War of the Grand Alliance

1688 to 1697
France — versus — Britain, Holland, Hapsburgs, Portugal, Sweden

war of the grandalliance
The War of the Grand Alliance was initiated almost as soon as William III was raised to the throne of England, in 1688. He had spent the last fifteen years as the King of Holland, trying to resist the expansionist policies of Louis the XVI, who was intent on making France the dominant power in Europe. Along with Britain and Holland, the Holy Roman Empire, Spain, Portugal and Sweden, all joined an alliance to oppose French expansion. The first order of business William III when he came to the throne, was to put down the Jacobite rebellion in Ireland, but once that was resolved he turned his attentions to fighting France on continental Europe. For the next four years, there were various campaigns, mostly in the contested Rhine regions. France overall had the better of most of the fighting on land, but Britain gained ground at sea. The war ended in 1697 without a decisive resolution. The conflict was effectively resumed a few years later, as the War of the Spanish Succession.

DateBattle Summary
Battle of Beachy Head   French victory
A naval action fought June 30, 1690, between a combined English and Dutch fleet of 93 sail under Torrington, and a French fleet of 78 ships under de Tourville, which had been despatched to create a diversion in favour of James II in Ireland. The allies were defeated, the Dutch losing six and the British one ship.
Battle of Fleurus   French victory
Fought July 1, 1690, between the French, under Marshal Luxembourg, and the Germans and Dutch under the Prince of Waldeck. The French gained a signal victory, the allies being driven from the field in disorder with a loss of 14,000 killed and wounded, and 49 guns.
Battle of Staffarda   French victory
Fought 1690, between the French, under Marshal Catinat, and the Imperialists, under Victor Amadeus of Savoy. The Imperialists met with a crushing defeat.
Battle of Aghrim   Allies victory
Fought July 12, 1691, between William III's troops, under Ginkel, and the French and Irish under St. Ruth. The English struggled in vain to carry St. Ruth's entrenchments, which were protected by a bog, but his flank was at last turned by the cavalry, which found a passage through the morass, and St. Ruth was killed. The Irish then broke and fled, and are said to have lost between 6,000 and 7,000 in the pursuit.
Battle of La Hogue   Allies victory
Fought May 19 and 20, 1692, between a combined Dutch and English fleet of 96 sail, under Admirals Russell and Allemande, and a French fleet of 64 sail of the line and 47 smaller vessels, under de Tourville. After heavy loss on both sides, the French fleet was dispersed, with a loss of three ships. On the 22nd Admiral Rooke destroyed 16 sail of the line and a number of transports.
Battle of Steinkirk   French victory
Fought August 8, 1692, between the English, under William III, and the French under Marshal Luxembourg. The English attacked the French camp at daybreak, and broke and dispersed a brigade. Luxembourg, however, rallied his troops, and after a severe engagement, repulsed the English attack, though William was able to withdraw his forces in good order.
Battle of Lagos   French victory
Fought June 17, 1693, when a squadron of 23 Dutch and English ships, under Sir George Rooke, was attacked by a French fleet of 71 sail, whilst convoying 400 merchantmen to the Mediterranean. The French destroyed 90 merchant ships, and one English and two Dutchwarships. The skilful manoeuvring of Rooke, however, saved the rest of the convoy from destruction.
Battle of Neerwinden   French victory
Fought July 29, 1693, between the English, under William III, and the French in superior force, under Marshal Luxemberg. The French attacked the English entrenchments, and were at first repulsed, but after eight hours' hard fighting, they succeeded in driving them back all along the line, though owing largely to the personal bravery of the King, the retirement was in good order. This victory which cost the French 10,000 men, was a barren one, for William's retreat was unmolested, and he was almost at once in a condition to renew the conflict. This is also called the Battle of Landen.
Battle of Marseglia (Uncatagorized ) French victory
Fought October 4, 1693, between the French, under Marshal de Catinat, and the Austrians, Spanish, and English, under the Duke of Savoy. The allies, who were inferior in numbers, were attacked by the French, and, after severe fighting, driven across the Po with a loss of about 6,000. The Duke of Schomberg and Lord Warwick were taken prisoners. The loss of the French was slightly less.

Short Biography
William III King of Netherlands, called to be king of England when James II, his father-in-law, was deposed.
Duke of Savoy Duke of Savoy who led armies of the Hapsburgs against Louis XVI.
Louis XIV French King who expanded the borders of France, and lived in great pomp and splendor.
Comte de Tourville Naval Commander during War of the Grand Alliance. Defeated British at Barfleur.

Story Links
Book Links
Marshal Anne-Hilarion de Tourville  in  Boys' Book of Sea Fights  by  Chelsea Curtis Fraser

Image Links

Battle of La Hogue
 in Famous Men of Modern Times