As the duke of Marlborough and his men burned Bavaria, Marshall Camile d'Hostun Tallard and his French troops marched down the Danube and reached the vicinity of Ulm by July 29, 1704. The roads to the west seemed open. If the allies could not concentrate their forces quickly, the results would be disastrous. Marlborough's ministry would fall, Louis XIV would lord it over the Atlantic world, and the Grand Alliance would collapse. However, Marlborough was unperturbed. In fact, he saw opportunity. On August 8, 1704, Marlborough and his army marched to the west toward the Lech and Danube bridges. Prince Eugene of Savoy rode off to rejoin his army of observation, encamped on the north bank of the Danube near a small village known as Blenheim. This chapter recounts how Marlborough, together with Prince Eugene, destroyed the French army at the Battle of Blenheim on August 13, 1704. It examines the political results of Marlborough's victory over France in Germany and their significance for the balance of power in Europe and America.
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