Last modified: 2009-12-11 by eugene ipavec
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This "capitana" flag belonged to a Company of Infantry of a "Tercio," during the Battle of Rocroi (Ardennes, France), on 19 May 1643.
Sergio Camero, 14 Sep 2006
Rocroi (also written Rocroy) is located today close to the border with Belgium, on the foot of the Ardennes massif. The battle of Rocroi was a significant event of the Thirty Years' War; it opposed on 19 May 1643 the French Royal army commanded by Louis de Bourbon, Duke of Enghien (then only aged 22 and later known as "le Grand Condé") and the (Spanish) Flanders army commanded by Francisco de Melo, a Portuguese diplomat serving the King of Spain. The Flanders army was defeated and its best Italian and Walloon regiments were slaughtered. Rocroi was the end of the Spanish supremacy on battlefields, even if the war still lasted until the Treaty of the Pyrénées, signed in 1659. However, the victory of Rocroi is considered today not as decisive as Mazarin and Condé's propaganda trumpeted it, since most of the Spanish effort of the war was dedicated to the reconquest of Catalonia.
For those interested in strategy, a detailed account of the battle can be read here. The six Spanish "tercios" are listed there as: Castelvi, Carciez (two battalions), Alburquerque, Villalba and Veladia.
The source website has a chapter dedicated to the flags of the "tercios."
Ivan Sache, 16 Sep 2006