Today in History / OnThisDay - August 13th. 1704 - Battle of Blenheim

The Battle of Blenheim (also referred as the Second Battle of Höchstädt)
took place on August 13th. 1704.

The town Blenheim was located near the Danube, about 16 km in the
southwest of Donauwörth in Bavaria (southern Germany).

Battle of Blenheim - Source picture: Wikipedia

This important battle of the War of the Spanish Succession was fought
between the Allied troops (England; Austria and the Dutch Republic)
and the Franco-Bavarian Army.The Allied troops were led by the
Duke of Marlborough. The Franco-Bavarian troops were led by the
Elector of Bavaria, Marshal Marsin, Tallard and
Marshal Vendôme.

John Churchill - Duke of Marlborough - picture: Wikipedia

He was helped by Prince Eugene of Savoy, who was one of the commanders
of the Imperial Army.

Prince Eugene of Savoy - Source picture: Wikipedia     

The Battlefield was very strategic. The Franco Bavarian Army was protected 
by the Danube, at the left side were rolling hills covered with pine forests.
Before the Franco Bavarian Army there was marshy land and a small stream.
It was a very difficult place for attacking armies and yet ...

On August 13th. 1704 at 2 o'clock in the morning the Allied soldiers started
marching to attack. They reached at 6 o'clock Schwenningen where
Marlborough and Prince Eugene made their final plans.

Marlborough took the command over the right wing of the Army and
Prince Eugene took the commend of the left wing.

However the French wanted to lure the Allied Army, so they could send the
cavalry in action and causing panic.

Battle of Blenheim - Source picture: Wikipedia

The First Line of the Allies did not last. But the continuous attacks on 
Blenheim led to the first French error.

Finally the Allied troops won the battle. But the losses were huge.
The Elector of Bavaria exiled. On November 7th. 1704 the treaty of 
Ilbersheim was signed. With this treaty Bavaria came under the military
occupation by Austria. This lasted till 1714.

When Marlborough returned to England, Queen Anne granted him the
Park of Woodstock and a promised sum of  £240.000. He gave
the order to build a proper house. This became famous as the...
Blenheim Palace.

Blenheim Palace - Source picture: Wikipedia

Prince Eugene received also a gift from the emperor: his Stadtpalais, 
which became his Winter residence. The Belevedere Palace was his
place in the summer.

The Battle of Blenheim became very important in history. 
It was the first time (in 60 years) that a French army was defeated and 
it became one of the first English victories on the continent.    

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