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First Foot Guards

11 September 1709 
The Battle of Malplaquet


Artist: Louis Laguerre about 1713

The Duke of Marlborough and his troops enter enemy entrenchments.

Malplaquet was fought between the Allied army under the Duke of Marlborough and Prince Eugene, and the French army under Marshal Villars. The French occupied a strong defensive position, but after desperate hand-to-hand fighting the Allies won the day. The Allies lost over 20,000 men. These were some of the heaviest casualties seen in eighteenth century warfare and as a result Marlborough’s popularity dwindled.

This painting in the National Army Museum Collection in London is thought to have been a preparatory study for the Malplaquet staircase at Marlborough House.

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