After his victories in Flanders during the campaign of 1708, the duke of Marlborough did not hurry back to England. Instead, he braved the terrible winter from Brussels to travel to the Mauritshuis in The Hague and made preparations for the largest army ever assembled by the allies. He also supervised negotiations for a comprehensive peace with France in Europe and America. Meanwhile, Louis XIV committed the last French army to prevent the allies from seizing Mons and breaching the French frontier. Marlborough's army met the French troops at Malplaquet on September 11, 1709 and drove the enemy from the battlefield after twelve hours of fighting. The allies then settled down to a costly but successful siege of Mons. However, the French army survived and Marlborough was unable to win the war. For half a century after Malplaquet, Marlborough's veterans rose in the British army and commanded the imperial forces until they achieved their final circum-Atlantic victory in 1763.
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