Blenheim, battle of

Blenheim, battle of,

major engagement of the War of the Spanish Succession (see Spanish Succession, War of theSpanish Succession, War of the,
1701–14, last of the general European wars caused by the efforts of King Louis XIV to extend French power. The conflict in America corresponding to the period of the War of the Spanish Succession was known as Queen Anne's War (see French and
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), fought on Aug. 13, 1704, at the village of Blenheim, near Höchstädt, Bavaria. Responding to appeals from Vienna, which was threatened by French and Bavarian forces, the English commander, John Churchill, duke of Marlborough, marched his army from the Netherlands to Bavaria and joined forces with the Austrian general, Prince Eugene of Savoy. At Blenheim their combined army overwhelmed a Franco-Bavarian force under Marshall Tallard and the elector of Bavaria. For the first time in two generations the French suffered a crushing defeat, and the results were immediate and far-reaching. Bavaria was conquered and Vienna saved. The territorial ambitions of Louis XIV beyond the Rhine were checked, and France was placed on the defensive.