He gave a proof of his regard for the service of the country by taking his passage home in a small brig rather than withdraw a line of battle ship from the squadron, which his rank entitled him to do, and as other admirals of the time generally did.
He claimed to have re - pelled the outflanking movement of the French in the battle of the Marne, but he was nevertheless compelled, in consequence of the faulty disposition of the German forces in the line of battle and the success of the Allied offensive, to withdraw his army be - fore what he described as overwhelming odds to the Aisne posi - tions.
Napoleon, on the other hand, with the exact knowledge of the powers of his men, which was the secret of his generalship, entrusted nearly half of his line of battle to a division (Legrand's) of Soult's corps, which was to be supported by Davout, some of whose brigades had marched, from Vienna, 90 m.
The latter with at least 50,000 men was marching in two columns, and ought therefore to have delivered its men into line of battle twice as fast as the French, who had to deploy from a single issue, and whose columns had opened out in the passage of the Kosen defile and the long ascent of the plateau above.
At length the line of battle was formed, and the Gothic army, probably greatly inferior in number to the Byzantine was hopelessly routed (July 552), the king receiving a mortal wound as he was hurrying from the battlefield.
Observing this, Burgundy resolved to throw forward his right towards Oudenarde to engage and hold the main body of the Allies before their line of battle could be formed.
With these numbers it was impossible to attain the high degree of individual efficiency required for the old line tactics, hence they were compelled to adopt the French methods of skirmishers and columns, but as yet they had hardly realized the increased density necessary to be given to a line of battle to enable it to endure the prolonged nervous strain the new system of tactics entailed.
In the mist of the early morning Wallenstein's army was formed in line of battle along the Leipzig road with its right on Liitzen.
At Fredericksburg his wing of Lee's line of battle was heavily engaged, and his last battle, before Chancellorsville, in the thickets of the Wilderness, was his greatest triumph.