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Campaigns and Battles

Recent works on history tend not to give very much attention to the battlefield. In my opinion it is however very rewarding to study battles in detail. Appearance and performance on the battlefield tell us so much about a state.

The actual numbers of soldiers from each state involved in a battle tells us about the relative power of members of the grand alliance (e.g. Blenheim); The performance of troops says a lot about how well a state is organised (e.g. the good performance of English troops in this war or the disciplined Dutch retreat after Ekeren); Tenacity of troops can point to good organisation, good discipline, but can also tell us how much the soldier loves his country, king or government (e.g. the increasing attachment of the Castillians to Philip V); Good or bad generalship also tells much about the state that selected these generals (e.g. the choice of generals of Louis XIV points to the growing decadence of Bourbon France)