ABC Wednesday O is for Oudenaarde
The War of the Spanish Succession began because Great Britain, the Netherlands and the Holy Roman Empire were aghast at the possibility of a union between Spain and France under one Bourbon monarch.
The Battle of Oudenaarde in Flanders was a major battle in the War of the Spanish Succession and was fought between the British, Dutch, Danes, Austrians, Hanoverians and Prussians on one side and the French and Bavarians in opposition. Scots, Irish, Germans and Swiss fought on both sides. It took place on 11th July, 1708 and was the Duke of Marlborough’s third victory in the field over Louis XIV’s army.
The Duke of Marlborough in his garter robes
Image courtesy of Wikipedia
The British and their allies were commanded by the Duke of Marlborough, aided by his close friend, the commander of the Empire’s army, Prince Eugène of Savoy. The French and Bavarians were under the command of the Duc de Bourgogne and the Duc de Vendôme. The latter was an experienced soldier but the Duke of Burgundy was much less proficient and had gained his position by dint of being the grandson of King Louis XIV. Quarrelling and poor communication between the two denied the French the possibility of defeating the British at their one remaining fortress at Oudenaarde and cutting them off from the coast and communication with England.
Half the French army did not engage in battle at all, being kept in reserve, and there were many other ill-considered decisions. In the end, as dusk fell, the tattered French army fled the field, leaving the allies victorious.
The future King George II fought with the allies in the Hanoverian army and had his horse shot under him. He was the last British monarch to be born outside Great Britain, becoming King of England in 1727. He later rode at the head of his troops at the Battle of Dettingen in 1743 and was the last British monarch to lead his army into battle.
Thanks as ever to Denise Nesbitt and her team for hosting and organising this weekly meme. Click here to see more Os.