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Battle of Denain

The Battle of Denain was fought on 24 July 1712, as part of the War of the Spanish Succession. It resulted in a French victory under Marshal Villars against Dutch and Austrian forces under Prince Eugene of Savoy; the War of Spanish Succession had raged since 1701. After over a decade of war, France was in a dark period, both militarily; the early victories of Marshal Villars at the Battle of Friedlingen and the Battle of Höchstadt were followed by numerous defeats to the Allied forces, most notably the armies under Prince Eugene of Savoy and the Duke of Marlborough. In 1708, after the rout of Oudenaarde, nearly all the strongholds of northern France were under the control of the Austro-British coalition. There was an economic crisis leading to famine and high mortality in the populace; the command of the French northern army went to Marshal Villars in 1709, who wasted no time in seeing to its reorganization. When the Allied campaign led by Prince Eugene and the Duke of Marlborough engaged the French at Malplaquet, Villars was wounded and the French retreated from the field, but the Allies suffered twice as many casualties and their campaign soon sputtered out.

France's precarious position had been stabilized, the Allies were unable to achieve their goal of forcing harsh terms on the Bourbons, the war continued. In May 1712, Villars prepared to take the offensive; the French gathered an army of 200,000 men on the northern border. The Allied northern army was positioned along the Scarpe between Douai and Marchiennes, occupying the communes of Denain and Landrecies; the successful but controversial Marlborough had been relieved of his command and the British forces were now under the leadership of the Duke of Ormonde, under secret orders not to fight alongside the Allies under the Prince of Savoy. In June, Prince Eugene captured Le Quesnoy; the Duke of Ormonde withdrew his forces during the siege, leading to a rift between the British and the rest of the Allies. After a detailed examination of the enemy dispositions, Villars decided in the greatest secrecy to attack Denain. Elements of the French cavalry were sent to seize the various bridges crossing the river Selle which ran through le Cateau to join the Scheldt opposite Denain.

During the evening a French detachment took up positions around a mill at Haspres, blocking the river crossing there. That night the French infantry began to march towards Prince Eugene's forces at Landrecies. In response to this threat, Prince Eugene reinforced Landrecies, weakening the Allied right wing holding Denain. At dawn, Villars swung the line of advance of his army and aimed it in three columns at Denain. At five o'clock in the morning and his principal lieutenants drew up their plan of attack at Avesnes-le-Sec. 24,000 French infantry would attack the 10,500 strong Dutch garrison of Denain. At seven o’clock the French infantrymen reached Neuville-sur-Escaut and were ordered to seize the bridges across the Scheldt. At eight o’clock, the Allies were surprised to discover the large French presence in the area; the Earl of Albermarle, at the head of the Dutch garrison in and around Denain, warned Prince Eugene, but the Prince of Savoy was not concerned at the time. By one in the afternoon the attack had developed to the point of an assault on the palisade at Denain.

The French sappers took Denain at the point of the bayonet. Many defenders were killed and the remaining Dutch infantry attempted to escape across the mill bridge, but it collapsed during the retreat and hundreds of Allied troops drowned. Realizing the gravity of the situation, Prince Eugene attempted to force his way across the Scheldt at Prouvy to help Albemarle. Under the command of the Prince de Tingry, French regiments held the bridge at Prouvy against repeated Austrian attacks; this left the Prince of Savoy's army blocked on the left flank by the Scheldt and the Allies could not counterattack to retake Denain. There and his staff were taken prisoner, together with some 4,100 troops; the Allies suffered 6,500 losses borne by the Dutch, while French casualties were 2,100. The battle was not recognised to be as decisive as it turned out to be. However, with the loss of Denain the Allied position began to unravel, over the next few months the French recovered most of the towns they had lost in the region in previous years.

The loss of Le Quesnoy alone cost the Allies 3,000 wounded. Chandler, David G. Marlborough as Military Commander. Spellmount Ltd. ISBN 1-86227-195-X Clodfelter, M.. Warfare and Armed Conflicts: A Statistical Encyclopedia of Casualty and Other Figures, 1492-2015. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland. ISBN 978-0786474707. Lynn, John A.. The Wars of Louis XIV: 1667–1714. London: Longman. ISBN 0-582-05629-2. Chase Maenius; the Art of War: Paintings of Heroes and History. 2014. ISBN 978-1320309554 Celebration of the tricentenary in Denain, July 2012

Alex Preston (singer)

Alex Preston Philbrick, better known as Alex Preston, is an American singer from Mont Vernon, New Hampshire, a finalist on the thirteenth season of American Idol, coming in third place. On July 21, 2015, he released his debut self-titled album, his sophomore album, A Work in Progress, was released in 2018. Alex Preston was raised in Mont Vernon, New Hampshire, he wrote his first song called "Fish Food" when he was 12. He attended Souhegan High School in Amherst, New Hampshire where he played the guitar in a jazz band, in the percussion section in concert and a marching band, he formed a band with friends, Dustin Newhouse, Josh Brackett and Tucker Brown, called Undertow. He graduated from high school in 2011, studied at the University of New Hampshire. Preston has written songs with his cousin Jo Dee Messina, the rock band Framing Hanley, Aria Summer, his song was used in the CD "Voices for Heroes," a benefit for Sandy Hook. He won the "Open For MixFest" competition organized by a radio station to open for acts such as Backstreet Boys, Gavin DeGraw and Of Monsters and Men.

His single "The Light Was Already Here" was released in September 2013. His debut, self-titled album was recorded in a cabin in Lone Pine and was released in 2015, his second album, A Work in Progress, was released in 2018. Alex Preston"Break My Heart" "You" "Fairytales" "The Light Was Already Here" "Close to You" "200 Miles" "The Author" "Get Up, Get Down" "Love Letters" Official Alex Preston website

Maten al-Sahel

Maten al-Sahel, a.k.a. Maten Arnouk. Named for the prominent Arnouk family land owners, the Syrian government renamed the village Maten al-Sahel, "Coast"; this village is located 280 km north-west of Damascus, near the Mediterranean coast. According to the Syria Central Bureau of Statistics, Maten al-Sahel had a population of 2,101 in the 2004 census; the majority of the population are members of the Eastern Orthodox Christian community, with an Alawite Muslim minority. Maten al-Sahel is situated on the top of mountain about 300 m above the level of the sea and looks down upon the coastal lands from the western side of the town with a wonderful view; the distance from the Tartous-Lattakia highway is 4 km and it is a sort of difficult mountainous road between olive tree fields. The village is surrounded by green valleys, there are many roads across these valleys and mountains that are suitable for sport activities such as walking and cycling in the spring. Taxi's fee from Damascus Airport to the Bus Station: $15 Bus Ticket from Damascus to Tartous by Al-Kadmous Company: $3 Car from Tartous to Almaten: $3 Private mini-bus directly from Damascus Airport to Maten alsahel: $60 Private mini-bus for a daily trip: from $65 The area around al-Maten is known to have been settled since the 18th century.

Total population of al-Maten is about 3,500. The educational level in al-Maten is high as the percentage of the illiteracy among the new generation is 0%, the most of population are holding high degrees. Al-Maten has all the requirements of modern life such as electrical networks, mobile coverage, health center, a developing transport system including two buses and many private cars and mini-buses; the main industries in al-Maten are: agriculture and immigration. Agriculture is the traditional job in al-Maten. More than 90% of the population depends on it as the main source of income. Tomatoes in green houses and olive oil are the most important crops produced in al-Maten; the climate is cool, variably rainy winters. Al-Maten Official Site