Books Should Be Free is now
Loyal Books
Free Public Domain Audiobooks & eBook Downloads
Search by: Title, Author or Keyword

Malplaquet   By: (1870-1953)

Book cover

First Page:

MALPLAQUET

[Illustration: Malplaquet.

Frontispiece. ]

MALPLAQUET

BY HILAIRE BELLOC

LONDON STEPHEN SWIFT & CO., LTD. 10 JOHN STREET, ADELPHI 1911

CONTENTS

PAGE

I. THE POLITICAL MEANING OF MALPLAQUET 9

II. THE SIEGE OF TOURNAI 27

III. THE MANOEUVRING FOR POSITION 45

IV. THE PRELIMINARIES OF THE BATTLE 52

V. THE ACTION 65

LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS

PAGE

Sketch Map showing how the Lines of La Bassée blocked the advance of the Allies on Paris, and Marlborough's plan for turning them by the successive capture of Tournai and Mons 19

Sketch Map showing how the Allies, holding Lille, thrust the French back on to the defensive line St Venant Valenciennes, and thus cut off the French garrisons of Ypres, Tournai, and Mons 28

Sketch Map showing complete investment of Tournai 34

Sketch Map showing the lines of woods behind Mons, with the two gaps of Boussu and Aulnois 48

The Elements of the Action of Malplaquet, September 11th, 1709 66

Sketch Map showing the peril the French centre ran towards noon of being turned on its left 79

Sketch Map showing Marlborough bringing up troops to the centre for the final and successful attack upon the entrenchments 84

MALPLAQUET

I

THE POLITICAL MEANING OF MALPLAQUET

That political significance which we must seek in all military history, and without which that history cannot be accurate even upon its technical side, may be stated for the battle of Malplaquet in the following terms.

Louis XIV. succeeding to a cautious and constructive period in the national life of France, this in its turn succeeding to the long impotence of the religious wars, found at his orders when his long minority was ended a society not only eager and united, but beginning also to give forth the fruit due to three active generations of discussion and combat.

Every department of the national life manifested an extreme vitality, and, while the orderly and therefore convincing scheme of French culture imposed itself upon Western Europe, there followed in its wake the triumph of French arms; the king in that triumph nearly perfected a realm which would have had for its limits those of ancient Gaul.

It would be too long a matter to describe, even in general terms, the major issues depending upon Louis XIV.'s national ambitions and their success or failure.

In one aspect he stands for the maintenance of Catholic civilisation against the Separatist and dissolving forces of the Protestant North; in another he is the permanent antagonist of the Holy Roman Empire, or rather of the House of Austria, which had attained to a permanent hegemony therein. An extravagant judgment conceives his great successes as a menace to the corporate independence of Europe, or upon the other view as the opportunity for the founding of a real European unity.

But all these general considerations may, for the purposes of military history, be regarded in the single light of the final and decisive action which Louis XIV. took when he determined in the year 1701 to support the claims of his young grandson to the throne of Spain. This it was which excited against him a universal coalition, and acts following upon that main decision drew into the coalition the deciding factor of Great Britain.

The supremacy of French arms had endured in Europe for forty years when the Spanish policy was decided on. Louis was growing old. That financial exhaustion which almost invariably follows a generation of high national activity, and which is almost invariably masked by pompous outward state, was a reality already present though as yet undiscovered in the condition of France... Continue reading book >>




eBook Downloads
ePUB eBook
• iBooks for iPhone and iPad
• Nook
• Sony Reader
Kindle eBook
• Mobi file format for Kindle
Read eBook
• Load eBook in browser
Text File eBook
• Computers
• Windows
• Mac

Review this book



Popular Genres
More Genres
Languages
Paid Books