A major battle in the Nine Years’ War, the Battle of Fleurus saw Prince Waldeck lead an Allied army of 38,000 men in battle against a French force of 35,000 under the Duc de Luxembourg. Waldeck’s infantry were positioned in two lines, protected by both cavalry and the River Orme, making a frontal assault impossible. Luxembourg took the bold move of dividing his troops into two columns, which advanced around the sides of the enemy line, using hedges and wheat fields to screen them from the enemy. Waldeck’s flanks were successfully enveloped and the French attacked. The French right wing was repulsed, but the left was successful and after three hours of heavy fighting, Waldeck’s line was broken. He formed a new one further back, only to collapse again. There was a huge loss of life with over 6,000 dead and the same number injured; his remaining troops fled to Nivelles or were taken prisoner.
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