Battle of Malplaquet

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Malplaquet, battle of

Malplaquet, battle of (mälpläkāˈ), a major engagement in the War of the Spanish Succession (see Spanish Succession, War of the). On Sept. 11, 1709, the combined forces of England and the Holy Roman emperor, led by the Duke of Marlborough and Prince Eugene of Savoy met the French army under Marshal Villars. Although the French were forced to retreat, the Anglo-imperial army, attacking strongly fortified positions, suffered more than 20,000 casualties, twice the number of French casualties. The battle was a strategic victory for France as it prevented an allied advance to Paris.
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Also on this day: 1709: The Duke of Marlborough defeated the French at the Battle of Malplaquet; 1862: Birth of American short story writer O.
Godert de Ginkel's Dutch army at Nijmegen (June 11), but was driven out of the area by Marlborough's maneuvers (June-July); commander of the Royal Bodyguard (1704); next saw major action as commander of Lille during the siege by Marlborough and Prince Eugene (August 13-December 9, 1708), and marched out with his garrison under full honors of war; placed himself under the command of Marshal Villars, his junior (1709); when Villars was wounded at the bloody battle of Malplaquet (September 11), Boufflers took command and directed the French army with great skill, abandoning the field after stout resistance but preserving the army's cohesion; died at Fontainebleau (August 22, 1711).
Though vain, ambitious, and boastful, Villars was a valiant and able commander, vigorous, energetic, and resourceful; despite defeat, his direction of the battle of Malplaquet was masterful.