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Battle of Rocroi

From Academic Kids

The Battle of Rocroi, fought May 19, 1643, was a victory of the French army under Louis II de Bourbon, Prince de Condé, at that time Duke of Enghien, against the Spanish army under General Francisco de Melo.

The Spanish Army of Flanders invaded northern France to relieve pressure on Franche Comte and Catalonia. The Spanish troops set siege to Rocroi, which lay athwart the route to the Oise. The French reacted and forced a battle before the arrival of another 4,000 Spanish reinforcements. The French army, under the command of Condé, was arranged with two lines of infantry in the centre, squadrons of cavalry on each wing, with a thin line of artillery at the front. The Spanish army was similarly arranged, but with its infantry in their traditional tercios.

The battle began at dawn: the French infantry was worsted by the Spanish, and the cavalry on the French left was also ineffective. But the cavalry on the French right wing, under the command of Gassion, routed the Spanish cavalry opposite, and Condé was able to follow this up by a huge cavalry encirclement around the entire Spanish rear. The tercios, stuck in the middle, were unable to break out and were mown down by the French artillery. The surrounded tercios surrendered to the French, one tercio allowed to return home to Spain the other left with only its swords and lives. The victory was a significant propaganda victory for Mazarin and the future Conde. It was also the first defeat in battle of a Spanish army in a century.de:Schlacht von Rocroi fr:Bataille de Rocroi es:Batalla de Rocroi

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