Marlborough at Ramillies

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Marlborough at Ramillies Marlborough at Ramillies Marlborough at Ramillies by 2LT John C. Flanagan SFC Booth AOB 10-94 Executive Summary John Churchill, the Duke of Marlborough, is undoubtedly one of the greatest military commanders ever. Even though he commanded his armies in the early eighteenth century, there are many things we can learn from him. One way to gain this knowledge is by examining the Duke's leadership at the battle of Ramillies through the Principles of War. Marlborough at Ramillies 1 The Age of Reason was "a time when the ordinary officer preferred anything to fighting, [but] Marlborough . . . preferred fighting to anything."1 John Churchill, the Duke of Marlborough, loved the battlefield and this coupled with his military genius enabled him to defeat the French on every confrontation. One of the best examples of the Duke's outstanding generalship is Ramillies. Even though the Allied and French forces were numerically equivalent, Marlborough's military dexterity and expertise allowed him to defeat Villeroy (also spelled Villeroi) at Ramillies.2 In order to argue this point, I will examine Marlborough in this battle at the tactical level by using the Principles of War. Europe was weary after the devastation of the Thirty Years' War. The European countries found that war was very costly--in both money and lives. "It was an era dominated by the negativeness of the defensive--conduct a siege, make a march, threaten a flank, but avoid the enemy army."3 Both Churchill and his wife Sarah were good friends of Queen Anne. The Queen allowed him to do whatever he thought necessary; therefore, he was not constrained with the ideals of the Age of Reason. Marlborough, along with Prince Francois Eugene of Savoy, stood out during the Age of Reason because of their "unusual opinions: that
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