Thomas Longueville.

Marshall Turenne online

. (page 1 of 26)
Online LibraryThomas LonguevilleMarshall Turenne → online text (page 1 of 26)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


MARSHAL TURENNE



BY THE SAME AUTHOR.

ROCHESTER AND OTHER LITERARY RAKES OF
THE COURT OF CHARLES H. With some
Account of their Surroundings. With 15 Portraits.
8vo, 165.

FALKLANDS. With 8 Portraits and other Illustra-
tions. 8vo, los, 6d.

THE LIFE OF SIR KENELM DIGBY. With 7
Illustrations. 8vo, 165.

CHISEL, PEN AND POIGNARD ; or, Benvenuto
Cellini, His Times and His Contemporaries.
With 19 Illustrations. Crown 8vo, 5s.

PRYINGS AMONG PRIVATE PAPERS, chiefly of the
Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries. 8vo, ys. 6d.
net.

THE ADVENTURES OF KING JAMES II. OF
ENGLAND. With 27 Portraits and other Illustra-
tions. Svo, 135. 6d. net.



LONGMANS, GREEN, AND CO.,
London, New York, Bombay, and Calcutta.



THE PRIGMENT : " The Life of a Prig," " Prig's
Bede," " How TO Make a Saint," " Black is
White ". In one Volume. Crown Svo, 5s.

THE PLATITUDES OF A PESSIMIST. Svo, 65.

A LIFE OF ARCHBISHOP LAUD. Svo, 15s.

THE LIFE OF A CONSPIRATOR (Sir Everard
Digby). With Portrait. Svo, gs.

KEGAN PAUL. TRENCH, TRUBNER & CO., LTD.,
London.




> /lire



MARSHAL TURENNE



BY THE AUTHOR OF



A LIFE OF SIR KENELM DIGBY," " THE ADVENTURES OF
JAMES II.," "THE LIFE OF A PRIG," ETC.



WITH AN INTRODUCTION BY

BRIGADIER-GENERAL FRANCIS LLOYD, C.B., D.S.O.



WITH ILLUSTRATIONS
AND A MAP



LONGMANS, GREEN, AND CO.

39 PATERNOSTER ROW, LONDON

NEW YORK, BOMBAY, AND CALCUTTA

1907



PREFACE

To apologise for a book dealing with the campaigns
of a celebrated General, but written neither by a
soldier, nor by that far higher authority upon such
subjects, a civil " military expert," would be useless ;
for it is inconceivable that such an apology could be
accepted. To the obvious retort, "Then why did
you write the book ? " the Author can only reply by
saying, "Why do most of us do many things which
we ought not to do ? " and by expressing a hope that
any ludicrous blunders to be found in the following
pages may amuse his military readers as much as it
has amused him to make them.

Whatever apologies may be due for the book
itself, no apology is required for its Introduction,
for which the author cannot sufficiently thank the
talented, experienced and distinguished officer who
has so kindly and so ably written it. While that
officer is absolutely irresponsible for anything in the
book except its Introduction, the book is responsible
to the officer, not only for its Introduction, but also



242899



vi PREFACE

for a number of exceedingly useful hints and timely
warnings. The author also wishes to express his
gratitude for some very valuable suggestions, as
well as for much assistance, from that kindest and
most competent of critics, Mr. Walter Herries
Pollock. Of the help always so readily and un-
selfishly placed at his disposal in his own family,
the author will say nothing.



CONTENTS

PAGE

Introduction -xvi

CHAPTER I.

1611 — 1634.

Birth and boyhood — Services under the Prince of Orange in Holland —

Service in the French army in Holland — Siege of La Motte - i

CHAPTER H,

1635— 1638,

Appearance — Character and manner — Richelieu's diplomacy — Tur-

enne's v^^ars under La Valette — Richelieu offers Turenne his

niece in marriage — Duke of Bouillon becomes a Catholic — Birth

of Louis XIV. 14

CHAPTER III.
1639 — 1642.
Turenne's campaign in Italy under D'Harcourt— Siege of Turin— Duke
of Bouillon's arrest — Loses his sovereignty — Turenne commands
the French army in Italy in 1642 — Turenne made a Marshal of
France — Turenne's descriptions of what he learned under his
different commanders 27

CHAPTER IV.
Firearms of the seventeenth century— Pikemen— Cavalry— Artillery-
Tactics — Strategy— Fortifications 39

CHAPTER V.
1643— 1644.
Politics in Paris— Mazarin— Duke of Bouillon— Defeat of Saxe-Weimar
— Turenne goes to Alsace — Defeats Gaspard Von Mercy— General
de Mercy besieges Freiburg — Turenne goes to its relief— Freiburg
falls— Conde— His victory at Rocroi— He joins Turenne— Opera-
tions before Freiburg 54



viii CONTENTS

CHAPTER VI.

1644.

PAGE

Operations before Freiburg — The French army tries to cut off the com-
munications of the Bavarian — The French army goes down the
Rhine — Philippsburg — Mastership of the Rhine fortresses — Conde
returns to France — Mercy occupies Mannheim — Duke of Lorraine
besieges Bacharach - - - 72

CHAPTER Vn.

1645.

Turenne's German campaign in 1645 — Goes to Marienthal — Battle of

Marienthal — Turenne's retreat and plans — Napoleon on Turenne's

defeat — Turenne joined by Hessians, Swedes, and Conde — Battle

of Nordlingen 79

CHAPTER Vni.
1645 — 1646.
Napoleon on Nordlingen — Operations and retreat after Nordlingen —
Turenne at Treves^Mazarin and Turenne — Politics in 1646 —
Preliminaries of Turenne's German campaign of 1646 - - - 94

CHAPTER IX.
1646.
German campaign of 1646 — Delay of the Archduke — Alarm of the Duke
of Bavaria — Turenne is moderate in his requisitions — Allies reach
the Danube — Sieges of Rain and Augsburg — Arrival of the Imperial
army — Serious position of the French and Swedes — Imaginary
map — Strategy of Turenne and Wrangel in taking Landsberg —
Troops sent to Munich— Diplomatists and generals - - - 102

CHAPTER X.
1647 — 1648.
Turenne's trouble with his German cavalry — Arrest of Rosen —
Slaughter of the mutineers — Turenne goes to Luxemburg— Perfidy
of the Duke of Bavaria— War declared against him— Campaign of
1648 — First disagreement between Turenne and Wrangel— Battle
of Zusmershausen — Operations in Bavaria — An unfortunate incident
— Peace of Westphalia 114



CONTENTS ix

CHAPTER XI.
1649 — 1650.

PAGE

The Fronde — De Retz — Turenne's attitude — First peace with the
Fronde — Conde's quarrel with Mazarin — Arrest of the three Princes
— The New Fronde — Turenne joins the Fronde — Madame de
Longueville — Turenne meets with a reverse — Rethel - - - 127

CHAPTER XII.

1651 — 1652.

Mazarin and De Retz — Mazarin leaves Paris, where the Queen becomes
practically a prisoner — The Queen gives a general pardon and
enriches Bouillon — The Queen bribes Conde to break off the Conti-
Chevreuse match — De Retz recommends the Queen to arrest
Conde — Conde flies and goes over to the Fronde — The King's army
placed under Turenne and Hocquincourt — Beaufort's plan to seize
the King — The disaster at Bleneau — Conde's rapid journey —
Turenne's clever deception and check of Conde— Napoleon's
criticisms 147

CHAPTER XIII.

1652.

The Court goes to St. Germains — The rebels at 6tampes and the royal
army at Chartres — Duke of Orleans joins the Fronde — Mademoiselle
de Montpensier goes to Orleans — Cabals and intrigues — Turenne's
proceedings before 6tampes — James, Duke of York, under Turenne
— The effect of regimental colours — Count Schomberg — Proceed-
ings of the Duke of Lorraine — Proceedings of Turenne at Ville-
neuve St. Georges - - - - 167

CHAPTER XIV.

1652.

Movements of the Court and of Turenne — Movements of Cond^ — The
terror of the Duke of Orleans — Turenne's steps towards attacking
Conde — Conde starts for Charonne — He is refused a passage
through Paris — Turenne receives news of Condd's movements —
Battle of the Faubourg St. Antoine — Proceedings of Mademoiselle
de Montpensier - - - - 180



X CONTENTS

CHAPTER XV.

1652.

PAGE

Duel between Beaufort and Nemours— Court goes to Pontoise —
Turenne advances against the Spanish army — Death of the Duke
of Bouillon — Turenne tries to prevent the junction of Lorraine
with Conde — ^Villeneuve St. Georges— Napoleon's criticisms of
both Cond^ and Turenne — Turenne's escape — Conde makes a false
move — Turenne advises the King to enter Paris — Vacillations of
Orleans — Louis XIV. enters Paris — Turenne advances to Bar-le-
Duc — Drunken soldiers — Drunken officers — Fall of Bar-le-Duc —
Friction between Turenne and La Ferte — Fall of Vervins - - 193

CHAPTER XVL

1653-
His marriage — The Spanish invasion — Recovery of Rethel — Turenne's
plan of campaign — Napoleon's opinion of it — The enemy takes
Roye — The surprise near St. Quentin — The enemy marches to-
wards Guise — Loss of Rocroi — Capture of Mouzon — Submission of
Bordeaux — Arrest of Lorraine .-.-. - 210

CHAPTER XVn.
1654.
Coronation of Louis XIV. — Siege of Stenay— Siege of Arras — Turenne
goes to Peronne — Ignition of bags of gunpowder on horseback —
Taking of Stenay — Napoleon on sieges — Taking of St. Pol and St.
Eloy — Turenne reconnoitres the enemy's lines before Arras — Red-
tapism in the Spanish army— Council of War— Relief of Arras —
Retreat of the enemy 222

CHAPTER XVIII.
1655— 1656.
Friction between the Court and the Parliament — Turenne takes Land-
regies — Stupid conduct of Castelnau — Quarrel between Turenne and
Conde — Turenne takes Conde and St. Guislain — Traitorous con-
duct of Hocquincourt — Francis of Lorraine changes sides — Crom-
well makes an alliance with France — Don John of Austria — Siege
of Valenciennes — Relief of Valenciennes — Retreat of Turenne —
Loss of Conde and St. Quesnoy — Ill-conduct of Grandpr^ — Turenne
besieges La Chapelle— Napoleon on the campaign ot 1656 - - 239



CONTENTS xi

CHAPTER XIX.

1657— 1658.

PAGE

Cromwell and France — Cambrai and Valenciennes — Siege of Montmedy
—Calais— Siege of St. Venant— Siege of Mardyck— Hocquincourt
becomes a rebel— Siege of Dunkirk— Death of Hocquincourt—
Battle of the Dunes— Napoleon's criticisms — The rest of the
campaign ^5^

CHAPTER XX.

1659 — 1668.

Peace of the Pyrenees— Louis XIV. marries Maria Theresa, Infanta of
Spain— Turenne helps in the restoration of the Stuarts to the throne
of England— Turenne urges Louis to help Portugal— Charles II.
marries the Infanta of Portugal— Death of Mazarin— Turenne and
Mademoiselle de Montpensier — Death of the Viscountess of Turenne
— Death of Anne of Austria — Claims of Maria Theresa to the Low
Countries — Louis attacks the Low Countries — Siege of Lille —
Coalition to oblige France and Spain to make peace — Peace of Aix-
la-Chapelle 269

CHAPTER XXI.

1668— 1671.

Turenne and his religion— His quiet life in Paris — Anecdotes about
Turenne— France during the years following the Peace of the
Pyrenees— The Dutch— Louis XIV. breaks up the Triple Alliance
— Turenne's adventures with a lady-in-waiting — Death of Henri-
etta, Duchess of Orleans — The two factions among the Dutch —
Three French Marshals refuse to serve under Turenne - - - 283

CHAPTER XXII.
1672.

Campaign against Holland in 1672— Improvements in warfare — The
Prince of Orange— Passage of the Rhine— Death of the young
Duke of Longueville— Siege of Nimwegen — Napoleon criticises
Turenne — The Dutch flood their country — Prince of Orange
elected Stadtholder— Alarm in Europe at the French conquests-
Advance of the Imperial army — Turenne's operations on the Rhine 301



xii CONTENTS

CHAPTER XXIII.
1673.

PAGE

Operations of Turenne in January and February, 1673 — Siege of Unna
— Turenne pursues the Imperial army — The armies of Brandenburg
and the Emperor separated— The Elector of Brandenburg makes a
treaty with France—Louis XIV. takes Maestricht— Operations of
Turenne against the fresh Imperial army — Prince of Orange retakes
Naarden — Difference of opinion between Louvois and Turenne —
Treachery of the Bishop of Wurzburg— Montecuculi deceives
Turenne — Junction of the Prince of Orange with Montecuculi and
the fall of Bonn— Turenne praises Louvois and D'Abre to the King
— Napoleon's criticisms— Montecuculi 3^5

CHAPTER XXIV.

1674.

Nearly the whole of Germany joins the Emperor and Spain against
France— Turenne advances against Caprara— Battle of Sintzheim
— Criticisms of Napoleon— Turenne marches to the North— He
ravages the Palatinate— Conde fights the great Battle of Seneff—
Large reinforcement of the Imperial army— Bournonville's suc-
cessful march along the Rhine— He crosses the river at Strasburg
—Critical situation of Turenne and criticisms of Napoleon - - 329

CHAPTER XXV.

1674.

Battle of Ensheim— Criticisms of Napoleon— Retreat of Turenne—
Anger in Paris— Sudden appearance of Turenne at Belfort— Battle
of Turckheim— Criticisms of Napoleon 347

CHAPTER XXVI.

1675.

Turenne's ovation on his return to Paris- His wish to retire to the
Oratory— Renewal of war— Turenne begs to be relieved from
further military service— Visits De Retz— Starts for his campaign
of 1675— Political condition of Strasburg— Turenne crosses the
Rhine — Bridge at Ottenheim — Montecuculi recrosses the Rhine —
Turenne removes his bridge to Altenheim— Crosses the Rench—
Failure of Montecuculi's great effort— Success of Turenne - - 369



CONTENTS xiii

CHAPTER XXVII.
1675.

PAGE

Attempted retreat by Montecuculi — His failure — Battle of Sasbach —
Death of Turenne — The French driven back across the Rhine —
St. Hilaire and his son — The news at Paris — Letters of Madame
de Sevignd — St. Evremond — The Bishop of Nimes — Bossuet - 384

Index 397



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS



MARSHAL TURENNE. From the Portrait by
Charles Lebrun in the Museum at Versailles.
From a Photograph by MM. Braun et Cie. . . Frontispiece

PICTURE OF A BATTLE. From Du Buisson's Vie

DU ViCOMTE TURENNE, 1695 facing page 46

CARDINAL MAZARIN „ 58

CONDE. From the Portrait by David Teniers in
the Museum at Chantilly. From a Photograph

by MM. Braun et Cie. ,, 65

PLAN DES TROIS COMBATS DE FRIBOURG . „ 70

PLAN DU COMBAT DE MARIENDAL . . . „ 82

PLAN DE LA BATAILLE DE NORDLINGHEN . „ 88

CARDINAL DE RETZ „ 128

MADEMOISELLE DE MONTPENSIER ... „ 168

DUKE OF SCHOMBERG „ 175

LEVEE DU SIEGE D'ARRAS „ 228

COMTE DE GRAMMONT „ 231

PLAN DU SIEGE DE VALENCIENNES ... „ 246

LOUIS XIV „ 274

MARSHAL TURENNE. From the Pastel Portrait
BY Nanteuil in the Uffizi Gallery at Florence.
From a Photograph by MM. Alinari .... „ 290

PLAN DE LA BATAILLE DE SINTZHEIM . . „ 332

PLAN DE LA BATAILLE D'ENSHEIM ... „ 350

PLAN DU COMBAT DE TURCKEIM ... „ 362

PLAN DES DIFFERENS CAMPS DU VICOMTE DU
TURENNE ET DU COMTE DE MONTECU-

CULLI „ 375

MARSHAL TURENNE. From the Portrait by P.

SeUIN, DATED l670,IN THE JONES BeQUEST COLLECTION.

Front a Photograph by Mr. Emery Walker . . „ 387



INTRODUCTION.

" Read and re-read the campaigns of the great
captains," said the greatest of all captains, and fore-
most among those of modern times he placed Turenne.
But did he not practically contradict this " Maxim" by-
gathering in the threads of thought and action of all
previous leaders and reweaving them in the loom of
his powerful and almost omniscient mind into lessons
of warfare for all time? For all time certainly, so far
as we can see, as regards the greater lessons of strategy,
even allowing for the infinite possibilities of the future.
Tactics, however, have altered so much that the
Napoleonic batdefields are to us little more instructive
than those of the Thirty Years' War and the Fronde,
much less so than the batdes of Turenne were to
Napoleon himself, who practically swept away the old
methods. Even strategy may in some degree now be
said to be affected. Had Turenne undertaken the
passage of the Alps, science would have aided him
little more than it did Hannibal. When Napoleon
performed that wonderful feat, with the exception of
rather better roads than Turenne would have had to
deal with, the mechanical means at his disposal were

b xvii



xviii INTRODUCTION

little greater than those on which the great Cartha-
ginian could count. Were a general, however, to
attempt a like invasion in these days, he would have
all the accessories of iron, steam and electricity to
materially forward his project.

As regards the weapons and equipment of the
Napoleonic wars, armour had practically ceased to be
worn. ' The pike, the harquebuss and the wheel-lock had
given place to the musket and bayonet, pike and wheel-
lock in one. Cavalry had ceased to charge at the trot,
and the firing of "piece and pistol before setting on with
the sword" had yielded to shock tactics proper. In
fact the highly trained infantry of the age of Napoleon
had considerably curtailed the liberties taken by
cavalry in the age of Turenne, and certain modifica-
tions in mounted tactics were the inevitable consequence.
The conqueror of Austerlitz and Jena, the victor on a
hundred fields, remodelled the tactics and altered the
system of war, from that which had prevailed in the
time of his predecessor, to suit the different conditions
under which he led the armies of France into nearly
every country in Europe. But although he might
alter the conditions of attack and defence, akhough he
no longer laid his armies up in winter quarters, nor sat
down before fortresses when there yet remained an
army in the field to defeat, still with all the moment-
ous changes he made, he could not alter the great
principles of strategy. On the other hand, his cam-



INTRODUCTION xix

paigns exemplify every principle upon which Turenne
acted, and with the wider field in which he exercised
his greater ambitions, he not only mirrored to us all
that Turenne thought and said and did, but added
to them the fire of his own genius for war. But the
great principles of strategy as affected by the configura-
tion of frontiers, the necessity for a secure base, the
command of the sea, and the strokes of attack and
defence, which these demanded, must remain immut-
able for all time. The great principles of Turenne
are the same as those under which Von Moltke and
Oyama worked, and although it may be better worth
the time and the study of the military student to read
and re-read the campaigns of Napoleon and the great
masters of the art that have lived since, than to turn
to the pages of a biography of Turenne, still there
may be much there that even the most advanced of
modern soldiers will find of value.

Are we, however, quite certain that the last word
has been said on the principles of warfare? Surely
no one would dream of asserting that tactics are not
changing day by day? Is it not possible that develop-
ments since the Russo-Japanese war, even of lithe last
few months, may entirely revolutionise strategy as
well as tactics? Is it not possible that some modern
"Trafalgar" or " Battle of the Sea of Japan" may be
fought in the air, that the warship may give place to
the airship, that a "secure base" maybe looked for



XX INTRODUCTION

among the higher Alps or in the Himalayas, and that
not only our swords but possibly our rifles and our quick-
firing guns may find final resting-places in museums^
beside the armour and equipment of past centuries ?

But unlimited as are the possibilities of the future,
we can only deal with things as they are, and that being
so, the student will find much that will interest him in
the campaigns undertaken, and nearly all brought to
a successful issue, by a great general who com-
manded the armies of France in the middle of the
seventeenth century.

The careful study alone of the strategical marches,
which began in 1647, and formed a new development
in the art of war — new, indeed, so far as the Middle Ages
and modern times are concerned, but in reality only a
reapplication of that art, as understood by the greater
captains, among the ancients — will well repay the reader.

Turenne's march to effect a junction with Wrangel
at Friedburg is one that has rarely, if ever, been sur-
passed in the annals of war, be it taken either as an
exemplification of endurance on the part of an army,
organisation on the part of a staff, or moral courage
on the part of a leader. No doubt a severe discip-
line accounts for the first. But the second is another
matter. Even in these days with good roads, with
more than one road to march over, and with a well-
organised and trained staff to direct and work out
details, the movement of an army is not the easy matter



INTRODUCTION xxi

that it may appear on paper. Considering the differ-
ence of the conditions in the seventeenth century, the
complete absence of even one good road, and the non-
existence of a staff in the modern sense of the word, I
think there can be litde doubt that to the leader him-
self belongs the chief credit of the organisation that even
in those times was at any rate to some extent an
absolute necessity. Still more than this, what shall
we say of the decision and moral power which enabled
Turenne to make up his mind to enter upon so
hazardous an undertaking? This march, if nothing
else, should place him for all time among the great
captains of the world. Certain it is, that if the modern
soldier learns nothing else from the study of the
campaigns of Turenne, it will be borne in upon him
more than ever that all practices, and all principles,
may pass away from the conduct of war save one — the
moral. Of this Turenne was as great an exponent as
the Corsican himself It won them both many a
batde, as much later it enabled Lee, aided by his great
lieutenant, to keep at bay for so long the concentrated
might of the Federal cause, and as it will decide many
an action of the future, be it fought with the quick-
firing guns and far-reaching rifles of to-day, or the
boundless possibilities of the future, such as airships
armed with unknown weapons, of which we only see
faint indications in the present.

Aeain, even if it be acknowledged that the ereat



xxii INTRODUCTION

Napoleon has caught up all the threads of thought
from the captains that went before him, including the
subject of this book, whom, as leader, strategist and
tactician, he ranked so high, are there no other reasons
for studying his career ? Can the story of a life such
as Turenne's lie unnoticed on the pages of the past ?
Or is it possible that the memory of an honest, upright
man of genius, who played so great a part on the stage
of the world, can fade away entirely without having left
his mark, not only on the century in which he lived,
but on the race to which he belonged? The student
of history will find much in his career that affected the
politics of his time, while the soldier will read of his
campaigns and battles with more than a passing
interest ; for they are not only examples of the battles
and sieges, marches and countermarches of that great
century of war, the seventeenth, but also illustrations of
the perpetual truth, that the leader who understands
how to "set a squadron in the field" and "the division
of a battle knows," is more important than many
squadrons, that numbers do not make an army, and,
above all, that even a trained army is nothing without
trained and capable leaders, or without a supreme,
trusted and highly experienced commander at its head.
This great fact no one knows better than the private
soldier, possibly better even than the critic, able though
he may be. Did not the "private men" of the Penin-
sular Army say that they would rather see the " Duke's"



INTRODUCTION xxiii

great nose on the morning of a battle than hear that
an extra division was coming up? And when the love
of the soldier is combined with this respect, as it was
in so marked a degree in the case of Turenne, success
should indeed follow. The great Marshal studied his
profession from youth upwards, both theoretically and
practically; theoretically, in such books as were then
to be obtained, practically, in the best of all schools,
successful and unsuccessful war. Early in life he rose
to high command, but he never ceased to practise the
lesson learned in his youth, " that diligence and activity
are the great cause of success in military affairs ".
Finally, the words of the old soldier to the young
grumbler would be an epitaph worthy of Turenne,
words that might well be printed at the beginning of
every British soldier's "Small Book": "What makes
you complain ? You do not know our General ; when we
are in distress, he suffers more than we do. At this
moment his thoughts are wholly employed in contriv-
ing how to extricate us from this difficulty. He is
awake when we are asleep. He is our Father. It is
easy to see you are but young."

To all who are interested in the life-long work
of a man whose character was written in such irlowinof



Online LibraryThomas LonguevilleMarshall Turenne → online text (page 1 of 26)