Marlborough as Military Commander
John Churchill, the first Duke of Marlborough, was probably the greatest soldier that Britain has produced. Field Marshal Montgomery described him as ... Show synopsis John Churchill, the first Duke of Marlborough, was probably the greatest soldier that Britain has produced. Field Marshal Montgomery described him as "a miltiary genius" and the Duke of Wellington could "conceive of nothing finer than Marlborough at the head of an English army". Beginning with Marlborough's early career under Charles II, David Chandler, formerly head of War Studies at Sandhurst, goes on to consider in detail the Battle of Sedgemoor, the first engagement in which Marlborough played a leading role. Following a comprehensive chapter on 18th-century warfare, including the formalized patterns of attack and defence that were so much a part of it, he gives an illuminating account of the successive Continental campaigns and the bloody encounters: Donauworth, Hoschstadt, Blenheim, Ramillies, Oudenarde and Malplaquet. Marlborough was also famous for this diplomatic skills, in particular with recalcitrant allies and home governments. Taken with his genuine compassion for - and understanding of - the men under his command, he raised the standard of British warfare and his military skills have never been surpassed.