1711 - The Siege

Documentary's blog

The repercussions

The most direct repercussion that the siege of Cardona of 1711 had on history was the lengthening of the Succession War. Cardona was the last plaza between the Bourbon military and Barcelona, where the Franco-Spanish planned a master strategy to advance successfully to the Catalan Capital. Cardona’s defeat would have allowed the Bourbons to cross Barcelona’s counties through the rear of the Austrian army, which was facing Vendôme in Prats de Rei although they were down in effectives. That would have meant a definitive strike that would have ended the war, but that didn’t happen so it lasted three more years. The resistance of Cardona weakened the Bourbon rear during the long siege of Barcelona (1713-1714), an inconvenience for a side that would end up succeeding in the siege.

The denouement of the siege of Cardona of 1711 provoked a serious disaster in the Bourbon military, commanded by the most recognized French officials and endowed with the best military engineers, specialist in interpreting the siege situations. People were still talking about it a century after it happened, but the first news came from the two gazettes (Barcelona and Madrid) and from different chroniclers and diarists. We know that the Bourbon defeat caused agitation in Europe, and that it was taken by engineer’s academies to dig in it and to find out possible calculation or planning mistakes that led to the defeat. Today we can find military maps of this episode, at least, at museums and Catalan, Aragonese, Castilians, English, Austrian and French files. We also have found numerous documents that mention it (take a look at the annex), among the military memories of France’s king Louis XIV the Great, where he recognizes the failure in Cardona lengthened the war for three other years.