Tuesday, September 11, 2007


This Day in the History of Western Excuses for Slaughtering Each Other

On this day in 1709, John Churchill, the first Duke of Marlborough fought his last and bloodiest battle of the War of Spanish Succession at the now French village of Malplaquet south of Mons, Belgium. His army of Brits, Austrians, Dutch and several lesser nations, numbered about 110,000, fought against a slightly smaller, largely French army and went right at them. He suffered twice the casualties as the French, et al., but drove them from the field of battle. It was a Phyrric victory which kept the Allies from further decisive action for the rest of the war. Malplaquet was the bloodiest battle of the 18th Century with 30,000 dead. Since the flintlock muskets in use then were accurate to only about 40 yards, the troops had to walk in packed formations right up to each other and fire, vaguely aimed, en masse. Then they stood there and reloaded as the enemy fired back. C’est magnifique, mais ce n’est pas la guerre.


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