xxxxxThe battle was fought in 1708, some 18 miles south-
THE BATTLE OF OUDENAARDE 1708 (AN)
THE WAR OF THE SPANISH SUCCESSION
xxxxxThe battle, fought in July 1708, took place north of Oudenaarde, a town situated on the River Scheldt about 18 miles south-
xxxxxThe fighting raged all afternoon with neither side giving way, but, unknown to the French, Marlborough (illustrated) had sent a Dutch force on a wide detour to the west. Once in position, it launched a surprise attack upon the French right flank at the same time as Eugene led an assault on the left. Assailed from both sides, many of the French infantry crossed the river and made their escape. By nightfall they had lost some 6,000 men, killed or wounded, and around 9,000 captured. Casualties on the allied side amounted to about 4,000.
xxxxxDespite their defeat, Vendôme rallied his army the next day, and managed to repulse the allies at Ghent. However, this town, together with Bruges, was eventually recaptured by Marlborough six months later, and the French were finally driven out of the Low Countries.
Map (Europe): source unknown. Battle Plan: created by the Department of History, United States Military Academy, West Point, New York. Marlborough: detail from tapestry at Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire, England, artist unknown.