Battle of Ramillies
The Battle of Ramillies, fought on 23 May 1706, was a battle of the War of the Spanish Succession. It followed an indecisive campaign against the Bourbon armies of King Louis XIV of France in 1705. In less than four hours Marlborough’s Dutch, English, and Danish forces overwhelmed Villeroi’s and Max Emanuel’s Franco-Spanish-Bavarian army.
About Battle of Ramillies in brief
The Battle of Ramillies, fought on 23 May 1706, was a battle of the War of the Spanish Succession. It followed an indecisive campaign against the Bourbon armies of King Louis XIV of France in 1705. In less than four hours Marlborough’s Dutch, English, and Danish forces overwhelmed Villeroi’s and Max Emanuel’s Franco-Spanish-Bavarian army. With their foe broken and routed, the Allies were able to fully exploit their victory. Town after town fell, including Brussels, Bruges and Antwerp. The Allies had imposed the greatest loss of territory and resources that Louis XIV would suffer during the war. After their disastrous defeat at Blenheim in 1704, the next year brought the French some respite. The year 1706 proved, for the Allies, to be an annus mirabilis. The Grand Alliance – Austria, England, and the Dutch Republic – won the war in 1706. But the year 1705 proved entirely barren for the Duke, whose military efforts were only partly compensated by the diplomatic efforts on the Moselle front. The Duke of Marlboro had intended the 1705 campaign – an invasion of France through the Moseslle valley – to persuade Louis XIV to make peace but the plan had been thwarted by friend and foe alike. In 1706 the French and their allies took the offensive in the Spanish Netherlands and, with victory, gained a ‘fair’ peace.
But in 1708 the Allies lost the war and were forced to abandon their campaign on the Mosel Valley and move their troops north to the Rhine to reinforce the French in Alsace. The Battle of Elixheim and the crossing of the Lines of the Brabant in 1709 was a turning point in the war, but it was not until 1710 that the Allies regained the initiative and the French were forced back to the defensive. The battle was won by the Allies and the Grand Alliance, but the war was not won until 1711. The French were eventually forced to give up their offensive in 1710 and the Allies gained the victory in the Battle of the Elix Valentine in 1713. The war was won in 1711 and 1712 by the French, the Austrians, the Dutch, the Germans and the Prussians. But it was only in 1714 that the French began to regain their momentum and the war ended in a draw with the Allies in 1715. The Treaty of Versailles was signed in 1716 and the end of the war marked the beginning of a period of peace between France and the West. The War of 1705 was a success for the French but the French wanted peace, but on reasonable terms, so the French went on the offensive again in 1707 and 1708. This time they were encouraged by the success of Marshal Villars in the Alsaces and in the battle of Calcinato in Italy.