The Battle of Blenheim
(referred to in some countries as the Second Battle of Höchstädt
) was a major battle of the War of the Spanish Succession
fought on 13 August 1704 King Louis XIV
sought to knock Emperor Leopold
out of the war by seizing Vienna
, the capital of the Holy Roman Empire
, and gain a favourable peace settlement. The dangers to Vienna were considerable: the Elector of Bavaria
and Marshal Marsin
’s forces in Bavaria
threatened from the west, and Marshal Vendôme
’s large army in northern Italy posed a serious danger with a potential offensive through the Brenner Pass
. Vienna was also under pressure from Rákóczi
’s Hungarian revolt
from its eastern approaches. Realising the danger, the Duke of Marlborough
resolved to alleviate the peril to Vienna by marching his forces south from Bedburg
and help maintain Emperor Leopold within the Grand Alliance.
Blenheim has gone down in history as one of the turning points of the War of the Spanish Succession. The overwhelming Allied victory ensured the safety of Vienna from the Franco-Bavarian army, thus preventing the collapse of the Grand Alliance. Bavaria and Cologne were knocked out of the war, and King Louis’ hopes for a quick victory came to an end. France suffered over 30,000 casualties including the commander-in-chief, Marshal Tallard, who was taken captive to England. Before the 1704 campaign ended, the Allies had taken Landau, and the towns of Trier (Trèves) and Trarbach on the Moselle in preparation for the following year's campaign into France itself.
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Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill
, PC (Can)
(30 November 1874 – 24 January 1965) was a British politician
who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1940 to 1945 and again from 1951 to 1955. A noted statesman
, Churchill was also an officer
in the British Army
. He has been studied to a unique extent as part of modern British
and world history
. A prolific author
, he won the Nobel Prize in Literature
in 1953 for his own historical writings.
During his army career Churchill saw combat with the Malakand Field Force on the Northwest Frontier, at the Battle of Omdurman in the Sudan and during the Second Boer War in South Africa. During this period he also gained fame, and not a small amount of notoriety, as a correspondent. At the forefront of the political scene for almost sixty years, Churchill held numerous political and cabinet positions. Before the First World War, he served as President of the Board of Trade and Home Secretary during the Liberal governments. In the First World War Churchill served in numerous positions, as First Lord of the Admiralty, Minister of Munitions, Secretary of State for War and Secretary of State for Air. He also served in the British Army on the Western Front and commanded the 6th Battalion of the Royal Scots Fusiliers. During the interwar years, he served as Chancellor of the Exchequer.
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