|Battle of Landen|
|Part of the Nine Years' War|
Map of the battle. The Allied armies are in red
|Commanders and leaders|
|William III of England and II of Scotland|
|Casualties and losses|
|9,000 - 15,000|
killed, wounded, missing or captured
|12,000 - 19,000|
killed, wounded, missing or captured
The Battle of Landen or Neerwinden was fought in present-day Belgium on 29 July 1693 during the Nine Years' War. A French army under Marshal Luxembourg assaulted positions held by William III's Allied army three times before driving them from the field. Both sides suffered heavy casualties and the French were unable to follow up their victory, allowing William to escape.
Belgium, officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a country in Western Europe. It 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 30,688 square kilometres (11,849 sq mi) and has a population of more than 11.4 million. The capital and largest city is Brussels; other major cities are Antwerp, Ghent, Charleroi and Liège.
The Nine Years' War (1688–97)—often called the War of the Grand Alliance or the War of the League of Augsburg—was a conflict between Louis XIV of France and a European coalition of the Holy Roman Empire, the Dutch Republic, Spain, England and Savoy. It was fought in Europe and the surrounding seas, North America and in India. It is sometimes considered the first global war. The conflict encompassed the Williamite war in Ireland and Jacobite risings in Scotland, where William III and James II struggled for control of England and Ireland, and a campaign in colonial North America between French and English settlers and their respective Indigenous allies, today called King William's War by Americans.
François Henri de Montmorency-Bouteville, Duke of Piney-Luxembourg, called Luxembourg, was a French general, marshal of France, famous as the comrade and successor of the great Condé.
Since 1689, the French generally had the better of the war in Flanders, capturing several major cities in the Spanish Netherlands but without dealing a decisive blow. Dutch objectives were essentially defensive so this amounted to a strategic victory particularly after William's successful invasion of England in 1688.In 1692, French success at Namur and Steinkirk were offset by defeat at the Battle of La Hogue that ended hopes of restoring James II.
Spanish Netherlands was the collective name of States of the Holy Roman Empire in the Low Countries, held in personal union by the Spanish Crown from 1556 to 1714. This region comprised most of the modern states of Belgium and Luxembourg, as well as parts of northern France, southern Netherlands, and western Germany with the capital being Brussels.
William III, also widely known as William of Orange, was sovereign Prince of Orange from birth, Stadtholder of Holland, Zeeland, Utrecht, Gelderland and Overijssel in the Dutch Republic from 1672 and King of England, Ireland and Scotland from 1689 until his death in 1702. As King of Scotland, he is known as William II. He is sometimes informally known in Northern Ireland and Scotland as "King Billy".
The Siege of Namur, 25 May–30 June 1692, was a major engagement of the Nine Years' War, and was part of the French grand plan to defeat the forces of the Grand Alliance and bring a swift conclusion to the war. Namur, sitting on the confluence of the Meuse and Sambre rivers, was a considerable fortress, and was a significant political and military asset. French forces, guided by Vauban, forced the town's surrender on 5 June, but the citadel, staunchly defended by Menno van Coehoorn, managed to hold on until 30 June before capitulating, bringing an end to the 36-day siege. Concerned that King William III planned to recapture the stronghold, King Louis XIV subsequently ordered his commander-in-chief, the duc de Luxembourg, to join battle with the Allies in the field, resulting in the bloody Battle of Steenkerque on 3 August.
The huge costs of the war meant France was facing economic crisis while harvest failures led to widespread famine in 1693 and 1694; Louis needed peace but took the offensive once more as a prelude to offering terms. After some debate, the main French offensive for 1693 focused on Germany as this provided the best chance of forcing Austria out of the war, with subsidiary efforts in Italy and Flanders to tie down the Allies.In support of this objective, the French commander in Flanders Marshall Luxembourg began a series of marches in June 1693 designed to confuse William as to his main objective by simultaneously appearing to threaten the fortresses of Liège, Huy and Charleroi.
Liège is a major Walloon city and municipality and the capital of the Belgian province of Liège.
Huy is a municipality of Belgium. It lies in the country's Walloon Region and Province of Liege. Huy lies along the river Meuse, at the mouth of the small river Hoyoux. It is in the sillon industriel, the former industrial backbone of Wallonia, home to about two-thirds of the Walloon population. The Huy municipality includes the sub-municipalities of Ben-Ahin, Neuville-sous-Huy, and Tihange.
Charleroi is a city and a municipality of Wallonia, located in the province of Hainaut, Belgium. By January 1, 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 January 1, 2008, ranking it as the 5th most populous in Belgium after Brussels, Antwerp, Liège, and Ghent. The inhabitants are called Carolorégiens or simply Carolos.
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To maximise his field army, Luxembourg removed garrisons from French-controlled Maritime Flanders including Dunkirk and Ypres and William sent 15,000 men under the Duke of Wurtemberg to attack their lines. On 18 July, Luxembourg detached Marshall Villeroy to besiege Huy which forced William to march to its relief. He was still en route when it surrendered on 23 July, so he halted and reinforced the vital fortress of Liege with an additional ten battalions, bringing the total garrison up to 17,000.His remaining forces established a line running in a rough semicircle from Eliksem on the right to Landen or Neerlanden on the left; this allowed flexibility of response depending on Luxembourg's next move but left them with the Little Geete River only three kilometres to the rear.
Westhoek or Maritime Flanders is a region in Belgium and France and includes the following areas:
Dunkirk is a commune in the Nord department in northern France. It lies 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) from the Belgian border. The population of the city (commune) at the 2016 census was 91,412 inhabitants.
Ypres is a Belgian municipality in the province of West Flanders. Though the Flemish Ieper is the official name, the city's French name Ypres is most commonly used in English. The municipality comprises the city of Ypres and the villages of Boezinge, Brielen, Dikkebus, Elverdinge, Hollebeke, Sint-Jan, Vlamertinge, Voormezele, Zillebeke, and Zuidschote. Together, they are home to about 34,900 inhabitants.
These manoeuvrings meant Luxembourg had achieved a local numerical advantage over William of 66,000 to 50,000;on 28 July, he reversed his route and reached Landen in the evening after a forced march of 30 kilometres. William was aware of the French approach by mid-afternoon but decided to stand and fight rather than risk a river crossing at night. His situation was extremely dangerous; outnumbered, withdrawal restricted by the river behind his lines while the area enclosed by his troops was too shallow to allow reinforcements to be easily shifted from one flank to the other. William's right flank was key to the position as it protected the only line of retreat across the Geete; this section was anchored by the villages of Laar and Neerwinden and strongly held. In the centre, the open ground between Neerwinden and Neerlanden was solidly entrenched with the village of Rumsdorp as an advance post. The left rested on Landen brook and was the hardest to attack; as at Steinkirk the year before, this meant a large portion of the two armies i.e. those on the Allied left saw very little action.
The Battle of Steenkerque was fought on 3 August 1692, as a part of the Nine Years' War. It resulted in the victory of the French under Marshal François-Henri de Montmorency, duc de Luxembourg against a joint English-Scottish-Dutch-German army under Prince William of Orange. The battle took place near the village of Steenkerque in the Southern Netherlands, 50 kilometres (31 mi) south-west of Brussels. Steenkerque is now part of the Belgian municipality of Braine-le-Comte.
Luxembourg concentrated his main assault force of 28,000 men on the Allied right with secondary attacks to 'pin' the Allied left and centre to prevent it being reinforced. The subsidiary attacks would be carried out by three lines of cavalry, supported by two lines of infantry and a further three lines of cavalry behind while a strong force of infantry and dragoons attacked Rumsdorp.
On 29 July, after a long cannonade 28 French battalions attacked along the line from Laar and Neerwinden; after fierce house to house fighting, they captured Laar and the 9 Allied battalions in Neerwinden were driven to the very edge of the village. The right flank was close to collapse but the diversionary attacks on the centre and left had not materialised, allowing the Allies to reinforce their right, counter-attack and expel the French from Laar and Neerwinden.
A second assault was repulsed but Luxembourg used the 7,000 men from the two lines of largely unused French infantry on the centre and left to launch a third assault, once again forcing William to move units from the centre. The Allied right finally began to retreat; observing this, the French cavalry commander Feuquières charged the Allied centre and over-ran the entrenchments, catching them in the open and inflicting heavy casualties. The Allies were forced to conduct a hurried retreat over the Geete; only a stubborn rearguard action and repeated cavalry charges led by William himself allowed the bulk of his army to escape.> The number of standards captured by the French and sent for display in Notre-Dame de Paris earned Luxembourg the nickname 'Le Tapissier de Notre-Dame.'
Antoine de Pas, Marquis de Feuquières was a French writer and soldier, who served in the wars of Louis XIV. He was the son of diplomat Isaac de Feuquières and grandson of Isaac Manasses de Pas, Marquis de Feuquieres.
Notre-Dame de Paris, also known as Notre-Dame Cathedral or simply Notre-Dame, is a medieval Catholic cathedral on the Île de la Cité in the fourth arrondissement of Paris, France. The cathedral is considered to be one of the finest examples of French Gothic architecture. The innovative use of the rib vault and flying buttress, the enormous and colorful rose windows, and the naturalism and abundance of its sculptural decoration all set it apart from earlier Romanesque architecture.
Luxembourg might have won a crushing victory at Landen if the simultaneous attacks on the Allied left and centre had been made as planned; that delay plus stubborn resistance by his rearguard allowed William to salvage a very dangerous position. The Allies lost most of their artillery and suffered heavy casualties, estimated as between 12,000 - 19,000, with the French losing 9,000 - 15,000William had a silver medal struck to celebrate his success in 'saving Liege' and escaping with the bulk of his troops; this was partly propaganda for a Dutch audience beginning to question his military skills but credible enough to remain current 150 years later. There is some truth in this since it was yet another French tactical success that left them no nearer victory; William simply replaced his losses by recalling Württemberg from Maritime Flanders.
Luxembourg has been criticised for failing to exploit his victory; his troops were exhausted but it was also the consequence of French strategic confusion caused by Louis' constantly shifting focus. In June, a large part of his army was sent to Germany and he was tasked with preventing the Allies from ending reinforcements there; having achieved that, his next steps were unclear.In the end, Luxembourg and Louis agreed on the capture of Charleroi leading to Vauban besieging a fortress he designed himself a few years earlier.Charleroi surrendered in October 1693 but once again the French had failed to land a decisive blow despite enormous expenditure, victory at Landen and the capture of two major fortresses. Their campaigns in Flanders would in future essentially be defensive.
Among the casualties on the French side were
Among the casualties on the Allied side were
Laurence Sterne's famous picaresque novel Tristram Shandy of 1759 contains a number of references to the Nine Years' War, including the 1695 Second Siege of Namur. The character Corporal Trim refers to the Battle of Landen as follows:
Your honour remembers with concern, said the corporal, the total rout and confusion of our camp and army at the affair of Landen; every one was left to shift for himself; and if it had not been for the regiments of Wyndham, Lumley, and Galway, which covered the retreat over the bridge Neerspeeken, the king himself could scarce have gained it - he was press'd hard, as your honour knows, on every side of him...
The Western Front was the main theatre of war during the First World War. Following the outbreak of war in August 1914, the German Army opened the Western Front by invading Luxembourg and Belgium, then gaining military control of important industrial regions in France. The tide of the advance was dramatically turned with the Battle of the Marne. Following the Race to the Sea, both sides dug in along a meandering line of fortified trenches, stretching from the North Sea to the Swiss frontier with France, which changed little except during early 1917 and in 1918.
The Battle of Fleurus, fought on 1 July 1690, was a major engagement of the Nine Years' War. In a bold envelopment the Duc de Luxembourg, commanding Louis XIV of France’s army of some 35,000 men, soundly defeated Prince Waldeck’s Allied force of approximately 38,000 men comprising mainly Dutch, German, and Spanish troops. Waldeck suffered heavy losses in prisoners and equipment, and Luxembourg moved ahead to control Flanders. Although the French War Minister, Louvois, wished to press ahead and secure further success, King Louis overruled him and ordered Luxembourg to reinforce the Dauphin’s army on the Rhine and forgo any major siege. The Allies, meanwhile, withdrew to Brussels to recover and rebuild their army.
The Battle of Fleurus, on 26 June 1794, was an engagement between the army of the First French Republic, under General Jean-Baptiste Jourdan and the Coalition Army, commanded by Prince Josias of Coburg, in the most significant battle of the Flanders Campaign in the Low Countries during the French Revolutionary Wars. Both sides had forces in the area of around 80,000 men but the French were able to concentrate their troops and defeat the First Coalition. The Allied defeat led to the permanent loss of the Austrian Netherlands and to the destruction of the Dutch Republic. The battle marked a turning point for the French army, which remained ascendant for the rest of the War of the First Coalition. The French use of the reconnaissance balloon l'Entreprenant was the first military use of an aircraft that influenced the result of a battle.
The Battle of Seneffe took place on 11 August 1674, during the 1672–1678 Franco-Dutch War near Seneffe in present-day Belgium. It was fought by a French army commanded by Louis II de Bourbon, Prince de Condé and a combined Dutch-Imperial-Spanish force led by William of Orange. While a clear French victory, both sides suffered heavy losses and it had little impact on the outcome of the war in the Low Countries.
Landen is a municipality located in the Belgian province of Flemish Brabant. The municipality comprises the city of Landen proper and the towns of Attenhoven, Eliksem, Ezemaal, Laar, Neerlanden, Neerwinden, Overwinden, Rumsdorp, Waasmont, Walsbets, Walshoutem, Wange and Wezeren. On January 1, 2006, Landen had a total population of 14,682. The total area is 54.05 km² which gives a population density of 272 inhabitants per km².
The Battle of the Marne was a World War I battle fought from 6–12 September 1914. It resulted in an Allied victory against the German armies in the west. The battle was the culmination of the German advance into France and pursuit of the Allied armies which followed the Battle of the Frontiers in August and had reached the eastern outskirts of Paris. A counter-attack by six French armies and the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) along the Marne River forced the Imperial German Army to retreat northwest, leading to the First Battle of the Aisne and the Race to the Sea. The battle was a victory for the Allied Powers but led to four years of trench warfare stalemate on the Western Front.
Jean-Baptiste Jourdan, 1st Comte Jourdan, enlisted as a private in the French royal army and rose to command armies during the French Revolutionary Wars. Emperor Napoleon I of France named him a Marshal of France in 1804 and he also fought in the Napoleonic Wars. After 1815, he became reconciled to the Bourbon Restoration. He was one of the most successful commanders of the French Revolutionary Army.
Patrick Sarsfield, 1st Earl of Lucan, was an Irish Jacobite and soldier, belonging to an Irish Catholic family long settled in Ireland.
Neerwinden is a village in Belgium in the province of Flemish Brabant, a few miles southeast of Tienen, and is now part of the municipality of Landen.
The Battle of Saint-Denis on 14 August 1678 was the last major action of the 1672-1678 Franco-Dutch War. It took place around the villages of Saint-Denis and Casteau, just outside Mons, then part of the Spanish Netherlands, now modern Belgium.
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