Opposite the British, who as usual deployed at a distance and then advanced in long continuous lines, the Russians were posted on the crest of a long glacis-like slope, which offered but little dead ground to an assailant.
The Prussian cavalry promptly bore away to cover to the westward, and reported what they had seen to superior authority, but not to the advanced guard of the 5th infantry division, which, emerging in its turn from the defile, ran right against the deployed French infantry moving to meet them.
Bazaine actually deployed 50,700 rifles and 206 guns to oppose them.
The 1st division, warned by their own scouts that French troops were in Ste Marie, deployed to attack this village, and were assisted in their endeavour by a brigade of Saxons detached by the crown prince of Saxony, who from his position could see behind the poplar screen that limited the view of the commander-in-chief.
We've pulled in some of our deployed forces from the wars to assist, but they will take some time to arrive.
The Russians marched in two columns, which lost touch of one another, and as it was quite impossible for either to engage the French singlehanded, they both retired again towards Smolensk, where with an advanced guard in the town itself - which possessed an oldfashioned brick enceinte not to be breached by field artillery alone - the two columns reunited and deployed for action behind the unfordable Dnieper.
Only 23,700 rifles, 8roo sabres and 126 guns had been brought into action by the Germans against 59,100 rifles, 6700 sabres, and 300 guns on the French side, and even at the close of the day the former had only deployed 47,100 rifles, 8300 sabres and 222 guns against 83,000 rifles, 8000 sabres and 432 guns including 24 mitrailleuses.
It was not in two or three powerful groups but in one long chain of seven deployed divisions that the advance was made.
The momentary result was a wild panic, especially among the horses; but this panic gave the alarm to the infantry all along the road, and these (Frossard's 2nd Corps) at once stood to arms and moved forward, deployed for attack - one division to the west, another division, from Rezonville, to the south.
On the 2nd-13th of August 1704 Eugene and Marlborough set their forces in motion towards the hostile camps; several streams had to be crossed on the march, and it was seven o'clock (five hours after moving off) when the British of Marlborough's left wing, next the Danube, deployed opposite Blenheim, which Tallard thereupon garrisoned with a large force of his best infantry, aided by a battery of 24-pounder guns.