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Blenheim, battle of

Blenheim, battle of, 1704. In early 1704 the French and Bavarians in the War of the Spanish Succession were threatening the imperial capital of Vienna. The duke of Marlborough marched from the Low Countries to the Danube to link up with his allies and force battle on the enemy. On 19 May 1704 Marlborough's multi-national army set off from Bedburg. He kept his objective secret, to deceive both the enemy and also his Dutch allies, who might have objected to such a risky strategy. The ploy worked and the Anglo-Dutch army united with the armies of the margrave of Baden and Eugene of Savoy. On 13 August 1704 Marlborough attacked the 60,000-strong Franco-Bavarian forces under Marshal Tallard at the village of Blindheim (or Blenheim) in Bavaria. Marlborough and Eugene attacked on the flanks of the enemy position, forcing Tallard to weaken his centre. A major French counter-attack was beaten off with the aid of Eugene's cavalry. The battle was decided by a major blow against Tallard's centre, which gave way as Eugene pushed forward on the right flank. The Franco-Bavarian force lost 38,000 men while the victors lost 12,000. The threat to Vienna was lifted and Bavaria fell to the allies.

Gary Sheffield

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Blenheim, battle of

battle of Blenheim, major engagement of the War of the Spanish Succession (see Spanish Succession, War of the), fought on Aug. 13, 1704, at the village of Blenheim, near Höchstädt, Bavaria. Responding to appeals from Vienna, which was threatened by French and Bavarian forces, the English commander, John Churchill, duke of Marlborough, marched his army from the Netherlands to Bavaria and joined forces with the Austrian general, Prince Eugene of Savoy. At Blenheim their combined army overwhelmed a Franco-Bavarian force under Marshall Tallard and the elector of Bavaria. For the first time in two generations the French suffered a crushing defeat, and the results were immediate and far-reaching. Bavaria was conquered and Vienna saved. The territorial ambitions of Louis XIV beyond the Rhine were checked, and France was placed on the defensive.

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Blenheim, Battle of

Blenheim, Battle of (1704) Decisive battle in the War of the Spanish Succession. The Duke of Marlborough and Prince Eugène of Savoy defeated the French at Blenheim in Bavaria. Vienna was saved and Bavaria taken by the anti-French allies. Marlborough was rewarded with a royal manor near Oxford, where he built Blenheim Palace, birthplace of his descendant Winston Churchill.

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