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"A Few TYW Catholic League Army Questions" Topic


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Quintus Icilius05 Jun 2016 2:37 p.m. PST

As it says in the title :

1/ I remember reading somewhere (almost certainly in one of Daniel S' posts) that Catholic League troops wore blue sashes during the 1620's. Would that apply to cavalrymen as well ? Also, did Liga troops switch to red after Tilly's death in 1631 to be consistent with imperial practice ?

2/ I'm not harbouring much hope here as I don't think there are known primary sources that provide an answer to that question, but for what what it's worth, have the colours carried by the Reinach and Comargo league regiments in the late 1620's and early 1630's been identified ? Any similar pointers or information on the Rudolf Von Colloredo imperial regiment serving with Tilly's army in 1626 would also be appreciated if of course such information does exist.

3/ Finally, I have read that the League army kept using the tercio formation after the imperial troops adopted the Dutch battalion system. Several orbats I have seen, particularly that of Tilly's army at Lutter, seem to indicate that the League infantry was indeed formed in large units of 2,000 3,000 men. If such tercios were used in the field, I imagine that they would no longer be the 16th century 'Cuadro de terreno' but instead a variation on the 'Prolongado de gran frente', with one musketeer wing on each side of a central pike block and perhaps a musketeer screen in front ?

Thanks in advance for your answers and ideas.

Daniel S05 Jun 2016 4:01 p.m. PST

1: Yes, it was mainly the cavalry who wore the sashes as telling freind from foe was pretty hard without them.

2: The change is not well documented as far as the exaxt time for it goes but probably happend on Wallenstein's watch so effectivly in most armies in 1632. I've not looked at the question of wether the Bavarians kept using red or switched back to traditional blue later on in the war.

3: I'm not sure you can call the Imperial battalions or rather brigades "Dutch style", they were often twice the size and used diffrent depths and formations.

There is no surviving detailed tactical order of battle for Lutter, what exists are a couple of lists of regiments which took part in the battle and their strenght but these tells us nothing about their tactical organisation. The idea that Tilly used large & deep formations is supported by surprisingly flimsy evidence once you start looking at the primary sources. It seems mostly to be based on looking at prints and paintings combined with a rather biased view that Tilly & Catholics were backward and inefficient. The actual information we do have point in a diffrent direction.

Quintus Icilius06 Jun 2016 5:56 p.m. PST

Thank you for your answer, Daniel : it is very informative, as usual.

I wasn't entirely sold on the idea of Tilly using the old 'Cuadro de Terreno' tercio in the 1620's, popular though this formation may be with wargamers and illustrators (not to mention quite a few amateur historians) : your post confirms my suspicion.

So given the paucity of primary sources at our disposal, battaglia of around 1,500 men probably wouldn't be unreasonable for the Catholic League army in the 1620's then?

Daniel S07 Jun 2016 2:46 p.m. PST

The basic problem is that there is a general lack of indepth detailed tactical data for most TYW battles as most of the time the eyewitnesses and other sources didn't bother to record the indepth details we later day wargamers and historians crave. Even the Swedes who are well documented compared to most armies there are annoying gaps, for example did the pre-1635 Swedish cavalry squadrons fight with their companies massed together in a single unit or did they fight 'Dutch' style with gaps between each company?

So you have to resort to what the late & great Paddy Griffith called "tactical snippeting" and hunt for the pieces of evidence that does exist here and there in the sources and combine this with a general study of the art of war at the time by looking at sources like military manuals . (But you have to be carefull to look at manuals that were written by experience men of war, preferably of senior rank who were in the right place to influence the army in question)

Given that the Spanish army wasn't using massive Cuadro de Terreno' during the short period that Tilly served under Spanish colours the question is why he should have favoured it decades later not to mention where he had learned to use it. (Not to mention how he convinced his officers to adopt such an out of date formation. And of course the majority of his officers were Germans who did not have much with Spanish style squadrons to begin with.)

I have to end with this incomplete answer as I'm getting too close to material I can't share openly online at the moment as the rest of my theory of how Tilly fought and the evidence supporting it is something which has taken a lot of time and resources put together and I'm not giving it away for "free" just yet.

Big Red Supporting Member of TMP09 Jun 2016 8:30 a.m. PST

Daniel S,

Your posts are very informative. Are you planning on publishing some of the more time consuming information? I for one would be more than happy to pay for the kind of information you are able to glean from you extensive research.

Thanks,

Bill.

Musketier09 Jun 2016 1:58 p.m. PST

So would I, and a few of my friends.

Daniel S09 Jun 2016 6:19 p.m. PST

Big Red & Musketier,
Thank you.

The information will be published but the two manuscripts in questions are still very much works in progress and are temporarily on hold as I'm working on the 3 texts I do have contracts on at the moment as these have fixed deadlines this year.

Don Sebastian09 Jun 2016 6:43 p.m. PST

Daniel, are those 3 texts you're working on also about Military history? Will you post on the foruns here when any of your works are published?

DGT12313 Jun 2016 4:47 a.m. PST

Another support for purchasing your published research Daniel S.

Tom Scott16 Jul 2016 9:16 a.m. PST

I would also be interested in purchasing this material.

Elenderil07 Feb 2017 10:34 a.m. PST

Plus one more here Daniel. I have yet to find anyone else with your level of in depth knowledge supported by primary source material who is so prepared to make that information available.

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