Spanish Succession, War Of The
SPANISH SUCCESSION, WAR OF THE, the name given to the general European war which began in 1701 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 Graiul Monarqiie 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 THE), 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 HoDand 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 Biescia 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 off 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 Mantua'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 Sth-gth 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, whereupon 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' 150. 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 igth-century manner, retreated in the iSth-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, Vend5me, 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 (Boufflers), 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 W as struggling against factiousness and intrigue in Campaign. E n gi anc j am j 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 i8 th 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 " Boufflers held all the Meuse fortresses'below Huy except Maes- tricht. Marlborough concentrated 60,000 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 Marlborough 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 Marlborough 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. Boufflers 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 1870, he dared not assemble his whole force either on the Lauter or on the 111. 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 that Frfed//D 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 manceuvres, Villars crossed the Rhine and won the first victory of his brilliant career at Friedlingen (opposite Huningen), it was profitless. Soon afterwards 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 Venddme, 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 outnumbered Marlborough (90.000 against 50,000), but the duke managed to be first in the field. As early as February Rheinberg 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 manoeuvring 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 manoeuvre 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 10) 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 Vend&me'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 2 (Sept. 20) in which the elector and Villars won a great victory, at a loss of only looo men to Styrum's u,ooo. Rarely indeed had an i8 th century general so great an opportunity of finishing a war at one blow. But even Villars saw no better use for the Hochstett, victory than the unimpeded junction of his own army tro3 ' and Tallard's and winter quarters in Wiirttemberg, 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. 10), which was almost as costly to the allies as Hochstett. Landau surrendered on the 12th 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 had -won 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 Guide 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 Buhl 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 fi/ne and regular line of communication was established. Thus Danube the five armies (Marlborough's, Eugene's, Tallard's, Campaign Marsin's and the margrave's) engaged in this theatre of1704 - 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 Hochstett."
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 themselves 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 2Qth 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 1cth 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 Mar i. and other forces on the Rhine, for Tallard, it seemed, borough's was about to be joined by Villeroy l 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 Marlborough'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 iSth-century troops such performances were generally provocative of desertion, and involved the ruin of the army that attempted 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 Stollhof enBuhl 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 wnen 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 oo strong detachment. The attack cost 6000 men, but the Danube, it was successful, and of the 12,000 Bavarians on IJO *. j-jjg hill only 3000 returned to their main body, which had now moved from Ulm to Lauingen. Passing the river, the allies besieged 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 1 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 iSth-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, Marlborough 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 reinforce Villeroy betimes from Villars's Lorraine army, 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 Vendome'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 Vendome'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 12) not only to win but also to profit by the glorious victory of Ramillies (q.v.) on the xath 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 contest 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 Ramillies, 1706.
Vendome at Cassano, had retired to Brescia and Lake Garda, Vendome follpwing up and wintering about Castiglione and Mantua, and in April 1706, profiting by Eugene's temporary absence, Vendome 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 caidnato Montechiaro could intervene. His onset broke up the defence completely (battle of Calcinato, April 19), 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 Vend6me 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 due 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 Vendome's departure Prince Eugene emerged afresh from the mountains, and, outmanoeuvring 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 Turin. 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 the Austrians who were still left in Lombardy (Castiglione, Sept. 9) the battle of Turin practically ended the war in Italy.
Both in the north and in the south the tide had now receded to the frontiers of France itself. Louis could now hope to gain Changing the objects of the war only partially and by sheer Conditions endurance. But it is from this very point that the of the War. p renc ij ooerations cease (though only gradually it is true) to be the ill-defined and badly-joined patchwork of forays and cordons that they had hitherto been. In the place of Tallards, Marsins and Villeroys Louis made up his mind to put his Villars, Vendomes and Berwicks, and above all the approach of the allied armies roused in the French nation itself a spirit of national defence which bears at least a faint resemblance to the great uprisings of 1792 and 1870, and under the prevailing dynastic and professional conditions of warfare was indeed a startling phenomenon. For the gathering of this unexpected moral force 1 707 afforded a year of respite. The emperor, desiring to occupy Naples and Lombardy with the least possible trouble, agreed to permit Medavy-Grancey to bring off all the Italian garrisons, and with these and the militia battalions of the Midi Marshal Tesse formed a strong army for the defence of the Alpine frontier. In Spain the campaign opened with the brilliant success of Berwick at Almanza. In Germany Villars not only pricked the bubble reputation of the lines of Stollhofen, 1 but raided into Bavaria, penetrating as far as Blenheim battlefield before he gave up the attempt to rouse the Bavarians again. The Imperialists and Piedmontese in the south succeeded in turning the Alpine barrier, but they were brought to a complete standstill by Tesse's gallant defence of Toulon (August) and having, like their predecessors in 1692, roused the peasantry against them they retired over the mountains. In Belgium the elector of Bavaria, who was viceroy there for King Philip, and was seconded by Vendome, remained quiescent about Mons and Gembloux, while Marlborough, paralysed more completely than ever before by the Dutch, spent the summer inactive in camp on the Gheete.
The respite of 1 707 had enabled Louis to gather his strength in Flanders. Henceforward operations on the Rhine and in Dauphine are of quite secondary importance, so much so that Eugene and the main Austrian army are always found in the Low Countries fighting side by side with the Anglo-allied army of Marlborough.
In 1708 Eugene foresaw this shift of the centre of gravity and arranged with Marlborough to transfer the army which was Campaign ostensibly destined for the Rhine campaign to of 1708. Brabant, repaying thus the debt of 1704. Indeed the main army of the French was markedly superior in numbers to Marlborough's and hardly inferior to Marlborough's and Eugene's combined. Placing the elector of Bavaria, with Berwick to advise him, at the head of the small army of Alsace, he put his young grandson and heir, the duke of Burgundy, at the head of the great army which assembled at Valenciennes, and gave him Vendome as mentor. But the prince was pious, mildmannered, unambitious of military glory and also obstinate, and to unite him with the fiery, loose-living and daring Vendome, was, as Saint-Simon says, " mixing fire and water." At the end of May operations began. Vend6me advanced to engage Marlborough before Eugene, whose purpose had become known, should join him. As the French came on towards Brussels, Marlborough, who had concentrated at Hal,[fell back by a forced march to Louvain. Vendome having thus won the first move, there was a pause and then the French suddenly swung round to the west, and began to overrun Flanders, where their agents had already won over many of the officials who had been installed by the allies since 1706. Ghent and Bruges surrendered at once, and to regain for King Philip all the country west of the Scheldt it only remained to take Oudenarde. On the day of the surrender of Ghent Marlborough was in pursuit, and one long forced 1 The Margrave Louis of Baden had died during the winter of 1706-1707. He was succeeded by the incompetent margrave of Bayreuth, who was soon displaced. This general's successor was the elector of Hanover, afterwards King George I. of England.
march brought his army almost within striking distance of the receding enemy. But though Eugene himself had joined him, Eugene's army was still far behind, and the duke was stopped by demands for protection from the officials of Brussels. Vend6me soon moved on Oudenarde. But scarcely had he begun this investment when Marlborough was upon him. The duke discussed the situation with Eugene, who had placed himself under his friend's orders. Marlborough was half inclined- another general would have been resolved to wait for Eugene's troops before giving battle, for he knew that Vendome was no ordinary opponent, but Eugene counselled immediate action lest the French should escape, and relying on his own skill and on the well-known disunion in the French headquarters, Marlborough went forward. As he approached, the French gave up the siege of Oudenarde and took up a position at Gavre, 7 m. lower down the Scheldt, so as to be able to act towards either Ghent or Oudenarde. Marlborough's advanced guard, boldly handled by Cadogan, slipped in between Gavre and Oudenarde. At once the dissensions in the French headquarters became flagrant. Vend6me began to place part of the army in position along the river while the duke of Burgundy was posting the rest much farther back as another line of defence. Cadogan was thus able to destroy the few isolated troops on the river. Thereupon Vendome proposed to the duke to advance and to destroy Cadogan before the main body of the allies came up, but the young prince's hesitations allowed the chance to pass. He then proposed a retreat on Ghent. " It is too late," replied Vendome, and formed up the army for battle as best he could. The allied main body, marching with all speed, crossed the Scheldt at all hazards and joined Cadogan. In the encounterbattle which followed (see OUDENARDE) Marlborough separated, cut off and destroyed the French right wing. The French retreated in disorder on Ghent (July n) with a loss of 15,000 men. Nevertheless Oudenarde was in no way decisive, and for the rest of the campaign tbe two armies wandered to and fro in the usual way. Berwick, recalled from Alsace, manoeuvred about Douay, while Vendome remained near Ghent, and between siege of them Marlborough's and Eugene's armies devoted Lille. themselves to the siege of Lille. In this town, one of Vauban's masterpieces of fortification, the old Marshal Boufflers had undertaken the defence, and it offered a long and unusually gallant resistance to Eugene's army. Marlborough covered the siege. Vendome manoeuvred gradually round and joined Berwick, but though 90,000 and later 1 20,000 strong, they did not attack him. Berwick was a new element of dissension in the distracted headquarters, and they limited their efforts first to attempting to intercept a hugh convoy of artillery and stores that the allies brought up from Brussels for the siege, 2 and secondly to destroy another convoy that was brought up from Ostend by the General Webb known to readers of Esmond. The futile attack upon the second convoy is known as the action of Wynendael (Sept. 28). The only other incident of the campaign in the open was an unsuccessful raid on Brussels by a small corps under the elector of Bavaria from the Moselle via Namur.
On the 8th of December the brave old marshal surrendered, Eugene complimenting him by allowing him to dictate the terms of capitulation. Ghent and Bruges were retaken by the allies without difficulty, and, to add to the disasters of Oudenarde and Lille, a terrible winter almost completed the ruin of France. In despair Louis negotiated for peace, but the coalition offered such humiliating terms that not only the king, but what in the 18th century was a rare and memorable thing his people also, resolved to fight to the end. The ruinous winter gave force to the spirit of defence, for fear of starvation, inducing something akin to the courage of despair, brought tens of thousands of recruits to the colours.
Of the three invasions of France attempted in this memorable year two were insignificant. On the Rhine the elector of 2 An excellent illustration of 18th century views on war is afforded by the fact that the completely successful defence of this convoy was regarded by his contemporaries as Marlborough's greatest triumph.
Hanover (King George I.) was held in check by the due d'Harcourt on the Lauter and finally retired to the lines of Stollhof en, while a smaller allied corps under the imperialist general Count Mercy was defeated with heavy loss by Harcourt's second in command, Du Bourg, at Rumersheim in Upper Alsace (Aug. 26). On the Alpine frontier Berwick, abandoning the fashionable method of " lines," prepared a remarkable system of mobile defence pivoted on Briancon, on which Victor Amadeus's feeble attacks made no impression. These affairs were little more than diversions. The main, indeed the only, attack was Marlborough's and Eugene's, and the Malplaquet campaign is one of the few episodes of 18th century warfare that retain a living and passionate interest.
Long before this Marlborough had proposed to dash straight forward into France, masking the fortresses, but this scheme was too bold even for Eugene, who preferred to reduce the strong places before going on. Lille having been successfully besieged, Tournai was the next objective, and while Villars and his lieutenants Montesquiou and Albergotti lay inactive in their entrenchments at Bethune, Douai and Denain on the Scheldt, training their thousands of recruits and suffering severely from the famine that followed upon this bad winter the allies ^ suddenly and secretly left their camps before Lille as if for an attack on the.Douai lines (June 26-27). But before noon on the 27th they had invested Tournai. A few days afterwards their siege guns came up from Menin by water (down the Lys and up the Scheldt) and the siege was pressed with intense vigour. But it was the 3rd of September before the citadel capitulated. Then Marlborough, free to move again, transferred his army secretly and by degrees to the river Haine, beyond Villars's right. East of St Ghislain Villars's long lines of earthworks were but thinly held, and after a march of 50 m. in 56 hours through rain-sodden country, the allied advanced guard passed through them unopposed (Sept. 6th). Mons, too, was weakly held, and Marlborough hoped by the rapidity of his operations to take it before Villars could interrupt him. Based on Mons and Brussels, he could then, leaving the maze of fortresses in the Arras- Valenciennes region to his right, push on (as eighty years afterwards Coburg attempted to push on) straight to the heart of France. But Villars also moved quickly, and his eager army was roused to enthusiasm by the arrival of Marshal Boufflers, who, senior as he was to Villars, had come forward again at the moment of danger to serve as his second hi command. Thinking that the allies were somewhat farther to the east than they were in fact, the French marshal marched secretly, screened by the broken and wooded ground to the south of the fortress, and occupied the gap of Aulnois-Malplaquet (Sept. 9), one of the two 1 practicable passages, where he set to work feverishly to entrench himself. Marlborough at once realized what had happened, and giving up the siege of Mons brought his army to the south-east of the place. Preparing, as at Oudenarde, to attack as rapidly as his brigades came on the scene, he cannonaded the French working parties and drew the return fire of all Villars's guns. At this crisis the duke submitted the question of battle unwillingly, as one may imagine to a council of war, and Eugene himself was opposed to fighting an improvised battle when so much was at stake. Others thought the capture of the little fortress of St Ghislain was the best solution of the problem, and it was not until the nth that the allies delivered their attack Malplaquet on l ^ e now thoroughly entrenched position of the French. The battle of Malplaquet (q.v.) was by far the most desperately contested of the war. In the end Boufflers, who took command when Villars was wounded, acknowledged defeat and drew off in good order, the left to Valenciennes, the right to Bavay and Le Quesnoy. Eugene was wounded, and Marlborough, after the most terrible experience in any soldier's lifetime, had only enough energy remaining to take Mons before he retired into winter quarters. The loss of the French is given variously as 7000 and 12,000. The allies sacrificed no less, probably more, than 20,000 men, and if the English and Austrian survivors could count themselves the bravest soldiers alive, one 'The other, scarcely less celebrated, is that of Jemappes.
considerable part of the allied army at least, the Dutch contingent, was ruined for ever. Even at Fontenoy, thirty-six years later, the memory of Malplaquet made them faint-hearted. From his bed the wounded Villars wrote triumphantly to Louis: " If God gives us another defeat like this, your majesty's enemies will be destroyed."
In 1710 Villars lay entrenched behind a new series of lines, which he called Ne plus ultra and which extended from Valenciennes to the sea. Marlborough made no attempt to invade France from the side of Mons, for Villars at the head of the army which had been through the ordeal of Malplaquet was too terrible an opponent to pass by with impunity. In England, too, the anti-Marlborough party was gaining the upper hand in the queen's council. So Marlborough took no risks, and returning to the Lille side, captured Douai (June 26) and Bethune (Aug. 26). No attack was attempted upon the lines. In Dauphine, Berwick again repulsed the Austrians and Piedmontese.
1711 was Marlborough's last campaign, and it was remarkable for the capture of the Ne plus ultra lines by manoeuvres that must be recorded as being the ne plus ultra of the iSth-century way of making war by stratagem. In May the sudden death of the emperor completely altered the political outlook, for his successor Charles was the coalition's claimant to the throne of Spain, and those who were fighting for the " balance of power " could no more tolerate a new Charles V. than they could see Louis XIV. become a Charlemagne. Before the allies could agree upon any concerted action, Eugene's army had departed for Germany, and Marlborough alone was left to face Villars's great army. But in pursuance of the policy of passive endurance the marshal remained on the defensive behind the lines, and Marlborough determined to dislodge him. What force could not achieve, the duke trusted to obtain by ruse. The lines extended from the sea along the Canche, thence to Arras, and along the Sensee to Bouchain on the Scheldt. Marlborough held Lille, Tournai, Bethune and, in front of these places, Douai, while Villars's strong places, other than those in the lines, were Valenciennes, Conde, Le Quesnoy. etc. As the western part of the lines, .j , . , ,, The Ne Plus besides being strong, were worthless from the vltra LineSf invaders' point of view because their capture could not lead to anything, Marlborough determined to pass the barrier between Arras and Bouchain. Here the front was difficult of access, because of the inundations and swamps of the Sensee valley, but two causeways crossed this valle'y at Arleux and Aubanchoeil-au-Bac respectively. On the 6th of July Marlborough, who had encamped in the plain of Lens, sent a detachment to capture Arleux. He then marched away to the west as if to attack the lines between Arras and the headwaters of the Canche. Villars followed suit, but left a corps behind, as Marlborough had expected and desired, to retake Arleux. The commander of the garrison then sent urgent messages to say that he could not hold out, and Marlborough sent off Cadogan to relieve him. Cadogan, the only officer in the army in the duke's confidence, moved slowly, and the garrison had to surrender (July 22). Villars razed the defences of Arleux. The plot of the comedy now thickened. Marlborough lost his usual serenity, and behaved in so eccentric a manner that his own army thought him mad. He sent off one part of his forces to Bethune, another back to Douai, and ordered the small remainder to attack the lines between the Canche and Arras, where, as every one knew, Villars's whole army was massed. MarlOn the 24th of August he personally reconnoitred borough's the lines with a large staff, and calmly gave his Manoeuvre. generals instructions for the lines to be stormed. But Cadogan was hastening to give the duke's real orders to the corps at Bethune and Douai. In the night of the 4th-5th of August the main army set out for Aubanchoeil-au-Bac, at the highest possible speed. The Scarpe was crossed, the Bethune column came in punctually, 'and the word was passed down the ranks that Cadogan had crossed the lines at Arleux. Thereupon the pace was increased, though thousands of the infantry fell out and scores died from exhaustion. Five hours ahead of the French army and level in the race with Villars and the cavalry, the redcoats crossed the rivers at Arleux, while Marlborough and the horse hurried on to Aubanchoeil-au-Bac, crossed there and turned back along the Sensee to meet the French squadrons. The army reassembled between Aubanchoeil-au-Bac and Cambrai, and its leader, declining Villars's offer of a battle in front of Cambrai, manoeuvred still farther to the east and invested Bouchain. The siege, covered by a strong " line of circumvallation " which Villars did not attempt to attack, ended with the surrender of the place on the 13th of September, and so terminated a series of manoeuvres which to the modern mind is so extraordinary as to be almost incredible. In December of this year, his party opponents in England being now triumphant, the man who was so consummate a master both of the 18th-century and the Ramillies-Oudenarde methods of making war was dismissed the service in disgrace. In June 1712 the British contingent, under the duke of Ormonde, withdrew from the Low Countries, the discontent of the men at Marlborough's disgrace breaking out in open mutiny, and thus ignominiously ended the career of the army of Blenheim and Malplaquet. The coalition practically dissolved.
But Holland and Austria determined to make one last effort to impose their own terms on Louis. Eugene's army, which had been used in 1711 to influence the imperial election instead of to beat Villars, was brought back to the Low Countries. Reading the meaning of Marlborough's fall, he quietly made preparations to take over the various allied contingents into Imperial or Dutch pay. Thus when England seceded, Ormonde only marched away with some 12,000 sullen men, and over 100,000 remained with the prjnce.
Misfortunes at Versailles helped Eugene in his first operations, for three members of Louis's family died within a week and all was in confusion, not to speak of the terrible misery that prevailed in the country. But the old king's courage rose with the danger and he told Villars that if the army were beaten he would himself join it and share in its fate. Villars, though suffering still from his Malplaquet wound, took command on the 20th of April, and spun out time on the defensive until the end of May, when Ormonde's contingent withdrew. Eugene, apparently with the intention of regaining the Mons line of operations, as the defection of England had made further operations near the sea unprofitable, neglected to besiege, not only Arras, but Valenciennes and Conde as well, and, based temporarily on Douai and Marchiennes and Bouchain he took Le Quesnoy (July 4) and moved thence on to Landrecies, which was closely invested. Then followed the last serious fight of the war, the battle of Denain, which saved the French monarch and completed the disintegration of the coalition.
In order to protect his camps around Landrecies, Prince Eugene constructed the usual lines of circumvallation with such speed that Villars, on coming up, found that they were too formidable to attack. Next, in order to guard the movements of his convoys between Marchiennes-on-Scarpe and the front against attacks from Cambrai or Valenciennes, he hedged in the route on both sides with continuous lines of breastworks, to the defence of which he assigned his Dutch corps. Villars anxiously looked out for an opportunity of breaking these modern " long walls." At Denain, the besiegers' route crossed the Scheldt. From this point to the front, streams and other obstacles reinforced the defence, but the marshal was told by a country priest that the lines were assailable north of Denain, and resolved to attack them there. The enterprise, like Marlborough's forcing of the Ne plus ultra lines, involved an extraordinary combination of resolution and skill i.e. force and fraud for the point of attack was far away and the opposing army almost within cannon-shot. Some days were spent by Villars in deceiving Eugene and his own army as well, as to his real intentions, and by various feints Eugene was induced to mass his main body about Landrecies and Le Quesnoy on the south side of the Scheldt. Then on the night of the 23rd of July the French army moved off silently, with its bridging train in the vanguard and cavalry posted everywhere along its Deaain.
right flank to conceal the march. By 9 a.m. on the 24th Villars's army had completely deployed on the north bank of the Scheldt. Eugene himself saw them and galloped away to bring up his army from Landrecies. But, long before it arrived, Villars's troops, without wasting precious moments in formal preparations, stormed the lines. The Dutch spiritless since Malplaquet were huddled into the narrow avenue between the two entrenchments and forced back on Denain. Their generals were taken. The broken mob of fugitives proved too heavy a load for the bridges at Denain, and many were drowned, while the rest, pinned against the bank of the now impassable river, tamely surrendered. Eugene arrived on the other bank with some brigades of the imperial infantry, but after losing heavily gave up the attempt to reopen the passage. Villars followed up his victory at once. Montesquiou captured Marchiennes and Albergotti St Amand, and in these places all Eugene's reserve stores, pontoons and guns fell into the hands of the French. On the 2nd of August Eugene broke up the siege of Landrecies and retreated by a roundabout route to Mons, while Villars's lieutenants retook Douai and Bouchain (September-October). Before the next campaign opened the treaty of Utrecht had been signed, and although the emperor continued the struggle alone for another year, the enfeebled combatants were content to accept Villars's captures of Landau (July 22, 1713) and Freiburg (Nov. 21) as decisive. The treaty of Rastatt, between Austria and France, was signed on the 7th of March 1714, Eugene and Villars being the negotiators.
See J. W. Fortescue, Hist. British Army, vol. i. (London, 1899); lives of Marlborough; the Austrian official Feldziige des Prinzen Eugen (Vienna, 1871-1892); Roder v. Diersburg's M arkgraf Ludwig von Baden (Karlsruhe, 1850); Arneth's Prinz 'Eugen; Mkmoires militaires relatifs cl la succession d'Espagne (1835; ed. De Vault); detailed histories of the French army, and monographs in the French general staff's Revue d'histoire. (C. F. A.)
NAVAL OPERATIONS, AND MILITARY OPERATIONS IN SPAIN The war of the Spanish succession affected all the nations of western, northern and central Europe in a greater or less degree, but that part of it which was fought out on the soil of Spain lay aside from the campaigns in Flanders, Germany and Italy. The purely Spanish campaigns had a close connexion with the movements of the fleets, and the two may be conveniently taken together. The naval war was superficially somewhat wanting in interest. Louis XIV., having to support armies of unprecedented size to contend with the forces of the Grand Alliance, and having also to meet the immense cost of the support of his court and the construction of palaces, was compelled to neglect his navy. Except therefore in 1704 he made no attempt to oppose the fleets of the allies with equal forces at sea. The honour of the French flag was chiefly maintained by the privateers who showed high courage and much skill. Some of their enterprises were undertaken with well-appointed squadrons, and attained to the dignity of regular operations of war.
When the Grand Alliance was formed on the 7th of September 1701 a French naval force under M. de Chateaurenault was in the West Indies. Its avowed purpose was to cover the arrival in Europe of the Spanish treasure ships. The secret intention of King Louis XIV. was that the treasure should be brought into a French port, and used by him for the general advantage of the house of Bourbon. On the 12th of September a British squadron of 10 ships commanded by Admiral Benbow was sent to the West Indies to intercept Chateaurenault, and carry out other attacks on the French and Spaniards. Benbow, who was reinforced in the West Indies, did not intercept Chateaurenault, and his cruise was rendered of no effect by the gross misconduct of most of his captains, who refused to support him in an action with a French squadron under M. Du Casse near St Martha on the 20th of August 1702 and subsequent days. He was himself mortally wounded, but lived long enough to bring his captains to court martial. Two of them were shot for cowardice. The treasure fleet sailed for Europe only to fall into the hands of the allies at Vigo. On the 1st of July 1702 a powerful combined fleet of 30 British sail-of-the-line under Sir George Rooke, and under Admiral Allemonde sailed from Spithead carrying 5000 troops. The general command was given to the duke of Ormonde. The purpose of this expedition was to occupy Cadiz and encourage a rising in Andalusia on behalf of the Habsburg candidate. It reached Cadiz on the 22nd of August, but the inhabitants and the garrison remained loyal. The leaders of the expedition quarrelled with one another and the soldiers aroused the bitter indignation of the inhabitants by plundering the small towns of Santa Maria and Rota. On the 30th of September the expedition sailed away. Information sent by the British minister at Lisbon that Chateaurenault had put into Vigo reached them at Lagos. The duke of Ormonde and his colleagues decided to attack the treasure fleet. On the 22nd of October they forced the boom laid by the enemy between the inner and outer harbours of Vigo, and the treasure fleet was destroyed, but the bullion had been landed.
During 1703 the "grand fleet " of the allies, i.e. their main force in European waters, entered the Mediterranean to carry help to the insurgent Protestants in the Cevennes, but effected nothing of importance. Portugal having now joined the Alliance, it was decided to make a serious effort in Spain. A combined fleet carrying 4000 Dutch and 8000 British troops, and conveying the archduke Charles, claimant of the Spanish throne, sailed from Spithead on the nth of February 1704. Portugal undertook to provide 30,000 troops to co-operate with the British and Dutch who were landed at Lisbon on the 8th of March. The operations on land were for the most part languid. The duke of Berwick who commanded the Bourbon forces on the Spanish frontier formed a vigorous plan for the invasion of Portugal. One Spanish force under Don Francisco Ronquillo was to threaten Beira Alta at Almeida. He himself entered Beira Baixa by the north bank of the Tagus. The prince of Tzerclaes was to have advanced from the south to meet Berwick at Villa Velha. But though Berwick achieved some success, and though both the Dutch general Fagel wh6 operated on the north of the Tagus, and the British general, the duke of Scbomberg, who was stationed on the south, proved indolent and incapable, the invasion failed. Ronquillo and Tzerclaes failed to support Berwick, and the newly levied Spanish troops proved unsteady. Fagel was surprised and taken prisoner with 2000 men at Sobreira Fermosa, and some of the frontier posts remained in Berwick's hands when the heat from which the British and Dutch soldiers suffered severely suspended operations. At sea, however, a material success was gained. Sir George Rooke went on from Lisbon accompanied by Prince George of Hesse-Darmstadt, to Barcelona. The prince who had been governor of Catalonia, believed that he could bring about a rising in the province in favour of the Habsburg cause. As the fleet carried no considerable body of troops, Rooke and Hesse-Darmstadt failed to persuade the Catalans to act. They were embarrassed by the knowledge that the count of Toulouse, a natural son of Louis XIV., the admiral of France, who had sailed from Brest on the 6th of May with 23 sail-of-the-line had entered the Mediterranean, and had reached Toulon in June. In expectation of an attack by the united fleets of Brest and Toulon, the allies fell back to the straits. Having obtained information that Gibraltar (g.v.) was not sufficiently garrisoned, they attacked and took it on the 3rd of August. On the 24th the count of Toulouse, came to the relief of the fortress with 50 sail-of-the-line, and 24 galleys. He engaged the allies, 62 British and Dutch line of battleships in all, off Malaga. The engagement was a cannonade accompanied with great loss of life, but without manoeuvring on either side. The French retired to Toulon, and the allies remained in possession of Gibraltar. An attempt of the Spaniards to retake it, made at the end of 1704 and beginning of 1705 was baffled by the resolute defence of the prince of HesseDarmstadt, and the relief afforded to the garrison by the squadron of Sir John Leake, who was left on the coast cf Portugal, when Sir George Rooke returned to .England.
The events of 1704 had persuaded the allies to make more serious efforts to push the war in Spain. The duke of Schomberg was removed from the command of the troops in Portugal and replaced by the earl of Galway, a French Huguenot exile. But the main attack was made, and the first successes were achieved on the east coast of Spain. On the 3rd of June 1705 Charles Mordaunt, earl of Peterborough, was sent with a commission to command both the fleet and the army, and to promote a rising in favour of the Habsburg, or Austrian party. He was joined by the archduke at Lisbon, and by the prince of HesseDarmstadt at Gibraltar. The truth in regard to the operations which followed has been very much obscured. Peterborough, a man of much erratic cleverness, but vain, spiteful and absolutely indifferent to truth, successfully represented himself as a species of hero of romance who won the most astonishing victories in spite of want of means, and of the ill will or incapacity of his colleagues. Critical investigation has destroyed much of the showy edifice of fiction he contrived to erect. The substantial facts are that after some operations on the coast of Valencia, which led to an insurrectionary movement in favour of the archduke, Barcelona was attacked and taken between the 13th of September and the gth of October. The prince of HesseDarmstadt was killed during the siege.
All the east of Spain, the former kingdom of Aragon, which was at all times restive under the supremacy of Castile, now pronounced more or less openly for the Austrian party. The fall of Barcelona gave a severe shock to the Bourbon king. He came in person with Marshal Tesse who had replaced the duke of Berwick, and endeavoured to retake the town early in April 1 706. The brutality with which Tesse treated the people of Aragon and Catalonia raised the country against the Bourbon king. The British relieved Barcelona on the gth of May, and Philip V. was compelled to retreat across the Pyrenees to Perpignan. In the meantime the withdrawal of troops from the Portuguese frontier for service in Catalonia, had opened the way for an invasion of Castile by the allies, British, Portuguese and Dutch. They occupied Madrid on the 25th of June 1706, and the queen who acted as regent in the absence of her husband retired to Burgos. But the success of the allies was merely apparent. The appearance in their midst of an invading army of Portuguese and heretics roused the national feeling of the Castilians. They rallied to the Bourbon cause. As in the later Peninsular War, guerrillero bands sprang up on all sides, and they found capable leaders in Vallejo and Bracamonte. The duke of Berwick, who was sent back to Spain, collected an army, and soon the allies, who were distressed by want of provisions and bad health, were forced to evacuate Madrid. They moved on Guadalajara to meet the archduke who was advancing from the east. B erwick outmanoeuvred them, and forced them to retreat on Valencia. In February 1707 they were reinforced by troops brought by the fleet and advanced in April. On the 2Sth of the month they were defeated by the French and Spanish troops at Almansa in the province of Alicante, with the loss of all their infantry.
From this date till 1710, the land war in Spain remained stationary. The Bourbon king was master of the greater part of Spain, including Aragon. His generals retook Lerida on the Catalan frontier, and on the Portuguese frontier at La Gudina near Badajoz, on the 7th of May 1709, a Spanish army under the Marques de Bay defeated an Anglo-Portuguese army under the earl of Galway. Yet the Austrian party held Catalonia and Valencia, and the financial distress of the Spanish government, aided by the disorganized state of the administration, rendered a vigorous offensive impossible. By 1 7 10 the French king had been reduced to great distress, and was compelled to make at least a show of withdrawing his support from his grandson Philip V. The allies decided to advance from Catalonia, a course which was strongly urged by General Stanhope (afterwards Earl Stanhope), who commanded the British troops. He had served in subordinate rank from the beginning of the war, and had gained some reputation by the capture of Port Mahon in 1708. Stanhope's, energy overcame the reluctance of the Imperialist general Guido Starhemberg, who ccmmanded the German troops of the archduke. The allies advanced and for a time seemed to carry all before them. The Spaniards were defeated at Almenara on the 27th of July 1710, and before Saragossa on the 20th of August. On the 21st of September the archduke entered Madrid. But the invasion of 1710 was a repetition of the invasion of 1706. The 23,000 men of the allies, reduced by a loss of 2000 in the actions at Almenara and Saragossa, by casualties in constant skirmishes with the guerrilleros, and by disease, were absolutely incapable of occupying the two Castiles. The Portuguese gave no help. The Spaniards were reorganized by the duke of Vend&me, who was lent to King Philip V. by his grandfather, and were joined by soldiers of the Irish brigade, and by some Frenchmen who were allowed, or secretly directed, to enter the Spanish service. The position of the allies at Madrid, which was deserted by all except the poorest of its inhabitants, became untenable. On the gth of November they evacuated the town, and began their retreat to Catalonia. The archduke left the army with 2000 cavalry, and hurried back to Barcelona. The rest of the army marched in two detachments, the division being imposed on them by difficulty of finding food. General Starhemberg with the main body of 12,00x3 men, was a day's march ahead of the British troops, 5000 men, under Stanhope. Such a disposition invited disaster in the presence of so capable a general as Vendome. On the 9th of December he fell upon General Stanhope at Brihuega, and after hard fighting forced him to surrender. Starhemberg, who received tardy information of the peril of his colleague, marched back to support him, and fought a drawn battle at Villa Viciosa, on the i ith. The fruits of victory fell to Vend6me, for the Imperialist general was compelled to continue his retreat, harassed at every step by the Spanish cavalry and irregulars. His army was reduced to 7000 men when he reached Barcelona.
The disastrous result of the campaign of 1710 proved to demonstration that it was impossible to force the archduke on the Castilians by any effort the allies were prepared to make. They remained quiescent at Barcelona till they evacuated the country altogether on the Peace of Utrecht. The Catalans, though deserted by their allies, continued to fight for their local franchises which had been declared forfeited by the victorious Bourbon king. Barcelona was only subdued on the 12th of Sepiember 1714, after a siege of great length and extraordinary ferocity, by the united exertions of the French and Spanish troops under the command of the duke of Berwick.
The naval operations, apart from the transport and support of the troops in Spain, were more numerous than memorable. The overwhelming superiority of the allies alone enabled them to maintain the war in the Peninsula, but as they met no serious opposition except in 1704, there is nothing to record save their successive cruises. In 1707 a British and Dutch fleet under Sir Cloudesley Shovel aided the Imperialists in the unsuccessful siege of Toulon. The action of the allied navy was in fact as decisive as the naval strength of Great Britain was to be in the later struggle with Napoleon. But it was less brilliant. The many expeditions sent to the West Indies rarely did more than plunder coast towns or plantations in the French islands. An exception was indeed provided by the British admiral Sir Charles Wager, who in May 1 708 destroyed or captured a whole squadron of Spanish treasure ships near Cartagena in South America. The loss of the treasure was a heavy blow to the government of Philip V. and had much to do with his inability to follow up the victory of Almansa. On the whole however neither the British nor the Dutch achieved any material success against the French in America. One powerful British combined force, which was sent against Quebec in 1711, was compelled to return by the shipwreck of a number of the vessels composing it at the mouth of the St Lawrence on the 21st of August. The French found some consolation for the weakness of the royal navy in the daring and the frequent success of their privateers. They were indeed the finest operations of the kind recorded in naval warfare. As the British and Dutch took measures to guard against capture of their merchant ships by sailing in well protected convoys, the French combined their privateers into squadrons and attacked the guard with great vigour. On the 20th of October 1708, a British squadron of 5 line of battleships, of which 2 were of 80 guns; conveying a number of store ships to Lisbon, was attacked near the Lizard, and was almost wholly destroyed or captured by Duguay Trouin and Forbin with 12 smaller vessels. This was but one example of a number of operations of the same character by which the trade of Great Britain and Holland was hampered. The most signal single achievement of the privateers was the capture of Rio de Janeiro from the Portuguese in September 1711 by a fleet of 6 sail-of-the-line and 6 frigates with corsairs. The royal ships were equipped as a speculation by Duguay Trouin and the shipowners of St Malo. The booty taken gave a profit of 92 % on the capital invested.
AUTHORITIES. For the war on land The History of the War of the Succession in Spain (London, 1832) by Lord Marion (Stanhope) is still of value. Lord Mahon was, however, misled into placing too much confidence in Peterborough. Colonel Parnell, The War of Succession in Spain (London, 1888), goes perhaps into the opposite extreme, but his history is full and is supported by copious references to original authorities. The naval operations are told for Great Britain by Lediard Naval History (London, 1735); for Holland by De Jonghe, Geschiedenis van het nederlansche zeewezen (Haarlem, 1858); and for France by Tronde, Batailles navales de la France (Paris 1867). (D. H.)
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)