Page:15 decisive battles of the world Vol 1 (London).djvu/292

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Attila's army at seven hundred thousand strong. Having crossed the Rhine, probably a little below Coblentz, he defeated the king of the Burgundians, who endeavoured to bar his progress. He then divided his vast forces into two armies, — one of which marched north-west upon Tongres and Arras, and the other cities of that part of France; while the main body, under Attila himself, marched up the Moselle, and destroyed Besançon, and other towns in the country of the Burgundians. One of the latest and best biographers of Attila[1] well observes, that "having thus conquered the eastern part of France, Attila prepared for an invasion of the West Gothic territories beyond the Loire. He marched upon Orleans where he intended to force the passage of that river, and only a little attention is requisite to enable us to perceive that he proceeded on a systematic plan: he had his right wing on the north for the protection of his Frank allies; his left wing on the south for the purpose of preventing the Burgundians from rallying, and of menacing the passes of the Alps from Italy; and he led his centre towards the chief object of the campaign — the conquest of Orleans, and an easy passage into the West Gothic dominion. The whole plan is very like that of

  1. Biographical Dictionary commenced by the Useful Knowledge Society in 1844.