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Our animated historical documentary series on the Thirty Years’ War continues with the aftermath of the battle of Lutzen – the battle of Nördlingen of 1634, and the beginning of the French-Spanish War of 1635–1659 and the battle of Rocroi.

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The script for this video was developed by Matt Hollis

This video was narrated by Officially Devin (

Machinimas were made on Total War: Attila engine (

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the swedish king who had led his country into Germany on the Protestant side had been killed at the decisive 1632 battle of lützen this was yet another turning point in the war which created an equilibrium forcing the battered and warring parties to desperately seek foreign support which would tip the scales the hopes of Sweden were pinned firmly on France while the emperor hoped that Spain would rescue him welcome to our video on the aftermath of lützen and the Battle of roqua this video is brought to you by the patrons and YouTube members of the kings and Generals channel YouTube ad revenue is notoriously volatile but having the support of so many great people allows us to produce 10 or so videos every month we're intending to keep our content free for everyone and our supporters are crucial in this effort you can join them to get early access to the videos learn about our schedule voting polls ask us questions during the live Q&A s and be part of our patron only discord server all the links will be in the description once again thank you to our patrons and YouTube members the death of Gustavus Adolphus at lützen shattered strength in unity among the Protestant forces his only heir Christina was just six so the Swedish Lord High Chancellor axel Gustafsson ox and werner became her regent in april 1633 sweden renewed the Treaty of Bovada with France and formed the Heil Braun League with the Protestants of the Swabia Franconia and Rhine regions the Swedish offensives of 1631 and 1632 were a disaster not only for German Catholics but for the Spanish Habsburgs to the southwest the troops of Spanish King Philip's the fourth had been expelled from the palette annette her allies had been driven out of lorraine and the so called spanish road connecting these spanish holdings in the region was blocked by Franco Swedish troops it was imperative that they reestablish over this region so they sent a small army under the Duke of Faria to do this meanwhile as both the army and the Emperor were unhappy with the supreme commander of the Imperial Army's Albrecht von valence tine he was assassinated by mercenary officers as he fled to Saxony the Imperial Army was now under the command of the Emperor's son Ferdinand of Hungary in July hostilities resumed again between the Imperials and Protestants Saxon forces once again proceeds to Prague and forces of the Halperin League thrust south and invaded for Varia meanwhile the Imperials recaptured Regensburg and Dunn of Earth before putting the Protestant city of Norwich Lincoln under siege 15,000 Spanish reinforcements under the Cardinal Infante Ferdinand marched north from their Italian Holdings joining with Ferdinand of Hungary on the 2nd of September on the 6th the 33,000 strong combined Spanish Imperial Army engaged the 25,000 strong Protestant Swedish force under Bernard of sex of i'ma and marshal Gustav horn four thousand cavalry under the latter attacks prematurely at dawn when the commander of the Swedish horse misinterpreted a reconnaissance action as a signal to begin his attack they were easily repulsed after charging up the steep slope towards the Imperial line but the organized and elite infantry from the Scottish and German regiments managed to overwhelm the Habsburg footmen who were mostly untrained recruits as they were about to make a decisive breakthrough veteran Spanish troops who had been waiting behind some entrenchments counter-attacks to devastating effect after an hour of vicious fighting the Swedish forces were back where they had started a number of other assaults failed because the Spanish opposing horn were able to plug any hole in the line with fresh reserves while the Swedes were numerically inferior highly-trained Spanish regulars also learned to deal with the fierce volley tactics that the Swedes employed as the enemy prepared to fire the Spaniards would crouch in unison as the bullets whizzed over their heads and then sprang to their feet to return with a volley of their own on the left Bernhardt sent some cavalry to assist horn on the other flank while the rest of his horse was ordered onto the plain to distract the Habsburg forces opposite it was a move to prevent them from assisting their allies however horns line began to falter at around 10 a.m. and he began to withdraw behind Bernhardt at the same time Italian cavalry under Duke Shull of the Wren attacked and the Swedes routed by the end of the day the Swedish army had lost more than 20,000 troops and ceased to exist this shattering victory proved that the Spanish turf EO could still contend with armies fielding the military improvements of the Dutch and Swedes this defeat alongside the one at filched it ended Swedish participation as a major combatant for the time being and forced its contingents to retreat north which in turn forced the Protestant Prince's to sign the Peace of Prague in May 1635 this ended the state of war between them and the Emperor who revoked the Edict of restitution granted amnesty to his former enemy countrymen and combined the Protestant and Catholic armies into an army of the Holy Roman Empire the Peace of Prague brought the religious nature of the conflicts to a close peace however was not to be on the 19th of May 1635 France declared war on Spain it is key to note that at this point the French Declaration was against Spain not formally against the Empire and was initially intended as a limited and indirect intervention initial French involvement during 1635 was a complete disaster as they faced veteran armies who had been fighting for years even decades a franco-dutch campaign into the Spanish Netherlands was a total failure getting bogged down at namou on the Rhine the armies of France suffered the same fate still French Minister Risha loo used every diplomatic trick to create proxy wars against Spain as Savoy and others attacked these Spanish holdings in the south on May 20th 1636 Sweden and France signed the Treaty of this man agreeing to unite their armies against the Habsburgs unexpectedly the Swedes had dogged Lee held on to their bridgehead in Germany rather than cutting their losses and going home in September Swedish general Barnett began an advance down the Elbe with 17,000 met before badly defeating and allied Imperial Saxon army at the Battle of bitch dug in October this battle was a dire loss for the Emperor and effectively eliminated the devastated Brandenburg from the war to the West in the Low Countries the veteran Spanish army of Flanders under the Cardinal Infante invaded France itself in a lightning campaign that almost captured Paris before it was repelled back into Spanish territory though many military actions had taken place in 1636 none were decisive this back and forth almost evenly matched struggle which sent the pattern for the remainder of the war another death in 1637 stood out among the hundreds of thousands of casualties ferdinand ii the man who had arguably started the whole catastrophe with his policies perished in february at the age of 58 he was succeeded by his son who was enthroned as ferdinand for third meanwhile France which had blundered into the war in 1635 gradually intensified its campaigns under the former Swedish German commander bernard of sacks of i'ma he invaded France Comte and Alsace during the campaigning season of 16 37 causing some damage but not maintaining any conquests in the region the Swedish imperial conflict continued as well after being surrounded at tour gaol by thirty thousand imperial troops the fourteen thousand soldiers of Bnei managed to escape under the cover of darkness he had to retreat to the north but the Garrison's in Pomerania and mecklenburg were unpaid demoralized and their fortifications were decaying the pursuing Imperials picked them off one by one and by the end of 1637 the costly retreat left Sweden with Stetten strauss and bhisma and some other coastal cities in 1638 Bernard of sex of i'ma won the battles at Rhine Feldon and then advanced on the fortress of prizes the Emperor's forces under johann von gots attempted to relieve the besieged fortress but were repelled in several small battles after a long siege Bernhardt took bracer after starving it out on the swedish front bar near hat receives reinforcements broke the Imperial cordon and advanced into Saxony his wicked Chemnitz fell quickly but Freiburg resisted however when a 5,000 strong Saxon force blundered towards him in an attempt to relieve Freiburg Binet destroyed it this allowed him to push into Bohemia and to the walls of Prague until a 30,000 strong relief army under arch Duke Leopold William chased them away as they went Berner who had proclaimed liberation for the Bohemians proceeded to burn their properties in a devastating scorched earth campaign during the retreat back to Erfurt on a new front the Pyrenees the French were escalating their efforts an army under onry the Prince of condé attacked through the western passes Cardinal really is proxy wars seems to start paying off in 1640 as the Catalonian Reapers war and the portuguese war of restoration were ignited spreading spain's forces thin in Germany Swedish troops were now under the command of Lennox Austin son the arrival of the Imperial Army on Dodge Duke Leopold forced Torsten son to retreat towards the old battlefield at Brighton felt facing a numerically superior enemy torsion son gained victory at the same place his former King had in 1631 Spanish general de Mello advanced into northern Artois and managed to defeat a pair of French armies at encore in May which basically opened the way to Paris to make it worse French First Minister Cardinal Richelieu died on the 4th of December and was replaced by his protege the Italian born Cardinal Mazarin in 1643 the Spaniards had all the initiative along the Rhine as France was led by louis xiii who was near death many Imperials thought that's leaving France alone with its problems and focusing on the Netherlands was the best option but de Mello decided otherwise he decided that a defeat inflicted on the French at this moment could force them to sue for peace de Melo had around 28,000 troops and although his cavalry was lacking overall his army voyage biter Theo's was strong so on May 10th he crossed the French border planning to take the small but strategic fortress of rawa defended by a garrison of 1000 he sent the Imperial commander Beck with 5,000 troops to take the fortress of Chateau Renault and strengthen the left flank of his main army command of the French army on this front was entrusted in louis ii de Bourgh born Prince of condé and he had around 21,000 troops this member of the ruling dynasty was just 22 at the time but had already proven himself to be a cunning commander confident in his abilities he marched towards the Spanish army meanwhile the Spaniards in circles require on the 12th and by the 17th were ready to assault it however by the morning of May 18th de Melo was informed that Conde was in the vicinity require was on an open plane surrounded by forests swamps and cultivated fields to reach the plain and lift the siege the army had to go through a narrow defile in which the excellent French cavalry could not form up news had just been received of the death of the king and that meant that France could not afford a defeat the cautious among them advised not to attack directly but to bypass the enemy and cut his communications conde decided against this caution and his troops started to march through the narrow pass this was risky as the Spaniards could have blocked this advance entirely by placing a small contingent at any part of the defile according to some sources de Melo was informed of the French March to late however others claimed that the pass was left undefended deliberately as de Melo was sure that his troops were superior and defeating the only French army between him and Paris was a worthy strategic goal allowing the French to cross the death aisle was also a good idea on a tactical level as their army would have a hard time retreating through the pass if the battle was lost thus de Mello left a small group under Suarez to watch for the garrison of rock quar sent a messenger to Bek to reinforce him and moved to the south to wait for the French by 4:00 p.m. on the 18th the vanguard of the French cavalry under de Lafayette a crossed the pass possibly looking for personal glory and irritated by the snub from Conde who appointed another commander to be his second Dilla Fateh attempted to outflank the Spaniards from the left and attack Suarez to lift the siege this attempt was quickly rebuked and the French were forced to retreat with losses however it probably was useful in terms of allowing the rest of Condes armies who crossed the defile and form up by 6:00 p.m. the Spaniards followed suit both sides stayed in formation through the night as D'Mello expected back to arrive sometime in the morning the French left leaned on the swamp and was made up of 13 cavalry squadrons in two ranks under hospital the right was resting on the edge of the forest and was led by Conde himself with 15 cavalry squadrons in two echelons and a small musketeer battalion reinforcing the first echelon the center commanded by Desmond Ong had to epsilons of infantry totaling 15 battalions Conde had his fourteen artillery pieces in front of the center with his reserve commanded by deci row and consisting of four cavalry squadrons and three infantry battalions placed in the rear unlike the Spaniards whose infantry fought in Turkey owes the French infantry battalions fought in a line formation the Spanish army mirrored the French with cavalry on the flanks and infantry in the center the right was led by von Eisenberg with fourteen squadrons across two ranks de Fonteyn who was too old and was carried on a chair commanded eight turkey O's in the first line and ten line battalions in the second and the third with 18 cannons in front of them while the left under de alba kirk consisted of fifteen squadrons formed in two lines de melo also sent a group of 1000 soldiers into the forest to his extreme left to keep the superior french cavalry in check at 3:00 a.m. a Spanish deserter surrendered to the French and informed Conde about the ambush in the forest and that Bek was yet to join the main force the French leader decided that he needed to attack before de Mello was reinforced and also sent part of his reserve to the forest hoping to surprise the Spanish ambush at 4:00 a.m. Condes artillery opened fire commands the Spaniards responded but the visibility was too low and these volleys caused minimal casualties seeing that his Spanish counterpart was not rushing into an attack the French general commanded his wings to advance an hour later Dilla fought a who was leading the front epsilon of the French left ordered his cavalry into a gallop but that was another mistake as darkness and soft soil slowed down some of the squadrons by the time the actual on engaged the enemy the French were in disarray Vonnie Sandberg's cavalry which was trotting and therefore able to keep the line intact was able to stop the erratic rush of the French and started to push it back killing many and taking de la fête a prisoner the first French etholon was forced by the Spaniards into the second commanded by hospital those who weren't killed immediately retreated to the forests in the south and west funny Sternberg now sent part of his first echelon to chase the enemy to the south focusing the majority of his wing on the French infantry in the center simultaneously the right flank of the Spanish Center joined this attack and the first line of the French infantry was forced to retreat with heavy losses which allowed the Spaniards to capture some of the French canons by 6:00 a.m. it seemed like the French had already lost the battle however the situation was different on there right between 4:00 and 5:00 a.m. the French counter ambush destroyed the Spanish unit hiding in the forest and took its positions unbeknownst to de Mello Conde formed his two cavalry edge Ilan's into one on the go and attacked the Spanish left the Spanish managed to stop the French cavalry units on the extreme right but did not recognize that this opened up their flank to Conde who immediately used this opportunity to inflict heavy casualties the second Spanish cavalry la joins The Fray alongside one of the turkey O's in an attempt to form the right flank for the first echelon but that's proved to be a mistake as the French ambush troops attacks this United line from one side along with the infantry supporting Conde from another the Spanish were crushed by this attack from three sides the cavalry managed to escape while the infantry men were killed on the spot one day now divided his cavalry into two halves and the smaller portion was ordered to pursue their counterparts while the infantry that fought beside him was reformed on the Left these infantry units attacks to Spanish turf iou's on the left of their center head on while Condes horsemen charged into the flank of the second and third lines quickly destroying the infantry there and continuing their flanking attack breaking even more second and third line battalions meanwhile the second echelon of the French Center was joined by the infantry reserve and stabilized the first line against the constant pressure from von Eisenberg unlike Conde von essen Berg didn't use his initiative to the full extent possible and never attempted to outflank the line battalions at the same time diff'ent ten who previously was planning to send the rest of the turf years to help the left now had his own problems so Fani Sandberg and the turf years fighting next to him had a vulnerable left flank that is where the rest of the French first line and cavalry reserve attacked pushing von Eisenberg back and taking back the cannons at this point the battle was still in balance and both sides thought that Bek would soon reinforce the Spaniards this wasn't going to happen since the phlegmatic German general who received the plea for help decided that his Spanish superior was just panicking and the danger was not real Vonnie Sandberg situation was about to get critical first loss Patel and the portion of his cavalry which retreated to the forest in the West managed to reform and attack the Spaniards from the left the Spaniards were push Bank furs kept their cohesion however by 8 a.m. Conde who finished destroying the second and third lines of the Spanish Center finally swung back and attacked funny Sandberg from the rear D surrounded troops were overwhelmed in a matter of minutes seeing all that diff'ent n ordered his five remaining tercios and these small groups of Spaniards who survived to form squares to defend themselves the Spaniards probably had a chance to retreat before Conde reorganized his army however de Fonteyn still hoped that Bek would reinforce him and Trust it that his tertius squares were impenetrable one day also thought that Becks arrival was possible so he did his best to reform his troops as quickly as he could indeed by 8:30 a.m. he was ready to attack over the next hour the French attacked the enemy squares from three sides thrice although their commander was killed and they bent under pressure the turkey O's didn't break however all the Spanish guns were now in French hands and the latter also managed to bring their guns closer so the situation was critical to the north a small Spanish unit blockading the fortress attempted to retreat but was caught by the French cavalry and annihilated the Spaniards were almost out of ammunition they were enveloped on all sides so their new commander Mercado sent a message to Conde offering surrender and the French leader rode towards the tercios to accept the capitulation personally not all Spanish units were informed of this though so in the chaos the front units of the Spanish Tarkio opened fire on Conde and his escort thinking that it was a new French assault one day survived and the French angered by what they perceived to be a betrayal attacks the turf iou's for the fourth time and this time they were joined by the cannons shooting at the enemy point-blank French and Spanish sources differ at this moment of the battle the former claimed that every remaining Spanish soldier was either killed or surrendered but the latter states that only three out of five turth years were destroyed and the remainder were allowed to retreat with their weapons and banners intact as Conde was impressed by their gallantry or just didn't want to lose more troops in any case by 10:00 a.m. the battle was over the Spaniards lost anywhere from 8 to 12 thousand troops while the French casualties were below five thousand the myth of Spanish Tokyo's invincibility was destroyed France were saved for now both due to Condes genius and the tactical mistakes of his counterparts with the victory at require the doors to these Spanish territories were open but will France be able to capitalize on this we will find out during the next episode of our series so make sure you are subscribed to our Channel and have pressed the bell button we would like to express our gratitude to our patreon supporters and channel members who make the creation of our videos possible now you can also support us by buying our merchandise by the link in the description this is the kings and Generals channel and we will catch you on the next one

29 Replies to “Rocroi 1643 – THIRTY YEARS' WAR DOCUMENTARY

  1. <3
    We have been thinking about making this series longer and covering more events – this is our favorite series, as it features some of the most iconic battles with unique tactics. However, this is also one of our least viewed series. It is difficult to explain why, but in short, youtube reacts to the number of likes/shares/comments and the more a video gets, the more it is promoted, so if you like this period, please engage with this video as much as you can. We want to cover more conflicts of this era – Eighty Years' War, English Civil War, Torstenson War, Nine Years' War, Polish–Muscovite War, Huguenot Wars and others, but youtube needs more encouragement 🙂 Thank you for your support!

  2. Rocroi was not the end of Spanish Tercios. Later, in the same year of 1643, they crushed a french army in the battle of Tuttlingen (and took 7.000 prisoners). The Tercios were the best army of the world for 150 years. It is not surprising that traditional enemies of Spain like England or France wrote the recent history and now we are all experts in minor battles or military events belonging to these countries (both with great military history, of course) and nobody knows the Tercios were an army almost invincible at that time. When a battle won mainly by the spaniards is narrated (Lepanto, a victory that saved Europe from the turks) it is spoken of as "imperial" or even "austrian" chiefs and troops XD The truth: Spain almost always defeated France, a country that doubled in wealth and population. Defeated repeteadly coalitions of english, dutch, flemish, danish, swedish or german (protestant) troops, the Tercios fought and won many battles beyond any hope due to its excellent preparation, tactical sense and discipline. It's fine that Rocroi is known, of course, but please don't be like Osprey publishing house or like other military-themed youtubers. Regards.

  3. French cavalry stood up to their glorious reputation that dates back to the Frankish era. Louis Condé is amazing. Also Richelieu is one of my favorite French politics, he basically conceived the French modern statist approach later enforced by Louis XIV and after that by Robespierre and Napoléon.

  4. Hell yes I would like to see more 1600s stuff. I think it's due to the fact that it's so underrepresented in media that people find little interest in it. Torstensson war and especially The Deluge too is something i'd love to see.

  5. I hate to say this but history has proved that this defeat has been the punctuation mark to the greatness of the Spanish Empire. France would never forget any of the defeats and the threat to Paris including the taking of their King earlier in history. And would use deception the same to send the polian who could not hold on to Spain itself. Then to Mexico with the same happening again. The Spanish Empire held as well as stabilizing the Holy Roman Empire and guaranteeing Independence for the Netherlands for a time and security for Spain. Which was the point. From the Spanish version of Braveheart were the Allies don't show up. The soldiers did get to live though because the ended up in Spain. France likes to boast in early history. Here we hoped for a stalemate Victory and that's exactly what we got. France was saved but the empire was Stable.

    if we would have gone on to Paris it would have been even tougher with even more of the Empire and threats from the East. Also the settlement of the new world and the exploration and circumnavigation of the planet.. Welcome to Pax hispanica hand packs Brittania was on the rise which would allow later for pax Ameicana. Treat video.

  6. 23:25 the Tercios didn't capitulate at first, they stopped 2 charges depleting their ammunition, then they stopped another 4 charges without ammunition, after that the Castellví Tercio got too damaged to keep fighting, so only two of the five remaining Spanish Tercios kept on until the end of the battle reforming themselves with the other Tercios survivors (Villalba and Garcíez)

    Fearing that Beck would come with his 4,000 men to help the Spanish, and facing their impassive resistance, Enghien saw the desirability of negotiating an honorable surrender of the last two Spanish Tercios (Villalba and Garcíez) with very advantageous terms for them, offering conditions that were usually granted to the garrisons of besieged fortresses: respect the life and freedom of the survivors and allow them to return to Spain, leave with the flags deployed in formation and conserving their weapons. Given this, the Garcíez Tercio accepted the capitulation, but the Alburquerque / Mercader did not, after which the Tercio continued its resistance for some more time before accepting the generous conditions.

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