Marlborough

Nov 2011
4,716
Ohio, USA
#11
What was particularly great about the Danube March was just how few casualties from exhaustion, desertion, and sickness were incurred by Marlborough's force, especially considering the time period we're dealing with.

Had the guy not been undermined at home and been able to remain in command then there is a chance he would have been able to take the last remaining French fortresses like Landrecies and Cambrai and thus have broken their fortress line completely in 1712. This accomplished, there's a real chance of him being able to invade deep into France in 1713 and force the French to sue for peace on very unfavorable terms. In other words, the French probably would have straight-up lost the war instead of simply both sides accepting mixed terms as happened historically.
 
Sep 2016
1,127
Georgia
#13
Had the guy not been undermined at home and been able to remain in command then there is a chance he would have been able to take the last remaining French fortresses like Landrecies and Cambrai and thus have broken their fortress line completely in 1712. This accomplished, there's a real chance of him being able to invade deep into France in 1713 and force the French to sue for peace on very unfavorable terms. In other words, the French probably would have straight-up lost the war instead of simply both sides accepting mixed terms as happened historically.
Allies actually had the real chance to make peace on very unfavorable terms for the French in 1709, but Louis refused to use his own army to depose Philip in Spain.

By 1712 French achieved victory in Spain. Marlborough also would have to face Villars with 100 000 French army.
Not to mention, that pro-peace Tories won a landslide victory in 1710 elections. Emperor Joseph died in April 1711 and Archduke Charles elected Emperor in October. The purpose of continuing the war was unclear, since union of Spain with Austria was as unwelcomed as one with France.

1709 was the best chance to end the war on victorious terms for Allies. However, they were too greedy.
 
Nov 2011
4,716
Ohio, USA
#14
Allies actually had the real chance to make peace on very unfavorable terms for the French in 1709, but Louis refused to use his own army to depose Philip in Spain.

By 1712 French achieved victory in Spain. Marlborough also would have to face Villars with 100 000 French army.
Not to mention, that pro-peace Tories won a landslide victory in 1710 elections. Emperor Joseph died in April 1711 and Archduke Charles elected Emperor in October. The purpose of continuing the war was unclear, since union of Spain with Austria was as unwelcomed as one with France.

1709 was the best chance to end the war on victorious terms for Allies. However, they were too greedy.
True, I was speaking purely on the military level without considering the political and diplomatic contexts. By extension, I was assuming the Tories didn't sack Marlborough and that Joseph survives.
 
Likes: Gvelion

Mangekyou

Ad Honorem
Jan 2010
7,915
UK
#15
Allies actually had the real chance to make peace on very unfavorable terms for the French in 1709, but Louis refused to use his own army to depose Philip in Spain.

By 1712 French achieved victory in Spain. Marlborough also would have to face Villars with 100 000 French army.
Not to mention, that pro-peace Tories won a landslide victory in 1710 elections. Emperor Joseph died in April 1711 and Archduke Charles elected Emperor in October. The purpose of continuing the war was unclear, since union of Spain with Austria was as unwelcomed as one with France.

1709 was the best chance to end the war on victorious terms for Allies. However, they were too greedy.
I think if the campaign had of gotten to Cambrai, Louis would've sued for peace. Villars was a strong opponent but he wary of fighting Marlborough in open field and had already been outmaneouvred on a number of occasions after Malplaquet and his covering force was held in stalemate at Bouchain.

Louis was a tough opponent to face overall, but once the reality of the fortress belt of Vauban being broken had set in, I think Louis may have been forced o the table again. Then again, the chance was there early on and the allies got greedy in putting a series of proposals Louis could never possibly accept, so his mind definitely hardened after that. Still, I think he would've considered peace if Cambrai fell.



It is telling that Marlborough never lost a battle, a siege or a skirmish, even Wellington praised him. In my eyes he was one of the greatest leaders of his era and possibly of all time, commanding a multi-national army, facing political problems at home and fighting what was possibly one of the strongest countries in Europe yet never losing is something that we can all agree takes some great skill. Something I have against him is that his career was short compared to many others, as such he didn't get to fight so many diverse sets of opponents in so many different situations like Eugene or Suvorov did, nevertheless I believe he was a better commander than them.
He was a soldier who had everything; tactical, operational strategic and diplomatic skills. He had the chance to develop these skills early in his life and under the tutelage of Turenne. The only other soldeir of the period who may have given him a tough time was possibly Charles. Eugene was a brilliant military leader, but I think Marlborough was better tactically and operationally.

The key to this was his ability to manage a multi-national coalition



It was definitely the strongest, before 1692 and Nine Years War.

However, much of the attention that Marlborough still gets is due to English bias. Which is not surprising.
I can see why you would say that, but that shouldn't detract from his actual skill as a soldier



I wouldn't really say that his career was short. Marlborough even fought during the Dutch War under command of Turenne, which was in 1670's. If we are talking solely about supreme command, then career of Marlborough was short.

However, the same can be said about Villars as well. Even though he fought in many previous campaigns under command of Luxembourg and others, before War of Spanish Succession. Villars also didn't really get many chances to show his skill during the War of Polish Succession.
Agreed


Danube march was definitely one of the best operations in 17th and 18th centuries. I especially love how Marlborough managed to trick even his Dutch allies.

I would say, that only Turenne's winter campaign in 1674/1675 and Eugene's Turin campaign in 1706 come close from that era. Though Turenne's brilliant campaign didn't result in as decisive victory as Blenheim was.
The winter march of Turenne was exceptional. Then again he was one of the masters of maneouuvre warfare, as was the imperial general, Franz von Mercy.

What was particularly great about the Danube March was just how few casualties from exhaustion, desertion, and sickness were incurred by Marlborough's force, especially considering the time period we're dealing with.
I think the biggest thing was that Marlborough had everything planned in advance. He used gold and other money to secure supplies and troops at various parts of the march, and also factored in recovery periods. That was the remarkable factor, imoo, that it held together so well, but also showcases his operational ability.


I prefer Benson & Hedges.
I'm sure they were benched for England xd
 
Sep 2016
1,127
Georgia
#16
I think if the campaign had of gotten to Cambrai, Louis would've sued for peace. Villars was a strong opponent but he wary of fighting Marlborough in open field and had already been outmaneouvred on a number of occasions after Malplaquet and his covering force was held in stalemate at Bouchain.

Louis was a tough opponent to face overall, but once the reality of the fortress belt of Vauban being broken had set in, I think Louis may have been forced o the table again. Then again, the chance was there early on and the allies got greedy in putting a series of proposals Louis could never possibly accept, so his mind definitely hardened after that. Still, I think he would've considered peace if Cambrai fell.
I can see that. Louis was not Napoleon, who refused several sound peace offers in 1813 and 1814. However, Allies must be careful and not humiliate him or France. Louis would never tolerate that, which Allies failed to recognize in 1709 and made a foolish mistake.

He was a soldier who had everything; tactical, operational strategic and diplomatic skills. He had the chance to develop these skills early in his life and under the tutelage of Turenne. The only other soldeir of the period who may have given him a tough time was possibly Charles. Eugene was a brilliant military leader, but I think Marlborough was better tactically and operationally.

The key to this was his ability to manage a multi-national coalition
Yes, that is what I find most impressive about. It is very hard to find a military commander, that would be good in so many aspects. For example, Suvorov never was a good diplomat and didn't have an ability to manage a multi-national coalition.

I can see why you would say that, but that shouldn't detract from his actual skill as a soldier

I think the biggest thing was that Marlborough had everything planned in advance. He used gold and other money to secure supplies and troops at various parts of the march, and also factored in recovery periods. That was the remarkable factor, imoo, that it held together so well, but also showcases his operational ability.
Yes, it shouldn't detract from his skill as a soldier. I just wish that Eugene, Maurice de Saxe, Villars and Suvorov would get more attention.

Danube march certainly is amazing feat in Logistics.
 
Last edited:

sparky

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
4,521
Sydney
#17
Marlborough was good , very good
but Cromwell was his equal and possibly his better , a pity he never had to fight on the continent
 

sparky

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
4,521
Sydney
#20
Cromwell would have had to contend with the creme of the time ......Gustav Adolph , Wallenstein , Tilly , Mansfeld , Torstensson
I am sure he would have been up there , he had the gift like Marlborough
some things can be taught
some things can be shown
some things can only be known
 

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