Denain(redirected from Denain, France)
a city in northern France (department of Nord), in whose vicinity a battle occurred between July 18 and July 24, 1712, during the War of the Spanish Succession.
The battle was fought between the French Army of Marshal C. L. de Villars (108,000 men) and the Austro-Dutch army of Prince Eugene of Savoy (122,000 men). The latter, in view of Great Britain’s duplicitous policy, refrained from decisive action and was drawn into a struggle for fortifications, a fact that the French took advantage of. On July 18, de Villars forced the Scheldt River, and on July 22-23, feigning an attack at Landrecies, which was under seige by the allied army, he compelled the enemy to transfer considerable forces to his left flank, after which on July 24 the main forces of the French Army struck a blow at Denain, where the allied lines of communications were located. The French troops captured Denain, killing 8,000 of the 12,000 men garrisoned there and losing only 2,000 of their own soldiers. After the loss of Denain and, as a consequence of this, his base at Marchiennes, Prince Eugene lifted his siege of Landrecies and retreated to Mons and Turin. The victory at Denain paved the way for the conclusion of the Peace of Utrecht (1713). The battle of Denain was characteristic of 18th-century strategy—inflicting strikes at fortifications and lines of communications rather than at the enemy’s manpower.