Tuesday, February 10, 2009

A Thirty Years' War Army on the March

This very interesting print from Dur Écu’s collection shows the Spanish army under the command of FM Ottavio Piccolomini marching to the relief of Thionville (Diedenhofen), which was besieged by the French Army of Lorraine under Manassés de Pas, marquis of Feuquières, in 1639. At the subsequent Battle of Thionville (June 7/17, 1639) Piccolomini destroyed the French army, lifting the siege.

One can see at a glance that the order of march can translate very quickly into a line of battle and that the artillery and baggage is protected by the fighting formations. Also, the wedge-like form of the advance guard is suitable for attack or defense to front and both flanks in a meeting engagement. Indeed, the entire order of march is reminiscent of formations adopted by modern armored units in movement to contact in desert warfare.

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