Battle of Fontenoy, 11 May 1745 (Belgium)

Battle during the War of the Austrian Succession between a 70,000 strong French army led by Marshal Maurice de Saxe, and a 50,000 strong British, Dutch and Hanoverian army led by the Duke of Cumberland. The allied army was marching to the relief of Tournai when they met the French army, which blocked their advance. The Dutch started the battle with an attack on the French centre, followed by the rest of the allied army, leading to a general engagement. The decisive moment was an attack by a Irish force in the French army, which helped break the allied defence, forcing them to retreat. Cumberland was able to keep his army together, and they retired with limited losses. This defeat marked the end of English involvement on the continent during the war, and Cumberland was soon withdrawn to deal with the second Jacobite Rebellion (the 45).
Fontenoy 1745 - Cumberland's Bloody Defeat, Michael McNally. Looks at a key French victory during the War of the Austrian Succession, where the British infantry enhanced their reputation after advancing into a trap and nearly winning an improbably victory despite being attacked from three sides. Traces the campaign that led to the British being drawn into that trap, and the failures elsewhere on the battlefield that meant that the famous infantry attack had little real chance of success, leading to a French victory that began a successful conquest of the Austrian Netherlands (Read Full Review)
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How to cite this article: Rickard, J. (22 October 2000), Battle of Fontenoy, 11 May 1745, http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/battles_fontenoy.html

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