Chandler, David.


Tunbridge Wells, 3rd ed., 1989. 368 pp., 33 photo-plates + 17 maps & diagrams. D.j., 23 x 15cm. FINE. Here, for the first time, is an analysis, detailed, informed, dispassionate, of Marlborough's qualities as a military leader, set against the military realities of the period. After sketching Marlborough's early career, the author considers in detail the battle of Sedgemoor, the first engagement in which John Churchill played a leading role. A later chapter is devoted to the Art of War in the early eighteenth century: the movement, support and armament of field forces, and the curiously formalised patterns of attack and defence in the sieges which played so large a part in the warfare of the time. Thereafter the author writes illuminatingly of the successive Continental campaign and the bloody encounters: Donauworth, Hochstadt, Blenheim, Ramillies, Oudenarde, Malplaquet ' which punctuate them. The author also brings into revealing perspective the diplomatic relations which Marlborough so adroitly conducted both with his frequently recalcitrant allies and with the governments at home. In a final chapter the author summarises the combination of qualities which gave Marlborough his uniqueness.

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