Blenheim : Battle for Europe

by Charles Spencer

Hardcover, 2004




London : Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2004.


How two men brought about the defeat of Louis XIV's previously unbeaten army and saved Europe from French domination - A Sunday Times Bestseller By the summer of 1704 Louis XIV's vast armies dominated Europe. France defeated every alliance formed against her and Louis was poised to extend his frontier to the Rhine and install a French prince on the throne of Spain. Two men saved Europe from French military domination: the Duke of Marlborough and Prince Eugene of Savoy. Marlborough masterminded a brilliant campaign, working with Eugene to surprise the French invaders inside Germany. The rival armies clashed in August and the hitherto unbeaten French were utterly destroyed. Blenheim was a major turning point in European history. Charles Spencer's narrative is drawn from original sources and moves seamlessly from the deliberations of Kings and princes to the frontline soldiers. This is the battle that creates the enduring reputation of the British redcoat and shatters the image of the 'Sun King' and his mighty army.… (more)

User reviews

LibraryThing member drmaf
Excellent read, I knew little about Blenheim or the Duke of Marlborough save that he was Winston Churchill's ancestor, but this book is well-written and informative. In 1706, a joint English-Austrian-Dutch army led by John Churchill and Eugene of Savoy decisively defeated a much stronger Franco-Bavarian army near a little village in Bavaria called Blenheim. The defeat ended Louis XVI's dreams of a French-dominated Europe. The book covers the background and lead-up to the battle, looking into the character of the main protagonists, particularly the brilliantly talented Churchill, who was made Duke of Marlborough by a grateful nation, and built Blenheim, the palace where his most notable descendant was born. The author however is careful to also record the experience of the ordinary soldiers by including diary accounts and letters. A wonderfully written book to be relished by all lovers of combat in past eras.… (more)




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