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The Perfect Siege Of Ath 1697

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Chapter Summary

The epitome of Louisquatorzian siegecraft was the 1697 attack on Ath. As with many places in the cockpit of Europe, the town’s sovereignty changed several times over the course of the late seventeenth century. Ath itself might never have been besieged in 1697 had the peace negotiations started in 1695 and convened more formally at Rijswijk (Ryswick) the next year taken hold. Louis’ forces entered the field in mid-April, and preparations for the siege were made amid recurrent rumors of an impending suspension of arms. The town’s medieval walls and château were modernized by the Spanish in 1540 and Vauban in turn had these walls razed in 1668. Though most of Ath’s bastions had only the covered way to shield them, Vauban had added two reinforced bulwarks (counterguards) to the covered way in front of the Luxembourg and Flanders bastions for additional protection.

Keywords: Ath’s bastions; Flanders bastions; Louisquatorzian siegecraft; Luxembourg bastions; peace negotiations; Vauban



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