1704 – Marlborough's march to the Danube

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Hierarchical Path: War of the Spanish Succession (Main Page) >> Campaigns >> 1704 – Marlborough's march to the Danube

The campaign lasted from May to November 1704


At the outset of the campaign of 1704, Elector Maximilian II Emanuel of Bavaria (35 bns, 45 sqns) and the Maréchal de Marsin (50 bns, 60 sqns), who had succeeded to Villars as commander of the French Army of the Danube, were on the Iller, between Ulm and Memmingen; the Maréchal de Tallard (30 bns, 35 sqns) on the Rhine between Strasbourg and Landau; the Maréchal de Villeroy as usual between the Lines of Brabant and the Meuse; between Villeroy and Tallard there was a small force (14 bns, 30 sqns) on the Moselle under the command of M. De Coigny, intended to reinforce either.

In Swabia, the Franco-Bavarians already occupied Ulm, Biberach, Memmingen, Kempten and Augsburg.

On the other side the Margrave Louis of Baden was in the Stockach-Engen region, with his own army and the relic of Styrum's, but being responsible for guarding the whole of the Middle Rhine as well as for opposing the Elector of Bavaria he was weak everywhere, and his defence of the Rhine was practically limited to holding the "Lines of Stollhofen," a defensive position near Buhl in Baden.

However, Marlborough's design was nothing less than to commit the Low Countries to the protection of the Dutch, and, leaving the old seat of war with all its armies and fortresses in rear, to carry the campaign into the heart of Germany. The Prince Eugène de Savoie and him decided that it could and must be done; but it would be no easy task to persuade the timid States-General and a factious House of Commons to a plan which was bold almost to rashness.


Map of Marlborough's march to the Danube in 1704 published in Wikimedia Commons by user Rebel Redcoat under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 license


The French send reinforcements to Bavaria

At the beginning of January, with Breisach and Kehl in their own hands, the French were more or less closely in touch with their comrades in Bavaria.

On 29 March, Tallard arrived in Alsace to assume command of his army and to make preparations to escort recruits destined to Marsin's Army operating in Bavaria. Tallard wrote to Marsin, proposing to effect a junction at Villingen on 10 May.

On 1 April. Tallard personally went to Strasbourg to assemble the 10,000 recruits (6,500 for the infantry and 2,500 for the cavalry) destined to the Army of Bavaria. Only 9,000 were ready to march. Furthermore, the Army of Bavaria would have needed 20,000 recruits to bring all its units to full strength (on average each battalion counted only 300 men and each squadron only 100 men). With the 9,000 recruits fit for duty, Tallard formed 16 bns and 16 sqns. He chose Neuenburg as the place where he would assemble his expedition.

By 11 April. Tallard had sent orders to Du Roi Cavalerie to march from Stenay to Metz.

On 15 April, Tallard gave orders to send the infantry recruits to Neuenburg where, to deceive the Allies, they would work at the demolition of the defensive works of the place. He also assembled 2,400 remounts at Huningue.

From 20 April, General Thüngen, commanding an Imperial corps on the Rhine, started to assemble his troops at the sources of the Neckar and of the Danube. Meanwhile, the Margrave of Baden, who was still at Aschaffenburg, gave orders to assemble the main Imperial army between Philippsburg and the Lines of Stollhofen.

On 25 April, Tallard reviewed at Neuenburg the recruits (7,000 foot, 2,400 horse) and 1,100 soldiers who had been left behind the previous year because of illness when Villars had undertaken his long march towards Bavaria.

On 29 April, the Elector of Bavaria assembled a Bavarian corps of 12 bns and 28 sqns at Donauworth.

In the last days of April, Tallard asked to M. de Coigny to advance towards the Upper Saar with his corps. Tallard also transferred the Gendarmerie de France from Franche-Comté to Béfort and ordered to M. de Laubanie to assemble near Landau the troops who had wintered in Lower Alsace.

By 30 April, Tallard's artillery (40 pieces including 4 heavy pieces) was assembled at Hochfelden.

On 1 May, the General Count d'Arco passed the Danube at Donauworth with the corps previously assembled by the Elector to effect the planned junction at Villingen on the 16 or 17 May, reaching Höchstädt on the same day. Meanwhile the Elector went to Mickhausen where he established his quarters. The same day, Marsin marched from Augsburg with the garrison and reached Riden (unidentified location).

On 2 May, Marsin reached Krumbach with most units of the Army of the Danube. The Elector of Bavaria joined Marsin in this town.

On 3 May, Coigny's Corps reached Phalsbourg and Sarrebourg. Tallard then ordered Coigny to make a diversion at Saverne on 10 May; to M. de Laubanie (8 bns, 8 sqns) to make another one from Landau on 11 May; and to M. de Courtebourne (5 bns, 10 sqns) to make a last one from Huningue towards Friedlingen on 11 May. The same day on the Danube, Marsin and the Elector reached Weißenhorn.

On 4 May, Marsin and the Elector reached Wiblingen on the right bank of the Danube near Ulm while Arco's Corps arrived at Ulm on the left bank of the Danube.

On 5 May, the Franco-Bavarian army sojourned around Ulm and the Elector reviewed his troops. Bread and biscuits were loaded on 4,000 wagons.

On 6 May, the Elector's Corps marched to Ristissen and Arco's Corps to Offingen (probably an error, this town is located to the East of Ulm).

On 7 May, the Elector's Corps reached Munderkingen.

On 8 May, the Elector's Corps marched to Neufra (not to be confused with the larger town of the same name located next to Riedlingen on the left bank of the the Danube) and Arco's Corps to Riedlingen.

On 9 May, Arco's Corps passed the Danube on the bridge of Riedlingen to follow the Elector's Corps which was marching to Mengen where the Elector to camp with all his army after its junction. However, on his way, the Elector was informed that an Imperialist corps commanded by Thüngen was encamped at Messkirch. He then decided to continue his march with the right wing of his army up to Krauchenwies, leaving the left wing at Mengen. He hoped to intercept the Imperialists before they had time to retire in the defiles. However, the Imperialists retired from Messkirch during the night.

On 10 May, the Elector marched to Messkirch where he assembled his entire army. He sent forward a reconnaissance party who came back with the report that Thüngen had abandoned his entrenchments and was precipitously crossing the Danube at Mühlheim and Tuttlingen. In fact, Thüngen intended to march to Rottweil at the source of the Neckar where he would await the arrival of the Württemberger contingent and of the corps (6,000 men) that Styrum had assembled at Nördlingen. The same day on the Rhine, troops from the garrison of Haguenau set off to join Tallard's reinforcements assembling at Alt Breisach.

On 11 May, the Elector hastened his march towards Tuttlingen with his cavalry and dragoons. His infantry followed, 8 km behind and most baggage were left at Messkirch. Upon their arrival at Tuttlingen, the Franco-Bavarians found 2 guns, powder, bombs, grain, biscuits and some clothing abandoned by the Imperialists during their retreat. The same day on the Rhine, French troops quartered in the region of Strasbourg set off for the general rendezvous at Alt Breisach. So did Coigny's Corps, marching from Saverne. Finally, the French undertook a couple of diversions: M. de Laubanie marched from Landau and encamped at Hördt to make a demonstration against Philippsburg while M. de Courtebourne passed the Rhine at Huningue and encamped at Friedlingen from where he launched raids as far as Rothenhausen (maybe Rothaus).

On 12 May, the Elector sojourned at Tuttlingen to allow all his troops to rejoin the main body. His Franco-Bavarian army now consisted of 49 bns and 40 sqns. Bavarian units were complete and in a good state. However, the French infantry counted only about 300 men per battalion. The French cavalry and dragoons were in a better state but not at full strength. The Maréchal de Marsin had managed to get them 1,800 remount horses, bought in Germany and Switzerland, during the previous winter. Seeing that the Imperialists had abandoned their entrenchments and retired behind the Danube, Marsin had no doubt about the success of the planned junction with Tallard's reinforcements. Accordingly, he wrote to Tallard to announce him that the Elector's Army should set off from Tuttlingen on 14 May and march by Kirchheim (unidentified location) to Donaueschingen where the Elector and himself would await news from Tallard. He also informed the latter that Thüngen had retired to Schömberg on the road to Balingen where he was waiting for the arrival of the Prussian and Württemberger contingents and of troops who had wintered in Franconia. The same day on the Rhine, Tallard personally travelled from Strasbourg to Biesheim, opposite Alt Breisach.

On 13 May in the morning, Coigny reached Rheinau where he threw a bridge on the Rhine and advanced to Kenzingen. Meanwhile, Tallard crossed the Rhine at Biesheim and encamped under the walls of Alt Breisach with his army.

On 14 May at daybreak, the Elector's Army set off from Tuttlingen and marched to Kichheim. The same day on the Rhine, Tallard's Army marched from Alt-Breisach to Sankt Georgen near Freiburg/Breisgau where he received Marsin's letter; Coigny's Corps reached Langendentzlingen at the entry of the gorge of the Glottertal; and Courtebourne moved downstream along the Rhine down to Breisach where all recruits, remounts and wagons were assembled (7,700 militiamen, 300 Irishmen, 100 men from Peri Infanterie, some 1,350 men who had not been able to join the Army of Bavaria on the preceding year. 2,400 mounted recruits, more than 800 officers, 1 company of armourers, 200 horses transporting provisions, 200 artillery horses, 3,000 muskets, clothing for several regiments, a war chest of 1,300,000 livres, the whole loaded on 400 wagons). The whole day was spent reconnoitring various roads to get access to the Wagensteig Valley. M. de Silly found a detour allowing to avoid the artillery on the walls of Freiburg. Tallard answered to Marsin, promising to reach Kirchzarten by 16 May, and inviting him to advance to the village of Fischer (unidentified location) to effect the junction of their armies.

On 15 May, the Elector's Army arrived at Hüfingen, not far from Donaueschingen where it took position with its right at Donaueschingen and its left anchored on the small Breg River in front of the village of Bräunlingen. The Elector established his headquarters at Hüfingen behind his right wing. The same day at daybreak, Tallard detached M. de Zurlauben at the head of 16 grenadier coys, 3,000 foot and 1,500 horse to form his avant-garde and to reach the Wangensteig. Zurlauben marched by the Valley of the Kinder and then crossed a mountain by a very difficult road that the enemy considered impassable. He then reached the Kappel Valley and encamped at Kirchzarten. Meanwhile, M. de Courtebourne marched from Breisach to Sankt Georgen with all recruits and wagons, arriving in the evening. Coigny's Corps marched from Langendentzlingen, encamping 2 km from Sankt Georgen.

On 16 May, Tallard marched to Kirchzarten with the right wing of his army and half his infantry. The leading units reached Kirchzarten around 10:00 a.m. and Zurlauben immediately set off with the avant-garde and marched towards the Turner, the highest mountain in the area, reaching it at 2:00 p.m. Zurlauben then detached M. de Mortany with a party of horse and dragoons and M. de Valerno with 30 grenadiers to locate the Army of Bavaria. In the evening M. d'Hautefort set off from the camp of Sankt Georgen with the left wing, the rest of the infantry and 400 wagons. The convoy had to pass near Freiburg and Hautefort covered the place with his troops while the wagons passed.

On 17 May, Hautefort's convoy reached Littenweiler where it encamped. M. de Courtebourne acted as rearguard and reached Kappel with the recruits and 3 cavalry rgts. The artillery remained at the camp of Sankt Georgen which was occupied by Coigny's Corps. Meanwhile, Tallard, accompanied by a large escort, went to Zurlauben's camp on the Turner, leaving the main body at Kirchzarten; and M. de Courtebourne led the recruits and the convoy to Wangensteig. Zurlauben informed Tallard that the Elector of Bavaria and Marsin were at Hüfingen with their army. In fact the Elector was on the march since the morning and reached Rietheim (probably an error, this town being located in the opposite direction) near Villingen where he met with Tallard.

On 18 May, Tallard returned to Zurlauben's camp on the Turner. Meanwhile, M. de Courtebourne advanced with the convoy, the recruits and remounts between the Turner and the village of Fischer; M. de Lannion marched from the Elector's camp with 2,000 men to meet Courtebourne while 600 horse under M. du Bourg took position in the Ferenbach Valley to cover their march. The same day, the Margrave of Baden, recently arrived at the camp of the Imperialists at Rottweil, advanced to Obereschach.

On 19 May, M. de Courtebourne and M. de Lannion finally effected their junction. M. de Courtebourne handed over the recruits, the remounts and the convoy to M. de Lannion, to the exception of 120 wagons who had just been able to pass the Turner. The same day, the army of the Margrave of Baden appeared on the heights near Villingen, threatening the Elector's camp.

On 20 May, his mission accomplished, Tallard set off from the Turner and assembled his army at Kirchzarten in preparation for his return to the Rhine. Meanwhile, the Elector of Bavaria, unable to give a rest to his recruits, retired to Hüfingen.

On 21 May, Tallard's Army repassed the mountains by Kappel and reached Sankt Georgen. Meanwhile, Coigny set off from the camp of Sankt Georgen and marched to Merdingen, on his way to Breisach. Meanwhile, the Elector of Bavaria marched towards Messkirch, closely followed by the Margrave of Baden who reached Tuttlingen.

On 22 May, Tallard's Army reached Gindlingen (unidentified location) while Coigny marched downstream along the Rhine to Burkheim. Meanwhile, the Elector's Army redirected its march on Engen and made itself master of the place. The Elector also sent a detachment to occupy Stokach.

Thus the five armies (Marlborough's, Eugène's, Tallard's, Marsin's and the Margrave's) engaged in this theatre of war, were moving and facing in all directions in turn in a most bewildering fashion.

Marlborough set off from the Netherlands

While the French concentrated their attention on the reinforcement of the Franco-Bavarian army under the combined command of the Elector of Bavaria and the Maréchal de Marsin, Marlborough's purpose had been quite definite to transfer a large corps from the Low Countries to Bavaria and there in concert with the Allies in that quarter to crush the Elector of Bavaria decisively. He took no one into his confidence. The timid Dutch were brought, not without difficulty, to assent to a Lower Rhine and Moselle campaign, of much the same sort as the Bonn expedition of 1703, but rather than be burdened with Dutch counsellors Marlborough forwent the assistance of the Dutch troops. These were left under Nassau-Ouwerkerk to defend the Meuse, and English and English-paid troops alone took part in the great venture.

Marlborough calculated that, as he progressed up the Rhine, the French would collect to prevent his crossing, instead of themselves passing over to join the Elector of Bavaria and Marsin. Thus the expedition would reach the Neckar mouth, without its true purpose being suspected, and once there Marlborough would vanish from the ken of the defenders of the Rhine, to reappear on the Danube where he was least expected.

On 11 May, Marlborough reviewed his army (51 bns and 92 sqns, including 14 British bns, 19 British sqns, 34 British field guns and 4 British howitzers) at Maastricht.

On 12 May, Marlborough's army crossed the Meuse at Roermond. The same day, French and Spanish units started to move out of their winter-quarters.

On 13 May, a large Franco-Spanish corps was already assembled at Montenack.

On 15 May, Hessian and Hanoverian troops passed the Mainz and rapidly marched towards the Lines of Stollhofen to replace 4 infantry rgts, 1 cavalry rgt and 1 dragoon rgt who had been sent to reinforce Thüngen's Army at Rottweil. The Margrave of Baden was also supposed to take command of Thüngen's Army.

On 16 May, Marlborough assembled his army at Bedburg. It counted 90 sqns and 51 bns with 38 guns. Of this army, 19 sqns and 14 bns were British. The same day, Villeroy sent a vanguard (6 bns and 13 sqns) to Namur.

On 17 May, Villeroy marched from Montenack to Neer-Hespen.

Tallard, Villeroy and the Versailles strategists, well aware that Marlborough was ascending the Rhine, thought that a diversion on the Moselle was intended, and the feeble warnings of Marsin, who half suspected the real purpose, were disregarded. Villeroy remained in Brabant for fear that Nassau-Ouwerkerk would take a few towns in his absence.

On 18 May, uncertain about Marlborough's intentions, Villeroy marched towards Luxembourg with 38 bns and 60 sqns. He also ordered the Maison du Roi, the Gardes françaises and the Gardes Suisses to pass the Meuse at Namur and to march to Luxembourg. D'Artaignan had been left at Neer-Hespen with 23 bns and 31 sqns. The same day, Marlborough reviewed his army.

On 19 May, Marlborough's army reached Bonn.

On 20 May, Villeroy, still convinced that Marlborough planned an offensive on the Moselle, began to pass the Meuse.

On 21 May, Villeroy completed the passage of the Meuse on his way to the Moselle. The same day (as we have seen above), the Elector, who was closely followed by the army of the Margrave of Baden, decided to move away from the Danube. In the evening, he sent M. de Blainville forward with 8 bns and 12 sqns to escort the convoy (now counting 4,400 wagons and carts) towards Engen.

On 22 May around noon, Blainville arrived at Engen. The Elector's Army reached the place later the same day. At 8:00 p.m., Blainville marched from Engen with 2,000 men

On 23 May, Marlborough's army reached Bonn. The same day, Tallard was informed for the first time that Marlborough was moving upstream along the Rhine. He feared that the Allies would effect a junction with the Imperialist army of the Margrave of Baden and then lay siege to Landau. Tallard resolved to move closer to Lower Alsace. He also sent 1,000 men to reinforce the garrison of Landau and sent 2 bns to Wissembourg, ready to throw themselves into Landau if an attack materialized. Still the same day on the Danube, Blainville's detachment occupied Stokach just before the arrival of a party of Imperialists. The Elector's Army arrived at Stokach in the afternoon. Informed that the Margrave of Baden occupied the neighbouring heights, the Elector deployed his army in order of battle. The tail of his convoy, escorted by 3 bns and 4 cavalry rgts was still on its way.

On 24 May, to protect the part of his convoy which was still on its way, the Elector moved closer to the camp of the Imperialists as if he intended to attack them. The artillery of the Elector opened on an isolated cavalry camp of the Imperialists and troops seized the village of Zoznegg.

On 25 May, Marlborough reached Coblenz at the head of his cavalry. There, he waited for his infantry. The same day on the Danube, the Elector covered his convoy while it reached Schernegg and then marched to this village with his army.

On 26 May, Tallard marched from Gindlingen to Weil where Coigny's Corps effected a junction with the main body. The same day on the Danube, the Elector's Army reached Pfullendorf while the Imperialists under the Margrave of Baden marched by Messkirch to Krauchenwies.

On 27 May, Tallard marched to Grafenhausen near Kappel. He ordered to prepare boats at Strasbourg loaded with bridging material. He also had several small boats transported from Strasbourg to Fort-Louis to threaten enemy places along the Rhine. From the 90 heavy pieces that he had in Alsace, Tallard kept 30 in Strasbourg and sent 30 to Landau and 30 to Neuf-Brissac. The same day on the Danube, the Elector's Army marched from Pfullendorf to Saulgau (present-day Bad Saulgau).

On 28 May on the Danube, the Elector's Army reached Steinhausen/Rottum while the Margrave's Army arrived at Riedlingen on the left bank of the river.

On 29 May, Marlborough's Army crossed the Moselle and the Rhine over two boat bridges and reached Mainz. The same day on the Danube, the Elector's Army, moving closer to the river, reached Biberach where it sojourned.

On 30 May, Marlborough crossed the Main with his cavalry at Kostheim. The same day, Tallard marched from Grafenhausen to Altenheim (unidentified location), ready to cross the Rhine to defend Alsace against the enterprises of the Duke of Marlborough. Meanwhile, Villeroy marched with half of his troops from Arlon to Kœnigsmacker in Luxembourg to get closer to Tallard's Army.

On 31 May, Tallard's artillery (40 field guns) and his baggage passed the Rhine at Kehl and went to Strasbourg where Tallard joined them with 2 dragoon rgts. Tallard then went to Landau to take dispositions for its defence. The same day on the Danube, the Elector's Army reached Laupheim on the stream of Rottum.

On 1 June, Marlborough marched to Groß-Gerau. The puzzled French noted preparations for bridging the Rhine at Philipsburg. Tallard's Army decamped from Altenheim, passed the Rhine at Kehl and encamped under the walls of Strasbourg. Meanwhile, Villeroy, informed of Marlborough's movements on the Main, crossed the Moselle at Kœnigsmacker with 13 bns and 41 sqns. Villeroy also sent orders to MM. De Gassion and de Luxembourg to follow him with the rest of his army which was still posted at Luxembourg and Arlon.

On 2 June, Tallard's Army marched by several roads towards Lower Alsace. It encamped along the Moder with the infantry and artillery under M. de Clérambault at Drusenheim, and the cavalry under M. Zurlauben at Herthen (unidentified location).

On 3 June, Marlborough's cavalry along with German contingents, crossed the Neckar at Ladenburg while the main body marched to Lampertheim. The same day, Tallard's Army concentrated at Beinheim and Villeroy's Army arrived at Sarrelouis. Still the same day on the Danube, the Elector's Army passed the river at Ulm and encamped at Elchingen. Meanwhile, the Margrave's Army arrived at Ehingen where it took position with its right at Öpfingen and its left at Dächingen. With a march of 14 days, the Elector had managed to save his army, his convoy and his equipment, losing only a few wagons and a few mules. The Elector took dispositions for his troops to have some rest.

On 4 June, Marlborough's main body reached Ladenburg. The same day, all of Tallard's cavalry advanced to Lauterbourg where Tallard, coming back from Landau, established his headquarters. Meanwhile, his infantry encamped at Mothern and Coigny's infantry at Seltz.

After passing the Lahn, Marlborough's infantry marched in two columns towards Heilbronn. Meanwhile, the Prince of Hesse was at Bruchsal with the Hessian contingent. Tallard sent messengers to Marsin and Villeroy to inform them of the situation, asking to Villeroy to immediately advance on Landau.

On 5 June, Villeroy's Army marched to Saarbrücken.

On 6 June, Villeroy's Army marched to Blieskastel.

On June 7, Marlborough's Army marched from Wiesloch towards Sinzheim, confounding the French who expected it to march on Philippsburg. The same day, Villeroy personally went to Oberweidenthal (more probably Hinterweidenthal) where he had a conference with Tallard. They then submitted four projects to the king:

  1. the siege of Mainz;
  2. the construction of a bridge of boats on the Rhine to attack the rear of the Lines of Stollhofen;
  3. the siege of Freiburg/Breisgau;
  4. the reinforcement of the army of the Elector of Bavaria.

On 9 June, the last units of Marlborough's Army passed the Neckar. The same day, while waiting orders from the king, the Maréchal de Villeroy marched to Münchweiler.

On 10 June, Marlborough's Army marched to Mundelsheim. Prince Eugène de Savoie appeared at Marlborough's headquarters to concert operations.

On 11 June, Villeroy entered into Alsace by the Annweiler Valley.

On 12 June, Villeroy encamped at Steinweiler.

On 13 June, Margrave Louis of Baden arrived at Marlborough's headquarters for the same purpose. It was arranged that the Margrave was to join Marlborough and that Eugene should command the Stollhofen and other forces on the Rhine, for Tallard, it seemed, was about to be joined by Villeroy and Marlborough knew that these marshals must be kept west of the Rhine for the six weeks he allowed himself for the Bavarian enterprise.

Soon afterwards, the two corps following Villeroy's Corps effected a junction with it.

On 15 June, Villeroy and Tallard finally received an answer from the king who showed a marked preference for an attack against the Lines of Stollhofen. The same day on the Danube, the Elector of Bavaria and Marsin were still at Elchingen with 45,000 men.

On 16 June, Tallard wrote to the king, informing him of the urgent request for help from the Elector of Bavaria, and asking him for his authorisation to march to Villingen to create a diversion and to draw Allied troops in these quarters, thus relieving pressure on the Franco-Bavarian army posted on the Danube. The same day on the Danube, the Elector of Bavaria and Marsin marched from Elchingen downstream along the river.

The Elector of Bavaria marched beyond Brenz with 32,000 men and encamped with his right against the heights of Brenz and his left at Gundelfingen near Lauingen where he established his headquarters. He had left Marsin with 13,000 men on the left bank of the Danube in front of Ulm.

Marlborough effects a junction with the Imperialists on the Danube

On 22 June, the Margrave's army effected a junction with Marlborough's at Ursprung, 23 km east of Ulm, where the Elector of Bavaria and Marsin were encamped.

On 23 June, the two Allied armies of Marlborough and of the Margrave of Baden who had now effected their junction marched downstream along the Danube and encamped at Langenau, thus forcing Marsin to retire behind the river. The same day, Louis XIV ordered to his maréchaux to divide all the troops stationed in Alsace in three corps:

  1. Tallard's Corps (40 bns, 60 sqns) to march towards Villingen
  2. Villeroy's Corps (40 bns, 70 sqns) to march on Offenburg and to pin the Allies down into the Lines of Stollhofen
  3. Coigny's Corps (9 Swiss bns, 10 sqns) stationed along the Lauter and the Rhine to defend Alsace

This meant conceding both the initiative and the superiority in numbers to Marlborough.

On 24 June, Marsin took position at Leipheim vis-à-vis Marlborough's Army at Langenau.

On 26 June, Marlborough's Army marched from Langenau towards Giengen. The Elector of Bavaria and Marsin estimated that Marlborough planned to attack Donauworth whose defences were in a poor state. However, they considered that, as soon as Marlborough would hear of the advance of Tallard's and Villeroy's army, he would abandon his design against Donauworth. Nevertheless, the Elector sent 19 bns, 2 dragoon rgts and 8 guns under the Count of Arco to complete the entrenchments on the Schellenberg, near Donauworth, and to occupy the town. The Elector also recalled Marsin's Corps from Leipheim.

In the evening of 26 June, the Allies passed the Brenz River and encamped with their right at Herbrechtingen and their left at Giengen. They remained in these positions for four days, awaiting the arrival of the British infantry and of their artillery. The same evening, the Elector moved his right to Dillingen closer to the Danube but kept his left at Lauingen. The Elector was now in the exact same positions as Villars during the preceding campaign. The combined armies of Marlborough and the Margrave was vastly superior to the Franco-Bavarian army of the Elector and Marsin.

On 27 June, the Allied army was at Geingen. The endurance of Marlborough's corps, as displayed in the long march from Roermond, was not the least extraordinary feature of the operation. For 18th-century troops such performances were generally provocative of desertion, and involved the ruin of the army that attempted it. But Prince Eugène, we are told, was astonished at the fine condition of the army. The same day, Villeroy and Tallard, who had received the king's new instructions, met at Kandel to prepare their offensive.

On 28 June, Tallard marched with his cavalry from Lauterbourg to Roppenheim.

On 29 June, Tallard sojourned at Roppenheim to wait for his infantry. The same day, Villeroy marched from Steinweiler to Surbourg and sent troops to occupy Hert (unidentified location), Rheinzabern and Jockgrim. Coigny, for his part, marched from Seltz to Drusenheim.

On 30 June, Marlborough's army moved to Balmertshofen. It hen counted some 80,000 men. The same day, Tallard passed the Moder and encamped at Hertheim (unidentified location). He sent MM. De la Frezelière and de Lahoussaye forward to Breisach to prepare the provision convoy and the artillery.

On 1 July, Marlborough's army moved to Amerdingen. Marlborough had now manoeuvred himself with brilliant success from one theatre of war to another, and had secured every advantage to himself. From before Ulm, he sidled gradually along the north side of the Danube in the hope of finding an unguarded passage. He and the Margrave exercised the general command on alternate days and, when on his own day, he arrived opposite Donauworth, knowing Louis's caution, Marlborough thought that direct attack was better than another two days' extension to the east. Moreover he needed a walled town to serve as a magazine instead of Nördlingen, which he had used of late but which could not serve him for operations over the river. The same day, Tallard passed the Rhine at Kehl.

Marlborough seizes a base of operation on the Danube

On 2 July at daybreak, Marlborough marched forward with 6,000 British and Dutch foot, 3 bns of Imperial grenadiers and 32 sqns; while the rest of the army led by the Margrave of Baden followed. In the afternoon, Marlborough passed the Wörnitz above Donauworth. At 5:00 p.m., he finally arrived in front of the uncompleted entrenchments of the Schellenberg. Marlborough's Army was immediately flung, regardless of losses, against the entrenchments where the Elector of Bavaria had posted a strong detachment. The ensuing Battle of the Schellenberg cost 6,000 men, but it was successful, and of the 12,000 Bavarians on the hill only 3,000 returned to their main body. The same day on the Rhine, Tallard sojourned at Kehl.

On the morning of 3 July, the Allies threw bridges above and below Donauworth to cut off the governor's retreat. The latter had only time to set fire to a single magazines and then fled. The inhabitants soon stifled the fire and threw open their gates. The same day, shortly before daybreak, the Elector of Bavaria was informed of the annihilation of his force on the Schellenberg. He immediately marched from Dillingen in the direction of Donauworth with his entire army. Meanwhile, the magistrates of Donauworth informed the Allies that the governor had received instruction from the Elector of Bavaria to set fire to the considerable magazines and to retire from the town. The same day on the Rhine, Tallard sojourned once more at Kehl.

On July 4, the Allies started to pass the Danube. The same day, the Elector retired to Augsburg where he strongly entrenched under the guns of the place, after cutting the bridge on the Danube and the Lech. The same day on the Rhine, Tallard marched from Kehl to Hofweier.

On 5 July, the Allies threw several bridges on the Danube, passed the river and encamped on the Schmutter with their right at Mertingen, their left at Donauworth where they left a garrison. They then threw additional bridges on the Danube and new ones on the Lech which formed the border between Bavaria and Swabia. When the Elector was informed of their advance, he retired his garrison from Neuburg an der Donau which could be cut from his main army. He was still without news from Tallard and was now facing a vastly superior army. The same day on the Rhine, Tallard marched to Mutersheim (unidentified location). Meanwhile, Villeroy, who was marching upstream along the Rhine, went from Surbourg to Fort-Louis.

On July 6, Tallard marched to Herbolzheim. Meanwhile, Villeroy reached Strasbourg.

On July 7, Tallard marched to Waldkirch. He then divided his army in several corps posted between Waldkirch and Riegel to cover the march of his convoy. Meanwhile, Villeroy passed the Rhine at Kehl where he assembled 42 bns (including 1 artillery bn and 1 bombardier bn) and 60 sqns.

On 8 July, Tallard's convoy (4 heavy guns, 40 field guns, 2,000 wagons) set off from Breisach. The same day, leaving Coigny at Drusenheim with 9 bns and 10 sqns, Villeroy reinforced Landau with 2 new bns, thus bringing its garrison to 8 bns, and cavalry detachments. He then detached the Duc de Villeroy forward at the head of 12 grenadier coys, 1,500 fusiliers, 500 horse or dragoons and 2 heavy guns.

On 9 July, Marsin finally received the letter that Tallard had sent him on 27 June to announce his march towards the Danube. Marsin immediately sent a reply to inform Tallard of the latest events and to explain that it was now impossible to effect a junction at Ulm, suggesting a new road from Biberach to Memmingen or Augsburg. The same day on the Rhine, the Duc de Villeroy entered into the Gorge of the Kinzig to occupy Gengenbach and Biberach and to establish communication with Tallard's Army. For his part, Tallard received his convoy arriving from Breisach. He then sent 600 grenadiers, 2 cavalry rgts and 4 dragoon rgts under MM. de Clérambault and de Courtebourne from Waldkirch into the Gloterthal Valley to attack the entrenchments of the Allies near Hornberg. Meanwhile, the Duc de Villeroy occupied Gengenbach, Biberach, Haslach and Hausach; and the Maréchal de Villeroy marched from Kehl to Offenburg with the main body of his army.

On 10 July, the Allies passed the Lech, entered into Bavaria and encamped in front of the small fortress of Rain. The same day, Tallard marched towards Villingen with his army by the Waldkirch Valley. Meanwhile, the Duc de Villeroy reached Hornberg which the Allies evacuated. MM. de Clérambault and de Courtebourne then effected a junction with the corps of the Duc de Villeroy. Tallard organized his army in three divisions under MM. de Zurlauben, M. d'Hautefort and M. de Roucy.

On 11 July, M. de Zurlauben reached Hornberg where he effected a junction with Villeroy's, Clérambault's and Courtebourne's detachments. Tallard personally went to Hornberg to supervise the passage of the mountains.

On the morning of 12 July, Tallard sent all the troops posted at Hornberg through the mountains of the Black Forest. He personally remained at Hornberg. The Duc de Villeroy and Clérambault moved to within 12 km of Villingen with their detachments. They then waited for the arrival of all divisions.

On 13 July, the Maréchal de Villeroy went from Offenburg to Hornberg to discuss with Tallard. They decided that Villeroy should occupy on the road leading to Rottweil and the small town of Zell to prevent any Allied incursion coming from Oppenau. Villeroy also took charge of the occupation of the Kinzig Valley. Coigny for his part was at Drusenheim on the left bank of the Rhine with 9 bns and 10 sqns to observe the movements of Prince Eugène who occupied the Lines of Stollhofen with the main body of his army. The Maréchal de Villeroy was then informed by Coigny that Prince Eugène had detached a corps of 7,000 men to Württemberg, probably to effect a junction with the Margrave's Army; that Prince Eugène had recalled units from Mannheim and Philippsburg to replace these troops; and that he had himself established his quarters at Rastatt to rejoin the Margrave's Army.

On 14 July, Tallard passed the mountain and rejoined his first two divisions near Villingen. Meanwhile, the Maréchal de Villeroy detached d'Antin with 1,000 foot and 200 horse to Hornberg; and the Duc de Villeroy, after establishing his posts, personally rejoined the army of the Maréchal de Villeroy at Offenburg.

On 15 July, Tallard's rearguard finally reached Villingen while he advanced to Hart (unidentified location) between Villingen and Rottweil with the first two divisions.

On 16 July, Tallard was finally informed of the capture of Donauworth by the Allies. He immediately abandoned his design against Rottweil and decided to lay siege to Villingen, estimating that he could make himself master of the place in two days. He detached M. d'Hautefort with a considerable corps and 12 guns (including four 24-pdrs) to lay siege to Villingen. Meanwhile on the Rhine, the Maréchal de Villeroy reconnoitred the Lines of Stollhofen at the head of 2,000 horse and 1,000 foot. He estimated these lines to be much stronger than they were the previous year.

On the night of 16 to 17 July, d'Hautefort opened the trench in front of Villingen and established batteries on an overlooking hill.

On 17 July, the fortress of Rain surrendered to the Allies who then marched to Aichach in the direction of Munich. The Elector then sent Monasterol with 3 bns and 7 sqns to Munich to evacuate the electoral prince to the Castle of Burkhausen (unidentified location). The same day, Tallard sojourned at Hart awaiting provisions. When the convoy arrived, he moved closer to Villingen with his entire army.

On 18 July, Tallard's artillery opened against Villingen, breaching the first and second walls. However, the defenders kept such a lively fire that they dismounted several pieces and delayed siege works.

On the night of 18 to 19 July, Tallard vainly tried to move closer to a gate of Villingen close to the breach.

On 20 July, Tallard's artillery opened on Villingen with heated cannonballs to set fire to the town but the defenders managed to contain fire. The same day on the Rhine, Villeroy, according to the king's instructions, detached 8 bns and 10 sqns from his camp at Offenburg and 4 bns from Coigny's Corps to reinforce Bedmar in the Spanish Netherlands who feared fro Namur. The Maréchal de Villeroy had now only 34 bns and 50 sqns on the Rhine.

On 21 July, the Allies moved to the neighbourhood of Augsburg and encamped with their right at Altshausen (probably Adelzhausen) and their left at Rindenbach (unidentified location). On their way, they thoroughly and deliberately devastated the countryside so as to force the Elector to make terms. The best that can be said of this barbarous device, more or less legitimate in the days when the quarrel was the people's as much as the prince's, is that Louis XIV had several times practised it. Its most effective condemnation is that military devastations, in these purely political contests, were entirely unprofitable. Louis XIV had already found them so, and had given up the practice. In the present case the acts of the Allies only confirmed the Elector in his French sympathies, while at the same time Marlborough's own supplies ran short, his convoys were harassed and his reconnaissances impeded. The movements of the two armies were but trifling. Marlborough, though superior, was not decisively superior, and his opponents, well entrenched near Augsburg, waited for Tallard and (in vain) for Villeroy. Marlborough marked time until Eugène should join him.

The same day (21 July), Tallard received a messenger sent by Marsin informing his that bread would be available at Biberach and that his force was badly needed. Still the same day on the Rhine, Prince Eugène set off from Rastatt to rejoin the detachment which he had sent in the Gersbach Valley in Württemberg.

The Maréchal de Villeroy, in whose hands was the key of the situation, was the nearest to Versailles and the least capable of solving the knotty problem for himself. When the king bade him follow Tallard to Villingen he hesitated, and when he had made up his mind to try, Louis XIV had changed his and ordered him to detain Eugène (who was already far away) in the Stollhofen Lines.

On 22 July, Tallard raised the siege of Villingen and marched towards Tuttlingen.

On 23 July, the Allies advanced to the heights of Friedberg near Augsburg. The same day, Tallard reached Tuttlingen. Still the same day in Württemberg, Prince Eugène reached Rottweil with his detachment and effected a junction with a detachment sent by the Margrave of Baden.

On 24 July, Tallard marched to Messkirch from where he sent troops to occupy Mengen and the Castle of Neufra, opposite Riedlingen on the Danube, his rearguard reaching Messkirch very late (at 2:00 a.m. during the night).

On 25 July, Tallard sojourned at Messkirch, sending his heavy baggage 8 km ahead. The same day on the Rhine, the Maréchal de Villeroy moved Coigny's Corps (now only 5 bns and 10 sqns) to Biesheim, closer to Strasbourg.

On 26 July, Tallard marched from Messkirch to Neufra.

On 27 July, Tallard marched to Berg (unidentified location), opposite Thiengen (unidentified location). The same day on the Rhine, the Maréchal de Villeroy sent 2 infantry brigades to Haslach in the Kinzig Valley. Still the same day, Prince Eugène, leaving 8 bns and 14 sqns at Rottweil under the command of the Count von Welem (he also had another 17 bns and 21 sqns in the Lines of Stollhofen), marched towards the Neckar with 15,000 men.

On 29 July, Tallard marched to Ersingen, 8 km from Ulm. He detached M. de Legall to the Elector and Marsin to devise a plan for the junction. The magazines of Ulm contained insufficient provisions to adequately supply Tallard's Army.

There were now five armies in the field, two Allied and three French. The centre of gravity was therefore in Villeroy's camp. If that marshal followed Tallard, even Eugène's junction with Marlborough would not give the latter enough force. If Tallard alone joined the Elector and Eugène, Marlborough, the game was in the hands of the Allies. But none of the possible combinations of two armies against one were attempted by either side.

On 30 July, Tallard was informed that Prince Eugène was marching through Württemberg with about 15,000 men.

On 31 July, Tallard marched in three columns from Ersingen, passed the Iller on three bridges and encamped at Weißenhorn.

On 1 August, Tallard marched in three columns to Krumbach.

On 2 August, Tallard marched to Thannhausen.

On 3 August, Tallard marched to Gessertshausen and Diedorf, only 8 km from Augsburg. In turn, Tallard and the Elector, aware of Eugène's march, could have left Marlborough to his sieges and combined against Eugène, but they were well content to join forces peaceably at Augsburg.

The Allies effect a junction on the Danube

On 4 August, Marlborough's Army marched from Friedberg to Aichach. The same day, Tallard personally went to Augsburg to discuss of the operations with the Elector of Bavaria and the Maréchal de Marsin. They decided to leave 1 bn in Lauingen, 6 bns in Ulm, 2 bns in Memmingen and 8 bns in Augsburg and to field a French army of 73 bns and 120 sqns. The Elector could contribute an additional 13 bns and 16 sqns to the field army.

On 5 August, Marlborough was informed that Tallard had effected a junction with the armies of the Elector and Marsin. Marlborough immediately ordered his vanguard to pass the Paar at Schrobenhausen.

The last stage of the campaign was brief. Marlborough and Eugène had in mind a battle, Tallard and Marsin a war of manoeuvre to occupy the few weeks now to be spun out before winter quarters were due.

On 6 August, the two Allied armies were in the Danube valley. If the Franco-Bavarians remained on the south side, Eugène was to cross; if they recrossed to the north bank, Marlborough was to follow suit. Some Allied troops started to form the blockade of Ingolstadt. The same day, Tallard's, Marsin's and the Elector's armies effected a junction: Tallard's Army was at Gablingen and Marsin and the Elector at Biberbach.

On 8 August, Prince Eugène arrived at Höchstädt with 20 bns and 39 sqns. Meanwhile, Marlborough and the Margrave decamped from Aichach, Marlborough marching to Rain while the Margrave was sent off with 20,000 men to lay siege to Ingolstadt.

On 9 August, Marlborough reached Einheimer (unidentified location). The same day, the Franco-Bavarian army marched towards the Danube and encamped at Aislingen.

On 10 August, the Franco-Bavarian army passed the Danube at Lauingen, planning to cut the communications of the Allied armies with their magazines at Nördlingen. The army took position between Lauingen and Dillingen, Tallard forming the right wing and the combined forces of Marsin and the Elector, the left. The Castle of Dillingen, defended by 180 men was attacked and captured. The same day, Marlborough established his headquarters at Niederschönenfeld.

On the night of 10 to 11 August, Eugène, who was encamped at Münster (unidentified location) near Donauworth, retired behind the Wörnitz. Marlborough ordered Churchill to pass the river at midnight and to march for the Kessel. At 2:00 a.m. Marlborough's entire army moved off in two columns, one to cross the Danube at Marxheim, the other to traverse the Lech at Rain and the Danube at Donauworth.

On 11 August, the Franco-Bavarian army sojourned. The same day, Marlborough's army crossed the Danube at Marxheim. At 5:00 p.m., it was filing across the Wörnitz. By 10:00 p.m., the junction was complete and the united armies encamped on the Kessel, their right resting on Kessel-Ostheim, their left on the village of Münster and the Danube. Rowe's Brigade of British was pushed forward to occupy Münster and then the wearied troops lay down to rest. Marlborough's main body had been on foot for twenty hours, though it had covered no more than 38 km. Both columns had passed the Danube and the Wörnitz, and the left column the Ach and the Lech in addition. The same day, the Margrave's Army arrived in front of Ingolstadt.

Battle of Blenheim

On the morning of 12 August, the Franco-Bavarian army marched towards Höchstädt whose castle was captured. The head of the army had barely entered into camp when Eugène repassed the Wörnitz accompanied by the Duke of Marlborough. Their army advanced in the gorge leading from Donauworth to Nördlingen and encamped at the entry of the gorge. The Elector, Marsin and Tallard sent M. de Silly forward with 8 troops of 50 horse each, supported by 16 other troops and 4 dragoon rgts. They then encamped with their right at Blindheim (aka Blenheim), their left towards the mountains and their headquarters at Lutzingen along a marshy stream on which two bridges were thrown.

On 13 August, in the Battle of Blenheim, Marlborough and Eugène attacked the armies of Tallard, Marsin and the Elector. Tallard's Army was practically destroyed but the armies of the Elector and Marsin managed to retired and encamped between Dillingen and Lauingen.

On the night of 13 to 14 August, the Elector of Bavaria and Marsin passed the Danube at Lauingen and, destroying the bridge behind them, marched all night towards Ulm. For their part, the Allies lay on their arms on the field during the night after the battle.

On 14 August, the Elector of Bavaria and Marsin encamped at Leipheim. Meanwhile on the Rhine, Villeroy, informed that Eugène was now on the Danube, decided to advance against the Stollhofen Lines. The same day in the afternoon, the Allies took position with their left at Steinheim (unidentified location) and their right at Wittislingen. In the evening, they occupied Dillingen. The garrison of Höchstädt surrendered as prisoners of war.

The Franco-Bavarians retreat towards the Rhine

On 15 August, the Elector of Bavaria and Marsin reached Wiblingen near Ulm. The Elector had decided to evacuate Bavaria and to move closer to Villeroy's Army encamped at Offenburg. The same day, the Allies marched to Lauingen where they halted till their tents and baggage came to them. Meanwhile, the Margrave's troops opened trenches in front of Ingolstadt.

On 16 August on the Rhine, Villeroy set off from Offenburg with 26 bns and 39 sqns and encamped at Erlach (unidentified location) while Coigny's Corps (6 bns, 5 sqns) marched from Drusenheim to Bisheim near Strasbourg. Villeroy also left 9 bns and 11 sqns in the Kinzig Valley under the command of M. d'Antin to threaten Villingen and Rottweil. Villeroy also detached MM. de Caraman and d'Epinoy 2,500 foot and 300 horse who successfully drove the Imperialists out of the small town of Oppenau and of the entrenchments which they occupied in the Oberkirch Valley. For their part, the Stollhofen Lines were defended by an Imperialist corps (17 bns and 21 sqns) under the Prince of Nassau-Weilburg. Another Imperialist corps (8 bns, 14 sqns) was posted at Rottweil under the Count von Welem.

On 17 August on the Rhine, Villeroy was preparing to march from Erlach towards the Lines of Stollhofen when he was finally informed of the disaster at Blenheim. He immediately cancelled the march planned for the day, awaiting further information on the situation on the Danube. On the evening of the same day, the Elector sent his infantry, his artillery and his baggage upstream along the Danube.

On 18 August, leaving a garrison of some 3,500 men in Ulm (mostly Bavarian bns and 4 bns from Tallard's Army), the Elector and Marsin decamped from Wiblingen with their grenadiers and cavalry and rejoined their infantry at Emerkingen where the entire army encamped. The same day, the Margrave raised the siege of Ingolstadt because his troops were required for the siege of Ulm. However, he left a corps under GFWM Count Aufseß to blockade the fortress and to prevent it being supplied.

The Elector and Marsin then began a march through the Black Forest. The Imperial hussars hung restlessly round their skirts, cutting off every straggler and bringing back multitudes of prisoners and deserters. Altogether it was a disastrous retreat.

On 19 August, Marlborough's Army set off from Steinheim and marched to Gundelfingen. The same day, the Elector and Marsin marched to Krauchenwies. On the evening of the same day on the Rhine, Villeroy finally received a letter from Marsin. He immediately assembled a supply convoy (bread and biscuit) and sent it towards the mountains of the Black Forest

On 20 August, Marlborough's Army marched to Oberelchingen. The same day, the Elector and Marsin reached Tuttlingen with the cavalry while their infantry was 8 km in the rear. Meanwhile on the Rhine, Villeroy and Coigny effected a junction.

On 21 August, Marlborough reached Sefelingen (unidentified location) near Ulm. On arrival at Ulm, a force was detached to besiege the town. The same day, the Franco-Bavarian infantry rejoined the cavalry at Tuttlingen. Meanwhile, 11 French bns under M. de Chamarande which had retired from Augsburg, Memmingen and Biberach, effected a junction with the main army. The Franco-Bavarian army then counted 56 bns and 131 sqns (Marsin with 50 bns and 60 sqns; the Elector with 3 Bavarian bns and 23 Bavarian sqns; the remnants of Tallard's Army with 3 bns and 48 sqns). The Elector also ordered his remaining regiments stationed at Munich other places of Bavaria to evacuate these towns and to join his army. At daybreak the same day on the Rhine, Villeroy's Army marched to Biberach, followed by a convoy of 250,000 rations destined to the Elector's Army. Furthermore, 2,000 flour bags were sent to Haslach and Hornberg where oven would bake bread. Villeroy then received a letter from Marsin informing him that the latter planned to be at Hüfingen on 22 August.

On 22 August around 1:00 a.m., Villeroy set off from Biberach and marched beyond the mountain of Hornberg.

On 23 August, Villeroy reached Mönchweiler near Villingen with his cavalry, leaving his infantry at Wolfsteich.

On 24 August, the Elector and Marsin decamped from Tuttlingen and marched to Hüfingen. The same day, Villeroy detached 2 infantry brigades to Pruggen (unidentified location) to block the way to Welem's Corps.

On 25 August, Villeroy personally went to the headquarters of the Elector of Bavaria and Marsin to decide on a plan. They resolved to retire towards the Rhine and Alsace, but beforehand they agreed to wait for a few days, hoping that some 18 Bavarian sqns recalled from Munich would soon join them.

During this time, Marlborough's army had marched to Ulm from whence it planned to march in four columns through the Country of Württemberg and to join at Philipsburg where it would pass the Rhine and encamp at Speyerbach.

On 26 August, Villeroy sent the remnants of Tallard's Army (3 bns from Augsburg, 3,000 foot from various rgts and 48 sqns who could in fact form only 27 full strength sqns), the artillery, the heavy baggage and all sick men to Peterzell, on their way to the Rhine.

On 27 August, the Elector's and Marsin's armies marched to Peterzell. Meanwhile, Coigny's Corps (9 bns, 10 sqns) marched from Offenburg towards Bishheim.

Villeroy and Marsin then received new instructions from the king who intended to form an army of 60 bns and 100 sqns in Alsace under the command of the Maréchal de Marsin while Villeroy would take position on the Moselle with 32 bns, 68 sqns.

By 28 August, Marlborough's Army set off from Sefelingen, where it had sojourned for five days, and marched in several columns through Swabia towards the general rendezvous in the vicinity of Philippsburg. Marlborough's own troops marched in three columns by Launscheim (maybe Lonsee), Gross-Seinssen (probably Süßen), Ebersbach/Fils and Mundelsheim. The same day, Tallard's Army reached Haslach. The Elector's and Marsin's armies sojourned at Peterzell in the vain hope of receiving the 18 Bavarian sqns expected from Munich. Villeroy assembled his army at Wolsteich to form the rearguard. Meanwhile, Coigny's Corps marched to Drusenheim.

On 29 August, Tallard's Army reached Offenburg.

On 30 August, Tallard's Army, along with the troops that Villeroy had left behind at Offenburg, reached Kehl. Villeroy's Army reached Haslach.

On August 31, Margrave Louis of Baden effected a junction with Marlborough's Army at Philipsburg. So did the Allied troops guarding the lines towards Strasbourg. Marlborough was now at the head of an army of 135,000 men. The same day, Tallard's Army passed the Rhine at Kehl and encamped at Wantzenau and Brumpt (unidentified location). The Elector's and Marsin's armies reached Offenburg and their cavalry was sent to Wilstett (unidentified location). Villeroy's Army also reached Offenburg. Meanwhile, Coigny's Corps marched to Beinheim. Villeroy and the Elector of Bavaria then personally went to Strasbourg.

Note: the main theatre of operation for the French armies as well as for Marlborough and Eugène now shifted to the Rhine and the Moselle. These operations are described in our article 1704 – Allied offensive on the Rhine and the Moselle while the conquest and occupation of Bavaria is described in the present article.

On 2 September, FM Thüngen with a corps of 12,000 men laid siege to Ulm which was defended by Bettendorff with 5 Bavarian bns and 4 French bns, all very weak.

On 10 September, Bettendorff, commanding in Ulm, asked to capitulate. He obtained the honours of war.

On 12 September, the garrison of Ulm marched out of the city with the honours of war and set off for Strasbourg.

On 16 September, Generals Weickel and Maffei, who had assembled the remnants of the Bavarian Army, marched to Ingolstadt and attacked the blockading forces at Gaimersheim. GFWM Aufseß, who had been informed of their arrival, was retiring. The Bavarian cavalry caught up with his forces at Altmühltal inflicting them heavy losses.

On 7 November, the Treaty of Ilbesheim between Austria and Bavaria removed Bavaria from the war.

On 12 November an Imperial corps appeared in front of the Fortress of Ingolstadt, asking for the surrender of the place according to the treaty recently signed. The Electorate of Bavaria was occupied by Austrian and Palatine troops.


This article incorporates texts from the following books which are now in the public domain:

  • Pelet and François Eugène de Vault: Mémoires militaires relatifs à la Succession d'Espagne sous Louis XIV, Vol. 4 pp. 26-39, 369-673
  • Fortescue, J. W.: A History of the British Army, Vol. I, MacMillan, London, 1899, pp. 416-444
  • Coxe, William: Memoirs of John Duke of Marlborough with his Original Correspondence, Vol. 1, London: Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme and Browne, 1818, pp. 311-336
  • Hamilton, F. W.: The origin and history of the First or Grenadier Guards, London: John Murray, 1874, Vol. 1, pp. 444-456
  • Spanish Succession, War of the, in Encyclopaedia Britannica (c1910-1922), Vol. 25, pp. 601-602
  • Kane, Richard: Campaigns of king William and queen Anne, from 1689 to 1712, London: J. Millan, 1745, pp. 44-58
  • Treuenfest, A. v.: Geschichte des k. k. Infanterie-Regiments Nr. 20 Friedrich Wilhelm, Kronprinz von Preussen, Vienna 1878

Other sources

Förderverein Bayerische Landesfestung Ingolstadt, Ingolstadt im Spanischen Erbfolgekrieg

Fuller, J,F,C.: The Decisive Battles of the Western World, 480 B.C. - 1757, Vol. 1, Paladin,1975, pp. 526-527