In the battle, which took place primarily on a rise about three-quarters of a mile (one km) from the fort itself, a French army of about 4,000 men under General Louis-Joseph de Montcalm and the Chevalier de Levis decisively defeated an overwhelmingly numerically superior force of British troops under General James Abercrombie, which frontally assaulted an entrenched French position without using field artillery.
Abercrombie, confident of a quick victory, ignored several viable military options, such as flanking the French breastworks, waiting for his artillery, or laying siege to the fort. Instead, relying on a flawed report from a young military engineer, and ignoring some of that engineer's recommendations, he decided in favor of a direct frontal assault on the thoroughly entrenched French, without the benefit of artillery.
The battle was the bloodiest of the war, with over 3,000 casualties suffered, of which over 2,000 were British. The 42nd Regiment, known as the Black Watch, paid dearly with the loss of many lives and many severely wounded. More than 300 men (including 8 officers) were killed, and a similar number were wounded, representing a significant fraction of the total casualties suffered by the British.