Random unused graphic

I made this graphic back in grad school (in Excel), but since it never made its way into the dissertation or book, and since I’m busy with other things, I might as well post it here as filler. I did clean it up a bit in Adobe Illustrator, just for the record.

This graph shows the length of each siege (by the four stages, as described in my book), in the context of the campaign. The start of each campaign is at the top of the Y-axis, and you read down and across (to the right) until you get to winter quarters and the dividing line between each year. The campaign season is indicated by the white area in between the two gray areas.

Allied Siege Lengths, Flanders theater in the WSS

Allied Siege Lengths, Flanders theater in the WSS

Noteworthy items illustrated by this chart:

  • Rheinberg 1702 was converted from a short siege into a longer blockade that lasted into winter quarters.
  • The extraordinary length of the final stage of Bouchain 1711 (repairing the fortifications) led to some harsh criticism of the engineers.
  • Comparing the siege lengths across the years, the difference between Vauban’s pré carré and the Spanish bicoques is quite striking. The 1702 exception isn’t really an exception: Kaisersweert, near Dusseldorf, was on the Rhine and largely conducted by the Prussians, rather than the more-competent Dutch. Amazing what can happen when you don’t bother to fully invest the fortress and allow daily reinforcements and evacuation.
  • From the seasons, you can see how late the 1708 campaign lasted (it actually extended into 1709, but I forgot to include that).
  • As well as how late the 1709 campaign season started, thanks to the Grand hiver.


  • The width of each campaign year has no meaning, other than reflecting the number of sieges conducted in that year.
  • I left out 1704 because the main Allied effort was in Germany rather than Flanders, and I focused on Flanders for my book.
  • 1707 had no sieges of note.

I could add other bells and whistles, e.g. icons for other events, a few labels, include the 1704 and 1707 campaign years, put the French sieges in as well. Maybe when I have more time.



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One response to “Random unused graphic”

  1. Frederik Dhondt says :

    I have nothing to add, but to confirm that your graph is very instructive, e.g. on the nature of the coalition’s advances in Flanders after Ramillies (relatively slow, if you see how much time was lost, e.g. at Menin; Vendôme stabilized the front), or on the possibility of La Mothe Houdancourt holding out longer in Ghent in December-January 1709 (if only he had waited a couple of days, Winter would have set in, and his ‘bicoque’, stuffed with provisions by Bergeyck, would have been a lot easier to defend).

    I am currently writing on Franco-British diplomacy during the War of the Polish Succession. Although military facts did not influence the outcome of negotiations, they did rythm the uncoordinated and shattered talks. Should be a piece of cake with Sutton’s book or Kirchhammer to construct a similar one.

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