Online Encyclopedia

OUBLIETTE

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V20, Page 378 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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OUBLIETTE, a French architectural term (from oublier, to to intervene was checked by the British cavalry, and the pressure forget), used in two senses of a dungeon or cell in a prison or on the centre and right, which were now practically surrounded, castle which could only be reached by a trap-door from another continued even after nightfall. A few scattered units managed dungeon, and of a concealed opening or passage leading from a dungeon to the moat or river, into which bodies of prisoners who were to be secretly disposed of might be dropped. Viollet le to escape, and the left wing retreated unmolested, but at the cost of about 3000 casualties the Allies inflicted a loss of 6000 killed and wounded and woo prisoners on the enemy, who were, moreover, so shaken that they never recovered their confidence to the end of the campaign. The battle of Oudenarde was not the greatest of Marlborough's victories, but it affords almost the best illustration of his military character. Contrary to all the rules of war then in vogue, he fought a piecemeal and unpremeditated battle, with his back to a river, and with wearied troops, and the event justified him. An ordinary commander would have avoided fighting altogether, but Marlborough saw beyond the material conditions and risked all on his estimate of the moral superiority of his army and of the weakness of the French leading. His conduct of the battle, once it had opened, was a model of the " partial" victory—the destruction of a part of the enemy's forces under the eyes of the rest—which was in the 17th and 18th centuries the tactician's ideal, and was sufficient to ensure him the reputation of being the best general of his age. But it is in virtue of having fought at all that he passes beyond the criteria of the time and becomes one of the great captains of history.
End of Article: OUBLIETTE
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EUGENE ANDRE OUDINE (1810--1887)

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