French Armies of the Thirty Years' War 1618-48 (Century of the Soldier) (Paperback)

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French Armies of the Thirty Years' War 1618-48 (Century of the Soldier) By Stéphane Thion Cover Image

French Armies of the Thirty Years' War 1618-48 (Century of the Soldier) (Paperback)


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A newly revised edition on the construction of one of the first standing armies in the 17th century.

French Armies of the Thirty Years' War presents the development of the French army, one of the first standing armies in Europe, from 1617 to 1648. It shows how Louis XIII and Richelieu made the most of the complex legacy of the Wars of Religion.

The three musketeers, Cyrano de Bergerac, Louis XIII, Richelieu, Cond , Turenne, La Rochelle, Rocroi... these few words sum up the literary and historical representations most people can associate with the tumultuous events of the first half of the seventeenth century.

French Armies of the Thirty Years' War begins in 1617, the year that Louis XIII really took power by distancing the queen mother and ordering the assassination of Concini and ends in 1648 - five years after the death of Louis XIII - the year of the Westphalia Peace Treaty. This period was mostly dominated by the personality and works of Richelieu, who entered the king's council in April 1624. He gave the king an ambition: 'to procure the ruin of the Huguenot party, humble the pride of the great, reduce all subjects to their duty, and elevate your majesty's name among foreign nations to its rightful reputation'. By his death, on 4 December 1642, this program had been accomplished.

The first military action of this period, called the 'Dr lerie des Ponts de C ', was the uprising of the nobility who supported the queen mother against the king in August 1620. In reality, the rebels were roundly defeated by the king's armies, but very few units actually fought. In his memoirs, Richelieu, who was on the queen's side at the time, gives a detailed analysis of this defeat. In particular, he drew from it principles that he was to follow throughout his life, and he realized: 'that which is held only by a precarious authority does not last long; that those who fight against a legitimate power are already half-defeated by their own imagination'. These political beliefs gave Louis XIII and Richelieu a powerful instrument that was to emerge transformed from the Thirty Years' War.

The army that Marie de Medici left to Henri IV's heir was small and inexperienced, but the Wars of Religion at the beginning of Louis XIII's reign, combined with Richelieu's actions, gave the French kingdom an increasingly efficient army. Commanded by great captains such as the Duc de Rohan, the Viscomte de Turenne and the Prince of Cond , the army was highly successful, as shown by the long list of French victories, from Isle of R (1626) to Lens (1648).
Product Details ISBN: 9781804514481
ISBN-10: 1804514489
Publisher: Helion & Company
Publication Date: May 31st, 2024
Pages: 252
Language: English
Series: Century of the Soldier