough took good thing about a hid re-entrant to augment his middle which, at the moment, was once cannonading the French positions. ignorant of this, the French normal Villeroi vastly weakened his middle with a view to strengthen the threatened quarter. Seizing the chance, Marlborough introduced an overpowering assault on his personal phrases.
In the wake of 2 substantial cavalry mêlées, in the course of one among which Marlborough was once unhorsed and virtually killed, the allied troops shattered the French, causing over 20,000 casualties--almost one 3rd of the Franco-Hispano-Bavarian army--at a value of below 4,000 males, hence paving the way in which for allied forces to overturn the French place in Flanders, and within the method shooting numerous strategically vital cities and towns together with Brussels, Bruges, Louvain and Antwerp.
In brief, while Blenheim in 1704 have been a masterpiece of strategic maneuver that had fallacious footed the Franco-Bavarian armies and got rid of the chance to Vienna, it was once Marlborough's tactical instinct at the box of Ramillies that had ended in possibly his most interesting battlefield functionality and prepared the ground for a crusade that will see a lot of Flanders come lower than Allied regulate.

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With five regiments of dragoons, de Rohan spurred forward, even as his commander was taking further action and committed the two brigades of infantry that had been deployed to support the cavalry and act as a rallying point into the attack. Two battalions of French foot – ‘Provence’ and ‘Bassigny’ – and three of German troops, the Cologne ‘Wolfskehl’ battalion and the Bavarian ‘Kurprinz’ regiment were now soon under way to the crucial sector. A number of commentators have criticized Guiscard and – by extension – Villeroi, for what to modern eyes was a rather haphazard and uncoordinated attempt to stabilize the situation around Taviers.

5-pdr. 3 sqns 2 sqns 2 sqns 3 sqns 3 sqns 3 sqns 33 OPPOSING PLANS THE ALLIED ARMY Marlborough began the Ramillies campaign with but one simple aim in mind: irrespective of how large the Bourbon field army would prove to be, and irrespective of its location, he would seek it out and destroy it. Confident of success, he therefore insisted that the army’s siege train march with the main body in order to exploit any victory rather than having to be called forward once the army encountered resistance.

Gen. Dompré (3,100 officers and men) Hirzel (Swiss in Dutch pay) 1 bn Gardes Dragonders (Dutch) 5 sqns Brig. Ziethen (3,568 officers and men) Garde du Corps (Dutch) 1 sqn St Pol (Hanoverian in Dutch pay) 1 bn Opdam’s Horse (Dutch) 2 sqns Bernsdorff (Hanoverian in Dutch pay) 1 bn Fréchapelle’s Horse (Hanoverian in Dutch pay) 2 sqns Bruncken (Hanoverian in Dutch pay) 1 bn Chanclos’s Horse (Dutch) 2 sqns Nassau-Usingen (Walloon in Dutch pay) 1 bn Athlone’s Horse (Dutch) 2 sqns Prinz Ludwig (Hesse-Kassel in Dutch pay) 1 bn Rammingen’s Horse (Dutch) 2 sqns Anhalt-Zerbst (Brandenburg in Dutch pay) 1 bn Dompré’s Horse (Dutch) 2 sqns Lt.

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