D-Day Landings, Northern France (6 June 1944) (The by Stephen Hart, Department of War Studies, Royal Military

By Stephen Hart, Department of War Studies, Royal Military Academy

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Some effort was made to lessen the effect, so that much-needed talent should not be cast aside lightly when it could be avoided. This can be seen in a letter from Queen Anne to Archduke Charles (Carlos III) in June 1704 as the campaign in southern Germany was getting into its stride, concerning a certain ‘Henry Nugent, one of my subjects who cannot, by English law, be employed among my troops, on account of his religion. ’3 Spain, although no longer a major military power, fielded significant numbers of troops, and those recruited from the Spanish (Southern) Netherlands not only enjoyed a good reputation for their fine fighting qualities, but were subject more than most to the varying stresses of war, as success and failure in the Low Countries followed the fortunes of the rivals for the throne in Madrid.

Eugene had his share of glory, of course, although the Margrave of Baden had gone to lay siege to the Bavarian-held fortress of Ingolstadt early in marlborough’s war machine - Press The War for Spain 21 August and had not, to his regret, been present on the day of victory. Making the most of this success, however, was not that simple, and the duke found that he was unavoidably drawn back into the Low Countries to campaign in 1705. His overall plan for the year, almost certainly too ambitious and optimistic, was to take his troops to combine with the Imperial army under Baden to sweep through the Moselle valley into the heart of northern France, while Veldt-Marshal Overkirk held the line with a Dutch corps in the Southern Netherlands.

The Dutch army at the outset of the hostilities was, on paper at least, an experienced and formidable instrument of war, comprising twenty-seven regiments of Horse and four regiments of dragoons. Their infantry comprised forty-eight regiments of Foot and two independent guard companies (Nos 1–51 on the army establishment list). The Dutch also had a Swedish regiment (No. 52 on the army establishment), a Prussian-recruited regiment (No. 53), three e´migre´ Huguenot regiments (Nos 54–6), the six regiments of the Scots Brigade (Nos 57–62, augmented by three additional battalions on the outbreak of the war – the Duke of Argyll being in command) and the seven regiments of Protestant Swiss (Nos 63–9).

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