Wednesday, 27 April 2011

ABC Wednesday O is for Oudenaarde

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.

21 comments:

  1. I'm going to make sure Gregg reads this. We both enjoy reading your historical posts and always want to find out more.

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  2. Very informative and interesting.

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  3. Of course living in Waterloo with Wellington and Napoleon, I was surprised to read your title ! I have never been there and honnestly I learned something today, I didn't know that Oudenaarde had also been a battle field ! It's not so far from here 1 h drive. But to my knowledge not very famous either.

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  4. Maybe it's better when leaders are put into harm's way. Might it reduce the wars we have? Then again, it didn't before so maybe not. Thank you very much for this interesting historical information.

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  5. You are quite a historian! I do wonder if you are excited about the upcoming royal wedding. It will be broadcast here beginning at 3 a.m., and there will undoubtedly be people watching!

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  6. Interesting info, specifically re the British succession.
    ROG, ABC Wednesday team

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  7. I am getting addicted with this blogging hobby, I get to see beautiful places and learn interesting things. Very nice O you have here..

    Mind lOOking at my O entry?, have a nice day!

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  8. I think I learn more from your posts than I ever did at school! :o)

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  9. I love your weekly history posts. So interesting. Thank you.

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  10. Being of mostly French heritage and having married a very Dutch/American man, I am always on the lookout for further fascinating details of our often-warring ancestors. :) haha!

    This history tid-bit is all new to me! Thanks for all your posts. Like someone else said, they all leave me wanting more - and then I go research. Perfect!

    Also, who mentioned the wedding? Mary? Is it true that Britain is "shutting down" for four days surrounding it? I wish we had a prince who could give us such a holiday! :) (or perhaps it's all just rumors...)

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  11. Oooo! Doesn't he look swish. I'm sure he would have been quite a sight to see.

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  12. Certainly a battle of all the nations, I do like the fact that some fought on both sides. The distance of time makes it wryly amusing. I know little about the Spanish succession, must put it on my list of things to read up on.

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  13. I love history. :) Nice bumping into you.

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  14. You've taken me right back to my history lessons at school, listening to Mrs Brown telling us how to remember the battles of the War of the Spanish succession: BROM - Blenheim, Ramillies, Oudenaarde and Malplaquet. I can see her and hear her now. She must have drummed it in well!

    It didn't seem quite so interesting then, all those years ago.

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  15. I had something of the same thought as my friend Kay in Hawaii. If we sent our present Prime Minister to Afghanistan to lead the troops himself, might he change his mind and bring them home?
    Very interesting post, Janice. Like my other friend, Gattina in Belgium, I had never heard of the Battle of Oudenaarde, but, unlike her, I never knew the place existed. I'm beginning to think blogging should count toward a university degree in World Studies.
    -- K

    Kay, Alberta, Canada
    An Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel

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  16. I confess to having never having learned of this. It is interesting, and I appreciate the information. You always have great historical tidbits for me to nibble on!

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  17. Wow...looks like a history lesson (to me)...thanks for sharing these info...

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  18. Another wonderful History lesson. I continue to enjoy being a student in your History Class. Looking forward to next week.

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  19. Great and interesting post! This information is quite new to me! Thank you.

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  20. came back to see if you were going to watch the royal wedding, asked about above...but maybe not?

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  21. Great historical post! Many of these events and people are no longer remembered and it is good to learn about them.

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