Winston Churchill introduces his account of the Battle of Blenheim, on the banks of the Danube, on 13 August 1704, in the following way:

The wide plain, bathed in the morning sunlight, was covered with hostile squadrons and battalions … But behind this magnificent array … were the shapes of great causes and the destinies of many powerful nations. Europe protested against the military domination of a single Power. The Holy Roman Empire pleaded for another century of life … The Dutch Republic sought to preserve its independence, and Prussia its kingdom rank. And from across the seas in England the Protestant succession, Parliamentary government, and the future of the British Empire advanced with confident tread. All these had brought their cases before the dread tribunal now set up in this Danube plain. 1

In the battle, Churchill’s ancestor, John Churchill, First Duke of Marlborough, and the imperial commander-in-chief Eugene of Savoy, inflicted a crushing defeat on the French-Bavarian army. 2