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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Field Marshal Bernard Law Montgomery, 1st Viscount Montgomery of Alamein
; 17 November 1887– 24 March 1976), often referred to as "Monty", was an Anglo-Irish British Army
officer. He successfully commanded Allied forces at the Battle of El Alamein
, a major turning point in the Western Desert Campaign
during World War II
, and troops under his command played a major role in the expulsion of Axis
forces from North Africa. He was later a prominent commander in Italy
and North-West Europe, where he was in command of all Allied ground forces during Operation Overlord
until after the Battle of Normandy
Britain declared war on Germany on 3 September 1939. The 3rd Division was deployed to Belgium as part of the British Expeditionary Force (BEF). Montgomery predicted a disaster similar to that in 1914, and so spent the Phony War training his troops for tactical retreat rather than offensive operations. During this time, Montgomery faced serious trouble from his superiors after again taking a very pragmatic attitude towards the sexual health of his soldiers - outraging the clergy by stating openly in a memo that in his opinion "when a man wanted a woman, he should have one" - but was defended from dismissal by his superior Alan Brooke, commander of II Corps.
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