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WAR OF THE SPANISH SUCCESSION

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Originally appearing in Volume V25, Page 603 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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WAR OF THE SPANISH SUCCESSION, the name given to the general European war which began in 17ot and ended with the. Treaties of Utrecht and Rastatt in 1713-14. The war in its ensemble is the typical " war with limited aim," carried out by professional armies in the interests of sovereigns and their cabinets and (except in the last stages of the war in northern France) enlisting no more than the platonic sympathies of the various peoples whose rulers were at war. Nevertheless, its monotonous round of marches and sieges is now and then quickened by the genius of three great soldiers, Marlborough, Eugene and Villars, and Peterborough and Galway, Catinat and Vendome, though less highly gifted, were men of unusual and conspicuous ability. As usual in these wars, manoeuvres, threats and feints played the principal part in field warfare. The soldiers of those days were too costly to be squandered on indecisive battles, and few generals of the time either knew how to make a battle a means of definitively settling the quarrel or had the influence and force of character to extort from their sovereigns permission to play for high stakes. The tangible assets, at the conclusion of peace, were fortresses and provinces; and the effective seizure of fortresses and provinces, '" here a little, there a little," was in most cases the principal object with which kings and princes made war. Nevertheless, at the time of the Spanish Succession War the generals had not yet wholly reconciled themselves to their new position of superior chess-players. Moreover, the object of the war, at least in the case of England and Holland, was less to add a few cities and districts to their own domains than to cripple the power of Louis XIV. The ambition of the Grand Monarque had stepped beyond these narrow limits, and by placing on the throne of Spain his grandson Philip he had brought into politics the fear not merely of a disturbance but of an entire overthrow of the " balance of power." Thus the instrument of his ambition, his magnificent army, was (above all for England) an object in itself and not merely an obstacle to the attainment of other objects. Many of the allies, however, had good reason to fear for their own possessions, and others entered the alliance with at least the hope of acquiring a few material gains at small expense. On the side of the allies therefore, throughout the war, there was a perpetual struggle between offensive activity and defensive passivity, and within the category of " activity "two very different forms of offensive alternately prevailed, the decision of the main question by the sword and the seizure of a minor object by stratagem. Were it not for the existence of this struggle, indeed, the war would be devoid of interest. Later in the 18th century there was, as a rule, no such struggle, for the grander form of offensive died out completely, and the feebler form was easily reconciled with the requirements of passive defence. But in 1700 the true spirit of war—in a leader of the greatness of Marlborough at least—was not yet entirely smothered by chicane. The action of Louis XIV. in the matter of the Spanish succession was foreseen, and William III. of England had devoted his last years to providing against the emergency by the formation of a coalition to deal with it, and the production of a claimant for the Spanish throne, the archduke Charles. The coalition naturally grew out of the Grand Alliance (see GRAND ALLIANCE, WAR of TILE), and consisted of Austria, some of the German states, Great Britain, Holland, Denmark and Portugal. On the other side Louis XIV. was supported by Spain—where Philip, recognized as heir by the dying Charles II., had been promptly installed—Bavaria and Cologne. A doubtful ally was the duke of Savoy, whose policy was to secure and aggrandise himself by adhering at each moment to the stronger party. The alliance of Louis with the discontented prince of Hungary and Transylvania Rakocsy was rather an impediment to his enemy than a direct assistance to himself. The war began, to all intents and purposes, with the handing over of the fortresses in the Spanish Netherlands to the French in March 1701. England and Holland at once began their preparations, but neither state was able to put an army in the field in the year—England because her peace-time army was absolutely insignificant, and Holland because she dared not act alone. In Italy, however, the emperor took the initiative, and an Austrian army under Prince Eugene, intended to overrun the Spanish possessions in the Peninsula, assembled in Tirol in,the early summer, while the opposing army (French, Spaniards and Piedmontese), commanded by Marshal Catinat, was slowly drawing together between the Chiese and the Adige. But supply difficulties hampered Eugene, and the French were able to occupy the strong positions of the Rivoli defile above Verona. There Catinat thought himself secure, as all the country to the east was Venetian and neutral. But Eugene, while making ostentatious preparations to enter Italy by the Adige or Lake Garda or the Brescia road, secretly reconnoitred passages oventhe mountains between Roveredo and the Vicenza district. On the 27th of May, taking infinite precautions as to secrecy, and requesting the Venetian authorities to offerChlarl, /7carpl and BI. no opposition so long as his troops behaved well, Eugene began his march by paths that no army had used since Charles V.'s time, and on the 28th his army was on the plains. His first object was to cross the Adige without fighting, and also by ravaging the duke of 1b4antua's private estates (sparing the possessions of the common people) to induce that prince to change sides. Catinat was completely surprised, for he had counted upon Venetian neutrality, and when in the search for a passage over the lower Adige, Eugene's army spread to Legnago and beyond, he made the mistake of supposing that the Austrians intended to invade the Spanish possessions south of the Po. His first dispositions had, of course, been for the defence of the Rivoli approaches, but he now thinned out his line until it reached to the Po, and after five weeks' cautious manoeuvring on both sides, Eugene found an unguarded spot. With the usual precautions of secrecy (deceiving even his own army), he crossed the lower Adige in the night of the 8th-9th of July, and overpowered the small cavalry corps that alone was encountered at Carpi (July 9). Catinat at once concentrated his scattered army backwards on the Mincio, while Eugene turned northward and regained touch with his old line of supply, Roveredo-Rivoli. For some time Eugene was in great difficulties for supplies, as the Venetians would not allow his barges to descend the Adige. At last, however, he made his preparations to cross the Mincio close to Peschiera and well beyond Catinat's left, with the intention of finding a new supply area about Brescia. This was executed on the 28th of July, Catinat's cavalry, though coming within sight of Eugene's bridges, offering no opposition. It seems that the marshal was well content to find that his opponent had no intention of attacking the Spanish possessions in the Peninsula, at any rate Catinat fell back quietly to the Oglio. But his army resented his retreat before the much smaller force of the Austrians and, early in August, his rival Tesse reported this to Paris, where-upon Marshal Villeroy, a favourite of Louis, was sent to take command. The new commander was perhaps the least competent of all the French senior officers, and ere long he attacked Eugene in a well entrenched position at Chiari (Sept. I), and was thoroughly defeated, with a loss, it is said, of 3000 to the Austrians' 15o. Both armies then stood fast until the exhaustion of supplies compelled them to move, when Villeroy retreated to the Adda. Both Villeroy and Catinat (who had remained with him as secondin-command), warned the king of the duplicity of the duke of Savoy, who, for all the reckless bravery that he had displayed in attempting to storm his cousin's entrenchments, was in reality already intending to change sides. As yet there was no declaration of war by either party. Preparations were made by both sides during the year, most vigorously of all by Louis, who set on foot no less than 450,000 regulars and embodied militia, and had always prided himself on being first in the field. But the debut was disheartening, and in the winter a fresh mishap befell the French. Eugene, who had taken up his winter quarters in such a way as to play upon Villeroy's fears of an invasion of Naples, surprised Cremona on the night of the 1st of February 1702, and, after a confused fight, drew off, taking with him Villeroy as a prisoner. The brave but incapable marshal was however little loss, and the French troops, many of them surprised in their beds, had yet managed to expel Eugene's men. The rest of the French army, instead of marching to the guns in the 19th-century manner, retreated in the 18th-century manner, while Eugene quietly resumed his winter quarters and his blockade of Mantua. With the year 1702 the real struggle began. Villars and one or two others of Louis's best counsellors urged the king to concentrate his attention on the Rhine and the Danube, where, they pointed out, was the centre of gravity of the coalition. This advice was disregarded, and with political aims, which it is hard to imagine, the largest French army was employed on the side of the Meuse, while the Rhine front was entrusted to smaller forces acting on the defensive. In Italy the balance of power remained unchanged, except that one of Louis's best generals, Vendome, was sent to replace the captured Villeroy. In the Low Countries, Ginckell, earl of Athlone, the interim commander of the allies (English, Dutch and minor German states), was at the outset outmanceuvred by the French (Bouffiers), and although, in fact, the material advantage was with the allies, who captured Kaiserswerth on the Rhine, the momentary threat of a French invasion had a lasting effect on the Dutch authorities, whose timidity thereafter repeatedly ruined the best-laid schemes of Marlborough, who was obliged to submit to their obstruction and their veto. This handicap, moreover, was not the only one Marl- under which Marlborough suffered. Unless it is borough's realized and borne in mind that the great captain First was struggling against factiousness and intrigue in campaign. England and from jealousies, faint-heartedness and disagreements amongst the states who lent their contingents to his miscellaneous army, the measure of his achievements in ten years seems small. But in fact it was marvellous. Under 18th-century conditions of warfare, and with an army so composed that probably no other man in Europe could have held it together at all, obstructed and thwarted at every turn, he yet brought Louis XIV. and France to the very edge of ruin. In this theatre of war the French, in concert with the garrisons of the Spanish Netherlands, had fortified a line of defence more than 70 M. long from Antwerp to Huy, as well as another line, longer but of only potential importance, from Antwerp along the Scheldt-Lys to Aire in France. Besides the " lines of Brabant " Bouffiers held all the Meuse fortresses below Huv except Maestricht. Marlborough concentrated 6o,000 men (of whom 12,000 only were British) about Nijmegen in June, and early in July, having made his preparations, he advanced directly by Hamont on Diest. Boufflers, who had drawn together his field army in Gelderland for the relief of Kaiserswerth and the late attack on the earl of Athlone, hastily fell back, in order to regain touch with the Brabant lines. Marlborough, with the positive object of bringing his opponent to battle at a disadvantage, won the race and awaited the arrival of Boufflers' tired army to strike it a paralysing blow. But at the critical moment the Dutch deputies forbade the battle, content to see the army that had threatened Holland with invasion driven off to a safe distance without bloodshed (July 22). Ten days later Boufflers, thus easily let go, again advanced from Diest, was trapped by Marl-borough and released by the Dutch. This time it was a disobedient general, not the civilian commissioners at headquarters, who did the mischief, but after this second experience Marl-borough thought it prudent to pacify the Dutch by besieging the Meuse fortresses, several of which fell in rapid succession (September—October). His return to the Meuse led Boufflers to suppose that the enemy had a Rhine campaign in view and he at once sent off a corps under Tallard towards Cologne, standing on the defensive himself at Tongres, where for the third time in the campaign he was outmanceuvred by Marlborough and saved by the deputies at Marlborough's headquarters. Bouffiers hurriedly fell back within the defended area of the lines of Brabant, and the campaign closed with the capture of Liege by the allies (Oct. 12). Marlborough was created a duke on his return to England in November. He had checked the main enterprise, or at least (for an enterprise commensurate with the force employed had scarcely been imagined) the main army, of the French. Every man in the army knew, moreover, that but for the Dutch deputies the enemy would have been destroyed. On the Rhine the campaign was, except for two disconnected episodes, quite uneventful. The Imperialists under a methodical general, the margrave Louis of Baden, gathered in the Neckar country and crossed the Rhine above Spire. Catinat, now old and worn out, was sent to Strassburg to oppose the threatened invasion of Alsace, and, like MacMahon in 187o, he dared not assemble his whole force either on the Lauter or on the Ill. The margrave invested Landau (July 29) and with a covering army occupied the lines of the Lauter about Weissenburg, which Catinat did not attack. Hence Landau, valiantly defended by Melac, had to be surrendered on the 12th of September. But at the same time the elector of Bavaria took the side of France, surprised Ulm, and declared a local war on the house of Austria and the " circles " of Swabia and Franconia. The margrave then, in order to defend his own country, prevent the junction of Catinat's forces with the elector, and win back the latter to the Austrian side, recrossed the Rhine and hurried to Kehl with the greater part of his army, leaving a garrison in Landau and a corps of observation on the Lauter. To co-operate with the elector, Catinat had made up a corps out of every available battalion and squadron (keeping for himself not more than a personal escort) and placed it under Lieut.-General Villars. This corps drew away into Upper Alsace and the margrave followed suit until the two armies faced one another on opposite sides of the Rhine near Huningen. But the corps thatFrjedttagen. the elector on his part was to send to meet Villars halted east of the Black Forest, and although, on the 14th of October 1702, after a series of skilful manoeuvres, Villars crossed the Rhine and won the first victory of his brilliant career at Friedlingen (opposite Huningen), it was profitless. Soon after-wards Villars placed his army in winter quarters in Alsace, and Louis of Baden disposed his troops in two entrenched camps opposite Breisach and Strassburg respectively. In Italy Vendome, superior in numbers but handicapped by instructions from Versailles and by the necessity of looking to the Italian interests of King Philip, gained a few minor successes over Eugene. A very hard-fought and indecisive battle took place at Luzzara on the Po on the 15th of August. In the next two years Bavaria was the centre of gravity of the French operations, and only campaigns of the methodical and non-committal kind were planned for Italy 1 and the Low Countries. Villeroy and Boufflers commanded the French in the Low Countries, Tallard in Lorraine, Villars in Alsace, and Vendome in Italy. In the Netherlands the French field army was behind the lines of Brabant, the Spanish troops in the lines of Flanders (Antwerp-Ghent-Aire). Together the two considerably out-numbered Marlborough (90,000 against 50,000), but the duke managed to be first in the field. As early as February Rhein-berg had been taken, and in May he followed up this success by the capture of Bonn, returning to the Meuse before Villeroy had assembled his army at Diest. Marlborough's plan was to break the immensely long line of defence of the French and Spaniards by the capture of Antwerp. One Dutch corps under Coehoorn was to assemble in the Sluys-Hulst region, and another under Opdam at Bergen-op-Zoom and Marlborough, after manceuvring Villeroy's field army out of the way, was to join them before the fortress. Marlborough executed his own share of the movement with his usual skill, he pushed back Villeroy towards the Mehaigne and at the right moment, giving them the slip, marched for Antwerp via Hasselt. Villeroy, soon discovering this, hastened thither as fast as possible, and the Dutch generals enabled him to emerge from the manceuvre with a handsome victory, for Coehoorn (in order to fill his own pockets, it has been suggested) had departed on a raid into West Flanders and Opdam was left alone at Eeckeren in front of Antwerp, where Boufflers and the Spanish general Bedmar surprised him (June 30) and put his corps to flight before Marlborough could come to his assistance. In disgust the great captain then resigned himself to a war of small sieges on the Meuse. The campaign closed with the capture of Huy (Aug. 25) and Limbourg (Sept. 27). On the Rhine great projects were entertained by the French, nothing less than the capture of Vienna by a combined Franco-Bavarian-Hungarian army being intended. Villars began by capturing Kehl (March 1o) under the very eyes of the margrave, who dared not risk a battle lest the Bavarians coming up in his rear should destroy his weakened army. The Bavarians had in fact no such intention. The elector, while carrying on a trifling war with a small imperial army under Count Styrum, insisted that Villars should cross the Black Forest and join him, which Villars was unwilling to do thus early in the year, as two-thirds of his officers were as usual on leave or detached on recruiting duties. Courtier though he was, the marshal would not stir even in spite of the king's orders until he was ready. At the end of April, leaving Tallard alone to defend Alsace and Lorraine against the margrave, Villars plunged into the defiles of the Black Forest and on the 8th of May joined the elector at Ebingen. All seemed favourable for the advance on Vienna, but at the last moment the elector half repented of his alliance with the enemies of Germany and proposed instead a junction with Vendome by way of Tirol. This proposal came to nothing, the Tirolese were soon roused to revolt by the misconduct of the ill-disciplined Bavarians, and Vendome, who, like Luxembourg, was a giant in battle and a sluggard in camp, would not stir. The active Villars meantime was reduced to impotence and faced Styrum in an entrenched camp at Dillingen on the Danube, neither side offering battle. Villars had posted a protective force at Ulm to contain the margrave's army should it turn back upon him, and this, after an engagement at Munderkingen (July 31) induced the cautious Louis to return to the Rhine. Five weeks later, however, the margrave returned in full force, and moving by the right bank of the Danube reached Augsburg on the 6th of September. The elector, returning from his futile Tirol expedition, had already rejoined Villars at Dillingen, and the marshal persuaded him to attack Styrum before the two imperial generals could join 1 In this year began the Camisard insurrection, in the Cevennes, which necessitated the detachment of a considerable body of troops from Vendome's army in Italy. Similarly both in 1702 and 1703 the Hungarian insurrection compelled the Viennese government to keep back the reinforcements of which Eugene stood in need.forces. The result was the battle of Hochstett' (Sept. 2o) in which the elector and Villars won a great victory, at a loss of only r000 men to Styrum's i r,000. Rarely indeed had an 18th-century general so great an opportunity of finishing a war at one blow. But even Villars saw no better use for the fiochstett, victory than the unimpeded junction of his own army 1703. and Tallard's and winter quarters in Wurttemberg, and the elector on the other hand was principally anxious to evict the margrave's army from his dominions. The question was referred to Versailles, and another month passed away in inactivity. Tallard remained on the Rhine, and Villars in disgust applied to be recalled. The margrave, entrenched as usual, kept the field for another month and then retired to the Lake of Constance, where, in a still unexhausted district, he spent the winter. The elector wintered in the Iller with the combined army. Tallard meanwhile invested Landau and defeated a detachment sent from Marlborough's distant army to relieve the place in the battle of Spire (Nov. ro), which was almost as costly to the allies as Hochstett. Landau surrendered on the r 2th of November. Old Breisach, besieged by Vauban, capitulated on the 6th of September. Thus in Germany, though the grand advance on Vienna had come to nothing, the French hadwon two important victories and established an army in Bavaria. More than this, under the prevailing conditions of warfare, it was impossible to expect. In Italy, on the other hand, Vendome, although no longer opposed by Eugene, achieved nothing. After a raid towards Trieste he was brought back hurriedly by the news that Victor Amadeus of Savoy had changed sides, and though he was victorious in a few skirmishes and re-established touch with France by capturing Asti, he failed to prevent the Imperialists, under Guido Starhemberg, from slipping past his position in Lombardy and joining the duke of Savoy in Piedmont. The campaign of 1704, though in the Low Countries and in Italy practically nothing was done, is memorable for what was probably the greatest strategical operation in the 18th century, Marlborough's march to the Danube. At the outset the elector and Marsin (Villars' successor) were on the Iller, between Ulm and Memmingen, Tallard between Strassburg and Landau, Villeroy as usual between the Brabant lines and the Meuse. Between Villeroy and Tallard there was a small force on the Moselle, intended to reinforce either. On the other side the Margrave Louis was in the Stockach-Engen region, with his own army and the relic of Styrum's, but being responsible for guarding the whole of the Middle Rhine as well as for opposing the elector he was weak everywhere, and his defence of the Rhine was practically limited to holding the " lines of Stollhofen," a defensive position near Biihl in Baden. With Breisach and Kehl in their own hands, the French were more or less closely in touch with their comrades in Bavaria, and Tallard convoyed a large " body of recruits for Marsin's army through the Black Forest defiles. But in doing so he lost most of them by desertion, the margrave's army dogged his march, and in fact no Rhine and regular line of communication was established. Thus Danube the five armies (Marlborough's, Eugene's, Tallard's, carupatgn Marsin's and the margrave's) engaged in this theatre 011704. of war, were moving and facing in all directions in turn in a most bewildering fashion. Marlborough's purpose at any rate was quite definite—to transfer a large corps from the Low Countries to Bavaria and there in concert with the allies in that quarter to crush the elector decisively. He took no one into his confidence. The timid Dutch were brought, not without difficulty, to assent to a Lower Rhine and Moselle campaign, of much the same sort as the Bonn expedition of 1703, but rather than be burdened with Dutch counsellors he forwent the assistance of the Dutch troops. These were left under Overkirk to defend the Meuse, and English and English-paid troops alone took part in the great venture. Meanwhile Tallard and Marsin, united at the moment of handing over the recruits, had promptly separated again. Tallard, Villeroy and the Versailles strategists, 2 Fought on the same battlefield as was Blenheim next year; the latter is consequently called by some the " second battle of lochstett." well aware that Marlborough was ascending the Rhine, thought that a diversion on the Moselle was intended, and the feeble warnings of Marsin, who half suspected the real purpose, were disregarded. Villeroy remained in Brabant for fear that Overkirk would take a few towns in his absence. Marlborough calculated that as he progressed up the Rhine the French would collect to prevent his crossing, instead of them-selves passing over to join the elector and Marsin. Thus the expedition would reach the Neckar mouth, without its true purpose being suspected, and once there Marlborough would vanish from the ken of the defenders of the Rhine, to reappear on the Danube where he was least expected. On the 12th of May the army crossed the Meuse at Ruremond, on the 23rd it reached Bonn, on the 29th Mainz. On the 1st of June the puzzled French noted preparations for bridging the Rhine at Philipsburg. But two days later the English had turned to their left into the valley of the Neckar. On the loth of June Prince Eugene and on the 13th the margrave appeared at the duke's headquarters to concert operations. It was arranged that the margrave was to join Marlborough and that Eugene should command the Stollhofen ,Karl- and other forces on the Rhine, for Tallard, it seemed, borough's was about to be joined by Villeroy 1 and Marlborough March to the knew that these marshals must be kept west of the Danube. Rhine for the six weeks he allowed himself for the Bavarian enterprise. The margrave's army duly joined Marl-borough's on the 22nd of June at Ursprung, 12 M. north of Ulm, where the elector and Marsin were encamped. The endurance of Marlborough's corps, as displayed in the long march from Ruremond, was not the least extraordinary feature of the operation. For 18th-century troops such performances were generally provocative of desertion, and involved the ruin of the army that at-tempted it. But Prince Eugene, we are told, was astonished at the fine condition of the army. On the French side meantime all was perplexity, and it was not until a week after the margrave and Marlborough had united that a decision was arrived at by Louis XIV., in whose eyes the feeble corps of Eugene sheltered in the lines of Stollhofen constituted a grave menace for Alsace and Lorraine. Villeroy's main body from the Meuse had after its first hesitations followed up Marlborough, in readiness for the supposed Rhine and Moselle campaign, and was now about Landau. Tallard with the smaller half of the united armies was to advance by Breisach and to " try to capture Villingen." Villeroy was to watch Eugene's corps, or rather the Stollhofen-Buhl position, and the small Moselle corps was to remain west of the Rhine. This meant conceding both the initiative and the superiority in numbers to Marlborough. The duke had now manoeuvred himself with brilliant success from one theatre of war to another, and had secured every advantage to himself. His method of utilizing the advantage showed his mastery of the rules of the strict game that, with the instinct of a great captain, he had just set at nought. From before Ulm he sidled gradually along the north side of the Danube in the hope of finding an unguarded passage. He and the margrave exercised the general command on alternate days, and when on his own day he arrived opposite Donauworth, knowing Louis's caution, he thought that direct attack was better than another two days' extension to the east. Moreover he needed a walled town to serve as a magazine instead of Nordlingen, which he had used of late but which could not serve him for operations over the river. In the late afternoon of the 21st the army was flung, regardless of losses, against the entrenched hill of the Schellenberg at Donauworth, where the elector had posted a Campaign on strong detachment. The attack cost 6000 men, but the Danube, it was successful, and of the 12,000 Bavarians on the hill only 3000 returned to their main body, which had now moved from Ulm to Lauingen. Passing the river, the allies besjeged and took the small fortress of Rain, and thence moved to the neighbourhood of Augsburg, thoroughly and deliberately devastating the countryside so as to force the elector to make terms. The best that can be said of this barbarous r Even Villeroy it appears rose to the situation thus far, but the king only allowed him to send 25,000 men to Tallard.device, more or less legitimate in the days when the quarrel was the people's as much as the prince's, is that Louis XIV. had several times practised it. Its most effective condemnation is that military devastations, in these purely political contests, were entirely unprofitable. Louis had already found them so, and had given up the practice. In the present case the acts of the allies only confirmed the elector in his French sympathies, while at the same time Marlborough's own supplies ran short, his convoys were harassed and his reconnaissances impeded. The movements of the two armies were but trifling. Marlborough, though superior, was not decisively superior, and his opponents, well entrenched near Augsburg, waited for Tallard and (in vain) for Villeroy. Marlborough marked time until Eugene should join him. There were now five armies in the field, two allied and three French. The centre of gravity was therefore in Villeroy's camp. If that marshal followed Tallard, even Eugene's junction with Marlborough would not give the latter enough force. If Tallard alone joined the elector and Eugene Marlborough, the game was in the hands of the allies. But none of the possible combinations of two armies against one were attempted by either side. Eugene did not venture to leave Villeroy's front to attack Tallard, who was marching by Kehl-Villingen-Ulm on Augsburg, but when he knew that Tallard was on the move he slipped away from Villeroy to join Marlborough. In turn, Tallard and the elector, aware of Eugene's march, could have left Marlborough to his sieges and combined against Eugene, but they were well content to join forces peaceably at Augsburg. Worst of all, Villeroy, in whose hands was the key of the situation, was the nearest to Versailles and the least capable of solving the knotty problem for himself. When the king bade him follow Tallard to Villingen he hesitated, and when he had made up his mind to try, Louis had changed his and ordered him to detain Eugene (who was already far away) in the Stollhofen lines. The last stage of the campaign was brief. Marlborough and Eugene had in mind a battle, Tallard and Marsin a war of manceuvre to occupy the few weeks now to be spun out before winter quarters were due. The two allied armies met in the Danube valley on the 6th of August. If the enemy remained on the south side Eugene was to cross, if they recrossed to the north bank Marlborough was to follow suit. The margrave Louis of Baden had been sent off to besiege Ingolstadt as soon as Eugene had come within a safe distance. The 18th-century general relied far more on himself than on the small surplus of force that his army, in the conditions of that time, could hope to have over its opponent. When therefore the French and Bavarians were reported opposite Eugene on the north side, Marlborough crossed at once, and without waiting for the margrave the two great soldiers went forward. On the 2nd of August (see BLENHEIM) they attacked and practically destroyed the armies of Tallard, Marsin and the elector. The campaign of 1705 was uneventful and of little profit to either side. Marlborough's army had returned to the Low Countries, engaging en route in a small campaign in the Luxemburg and Thionville region, which was defended with skill and success by Villars. Villeroy had also returned to Brabant and retaken Huy. With him was the now exiled elector of Bavaria. On the 18th of July, after a series of skilful manceuvres, Marl-borough forced the lines of Brabant at Elissem near Tirlemont, but not even the glory of Blenheim could induce the Dutch deputies to give him a free hand or the Dutch generals to fall in with his schemes. King Louis was thus able to rein- . force Villeroy betimes from Villars's Lorraine army, of t7osn and the campaign closed with no better work than the razing of the captured French entrenchments. On the Rhine Villars, with a force reduced to impotence by the losses of Blenheim and the detachments sent to Villeroy, carried on a spiritless campaign about Hagenau and Weissenburg against the margrave Louis. In Italy alone was there any serious encounter. Here Vendpme's army and a fresh corps from France were engaged in the attempt to subdue Victor Amadeus and his new Austrian allies (Starhemberg's, originally Eugene's army), and they were so far successful that the duke implored the emperor to send a fresh army. Eugene commanded this army, opposed to which was a force under Vend6me's brother Philippe, called the Grand Prior. This man, a lazy dilettante, let himself be surprised by Eugene's fierce attack on the line of the Adda. The day was restored however, and the Austrians beaten off, thanks to Vendome's opportune arrival and dauntless courage (battle of Cassano. August 16). Nevertheless, the subjugation of Piedmont was put off until next year, by Louis's orders. 1706 was a bad year for the French. At the very outset of the campaign in the Netherlands, Villeroy, hearing that some of the allied contingents that composed Marlborough's army had refused to join, went forward from his new defensive lines along the Dyle and offered battle. Marlborough would probably have fought in any case, but being joined in time by the belated allied contingents, he was able (May i 2) not only to win but also to profit by the glorious victory of Ramillies (q.v.) on the 12th of May. This was one of the few cases of thoroughly efficient and successful pursuit in the military history of the 17th and 18th centuries. The whole of Flanders and Brabant, except a few minor fortresses, fell into his hands within two weeks. These too fell one after the other in August and September, and the British cavalry crossed the French frontier itself. But on the Rhine the inactivity of Louis of Baden had allowed Villars to transfer the bulk of his army to the Netherlands. VendOme, too, was sent to succeed Villeroy, and Marlborough made no further advance. Louis's two most brilliant commanders devoted themselves to organizing the defence of the French frontier, and did not venture to interrupt Marlborough's sieges. In Italy the campaign had, as before, two branches, the con-test for Piedmont and the contest between the French forces, in Lombardy and the Austrian second army that sought to join Victor Amadeus and Starhemberg. The latter, repulsed by VendOme at Cassano, had retired to Brescia and Lake Garda, Vend6me following -up and wintering about Castiglione and Mantua, and in April 1706, profiting by Eugene's temporary absence, Vend6me attacked the Imperialists' camp of Montechiaro-Calcinato. His intention was by a night march to surprise the post of Ponte San Marco on their extreme left, but when day came he noticed that he could give battle to the enemy's left wing at Calcinato before their right from Calcinato. Montechiaro could intervene. His onset broke up the defence completely (battle of Calcinato, April 1o), and he hustled the fragments of the Imperialist army back into the mountains, where Eugene had the greatest difficulty in rallying them. Until the middle of June VendOme completely baffled all attempts of Eugene to slip past him into Piedmont. He was then, however, recalled to supersede Villeroy in Belgium, and his feeble successors entirely failed to rise to the occasion. Philip of Orleans, with Marsin and the duc de la Feuillade as his advisers, was besieging Turin, trying in vain to remedy the errors of the engineers and the constant repulse of small storming parties by a savage bombardment of the town itself. As soon as he knew of Vendeme's departure Prince Eugene emerged afresh from the mountains, and, outmanceuvring the French in Lombardy without the least difficulty, hurried towards Turin. Victor Amadeus, leaving the defence to the Austrian and Piedmontese infantry, escaped through the besiegers' lines and joined his cousin with a large force of cavalry. On the 7th of September they attacked the French lines round Turin. Owing to the disagreements of their generals, the various corps of the defenders, though superior in total numbers, were beaten in detail by the well-concerted attacks of Eugene, Victor Amadeus and the Turin garrison. Marsin was killed, many of the boldest officers in the army lost heart, and Philip retreated ignominiously to Pinerolo. Although in the same week Lieut.-General Medavy-Grancey inflicted a severe defeat on Ramillies, 1706. Battle of Turin.
End of Article: WAR OF THE SPANISH SUCCESSION
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