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Battle of Seneffe

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Battle of Seneffe
Part of the Franco-Dutch War
Adam Frans van der Meulen - The Battle of Seneffe.jpg
Battle of Seneffe, 11 August 1674
Date11 August 1674
Location
near Seneffe, Hainaut, present-day Belgium
Result See Aftermath
Belligerents
 France  Dutch Republic
 Holy Roman Empire
 Spain
Commanders and leaders
Kingdom of France Grand Condé
Kingdom of France Luxembourg
Kingdom of France Duc de Navailles
Kingdom of France Duc d'Enghien
Dutch Republic William of Orange
Dutch Republic Aylva
Holy Roman Empire de Souches
Holy Roman Empire Prince Vaudémont
Spain Marqués de Assentar  
Strength
45,000[1][2]-50,000 men[3]
60 guns
65,000 men[1][2][a]
70 guns
Casualties and losses
6,000 killed or wounded[5]
7,000 killed or wounded[6]
8,000 killed or wounded[7]
10,000 killed or wounded[8][9][1]
8,000 killed or wounded, total captured unknown[6][7]
14,000 killed, wounded or captured[8][5]
10,000 to 15,000 killed, wounded or captured[9]
15,000 killed or wounded, 5,000 captured[1]

The Battle of Seneffe took place on 11 August 1674 near Seneffe in present-day Belgium during the 1672 to 1678 Franco-Dutch War. It was fought between a primarily French force commanded by Condé and a combined Dutch, Imperial, and Spanish force under William of Orange. One of only three battles in the Spanish Netherlands during the war, Seneffe was the most expensive in terms of casualties, although estimates vary considerably.

By 1674, Allied forces in the Netherlands were numerically superior to the French army under Condé, which was based along the Piéton river near Charleroi. William took the offensive and sought to bring on a battle by outflanking the French positions but the broken ground forced him to divide his army into three separate columns.

Condé took advantage of this to launch a cavalry attack against the Allied vanguard, and by midday on 11 August had halted their advance. Against the advice of his subordinates, he then ordered a series of frontal assaults which led to heavy casualties on both sides with no concrete result.[2] Fighting continued until nightfall, when Condé withdrew to the Piéton and after holding his position overnight, William retired the next day in good order.

Although both sides claimed victory, neither gained a clear advantage as a result; despite heavier casualties, William quickly rebuilt his army and by the end of August was relatively stronger than before Seneffe, while his own losses meant Louis XIV ordered Condé to focus thereafter on sieges.[10] Of the two other battles in Flanders before the war ended in 1678, Cassel was sparked by an Allied attempt to relieve Saint-Omer and Saint-Denis was fought to prevent the French capture of Mons.

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Belgium

Belgium

Belgium, officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a country in Northwestern Europe. The country is bordered by the Netherlands to the north, Germany to the east, Luxembourg to the southeast, France to the southwest, and the North Sea to the northwest. It covers an area of 30,528 km2 (11,787 sq mi) and has a population of more than 11.5 million, making it the 22nd most densely populated country in the world and the 6th most densely populated country in Europe, with a density of 376/km2 (970/sq mi). Belgium is part of an area known as the Low Countries, historically a somewhat larger region than the Benelux group of states, as it also included parts of northern France. The capital and largest city is Brussels; other major cities are Antwerp, Ghent, Charleroi, Liège, Bruges, Namur, and Leuven.

Franco-Dutch War

Franco-Dutch War

The Franco-Dutch War, also known as the Dutch War, was fought between France and the Dutch Republic, supported by its allies the Holy Roman Empire, Spain, Brandenburg-Prussia and Denmark-Norway. In its early stages, France was allied with Münster and Cologne, as well as England. The 1672 to 1674 Third Anglo-Dutch War and 1675 to 1679 Scanian War are considered related conflicts.

Dutch Republic

Dutch Republic

The United Provinces of the Netherlands, also known as the (Seven) United Provinces, officially as the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands, and commonly referred to in historiography as the Dutch Republic, was a confederation that existed from 1579, during the Dutch Revolt, to 1795. It was a predecessor state of the Netherlands and the first fully independent Dutch nation state.

Holy Roman Empire

Holy Roman Empire

The Holy Roman Empire was a political entity in Western, Central, and Southern Europe that developed during the Early Middle Ages and continued until its dissolution in 1806 during the Napoleonic Wars.

Habsburg Spain

Habsburg Spain

Habsburg Spain is a contemporary historiographical term referring to the huge extent of territories ruled between the 16th and 18th centuries (1516–1713) by kings from the Spanish branch of the House of Habsburg. Habsburg Spain was a composite monarchy and a personal union. The Habsburg Hispanic Monarchs reached the zenith of their influence and power ruling the Spanish Empire. They controlled territories over the five continents, including the Americas, the East Indies, the Low Countries, Belgium, Luxembourg, and territories now in Italy, France and Germany in Europe, the Portuguese Empire from 1580 to 1640, and various other territories such as small enclaves like Ceuta and Oran in North Africa. This period of Spanish history has also been referred to as the "Age of Expansion".

Piéton

Piéton

The Piéton is a northern tributary of the Sambre in the Belgian Province of Hainaut. Their confluence is in Charleroi.

Charleroi

Charleroi

Charleroi is a city and a municipality of Wallonia, located in the province of Hainaut, Belgium. By 1 January 2008, the total population of Charleroi was 201,593. The metropolitan area, including the outer commuter zone, covers an area of 1,462 square kilometres (564 sq mi) with a total population of 522,522 by 1 January 2008, ranking it as the 5th most populous in Belgium after Brussels, Antwerp, Liège, and Ghent. The inhabitants are called Carolorégiens or simply Carolos.

Flanders

Flanders

Flanders is the Dutch-speaking northern portion of Belgium and one of the communities, regions and language areas of Belgium. However, there are several overlapping definitions, including ones related to culture, language, politics, and history, and sometimes involving neighbouring countries. The demonym associated with Flanders is Fleming, while the corresponding adjective is Flemish. The official capital of Flanders is the City of Brussels, although the Brussels-Capital Region that includes it has an independent regional government. The powers of the government of Flanders consist, among others, of economic affairs in the Flemish Region and the community aspects of Flanders life in Brussels, such as Flemish culture and education.

Battle of Cassel (1677)

Battle of Cassel (1677)

The Battle of Cassel, also known as the Battle of Peene, took place on 11 April 1677 during the Franco-Dutch War, near Cassel, 15 km (9 mi) west of Saint-Omer. A French army commanded by the duc de Luxembourg defeated a combined Dutch–Spanish force under William of Orange.

Saint-Omer

Saint-Omer

Saint-Omer is a commune and sub-prefecture of the Pas-de-Calais department in France.

Battle of Saint-Denis (1678)

Battle of Saint-Denis (1678)

The Battle of Saint-Denis was the last major action of the 1672 to 1678 Franco-Dutch War. It took place on 14 August 1678, four days after Louis XIV of France had agreed the Treaty of Nijmegen with the Dutch Republic, but before he finalised terms with Spain. The battle was initiated by the Allies to prevent the French capturing the Spanish-held town of Mons, then on the border between France and the Spanish Netherlands. Both sides claimed victory and the result is disputed.

Mons

Mons

Mons is a city and municipality of Wallonia, and the capital of the province of Hainaut, Belgium.

Background

Both France and the Dutch Republic viewed the Spanish Netherlands as essential for their security and trade, making it a contested area throughout the 17th century. France had occupied much of the region in the 1667-68 War of Devolution, before being forced by the Dutch-led Triple Alliance to return most of their gains in the 1668 Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle.[11] After this, Louis XIV decided the best way to force concessions from the Dutch was by defeating them first.[12]

When the Franco-Dutch War began in May 1672, French troops quickly overran large parts of the Netherlands, but by July the Dutch position had stabilised. The unexpected success of his offensive had encouraged Louis to make excessive demands, while concern at French gains brought the Dutch support from Brandenburg-Prussia, Emperor Leopold, and Charles II of Spain. In August 1673, an Imperial army entered the Rhineland; facing war on multiple fronts, Louis withdrew most of his forces from the Netherlands, retaining only Grave and Maastricht.[13]

In January 1674, Denmark joined the anti-French coalition, followed by the February Treaty of Westminster, which ended the Third Anglo-Dutch War.[14] In May, the French took the offensive in the Spanish territory of Franche-Comté, while Condé remained on the defensive in the Spanish Netherlands. A combined Dutch-Spanish force under William of Orange and Count Monterrey, Governor of the Spanish Netherlands, spent June and July attempting to bring Condé to battle. When this proved unsuccessful, William proposed invading French Flanders, which would threaten Condé's rear and force him to fight; Monterrey agreed since it also provided an opportunity to recapture the key Spanish border town of Charleroi.[15]

On 23 July, William was joined near Nivelles by an Imperial force under de Souches, a French Huguenot exile; along with 5,000 Spanish infantry and cavalry, this brought his numbers up to about 65,000. At the same time, the French completed their occupation of Franche-Comté which allowed Louis to send Condé substantial reinforcements, including his son the duc d'Enghien. By early August, Condé had 45,000 men entrenched along the line of the Piéton river which joined the Sambre at Charleroi.[16]

Discover more about Background related topics

Kingdom of France

Kingdom of France

The Kingdom of France is the historiographical name or umbrella term given to various political entities of France in the medieval and early modern period. It was one of the most powerful states in Europe since the High Middle Ages. It was also an early colonial power, with possessions around the world.

Dutch Republic

Dutch Republic

The United Provinces of the Netherlands, also known as the (Seven) United Provinces, officially as the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands, and commonly referred to in historiography as the Dutch Republic, was a confederation that existed from 1579, during the Dutch Revolt, to 1795. It was a predecessor state of the Netherlands and the first fully independent Dutch nation state.

Franco-Dutch War

Franco-Dutch War

The Franco-Dutch War, also known as the Dutch War, was fought between France and the Dutch Republic, supported by its allies the Holy Roman Empire, Spain, Brandenburg-Prussia and Denmark-Norway. In its early stages, France was allied with Münster and Cologne, as well as England. The 1672 to 1674 Third Anglo-Dutch War and 1675 to 1679 Scanian War are considered related conflicts.

Netherlands

Netherlands

The Netherlands, informally Holland, is a country located in Northwestern Europe with overseas territories in the Caribbean. It is the largest of four constituent countries of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The Netherlands consists of twelve provinces; it borders Germany to the east, and Belgium to the south, with a North Sea coastline to the north and west. It shares maritime borders with the United Kingdom, Germany and Belgium in the North Sea. The country's official language is Dutch, with West Frisian as a secondary official language in the province of Friesland. Dutch, English and Papiamento are official in the Caribbean territories.

Brandenburg-Prussia

Brandenburg-Prussia

Brandenburg-Prussia is the historiographic denomination for the early modern realm of the Brandenburgian Hohenzollerns between 1618 and 1701. Based in the Electorate of Brandenburg, the main branch of the Hohenzollern intermarried with the branch ruling the Duchy of Prussia, and secured succession upon the latter's extinction in the male line in 1618. Another consequence of the intermarriage was the incorporation of the lower Rhenish principalities of Cleves, Mark and Ravensberg after the Treaty of Xanten in 1614.

Leopold I, Holy Roman Emperor

Leopold I, Holy Roman Emperor

Leopold I was Holy Roman Emperor, King of Hungary, Croatia, and Bohemia. The second son of Ferdinand III, Holy Roman Emperor, by his first wife, Maria Anna of Spain, Leopold became heir apparent in 1654 by the death of his elder brother Ferdinand IV. Elected in 1658, Leopold ruled the Holy Roman Empire until his death in 1705, becoming the second longest-ruling Habsburg emperor. He was both a composer and considerable patron of music.

Charles II of Spain

Charles II of Spain

Charles II of Spain, known as the Bewitched, was the last Habsburg ruler of the Spanish Empire. Best remembered for his physical disabilities and the War of the Spanish Succession that followed his death, Charles's reign has traditionally been viewed as one of managed decline. However, many of the issues Spain faced in this period were inherited from his predecessors and some recent historians have suggested a more balanced perspective.

Grave, Netherlands

Grave, Netherlands

Grave is a city and former municipality in the Dutch province of North Brabant. The former municipality had a population of 12,483 in 2019. Grave is a member of the Dutch Association of Fortified Cities.

Maastricht

Maastricht

Maastricht is a city and a municipality in the southeastern Netherlands. It is the capital and largest city of the province of Limburg. Maastricht is located on both sides of the Meuse, at the point where the Jeker joins it. Mount Saint Peter (Sint-Pietersberg) is largely situated within the city's municipal borders. Maastricht is adjacent to the border with Belgium and is part of the Meuse-Rhine Euroregion, an international metropolis with a population of about 3.9 million, which includes the nearby German and Belgian cities of Aachen, Liège and Hasselt.

Denmark–Norway

Denmark–Norway

Denmark–Norway was an early modern multi-national and multi-lingual real union consisting of the Kingdom of Denmark, the Kingdom of Norway, the Duchy of Schleswig, and the Duchy of Holstein. The state also claimed sovereignty over three historical peoples: Frisians, Gutes and Wends. Denmark–Norway had several colonies, namely the Danish Gold Coast, the Nicobar Islands, Serampore, Tharangambadi, and the Danish West Indies. The union was also known as the Dano-Norwegian Realm, Twin Realms (Tvillingerigerne) or the Oldenburg Monarchy (Oldenburg-monarkiet)

Franche-Comté

Franche-Comté

Franche-Comté is a cultural and historical region of eastern France. It is composed of the modern departments of Doubs, Jura, Haute-Saône and the Territoire de Belfort. In 2016, its population was 1,180,397.

Louis, Grand Condé

Louis, Grand Condé

Louis de Bourbon, Prince of Condé, known as the Great Condé for his military exploits, was a French general and the most illustrious representative of the Condé branch of the House of Bourbon. He was one of Louis XIV's pre-eminent generals.

Battle

MonsMaastrichtSeneffeNivellesLiègeBrusselsCharleroiGraveclass=notpageimage| The Seneffe campaign, 1674; key locations in the Low Countries
Mons
Mons
Maastricht
Maastricht
Seneffe
Seneffe
Nivelles
Nivelles
Liège
Liège
Brussels
Brussels
Charleroi
Charleroi
Grave
Grave
The Seneffe campaign, 1674; key locations in the Low Countries

Concluding these positions were too strong for a frontal assault, on 9 August the Allied army left Nivelles and established a line running from the villages of Arquennes to Roux, on the French left. By doing so, they hoped to tempt Condé into an attack, but he simply shifted his troops to face the threat; as a result, William proposed moving around Seneffe, and into the French rear.[16] This was supported by the Spanish, since it would cut Condé's supply lines and isolate the French garrison in Charleroi (see Map).[17]

At 4:00 am on 11 August, the Allies set out in three columns, each marching parallel to the French positions, a formation dictated by the poor roads. The left column was commanded by de Souches, the right by the Marqués de Assentar, commander of the Spanish Army of Flanders, with the bulk of the infantry and artillery in the centre under William. A vanguard of 2,000 cavalry covered the gaps between the columns, with another 5,200 bringing up the rear led by Prince Vaudémont.[18]

Hearing the Allies were on the move, at 5:30 am Condé rode out to observe their dispositions, and quickly perceived their intentions. The terrain they were crossing was marshy and broken up by numerous hedges, walls and woods, with limited exit points; gambling these factors would negate their superior numbers, Condé decided to attack. He sent 400 light cavalry under Saint Clar to skirmish with the Allied rearguard and slow down their march, while also despatching a cavalry brigade under the Marquis de Rannes to seize the high ground north of Seneffe.[19]

Around 10:00 am, de Rannes came into contact with Vaudémont, who asked William for infantry support; he was sent three battalions under William Maurice of Nassau-Siegen, which he placed near the bridge over the Zenne or Senne river that flowed through Seneffe, with his cavalry just behind.[18][20] Despite gout so severe he was unable to wear riding boots, Condé himself led the elite Maison du Roi cavalry across the Zenne above Seneffe, and scattered Vaudémont's cavalry, whose headlong flight temporarily disrupted the Spanish troops immediately behind them.[4]

Simultaneous assaults by de Rannes and the duc de Luxembourg eventually overwhelmed the Allied infantry in Seneffe, who were either killed or taken prisoner.[21] By midday, Condé had inflicted significant losses on the Allies and gained a clear, if minor victory. He then persisted with a series of frontal assaults against the advice of his subordinates, and the battle degenerated into a number of confused and costly firefights.[15]

The duc d'Enghien rescues his father Condé at Seneffe
The duc d'Enghien rescues his father Condé at Seneffe

William halted his march and established a defensive line centred on the nearby Priory of St Nicolas;[22] on their left, Assentar rallied his troops, which he placed behind fortified positions in the hamlet of Fayt-la-Manage. Condé led one charge in person, during which he was unhorsed and had to be rescued by his son. After Assentar was mortally wounded, his cavalry fell back, scattering their own infantry and allowing the French to capture the priory.[22]

However, the struggle around St Nicolas gave William, John Maurice of Nassau-Siegen and Hans Willem van Aylva time to complete a new defensive line at Fayt, composed of 23 Dutch battalions, while de Souches deployed his Imperial troops on their left. Condé, who mistakenly assumed the Allies were retreating towards Mons, now planned to roll up them up from behind.[23] William however turned Fayt into a strong defensive position, placing cannons along the access roads and hedges.[7] The ground in front of his position was unsuitable for the French cavalry, while the Allied cavalry were stationed behind their infantry, ready to repulse any French breakthrough. At the same time, the French lacked artillery support, since their heavy guns had been left behind during the advance.[23]

A Dutch musketeer from the regiment of Schwartzenberg.
A Dutch musketeer from the regiment of Schwartzenberg.

Condé ordered his deputies, Luxembourg and Navailles, to assault the Allied flanks, while he himself stormed the village with the French and Swiss Guards. The attackers suffered heavy casualties but managed to capture six Dutch guns, before they were recaptured by a successful counterattack of Imperial cavalry and Dutch infantry.[24] Around 21:00, Condé halted his assault, while Luxembourg had also been forced to break off his attack on the left flank; although Navailles gained ground on the right, the Dutch regrouped and he was unable to make further progress.[25]

However, de Souches had been given secret instructions from Vienna to minimise casualties and late in the afternoon ordered the Imperial troops to withdraw, which allowed Luxembourg to capture much of the Allied baggage train.[26] Isolated firefights continued for another two hours, after which many soldiers fell asleep on the battlefield. In the dead of night, panic suddenly broke out in the French army, after which Condé ordered the retreat to Charleroi.[25] William ordered his troops to fire a triple salvo to claim victory[7] and then withdrew to Mons.[15]

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Low Countries

Low Countries

The term Low Countries, also known as the Low Lands and historically called the Netherlands, Flanders, or Belgica, is a coastal lowland region in Northwestern Europe forming the lower basin of the Rhine–Meuse–Scheldt delta and consisting of three countries: Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg. Geographically and historically, the area also includes parts of France and Germany such as French Flanders and the German regions of East Frisia and Cleves. During the Middle Ages, the Low Countries were divided into numerous semi-independent principalities.

Pedro de Acuña y Meneses, Marqués de Assentar

Pedro de Acuña y Meneses, Marqués de Assentar

Pedro de Acuña y Meneses, Marqués de Assentar, also known as Pedro da Cunha, was a Portuguese-born nobleman and soldier who served in the Spanish army during the 17th century. Appointed commander of the Army of Flanders in 1673, he was killed on 11 August 1674 at the Battle of Seneffe, then in the Spanish Netherlands.

Army of Flanders

Army of Flanders

The Army of Flanders was a multinational army in the service of the kings of Spain that was based in the Spanish Netherlands during the 16th to 18th centuries. It was notable for being the longest-serving army of the period, being in continuous service from 1567 until its disestablishment in 1706 and taking part in numerous pivotal battles of the Dutch Revolt (1567–1609) and the Thirty Years' War (1618–1648). Because it employed or pioneered many developing military concepts more reminiscent of later military units, enjoying permanent, standing regiments (tercios), barracks, military hospitals and rest homes long before they were adopted in most of Europe, the Army of Flanders has been considered the world's de facto first modern professional standing army. Sustained at huge cost and at significant distances from Spain via the Spanish Road, the Army of Flanders also became infamous for successive mutinies and its ill-disciplined activity on and off the battlefield, including the Sack of Antwerp in 1576.

Charles Henri, Prince of Commercy

Charles Henri, Prince of Commercy

Charles Henri of Lorraine was the legitimated son of Charles IV, Duke of Lorraine, and Béatrix de Cusance. He was given the Principality of Commercy in 1708 by his cousin Leopold, Duke of Lorraine. He was also the Count of Falkenstein.

Gout

Gout

Gout is a form of inflammatory arthritis characterized by recurrent attacks of a red, tender, hot and swollen joint, caused by the deposition of needle-like crystals of uric acid known as monosodium urate crystals. Pain typically comes on rapidly, reaching maximal intensity in less than 12 hours. The joint at the base of the big toe is affected (Podagra) in about half of cases. It may also result in tophi, kidney stones, or kidney damage.

François-Henri de Montmorency, duc de Luxembourg

François-Henri de Montmorency, duc de Luxembourg

François Henri de Montmorency-Bouteville, Duke of Piney-Luxembourg, commonly known as Luxembourg, and nicknamed "The Upholsterer of Notre-Dame", was a French general and Marshal of France. A comrade and successor of the Great Condé, he was one of the most accomplished military commanders of the early modern period and is particularly noted for his exploits in the Franco-Dutch War and War of the Grand Alliance. Not imposing physically, as he was a slight man and hunchbacked, Luxembourg was nonetheless one of France's greatest generals. He never lost a battle in which he held command.

Henri Jules, Prince of Condé

Henri Jules, Prince of Condé

Henri Jules de Bourbon was prince de Condé, from 1686 to his death. At the end of his life he suffered from clinical lycanthropy and was considered insane.

Manage, Belgium

Manage, Belgium

Manage is a municipality of Wallonia located in the province of Hainaut, Belgium.

John Maurice, Prince of Nassau-Siegen

John Maurice, Prince of Nassau-Siegen

John Maurice of Nassau, called "the Brazilian" for his fruitful period as governor of Dutch Brazil, was Count and Prince of Nassau-Siegen. He served as Herrenmeister of the Order of Saint John from 1652 until his death in 1679.

Hans Willem van Aylva

Hans Willem van Aylva

Hans Willem van Aylva was a Dutch soldier and lieutenant general.

Mons

Mons

Mons is a city and municipality of Wallonia, and the capital of the province of Hainaut, Belgium.

French Guards Regiment

French Guards Regiment

The French Guards were an elite infantry regiment of the French Royal Army. They formed a constituent part of the Maison militaire du roi de France under the Ancien Régime.

Aftermath

Condé's formal reception by Louis XIV at Versailles following Seneffe
Condé's formal reception by Louis XIV at Versailles following Seneffe

Although both sides claimed victory on the basis of "holding their ground" at the end of the fighting, neither gained a clear advantage, although some historians argue the battle was a French victory.[5][27][10] The result could have been far more decisive had Condé taken advantage of his initial success,[28] but his mistakes, combined with the courage and discipline of the Dutch and Spanish infantry, rescued William from a serious defeat.[29] Despite capturing over 100 colours and standards, as well as most of the Allied baggage train, Condé failed to inflict a crushing defeat on the Allies.[30] Since the battle failed to significantly change the overall strategic situation, other historians suggest it was essentially inconclusive.[31] [32] [4] [33]

Casualties on both sides were enormous, with estimates of Allied losses ranging from 10,000 [6] to 15,000, including prisoners.[8][9][5] [b] The dead included Sir Walter Vane, deputy commander of the elite Scots Brigade, François Palm, Colonel of the Dutch Marines, [36] and Assentar, whose body was later returned by Condé for burial. French casualties were between 7,000[6] to 10,000 dead or wounded,[8][9] with particularly heavy losses among the officer corps.[33][37] These shocked the French court, one contemporary writing "We have lost so much by this victory that without the Te Deum and captured flags at Notre Dame, we would believe we had lost the battle".[38] French military engineer and strategist Sébastien Le Prestre de Vauban argued Seneffe showed siege warfare was a better way to achieve victory than costly battles, and Louis ordered Condé to avoid a repeat.[10]

The Imperial troops escaped relatively untouched from the carnage at Seneffe, William claiming they had deliberately ignored his requests for support. Although Allied casualties were higher than those of the French, they were quickly replaced by taking troops from garrisons.[10] In addition, a large convoy arrived in the Allied camp outside Mons on 31 August, bringing supplies, a month's pay in advance for the survivors and five new Dutch regiments. Combined with the losses suffered by Condé, the Allied army was now stronger relative to the French than before Seneffe, and William proposed another invasion attempt.[30]

However, one less appreciated advantage held by the French over their opponents in this period was the benefit of undivided command and unified strategy. For different reasons, neither Monterrey or de Souches were willing to risk another battle and William was forced to compromise by besieging Oudenarde. Operations commenced on 16 September, and Condé began marching to its relief three days later. The Dutch and Spanish redoubled efforts to breach the walls before his arrival, but without advising his colleagues, de Souches sent the Imperial artillery off to Ghent. On 20 September, Condé took up position on the left bank of the Scheldt river and began bombarding the Allied positions on 21st.[39] Since the Imperial troops would not fight without their guns, and the Dutch and Spanish could not face the French on their own, the Allies were forced to abandon the siege,[40] along with most of their remaining equipment.[39]

The thanksgiving service of William III's army in Grave after its capture
The thanksgiving service of William III's army in Grave after its capture

After strong protests from the Dutch States General, de Souches was relieved of his command, but this did little to solve the reality of diverging objectives. Emperor Leopold preferred to focus Imperial resources on the Upper Rhine, the Spanish wanted to recoup their losses in the Spanish Netherlands, while the Dutch prioritised the recapture of Grave and Maastricht.[41] The Spanish returned to their garrisons, the Imperial troops recrossed the Meuse, [39] while William assumed command of operations at Grave, which had been besieged since 28 June and surrendered on 29 October.[40] Condé received an elaborate state reception at Versailles for Seneffe, but his health was failing and the casualties diminished Louis' trust in his abilities. He temporarily assumed command of French troops in the Rhineland following Turenne's death at Salzbach in July 1675, but retired before the end of the year. In the longer term, Seneffe confirmed Louis' preference for positional warfare, ushering in a period where siege and manoeuvre dominated military tactics.[42]

The Battle of Seneffe and Siege of Grave were illustrative of the stage the war had reached. Two years after the French lightning attack, the war had turned into a war of attrition. As armies expanded and the battlefield was relocated, casualties had increased. The Allies and France were of similar strength, but the parties were not yet tired enough of the war to agree to a peace.[43]

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Scots Brigade

Scots Brigade

The Scots Brigade, also referred to as the Anglo-Dutch Brigade or the Anglo-Scots Brigade, was an infantry brigade of the Dutch States Army. First formed in 1586, by the late 17th century it usually comprised six infantry regiments, three recruited primarily from Scotland and three from England. It was finally dissolved in 1782 following the outbreak of the Fourth Anglo-Dutch War.

Sébastien Le Prestre de Vauban

Sébastien Le Prestre de Vauban

Sébastien Le Prestre de Vauban, Seigneur de Vauban, later Marquis de Vauban, commonly referred to as Vauban, was a French military engineer who worked under Louis XIV. He is generally considered the greatest engineer of his time, and one of the most important in Western military history.

Ghent

Ghent

Ghent is a city and a municipality in the Flemish Region of Belgium. It is the capital and largest city of the East Flanders province, and the third largest in the country, exceeded in size only by Brussels and Antwerp. It is a port and university city.

Scheldt

Scheldt

The Scheldt is a 350-kilometre-long (220 mi) river that flows through northern France, western Belgium, and the southwestern part of the Netherlands, with its mouth at the North Sea. Its name is derived from an adjective corresponding to Old English sceald ("shallow"), Modern English shoal, Low German schol, West Frisian skol, and Swedish (obsolete) skäll ("thin").

Siege of Grave (1674)

Siege of Grave (1674)

The siege of Grave took place from 25 July to 27 October in 1674 during the Franco-Dutch War of 1672 to 1678, when a Dutch army captured the Dutch fortress town of Grave in what is now North Brabant. Grave had been occupied by the French since the summer of 1672 when an army under Turenne forced the town to surrender.

States General of the Netherlands

States General of the Netherlands

The States General of the Netherlands is the supreme bicameral legislature of the Netherlands consisting of the Senate and the House of Representatives. Both chambers meet at the Binnenhof in The Hague.

Upper Rhine

Upper Rhine

The Upper Rhine is the section of the Rhine between Basel in Switzerland and Bingen in Germany, surrounded by the Upper Rhine Plain. The river is marked by Rhine-kilometres 170 to 529.

Meuse

Meuse

The Meuse or Maas is a major European river, rising in France and flowing through Belgium and the Netherlands before draining into the North Sea from the Rhine–Meuse–Scheldt delta. It has a total length of 925 km.

Battle of Salzbach

Battle of Salzbach

The Battle of Salzbach, or Sasbach, took place on 27 July 1675 during the Franco-Dutch War, when an Imperial army under Raimondo Montecuccoli confronted a French force commanded by Marshal Turenne. The "battle" consisted primarily of an artillery duel, during which Turenne was killed by a cannonball.

Rampjaar

Rampjaar

In Dutch history, the year 1672 is referred to as the Rampjaar. In May 1672, following the outbreak of the Franco-Dutch War and its peripheral conflict the Third Anglo-Dutch War, France, supported by Münster and Cologne, invaded and nearly overran the Dutch Republic. At the same time, it faced the threat of an English naval blockade in support of the French endeavor, though that attempt was abandoned following the Battle of Solebay. A Dutch saying coined that year describes the Dutch people as redeloos ("irrational"), its government as radeloos ("distraught"), and the country as reddeloos. The cities of the coastal provinces of Holland, Zealand and Frisia underwent a political transition: the city governments were taken over by Orangists, opposed to the republican regime of the Grand Pensionary Johan de Witt, ending the First Stadtholderless Period.

Source: "Battle of Seneffe", Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, (2023, February 1st), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Seneffe.

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Footnotes
  1. ^ These included a Spanish contingent of 4,000 infantry and 1,000 cavalry [4]
  2. ^ In 1970, American military historian Trevor N. Dupuy provided figures that agreed with other estimates of French losses, but for reasons that have not been explained doubled those for the Allies, [34] which are then quoted by Spencer C. Tucker.[35] Since Dupuy is the only analyst to suggest casualties on this level, Micheal Clodfelter argues the figure of 14,000 Allied casualties is 'more likely'.[5]
References
  1. ^ a b c d Grant 2011, p. 370.
  2. ^ a b c Lynn 1999, pp. 80–81.
  3. ^ Van Nimwegen 2020, p. 143.
  4. ^ a b c Serrano.
  5. ^ a b c d e Clodfelter 2002, p. 46.
  6. ^ a b c d De Périni 1896, p. 107.
  7. ^ a b c d Panhuysen 2009, pp. 426.
  8. ^ a b c d Bodart 1908, p. 95.
  9. ^ a b c d Van Nimwegen 2010, p. 380.
  10. ^ a b c d Lynn 1999, p. 126.
  11. ^ Macintosh 1973, p. 165.
  12. ^ Lynn 1999, pp. 109–110.
  13. ^ Lynn 1999, p. 117.
  14. ^ Hutton 1989, p. 317.
  15. ^ a b c Lynn 1999, p. 125.
  16. ^ a b De Périni 1896, p. 82.
  17. ^ Lynn 1999, p. 124.
  18. ^ a b De Hooge 1680, pp. 499–500.
  19. ^ De Périni 1896, p. 92.
  20. ^ Van Nimwegen 2020, pp. 141.
  21. ^ De Hooge 1680, p. 501.
  22. ^ a b Van Nimwegen 2020, pp. 145–146.
  23. ^ a b Van Nimwegen 2020, pp. 146–147.
  24. ^ Van Nimwegen 2020, pp. 147.
  25. ^ a b Van Nimwegen 2020, pp. 148.
  26. ^ Troost 2004, p. 129.
  27. ^ Jacques 2007, p. 926.
  28. ^ Nolan 2008, p. 183.
  29. ^ Van Nimwegen 2010, pp. 511–512.
  30. ^ a b Van Nimwegen 2010, p. 479.
  31. ^ Van Nimwegen 2010, p. 511.
  32. ^ Nolan 2008, p. 123.
  33. ^ a b Panhuysen 2009, pp. 427.
  34. ^ Dupuy & Dupuy 1970, p. 565.
  35. ^ Tucker 2009, p. 651.
  36. ^ Luscombe.
  37. ^ Van Nimwegen 2020, pp. 149.
  38. ^ De Sévigné 1822, p. 353.
  39. ^ a b c De Périni 1896, p. 109.
  40. ^ a b Van Nimwegen 2010, p. 481.
  41. ^ Anonymous 1744, p. 263.
  42. ^ Lynn 1999, pp. 125–126.
  43. ^ Panhuysen 2009, pp. 428.
Sources
  • Anonymous (1744). The History of England, During the Reigns of K. William, Q. Anne and K George I, with an Introductory Review of the Reigns of the Royal Brothers Charles and James, Volume 1. Daniel Brown.
  • Bodart, Gaston (1908). Militar-Historisches Kreigs-Lexikon V1: 1618-1905 (in German) (2010 ed.). Kessinger Publishing. ISBN 978-1167991554.
  • Clodfelter, Micheal (2002). Warfare and Armed Conflicts: A Statistical Reference to Casualty and Other Figures 1500-1999. McFarland & Co. ISBN 978-0786412044.
  • De Hooge, Romeyn (1680). The Netherland-Historian Containing a True and Exact Relation of What Hath Passed in the Late Warrs (2018 ed.). Forgotten Books. ISBN 978-0484752152.
  • De Périni, Hardÿ (1896). Batailles françaises, Volume V (in French). Ernest Flammarion.
  • De Sévigné, Marie Rabutin-Chantal (1822). De St-Germain, Pierre Marie Gault (ed.). Letters of Madame De Sévigné, Volume III; to the Count de Bussy, 5 September 1674 (in French).
  • Dupuy, R. Ernest; Dupuy, Trevor, eds. (1970). The Collins Encyclopedia of Military History: From 3500 B.C. to the Present (2007 ed.). BCA.
  • Holmes, Richard (2009). Marlborough; England's Fragile Genius. Harper Press. ISBN 978-0007225729.
  • Hutton, Ronald (1989). Charles II King of England, Scotland and Ireland. Clarendon Press. ISBN 978-0198229117.
  • Jacques, Tony (2007). Dictionary of Battles and Sieges: A Guide to 8,500 Battles from Antiquity through the Twenty-first Century, Volume 3, P-Z. Greenwood. ISBN 978-0313335389.
  • Luscombe, Stephen. "Sir Walter Vane". BritishEmpire.co.uk. Retrieved 27 October 2021.
  • Lynn, John A. (1999). The Wars of Louis XIV, 1667–1714. Addison Wesley Longman. ISBN 978-0582056299.
  • Macintosh, Claude Truman (1973). French Diplomacy during the War of Devolution, the Triple Alliance and the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle (PhD). Ohio State University.
  • Nolan, Cathal (2008). Wars of the Age of Louis XIV, 1650–1715: An Encyclopedia of Global Warfare and Civilization. Greenwood. ISBN 978-0313330469.
  • Serrano, Juan Miguel. "Pedro de Acuña y Meneses". Real Academia de la Historia (in Spanish). Retrieved 26 October 2021.
  • Troost, Wouter (2004). William III the Stadholder-king; A Political Biography. Ashgate. ISBN 978-0754650713.
  • Tucker, Spencer C (2009). "August 11, 1674". A Global Chronology of Conflict: From the Ancient World to the Modern Middle East. Vol. Two: 1500-1774. ABC-CLIO. ISBN 978-1851096671.
  • Van Nimwegen, Olaf (2010). The Dutch Army and the Military Revolutions, 1588–1688. Boydell Press. ISBN 978-1843835752.
  • * Van Nimwegen, Olaf (2020). De Veertigjarige Oorlog 1672–1712: de strijd van de Nederlanders tegen de Zonnekoning [The 40 Years' War 1672–1712: the Dutch struggle against the Sun King] (in Dutch). Prometheus. ISBN 978-90-446-3871-4.
  • Panhuysen, Luc (2009). Rampjaar 1672: Hoe de Republiek aan de ondergang ontsnapte [Rampjaar 1672: How the Republic escaped its downfall] (in Dutch). Uitgeverij Atlas. ISBN 9789045013282.
  • Grant, RG, ed. (2011). 1001 Battles That Changed the Course of History. Universe Publishing. ISBN 978-0789322333.

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