A Traveller's Guide to the

BATTLEFIELDS OF EUROPE
From the Siege of Troy to the Second World War Edited by

David Chandler

WORDSWORTH

EDITIONS

This book is respectfully dedicated to the memory of the eight distinguished contributors who have passed over before.

First published by Hugh Evelyn Ltd in two volumes in 1965. The combined edition first published in 1989 Copyright ® David Chandler, 1965 and 1 989 This edition published 1998 by Wordsworth Editions Limited Cumberland House, Crib Street, Ware, Hertfordshire SGI2 9ET ISBN 1 85326 694 9 © Wordsworth Editions Limited 1998 Wordsworth is a registered trade mark of Wordsworth Editions Limited All rights reserved. This publication may not be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of the publishers. This book is a reprint of the 1989 edition and contains references to and maps of the USSR, East and West Germany and Yugoslavia which have been superceded by political change. Printed and bound in Great Britain by Mackays of Chatham pic, Chatham, Kent.
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CONTENTS Contributors Preface Introduction to the First Edition Introduction to the New Edition List of General Books on the Art of War List of Maps and Diagrams Editor's Note vii ix xv xix xxi xxiii xxv NATIONAL SECTIONS Austria Belgium Bulgaria Cyprus Czechoslovakia Eire France Germany (East) Germany (West) Gibraltar Great Britain 1 9 39 41 47 57 65 137 157 177 181 .

CONTENTS Greece Holland Hungary Italy Malta Poland Portugal Spain Switzerland Turkey Union of Soviet Socialist Republics Yugoslavia Glossary of Military Terms Campaign Index Chronology 227 243 251 255 303 309 314 319 335 343 355 371 375 377 383 .

University of M a n c h e s t e r .E.LIST OF CONTRIBUTORS (In alphabetical order) Professor J. J .. Ph.. The late MAIOR-GENERAL J. The late MAIOR-GENERAL H.. D.Litt..FALLS.M.A. M.E...A.CHANDLER.A. The Late CAPTAIN C.B. D U F F Y . M.O. formerly Chichele Professor of the History of War.. R.A.Hist.A. Bedford. F.A.S. Oxford University.A..R. Soldier.B. D.Phil.Phil. Professor M .A. . President of Honour of the British Commission for Military History. Oxford University. D. formerly Senior Lecturer. former Head of the D e p a r t m e n t of War Studies.. M.B.. M. Professor A.M. C.F. and Vice President. The late E . C.E. D. M. formerly Regius Professor of History and Chichele Professor of the History of War. S a n d h u r s t .ADAIR.Phil.. M. M. B O N D .S.S. Oxford University.M. M. S a n d h u r s t .. Professor C . Commission internationale d'histoire militaire.A.A. Lecturer and a u t h o r .B.S. De Montfort University.. Military C o m m e n t a t o r and author.. R.O. H O W A R D ..C.C.. D. E .A.M. Professor B .C. D. R. D e p a r t m e n t of History..ESSAME. D e p a r t m e n t of War Studies. C. B R E T T JAMES. M. sometime Chichele Professor of the History of War...BIRLEY.A. University of Surrey.. A .FULLER.. Professor N . F. D. s o m e t i m e Senior Lecturer.A. King's College London. G I B B S . J .A..G. formerly Head of the D e p a r t m e n t of War Studies. S a n d h u r s t .A. M.. now of Yale University. M. S a n d h u r s t . President of the British Commission for Military History. Soldier.R. D e p a r t m e n t of War Studies. R. and a u t h o r .D. F.

R.A.. M C E L W E E .MACINTOSH. S a n d h u r s t .A.PIERI. S a n d h u r s t .L. Member of the Italian and Spanish Academies. Educational C o n s u l t a n t .. Soldier. formerly Head of the Facolta di Magistero. D . S a n d h u r s t .. D . D. M. The late J..SHEPPARD. O. T.P.. R.R. sometime Reader in Military History..E. formerly Secretary of the Southern Regional Examination Board for G.G.B.SELBY.. M. S a n d h u r s t ..M.ROBERTS.NORFOLK.Phil.O. formerly H e a d m a s t e r of Schools in Cambridgeshire and B.A.. R. M.M. Belfast..I. Silver and Bronze Medals of Valour.A.Litt.S. S a n d h u r s t .D. M. S a n d h u r s t . Professor Emeritus of Modern History.A.A. .A.STALKER MILLER. M. B r o a d c a s t e r and a u t h o r .E.C. The late Professor P.S. Professor M. R. M.C. and T.A. L .LIST OF C O N T R I B U T O R S J. formerly an I n t e r m e d i a t e Grade Senior Lecturer..E..D. H..A.S. D.M..YOUNG.A.A. F.. Military History.M.M. The late BRIGADIER P.D.M.. sometime Senior Lecturer in the D e p a r t m e n t of Modern Subjects. R O O N E Y .O. The late LIEUTENANT-COLONEL G. D. M.B. and a u t h o r . The late W . s o m e t i m e Senior Lecturer. S a n d h u r s t .B. F.A. s o m e t i m e Senior Librarian.S. Defence Editor the Daily Telegraph. formerly Head of the D e p a r t m e n t of Modern Subjects.A. s o m e t i m e S c h o o l m a s t e r at Stowe. R.KEEGAN.M.. D e p a r t m e n t of War Studies. M.. Illustrators: The Late COLONEL R.S.. M. T.C. and also formerly a Senior Lecturer in the D e p a r t m e n t of Modern Studies at R.A.D.A. Turin University. B. R. the Q u e e n ' s University.A. T.A...A.W.M. M.

but also the pages of history. developed an obsession with Marengo — a battle he so nearly lost — and revisited the ground on May 11.Preface to the new edition Professional soldiers have always displayed considerable interest in the sites of battlefields. whether ancient or modern. but late in 1944 he felt slightly cheated when the German Ardennes Offensive was halted some little way short of the battleground he had prepared with his British Corps for the showdown — around no less a place than Waterloo. Allenby was not alone this century in his interest in the practical application of military history. an artillery observation post had been established upon the famous Lion Mound. but rather from a determination to place his generalship in a more favourable light. Napoleon. mat of a growing number of civilians of all age groups and callings — and indeed of both sexes — needs a little more explanation. General Sir Edmund Allenby was noted by Wavell (then an officer on his staff) as always carrying his Old Testament with him on ground reconnaissances during die Palestinian Campaign of 1917-18. The practice of battlefield visiting has naturally long been resorted to by many military historians in search of evidence to support their impressions. probably more historically. but on this occasion history did not repeat itself. for example. 1805. Sometimes their application to this pastime has had special significance. General George Patton spent considerable time visiting ancient battle sites in Algeria and Tunisia in 1943. 1800. hoping to improve their military education by attempts to relate historical events to the actual ground. demanding a major revision of the official account of the events of J u n e 14. covering 50 miles during die day and in the process exhausting five horses. or in corroboration of their researches among ix . It was not only pulpits that the recently-crowned Emperor desired to 'tune'. and even came to believe that he was the reincarnation of a Roman tribune. Lieutenant-General Sir Brian Horrocks had no such mystical illusions. 'The Bull' spent no little time trying to relate the martial achievements of Gideon and other ancient Israelite generals to the actual ground. The result of this energetic tour was an order to the much-tried officers of the historical section of the Depot de la Guerre in Paris. the place where Thutmose III crushed die rebel King of Kadesh and his allies in 1479 BC. The motivation. and. alas did not spring from a wish to correct a point or two of detail. A century later. If the interest of many soldiers in former battlefields is understandable. It was suitable that the decisive victory over the Turks was eventually won in September 1918 at Megiddo — the supposed site of the legendary battle of Armageddon (the supreme conflict between die nations).

was a senior lady of amazing energy and great charm who revealed that she was the last decendant of Lieutenant-General Sir J o h n Lambert. whose studies of The Battlefields of England. during the first decade of this century. but of the remaining three one was a historian from Wales in search of local colour. Here indeed is a lady whom H.archives. of which eight volumes appeared between 1865 and 1886. . although one and all share a deep and abiding regard for x . who explored many of Napoleon's battlefields with the invaluable assistance of an Edwardian bicycle. She is not. 1807. Loraine Petre. . and went on to claim that 'from Granada in Southern Spain through France and Italy. covering the military events of 1806. 'boys of every age from twelve to 150 . are classics of military history researched not only in the library but also in die field. her Great-Great-Uncle. that battlefield touring attracts more men than women. Today the appeal of battlefield touring is becoming increasingly broadly-based. were wives accompanying their husbands to the scenes of Wellington's achievements. these instances notwithstanding. Little Wars. It must be admitted. -Colonel Alfred Burne. no less than five members were women. KCB. His notable quintet of campaign studies. would have included a m o n g the chosen to w h o m he dedicated his book on war-gaming. On a Peninsular War tour die author of this introduction conducted to Spain for 'Captain Gordon battlefield Tours' in April 1976. and also through him connected to Captain Harry Smith. and the third. by any means unique. the most amusing trips I can recall have been to battlefields'. which sprang from a love of history engendered at school. One hopes that Miss Hollingworth's enthusiasm. one that had somewhat lapsed since the great history of die Peninsular War in six volumes published by General Sir William Napier between 1828 and 1840. 1809. namely. and a few rare and gifted women'. however. or dust have covered horrors'. attracting very different types of people. managed to survive die rigours of reporting the later years of die Vietnamese War. memoirs and war-diaries. 1813 and 1814 in Napoleon's Europe. two. The interest would seem to stem from several sources. girls of the better sort. Wells.G. and that on The Invasion of the Crimea by Kinglake. a second was from Oxford fulfilling what she described as a lifetime ambition. the correspondent Clare Hollingworth wrote in the Guardian that 'the excitement of a battle hangs over the site for hundreds of years — long after grass. No less important a generation later than Petre's was the contribution of Lt. in years long before the Sexual Discrimination Act. the dashing soldier of the 95th who rescued the beautiful Juanita from the drink-maddened soldiery after the storming of Badajoz in April 1812 — a lady who later achieved further fame by having the town of Ladysmith in South Africa named after her. towns. A notable English example was F. In July 1965. did much to establish die writing of military history as a respectable academic activity. and of the Crecy and Agincourt campaigns. it is true. the doyenne of the whole party. who commanded one of the Guards Brigades at Waterloo.

Of course. Collectors with a Peninsular Medal often feel an urge to retread the paths and visit the battlefields fought over by the original recipient. An M .military history. or former comrades of the fallen. where the chalk is continually extruding these. And this can be equally affecting for the visitor with no personal ties.000 unidentified French dead. the impression of the loss and waste of human life is inescapable and horrifying. It is important not to try to see XI . the repository of the mortal remains of 130. For relations and descendants. is matched by the many white tombstones in the myriad British War Cemeteries marked simply 'Known unto God'. Others with regimental associations and interests find satisfaction in following the fortunes of their military predecessors in earlier campaigns. a visit to such a battlefield is often an act of both homage and remembrance. scholars and writers of military history naturally find these excursions of both value and interest — although in many cases the pleasure obtained is somewhat marred by die inability to resolve particular problems in the time available. for instance. the Military Historical Society's annual tour. The recollections of such survivors of great events. serves to illuminate the human angle of twentieth-century battles in a way that no amount of reading or documentary research can hope to equal. there are also golden moments when some obscure aspect of a battle is suddenly understandable with the ground literally before one's eyes. but the older generation often join their preference for this type of instructive holiday with an interest in the collection of militaria and a certain amount of nostalgia for former wars and campaigns in which they feel they were privileged to serve. a battlefield tour needs careful preparation if the best possible use of time is to be made. for example. Fully two-thirds of the party had military experience of one sort or another. one of whom had served in 'D Battalion' under Brigadier-General Hugh Elles' command that cold November day in 1917 which saw the first use of tanks on a large scale in war. included in the party two veterans of the Tank Corps. The growing pastime of war-gaming accounts for many in the younger age bracket of those who accompany. relics of battles sixty years ago. however restricted to their own field of experience. T h e macabre splendour of the Ossuaire at Verdun. Interest in kriegsspiel is by no means restricted to those of tender years. But the common experience of having been in the Army is rarely the main motive for joining a tour. Cambrai and the Somme. And lastly the teachers. and even grimmer. H S L tour to Verdun. another was the discovery of First World War mementos on the actual ground — by no means a rare occurrence at Cambrai or the Somme. most of it dating from the Second World War or from the days of National Service. or when a windfall occurs: the presentation of an 1810 cannon-ball to every member of the party by a Portuguese official at Almeida in 1974 was one such. A visit to a battlefield can also be a very moving experience. Whether it is a rough memorial on a Spanish battlefield or a wellkept War Graves Commission Cemetery in France or Flanders. On the other hand.

The best scale of modern map for pre-twentieth century battlefields is 1:25. one after another. it is also a good idea to visit the occasional site of an engagement of a different century not associated with the particular period or campaign being studied. and the obtaining of good modern maps. as is D. Portuguese partisans and individual soldiers with great perception. Neither should good historical fiction. and it is a good idea to intersperse the days of travel and battlefield-visiting with occasional distractions. Of course it is also necessary to take along a compass and to develop some facility at map-reading. Where poetry is concerned. but a visitor to the Pass of Ronscesvalles in the Pyrenees may also find a reading of Le Chanson de Roland a moving experience. Roberts's The Military Adventures of Johnny Newcome for a tour of Vitoria. be neglected. Rifleman Harris's recollections of the campaigns and battles he served in under Moore and Wellington are as illuminating as Robert Graves' recorded experiences in Flanders of a century later. a scale of 1:100. discreetly employed on a coach or car radio. in the same general area. Whenever possible. Miss Georgette Heyer's novels. His book. It is also advisable to make enquiries in advance xn . it is desirable to read some account 'from the other side of the hill' — the recollections of Colonel Baron Marbot of Napoleon's hussars.too much. CS Forester's The Gun. Albuera and Busaco. a combination of the old with the new is desirable. nor poetry. Similarly. An Infamous Army and The Spanish Bride also have much to recommend them. A visit to a famous art gallery. Photocopies of such useful documents as Lieutenant Unger's sketches of Talavera. A cassette of Songs of the Redcoats. The reading material selected should be based on sound general accounts — Sir Charles Oman's famous history is virtually compulsory reading for the would-be visitor to the Peninsula. museum. or of some of Oman's or Sir Charles Fortescue's maps. can also add to the atmosphere.000 is often more practicable. The General. or serve as a welcome distraction during the inescapable road journeys. while a copy of J. or of Sergeant Coignet of the Imperial Guard can add a great deal to one's comprehension of both armies and events. Lockhart's translation of Ancient Spanish Ballads is a suitable companion for a visit to Granada. illuminate the roles of Spanish guerrillas. the works of Rupert Brooke or Siegfried Sassoon have obvious relevance. or mental indigestion can set in.000. Two pre-requisites are vital for a successful tour: a carefullyconsidered programme of preparatory reading before the visit. throws equal light on the problems of senior command in London and at the front during the First World War.000 or even 1:250. Where maps are concerned. or Death to the French. for the study of battles of the present century. as this can add an element of depth and an awareness of the successive generations of soldiers of one's own and other countries who have served.G. church or country mansion often serves as a valuable contrast. Cavalie Mercer's account of the Waterloo campaign and battle — as seen by an officer commanding a troop of Royal Horse Artillery — also makes compelling and illuminating reading. will prove of great value.

and a logical sequence should be worked out so as to trace the development of an action through its various stages. and in the process coming to appreciate the thstances involved for men marching on their feet or on horseback during the last monms of 1808 and the first of 1809. however. Benavente and Sahagun. others are content with scaling one or two local eminences to obtain an overview. while the Lesser Teson at Ciudad Rodrigo on the Spanish frontier has recendy received a large housing estate. and the size of many villages and small towns in Spain and Belgium has not changed too much over the years. perhaps a shooting stick. Cambrai. must be prepared. Ramillies. therefore. In the experience of the aumor. when a tour of Spain or Portugal is envisaged. gained over at least two dozen tours in the past 25 years whether from Sandhurst or for specialist societies and travel groups. but the basic topography remains unaltered. Everybody. A pair of stout shoes. these enterprises are well worth the amount of work and preparation involved. a fine spirit of camaraderie invariably affects the party after the first day of slightly hesitant introductions and weighings-up. besides one's notes and one or two carefully-chosen volumes. and also robs the visitor of time to enjoy the scenery and to savour the wines and cuisine of the regions he is passing through. Verdun. Blenheim. for an unseemly rush spoils the impact of the events being studied. One should always allow enough time for such an enterprise. and next Spring the author of this introduction is hoping to take a party to retrace the steps of Sir J o h n Moore's army from Lisbon to Corunna over eight days by way of Castel Branco. examining each place of action in turn. for long car or coach journeys over roads of varying quality. Nothing is more disappointing than to arrive at a location after a tedious journey to find that a railway marshalling yard has been placed on top of the area. have much to offer as an unusual form of holiday with a definite purpose in mind. And that. Reafforestation programmes have played havoc with such battlefields as Culloden in Scotland and Busaco in Portugal. Salamanca. many sites are unspoilt and virtually unchanged — pre-eminent among those that spring to mind being Waterloo. Often the trees and forests have shrunk away. There is also much to be said for following through a complete campaign from beginning to end. On the other hand. Battlefield tours. is exacdy what the study Xlll . are other desirable pieces of personal equipment. together with a camera. and even those who have only come along 'for the ride' become infected with the fascination of bringing to life old names half-remembered from school or university days. the Escorial. and the suburbs of Brno in Czechoslovakia are creeping inexorably towards the battlefield of Austerlitz. Salamanca and Talavera. after all. The amount of physical endeavour involved can be adjusted to suit the individual's wishes: some prefer to spend several hours walking the battlefields. Besides the attraction of reliving in the mind and on the ground some dramatic moments of military history. binoculars.about the current state of the original battle site. Careful study of maps in advance will reveal the best viewpoints to head for.

of history is all about.C. the editor's permission to republish is gratefuly acknowledged xiv . Parts of this article appeared in History Today in 1974. It can be made into a living as well as an academic experience. D.G. and in the process a great deal of enjoyment as well as valuable experience is obtainable.

This fascination has steadily developed. This growing awareness of the interest and importance of the subject has been long overdue. To keep this Guide to manageable proportions. a series of considerations have been balanced against one another. it is hoped that the following pages will encourage more travellers to visit the sites of historic battlefields at home and abroad for nostalgic or educational reasons. but by no means least. of how the essential attributes of leadership have remained unaltered. A glance at the book lists of many publishing houses reveals a remarkable growth over the last decade in the number of titles relating to the military affairs of the past. economic and social fields of study.Introduction to the first edition Almost a century ago General Hamley wrote in his introduction to the Operations of War that 'no kind of history so fascinates mankind as the history of wars'. it has proved necessary to confine its scope to the description of 249 battles. In the first place it plans to provide the reader with a series of glimpses into the past. Today it would appear that the close connection between military and other historical subjects is becoming more fully appreciated. and in recent years there has been a perceptible increase in popular interest in military history. there to indulge in the fascinating and instructive pastime of attempting to reconstruct the events of the past and solving some of its many remaining mysteries: the study of history does not need to be confined to reading alone. The task of selection has not by any means been easy. The purpose of this book is three-fold. Lastly. As one prime purpose of the book is to provide a Guide in the practical as well as the philosophical sense. and at the same time offering him the opportunity of widening his knowledge through sampling the recommended reading.000 possible subjects are available. for owing to the regrettably bloodstained history of Europe over the past two millenia more than 2. giving him some idea of the ways in which warfare has changed as weapons and tactics have developed down the ages. In making the final choice. or at best a subject only suitable for study by soldiers in the furtherance of their professional knowledge. the book is designed to furnish a store of valid factual information which will assist the serious student as a minor work of reference. foremost among these ranked the regional distribution and present availability of battlefield XV . too many historians have tended to dismiss military history as rather a trivial 'poor relation' of the great constitutional. Secondly.

This Guide. is designed for the use of three categories of people who are all. it was impossible to exclude these regions completely and still present a reasonably comprehensive picture of battles through the ages. Next. provision has also been made to include representative battles from other periods in each National Section. will between them help the reader to remedy these obvious deficiencies. the Scandinavian countries have been totally omitted. At the same time. this volume should go some way towards answering the natural questions of 'Who?'. whilst the German and central European countries record the battles of Gustavus Adolphus. Frederick the Great and Napoleon. 'Why?' and 'How?'. 1914-18 and 1939-45 against Germany—and so on. we hope to cater for the traveller. Secondly. there is the arm-chair campaigner. Lastly. and the more general list relating to the art of war appended below. in the interests of economy. In consequence of practical considerations of this kind. thus in the case of England. However. compasses. France is seen as the location of the Hundred Years' War and the three great struggles of 1870. Baronial and Civil Wars receive fuller attention. in their various ways. whose interest is aroused by the non-committal symbol of crossed-swords and date found on his map.sites. Belgium follows Marlborough's fortunes. First are the serious students. Inevitably. and the interest of the subjects for expert and amateur alike. however. but it is hoped that the selection of suggested reading on each subject. It was also decided to associate each country with particular periods and great generals. recreating and analysing in his mind the events of yesteryear which have done so much to shape the XVI . interested in exploring the dim corridors of the past. any limited selection leaves important gaps unfilled. indeed. who enjoys browsing and speculating by the comfort of his own hearth. The causes of the conflicts and the events leading up to the battles are often only briefly sketched. although the deeds of the greatest Swedish soldiers emerge in the pages on Germany and Russia. and another form of balance maintained. map and notebook. whether at work in the library or out in the field equipped with binoculars. The practical difficulties of pin-pointing the sites of many ancient and mediaeval battlefields—besides the problem of finding accurate information about the contests—also suggested a strong weighting of the chronological allocation in favour of the comparatively well-documented period from 1500 onwards. whether at home or abroad. the Scots. or whose attention is attracted to a roadside monument. therefore. it was obvious that the countries of western Europe were more amenable for this purpose than their eastern neighbours. the particular interests of the team of contributors had to be taken into account. where a different interpretation might be placed upon foreigners armed with binoculars and maps examining the countryside.

Camberley. . No one would deny that all wars and battles are regrettable acts of human folly.G. It is hoped that this Guide to the Battlefields of Europe will in its own way make a small contribution to that comprehension. D.C. causing unjustifiable agony and distress to combatants and non-combatants alike—but these considerations should not preclude their serious study.present and may well forecast part of the future. course and results must be vital to any understanding of our common European heritage. October 1964. and prove both interesting and useful. If battles can be described as the punctuation marks on the pages of history then the study of their causes. if only to avoid the mistakes of the past which made such tragedies inevitable.

Elizabeth de Stroumillo. but even this debacle had its silver lining. goes the old saying. for instance. 'keeps in the cask'. Reading the entries again in 1988. Professors Michael Howard. The two volumes of the original edition duly appeared in 1965. although naturally the Suggested Reading sections have needed to be brought up to date to incorporate at least a selection of the specialist tides that many of the individual subjects xix . but their patience must have been sorely tried by the mass of instructions and even admonitions that poured from my pen. Pietro Pieri.'s protege. before a surprise and very welcome reawakening. I felt it was high time for me to beat as gracious a retreat as possible under the circumstances.) had entrused to a 'rooky' young historian of no repute whatsoever. a recently-appointed lecturer at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst with not a published title to my name — with an invitation to contribute entries to A Traveller's Guide to the Battlefields of Europe. it transpired that he expected a rate per thousand words precisely forty-times what the publisher was offering. and seemed only too pleased to be signed up. Of course that alone did not ensure massive sales. and received a favourable reception — to my immense relief— from the reviewers. who was prepared to join the team at the going rate. It is now over a quarter of a century since I had the temerity to approach 19 fellow military historians — most of them far more distinguished than I. and three years later the Traveller's Guide slid into the oblivion of the remainder trays. The team proved most cooperative and (in the case of the senior contributors) very forebearing. until. Captain Cyril Falls. a project my friend Hugh Street (Managing Director of Hugh Evelyn Ltd. Brian Bond. travel correspondent (and now travel editor) of the Daily Telegraph several times regretted the unavailability of Battlefields. as the same meeting introduced me to B. when the ticklish subject of remuneration arose at my instigation. With reflection.L. It has proved necessary to make only the minimum of alterations to the main texts. outside the occasional library. should be prepared to encourage the brashly-enthusiastic young novice-editor. Sir Basil Liddell Hart kindly invited the thrusting editor to tea at Medmenham. Once or twice over the intervening period there was a faint stirring of memory — as when. Only one 'great man' escaped my net. E C Fuller. and Brigadier Peter Young. I am impressed how well my team worked. Major-General J .H.Introduction to the new edition 'Good wine'. it was an object lesson to me that established authors such as Major-General Essame. there to lie sleeping (as it was to prove) for all of twenty years.

like the Phoenix. bom military and civilian. in refurbished form. Falls. Editorial Director of Patrick Stephens Ltd (part of the Thorsons Publishing Group Ltd) for allowing this work to rise.A. from the ashes (or at least the limbo of lost and near-forgotten volumes). The Sealed Knot Society of Cavaliers and Roundheads which he founded in 1968 and led for twenty years as its Captain-Generall. David Chandler R. . in its own way make a small contribution to mat comprehension [of an understanding of our common European heritage] . Similar encomiums might be written of the seven others who have died in the interval since 1965 — indeed a sad rate of attrition.have attracted since 1965 from a galaxy of writers in the field of military history in all its many forms. also to Hugh Street for agreeing to the necessary transfer of rights. For the new edition it has been decided to add a selection of illustrations to supplement the original maps and diagrams. . a sad loss to his many friends. As for the survivors. . Essame. may still prove '. mus reflecting the degree to which my hope (as expressed at the end of my 1964 Introduction) mat the Traveller's Guide might '. it is interesting to note how distinguished all of my collaborators have become over the intervening fifth of a century. .M. and capped that trusting act by 'giving away' my bride as a surrogate father-inlaw-elect at Beverley Minster). in September — indeed. . XX . twenty years after those words were written. the latest loss being that of my great friend and former head of department. I also hope mat mis new edition. and to the international community of scholarship as a whole. and I have decided to dedicate this new edition of our joint-endeavours to their commemoration.' I am deeply grateful to Darryl Reach. Sandhurst and the 30 October 1988 Virginia Military Institute. Fuller. in all comprising fully 40 per cent of the original team — namely Brett-James.' has come substantially true through the vast development of the EEC and the hopeful signs of glasnost possibly leading to a drop of tension and a growth in mutual understanding with the Soviet Union and the other countries of Eastern Europe. McElwee. Their memories will remain green through their vast individual and collective published contributions to military history. . Peter Young (who in fact appointed me to his newlyformed Department of Military History in early 1961. and above all to merge the two original volumes into a single treatment. It is sad to have to record that eight contributors of the original twenty are no longer with us. Pieri and Selby. the distinguished commando leader of the Second World War and scholar of the seventeenth century and omer periods. both interesting and useful.

Strategy. D. the Indirect Approach (London. G. C. The Military Revolution: Military innovation and the rise of the West.. J. B. C. H. 1500-1800 (London. 1974) Chandler.. London. The Conduct of War (London. Nickerson and Wright. D.Select List of General Books on the Art of War Chandler. Falls.. W. G. C.. 1980) Chandler D. J. UArt Militaire et les Armies au Mqyen Age (Paris. G. Warfare (New York. The Transformations of War (English Edition. 1954-56). C. Oman. H. 1954) Lot.. An AUas of Military Strategy 1618-1878 (London. Fuller. The Art of War in the Middle Ages. (ed). 1900-20). Oman. xxi . The Art of War in the Sixteenth Century (London. The Art of Warfare in the Age of Marlborough (London. C. AD 378-1485 (London. J. 1912) Delbruck. F. 1946) 2 vols. 1988) Preston. C.. The Dictionary of Battle (London. 1937 — reprinted 1987) Parker. Men in Arms (Aldershot. 1956) Spaulding. W. 1961) Liddell Hart. G. D. 1961) Fuller. 1925) Several of these volumes contain useful bibliographies. The Art of'Warfrom the Age ofNapoleon to the Present Day (London. 1987) Colin. G. Warner and Wise. C. F. 1924) 2 vols. The Decisive Battles of the Western World (London.. 1975) Chandler. 3 vols. F. 4 vols. The Art of Warfare on Land (London. Geschichte der Kriegskunst (Berlin.

M a p Three: France 14. 1643 24. The battle of Cambrai. The battle of The Boyne. The Siege of Nicosia. 1757 29. The Battle of Austerlitz. The battle of Agincourt. The Battle of Chalons. The Battle of Bosworth. T h e Battle of Naseby. The Battle of Culloden. The battle of Rossbach. 1745 6. 1690 13. 1428-29 23. The Battle of Mons. 1916 25. 1346 19. 1066 36. AD 9 31. M a p Four: West and East Germany 26. Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia 2. The Battles of J e n a and Auerstadt. 1314 33. 1940 21. 1870 22. The Battles of Gravelotte and Mars-la-Tour. 1570 10. The battle of Verdun. 1866 12. The battle of Blenheim. The D-Day Landings. 1706 8. The Battle of Bouvines. The Evacuation of Dunkirk. 1944 5. 1631 27. M a p One: Austria. Hungary. 1815 9. 1806 28. The battle of Ramillies. The Siege of Vienna. 1214 16. The Siege of Orleans. M a p Five: Great Britain and Eire 32.List of Maps and Diagrams 1. 1645 . The battle of Teutoburger-Wald. 1704 30. The battle of Crecy. The Battle of Bannockburn. The battle of Breitenfeld. 1746 35. The battle of Fontenoy. 1914 7. The battle of Waterloo. 1485 34. 451 18. The battle of the Ardennes. The battle of Rocroi. 1683 3. 1944 20. The Battle of Hastings. 1415 15. 1805 11. M a p Two: Holland and Belgium 4. 1917 17. The Battle of Sadowa.

1813 T h e Battle of Morat. 1709 224 226 230 233 239 248 254 260 264 274 280 284 288 299 303 314 325 331 338 344 347 354 359 366 XXIV . 1480 The Battle of Arnhem. 1944 M a p Seven: Italy. 56. 42. 1565 M a p Eight: Portugal. 54. and Poland T h e Battle of Borodino. 52. 49. 207 BC The Sack of Rome.R. 58. 55. Switzerland and Malta The Battle of Cannae. 1915-16 M a p Nine: the USS. Bulgaria and Cyprus The battle of Marathon. 46. 38. 1453 The battle of Gallipoli. 41. 48 BC The Siege of Rhodes. 39. 53. 1491-92 The battle of Vitoria. 47. 57. 48. 1476 The Siege of Constantinople. 44. 490 BC The Battle of Pharsala. 50. 45. 60. 216 BC The Battle of Cassino. 51. AD 409 The Battle of Solferino. 1918 The Siege of Malta. 1859 The Siege of Syracuse. Spain and Gibraltar The Siege of Granada. 43. 1944 The Battle of the Metaurus. 40.37. The Battle of the Yellow Ford. 59. 1598 M a p Six: Greece. Turkey. 1812 The Battle of Pultava. 415-413 BC The Battle of Vittorio Veneto.

in the case of the shortest items. The capital letter signifies an estimate of the suitability of the battlefield for a visit to the ground. For those readers who may prefer a rather 'lighter' approach. the 'data tables'. four asterisks denoting a very important action. several points concerning the presentation of the battle descriptions and the format of the accompanying maps and diagrams require brief explanation. one a conflict of comparatively minor significance. foreign audiorities have been listed. As a general rule. xxv . however. CLASSIFICATION After the name of each battle — whether on the 'data tables' or. only those tides that are likely to be obtainable through public libraries or book shops have been cited. whenever possible preference has been accorded to books published in English. for the convenience of the general English reader. in the body of the text — a classification symbol comprising a capital letter followed by between one and four asterisks will be found throughout the volume. The greatest possible care has been taken in preparing these sections. but in several instances the exact size of the forces engaged or casualty figures have been difficult to verify. where no notable English work is readily available. DATA TABLES In the second place. Thus manuscript sources have generally been omitted and. READING Each contributor has provided a list of suggested reading for the guidance of any who may wish to pursue particular subjects. Particularly in the case of the more ancient battles. which introduce some 150 battle descriptions in this volume. are intended to provide a minimum of vital information in a form that can be assimilated at a glance. In order to assist the reader in the use of this book. ranging from an 'A' site (easily accessible and practically unchanged) to a ' D ' site (difficult to reach and practically unrecognisable). accurate information is not always forthcoming — contemporary chronicles being especially prone to over-exageration — and where there is any reason to doubt the authenticity of the figures shown the prefixes 'estimated' or 'approximate' have been liberally employed. Similarly the asterisks relate to the historical and military interest of each battle or siege. In certain cases. reputed historical novels have been included in a number of instances. as are the battles within each national section.Editor's Note Throughout the book the countries are placed in alphabetical order.

brief description of the event and one suggested authority for consultation. and in metres for sites on the Continent. London W. an abbreviated format has been adopted. the symbols indicating the approximate position of the troops on the ground have been superimposed on a simplified modern m a p showing the terrain and local landmarks as they exist today. 160) the ancient and the modern courses of the river Danube are botii shown.000 more practical. botii the original and the present locations are indicated. the size of more recent battles makes 1/100. approximate location and map reference number. date.2. The name of the battle is followed by its classification. Stanford Ltd. xxvi . have been included with the interests of the present-day visitor in mind. In addition. illustrating a selection of important and accessible battlefields.. who are the official agents for sale of Defence Department maps and can also often procure foreign maps. In each case. Many maps may be purchased from E. 12 Long Acre. The contour heights on the diagrams are shown in feet for battles in Great Britain.C. Thus in the diagram relating to Blenheim (see p. but the reconstructed dispositions of the forces engaged should bear at least an approximate resemblance to the truth and provide a useful guide. a scale of 1/25. CAMPAIGN CHRONOLOGY Although the battles are listed in alphabetical order within the relevant national sections. MAPS T h e general maps have been designed to show the approximate locations of the battlefields together with the most convenient means of approaching the sites by road. a number of diagrams. By this means it is hoped that the visitor will be helped to find his way over battlefields which often extend for miles. DATING 'New Style' dating has been used throughout. Please note that modem boundaries and state names have been employed throughout the volume. Visitors to the actual battlefields may wish to procure good maps in advance.SHORT TREATMENT In the case of the 90 or so battles and sieges in this volume which have been restricted to the very briefest of treatments for reasons of space. tide of war. Where important topographical changes have taken place since the action.000 is the most convenient. Limitations of size have made it impossible to show any more than the minimum of relevant information. Of course the accurate positioning of the troops on the ground has often been difficult to discover. For the majority of actions down to 1914. the campaign chronology tables at the end of the book will enable a reader to follow up any particular period or war in which he is interested. although for the convenience of travellers the main population centres and major roads have been included.

National Sections .

.

London.000 (reinforced to 70.Austria Aspem-Essling (A**) Date: 21-22 May.000 (probably 95. 1907. Suggested reading: General Work: Chandler. however. a n d occupied the villages of Aspern a n d Essling to form a bridgehead. On the campaign: Anderson. F. Napoleon and Archduke Charles.000 Austrians. J. Result: The Austrians held their ground and the French were compelled to retreat. War and campaign: Napoleonic Wars.000 French. Precis of Great Campaigns. a n d six days later Massena crossed over from the south bank of the D a n u b e on to the large island of L o b a u by means of a pontoon bridge. Austrian Campaign of 1809 (see p. (b) Archduke Charles and the Austrian army. 380).. Napoleon entered Vienna on 13 M a y . D. Gasnalties: (a) 21. Location: North-east of Vienna on Route 7. On the battle: Loraine Petre.000 engaged). 1966. The Campaigns of Napoleon. decided to attack Napoleon's unfortified position in Aspern a n d Essling. G. Object of the action: The French were attempting to destroy Austrian resistance and secure full control of Vienna by means of a perilous river crossing into contact with the Archduke's army.. Forces engaged: (a) French: 22. Opposing sides: (a) Napoleon in command of the 'Grande Armee'.400 infantry.. 1909.000 cavalry.000). Total: 111. London. 9. Total: 31. 300 guns. T h e Austrian 1 . 11. London.000 cavalry. Archduke Charles. 130. left bank of the Danube. An undoubted check for Napoleon. 1809. (A) Austrians: 100. (b) 23.000 infantry. H. threw across two m o r e bridges from t h e island to the n o r t h bank.

Second Siege and Relief of Vienna (A***) Date: 14 July-12 September 1683.attack broke first from the north-west on Aspern.000). Object of the action: The saving of Vienna from the Turks. Napoleon now attempted to break through the Austrian centre with Lannes' corps. 2. a n d by 7 am the French h a d recaptured the whole village of Aspern a n d beaten off attacks on Essling. bravely leading his troops in person. War and campaign: Great Turkish War of 1683-99. During the night L a n n e s ' corps was brought across the D a n u b e . Casualties: (a) Approx.000. taking the French by surprise. Total: 138. in the trenches (31. the order for retreat to the m a i n island was given at 11 p m . a n d in the meantime the French cavalry staged a counterattack in the g a p between Aspern a n d Essling. T h e Austrians forced their way into Aspern once more where h a n d .000 in the battle. a n d when the news came of the breaking of the bridge between the south bank a n d Lobau. Napoleon a b a n d o n e d his advance. Forces engaged: (0) Austrian. 131.h a n d fighting in the streets took place with great slaughter.000.S.000).t o . appealing to his troops to take Aspern at all costs. J. Opposing sides: (a) The United Christian Army under King John Sobieski of Poland. Night fell with the French beset on all sides a n d half Aspern lost. At Essling the French fared better a n d held off the Austrians. b u t Archduke Charles gave orders for the floating of fireships against the French bridges.M. with 170 guns. At 5 pm t h e Archduke ordered a general attack. Total: 76. Campaign of 1683 (see p. and the halting of the westward expansion of Islam. Saxon. also some cavalry a n d artillery. 379). a n d although the French held them. Kara Mustapha. As early as 3 am on 22 M a y fighting broke out again. Bavarian. Location: The 'Innere Stadt' of Vienna. (6) The Turkish Army under the Grand Vizier. and the suburbs and country north-west to the Wiener Wald. a further 5. Massena himself leading the French resistance. T h e Austrians now renewed their attacks on Aspern a n d Essling.000 garrison). b u t the Austrians held t h e m off. T h e Austrians penetrated into the west side of the village b u t were driven out again. Polish and Imperial contingents (exclusive of 16.000 deaths 2 . (4) Turkish covering force (107.

O. VI of Geschichte Osterreichs). On the Siege and Battle: Das Kriegsjahr 1683. T h e efforts of the P a p a l Nuncios in Warsaw a n d Vienna. The Siege of Vienna.during the siege. Nothing could withstand the great Turkish a r m y which swept through H u n g a r y a n d into Austria in early J u l y 1683. standing between these two bastions. Suggested reading: General Work: Redlich. induced the Emperor Leopold I of Austria to sign a military alliance with K i n g J o h n Sobieski of Poland on 31 M a r c h 1683.a n d Burg-Bastions on the southwest side of the city. London. Gotha. a n d within a few days a 'maze of trenches wormed towards the Lowel. a n d under this threat to his capital Leopold retired to Passau. in Mittheilungen des k. 1921. a n d entrusted the defence of Vienna to the iron-willed Ernst Ruediger von Starhemberg a n d his energetic colleague. T h e expected danger soon became reality. T h e Burg-Ravelin. 1964. Stoye. many thousands more during the siege. Kriegs-Archivs. became the chief object of the Turkish attentions.. 1883. (b) Approx. 10. combined with the aggressive intentions of the G r a n d Vizier K a r a M u s t a p h a . t h e Mayor J o h a n n Andreas von Liebenberg.. a n d following the explosion of a mine on 12 August SECOND SIEGE AND RELIEF OF VIENNA 14th July to 12th September 1683 . J. Result: The relief of Vienna and the complete defeat of the Turks. Vienna.k.000 in the battle. Osterreichs Grossmachtbildung in der £eit Kaiser Leopolds I (Vol. On 14 J u l y the Turkish a r m y formed a great semi-circular c a m p about Vienna.

in particular a violent assault directed against the Gallitzin-Berg. on the night of 2 September. The expulsion of the Turks was all the more urgent. storms and sorties until. but by 7 September the whole Christian army was assembled up-river from Vienna on the plain of Tulln. Lorraine had now penetrated the Turkish camp.the ruins of this one outwork were rocked by a continuous series of mines. he set his troops in motion for the Nussberg. Duke Charles of Lorraine. Joseph on the Kahlenberg. Yet again Lorraine led the advance. although the Poles on the right had to take somewhat longer to negotiate the broken country around Dornbach. and Sobieski dealt the coup de grace by launching his 20. but rejecting the temptation of plunder. only to be driven across the Schreiber-Bach with the help of an Austrian battery planted on the newly captured Nussberg.000 cavalry in a charge from the meadows between Breitensee and Hernals. he wheeled his wing to the right and rolled up the enemy flank in the direction of Wahring. and the Electors of Saxony and Bavaria. the Turks finally established themselves as masters. and were still further delayed by Turkish counter-attacks. before a rocket from the Kahlenberg showed the Viennese that relief was at hand. From Passau the Emperor Leopold had sent appeals to the King of Poland. with the left extending to the Danube below the Leopoldsberg. conceived the plan of rolling up the Danube flank of the enemy. On the early morning of 12 September the Christian forces drew up in line of battle on the south-eastern slopes of the Wiener Wald. the commander of the Christian left wing. and the Christian left once more broke the Turks on the side of the Danube. with the great bow of the Turkish camp extending beyond Vienna. The garrison of Vienna beat off one last fanatical storm of 4 . The Turks had already succeeded in blowing a wide breach in the Lowel-Bastion itself. By noon the Christian left and centre was established in Heiligenstadt and along the Grinzing-Bach. After a bitter struggle for the height the Turks fell back to the fortified village of Nussdorf. Below them they could see the masses of the enemy army assembled on the heights between Nussdorf and Dornbach. and by the middle of the afternoon the Christian army was ready to strike a decisive blow. countermines. Weinhaus and Dobling to the Danube below Heiligenstadt. The Turks had been forced to fall back to a line extending from Breitensee through Ottakring. as Tartar and Turkish horsemen were devastating the countryside as far up the Danube as Melk. and after attending Mass with the King and other generals in the Chapel of St. The Saxons rushed the large earthwork of the 'Turkenschanze' before the 6 cannon could be depressed to bear on them.

the Grand Vizier had his tent near the Church of St. which is now preserved in a niche next to the door of no. could rejoice in the survival of Europe's bulwark against the Turks. The tower of the Minoritenkirche behind the Chancellery. Other objects of interest within the 'Innere Stadt' are: The Mölker-Bastion (opposite the University). still lacking the spire that was shot away in 1683. likewise a small bench from where Starhemberg is said to have seen the approach of Sobieski's army. decide in favour of the Church of St.000 cannon-balls which the Turks fired into Vienna. who died just before the relief of his city. 32-4. in the VII District. On the outskirts of Vienna the Türkenschanz Park in the XVIII District takes its name from the earthwork erected against the relieving army. K. One of these balls is shown in the south tower. Ulrich. Neustiftgasse. however. but all Christendom. For Austria the siege of Vienna was the introduction to a decade and a half of war in the east. A 79-pound ball fired into the city on 20 July.000 of the 100. The nearby Arsenal (Zeughaus) held much of the ammunition of the defenders. Joseph on the Kahlenberg. which were levelled in 1858. No. The Cathedral of St. on a site now occupied by nos. The chapels on the Leopoldsberg and the Kahlenberg were rebuilt after the battle. thus the Löwel-Bastion (on the site of the Volksgarten) is commemorated by the turn in the Dr. with the exception of the French Court. the more recent historians.the enemy. 7 Am Hof was the house of Liebenberg. An impression of the glacis is still conveyed by the open spaces of the RathausPlatz. the great bell first made from Turkish cannon in 1711. Stephen was struck by nearly 1. The Burg-Ravelin probably stood a few yards south of the statue of Archduke Charles in the Helden-Platz. the Maria-Theresien-Platz. C. 5 .J. and each bend corresponds to the projection of one of the old bastions. the only remnant of the old fortifications. and the Stadtpark sloping down to the little river Wien. 3. and many of the missiles are still embedded in the walls.D. Renner Ring opposite the Parliament. here also hangs the Pummerin. At the present day the course of the Ring Road around the I District follows the outline of the fortifications. and recast from the old metal after the fire of 1945. which now contains the tomb of Starhemberg. and dispute the claim to the site of the famous Mass of 12 September. and was imperilled by the accidental burning of part of the Schottenstift. Sterngasse. and early in the evening they received their deliverers into the indescribable ruin of their defences.

G.000 Austrians. W h e n Davout reached the plateau of W a g r a m in the north. eventually leading to the Peace of Vienna. on t h e stormy night of 4/5 J u l y . 18. (A) Archduke Charles and the Austrian army. General Work: Chandler. following his repulse at Aspern-Essling (q. p. b u t bulging forward in a great salient between W a g r a m in the north a n d Aspern-Essling in the south by the river D a n u b e . Total: c. 139. 154. Dictionary of the Napoleonic Wars. building 3 bridges to the south bank from it a n d 4 bridges to the north. T h e massed guns of Drouot in the centre helped to hold this firmly.100. After this check. Result: A French victory.v. London. So m a t t e r s rested over t h e night of 5/6 J u l y . 554 guns. Napoleon launched a great attack in the centre between W a g r a m a n d the D a n u b e . Napoleon spent 6 weeks m a k i n g Lobau island in the D a n u b e an impregnable base of operations. T h e Archduke Charles planned to contain with his left a n d attack on his right to cut the French off from Lobau. Archduke J o h n with his 6 . however. 480 guns.300 cavalry. This was partially successful a n d the Austrian a r m y was cut in two. (4) 40. 1969. D.600 cavalry.000.v. a n d h a d to withdraw from the north b a n k of the D a n u b e .Wagram (A***) Date: 5-6 July 1809. Casualties: (a) 32. the Austrian Campaign of 1809 (see p. T h e French next deployed to the north. Suggested reading: See Aspern-Essling. which was a blow to his prestige. This crossing of the river was a remarkable feat.800 infantry. Location: Eighteen miles north-east of Vienna close to Route 7. War and campaign: Napoleonic Wars. Forces engaged: (a) French: 130. 158. the French a r m y was able to cross to the north bank of the D a n u b e at the eastern end of Lobau island. Opposing sides: (a) Napoleon in command of the 'Grande Armee'. 380) Object of the action: Napoleon's second attempt to crush Austrian resistance. After entering V i e n n a on 13 M a y 1809 Napoleon fought the unsuccessful two-day battle at Aspern-Essling (q. their line 15 miles long facing west. 1. Total: c. Napoleon sent D a v o u t to attack t h e Austrians in the n o r t h on the W a g r a m plateau a n d Massena to meet Archduke Charles's fierce attacks on Aspern-Essling in the south. deceiving t h e Archduke Charles who was expecting t h e m to cross near Aspern farther west. T h u s .).000 French.).500 infantry.. 23. (b) Austrians: 139.

This was a victory for Napoleon.000 men from Pressburg arrived too late to affect the issue of the battle. as an immediate pursuit was not carried out. J.M.30.S. but not a very decisive one. . and the Austrians managed to retreat in fair order in spite of heavy losses.

8 .

H. D. 7 armoured divisions (1. 23. 'The Fatal Decisions'. 1987. O.. 5Ü1 Panzer and 7th Armies). Vith.000 men.Belgium The Ardennes (A***) Date: 16 December 1944-1 February 1945. 381) Object of the action: The Germans were making a desperate bid to reach Antwerp.S. Supreme Commander West. Ardennes.. C. J. B.S. London. to offer a negotiated peace. isolate 21st Army Group and thereafter induce Great Britain and the U.000. Casualties: (a) 77.. London.100 tanks). 1949. Result: Complete defeat of Hitler's 'final gamble' and the restoration of the American front. but it delayed the Allies from reaching the Rhine for six weeks. 1984. Forces engaged: (a) Allies: 18 infantry divisions. Suggested reading: General Works: Wilmot. Panzer Army. von Manteuffel. Biography: MacDonald. Crusade in Europe. London. S . C. (Part VI). Eisenhower. Pallud. 600 tanks. Supreme Commander Allied Powers Europe. ist and 3rd Armies). P. 1944: Riper and Skorzeny. Opposing sides: (a) General Eisenhower. London. 1956. 8th Corps 9 .. (ft) 90. T h r o u g h o u t November 1944 Eisenhower continued his efforts to close w i t h t h e R h i n e on a b r o a d front. The Struggle for Europe. thence Route 28 to St. The Battle of the Bulge. 1944-5 (see p. (ft) Field-Marshal von Runstedt. 9 Panzer divisions (1. War and campaign: The Second World War: North-west Europe (campaign. London. 1952. D. 1948.000 men.A. 2 airborne divisions (U. Total: 400. 733 tanks..000. (A) Germans: 14 infantry divisions. London. T h e 80-mile Ardennes sector was thinly held by the U . Total: 250. A Soldier's Story.S.000 tanks) (6th S. Bradley. Location: From Marche take Route 4 (E 40) to Bastogne.

Strongly held villages and defensive positions were to be by-passed. and Skorzeny's force.consisting of 2 veteran divisions. The plan aimed at the capture of Antwerp and the destruction of the Allied armies north of the Ardennes. equipped with captured American vehicles and including English-speaking volunteers in American uniform. It was accepted that the Germans lacked fuel for an offensive and that von Runstedt was unlikely to consider the narrow winding roads and involved country of the Ardennes in the mists and snow of winter as a promising line of advance. The armour was then to drive through. was to head for Brussels. The assaulting divisions were assembled behind the Aachen front to create the impression that they were to be fed into the battle there. He hoped thus to secure a negotiated peace or win time to put his new weapons into action. Non-German soldiers were evacuated from the front line. Full advantage was taken of the long hours of darkness. The infantry divisions with heavy artillery support were to make the initial attack.S. Headquarters were given deceptive signs. which was to pass through the advance guards and seize the Meuse bridges. was to cross the Meuse on either side of Liege and make for Antwerp. Bradley later described this as 'a calculated risk'. Panzer Armies. The preparations were carried out in extreme secrecy. however. Low cloud on 12 December and for the next week hampered Allied air reconnaissance. consisting of 4 Panzer and 5 infantry divisions. Night fighters were flown overhead to drown the noise of the move up of the artillery. The Germans waited for a period of bad weather. On the right the 6th S. a fledgling divisions and an inexperienced armoured division. As early as the first week of November. In fact Allied intelligence with regard to German intentions and resources was surprisingly bad. Hitler had decided to stake everything on a counter-offensive here to restore German morale and give him the respite he needed to transfer reserves later to the Russian front. On the left the 5th Panzer Army under von Manteuffel. Panzer Army under Sepp Dietrich. heading due west without a pause straight for the Meuse. crossing the Meuse between west of Liege and Namur. It was to be carried out by the strategic reserve—the 5th and 6th S. Newly arrived divisions were marched north and east in daylight and then doubled back on their tracks at night. In 10 . The 7th Army was to protect the southern flank. Then at 0530 hours on 16 December 14 infantry divisions supported by 2. The plan included two further novel features: the dropping of a parachute unit to block the roads north of the Ardennes. Panzer officers were even dressed as infantry.S.000 guns advanced through the mist against the thinly held American line.

selected to command on account of his bravery and loyalty to Hitler. Task Force Pieper. It was south of Butgenbach 11 . 5th Corps. nearly got through to the big American petrol dump at Stavelot. the 6th S. however. soon found himself faced by a task beyond his ability. Dietrich. between Monschau and Butgenbach. Panzer Army struck firm resistance by two divisions of the U. One of his armoured groups.S.ARDENNES 16th December 1944 to ist February 1945 the extreme north.S.

Armoured Division on the evening of the 18th. 12 .S. landing near Spa.S. Vith. The first American troops to reach this place were a battle group of the 10th U. With Dietrich halted and von Manteuffel with the ball at his feet. continued the breakthrough. By this time von Manteuffel's 3 leading Panzer divisions were within 15 miles of the key road centre of Bastogne. von Manteuffel's 5th Panzer Army swamped the widely extended U. Late on 17 December the 7th U. Von Manteuffel therefore decided to encircle the place and continue the drive to the Meuse. Here with 3 battle-hardened divisions. thoroughly informed of the situation by his liaison officers. had on his own initiative switched his 30th Corps to the west bank of the Meuse between Liege and Namur. Model now proposed to reinforce the latter with Dietrich's 2 uncommitted panzer divisions. he viewed the prospect of a German irruption over the Meuse with an equanimity which his American colleagues did not share. occupied the important road junction at St. Here. Armoured Division. he placed all American troops north of the line Givet-Houffalize-Prum under Montgomery's command and ordered Patton to swing his army north towards Bastogne. Meeting Bradley. with Panzer Lehr. Patton's drive got going on the 22nd. It was left to Eisenhower to rise to the level of events. Bradley considered it a spoiling attack designed to forestall Patton's offensive in the south. American confusion was immediate and impressive. under Brigadier-General Hasbrouck. Late on the 16th Eisenhower and Bradley had only received fragmentary reports. The 101st Airborne Division in a lightning move of 100 miles by road arrived there during the night. Meanwhile Montgomery. At dawn on the 19th Bayerlein. That night German paratroops.S. It was not till the evening of the 17th that Eisenhower ordered forward the celebrated 82nd and 10ist Airborne Divisions from his theatre reserve. moving on that night by the light of searchlights.S. At his headquarters at Luxembourg Bradley was completely out of touch with the situation. 28th and 106th Divisions and. He wished the decisive blow to be struck by the S.S. 1 armoured division and 3 armoured brigades. Here it blocked Dietrich till the 23rd. Armoured Division from the 9th Army in the north and the n t h U. Eisenhower took a more realist view and ordered the 7th U. divisions on Dietrich's front and not by the Wehrmacht under von Manteuffel. produced something like paralysis behind the American lines.S. admirable lateral communications and the best tank going in Belgium. Hitler would not agree. Patton and Devers at Verdun on the igth.where the collapse occurred. found Bastogne strongly held. Armoured Division from the south into the Ardennes.

On the following day the spearhead of the 5th Panzer Army got to within 4 miles of the Meuse near Celles. The sky now cleared and the Allied Air Forces were once again able to intervene. Immobilised for lack of petrol, the Germans failed to make further progress. Here the battle ended on 26 December when the U.S. 2nd Armoured Division crushed the 2nd Panzer Division at Celles. Late on the same day Patton's 4th Armoured Division punched a narrow corridor into Bastogne. Throughout the next week the Germans made an all-out effort to take Bastogne and its corridor but Patton, thrusting in newly arrived divisions straight into battle and aided by the 19th Tactical Air Force under abominable flying conditions, held his ground. In the north Montgomery proceeded to tidy up the front and restore balance, despite American objections, by evacuating the St. Vith salient and withdrawing the U.S. 7th Corps into reserve to reorganise for the counter-offensive. This went in on 3 January. By this time much of the 6th S.S. Panzer Army's strength had been dissipated at Bastogne. Driving through bitter German opposition, storms and waist-deep snow, the U.S. 7th Corps cut the vital La Roche-Vielsalm road on the 7th. Next day Hitler, no longer able to deny that most of his surviving armour was in danger of being trapped between Montgomery's and Patton's thrusts, authorised Model to give up the area west of Houffalize. The Germans waged a fighting retreat, but on 16 January the U.S. 2nd and n t h Armoured Divisions linked up at Houffalize and re-established a solid front. It was not till the end of January, however, that the last Germans were driven out of the Ardennes. Unquestionably, Eisenhower's decision at the crisis to place the northern armies under Montgomery and to send the 101st Airborne Division to Bastogne saved the day. In abandoning the St. Vith salient and creating a reserve before turning to the counter-offensive, Montgomery showed a grasp of the situation superior to that of his American colleagues. Time was needed to regroup, reorganise and make the necessary administrative preparation. Once the skies cleared and the Air Arm could come into its own the issue was never in doubt. H.E.

Courtrai (B**)
Date: 11 July 1302. Location: Courtrai is 27 miles south-west of Ghent (Route 14 (E 3)) The battlefield lies near the Groeninghebeke stream. 14. War and campaign: Flemish Revolt against the French (see p. 378) 13

Object of the action: The French were trying to relieve their garrison in the town. Opposing sides: (a) Guy of Namur and William of Juliers leading the Flemish insurgents, (4) The Count of Artois commanding the French army. Forces engaged: (a) Flemings: details uncertain, but mostly pikemen. Total: perhaps 12,000. (A) French: details uncertain, but a large number mounted. Total: perhaps 15,000. Casualties: (a) Uncertain, but not heavy, (b) 63 nobles; 700 knights. Result: Defeat of the French expedition. Suggested reading: General Work: Van der Linden, H., Belgium: The Making of a Nation, Oxford, 1920. On the Battle: Oman, C. W. C, A History of the Art of War in the Middle Ages, Vol. II (2nd Edn.), London, 1924. In M a y 1302 t h e Flemings arose in revolt against King Philip of France, w h o h a d imprisoned their Count a n d annexed his lands. Courtrai was one of the few towns the French succeeded in retaining. T h e Flemish a r m y fell back to Courtrai when Count R o b e r t of Artois invaded t h e country with a royal French army, composed of the feudal array of north France, Italian mercenaries a n d Gascon javelin soldiers. Behind the Groeninghebeke outside Courtrai the Flemish a r m y under a son of the Count, G u y of N a m u r , a n d William of Juliers his cousin, stood ready for battle. T h e Flemings were a r m e d mainly w i t h pikes, which they relied upon to hold off t h e French cavalry. T h e y were arrayed in a long tightly packed phalanx, w i t h a small reserve u n d e r J o h n van Remesse behind a n d a n o t h e r 1,200 men still farther to the r e a r on g u a r d in case t h e F r e n c h garrison in Courtrai sallied forth. On the morning of 11 J u l y , after an exchange of cross-bow fire across the stream, R o b e r t of Artois ordered his cavalry to charge at the Flemings. T h e three lines of men-at-arms were thrown into disorder by their own infantry as they reached the brook. T h e m a r s h y ground on b o t h sides of the stream caused the 10 squadrons of heavily a r m o u r e d men even more trouble. Before they could form ranks again the Flemish phalanx advanced, pikes levelled, a n d thrust them back. T h e m a i n force of F r e n c h cavalry fared no better against t h e pikemen, w h o presented t h e m with an unbroken front. V a n Remesse reinforced the Flemish centre with his pikemen, a n d the French third line a n d infantry were unwilling to renew the conflict. Artois lost his life along with large numbers of his cavalrymen. T h e battle is m o r e important from the military t h a n the political point of view, for it demonstrated t h a t determined 14

pikemen were more t h a n a m a t c h for unsupported cavalry. It represented the first major victory of infantry over m o u n t e d warriors since Adrianople, i ,000 years before.

J.E.A.

Flanders (B****)
Date: Continuous fighting, 1914-18. Location: The battlefield extends from Nieuport (Belgium) to Vimy (north France); the most famous area is around Ypres. 13. War and campaign: The First World War; the Campaigns on the Western front (see p. 381). Object of the action: Continuous Allied and German attempts to achieve a breakthrough towards Berlin or Paris respectively, and thus to solve the impasse of the trench war. Opposing sides: (a) The British, French and Belgian armies. (b) The German army. Forces engaged: Several million men on each side. Casualties: Several millions, details incalculable. Result: Little ground won or lost by either side, but the battle of attrition fought along the front contributed largely to Germany's final collapse. Suggested reading: General Work: Terraine, J., The Western Front, 1914-18, London, 1964. On die Campaigns: Edmonds, J. E. (ed.), Military Operations, France and Belgium, London, 1922-39. On the Campaigns: Mottram, R. H., Through the Menin Gate, London, 1932. Wolf, L., In Flanders Fields , London, 1959. Macdonald, L., They called it Fhsschendaele — the story of Third Ypres, London, 1978. At the end of the G e r m a n retreat from the M a r n e in the a u t u m n of 1914 their open flank came to rest upon the sea at Nieuport, just within the borders of the Flemish province of West Flanders. H e l d there by Belgian inundation of the estuary of the Yser, the line they established r a n southeastwards into France, passing in front of Ypres, between Lille and Armentieres, t h r o u g h the mining villages a r o u n d Lens to the edge of the Artois uplands at Vimy. Between Dixmude and t h e sea the line was held throughout the w a r by the Belgian army, b u t the sector a r o u n d Ypres a n d southwards was from the first essentially a n d memorably British. Most of the place-names along this line are ominously familiar to British ears a n d it is possible to note only the m o r e important. T h e battles for the Ypres ridges are the most notorious. In November 1914, M a y 1915, J u l y - N o v e m b e r 1917 a n d April 1918 there was bitter fighting for their possession. In the First Battle of Ypres the old British regular a r m y held a foothold

15

D. inflicting 14. Total: 53. Opposing sides: (a) The Duke of Cumberland commanding the Anglo-Dutch-Austrian army. 87 squadrons.upon t h e m in the face of ferocious assaults.K. perhaps 70 guns. J. were u n p r e p a r e d to consolidate it. O t h e r significant battles are those of Neuve Ghapelle ( M a y 1915) a n d Loos (September 1915). T h e 60. Nickerson and Wright. FLEURUS (B**). is one of the half-dozen great battles of the Western Front. during which the British a r m y suffered over 200. Location: Five miles south-east of Tournai. War and campaign: The War of the Austrian Succession. surprised by t h e extent of their own success. 1 J u l y 1690. battle of. See Spaulding. (N.000 names of the unfound dead of the Ypres salient recorded on the N e w Menin Gate a n d the numerous a n d enormous cemeteries are an almost unbearable reminder of the sufferings of the British and Commonwealth armies in Flanders between 1914 a n d 1918. a n d Messines ( J u n e 1917). both inconclusive b u t costly assaults. A tour of the battlefield is still a poignantly moving experience for the British visitor. Warfare. N e w York. a classic limited offensive preceded by mine explosions so large that the contours of Messines ridge were permanently altered. A French a r m y under Marshal Luxembourg signally defeated the Dutch and German a r m y of the Prince of Waldeck.P.B. better known as Passchendaele. Fontenqy (A****) Date: 11 May 1745.000. Total: 70. T h e T h i r d Battle. 18. Of these forces 27 battalions and 17 squadrons were before Tournai. (4) French: 93 battalions.) 16 . 7 miles north of Charleroi. 146 squadrons. Object of the action: The Allied army was attempting to interrupt the French siege of Tournai.000 casualties for negligible territorial gains. Forces engaged: Allies: 56 battalions. 379).000. turn left at Antoing from the Mons road (Route 61). In the Second the Germans employed gas for the first time in w a r a n d caused a temporary p a n i c b u t . about 80 cannon. 1925.000 casualties a n d taking 49 guns. 20: W a r of the League of Augsburg. Netherlands Campaign of 1745 (see p. T h e G e r m a n offensive of April 1918 extinguished t h e m completely a n d they were recovered only in the general advance of the a u t u m n . (b) Marshal de Saxe (accompanied by Louis XV) commanding the French.

Paris. largely under the impression of the feint on Mons.000 French. Biography: White. Fontenoy and the War of Austrian Succession. Field-Marshal LordLigonier. de Saxe arrayed the rest of his a r m y in a carefully chosen defensive line 5 miles to t h e south-east of the fortress. Campagnes de Maurice de Saxe. T h e British have long recalled the stout-heartedness of the infantry.000 Allies. 1901-6.. On the Battle: Skrine.. a n d t h e n turning at right angles n o r t h to the W o o d of Barry a n d t h e village of Ramecroix. b o t h as military thinker a n d rake of prodigious powers. London.. (b) Possibly 7. 1962. M. 1910. R. In the spring of 1745 the commanders of the Allied a r m y in the Austrian Netherlands rejected the project of the British general Ligonier for a thrust into France. F. J. A History of the British Army. Edinburgh and London.. a n d a victory with wide strategic consequences. the Life and Times of Marshal de Saxe. Vol. J. W. the Marshal de Saxe h a d already achieved a considerable reputation. J. Biography: Whitworth. In outline t h e French position was a sharp salient extending eastwards from the Scheldt at Antoing for just over a mile to the apex at the hamlet of Fontenoy. Result: A hard-fought victory for the French leading to the conquest of much of the Austrian Netherlands (Belgium). Golin. a n d in April 1745 he directed a feint north-east towards Mons. whose c o m m a n d e r was not a m a n likely to neglect such an opportunity. a n d then pounced with his powerful a r m y u p o n the fortress of T o u r n a i a n d sealed up the unsuspecting garrison. At Brussels the Allies were taken aback at the news t h a t de Saxe was on t h e move.Casualties: (a) Possibly 7. Oxford. a n d look back with no less pride on the dash a n d sacrifice of their opponents in t h e Irish Brigade in t h e service of France. London. So it was t h a t the initiative was left entirely to the French. a n d thus gave de Saxe ample time to p r e p a r e a position w h e r e he would be all too delighted to receive t h e m . 1906. For the French it is the masterpiece of the Marshal de Saxe. a n d merely waited upon events. Marshal of France. 1958. Leaving a force to contain T o u r n a i . T h e y accordingly m a r c h e d south a n d then west by circuitous a n d ill-directed marches. Both flanks were securely anchored—the one on a river a n d t h e other on a wood—but de Saxe improved this strong position still further by studding it with redoubts of his own devising: these were compact earthworks furnished w i t h artillery. a n d still more so w h e n they later heard t h a t the gateway to western Flanders was as good as within his grasp. H. II. which could 17 .. Suggested reading: General Works: Fortescue. T h e Battle of Fontenoy is notable on several accounts.

and to get this far the Allies would have had to cross the natural glacis formed by the gentle and open eastern slopes of the plateau. A reserve of fine troops. The Allied plan of attack for 11 May was clear and simple. and a further battery was cunningly ensconced on the far bank of the Scheldt. however. and yet leave the French troops wide gaps through which they could launch their own attacks— a decided improvement upon Villars' entrenchments at Malplaquet (q. was placed behind the Wood of Barry. Austrians and Dutch were to tackle the French 18 . were disposed behind a sunken road leading northwards from Fontenoy across a low plateau in the direction of Ramecroix: the French troops would be out of sight of the enemy until the last moment. and constructed two redoubts on the fringes of the wood: the southernmost of these earthworks became famous as the Redoubt d'Eu.). supported by two further lines of cavalry. including the 6 regiments of the Irish Brigade. Two lines of infantry. but based upon a faulty reconnaissance undertaken the day before. and Fontenoy itself was converted into a miniature fortress. The. On his far left he lined the Wood of Barry with sharpshooters.v. FONTENOY nth May 1745 To the left of his line. whom he accounted the most formidable troops of the Allied army. for here he expected the assault of the British.direct a heavy fire against an enemy advancing from the front or around the flank. de Saxe devoted his greatest attention. Three such redoubts were thrown up on the French right wing between Antoing and Fontenoy.

A renewed Dutch assault on Fontenoy having failed. Neither a destructive artillery fire. as were the attacks of the Austrians and of the rest of the Dutch against the French right. The Dutch assault against Fontenoy was. Meanwhile the British cavalry had completed its passage of the broken country around Vezon. the British withdrew to the crest of the ridge to reform. Cumberland took the head of the beautifully dressed lines. and now that the crisis of the day had come de Saxe did not hesitate to commit his last reserves to the fight: the 5 remaining regiments of the Irish Brigade charged yelling against the British right. Early in the afternoon Cumberland had to order his drummers to beat out the order to fall back. The cavalry endured its torture until Ligonier brought the British infantry through the intervals. who began to rain down shot on the motionless squadrons. while a number of line regiments and the French and Swiss Guards closed in on the left. gradually coalescing under the effect of the enemy fire into one monstrous column against which even the Maison du Roi and the Irish regiment of Dillon threw themselves to no purpose. thrown back by a murderous fire. loading their pieces with stones and glass when their grapeshot was exhausted. At last. and then came on again. and September 19 . and led them to the beat of drum against the plateau. and arrayed the foot in two lines in front. The continued resistance of these two strongpoints was a thorn in the side of the British for the remainder of the battle. The advance in the early hours of the 11 th had already begun when Cumberland learnt for the first time of the existence of the Redoubt d'Eu. The Battle of Fontenoy had established the clear superiority of the French in force and high command. The strength of the flanks of the French left was only now appreciated. the muddles and delays of Brigadier Ingoldsby prevented a detached command of British and Hanoverians from carrying the Redoubt d'Eu. while the British were to press home their assault against the apparently clear ground between Fontenoy and the Wood of Barry. The two British lines pressed on into the French camp. the rearguard facing about at measured intervals to drive away the pursuers.right between Antoing and Fontenoy. The French gunners were in a frenzy. no less fatally. and the depleted redcoats finally delivered one appalling blast of fire which reduced the French lines to a shambles. and their clearing became a matter of the greatest importance. however. and at about 6 am it deployed in the plain beyond in full view of the French gunners. The British accomplished their retreat in admirable order. at 10:30. nor the first volley of the French infantry were able to break or hasten the steady controlled pace of the British.

found the Allies in the north of Belgium. Forces engaged: (a) Approx.000 French. 1910. C. CJ. Casualties: (a) 14. but the French detached a force which took Bergen-op-Zoom.D.000 Allies.000 Allies (including 2. 8. T h e British infantry. Object of the action: Cumberland was seeking to regain territory lost in the Netherlands. between the rivers Jaar and Demer. J.000 French killed and wounded. concerned only with preserving their communications with Antwerp. In 1747 Cumberland sought to inflict a decisive defeat on the French. however. Location: Immediately south-west of Maastricht on the BelgoDutch frontier. and a clash between the two main armies became inevitable. 380). as a means of recovering the territory lost in the Netherlands in the year before. but de Saxe hurried down from the west to join his subordinate. (b) Approx. Stalemate ensued on the Meuse for the rest of the year.. led by Lord Ligonier. London. Suggested reading: Fortescue. and just as at Rocoux. Opposing sides: (a) Marshal de Saxe in command of a French army. Tournai. Bruges and Ghent: all had fallen to de Saxe. Nieuport. Lord Ligonier was captured. 20 . The field was lost for Cumberland. T h e isolation of the corps of the Prince de Clermont seemed to offer the desired opportunity.J. distinguished themselves as well as in any other battle of the century. Netherlands Campaign of 1747 (see p. vol. and the French had to make four attacks before they could win the village of Laffeldt. (A) Nearly 6. II. but a suicidal charge of three British cavalry regiments. Result: An extremely costly victory for de Saxe. de Saxe skilfully concentrated his forces for a heavy blow against the enemy left. The Allies held an extended position facing south. 120. A History of the British Amy. and with the outbreak of the Jacobite rebellion the British were forced to look for a time to their own defences.D.000 British). W. War and campaign: The War of the Austrian Succession. (b) The Duke of Cumberland commanding an Allied army. enabled the Allies to retreat in good order. 90. Ostend. Laffeldt (c***) Date: 2 July 1747.

Opposing sides: (a) The Duke of Marlborough and Prince Eugene leading the Allies. Object of the action: The Allies hoped to crush Marshal Villars and the last large French army and thus open the road to Paris. 180 squadrons.. Forces engaged: (a) Allies: 128 battalions. La Bataille de Malplaquet. 21 . Total: 80. T h e Battle of M a l p l a q u e t was the last major battle jointly fought by M a r l b o r o u g h a n d Prince Eugene a n d was by no means their best action. 60 guns. In the spring of 1709 it h a d a p p e a r e d t h a t nothing could save France from defeat. Journal for S.L A N D E N ( D * * ) .. Tristram Shandy. Casualties: (a) 24. On the Battle: Belloc. W a r of the League of Augsburg.R. 1904. but Aulnois lies in Belgium. D. 1911. L.G. 100 guns. Malplaquet (B***) Date: 11 September 1709. H. Marlborough as a Military Commander. Sautai. 1973. (b) 12. Suggested reading: See Oudenarde (p. G. London. War and campaign: The War of the Spanish Succession: Netherlands Campaign of 1709 (see p. M..000 killed and wounded.. 21. See Baxter.A. Article: Bowen. b u t the so-called victory of M a l p l a q u e t did little to secure final victory for the G r a n d Alliance. " i i . however. only the city of Mons lay between the Allies a n d the r o a d to Paris. Malplaquet. its most lasting effects. Location: The actual battlefield lies exacdy on the Franco-Belgian border. 10 miles south of Mons. Chandler. London. H.000) offered battle to the French Marshal Luxembourg (80. 1966..000. Work of Fiction (on the period): Sterne. Paris. were to rally French national morale and damage Marlborough's reputation in England. 379). (6) Marshals Villars and Boufflers at the head of the French army. Result: A technical victory for the forces of the Grand Alliance leading to the capture of Mons. 28 J u l y 1693. Total: 110.. March 1962. 26).H. 1760-5. T r u i d e n . London. (b) French: 96 battalions. William III.000. London. After the fall of T o u r n a i on 5 September. 7 miles south-west of St. battle of. 253 squadrons. 'The Dutch at Malplaquet'.000 killed and wounded.. S B. K i n g William I I I (50.000) but over-extended his front a n d eventually the weak point was penetrated by the superior French cavalry. Malplaquet village itself is in France. Louis X I V ordered Marshal Villars to take any risk to save t h e fortress.

to join France's last army in a desperate bid to avert national disaster.000 strong—swept through the entrenchments to engage the French horsemen drawn up beyond. Marshal Bouffiers. The Allied right suffered heavy casualties penetrating Taisnières wood. keeping all his cavalry in reserve. He placed his flanks in two woods and fortified the gap dividing them. Marlborough and Eugene advanced their armies from the direction of Mons. but the Allies were too weary to clinch their victory. On the morning of the 11 th the preliminary attacks were launched at 8 am. Mons (and Le Cateau and the Marne) (B****) Date: 23 August-8 September 1914. but for several hours very little progress was made owing to the difficulty of the terrain and the gallantry of the French. Both sides claimed a victory. while on the left the Prince of Orange's heedless attacks from Aulnois against Bouffiers were decimated by a cunningly sited French battery which enfiladed the advancing Dutch troops.G. The near-success rallied French morale whilst Marlborough's political foes used the casualty figures to weaken his position. Allied casualties were horrific—25 per cent of their effective strength was laid low—but the French had fared far better. Consequently Marshal Bouffiers was able to withdraw the bulk of the French army in excellent order. The plan they adopted was hardly subtle: a series of massed attacks against the French flanks in the woods might induce Villars to weaken his centre. A tremendous mêlée developed. a small body of Allied cavalry appeared on the extreme French left near La Folie after passing round the forest. through which the Allied cavalry would charge to deliver the coup de grâce. Location: The initial action was fought along the banks of the Mons22 . D. and this development led Villars to weaken his centre exactly as Marlborough had hoped. There he awaited the Allied onslaught.and sent the ancient hero. confident of their ability to destroy Villars at their leisure. By i pm Orkney's 19 battalions had taken possession of the undefended redoubts in the French centre. but the long-term advantages favoured the French cause. during which Villars was himself wounded. mindful of his great inferiority of numbers. and the full splendour of the Allied cavalry—30. Villars set out to court battle—but. selected a strong position north of the village of Malplaquet for his stand. Shortly after midday.C. however.

E. The First Battle of the Marne.F. W i t h t h e m it proposed to advance against Germany in accordance w i t h the French Plan 17. W h e n Belgium was violated the British on the exposed left met the full force of the strong G e r m a n right wing in the form of the 1 st G e r m a n Army under von Kluck. T h e B. T h e canal.. Opposing sides: (a) Sir John French commanding die B. J. T h e canal running straight on an east-west line marked the front along which the B. or. 1936. 1962. London. B.G. London. C. (1. On the Battle: Terraine. Asprey. Total: c. in fact. covering the long front 23 . T h e bridges shaped the fighting. 1923. a b o u t 7 feet deep with an average width of 64 feet. consisting of an almost continuous built-up area stretching some 16 miles to the west of Mons bisected by the M o n s . 381). u n d e r Sir J o h n French h a d taken up a position on the left of the French army—having concentrated at Maubeuge.s awarded. Forces engaged: (a) 100. and Marshal Joffre leading the French. 19. J.F. Flanders Campaign of 1914 (see p.F. b u t the individual glory gained there cannot be questioned as it is substantiated by the large n u m b e r of V.E. but the final crisis took place ioo miles to the south on the River Marne. 500. Mons.Conde Canal. (b) 1st and 2nd German Armies under von Kluck and von Bulow. 1914-18. F. A History of the Gnat War.C o n d 6 canal.000. t h a n it is sometimes m a d e out to be. Total: c. was crossed by 18 bridges in its length of 16 miles. Luckily the leading corps of von Kluck's army were scattered. Casualties: (a) B.E. 1960...600 at Mons). 400.000 men of the B. Suggested reading: General Work: Cruttwell. The Western Front. (b) Not accurately known. T h e region which contains the battlefield of Mons is an unattractive one. I.F. 1964. a n d the force which m e t the British 2nd Corps at M o n s was less strong t h a n it might have been.F. On the Campaign: Churchill. War and campaign: The First World War. M. Oxford.. R.E.E. (b) 1st and 2nd German Armies. approximately 15..000. R.000 French troops. London.. Vol. Result: The final result was a victory for the Allies as the Germans were forced back to the river Aisne. The World Crisis. Terraine. 600. T h e Battle of Mons has perhaps become more famous t h a n it deserves. W S. was mainly engaged on 23 August.000. Object of the action: The German army was attempting to break through the left flank of the Allied armies and envelop them. London. General Smith-Dorrien's 2 n d Corps.

After withdrawing to a better position 2 or 3 miles south of the canal. and well-organised rearguard actions with excellent support from the Royal Artillery. the Middlesex and the Royal Irish distinguished themselves. a general retreat from Mons began covered by cavalry actions by the 9th Lancers and 4th Dragoon Guards. permitting his army corps to stumble into the British army one by one as they arrived with no co-ordination of their activities at all. and it was the infantry's shooting which dominated the day.s for gallant persistence in blowing bridges. 24 . the British Commander-in-Chief. making easy targets. too.s. The Germans advanced in solid blocks. It was a curious battle. and 2 guns abandoned. The casualties in the 1st Corp were only 40. the West Kents. and some of the regiments who fought so well there were the Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry. General Haig's 1st Corps. Mons was entirely a 2nd Corps battle.C. General von Kluck seemed to have exercised little control. The Royal Fusiliers. and the Royal Irish with over 300.600 killed. The whole British line to the left also began its withdrawal west of Mons. Almost half the casualties were sustained by two battalions: the Middlesex with over 400. The British dug in among the houses and slag heaps covering the bridges. wounded and missing. Here the enemy crossed the canal in force and enveloped the Middlesex. Three days later at Le Cateau the 2nd Corps fought another celebrated battle after they had become separated by the Forest of Morny from the 1st Corps. The British rifle fire was so accurate and deadly that the Germans were convinced that the British had brought into action great numbers of machine guns. The casualties at Mons as finally estimated were 1. The crux of the battle lay in the salient. had to be withdrawn after gallant fighting in defence of the Mons' bridges which won them two V.of 21 miles. was away when it started and played no part when he returned. The 3rd Division under General Hamilton held the right of the front. including the town of Mons and the awkward salient which the canal made to the north-east of it. Here the Royal Fusiliers. the Northumberland Fusiliers and the Royal Scots Fusiliers. Here the Sappers won two V. facing almost east. Sir John French. covered the right flank of the 2nd Corps with the 5th Cavalry Brigade. The rest of General Allenby's cavalry division was behind the 5th Division.C. lined the canal. and both the Middlesex and the Royal Irish supporting them had to withdraw covered by the Gordons on their right. but the British suffered from the massed German artillery fire. The 5th Division under General Fergusson held the canal line to the west of Mons.

An unhappy lack of co-operation between General French and Lanrezac seemed likely to make disaster more certain until Lord Kitchener. this time round the town of Le Cateau itself and up the valley of the Selle.000 men under Sir John French and the French 5th Army under General Lanrezac from destruction. The main feature on the Allied side was the very close support given to the infantry by the Royal Field Artillery which was right up alongside them. Winston Churchill says of it: 'One must suppose upon the whole that the Marne was the 25 . rapid retreat alone saved the B. the Secretary of State for War. visited France and put things on a better footing. The losses at Le Gateau were more serious than at Mons.800 men and 38 guns.E. The French Rhine offensive had failed. in many instances firing over open sights and at almost point-blank ranges. but this time the field of battle lay on open rolling country with few obstacles and less cover for the British fighting their rearguard action. and everywhere their armies fell back. It appeared as if the Germans must be successful when there occurred what came to be known as the 'Miracle of the Marne'. and are estimated at 7. Many of the honours of the battle went to the gunners who manned their weapons to the last and then took them away in the face of the enemy. of 70. Again the enemy penetration came on the British right. After this.F. In the west the German armies now pressed on towards Paris.MONS (AND LE CATEAU AND THE MARNE) 23rd August to 8th September igi4 Le Cateau followed the pattern of Mons.

built up a new 6th A r m y on the west of Paris u n d e r General M a n o u r y . a n d they found no secure resting-place till they reached the northern side of the river Aisne. a n d created a 30-mile g a p . to relieve the pressure on France. h a d invaded East Prussia. a n d . b u t it was less like a n y other battle ever fought. inflicting perhaps 70. b u t the British were the only a r m y to cross the M a r n e before the German retreat.M.. C. T h e garrison defied all attempts to take the town for three years. p. . 1601-4. The Sea Beggars. T h e n von Kluck swung south-east.000 casualties on the Spanish besiegers. filled only by cavalry. The battlefield area lies north of the town. 1947. Location: The town lies on the river Scheldt. P. Joffre. a n d thus weakened their forces at a critical m o m e n t . struck at the G e r m a n right flank. 9. To meet this von Kluck drew forces from his centre a n d left. and Geyl. London. See Campaign Chronology. supported by General Galliéni. 379). governor of Paris. 1982. . a n d some French forces pushed forward.E. a n d because of it the Germans found it necessary to retreat from the River M a r n e . only when the famed General Spinola took charge were the D u t c h compelled to capitulate.' To begin w i t h t h e Russians h a d mobilised quicker t h a n h a d been expected. It was into this gap t h a t the B. Paris was safe. the only Allied force which advanced continuously throughout the four days from 5 to the 8 of September. in the meantime.greatest battle ever fought in the world . T h e B. Oudenarde (B***) Date: 11 July 1708. advanced none too vigorously into t h e vitals of the G e r m a n right wing. Object of the action: Marlborough was trying to regain the territorial losses of early 1708 by forcing action on the French army. Comparatively few were killed or wounded. War and campaign: The War of the Spanish Succession. a n d no great recognisable feat of arms.F. 80 Years' W a r (or D u t c h Revolt against Spain).F. T h e Germans withdrew two corps from their right wing in the west to meet this danger. and Holland. between h i m a n d von Bulow's a n d G e r m a n A r m y on his left. 26 . by a clever appreciation of strategy. O S T E N D (B**) .S.E. 10. Netherlands Campaign of 1708 (see p. a n d no shock proportionate to the event can be discerned. 19 miles south-west of Ghent (Route Nationale 58) and 37 miles west of Brussels (Route Nationale 9). J. 378. which. London. The Netherlands Revolt. siege of.

000 Allied killed and wounded. London. London.. London. W. Forces engaged: (a) Allies: 85 battalions. He was further aided by dissension between the two French commanders—Vendôme a n d Burgundy—which resulted in half their a r m y being kept out of the battle. a n d the D u k e profited from their inaction to h u r r y fresh battalions over the pontoon bridges. 170 squadrons. forgot his rôle of commander-in-chief a n d plunged into t h e 27 . Result: A heavy defeat for the French which ultimately led to the Allied recapture of Ghent and Bruges and the fall of Lille. G. Marlborough as a Military Commander. A bitter a n d fluctuating struggle developed a r o u n d the villages of Eyne. 1947. On t h e night of 10 J u l y the Anglo-Dutch army m a d e a forced m a r c h to surprise the French.000 prisoners. Heartened by the Prince's robust confidence. At first the French were too surprised to react. Suggested reading: General Works: Churchill. 1973. Marlborough. Casualties: (a) 4. (b) French: 90 battalions.000 French casualties. Atkinson. The History of Henry Esmond. Total: 80. &.000. E. Oudenarde. infuriated by Burgundy's intransigence. T h e Duke of Marlborough was extremely despondent a b o u t the general situation until he was joined by Prince Eugene (though not the I m p e r i a l A r m y ) on 9 J u l y at Aasche.. Chandler. Work of Fiction (on the period): Thackeray. C o m m a n d of t h e crucial right flank a n d centre was entrusted to Prince Eugene. H e u r n e a n d Groenewald which lasted from 3 pm to nightfall. His Life and Times. Book II. (£) 15. C. this gave M a r l b o r o u g h j u s t enough time to reinforce Cadogan sufficiently a n d enable h i m to h o l d his own against first General Biron a n d thereafter V e n d ô m e in person. 1852. Belfield. London. 150 squadrons. 1921.Opposing sides: (a) The Duke of Marlborough and Prince Eugene leading the Allied army. Marlborough took a great risk when he ordered the m a i n body of the a r m y to follow Cadogan's advance g u a r d over the Scheldt at a point half-way between the town a n d the French forces d r a w i n g up behind the River Norken.. D. T h e ensuing battle was m o r e a contact action t h a n a setpiece engagement a n d in this lies m u c h of its modern interest. W. Marlborough devised a bold plan to defeat Vendôme's a r m y as it prepared to besiege O u d e n a r d e . b u t the D u k e was always at h a n d w i t h fresh units to extend the Allied battle line as new French formations came into action. London. (4) Marshal Vendôme and the Duke of Burgundy commanding the French. b u t the gamble succeeded. 1971. M. Marshal Vendôme.000. Marlborough and the Rise of the British Army. T h e Battle of O u d e n a r d e came in the nick of time to rally the morale of the G r a n d Alliance after a series of disasters which lasted throughout 1707 a n d into the early m o n t h s of 1708. T. including some 9.. Total: 85.

This move through dead ground went unnoticed by the French right a n d centre. Casualties: (a) 3.. H. (b) Marshal Villeroi in command of the French army. D. This formed the centre of the French position. G. War and campaign: The War of the Spanish Succession. 1932. M. C. Article: Atkinson. J u d g i n g the m o m e n t for victory to be close. J. Result: A complete victory for the Allies. 132 squadrons. a n d m a n y of V e n d ô m e ' s m e n escaped through a gap in the encircling troops. Marlborough and the Rise of the British Army. M a r l b o r o u g h sent General Overkirk a n d the young Prince of O r a n g e on a long detour t h r o u g h O u d e n a r d e to the Boser Goûter high ground. C. pike in h a n d . b u t M a r l b o r o u g h was forced to call a halt as dusk deepened into night. 120 guns. London. T h e Battle of Ramillies was perhaps the Duke of Marlborough's 28 .000 prisoners.. England under Queen Anne: Ramillies. 70guns.600 Allied killed and wounded. 'Ramillies and Oudenarde'. Nevertheless. London.000. the second city of France.. W. Chandler. 1921. (b) 18.G. who suddenly found themselves assailed in flank a n d rear by the D u t c h a n d Danish troops. 32. and Wijn.000. Marlborough as a Military Commander.fighting. Object of the action: Marlborough was undertaking the conquest of the Spanish Netherlands. G. Book II. (b) French: 70 battalions. 1947. Vol. T. 379). London. 123 squadrons. D. t h e result was a notable victory which once again shattered French morale a n d eventually led to the recapture of G h e n t a n d Bruges a n d to the fall of Lille. Netherlands Campaign of 1706 (see p. 1973. leading to the capture of the north and east of the Spanish Netherlands. By 8 pm almost half the French a r m y was virtually surrounded. 1954. T. Forces engaged: (a) Allies: 74 battalions.000 French casualties. including 6. Marlborough. Total: 60..G Ramillies (A****) Date: 23 May 1706. Suggested reading: General Works: Churchill. London. Location: From Namur follow Route Nationale 22 : the village of Ramillies-Oflus lies 4 miles beyond Eghezée. A. in The Fighting Forces' review. W S. Total: 62. Opposing sides: (a) The Duke of Marlborough commanding the Allied army. whilst Eugene launched a desperate charge against their left. On the Battle: Trevelyan. Atkinson. 17. Article: Burne. his Life and Times. 'Ramillies' in the Journal of the Society for Army Historical Research. August 1933.

RAMILLIES 23rd May 1706 29 .

However for once the French forestalled the Allies. As soon as it was light on the 23rd the Duke reconnoitred the French position and decided to attack with his 62. Marshal Villars's offensive on the Rhine thwarted Marlborough's first plan for 1706—a march to north Italy in support of Prince Eugene. The year 1705 and the early months of 1706 were a period of deep frustration for the Duke. marched from Liège in early May into enemy territory.000 men. where he intended to camp on the night of Whit-Sunday. In consequence. the position bore a remarkable resemblance to the one occupied by the French at Blenheim. but on this one occasion Louis XIV was equally determined that a battle should be fought so as to restore the prestige of the French army. and the left flank pivoted on the village of Autre Eglise.most successful action.v. and consequently goaded his commander in the Netherlands to seek out 'Monsieur Marlbrouck'. In many respects. To cover the entire 4-mile ridge Villeroi had been compelled to overextend his forces. at once noted several important errors in the French dispositions. hoping to lure Marshal Villeroi into accepting battle. Villeroi's army was deployed along a low ridge. Villeroi stationed 82 squadrons supported by infantry brigades. Whilst the latter trailed his coat near the Lines of Brabant. A series of villages provided a line of useful strongpoints: slightly advanced before the extreme right stood the hamlet of Francqnée (Franquenay). Moreover. and Marlborough's advance party found the chosen site already occupied by Marshal Villeroi's 60. Villeroi suddenly advanced from Louvain and crossed the River Dyle. On this one occasion he was in sole command of the Anglo-Dutch army. however. The centre of the line was formed around Ramillies and Oflus. Vol. however. his front stretched in a long 30 . abandoning his original intentions. Allied over-confidence after his triumph atBlenheim (q. The Duke. On the open ground stretching between Taviers and Ramillies. two-thirds of which was protected by the marshes of the Little Geet. Marlborough's eagle eye.. supported by the village of Taviers. Reports of these moves caused a surprised and gratified Marlborough to concentrate his forces and march with all speed for the plain of Ramillies. Marlborough was not very confident that the battle-wary French would take up the challenge. soon adjusted his schemes to meet the new situation.000 troops as soon as they came up from Merdorp. whilst the right flank was sheltered by the River Mehaigne. II) had resulted in a breakdown of co-operation and an abortive campaign in Flanders (1705). and earned the whole credit for both the victory and the subsequent conquest of the Spanish Netherlands. and. affording Louis X I V enough time to reorganise his disrupted forces. 23 May 1706.

the advantages of 'interior lines' and the invaluable area of dead ground. The French cavalry on the right charged Overkirk's 69 squadrons and almost routed them. This event constituted a dire threat to Marlborough's centre. p. To stabilise this sector Villeroi was forced to draw still further on the infantry reserves of his right centre. Shortly after three in the afternoon the crisis of the day took place. the Maison du Roi* losing their silver kettle-drums and Negro drummer in the mêlée. the Allied army's slightly superior numbers and far stronger artillery. assisted by 2 cannon.' In due course the French cavalry were severely repulsed. Thus within an hour of the opening of the battle Marlborough was already imposing his will upon his adversary. was drawn up on a shorter front inside the two horns of the French crescent. General Orkney launched a determined attack with the English infantry across the Little Geet against Autre Eglise. for the marshes on the right made it practically impossible to support Orkney's battalions with cavalry. stormed the villages of Francqnée and Taviers with such vigour that the French garrisons fled precipitately. holding his stirrup to give him assistance onto his horse. Marlborough was in a commanding position. He was under specific instructions from Versailles 'to have particular attention to that part of the line which will endure the first shock of the English troops'. 31 . Although Orkney was still making great progress on his side Marlborough now knew that the battle would have to be won in the centre. where the marshes of the Little Geet would inevitably obstruct their employment. See glossary. Major Bingfield.concave curve which would delay movements from one flank to the other. This assault soon attracted Villeroi's attention. During the bitter cavalry action that ensued Marlborough had a narrow escape. on the other hand. Taking into account these errors. and accordingly immediately transferred several units from his centre to the threatened area. and an hour later the Allied forces attacked both French flanks simultaneously. Meanwhile on the other flank the Dutch Guards. At one o'clock the batteries went into action. compelling him to weaken his centre to strengthen his flanks. In addition Villeroi had stationed 50 squadrons on his left flank. but got other squadrons to his aid which he led up. 376. The Allied army. but was remedied by the Duke in person at the head of first 18 and then a further 21 squadrons drawn from his centre and right wing by way of the concealing reverse slope. and possessed an additional advantage in a convenient fold in the ground which would effectively conceal any Allied transfers from the right flank to the centre. was shot by a cannon ball that passed through Marlborough's legs. General Orkney recorded: 'Milord Marlborough was rid over. * Special note.

the colour-parties of these battalions were left just below the crest. p. STEENKIRK (C**). War of the League of Augsburg. its cohesion shattered. the last being the Adjutant General himself. In desperation. but as I was going to take possession I had ten Aides-de-Camp to me to come off. overconfidence and lack of Allied co-operation was to throw away the many advantages gained by Marlborough and his men at 'this great and glorious day at Ramillies'.v. At five in the evening the great assault against Ramillies and OfFus was launched. The French Marshal de Saxe (120. a combination of diplomatic bungling.000) defeated Charles of Lorraine (80. after the final rout of the remnants of his cavalry near the Tomb of Ottomond. 196. near Liège. turned to their left. But. See Campaign Chronology. and by eight in the evening the pursuit was well under way.000 Allies) by penetrating his extended left flank.000 men. Town after town fell to the Allies during the ensuing weeks: Louvain. King 32 . W. A History of the British Army. whilst on Marlborough's order the remainder disappeared from sight into the dead ground. once again. 3 August 1692.. Reaching the crest of the opposite ridge half the battalions halted in full view of the foe. for besides the victory of Ramillies and the conquest of the Spanish Netherlands. Little wonder that contemporary observers forecast a speedy end to the war. ROCOUX (C***). A renewed attack all along the crumbling line finally shattered French resistance. Villeroi tried to form a new line at right angles to his centre. 13. 1910. battle of. 5. each side lost approx. Prince Eugene won the Battle of Turin (q.G. Ostend and Menin all opened their gates. War of the Austrian Succession.C. 1706 indeed proved a memorable year for the Allies. London. D. and marched off to reinforce the coup de grâce against the French centre.' Under Cadogan's eye the English infantry withdrew to its earlier position. but his troops became inextricably involved with the tents and wagons of the camp area.) in north Italy and cleared the French from the Po valley. Vol. 11 October 1746. 15. and Fortescue. near Enghien on the river Senne. Brussels. II.Consequently the Duke called off the assault—much to Orkney's indignant amazement: 'The village of Autre Eglise was in our grip. The fruits of victory were most rewarding for the Grand Alliance. J. Bruges. To deceive the French command into believing that the whole of Orkney's force still faced Autre Eglise. battle of. Ghent. Antwerp. Before dawn the following morning the fleeing remnants of Villeroi's army had been chased 15 miles towards Louvain.

Russia. J. (b) The Emperor Napoleon in command of the French army.000. Location: Waterloo village is situated 9 miles south of Brussels on the road to Charleroi via Genappe. the Prussians suffered a further 9. Hamley. Casualties: (a) The Allies lost 15. leading to the firm restoration of the Bourbon dynasty on the throne of France. Brett James.William III (70.000 infantry. (b) The French lost 25. Object of the action: Napoleon. William III. Opposing sides: (a) The Duke of Wellington commanding an Anglo-Dutch army. (b) French: 49. Suggested reading: General Works: Hall. Allied 33 .000 infantry.000) attempted to surprise the camp of the French Marshal Luxembourg but was repulsed after a hard fight costing each side more than 7. Decisive Battles of the Western World. was intent on crushing Wellington's Allied army. Waterloo... 380). The battlefield lies a further 3 miles south. 1980.100. 7. Total: approx. Chandler. 72.000 killed. II.).. Total: approx. the Hundred Days.000. 1922. 1918. The Hundred Days. S. London. (see p. Result: Complete victory for the Allies and the final defeat of Napoleon.000 casualties in the later stages.600 artillerymen. thus opening the way to Brussels. C. 68. Forces engaged: (a) Allies: 50.000 casualites. London. 1960. 156 guns. On the Campaign and Battle: Naylor. 16. On 1 March 1815 Napoleon landed at Cannes after his escape from Elba. Fuller. as in 1813-14. having defeated the Prussians at Ligny. D. London. Napoleon would be overwhelmed by sheer weight of numbers. 1955. Edinburgh. Waterloo. G.500 cavalry. B. London. 12. On 20 March he entered Paris and Louis X V I I I fled.250 artillerymen. London. Austria and Prussia—agreed that each would put an army of 150. 15. F. A. J. See Baxter. 5. 1964. Sir E.000 men into the field and that. Waterloo (A****) Date: 18 June 1815.750 cavalry. 1966. War and campaign: The Hundred Days—or final campaign of the Napoleonic Wars. 246 guns. London. Studies in Napoleonic Strategy. Vol. In response the four Allies—Great Britain. The Operations of War (7th Edn.. wounded and prisoner.

broadly. and the Prussian forces commanded by Blücher.000 formed the Armée du Nord under his personal command. Napoleon at this point committed two grave mistakes. The Russian army was to attack across the middle Rhine. Having begun the campaign in his best style. away from Wellington. This strategy had succeeded against the Austro-Sardinian forces in 1796. By the end of May 1815 Napoleon had nearly 300. the Prussian line of communication lay north-east via Liège to Cologne. Having made his choice. then the Prussians must have been much harder hit. in 1815. Napoleon therefore decided to advance along the axis of the Charleroi-Brussels road which led directly to the area where Wellington's left wing joined the right wing of the Prussian army. that is to strike at allies at the point where their armies joined. By 14 June the French army had concentrated in the area Maubeuge-Avesnes-Rocroi-Chimay. On 16 June Napoleon attacked Blücher's army. but his army as a whole was spread over the area Charléroi-Liège. instead of withdrawing eastwards. But the Prussian army. Wellington's lay north-west on the line Mons-Ghent. some 10 miles north-east of Charleroi. 125. First. If those allies had divergent lines of communication. and to start by attacking Wellington and Blücher who were advancing from the Netherlands and the lower Rhine. though driven back. Second. and the Austrian across the lower Rhine. The Franco-Belgian frontier. At this point Blücher's advance guard was at Charleroi. 34 .strategy was for the Anglo-Belgian-Dutch forces commanded by Wellington. had he kept d'Erlon's corps with him at Ligny. fully complying with the agreement reached between himself and Wellington that they would not allow their armies to lose contact. then success against them at this critical point would almost certainly drive them apart. to invade France from the north. still not fully concentrated. Moreover. Blücher retreated northwards towards Wavre. and they had not prevented the enemy from invading France in 1814. Now. at Ligny. of the kind he had used on several earlier occasions with great success. most directly menacing Paris. was open except for a few fortresses. Napoleon's strategy was. on the other hand. was not fully engaged and withdrew in comparatively good order. of these. He decided to deal with his enemies piecemeal if possible. Finally.000 men under arms and. Wellington and Blücher were ready for operations first. therefore. His reasons for this choice were that the eastern and south-eastern frontiers of France were strong and could be held with relatively few troops for the time being. Wellington's and Blücher's forces were already in the neighbourhood of Brussels and Liège and. that is south-west of Antwerp and west of Brussels.

stretching about 2 J miles from north to south and no more than 4 miles at its extreme width. On 16 June Ney and Wellington watched each other at Quatre-Bras and some indecisive action took place. And Grouchy. There he made contact with Ney. lay opposite each other on the Waterloo battlefield. on the afternoon of 15 June.when the Prussians withdrew. On 18 June the two armies. Napoleon assumed and continued to assume that they were moving away from Wellington. It was divided by the 35 . Unaccountably. who had been ordered by Napoleon to hold the British in check. with the French now concentrated under Napoleon who had joined with Ney. Ney failed to strike swiftly with his concentrated force at this stage and thus lost the opportunity of defeating Wellington before he was ready to fight. On 17 June Wellington heard of Blücher's temporary reverse and withdrawal. In the meantime Wellington. and himself decided to withdraw also to the Waterloo position. failed to do his job properly. Wellington also was determined to accept battle. sent to pursue Blücher. The battlefield of Waterloo was comparatively small. because he received a message telling him that at daybreak on 18 June two Prussian corps would set out to join him and that two more would be held in readiness to follow. who had been taken by surprise by the speed of Napoleon's advance. had himself advanced towards Quatre-Bras.

Wellington's forces themselves suffered heavily. At 1. His front centre was reinforced by the farm and sandpit at La Haye Sainte.30 pm. to penetrate there and exploit the penetration. with very little help from the French artillery. On the north. Ney led a great cavalry attack covering the whole area between La Haye Sainte and Hougomont. met with the same fate as the earlier cavalry attack. But it was far from a complete failure. In order to restore the morale of his army Napoleon now ordered another cavalry attack. before Ney's attack in the centre with d'Erlon's corps began the main operations.30 am until about 8 pm. the ground between the two ridges never dipping more than about 50 feet. this time.30 pm d'Erlon's main attack began and ran into immediate trouble because the French columns were too densely packed to deploy into line as they approached the Allied position between La Haye Sainte and Papelotte. gave his line the protection of the dead ground behind the ridge until the action began. Here Napoleon drew up his line. again unsupported by infantry and. Jean and extending about a quarter of a mile west of the road and a mile and a quarter east of it. In the process. consisted of four main phases. Wellington. as on other occasions. which lasted from 11. In the first phase Reille's division advanced at 11. The result was that they suffered very heavy casualties from the delayed and concentrated musket fire of Picton's division and were then driven back by Uxbridge's cavalry. Napoleon's overall tactical plan was to strike at the centre of Wellington's army. Wellington's centre had been weakened so 36 . as a diversion. however. The second phase began at about 4 pm at a time when Napoleon was already beginning to be distracted by the appearance of the forward Prussian troops debouching from the Paris Wood. Jean. This. south of Hougomont to the hamlet of Frichermont. were decimated by the Allied guns quickly brought back into action again. particularly since the cavalry drove on too far and became disorganised. On the south of the battlefield was another low ridge. turned back by Uxbridge's cavalry. stretching from the Brussels-Nivelles road. and his right flank by the Château of Hougomont. Ney's cavalry broke through only to beat themselves vainly against the infantry squares. From the beginning the diversion in fact tended to absorb more French than Allied forces. where Wellington's main line ran. led by Kellerman. The fighting. and then. at about 5. from a point about a mile and three-quarters south of Mont St. Unsupported by infantry and with no preparations to spike the Allied guns.Charleroi-Brussels road.30 am against Hougomont. there was a low ridge nearly a mile south of the village of Mont St.

this attack also failed. his infantry protected by natural and artificial features as long as possible and supported. l'ordre mixte. by a decisive cavalry action.H. As before he depended upon concentrated fire by artillery and small-arms. this time against Maitland's Brigade of Guards. failed to operate successfully in the narrow confines of this particular battlefield. Again.G. Waterloo was won—apart from the vital co-operation of the Prussians at the critical phase:—by Wellington's superior tactics. once their fire had taken effect. N. First. As the French were repulsed. and the retreat of the French began. packed too tight to deploy against concentrated musket fire. his traditional combination of column and line. Second. At about 7 pm the fourth and final phase took place. so the Prussians had established full contact with Wellington's left. Infantry and cavalry did not operate together and each failed because the support of the other was lacking.much that he was almost without reserves and himself led forward the Brunswickers to re-establish the centre of his whole position. Napoleon's tactics were faulty in two respects. 37 . Napoleon brought forward the Guard and attacked diagonally between Hougomont and La Haye Sainte towards Wellington's right centre. his various arms were not adequately co-ordinated.

(b) Approx. Forces engaged: (a) Approx.Bulgaria Plevna (B**) Date: 20 July-10 December 1877. 110. 30. 40..000 Turks. The Campaign in Bulgaria.000 Russians (including sick). London. The Siege of Plevna. he fell back to Plevna a n d began to turn the neighbourhood into an i m p r o vised fortress.000 Turks and 77 guns. In late J u n e 1877 powerful Russian forces invaded Bulgaria. b u t finding t h a t he was too late to save the town of Nicopolis on the D a n u b e . On the Operations: Furneaux. On the War: Krahmer. 381). 1903. (b) 40. Suggested reading: General Works: Maurice. F. T h e Plevna position was on the right flank of 38 . 1958. F. (b) Osman Pasha commanding a Turkish army. Location: About 100 miles north-east of Sofia by the road to Bucharest. 1877-1878. 1877-1878.. Geschichte der russisch-türkischen Krieges auf der Balken-Halbinsel. Casualties: (a) Approx. 1902. War and campaign: Russo-Turkish War of 1877-8: Plevna Campaign of 1877 (see p. Opposing sides: (a) General Krudener and later Prince Charles of Rumania with Todleben commanding the Russo-Rumanian forces.000 Russians and 500 guns (at the siege's end). The RussoTurkish War of 1877. O s m a n Pasha m a r c h e d towards the threatened territories with a Turkish a r m y from Widdin. Result: Eventual capture of Plevna by the Russians. R. Greene. London. V.. Object of the action: The Turks were attempting to hold up the Russian advance into Bulgaria. 163. Berlin. but only after Osman Pasha had succeeded in paralysing all the armies of the Grand Duke Nicholas.

Object of the action: The Russians were trying to secure control of the route over the Balkan Mountains.000 men. however. 39 . were reduced to such straits t h a t they called on the help of the petty state of R u m a n i a . main action 21-26 August. the most vital d a y of the whole siege. O s m a n contrived to hold off the Russians for a few weeks more. 381).the invading armies.000 cavalry. (A) Turks: 4. the Russians were forced to detach forces to dispose of this annoyance.000 infantry and 4. a force of 35. rising to 30. a n d before they could resume their advance. but having been repulsed from Zgalevitza.J. 163. so completing the isolation of Plevna. later as many as 60. Opposing sides: (a) General Gourko. he was compelled to retire behind the shelter of his fortifications.000 Russians crossed the river V i d a n d seized Gorni-Dubnik. A m o n t h later Osman Pasha undertook an offensive on his own account. a n d on this occasion the enemy casualties reached the frightful figure of 18. (b) Suleiman Pasha and Vessil Pasha in command of the Turks. b u t on the night of 9/10 December he staked everything upon an a t t e m p t to strike through to open country. Location: Between Gabrovo and Kazanlok. in conjunction with the moves of M e h e m e t Ali on the Lorn a n d of Suleiman on the Shipka Pass.000 (January). a n d sink into confusion. O n c e again the Turks held their ground. War and Campaign: Russo-Tiirkish War of 1877-8 (see p. The Shipka Pass (B***) Date: 17 July 1877-9 January 1878. an unconditional surrender brought the gallant defence of Plevna to an end. After a few encounters the Russians launched their first major attack on 30 J u l y . W i t h i n a few hours O s m a n saw his army break against the Russian lines. Later on the 10th. Forces engaged: (a) Allies: at first 8. and later Prince Radetzky commanding the Russo-Bulgarian forces. he p a i d particular attention to the g u a r d i n g of his rearward communications with Sofia.000 (August) and 36.D.000-5. All the time O s m a n h a d been extending a n d deepening his works. only to be thrown back with a loss of nearly 8.000 Turks in July. with the exception of one of the Grivitza redoubts. T h e Russians.000.000. about 100 miles east of Sofia. b u t on 24 October. a n d the combined Russian a n d R u m a n i a n forces stormed Osman's works on 11 September. C.

000 over the period. C. combined with Turkish counter-offensives.Casualties: (a) At least 10.D. Gourko occupied the position on 19 J u l y .J. an advanced g u a r d u n d e r General Gourko was given the task of securing the Shipka Pass. but at least 10. Result: The Russians captured and held this vital position for several months and used it as an avenue for the successful offensive of early 1878. a n d not until J a n u a r y 1878 could they crush the Turkish forces which still held the village of Shipka immediately below t h e pass. (b) Details unknown. 40 . Suggested reading: As for Plevna. an important route over the Balkan Mountains. after two days of m u d d l e d fighting. for the defence of Plevna. T h e Russians were fortunate to be able to cling to the m o u n t a i n ridge during the fierce attacks of Suleiman Pasha in August. a n d continued his m a r c h towards the valley of the Maritsa.000 during the 20-26 August offensive. h a d left Gourko's force devoid of any support. Early August found the Russians thrown back once more to t h e mountains. Following the Russian passage of the D a n u b e in J u n e 1877.

Cyprus AMATHUS. Venetian Governor of Famagusta. destined to last for 207 years. 350 Venetians. battle of. Forces engaged: (a) Perhaps 70. Edinburgh. A History of the Ottoman Empire. London. (A) The entire garrison was put to the sword. and drove the Emperor of Cyprus's a r m y from their defensive barrier. 6 miles to the east of Limassol. (A) Approx. 378). Famagusta (A***) Date: 18 September 1570-6 August 1571.. i960. J. Cyprus.000 Turks (probably exaggerated). 6 M a y 1191 . War and campaign: The War between Venice and the Turks (see p. subsequently seizing the port of Limassol itself.000 Turks and their allies. armies of Sultan Selim II. Result: The final establishment of Turkish rule over Cyprus. 177. Vol II. 179. Opposing sides: (a) Lala Mustafa. von. History of the Ottoman Turks. (b) Signor Bragadino.000 Crusaders to chastise the Cypriots for looting stranded English shipping. (B**) . Object of the action: The Turks were striving to complete their conquest of Cyprus. On the Campaign: 41 . Suggested reading: General Work: Creasy. Paris. 1841. See H o m e . G. 1878..000 (January 1571). in command of the. Location: On the east coast of the island of Cyprus. E. Hammer. Casualties: (a) Some sources claim 40. Then and Now. K i n g Richard I of England landed 3. T h i r d Crusade. reinforced to 2.). (2nd Edn.

They were immediately seized and massacred. G. In 1570 a vast armada descended on the shores of Cyprus. and the beleagured garrison. After the overwhelming of Nicosia (q. (trans. the heaviest fighting centring around the Land Gate. A Venetian fleet slipped 1. the garrison and population were rapidly succumbing to starvation. the Lion of St. Tradition has it that Selim II coveted the fine wines of Cyprus. The bastion bears his name to this day in commemoration of this deed. In consequence the siege was both long and bloody.. Resistance collapsed with the loss of the intrepid Governor. Signor Bragadino unwisely accepted the Turkish offer of a free passage. i960. but they were opposed by a man of no common mettle—Mark Antonio Bragadino. as many as 100..v. save only Bragadino who was mutilated and put on public show before being flayed alive.600 men and many supplies into the city on 23 January 1571. and consequently ordered his general Mustafa to capture the island from its Venetian rulers. London. London. This act of heroism cost Djamboulat his life. and set off for the camp of Mustafa on 5 August with a handful of officers and 50 men of his garrison to settle the final terms. 1903. R. 1700. Many assaults were driven back. which expended.000 cannon-balls during the 11 months of the siege. and one by one the Venetian garrisons were destroyed. Modern Work: Home.Knolls. The Turkish commander-in-chief—distressed by the mounting total of casualties amongst his men—offered the garrison the full honours of war if they would capitulate. U. according to some sources. On the Siege: Foletta. Within a month the Turks had opened a close siege with a huge advantage in numbers of men. Mark only continued to fly over the battlements of Famagusta. Cobham). the small garrison defying the hordes of Islam from the fine ramparts and towers which survive practically unchanged to this day. A General History of the Turks. D. London. and the Turks lost no time in putting everyone to the sword: their fury knew no bounds 42 . Cyprus.) on 9 September 1570. and hardly a house or church remained standing within the walls by the end of July 1571. The Sieges of Nicosia and Famagusta. Then and Now. Deeds of valour were not lacking on the Turkish side: Djamboulat Bey earned immortal fame by riding his horse at full gallop against the whirling knife-blades of a Venetian 'infernal machine' protecting one of the entrances to the bastion defending the Arsenal in the south-east corner of the defences. for all its tiny size. made repeated sallies to destroy the Turkish batteries. but enabled his followers to win a temporary entrance into the fortifications. Many of the original fortifications still stand. C. For all their valour.

000 were enslaved after the storm. battle of.500 cavalry.866 soldiers and Cypriots perished and a further 2. Governor of Nicosia. Suggested reading: General Work: Hammer. 900 guns (but litde powder or shot). Location: The city stands in the midst of the Cyprus plain: many fortifications still remain. von. 1841. 378). Forces engaged: (a) Turks: estimated at 50. Lusignian Wars. Total: 8. King of Cyprus. R. 5 July 1426. Then and Now. Object of the action: The Turks wished to take possession of the capital of Cyprus. London. and the Venetian garrison. a n d a period of Turkish rule was inaugurated that was destined to last for 207 years. (A) Nicolo Dandolo.000 infantry. 2. (b) Some accounts assert that 14. G.000 militia.G. i960.) Vol II. 176. and Lusignian rule soon broke d o w n . Total: 72.. initially Janus pressed the Moslems back. Casualties: (a) Not known but probably heavy. b u t the breakdown of Cypriot discipline led to disaster. J a n u s himself was captured.000. War and campaign: The War between Venice and the Turks (see p.when they realised how weak a garrison h a d defied them a n d inflicted so m a n y casualties. led 1. A History of the Ottoman Empire.000 sailors and marines (September). « . Cyprus. K H I R O K I T I A (B**) . A General History of the Turks. and expel the Venetians from the island. reinforced by 20.C. Result: The capture of the capital of Cyprus by the Turks. 18 miles west of Larnaca a n d Limassol. Nicosia (A***) Date: 25 July-9 September 1570.. D. (4) 3.500. J a n u s de Lusignan. Following the capture of t h e city a n d port. a n d few escaped their w r a t h .000 Venetian troops organised into 11 companies and perhaps 5. t h e Crescent of Islam flew over the whole island of Cyprus. 1700. London. Paris. Opposing sides: (a) Lala Mustafa commanding the armies of Sultan Selim II. On the Campaign: Knolles.600 cavalry and 4. J. 178. Even the Sultan is recorded to have been shocked when he learnt of the dreadful atrocities perpetrated by his m e n at Famagusta. (2nd Edn.000 foot to meet an a r m y of Egyptian invaders. See H o m e .

040 arquebuses could be issued from the armoury. T h e fortifications of Nicosia. As the Governor. By 25 J u l y the Turks h a d reached Nicosia. D. Cyprus. Eye-witness Account: Calepio.. (trans.000 troops might be levied locally to meet the impending Turkish invasion on the coast of Cyprus. h a d only been completed for 3 years when they were called upon to withstand the assault of the Turkish forces of Lala Mustafa. A. T h e Turkish batteries on the hill known as Santa M a r i n a kept up a practically ceaseless fire on the NICOSIA 25th July to gth September 1570 44 . Fra. Modern Work: Home. Cobham). C. Mustafa duly landed unopposed near Limassol from a huge fleet of 200 galleys besides many more galiots and transports. Then and Now.. and the siege at once began. a n d discipline was poor. i960. moreover. London. Cobham). G. (Trans. London. The Sieges of Nicosia and Famagusta. m a n y of the local militia had no idea of military duties. C. U. everything depended on successfully withstanding a siege from within the walls. Excerpta Cypria. comprising 11 bastions. 1903. b u t Mustafa was strongly reinforced in early September. h a d ignored suggestions t h a t a strong force of 29. igo8. 3 gates a n d an 'enceinte' 3 miles in length.On the Siege : Foletta. London. Unfortunately there was a chronic shortage of powder a n d shot. D. a n d only 1. Dandolo. D u r i n g the six-week investment the Venetians received no outside aid.

bastions of Podocatore and Constanza, but the Venetian garrisons clung grimly to their defences with the greatest gallantry. The shortage of powder made an effective counterbombardment out of the question. The effects of the cannonade against the thick earthen banks of the main walls were disappointing, and so Mustafa ran trenches under the counterscarp, soon penetrating into the broad, dry ditch. On 15 August Dandolo permitted a sortie, timed for noon. The garrison caught the Turks enjoying their wonted 'siesta', rapidly overran two redoubts, and sent the Muslims reeling back to their main camp on Santa Marina. Unfortunately Dandolo refused to commit his reserves, and in consequence the chance of a complete victory passed the Venetians by. 'We never made another sally,' lamented Fra. Calepio, 'so that the enemy came boldly up to destroy our works.' Anxious lest a rumoured relief fleet from Venice might make its appearance, Mustapha ordered an all-out assault for 9 September against the four southern bastions, most especially the Podocatore. After a bitter two-hour struggle, sheer weight of numbers won the Turks an entrance through the Podocatore bastion, a further foothold being won on the Constanza tower, the place being today marked by the commemorative Mosque of the Standard-bearer. A desperate fight continued for eight more hours within the city, but after the capture of the Famagusta Gate in the evening resistance was brought to a close with the arrival of the Turkish cavalry. Three days of loot and rapine ensued before the main army moved on for the port and fortress of Famagusta (q.v.), the sole remaining bastion of Venetian rule in Cyprus. D.G.C.

45

Czechoslovakia

Austerlitz

(A****)

Date: 2 December 1805. Location: About 5 miles east of Brno on Route 47 to Olmutz; the battlefield lies to the south of the road and to the west of Austerlitz. 138. War and campaign: Napoleonic Wars ; die Moravian Campaign of 1805 (War of 3rd Coalition) (see p. 380). Object of the action: Napoleon was attempting to solve a threatening strategic situation by luring the Austro-Russian army into making an unwise attack. Opposing sides: (a) Napoleon in command of the French 'Grande Armée'. (A) The Emperors of Russia and Austria widi General Kutuzov. Forces engaged: (a) French: the Guard, 4 'corps d'armée', the reserve cavalry and 139 guns. Total: 73,100. (b) Allies: the Russian Guard and 7 corps with 278 guns. Total: 85,700. Casualties: (a) About 8,500 French killed and wounded, besides 570 prisoners, (b) About 27,000 Allies including 11,000 prisoners. Result: The destruction of Austrian morale leading to the Peace of Pressburg and die collapse of Pitt's 3rd Coalition. Suggested reading: General Work: Chandler, D. G., The Campaigns of Napoleon, London, 1967. On the Batde: Manceron, C, Austerlitz, Paris, 1960; Duffy, C. J., Austerlitz, 1805, London, 1977; Burton, R. G., From Boulogne to Austerlitz, London, 1912. Work of Fiction: Tolstoy, Leo, War and Race (edn.), Oxford, 1961. In 1805 Napoleon gave up all ideas of an invasion of England a n d swung his G r a n d A r m y r o u n d for a m a r c h eastwards, first to the R h i n e , a n d then to the D a n u b e a n d Vienna. By doing this quickly he hoped to be able to defeat the Austrians before
46

they could be joined by the Russians. This was a march comparable to Marlborough's 'March to the Danube' a century earlier, and it proved altogether successful and had great results. The French columns reached the Danube about Donauwörth on 6 October, cutting the line of communication of General Mack and his Austrians with Vienna, and later surrounding Mack's force at Ulm. Mack considered a plan of moving away north into Bohemia and at the same time cutting in turn the French communications. This was a good project but was never carried out. Instead Mack hesitated in uncertainty until 13 October by which time he was shut in on every side, and Napoleon could truly say that he had routed his enemy merely by marching round him. On 14 October Ney drove back the Austrians in Elchingen on Ulm, but Mack at first refused to surrender. It was to his advantage to gain as much time as possible to allow the Russian army to approach, and he announced his intention of holding out to the last; but he changed his mind when Napoleon threatened to take the town by storm, and surrendered with about 27,000 men on 20 October. During the scene of surrender Napoleon is said to have stood with his arms crossed behind his back warming himself at a camp fire, talking with all and sundry in a most agreeable manner. He was dressed in the uniform of a common soldier with a grey coat singed on the elbows and tails, and a slouch hat, without any badges of distinction, on his head. Throughout the campaign he was less the Emperor and more the General Commanding the Army in the Field. After Mack's surrender, Napoleon, despite Prussia's threatening attitude and the British victory at Trafalgar on 21 October, moved on Vienna, intending to fight the Russians, who had 54,000 under General Kutuzov on the river Inn and 30,000 under Buxhowden in Moravia. In the meantime Murat dashed on Vienna and by means of a feigned armistice seized the great bridge there. Thus in November Napoleon entered the Austrian capital. Napoleon next resolved to cut off the Russian retreat into Moravia, but the Russian and Austrian forces, commanded now by their two Emperors, Alexander and Francis, managed to concentrate at Olmutz. Napoleon established his headquarters at Brunn, and on 2 December the Austro-Russians decided on battle west of Austerlitz, as the Emperor hoped they would. The French, 68,000 strong, stood east of Brunn, in the angle formed by the roads leading from that town to Vienna and Olmutz respectively, and behind the Goldbach stream and its string of lakes. The Allies, almost 90,000 strong, had their headquarters in Austerlitz and occupied the plateau of Pratzen to the west of it. Napoleon thought the Austro-Russians would
47

In the north on the French left flank Bagration's Austrians a n d the cavalry of Lichtenstein tried to outflank the French. delivered with M u r a t ' s help such a strong counterstroke that the Austro-Russians were driven back along the O l m u t z road north-eastwards a n d later off the battlefield. Kutusov launched a strong counter-attack with the Russian Guards a n d all other disposable bodies. b u t Lannes. Napoleon. a n d Napoleon. T h e n Davout appeared from Vienna. This was a considerable achievement on Davout's p a r t as the Russians were well supported by guns a n d h a d a considerable superiority in numbers. Soult staged a pronged attack on the heights to isolate a n d surround t h e enemy holding the village. gave Soult the order to advance. T h u s the flank attacks by the Allies failed a n d at the same time drew off forces from their centre on the Pratzen plateau. totalling about 10. having repulsed this threat. ' T w e n t y minutes'. T h e Russian General Buxhowden m a n a g e d to cross the Goldbach in the south a n d drive the French right wing back. based on the Santon height. realised the enemy centre was now weak. T h e French met the Allies 48 . Soult replied. watching from the centre of his army. a n d t h e French stopped the hostile forces pouring down from the plateau. a n d this was how the battle opened. He asked Soult how long it would take for his division to reach the heights.000 m e n . not long afterwards. This was the crisis of the battle. a n d succeeded in capturing the plateau.AUSTERLITZ 2nd December 1805 try to t u r n his right flank to cut h i m off from Vienna in the south.

000. 9. Assailed on all sides the Allies in the south tried to flee across the frozen lakes.000. (b) Austrians: 42 battalions. Object of the action: Frederick the Great's attempt to defeat the second Austrian army moving against his position before Prague from the east. Kolin (A***) Date: 18 June 1757. 50 guns. a n d he passed through the bivouacs addressing each of his regiments. 145 guns. (b) Marshal Daun in command of the Austrian army.S. Forces engaged: (a) Prussians: 32 battalions. but the ice broke a n d m a n y were engulfed. 49 .000 men from Napoleon's reserve. Leaving Bernadotte to hold the plateau. Casualties: (a) 13. Napoleon sent Soult's forces round the rear of Buxhowden w h o was held in front by Davout.768 Prussians and 45 guns lost. Total: 40.000 Austrians. Total: 32. 116 squadrons. J. It was in fact not only one of the most complete a n d perfect of Napoleon's victories b u t also one which h a d immediate results. culminating on 26 December in the T r e a t y of Pressburg. Opposing sides: (a) King Frederick II in command of the Prussian army. u n d e r the terms of which the Russians returned to their country. On t h e conclusion of t h e battle Napoleon rode over t h e battlefield observing the killed a n d wounded. At one point Napoleon personally took charge a n d ordered forward p a r t of his G u a r d cavalry after one French regiment h a d been ridden down a n d lost an eagle. Central European Campaign of 1757 (see p. (b) Approx.M. A vigorous pursuit by t h e French was m a d e towards Olmutz. a n d the French cavalry n o w pushed forward as far as Austerlitz. 127. T w o days later Emperor Francis of Austria arrived at Napoleon's c a m p . 380). T h e final French thrust broke the enemy. but he does not seem to have realised immediately the extent of his success. Location: About 27 miles east of Prague on the highway to Kolin (Route 12). 17 cavalry regiments.with an even greater reinforcement of 25. cutting the hostile forces in two. a n d negotiations for peace between France a n d Austria began. a n d a suspension of hostilities was arranged. • War and campaign: The Seven Years' War.

battle of. Frederick the Great. Vol.. D a u n was taken aback by the spirit with which the foremost Prussian troops pressed h o m e their attack. II. b u t in the extremely hot m o r n i n g of i8 J u n e the Prussian a r m y lacked something of its customary speed a n d address. Seven Years' War.D. with the impatience t h a t marked his conduct throughout the battle. T h e skilful defensive fighter D a u n used the lull to transfer reinforcements to his threatened right. L O B O S I T Z (B**). a n d a charge of Saxon a n d Walloon dragoons broke a last attempt by the enemy reserve cavalry to restore Frederick's fortunes.). a n d rested for two or three hours before t h e movement was completed. i October 1756. a n d Frederick. in which t h e Austrian superiority in numbers. Berlin. 124. and upon Anhalt-Dessau's advance they too hurled themselves at the Austrian line. C. The Life of Frederick the Great. (q. J. was advancing on h i m from the east.Result: A victory for the Austrians which led to the relief of Prague and forced Frederick on to the defensive until Rossbach. London. 1960. north of Prague (Road N o . b u t the assault was repulsed by a heavy fire. Geschichte der Königlich Preussischen Armee bis zum Jahre 1807. Frederick accordingly left a covering force before Prague. 1919. Duffy. T h u s a flanking movement was converted into a frontal assault.J.). Frederick carried out a characteristic m a r c h across the Austrian front with the intention of rolling up a flank.. L. G. 8 ) . Frederick the Great (28. Some five weeks after his victory outside Prague (q. Suggested reading: General Work: Reiners. T h e K i n g found the Austrians holding a row of low heights to t h e south of t h e Kaiser Strasse near Kolin a n d . London.v. C. T h e Imperialists threw back t h e Prussian infantry at every point.000) gained a limited tactical success against Marshal 50 . London. ordered Prince Maurice of Anhalt-Dessau into the attack with the troops next in line. Frederick the Great.. a Military Biography. 1985. perhaps prematurely. Frederick h e a r d t h a t a second Austrian army.v. T h e infantry of the Prussian right centre u n d e r Manstein h a d already been galled beyond e n d u r a n c e by t h e fire of Croatian skirmishers. N. Biography: Young. General Work: Jany. 1928. a n d when the movement of the Prussians was resumed early in the afternoon the Austrians were ready to greet t h e m . he reached the conclusion that the enemy right wing—which was out of his sight—must offer h i m the best opportunity for attack. guns a n d position was b o u n d to tell. a n d marched to meet the new danger. u n d e r Marshal D a u n .

(b) Austrians: 60 battalions. T h e Austrians therefore hastily assembled their forces. Opposing sides: (a) King Frederick II commanding the Prussian army. Casualties: (a) 14. Suggested reading: As for Kolin. London.300 Prussians. Forces engaged: (a) Prussians: 66 battalions. London. Vienna. 113 squadrons. from where he could roll up the Austrian line from the right. Total: 67. was probably the first to realise the enemy intention. von. Location: Four miles east of Prague on Route 12. Marshal Browne. 1909. (b) Prince Charles of Lorraine in command of the Austrian army. against all expectation. M.000. 380).Browne (33. a n d early on the morning of the 6th the K i n g undertook a turning movement with t h e a i m of gaining t h e eastern slopes of t h e plateau. Die Schlacht bei Prag in Streffleurs Militärische Zeitschrift. 1964. Central European Campaign of 1757 (see p. 136. The Wild Goose and the Eagle: A Life of Marshal von Browne. 1964. War and campaign: The Seven Years' War. and took up a c a m p facing north on a plateau to the east of Prague. C.354) thanks to General Keith's capture of Lobosch Hill.. 82 guns. On the Battle : Hoen. Duffy. C. In the spring of 1757 Frederick of Prussia. The Wild Goose and the Eagle: A Life of Marshal von Browne. Object of the action: Frederick the Great was attempting to capture Prague during his bold invasion of Bohemia. the c o m m a n d e r of the Austrian right wing.000. Result: Rout of the first Austrian Army leading to the siege of Prague by the Prussians. 20 regiments of cavalry. 59 guns. seized the initiative by invading t h e Austrian province of . T h e negligence of Prince Charles of Lorraine allowed Frederick to unite all his troops in the presence of the Austrians on the night of 5 M a y .500 prisoners. (b) Perhaps 12.Bohemia (now p a r t of Czechoslovakia) and advancing almost to the walls of Prague. T h e leading Prussian infantry encountered some difficulty a n d delay in 51 . a n d hastened the m a r c h of the second Austrian line to the edge of the plateau so as to h e a d off t h e Prussian thrust. Prague (A***) Date: 6 May 1757. Total: 60.000 Austrian dead and wounded besides 4. See Duflfy.

London. von Moltke as Chief of Staff. Total: 278. Sadowa (c****) Date: 3 July 1866.000 killed. (b) Austrians: 8 corps (including 1 Saxon) and 4 cavalry divisions. Suggested reading: General Work: Friedjung. 7.000 m e n of the right wing were completely cut off a n d h a d to retreat into the country. Total: 271. Opposing sides: (a) The King of Prussia in titular command with F.D.935 killed. The Struggle for Supremacy in Germany. a n d Browne seized the opportunity to launch his grenadiers in a charge. Frederick threw heavy columns into a g a p that h a d opened in the Austrian right centre (along the line of the present railway). Kessel. Moltke.000 prisoner. 1966. Result: A total victory for the Prussians.crossing the swampy meadows of the Roketnitzer Bach to the north-east of Sterbohol. On the Batde: Bonnal. Object of the action: Von Moltke was attempting to destroy the main Austrian army by means of a double envelopment. 13.). 18. T h e Prussian Marshal Schwerin was killed in attempting to rally his troops.393 wounded. Forces engaged: (a) Prussians: 8 corps and 3 cavalry divisions. around the villages of Sadowa and Lipa. fighting desperately. Stuttgart. (b) Lieutenant F.000. 381). Sadowa.237 wounded. T h e Battle of Sadowa was decisive. a n d the heart went out of the Austrians. It was Moltke's first opportunity to try out his theory of g r a n d 52 . London.000. 1907. to the protection of the ramparts of Prague. b u t Browne himself was severely wounded by a cannon-shot. 1907. The Campaign of 1866 in Germany (trans. 1935. 125.-M. E. London. Casualties: (a) Prussians: 1. On the Campaign: Prussian General Staff. War and campaign: The Austro-Prussian War of 1866. not only for the Bohemian campaign of 1866. Location: Five miles north-west of Hradec Kralove (or Königgrätz) on Route 35 . b u t for the whole Austro-Prussian War. H. while the rest of the army was driven back.J. (b) AustroSaxons: 13.-M.. von Benedek commanding the Austrians and the Saxon army under their Crown Prince Albert. and before long the Imperialists were split in two: 15. C. leading to the Treaty of Prague (23 August) which excluded Austria from Germany and made Prussia leader of the North German Confederacy. Bohemian Campaign (see p..

SADOWA 3rd July 1866 53 .

Benedek's forces were assembled round Josephstadt by 26 June. The war opened on 14 June. with the Army of the Elbe only 10 miles to the south-east and the Crown Prince's army strung out from Prausnitz to Hisitz some 15 miles to the north. when the Crown Prince's 2nd Prussian Army was only entering the passes over the Riesengebirge and their ist Army. Benedek hoped to counter this by fighting an old-fashioned defensive action. that of the Austrians 271. derived from Napoleon. and by 2 July had allowed themselves to be manoeuvred into a central position on the high ground between the Elbe and the Bistritz and astride the main road running back through Königgrätz to Vienna. He massed his vastly superior artillery on the forward edge of the heights of Chlum and Lipa and ordered his infantry to stay firm in their positions and rely on fire-power to wear the Prussians down. while the other was available for outflanking movements or envelopment. where Benedek began at once to concentrate the main Austrian army.000 men. and where the Saxon army could easily fall back for support. He drew up his forces on the traditional Austrian pattern. By then the advanced guards of the Prussian ist Army were in contact with the Austrian outposts at Sadowa. along a total front of nearly 200 miles. But it was clear that the decisive theatre of operations would be in Bohemia. In spite of having only one railway track. They missed the chance of inflicting a crushing defeat on the Crown Prince as he emerged from the narrow mountain passes. The 3rd and 10th Corps. The difficulty of assembling his forces from Prussia's scattered dominions decided Moltke to concentrate 3 armies round the frontiers of Saxony and Bohemia: one on the Elbe. This gave him the use of 5 railways. The preliminary battles had already shown the Prussian breech-loading 'needle gun' and open infantry formations destructively superior to the Austrian muzzle-loaders and massed bayonet charges.000. formed an immensely strong centre on the heights of Chlum 54 . though united with the Elbe Army. and one in Northern Silesia. But the Austrian generals were incurably defensive-minded.strategy. one on the Saxon frontier. and he hoped to save enough time in mobilisation to anticipate the Austrian concentration and move into Bohemia on converging lines before Benedek could exploit the benefit of his interior position. one of which could grip the enemy frontally. was still 7 days' march away on the Iser. by concentrating two 'masses of manoeuvre'. under Prince Frederick Charles. closely supported by the ist and 6th. The total strength of the Prussians was approximately 278. with Prussian attacks on Austria's South German allies and Italian moves against Austrian Venetia.

and by midday 5 of them were held in the woods and villages south of Sadowa in the same way. A brilliant cavalry action and heroic self-sacrifice by the gunners enabled the bulk of the Austrian army to get back across the Elbe. Prince Frederick Charles was to attack frontally at first light and pin down the Austrian centre. North of the road the remaining division—the 7th —had disintegrated under the attacks of 3 Austrian corps and was in danger of total annihilation. almost unopposed. under Crown Prince Albert. into the very heart of the Austrian position at Chlum. totally refused. was held by the 4th and 2nd Corps on the line Chlum-Nederlist-Lochenitz. and Prussian exhaustion prevented any serious pursuit. unaware that his right flank had become completely exposed to the Crown Prince's advance. Only at Benedek's third urgent order did they start back to their assigned stations. had led the 4th and 2nd Corps to join the 3rd in a series of massed attacks—which also contravened the new tactical instructions—on the luckless 7th Division in Maslowed Wood. while the Elbe Army had only got to grips with the Saxon main positions at 11 am and its methodical advance round the Austrian left could do nothing immediate to relieve the situation. Thanks to a series of gallant counter-attacks the inevitably piecemeal advance of the Crown Prince was held.000 casualties from the murderous gunfire. while the Army of the Elbe engaged the Saxons and felt round their left flank. The village and the bridge over the Bistritz were carried without heavy fighting. was actually contemplating throwing in his 2 reserve corps and his cavalry in a general assault which would almost certainly have routed the Prussian ist Army. and the left wing was entrusted to the Saxon army. with the 8th Austrian Corps and the 2nd Reserve Cavalry Division in rear. disobeying his orders. and had suffered between them some 5. Moltke was thus aiming at a double envelopment of the entire Austrian army. The right flank. Thus the Crown Prince's advanced guards caught them still on the march and stormed. But Counts Feastetics and Thun. The Prussian troops had only had a cup of coffee for breakfast and their morale was cracking. but the advance was halted at the forward edge of the woods beyond by the brilliantly handled and sited Austrian artillery. It was only at 10 pm on 2 July that Moltke discovered that the whole Austrian army was concentrated forward of the Elbe. Gradually all the 6 divisions of Frederick Charles's army were drawn into the frontal assault. The battle began with the attack of the Prussian 8th Division on Sadowa at 8 am. He at once sent orders to the Crown Prince to move with all his forces against the Austrian right flank.and Lipa. Between 12 noon and 1 pm Benedek. But the Austrians were in no position to 55 . though in great disorder.

So ended what has been called the 'Six Weeks' War'.L. and Bismarck.renew the fight.McE. advised his King to make peace at once on generous terms. which nevertheless secured Venetia to Italy and Prussian hegemony for the future in Germany. Prussia's Minister-President. fearful that France might intervene to rob him of his gains. 56 . W.

The actual 'Old Style' date was 1 July (thus 11 July 'New Style'). who for his part was trying to retreat back to Dublin. Irish Campaign of 1689-91. Warfare in the late 17th Century. battle of. Result: A thorough victory for King William. paving the way for Marlborough's and Ginkel's reconquest of Ireland.Eire AUGHRIM ( D * ) . 66. Object of the action: William III was attempting to force battle on James II.000 Williamites killed and wounded.000 infantry. 6 guns.000) after killing their commander. near Ballinasloe. 65. See Grant.000 cavalry. 8. The Boyne (A***) Date: 11 July 1690*. 12 July 1691.500 Jacobites killed and wounded. Total: 35. (b) King James II in command of the Franco-Irish Jacobite' Army. (b) Over 1. General Ginkel (18. Total: 23.000) routed General St. War and campaign: 'The Jacobite War'—part of the War of the League of Augsburg (see p.000 (exclusive of the garrison of Drogheda). 379). The reason for this discrepancy is that Aughrim was fought on 57 . Just's Irish Jacobites and French troops (25. 1988. Forces engaged: (a) Williamites: 26. Opposing sides: (a) King William III commanding a multinational ' Williamite' Army. 50 guns. 5. * Special Note: 12 July 1690 is often regarded as the date of the battle. C. former King of England. Casualties: (a) Over 2. Location: On the road from Drogheda to Slane.000 cavalry. London. between Oldbridge and Slane. (b) Jacobites: 18.500 infantry.000.

The History of England from the Accession of James II. who had lost about the same number before Deny. C. James the Second. London. On the Campaign: Belloc. where Schomberg's son Meinhart was in command. missing a better chance of resistance in the Moyry Pass. When James reached Dublin on 3 April after landing at Kinsale. 1988.. Article: Simms. H. by agreement unarmed. between Newry and Dundalk. At Oldbridge. William. 1963. The fighting was brief and movements rapid. Lord. because he sent in return an Irish brigade. London.000 men at Bangor in August 1689 and drawn in numbers of Irish Protestants. All he was now ready to undertake was a rearguard action. 1911. D. On the Williamite side Schomberg had landed in the north with over 10. its cream being perhaps the Dutch Brigade of Blue Guards. The Boyne is a very difficult battle to describe. at 58 . Vol VI. That at Donore was available at low water only. 'Eyewitness of the Boyne'.000 infantry from France. James. in The Irish Sword. but had second thoughts on learning of his enemy's numerical superiority and fell back behind the Boyne. Belloc on one side and Macaulay on the other especially so. despite its name. determined to pass the river at three points: on the right. Suggested reading: General Work: Macaulay. The historians are for the most part prejudiced. His army was mainly foreign. chiefly from sickness. One has therefore to make the nearest possible estimate of these and also of the numbers engaged. The new campaign opened with the arrival in mid-June of William with reinforcements.. 22. and it did not occur to the French that this had been without arms at home. but had few trained troops and fewer arms.. 1861. slightly wounded the day before by a cannon-ball grazing his shoulder. there was no bridge. 1928. the Duke of Tyrconnell. but still lacked strength for an offensive. Warfare in the late 17th Century. but only a handful of muskets. His Viceroy.12 July (N. G. time had been wasted and his adherents had incurred heavy loss in men and prestige in the abortive siege of Londonderry. Dublin. and this date was chosen for the commemoration of both battles.) the following year. Few authorities agree about the casualties. William's problem was not simple.S. He could not cross at Dundalk because it was too strongly held. obtained over 6. He was so set on retreat that he sent back his baggage and even six of his guns to Dublin.000 during the winter. London. On the Battle: Boulger. London. He lost some 8. had proved a good organiser. There was another at Rosnaree and at Slane a bridge cut by the Jacobites. No. but several fords passable at half flood between it and Drybridge. J. James marched to Dundalk. Grant. The Battle of the Bqyne.

of the two most celebrated commanders engaged. Later on Tyrconnell. at Oldbridge. at Drybridge.Rosnaree. Schomberg was 72 and Berwick barely 20. William. James had posted only one regiment. Ulster and English regiments* The Dutch were charged by Tyrconnell and Irish cavalry broke the ranks of the Huguenots as they climbed out of the water. under Schomberg himself. despite the fact that the tide was now so high that horses had to swim and infantry to cross in single file. where the Dublin road ran through a defile. It is curious that. He deployed his main body on slightly rising ground from half a mile to a mile from the Boyne. Neill O'Neill's Dragoons. moved 5 more infantry regiments into the village and drew up 3 cavalry regiments and 2 troops of the first-class bodyguard under James's bastard son Berwick in their rear. on the left. He had picked infantry: Dutch Blue Guards. gradually got his wing over. that Tyrconnell needed all the force he had and that none could be spared. James had meanwhile ridden forward with the intention of transferring troops from the neighbourhood of Oldbridge to his left. He was awaiting fresh cavalry when he learnt that his right 59 . but it was probably before noon. from which he feared the hostile cavalry would cut him off at Duleek. however. still a fair soldier despite hard living. opposite Rosnaree. under his own command. Reports of the hour of Schomberg's attack vary. in the centre. He found. Schomberg galloped down to rally the troops and was instantly shot dead. and in Oldbridge Antrim's and Clanrickarde's infantry regiments. Then followed calamity for the Jacobites. Huguenots.

E. He finally embarked for France at Kinsale. Cromwell's Campaign in Ireland. which was a possibility. the campaign broke the Jacobite menace for the time being. Kinsale (c***) Date: 26 December 1601. finding many raw Irish troops in a panic but the French regiments in good order. 64. but concludes that the Jacobites might well not have got through the defile but for the death of Schomberg. See Curtis. It must be added that he is. As things were. Location: Two miles east of Kinsale. i . 60 . whispering in Lauzun's ear. 30 miles north of Dublin on the T . As it was they escaped with trifling further loss.. History of Ireland. 'the King.flank was already beaten.000 Royalists) and put every living soul to the sword. The dauntless Berwick charged again and again—he says twelve times—and on one occasion broke the Inniskillingers. CF. Sarsfield. 10 September 1649. Meanwhile a heroic defence by O'Neill with his original regiment and a handful of reinforcements had broken down and the Williamites were moving on Duleek. on which. as he writes. though for complete success England had to await Ginkel's victory at Aughrim in 1691. reliable as regards events seen. The Williamite superiority in infantry was far greater than it looks because a large proportion of the Irish were largely untrained and miserably armed. which might have come off if the French fleet had shown more activity after Beachy Head or William had had to withdraw troops— even to return himself. but has unwittingly deceived later historians by believing reports that young Schomberg crossed at Slane. James rode to Dublin.000) stormed the town defended by Sir Arthur Aston (3. 378). War and campaign: Tyrone's Rebellion (see p. The Battle of the Boyne was in the main a fighting retreat. London. Cromwell (12. In the brief conflicts at close quarters the odds against the Jacobites in artillery were over eight to one. But nothing would go right for him. DROGHEDA (C***). 68. all through his memoirs. storm of. who had reconnoitred the ground. 1936. told him that there was now nothing to be done but to charge the enemy forthwith before his troops knew what had happened'. James's venture was a gamble. came up and said a charge was impossible because straight in front were two high-banked double ditches and a brook. just south of the Bandon.

D. 200 Spaniards. 'The Battle of Kinsale'. Mountjoy ordered one of his 3 infantry regiments to attack t h e m in flank. {b) Approx. London. he charged again. Lord Mountjoy. T h e fight began with a cavalry attack on Tyrone's centre. Dublin. On the Battle: Falls. Pacata Hibernia. London. 1810.300 Irish. T h e Battle of Kinsale was the result of a siege that h a d lasted 2 months. Opposing sides: (a) The Lord Deputy. Suggested reading: General Work: Bagwell. 1890.500 Irish and Spaniards killed and wounded. whereupon the Irish began to break a n d join the flight. 1955. (b) Irish: 6.500. T h e Earl of T y r o n e a n d H u g h O'Donnell m a r c h e d south to relieve it. Marlborough as a Military Commander. rating the Spanish infantry high a n d expecting a sally. R. Grant. Vol III.Object of the action: The rebel Tyrone was attempting to relieve a Spanish force besieged in Kinsale by English forces. Chandler.. his strength raised to some 500. Article: Hayes-McCoy. Elizabethan General. G A. left t h e bulk of his forces to watch t h e m a n d himself led t h e remainder in pursuit over two boggy causeways. a n d Wingfield's cavalry hurtled into t h e mass. a n d finally. H a d not the English cavalry horses been in miserable condition for lack of fodder. 400 cavalry.500. E. of a Spanish expeditionary force which h a d occupied the walled town. Finally 48 surrendered a n d a b o u t 60 returned to Castlehaven. Sir R i c h a r d Wingfield wheeled a n d rode back. On the Campaign: Stafford. Mountjoy. (horseunknown). London. Total: 1. in Irish Historical Studies. T h e Spaniards resisted gallantly till half their n u m b e r h a d been killed. September 1949. commanding the English army. London. Forces engaged: (a) English : i. Total: 6. On t h e left R i c h a r d Tyrrell's M u n s t e r m e n a n d 200 or m o r e Spaniards withdrew to a hill near by. C. C. occupied by reinforcements which h a d been u n a b l e to reach Kinsale. Panic spread to O'Donnell's troops on t h e right a n d they disappeared in wild flight... leading to the abandonment of Kinsale by the Spaniards and the eventual collapse of Tyrone's rebellion. Mountjoy. i oo infantry . t h e slaughter of t h e vanquished 61 . seeing t h e pikemen stand fast. caught sight of t h e enemy d r a w n up in three heavy 'battles'. Warfare in the late 17th Century. a mile a n d a half away. 1973. Result: An overwhelming English victory. c o m m a n d e d by himself. T h e n . 1988. G. This time the Irish horse a n d Tyrone's infantry broke. (b) The Earl of Tyrone in command of the Irish army. Casualties: {a) One officer and a few English rank and file killed. London. b u t at the last m o m e n t T y r o n e changed his m i n d a n d withdrew. On 3 J a n u a r y the Irish advanced from the west. but. 2. Ireland under the Tudors.

O'Donnell died in Spain. the English claimed to have found 1. at the mouth of the river Shannon. The siege and battle stamped Mountjoy as the ablest Elizabethan soldier. CF. Don Juan del Aquila. many being slain —sometimes trodden into bogholes—by fellow-countrymen whose lands Tyrone had ravaged.000) induced Patrick Sarsfield (c. Irish Campaign of 1689-91. General Ginkel (c. H. 16. 1911. 62 . asked for a parley. 67. R. as a result of which his troops were shipped home on honourable terms..would have been appalling. for the Irish. LIMERICK (D*). but Mountjoy did not receive Tyrone's surrender till March 1603. Eventually the Spanish commander.000) to surrender the town on terms shortly before the arrival of a French relieving fleet. September to October 1691. See Murray. The unarmed mob which escaped suffered more loss on the way north. It was the end of Spain's menace to the Kingdoms of England and Ireland and. London. The Spaniards had made no sortie. a rout all the more extraordinary in view of Tyrone's success at the Yellow Ford and elsewhere. siege of.200 dead. Revolutionary Ireland and its Settlement. As things were. 12. apparently not having heard the slight musketry fire. muffled by hills.

64 .

000 Frenchmen killed. A. Estimated total: 25. die Duke of York. and 2. Suggested reading: General Works. 72. E. including the Duke of York. the invasion of France 1415 (see p. Jacob. Opposing sides: (a) King Henry V.000 French.. and Lord Camoys leading the English. a n d was practically t h e last great 65 . London.000 cross-bowmen.28). T h e Battle of Agincourt formed the climax of H e n r y V's invasion of France in 1415. Casualties: (a) Perhaps 400 English. War and campaign: The Hundred Years' War.000 dismounted knights and men-at-arms. 1947. London. Oman. Result: The complete rout of die French enabled the English to reach Calais safely. E. Location: The village of Azincourt lies to the east of the HesdinFruges-Calais road (N. On die Campaign and Batde: Burne. Object of the action: The Constable of France was attempting to cut off and destroy Henry V's army before it could reach Calais and safety. 1924. 750 knights and menat-arms.. (2nd Edn. 378). Perroy. about 8 miles north of Hesdin. {b) Probably 8. The Agincourt War. C. London. (b) French: 3. O. The Art of War in the Middle Ages.000 mounted and 15. London. Hibbert.. 1964.700 English. Forces engaged: (a) English: 4. Play: Shakespeare. 1956. W. F. including the Constable. (b) Charles d'Albret.000 captives. 7.950 archers.). W.France Agincourt (A****) Date: 25 October 1415. a few 'bombards'. C. Henry V and the Invasion of France. 1951. Henry V. commanding the French. Batde of Agincourt — a Reassessment. Total: 5. The Hundred Years' War. London. Constable of France.

Henry ordered 'Advance Banner!' at 11 am and moved his men forward to the narrowest neck of the plain. and slightly over a month later the town fell into English hands. The French were gay and confident—laying wagers on the prisoners they would take—but King Hal had whipped up his army's morale to fever-pitch. we happy few. and although d'Albret played 'cat and mouse' with the English army for 6 more days. Constable d'Albret had devined Henry's intention and sent his advance guard to hold the crossing while the main French army advanced from Rouen and crossed the Somme at Amiens. for a fast 160-mile march. On the 24th the English came upon the encampments of the 'terrific multitude' in the Fernoise valley. we band of brothers' was how Shakespeare immortally described the mood of the English army. Henry decided to march defiantly through French territory to the English-held fortress of Calais. For the next 5 days Henry marched up the river vainly searching for another ford. when Henry's scouts reported that the vital ford was strongly held by the enemy. The morning of St. instead. Everything depended on a free passage over the 'Blanchetaque' ford below Abbeville. it was evident that Henry would have to fight his way through to Calais against great odds. Everything went well until the 13th. it was hoped. and by the end of the next day the English army was safely over the Somme.000 men at Rouen. This venture involved considerable risks: by early October the French Constable had already collected some 14. But now the French army was only 7 miles distant near Peronne. Determined to show that his army was not afraid of its vast opponent. Crispin's Day found the two unequal armies facing one another across the narrow and gently undulating plain bounded by the forests of Agincourt and Tramcourt. The 6. Two days later an undefended crossing was at last discovered near Nesle. The siege had been longer than anticipated and this made an immediate advance towards Paris out of the question. and halted for the night in the neighbouring village of Maisoncelles. each man carrying 8 days' rations—sufficient.English martial achievment of the Hundred Years' War. including the 'bombards'. and to reach Calais the English would have to cross the broad River Somme. where the army could spend the winter preparing for the next campaign.000-strong English army left Harfleur on 8 October. and knight and archer shared a feeling of kinship: 'We few. Henry's army landed near Harfleur on 15 August. and by the 16th rations were running low and the army was becoming increasingly dispirited. The men were understandably weary: they had covered 260 miles in the last 17 days. hardly 400 yards from the 66 . all the heavy impedimenta was left with the Harfleur garrison.

AGINGOURT 25th October 1415 serried French ranks. The front covered 940 yards. Constable d'Albret deployed his men in three dense lines along a 1. The archers were massed on the flanks and in two 'wedges' covering the centre. their positions protected by a fence of sharpened stakes driven into the rainsodden earth. the men-at-arms were stationed to hold the intervals. the first two on foot. the third 67 . but there were insufficient men to form a reserve and so the camp had to be entrusted to the sick.200-yard front.

The archers busied themselves seizing prostrate French noblemen to hold for ransom. while the large body of prisoners—many of whom had not yet been divested of their armour—already constituted a menace in the very midst of his position. The French first line rushed forward to engage the English knights. this did not materialise. and the fleeing horsemen trampled through the advancing ranks of their own centre. Remy). and the second shared the same fate. It appeared probable that Henry's army was about to be assailed from front and rear at a moment when the bulk of the archers were scattered seeking for loot. amongst other items. but in Henry's defence it is hard to see what else he could have done in the face of an impending attack. The English 68 . killing the sick and capturing. This 'cruel butchery' has been widely criticised. Meanwhile. the King's crown and seals. In the event. 90 Lords and 1. sallied out upon them.mounted. including the Constable. and a wall of bodies separated the victorious English from the third and last line of the French army. the French knights to Henry's front—who still outnumbered the entire English force— showed signs of renewing the attack. perceiving this disorder . A detachment of French marauders had surprised and looted the English camp. however. but as they came they inevitably narrowed their front to come at their adversaries and to avoid the hail of arrows poured into their flanks by the English archers. and many Frenchmen were unable to raise their weapons to strike a blow. These achieved nothing: 'Their horses were so wounded by the arrows that they were unmanageable' (St. The cross-bowmen and a few cannon were situated between the first and second lines. and into this confused mass plunged Henry at the head of his knights. The battle opened when the French cavalry flank divisions —stung into action by the long-range shooting of the English archers—made disorganised charges against Henry's flanks. Only half an hour after the opening of the battle the French attack lay in ruins. while two further bodies of mounted knights—each 600 strong—were placed slightly in rear on the flanks. and the slaughter was stopped. and seizing their swords . The Battle of Agincourt cost France at least half the nobility. Despite appearances the battle was not quite over: disturbing news reached Henry from the rear. .560 knights besides a host of men-at-arms and cross-bowmen. quitted their stakes. threw their bows and arrows on the ground. 'the English archers. .' The first French line was soon reduced to a shambles. 3 Dukes. . . Henry gave the order to kill the prisoners—and with long faces the soldiers turned to the gory task which deprived them of many a rich ransom. Faced with the prospect of losing the battle. The resulting press became appalling. Simultaneously.

to capitulate. 1960. Imperial Caesar. Location: Alesia. War and campaign: Caesar's Gallic War. On the Campaign and Battle: Caesar. (see p. Caesar. Result: Vercingetorix's enforced surrender and the defeat of the ( Jallic armies completed the Roman conquest of Gaul.) he withdrew to his m o u n t a i n stronghold of Alesia.. Shortly afterwards the English army with its remaining 2. T h e French were consequently awarded a breathing-space. IV (Everyman's Library Edn. The site lies east of the town.). 1966. relieving army. II. Work of Fiction: Warner. c o m m a n d e r of the left wing. Casualties: Unrecorded. 80. now called Alise-Sainte-Reine is in the Côte d'Or Department. I he Roman Republic. despite unfavourable circumstances. a n d the effects of H e n r y V's great victory failed to come up to the most optimistic expectations. Forces engaged: (a) Romans : several Legions supported by cavalry detachments.C. 377). A. Suggested reading: General Works: Mommsen. peace might have been won t h a t same year. Book VII. Vol. Object of the action: Caesar was attempting to force the Gallic leader.000 foot and 8. F. Rice Holmes.. New York. 70. Caesar's conquest of Gaul culminated in a general rising of the Gallic tribes under a young chieftain of outstanding ability.000 foot and 15. Total: approx.. and founded modern France. T. C. T. 1891.v.G. After nearly 7 years of campaigning. 99. H a d it turned in its tracks a n d m a r c h e d on Paris. J. 1923. Oxford. (b) Vercingetorix at the head of the Gauls.000 cavalry.losses were astonishingly light—but included in their number the stout Duke of York. The Gallic War. by n a m e Vercingetorix. not far from Dijon.000 prisoners resumed the m a r c h to Calais. perhaps «50. London. as H a n n i b a l h a d t r a p p e d Flaminius' at Lake Trasimene (q.000 Gauls. Opposing sides-. London. J. 1920. After an abortive a t t e m p t to ambush Caesar's army. Vol. 69 . The History of iùnne. (a) Julius Caesar at the head of a Roman Army. R. Fuller. Vercingetorix. T. Biography: Dodge. D.000. b u t H e n r y considered the season too far advanced for further operations. w h o was stifled in his a r m o u r b e n e a t h a pile of slain—a fate t h a t befell m a n y more on t h e field. Alesia (D***) Date: 52 B. Julius Caesar.. Total: 353.C. (b) Gauls: besieged force.000 cavalry.

the Meuse-Argonne Offensive of 1918 (see p.F. (b) The Crown Prince commanding a German Army Group. later supplemented by a few French. War and campaign: The First World War. 381). According to Caesar. Thus this remarkable siege was brought to an end by the simultaneous defeat of two armies by a single army.000 Americans. a desperate series of engagements. capitulated. and which had to hold 25 miles of entrenchments in order. (b) 11 German divisions. Forces engaged (outset of battle): (a) 15 U. no greater than the one and incomparably smaller than the other. divisions. Near Route Nationale 48. but also how to prevent the relieving army from breaking into it. When the relieving army arrived. whose army was now starving. J. and Vercingetorix. When Caesar learnt of this. at one and the same time. not only how to prevent Vercingetorix from breaking out of his stronghold.F. Veuziers and Brieulles. he prepared to be himself besieged. Casualties: (a) 122. An army which not only was the besieger but itself was besieged. First.000 cavalry. 70 . which faced outwards. He solved it by encompassing his line of contravallation with a line of circumvallation 14 miles in circuit. they mustered an army of 250. other casualties not revealed. Opposing sides: (a) General Pershing in command of the American Expeditionary Force.C. In the last one the relieving army was decisively beaten. Location: Between Verdun. Object of the action: The Americans and French wished to cut the strategic German railway running through Mezières and Sedan. in which Vercingetorix attempted to break out.S. (b) 16. it consisted of a series of entrenchments 11 miles in circuit. to achieve its aim and secure itself against defeat. Result: A successful break-through towards the Meuse was achieved at high cost.000 infantry and 8. he encompassed the mountain with a line of contravallation. shortage of forage compelled Vercingetorix to send his cavalry away and appeal to the Gallic tribes to come to his relief.000 German prisoners. his problem became. the western edge of the Argonne Forest.There Caesar laid siege to him. The Argonne (B***) Date: 26 September-11 November 1918. But before it was completed. 86. followed.

the French Wars of Religion. the Aire and the Meuse. i960. battle of. I -ondon. C. J. His immediate objective was the clearing of the forest to the line Montfaucon-Romagne. The First World War. The French 4th Army on his left attacked at the same time. His inexperienced troops exposed themselves recklessly and suffered heavily.). He took over the sector from the French on 22 September. Commanding an American Army. launched its final assault against the last German line (Vouziers-Brieulles).800 guns and 180 tanks. E. Marshal Foch entrusted the task to the American army.Suggested reading: General Works: Falls. by 6 November the enemy were in full retreat. The Argonne is an area of broken hills and forest. New York. gradually freeing the Americans' flanks from enfilade fire and allowing the French to advance to the upper Aisne. ARQUES (B**).P. Mihiel on 4 October kept the advance going slowly. Pershing. All Quiet on the Western Front (English Edn. 21 September 1589. The arrival of battlehardened divisions from St. by 1918. near Dieppe. in almost complete secrecy. With massive air and artillery support and strong French activity on the left. with 6 in reserve. but its proximity to the German strategic railway. against which General Pershing's ist Army could deploy 9. perhaps the most lonnidable position on the Western Front. 1925. King Henri IV (8. German strength stood at 11 divisions. which ran through Mezières and Sedan. and began his attack with a short and violent bombardment on 26 September. By 3 October they had advanced 10 miles at most and only 5 in the Argonne itself. 2. 79.. Work of Fiction: Remarque. The front selected for attack was bounded by two river valleys. The battle of the Argonne was America's most important contribution to the Allied effort on the Western Front. it quickly broke through. 1931. an ambitious project which stout German resistance obstructed. The French had made no progress against it in four years of bitter if intermittent fighting.000 Huguenots and Royalists) repulsed the Duke of Mayenne's 71 . and her most notable victory of the First World War.D. At the Armistice the Americans stood everywhere on or beyond the Meuse. M. between the Meuse and the Champagne. made its capture essential to the Allied strategy in the autumn of 1918. further reinforced tfnd now commanded by General Hunter Liggett. My Experiences in the World War. London. On 1 November the ist Army. 1929. New York. Hunter Liggett.K. whose inexperience was outweighed by its strength and enthusiasm. whose natural defences had been so improved l>y the Germans that it formed.

. 1949. Object of the action: An improvised attempt by the B. London. May 1940 (see p. W. about 50 miles from the Belgian frontier. Impervious to G e r m a n anti-tank fire the British tanks wrought havoc among the chaos of troops. New York. B. J. Casualties: (a) 57 British tanks out of 83 engaged. (b) About 20 German tanks and a considerable number of motor vehicles. 25th Panzer Regiment. Totenkopf Division just as they were beginning a disorderly advance through the villages of Wailly. but psychologically it instilled caution into the German High Command and thus contributed to the successful evacuation from Dunkirk (q. Forces engaged: (a) British: 2 infantry battalions. B. The Tanks. Result: Tactically a failure. Sutherell.v.R.attempt to crush his a r m y with 24. Location: Arras stands on the River Scarpe. A History of the Art of War in the 16th Century (Revised E d n . H. Bond.T. the Battle of France. Sir C.. ) . (b) Germans: 2 rifle regiments.. War and campaign: The Second World War. 1959. 'The Batde of Arras' in Correlli Barnett et ai. light French units. 1954. the S. On the Campaign. Liddell Hart. Vol.). to check the German advance towards the Channel coast. Gamberley.000 Leaguers by holding a narrow defile. guns a n d transport. London. B. T. 'Frankforce'. At 1330 hours the columns moved (from Vimy) to the west of Arras a n d then swung eastward across the Arras-Baumetz railway. Liddell Hart. 74. London. 1946. J. Draper. H... 1986. followed closely by two infantry battalions. 1986. The Six Weeks' War. II. leading the inner flank of t h e thrust from t h e Meuse. Suggested reading: General Works: Churchill. The Rommel Papers. 72 . striking 6th a n d 7th Rifle Regiments a n d the unblooded S. 1953.. London.F. 381). On 21 M a y 1940 Rommel's 7th Panzer Division. Old Battles and New Defences — Can we learn from Military History?.S. Arras (c**) Date: 21 May 1940. Opposing sides: (a) Major-General Franklyn commanding the British 5th Division. but without artillery or air support. 2 regiments of the R. (b) General Rommel in command of 7th Panzer Division. Vol II. was temporarily checked south of Arras by an improvised British formation. See O m a n . The Second World War. S.S.E. D u e to hurried assembly the counter-attack was initiated by two columns of tanks only (4th and 7th R o y a l T a n k Regiments). Ficheux a n d Agny. Totenkopf Division. London. The Battle of Arras.

To the south. On 19 November the ist French Army. B. London. H. swept on almost unopposed to liberate 73 . D. On the Campaign : Liddell Hart. London. War and campaign: The Second World War. Object of the action: An Allied attempt to break through the Upper Vosges Mountains to the Upper Rhine. R o m m e l was so shaken t h a t he thought five British divisions were defending Arras. 1952. C. 1952. Beifort (B***) Date: 19-22 November 1944.000. London. A r m y on the left a n d t h e ist French Army on the right. Devers's 6th A r m y G r o u p . B. T h e town was finally a b a n d o n e d on the night of 23 M a y . Three Tears with Eisenhower. 4 Panzer divisions (350 tanks). Forces engaged: (a) Allies: 10 infantry divisions. Only on t h e arrival of 25th Panzer Regiment at dusk. a n d after twelve hours' fighting. the North-west European Campaign.000. Patton's 3rd A r m y continued its offensive towards the Saar. London. brilliantly led by de Tassigny.J. Army Group. T h r o u g h o u t October a n d November. C.. Suggested reading: General Works : Wilmot.S. Crusade in Europe. London and Toronto. taking Metz on 18 November. Result: The isolation of the German 19th Army in the Colmar Pocket and the reaching of the Upper Rhine. Tassigny. with the 2nd French Armoured Division in t h e van. S . Strasbourg and Mulhouse. The Struggle for Europe.. 1944-5 (see p..Although daily anticipating a counter-attack. Memoirs: Butcher. faced t h e formidable barrier of the Vosges held by t h e G e r m a n ist a n d 19th Armies with t h e 5th Panzer Army in reserve. broke through t h e Belfort G a p a n d reached t h e U p p e r R h i n e a n d the outskirts of Mulhouse in a single day. 100. 1948. T w o days later t h e U . (b) Germans: 7 or 8 infantry divisions. History of the French First Army. 1946. The Other Side of the Hill. 381). 5 armoured divisions (750 tanks).B. Casualties: (a) approximately 35. consisting of t h e 7th U . Location: Between Saverne. S . H. 7th A r m y forced the Saverne G a p a n d on t h e 23rd. did the few surviving British tanks a n d infantrymen w i t h d r a w north of Arras. Opposing sides: (a) General Devers commanding the 6th U. Eisenhower. (b) General Balck (later Himmler) commanding German Army Group 'G'. Laltre de. (b) approximately 70. 1952.

380). Instead of ordering the double envelopment of this pocket. 97. Total: 3. a n d these were overpowered. Result: The capture of the Island. London. Forces engaged: (a) British. 1910. so t h e rest of the troops were re-embarked after 74 . These attacks isolated t h e G e r m a n 19th A r m y m t h e Colmar Pocket from which Hitler forbade t h e m to withd r a w . Suggested reading: General Work: Corbett. Weakened by detachments to south-west F r a n c e a n d exhausted by their recent efforts. Summer Issue. He therefore decided to deliver t h e attack on M a r t i n i q u e the m o m e n t t h e hurricane months were past a n d send off the Belle Isle expedition at once. Eisenhower switched the U . (b) French. On the Battle: Fortescue. Article: Hebbert. On 7 April the fleet anchored off t h e island of Belle Isle with their troops shifted to flat-bottomed boats. (b) General Sainte Croix. 7th A r m y to aid P a t t o n on the Saar. England in the Seven Years' War. But owing to the steepness of the g r o u n d only 60 m e n reached the summit. He saw t h e country at this time committed to negotiations for peace b u t wanted to press on with t h e war with utmost energy to get better terms. Pitt thought out this enterprise as a diversion to cover t h e Mauritius expedition. J. Location: Island off Quiberon Point. this proved beyond their power. Belle Isle (B***) Date: 7 April-8 June 1761. J. commander of the French garrison. J. Opposing sides: (a) Admiral Keppel and General Hodgson commanding the British forces.Strasbourg. Campaign of 1761 (see p. 1986. 'Belle Isle' in Journal of the Society for Army Historical Research. (b) Very few. A n d r é at t h e eastern end of the island. London.. War and campaign: The Seven Years' War. A History of the British Array. Vol II.000. Total: 8. W. the majority capitulated on terms and were repatriated. a n d an attempt was m a d e to storm the French entrenchments at Port St. west coast of France. Object of the action: The Earl of Chatham hoped to extract better peace terms from the French by seizing a piece of their national territory.000. S. 1907. H. Casualties: (a) 700 British killed and wounded. London.E. S . soon to be restored to the French by treaty. leaving the French to deal with the G e r m a n 19th A r m y alone.

140 nobles and 1. Forces engaged: (a) Imperialists: approx. but very slight. best reached by Route Nationale 35. was compelled to surrender on 7 J u n e . 378). On the Battle : Oman. Golin. (b) French: details unknown. From Domesday Book to Magna Carta. C. W h e n charged he drove back the enemy. 15. 71. London. a fortnight later. Total: 24.M. the battlefield lies on the road from Bouvines to Gruson near the railway crossing. Result: A complete victory for the French. a n d although the m a i n assault was held. However. Foy successfully a n d reached the summit unobserved in a sector which the French h a d thought unscaleable. 7. The F r e n c h commander. 75 .. h a d fought bravely and was. therefore.000 cavalry. Paris.000 rank and file prisoners. dashing King John of England's hopes of regaining his French possessions. 6. decided on several attacks along t h e n o r t h a n d east coasts.000. t h e commanders. Object of the action: The Imperial army was trying to force its way through to Paris. Hodgson. War and campaign: The Anglo-Imperial invasion of France.S. (b) King Philip Augustus in command of the French army.000 foot. a n d after being reinforced compelled t h e F r e n c h to retire into t h e fortress of I'iilais. after a gallant defence. Total: 22. securing the ruling dynasty. L. 1924. Location: South-east from Lille.000 foot. A. on 8 J u n e . Casualties: (a) 170 knights killed. Opposing sides: (a) The Emperor Otto IV commanding the Imperial army. A History of the Art of War in the Middle Ages. 1954. and ending the Imperial rule of Otto IV. Sainte Croix. W. allowed to m a r c h out through the breach with all t h e honours of war. Oxford. Suggested reading: General Work: Poole. on 13 M a y .000. the British commander. 18. 1915.having lost a b o u t 500 m e n killed.000 cavalry. J. C. a n d was conveyed to L'Orient with all t h a t was left of his force. Vol. Brigadier L a m b a r t developed a feint attack east of St. Next the French retired to the citadel which. but at length. h a d to wait two weeks to l a n d his heavy artillery owing to continual gales. t h e enemy entrenchments were carried by storm. Les Grandes Batailles de l'Histoire. 1214 (see p. (b) French: approx. I (2nd Edn. w o u n d e d a n d prisoners. Bouvines (A***) Date: 27 July 1214.).

Otto did not leave his base in the Netherlands. having by-passed Tournai. in Vermandois. In the meantime Philip had summoned the feudal array of east. Already the French rearguard cavalry under the Viscount of Melun had fought an action against the Flemish cavalry. and 76 . On the left stood the men of the Counts of Ponthieu. Accordingly he marched westwards towards Bouvines. in his rear. composed of baronial tenants including 70 Norman knights. cavalry and foot soldiers. where he had been supplementing his meagre German forces with the tenants of his allies. The Imperialists deployed a long line of pikemen first. paid by English gold. These in turn were divided into 3 divisions. making a detour to the west to pass round the Germans. Therefore Philip ordered his army to face about. At last on 12 July he entered Nivelles in Brabant and then moved southwards into Hainault in the right direction for Paris. caught up with the French before they had crossed the Marque. But Otto had resolved to seek battle. In addition a large force of mercenaries. and the Counts of Flanders. By ravaging southern France the King hoped to attract the French field army towards him. On the right wing. 70 miles north of Paris. Dreux. were mustered many more feudal contingents from all over France. where there was a bridge over the River Marque. He then moved into Flemish territory and captured Tournai on 26 July. He mustered his forces in the middle of July at Péronne. the Dukes of Brabant. On the morning of 27 July the Imperialists. King John's operations in Poitou and Anjou drew Philip Augustus south in March. Leaving an army under Prince Louis to watch the English. The French soldiers were drawn up in 3 lines —cross-bowmen. Limburg and Lorraine. This plan was marred by the delays of the German emperor. Auxerre and many other companies from northern France. central and north France. Here he learnt that the invaders had left Flanders and were in fact at Valenciennes. At once the French king decided to march southwards with all haste. In alliance with Emperor Otto IV of the Holy Roman Empire and various disaffected French vassals he planned a double invasion of France. under the Duke of Burgundy. Holland and Namur. and although Philip had sent the Duke of Burgundy to stiffen this resistance it had become clear that the army would not be able to cross the bridge at Bouvines in time. and take up positions on the slight rise east of the river astride the Roman road to Tournai. meanwhile Otto would enter France from the north and capture Paris.On 15 February 1214 King John of England landed in France determined to win back the lands of the Angevin empire lost to the French. but Otto failed to march on Paris. He led his army north-westwards. swelled his ranks. the French king hurried northwards. The king commanded the centre.

King Philip then led the heavy cavalry under his command. but as a fighting unity the Imperial left wing was no more. Soon the whole Imperial left wing was in action against the French opposite them. Soon each French knight was hacking about him at a cluster of German pikemen. hoping to break the Imperial line. The Count of Boulogne and his feudal array stood their ground valiantly against the Count of Dreux. Namur and Limburg. On the French left the battle had also gone well for King Philip. and a confused cavalry fight ensued. A squadron of 300 men-at-arms from the French right charged first. the centre of Germans supported by men from Brabant. The Flemings on the right of Otto had by now lost most of their leaders. After the capture of Salisbury by the Bishop of Beauvais his mercenary soldiers fled. and the King himself almost lost his life when he was pulled off his horse. who fell back rapidly behind their own cavalry. and the right wing of mercenaries under the Earl of Salisbury and the cavalry of the Count of Boulogne. The left division consisted mainly of Flemings. charging into their disordered ranks. and gradually they also gave ground and scattered for safety. In the centre the Imperialist pikemen soon routed the French infantry and continued to advance. but they were repulsed by the Flemish.BOUVINES 27th July 1214 supported these with their cavalry. who advanced upon the French. In the centre a furious battle raged between the unwearied 77 . Mounting again he directed his cavalry in repeated charges among the disorganised Imperial infantry.

Result: The bulk of the German armour was attracted to the British front. which was to last until Easter. T h e E m p e r o r O t t o lost his throne as a consequence of the battle a n d K i n g J o h n returned to face the crisis which culminated in t h e signing of M a g n a C a r t a . 387). and thus facilitate the American ist Army's breakout through St. A French knight. Object of the action: Montgomery intended to de down as many German Panzer divisions as possible. G e r a r d la T r u e .G e r m a n chivalry a n d the tired knights of King Philip. Opposing sides: (a) Field-Marshal Montgomery in command of the Allied 21st Army Group.000 mounted men-at-arms. 3 armoured. continued to resist. T h e t r i u m p h a n t French king signed a truce on 18 September with K i n g J o h n . (b) Field-Marshal Rommel commanding Army Group 'B'. w h o cut their way past the spearmen. however. 1 airborne divisions. Forces engaged: (a) British 2nd Army: 10 infantry.).863 killed and wounded (Normandy Front). J. Caen Area (A***) Date: 6 June-25 July 1944. increasing numbers of Germans followed t h e example of their leader a n d fled t h e field. Lo (q. T h e absence of their general lowered the morale of t h e G e r m a n nobility w h ' engaged t h e French cavalry with desperate counter-charge As m o r e soldiers from the French left wing gathered to reinforce their fellows in the centre. General Hausser. War and campaign: The Second World War. and 6 armoured brigades (1. (b) German (to 23 July) : 116.690 wounded. (b) German 7Ü1 Army and Panzer Group West: 6 infantry divisions and 7 Panzer divisions (670 tanks). with some 700 pikemen formed in a circle protecting his cavalry whenever they returned from their charges. 83. slew the Emperor's horse. 78 .010killed. later. T h e Count of Boulogne.E. Location: The road-triangle Caen-Villers Bocage-Bayeux (best approach Route Nationale 13). 1220. this enabled Bradley to break out on 25 July. He was defeated only by the combined efforts of 3. t h e Bishop-Elect of Senlis. but his loyal Saxons gathered around h i m a n d covered his retreat from the field u p o n a borrowed m o u n t . Casualties: (a) British (to 19 July): 6. 28. T h e Count himself became a prisoner of t h e martial Guérin.v.A. the North-west European Campaign of 1944-5 (see p.350 tanks).

fell to the British 2nd A r m y on the following day. N. They must therefore approach the bridgehead from the east and converge on Caen. Bayeux a n d Caen were included in the D . At 2100 hours on 7 J u l y .. London. T h e Germans quickly endeavoured to concentrate 4 very good Panzer divisions in the area. London. The Struggle for Europe.. P. Normandy.. an attempt between 10 a n d 15 J u n e to outflank a n d encircle the city with t h e 30th Corps from the Bayeux area towards Villers Bocage a n d Evrécy. T h e storm from 18 to 21 J u n e delayed t h e start of the next offensive to 25 J u n e . By 29 J u n e it h a d forestalled the last German attempt to break the Allied front. attacking both east and west of the Orne. On die Campaign: Speidel. London. T h e first. His strategic aim achieved.. 1960. June 1944. 1952. Willmott. the chance of taking Caen on D . Seven Armies in Normandy. This drew all the available G e r m a n armour on to the British front. 1962. Montgomery accordingly p l a n n e d to threaten to break out here. T h e theme of British operations for the next m o n t h thus became the c a p t u r e of Caen. D. 1984. This involved a thrust by the 8th Corps from the north between Caen a n d Tilly across the River O d o n a n d aimed at placing the British armour astride the Caen-Falaise road. We defended Normandy. 1983. Montgomery suspended the batde. 1965. Hastings. The city was also the sally port offering the invaders the shortest route to Paris and the Seine ports and to the best country for the establishment of airfields. London.D a y objectives of the British 2nd Army. regrettably. For the next 20 days Montgomery continued to pull the weight of t h e enemy's a r m o u r on to the British front.. Ottawa.560 tons of bombs on Caen causing immense d a m a g e a n d m u c h civilian suffering. a n d with the ist Corps east of the O r n e . Stacey. T h r e e battles resulted.Suggested reading: General Works: Wilmot C. P. Carell. 467 Lancasters of Bomber C o m m a n d d r o p p e d 2. H.D a y was missed. London. 1951. 1984. M. Partly owing to the intervention of the 21st Panzer Division a n d partly through failure to exploit fully initial surprise. Invasion — They're Coming. Essame and Belfield. Keegan J. H e then proposed to pivot the whole front on Caen a n d break out on the west flank with t h e American armies u n d e r Bradley. with t h e result that on 25 July. Bayeux fell on 7 J u n e . the bulk of the German mobile reserves were sited north of the Seine. H. 8 miles south-west of Caen. b u t not the F a u b o u r g de Vaucelles south of the O r n e . thus drawing the G e r m a n armoured divisions on to the British a n d Canadians a n d wearing t h e m down. 79 . T h e city. P. The Battle of Normandy. Despite pressure from American a n d . A glance at the map suffices to explain the immense stategic importance of Caen in the Battle of Normandy. The Victory Campaign. London. London.. At the outset. British sources he never once deviated from this aim.

London. Result: A brilliant initial success was nullified by a lack of reserves to resist German counter-attacks. G. for C a m b r a i was t h e first great tank offensive in history. 1920. Woolcombe. Vol. Cambrai (A****) Date: 20 November-5 December 1917. the direct descendant of the T a n k Corps of 1917. an indication of the work of the tank pioneers a n d t h e nearest a p p r o a c h to a quick a n d cheap breakthrough which a n y a r m y h a d hitherto achieved o n t h e Western F r o n t since the construction of the continuous trench system in N o v e m b e r 1914.) The Pumell History of the First World War. 3 tank brigades. Article: Chandler. London. London. Lo.E. Cambrai. Military Operations. the Western Front. War and campaign: The First World War. Tanks in the Great War. Liddell Hart. he was holding 7 Panzer divisions. Vol.. C.. Forces engaged (on 20 November): (a) British: 19 divisions. annually a n d rightly celebrate 20 November as their regimental day. Fuller. B. (b) Germans: 6 divisions (ultimately strengthened to 20). As t h e American breakout proceeded. J. whereas the Americans were faced only by 9 divisions of sorts a n d not m o r e t h a n 100 tanks.when t h e Americans were at last ready to break out at St. (b) 53. t h e ist C a n a d i a n A r m y . T h e Royal T a n k Regiment. 1959. W. Cambria 1917. 1967. I.. J. 4. Opposing sides: (a) General Byng commanding the British 3rd Army. 1948.).000 British (approx. The Tanks. 1964. 5 French divisions in reserve. H. relendessly continued t h e attack down the r o a d towards Falaise. 76. London. London. On the Campaign and Batde: Miles. H. supported by Bomber C o m m a n d . J. France and Flanders. 80 .. and Edmonds. R. 1914-18. F. 381) Object of the action: An Allied large-scale raid on the Somme front. Location: Follow Route Nationale 17 or 29 from Gouzeaucourt or Boursies to Cambrai. The Western Front. 6 infantry divisions a n d 3 Nebelwerfer brigades (over 600 tanks) in the Caen area. 1971. in Peter Young (ed. Battle of the Tanks.. London. Suggested reading: General Works: Termine. D.. 1917 (see p. (b) General von der Marwitz in command of the German 2nd Army. Casualties: (a) 44.000 German. 'The Batde of Cambrai'. where the terrain was favourable for use of the tank.

Quentin canal.The main efforts of the British Army in the summer and autumn of 1917 were engaged in Flanders where Haig's obsession with the scene of his first major command was worked out in a series of dreadful and fruitless frontal assaults on the ridges before Ypres. Behind Cambrai the upper Sensée river ran at right angles across the axis of advance. thirdly to cut off the Germans between the Sensée and the Canal du Nord and. Unless the original force could keep to schedule the operation would fail for lack of support and must be abandoned. however. the Tank Corps staff officer who had selected Cambrai as a profitable tank zone. By the middle of October it was clear even to him that the battle could not be prolonged with any profit in the worsening autumn weather and. Bourlon wood and the Sensée crossings. prepared a more ambitious project whose objects were. commanding the 3rd Army. The tanks at Ypres had. The gap was blocked by the main Hindenburg position. the rolling chalk downs of the Somme provided the 'going' which they needed and offered a good chance of exploitation if the tanks could secure the preliminary breakthrough which the tank staff confidently predicted. Quentin canal which turned north again to Cambrai before it reached the dominating spur of the Bourlon ridge on the left. about 7 miles apart. trenches and interlocking strong points some 4. Fuller. firstly to break through the Hindenburg line. had advocated no more than a raid on an enormous scale. bogged in the autumn quagmireFarther south. set a time limit of 48 hours for the seizure of the flanks and the crossings. designed to humiliate and confuse the enemy by a short and dramatic coup de main. The open country in the centre. On 13 October Haig gave his approval to the withdrawal of tanks from Ypres and the inception of detailed planning. behind which ran a second position (the Masnières-Beaurevoir line). lastly to push north-west towards Valenciennes. Byng. who knew only too well how few were the reserves available. 81 .000 yards deep. By 19 November the 3rd Army had 19 divisions on the front. These objectives were approved but Haig. anxious for a success and a diversion elsewhere. as the experts forecast. he turned again to a plan which he had briefly considered earlier. next to capture Cambrai. Supporting the main position and narrowing the gap was a westward loop of the St. offered the chance of a quick advance for it was largely free of the shell craters which had trapped the tanks at Ypres and was weakly garrisoned. The front chosen for attack was bounded on the east and west by the Canal du Nord and the St. The British would thus attack into a narrowing pocket and would have to seize both the ridge and the canal to break across the flanks and secure crossings over the Sensée to break through in depth. which was to strike the blow. a belt of wire.

The artillery numbered 1. secretly assembled and masked from discovery by dependence on a new and most difficult technique: shooting 82 .CAMBRAI 20th November to 5th December 1917 Six of these were to make the break-in which the Cavalry Corps (5 divisions) was to exploit.000 guns.

disposed there at the insistence of Pétain to help in enlarging the expected success. and only 150 guns. This unprecedented simultaneity carried the British quickly and easily through the German first positions. less had been achieved than was necessary.20 am on 20 November the bombardment opened and the infantry and tanks moved forward. 476 in all. completing their approach under cover of noise from low-flying aeroplanes. with 4 in support. 3 brigades of tanks stood ready to move off. as they moved onward. Paschendaele had worn down their army to a dangerously weak level and it could not be made up until the Russian armistice released troops from the east. Within 4 hours the whole of the Hindenburg line was in British hands. who were themselves subjected. while Haig had almost nothing on hand. but the exposed advance must be extended if the attackers were themselves to escape harm.from the map without preliminary registration. for the first and last time before the armistice. Haig had nothing in hand to reinforce his effort. At 6. The village might have been taken at any time by a flank attack from right or left. The assaulting infantry and tanks had practised the techniques of co-operation thoroughly in back areas. They had only 2 divisions in the line.Q. The commander of the 51st (Highland) Division distrusted the new arm and had kept his infantry too far behind the tanks. of which 378 were fighting tanks and the rest supply or gun-carriers. 83 . There were also 3 French infantry and 2 cavalry divisions behind the British. the troops were tiring and 179 of the tanks were out of action. a departure from convention which lulled enemy suspicion. Finally. The 'cavalry gap' had not appeared. There was to be no preparatory bombardment. and the tanks had been brought forward by train. The church bells were rung next morning in London. Bourlon was unattacked. Although the Germans had received rumours of an impending attack they were quite unaware of the nature of the blow about to fall. Thus the infantry were exposed to German machine guns undestroyed by the tanks. By evening. to salute a victory. except around the fortified village of Flesquières in the centre which was stubbornly defended.. although the situation looked promising on the map. During the night of 19 November they leaguered in the ruined villages and the dense thickets of Havrincourt wood. to intense fire from 3 field batteries in the orchards around the village. but the other divisions were intent upon securing their own objectives and the notorious weakness of communications prevented a clear picture of the situation percolating to 3rd Army H. But some were already on their way. but if dramatic it was not complete. The well-known 'diminishing power of the attack' had set in and the Germans were hurrying troops to the area.

Haig was unable to disengage or. with 20 divisions in hand. to Merysur-Seine. Against the more resolute British defence the effect was minimised but. On 29 November they repaid the surprise. J. Casualties: Not known.D. Quentin canal. For the next week bitter fighting raged around this little spur. After an initial advance of a mile and a half. on the night of 4/5 December Haig ordered a withdrawal to a line from Flesquières to Gonnelieu. 29 km. As his casualties mounted the Germans were assembling divisions from east and west for the counter-stroke. Opposing sides: (a) The Roman Master of the Soldiers. the infantry met tenacious resistance in Bourlon wood and the advance ceased. evacuated during the night. 451. It was clear that the British posture was unbalanced and. Although his time limit had been exceeded. from Troyes.K. 84 . Aetius. Object of the action: The Romans were attempting to repulse the Huns from northern Gaul. but this is no fair measure of its importance. The success of the Allied armies in late 1918 and the later development of all armoured forces stem from the surprise and triumph of 20 November 1917. which seemed to promise a continuation of the previous day's progress. Theoderic. 95. Location: Follow Route Nationale 19 from Paris for 139 km. to divert the enemy by attacks on the right where he held crossings over the St. in fact. almost exactly the area captured in the first day's fighting.D. in material terms. for lack of troops. War and campaign: The Hun Invasion of Gaul (see p. Cambrai was a disappointment. (b) Attila the Hun commanding his barbarian army. They also broke through the original British line south of Villers Plouich.P. and the Visigoth king. Thus.Flesquières was. In Russia and Italy they had recently experimented with a technique of hurricane bombardment and infantry infiltration which had proved enormously successful. 377). their attacks drove in the sides of the salient and regained much of the ground lost. although German gains to the south had turned it into an uncomfortable salient. Forces engaged: Uncertain. Châlons-sur-Marne (Mêry-sur-Seine) (B***) D a t e : A. but this came too late for a quick success at Bourlon against which Haig was now forced to concentrate.

the Ripuarian Franks who were settled in north-west Gaul were without a king. For long Attila had been content to exact a tribute in gold. Attila must have known that his most formidable opponents were not the Romans themselves. C. IV. London.D. But the Visigoths were now in conflict with Attila's Vandal allies. the King of the Huns. who already had numerous wives. in contrast to the Germanic invaders who had preceded them into the Empire. Suggested reading: General Works: Gibbon. F. but the Hun impetus was checked for the first time. 85 . They were by now relatively civilised. who may have been supposed to attack Italy... he conveniently had a pretext.. pure and simple. Bury). First. centuries before. Fifteen Decisive Battles of the Western World (Oxford Edn. took up the offer. Italy and her Invaders (2nd Edn. E. though it is possible that concerted action was planned with Geiseric the Vandal king. but in 450 the new eastern Emperor Marcian suspended payment. and the rival candidates appealed to Attila and to Rome.).. The Huns. Vol.). I. 'Attila the Hun'. The request was refused. Vol. London. and Rome had in fact employed Huns as mercenaries against them to defend Provence. 1892. living as devouring parasites in every society at which they struck. and would certainly oppose Attila himself. had ravaged the Chinese Kmpire. under Alaric. were still a danger to the Empire. and they were Christians.Result: Neither side gained a clear victory. J. demanded his bride and half Valentinian's Empire as her dowry. the attractions of civilised life meant nothing to them. E. for the Emperor Valentinian's repressed and half-crazed sister Honoria had secretly sent him her ring and a request for marriage. and their powers were yet further enhanced by the acquisition of Roman horses of superior size and endurance. On the Battle: Creasy. who a generation before had captured and sacked Rome. Article: Grant. but the powerful Visigothic kingdom of Theoderic in Aquitaine. London. 1954. appeared to be militarily invincible: living in the saddle. Decisive Battles of the Western World. who. Hodgkin. now dominating North Africa. their nobles at least were educated men. although not large in numbers or physique. in History Today. B. M. They were destroyers. Attila decided to attack in the west first. their horsemanship and mobility in the field were incredible. was still the terror of the entire Roman Empire after eighteen years of rule over his barbaric horde of nomads based to the north of the Danube. The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (Edn. Surprisingly. His reasons were twofold. This in particular directed Attila to Gaul rather than Italy. Fuller. The Visigoths.. 1954. At any rate. 1915. J. Worse still for Rome. 451 Attila. 1900. Attila. T. In A. At the same time.

striking at Arras. and for the past twenty years virtual ruler of the Western Empire. the allied weak spot. where his cavalry could be used to full advantage. It was an ideal position for him. the Visigoth king Theoderic at Toulouse was given eloquent warning of the common danger. and took the left and right wings respectively for their own forces. in three columns. The Roman and Visigoth army had now been strengthened by the adhesion of Sangibanus. were sacked and burned. broke through and wheeled round to take the Visigoths in the rear. Attila took this as a sign 86 . Attila moved back on the Seine and halted at Méry. under the name of Bagaudae. Mainz and Strasbourg. He entered Gaul in early summer of 451. living in retirement on his estates at Clermont. and had been in a state of rebellion for many years. Over a dozen cities. strategically controlling an important crossing of the Loire. Aetius and Theoderic put the suspect Alans in the centre. clearly planning to give battle in the wide plains of Champagne. he moved towards the south and besieged Orléans. Through the mediation of the powerful Gallic senator Avitus. which was miraculously saved. Attila put the Huns in his centre. Cologne. and the Gepidae and other contingents on the right. In the clash King Theoderic was struck by a missile and trampled to death in the mêlée. and knew Attila personally.The native peasantry of Gaul looked on Roman and Visigoth armies alike as oppressors. Meanwhile the Roman forces had been gathering in the south. including Trier. The Roman commander-in-chief was Aetius the Patrician. The united army advanced on Orléans. Aetius pursued his rearguard and inflicted severe casualties on the motley forces of the Huns and their allies. had spent a period of exile with them. the only hill of any size and thus a tactical position of immense importance. After the initial exchange of missiles Attila's cavalry charged the centre. When the Romano-Gothic force arrived Attila realised that he was outnumbered. but he was suspected of being ready to change sides. On 14 June he began his retreat towards the Seine. From Paris. son of King Theoderic. another barbarian people settled in Gaul. the Ostrogoths facing their Visigoth kinsmen on the left wing. Metz and Strasbourg. and mustered his forces. overlooking the Hun left flank. and decided to wait till the early afternoon before giving battle. As a young man he had lived as a hostage among the Huns. Master of the Soldiers. managed to occupy a small prominence overlooking the plain. In the meantime a small Visigoth force under Thorismond. King of the Alans. had on several occasions employed them as mercenaries. Aetius had crossed the Alps with a token force only. From them Attila might expect welcome as a deliverer. and Attila raised the siege which had lasted five weeks.

S E I N E ) A. 451 87 .S U R .CHÂLONS-SUR-MARNE ( M É R Y .D.

who had feared that the Visigoths. causing the pursuit to lose its impetus. to which Aetius also had come. The rest of the batde had been indecisive so far^ but Attila and the Huns were now forced to retreat and were pursued right up to their encampment. It was the first time that he had not conquered. including Aquileia. its importance cannot be underestimated. Attila remained in his camp for several days. The co-operation of Roman and Visigoth was a promising augury for the future. and the number of subject allies he could compel to serve him depended largely on the myth of his invincibility. Here Thorismond was formally elected king by the army in succession to Theoderic and swore revenge against the killers of his father. this chieftain who still claimed the Emperor's sister and her dowry. a matter of vital importance to him as the number of actual Huns was always small. The battle showed that the Germanic barbarians—the Visigoths—could choose civilisation rather than barbarism. But the next morning the Visigoth and Roman contingents dispersed and went their separate ways. perhaps by preying on his superstitions. It was the first time that his invincibility had been shaken in pitched battle. barricaded by wagons. died from a haemorrhage on the marriage bed. and occupied Milan. He had even prepared his own funeral pyre. sullenly suspecting a trap. Eventually he came out. and the Huns were never again a serious threat to Rome. and he suffered serious casualties. like those which 88 . and were prepared either to fight him again or to starve him out. The next year Attila descended on Italy itself. Here Thorismond was thrown from his horse and narrowly escaped. in the safety of his camp. but the result was to bring on a furious charge from the dead king's son Thorismond from his position above/the plain. Attila. if completely victorious over Attila. Aetius preferred to maintain a balance of terror. to leave Italy. Here a deputation led by Pope Leo somehow persuaded him. and saved Europe from becoming a desert. would present an intolerable menace to Rome once more. after managing to hold out on the Roman left wing. The Visigoths were breathing fire and slaughter. retired north across the Rhine and went back to his primitive cantonments on the Danube. Although the battle in Champagne in June 451 did not completely finish off Attila.of victory. It was now dusk and he rode back with his men to the Goth camp. So the Visigoths left. What had happened was the work of the diplomatic Aetius. He had preyed on Thorismond's fears that if he did not return at once to Toulouse he might be ousted from the throne. was prepared for the worst. After his death his illdisciplined and motley armies disintegrated. The next year. destroying numerous cities. after a barbarous revel to celebrate yet another marriage. Padua and Verona.

War and campaign: The Normandy-Calais Campaign of 1346. Total: approx.500 men-at-arms. London.).. 1. large numbers of ccmmunal militia. Casualties: (a) The English lost about 100 all ranks. 16-30 April 1917. Burne. Opposing sides: (a) King Edward III commanding an army of Englishmen and Welshmen. London. I. 1949. (b) The French lost 1. 1946 (English Edn. Total: approx. M u c h fighting centred along this natural line of resistance between Laon and R h e i m s . turned to face his French pursuers. London. 1955. (b) King Philip VI commanding the French forces.R. Forces engaged: (a) English: 5. F. Lot. 1917. 1939. Location: From Abbeville follow the Hesdin-St.. London. A History of the Art of War in the Middle Ages. 1346. London. the terrible casualties inflicted on the French during t h e Nivelle offensive of April 1917 (187. H. J. Vol. Crécy. The Decisive Battles of the Western World. 73. 10. the Hundred \ears' War (see p. Vol. battle of. The battle site lies in the triangle Crécy-Wadicourt-Estrées.000 other ranks.. turn left 3 miles south of Labroye for Crécy-en-Ponthieu. Western Front..000. Fuller.000 men-at-arms. A. F. Wailly. Omer road north for 11 miles. On the Campaign and Batde. T h e H u n d r e d Years' W a r . I.000 foot (including Genoese cross-bowmen) . Result: An overwhelming English victory which in due course opened the way for the siege and capture of Calais. K. 1924. C. A. Prelude to Victory. M. moving towards Flanders. Work of Fiction: Ellis. 30. 1951). Sir C. Suggested reading: General Works: Oman.000 Welshmen. 1954. London. La Guerre de Cent Ans.500 archers.500 knights and squires and perhaps 10. of which Crécy was t h e first major land battle. if they did recover at all. Object of the action: Edward III. de. near Laffaux. 1946. The Hundred Years' War. II (enlarged 2nd Edn. H.000) led directly to the 'military strike' of M a y 1917. C H E M I N DES D A M E S ( B * * * ) .B. 378). 2. The Crécy War. (b) French: 6. E.the H u n s h a d created in central Asia a n d which took centuries to recover from the effects of a few years of domination. London. Perroy. 9. Vol. See Spears. Crécy (A****) Date: 26 August 1346. Guns Forever Echo. with some Genoese and Italian troops. arose out of t h e rivalry between Philip VI of 89 . 85. LArt Militaire et les Armées au Moyen Age..000. 1987.

on 11 July. after Philip had declared Edward's province of Guienne forfeit. as Duke of Aquitaine. was a vassal of the French king.000 men at Portsmouth and. daughter of Philip IV of France—instead. against his orders. He chose the latter. to get to Flanders. in turn. probably influenced in his choice by the news that his Flemish allies had crossed the French frontier and laid siege to Béthune. which for a generation at least gave the English command of the Channel and therefore the ability to mount expeditions to invade France with relatively little fear of interference.France and Edward III of England. But. In the next few years there followed further expeditions to Flanders and to Guienne. Edward III was anxious not to bind himself too strongly as an obedient subject and. claiming his own right—through his mother Isabelle. in the end. or. 10 miles below Abbeville. if the latter. It had already become a fairly established strategy to divert the King of France from his attacks on Guienne by. Edward. and it is not clear whether Edward intended simply a diversion or a raid in force. Brittany or Guienne. to undermine his rival's power. and the latter wished to insist on as binding a form of vassalage as possible in order to restrain a dangerous and over-mighty subject. Thus what began as a feudal quarrel developed into a dynastic conflict. Edward. whether in Scotland. still in pursuit. Active hostilities broke out in 1337 when. deprived of his line of communication. Meanwhile Philip. and proceeded to Crécy. set sail for France. what the precise objective of the raid was to be. could either move south towards his own troops in Guienne or north-east towards Flanders. After several vain attempts he crossed the Somme at Blanchetaque. denied the right of Philip to be King of France at all. 90 . In these early years of fighting the one decisive action was the naval battle of Sluys of 24 June 1340. some 12 miles farther north. attacking northern France through Flanders. and Edward was forced to go close to Paris before getting across at Poissy. A decision was then enforced on Edward by a mutiny among his own ships' crews who. But in 1346 the approach was entirely different. the Seine and the Somme had to be crossed. on 24 August. It seems that Edward had originally intended to sail for Gascony but changed his mind and made for the Cotentin peninsula. In the ensuing clash each king took advantage of the other's domestic problems. Knowing that Philip now had a large army in the Paris area. His general strategic plan is far from clear. returned to England. Early in July 1346 Edward III mustered an army of about 10. Edward made his first attack on Philip via Flanders. crossed the Somme by the bridge in Abbeville. The lower Seine was found to be impassable. Edward hurried northwards towards the Somme at Abbeville.

CRÉGY 26th August 1346 91 .

Contact between the two armies was made in the late afternoon of 26 August and some of his entourage urged Philip to halt and form up his army. was drawn up in three 'divisions' or 'battles'. the reserve division by Edward III. on the left. on the north the village of Wadicourt itself gave some.At Crécy Edward decided to turn and accept battle. Moreover. on the forward slope of the rise which lies east of the road between Crécy and Wadicourt. two villages about 3. The first division. were out-ranged by the English long-bow which was capable of being used effectively at ranges of 200-250 yards. In addition many small holes were dug in front of these positions to cause the enemy cavalry to stumble. delaying battle until the next day. assuming that the French must—as they did—approach from this direction using the Abbeville-Hesdin road. Their weapons. As the cross-bowmen gave way before this deadly attack and turned to retire in disorder. on the two inner flanks archers were similarly posted. was commanded by the Prince of Wales. or right flank. and although some got to grips with the centre of each English division. and faced south-eastwards in the direction of Fontaine-sur-Maye. On each outer flank archers. It is calculated that some 12 to 15 quite uncoordinated attacks of this kind took place during the next 4 to 5 hours. though less protection. As they approached the English the Genoese cross-bowmen were thrown forward to begin the attack at about 6 pm. were drawn up at an obtuse angle to the line and forward of it. From this position they could pour flanking fire against enemy horsemen attacking the dismounted men-at-arms. This wise advice was never put into action simply because the advance guard of the French army refused to stop. most were decimated by the English archers firing in from the flanks. a third behind in reserve. now about 9. by the Earls of Arundel and Northampton. attempting to get to grips with the dismounted English men-at-arms.000 yards apart.000 strong. the position was protected by the edge of the dense Forest of Crécy and the tiny River Maye. the French men-at-arms charged down and through them. On the south. In each division the men-at-arms were dismounted and stationed in the centre. The English army. the second. Two divisions were placed forward. He drew up his army in the area between Crécy and Wadicourt. their positions forming a V-shape at that point. The line of battle of the first two divisions was one to which the English were now becoming accustomed. however. long-bowmen. On the English side it had been a static battle defending a strong natural position. In his advance from Abbeville Philip had at first lost touch with the English and had not expected them to turn and fight. on the right. 92 . his army was marching in considerable disorder and totally unready for battle.

Casualties: (a) 2. Location: A 30-mile stretch of the Normandy coast from the river Orne to the base of the Cotentin Peninsula.500) and indirectly.S. Young. On the Battle: Ryan. A n d on 28 August E d w a r d continued his m a r c h via Montreuil to Calais. 1946. DENAIN (G***) . War and campaign: The Second World War. Prince Eugen of Savoy. (b) Germans: elements of 3 infantry and 1 Panzer divisions. N. N. Marshal Villars (24. Armies). D-D ay (Operation Overlord) (A****) Date: 6 June 1944. 2 commando and 3 armoured brigades.G. Normandy to the Baltic. 75. L. 1952. Opposing sides: (a) General Montgomery commanding 2 ist Army Group (2nd British and ist U. part of Rommel's Army Group 'B'. See Henderson. Object of the action: The Allies were attempting to establish a bridgehead on the Normandy coast of German-occupied Europe. a n d its only immediate result was the capture of Calais. 82. and thus inaugurate the Second Front in the West. 1960. the North-west Europe Campaign. on Prince Eugen. London.By midnight Philip withdrew to the castle of Broye. C.. C. London. Amand and Douai from the Allies. Strategically. 1944-5 (see p. Suggested reading: General Works: Montgomery. 381). The Longest Day. the Allies achieved a decisive success and thus secured a considerable bridgehead in 'Festung Europa'.000) inflicted a sharp defeat on General Albemarle (10. battle of. Result: Although no final objectives were attained..H. 24 July 1712. (b) Germans: no figures known. The Struggle for Europe. t h e battle of Crécy established the supremacy of the long-bow on the battlefields of Europe a n d gave England the standing of a great military power. and later St. as we have seen. P. Forces engaged: (a) Allies: 3 airborne. 1964. the whole operation lacked coherent purpose. 93 . War of the Spanish Succession.500 Allies killed: 8. this success raised French morale and discouraged the Allies. Tactically.. London. thereby regaining Denain. on the river Scheldt. London. 7 infantry divisions. Wilmot.500 wounded or missing. (b) General Hausser's 7th German Army. B.

air offensive against road and rail communications in France and all bridges over the lower Seine. He was also absent on leave in Germany when the battle began. London. The naval operation to sweep lanes through the minefields. London. Freeman. For the cross-Channel assault Montgomery.D-Day. Gthjune 1944. But his forces were necessarily widely dispersed. and he could only move up his best armoured reserve divisions with Hitler's direct permission.. D-Day. June 1944. transport two armies across the Channel and support the landings with gunfire involved using over 3. responsible for defending the whole north-western coast of Europe. 1984.000 ships. D-DAY (OPERATION OVERLORD) 6th June 1944 The assault was preceded by a massive. 1984. and the British had also a mass of special tanks known as 'Funnies' for gapping minefields and wire. dropped soon after midnight.. had General Bradley's American ist Army and British 2nd Army under General Dempsey. P. planned to fight to a finish on the heavily fortified beaches. D. month-long. Willmott. Amphibious tanks were to accompany the infantry assault boats. Field-Marshal Rommel. Airborne divisions. had to secure both flanks of the assault. D-Day was the breaching of the so-called Atlantic Wall of Hitler's 'Fortress Europe' to enforce the unconditional surrender of Nazi Germany. under the supreme command of General Eisenhower. 1981. H. London. bridging awkward places and blowing up concrete emplacements. which was to 94 .

by seizing Caen and Bayeux. on five beaches. who were to cut the Caen-Bayeux road and threaten Caen from the west. But the handful which assembled secured almost all the objectives and caused the maximum bewilderment and confusion among the Germans. dropped at 95 . In spite of confusion on the beaches and some heavy fighting along the dunes. was also successful. Juno and Sword for the British and Canadians. The 50th Division was to land on Gold and capture Arromanches and Bayeux. and the beach defences were gradually worn down. west of the Vire. light and two of the five causeways were quickly secured. Gold. Some assault craft and tanks sank in the heavy seas. Rommel had strengthened his defences by widespread flooding of the river valleys behind the beaches. The American 101st and 82nd Airborne Divisions had the tasks of securing the five causeways which ran back through the floods behind Utah beach and the bridges beyond the floods over the River Merderet. north of the Vire estuary. code-named Utah and Omaha for the Americans. Farther to the east the British 2nd Army had three beaches. By good fortune opposition there was. Brilliant leadership and the fighting courage of the troops at last got a few parties moving inland by midday. which was mostly held back in the area between the Seine and the Loire. whereas at Utah there had only been 12 killed and 100 wounded. Almost all the tanks launched were swamped. however. Linking them were the Canadians on Juno. many of them into the floods. by 1 pm they had linked up with the airborne troops. though only 4 miles of coast had been cleared. Bradley was to secure a firm base for operations to cut off and capture Cherbourg. and the assault companies of infantry. Inexperience and bad navigation led to them being dropped over a widely scattered area. were pinned to the tide-line for hours. landing on Sword. hoped to capture Caen. On the beach alone they had suffered over 3. where they drowned. from 6. The 6th Airborne Division. had to shield the Americans from interference by the German armoured reserve. The seaborne landing by the American 4th Division on Utah. By midnight they held an area running 9 miles inland.come in at half-tide. The preliminary air and naval bombardment overshot the target. landed at the wrong places and in great disorder under a withering fire from the unsubdued defences. Dempsey. At Omaha. while successive waves of troops and vehicles came ashore in mounting confusion.30 in the morning onwards. the American ist and 29th Divisions came very near to disaster. the 3rd Division. and bad navigation brought the whole assault wave in a mile south of the selected beach.000 casualties. Wherever possible. But by midnight they had only penetrated about i£ miles on a 4-mile front and their situation was still very precarious.

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