WAR OF SPANISH SUCCESSION
In 1700 dies the last Hapsburg in the throne of Spain, Carlos II. Its testament leaves all the possessions of the crown to Felipe d´Anjou, grandson of the king of France. With it, Carlos II unites the destinies of Spain to his traditional enemy, leaving therefore the traditional alliance with the throne of Austria. France, strong under the rule of Luis XIV, counted on better possibilities than no other nation to defend the interests of Spain and the integrity of its possessions. The Austrian candidate to the throne of Spain, second son of the emperor Leopold, is supported by England, Austria, Prussia and Hanover. They form the Great Alliance against France.
After being crowned in Madrid in 1700, Felipe V travels to Italy, where Austria has initiated the conflict.
In 1702 the Great Alliance declares the war to France and a year later Portugal and Saboya adhere. Felipe V returns to Spain where the fights in the Portuguese border begin. In 1704 in the battle of Blenheim, the French-Bavarian army is annihilated by the Duke of Marlborough (Mambrú in spanish), removing Baviera from the war. That same year, after the impossibility to attack Cadiz, the anglo-Dutch fleet takes control of of the undefended Gibraltar.
Two years later, the French army under the command of marshal Villeroi is defeated again by the Duke of Marlborough in the battle of Ramilles, whose troops conquer the totality of the Spanish Netherlands.
In 1705, the Austrian candidate, Archduke Carlos, disembarks in Barcelona. Catalonia, Aragón, and Valencia embrace his cause. The army of the Two Crowns under Tessé leaves the attempt to besiege Barcelona for the presence of the allied fleet and in just a short time he has to flee. From Portugal the allies advance towards the interior taking Ciudad Rodrigo and Salamanca. The court of Felipe V leaves Madrid where the Archduke makes his entrance to be crowned as Carlos III.
Nevertheless, the allies evacuate the peninsular centre becouse the danger to be isolated in hostile territory and Felipe V returns to the capital. Taking advantage of their central situation, the borbonics fight in both fronts east and west using the advantage of the inner lines.
In 1706 Vendome it is defeated by Prince Eugene in Turin, which leaves Italy into the hands of Austria.
In this context the battle of Almansa takes place.
In 1707 the pro-austrian forces try to take control of the control of the east and the south of the peninsula taking advantage of their sea superiority. The Two Crowns, on the other hand, try to maintain the pressure on the portuguese border while the army of Castile, to the control of the Duke of Berwick, tried to recover the kingdom of Valencia.
At the beginning of April the allied army under the command of the Portuguese Das Minas and the English Galway meets in Játiva while the borbonic arrives at Almansa. The news that the Duke of Orleans is of way with 8,000 soldiers to replace Berwick forces Galway and Das Mines to look for the confrontation. The 24 of April, thinking to find its enemy decreased and in retirement, the allied try to intercept to him in Almansa. Berwick nevertheless goes ahead, regroups his forces and waits for the battle.
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