Overview

A mixed infantry formation made up of about 3,000 men armed with pikes, swords and handguns, the innovative and influential tercio or 'Spanish square' was the basic combat unit of the armies of Spain throughout much of the 16th and 17th centuries. Arguably the first permanent tactical formation seen in Europe since the Roman cohort, the tercio was the forerunner of modern formations such as the battalion and regiment. The variety of different weapons fielded in the tercio meant the Spanish infantry could resist ...
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The Spanish Tercios 1536-1704

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Overview

A mixed infantry formation made up of about 3,000 men armed with pikes, swords and handguns, the innovative and influential tercio or 'Spanish square' was the basic combat unit of the armies of Spain throughout much of the 16th and 17th centuries. Arguably the first permanent tactical formation seen in Europe since the Roman cohort, the tercio was the forerunner of modern formations such as the battalion and regiment. The variety of different weapons fielded in the tercio meant the Spanish infantry could resist opposing cavalry forces while overcoming every kind of enemy infantry deployed against them. Featuring full-colour artwork and photographs of rare items held at the Spanish Army Museum, this study covers the whole period during which the tercios were active, opening with the third Italian war between the forces of France and the Holy Roman Emperor and concluding with the final transformation of the Spanish tercios into regiments in 1704.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This 48-page paperback succinctly traces the history of the tercio from its antecedents in early 16th-century campaigns in Italy to its decline and ultimate realignment into a regimental system in 1704. Readers will learn how Emperor Charles V formed the first tercios; their recruitment, training, organization and logistics; and the soldiers’ duties and ranks. Full-color illustrations are combined with black and white photographs of artifacts from the Spanish Army Museum to show the foot soldiers’ armor, weapons, clothing and flags while illuminating their tactics."
- Toy Soldier & Model Figure (January 2013)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781780968735
  • Publisher: Osprey Publishing, Limited
  • Publication date: 7/24/2012
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 48
  • Sales rank: 864,946
  • File size: 12 MB
  • Note: This product may take a few minutes to download.

Meet the Author

A captain in the Spanish infantry, Ignacio J.N. López studied at the military academies of Lerida, Zaragoza and Toledo and is currently a professor at the Spanish Army NBC School. This is his first book for Osprey.
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Table of Contents

Introduction 3

The Ordinances of the 1490s

El Gran Capitán and the Italian Wars

Chronology 8

'The Old Tercios' 11

The Ordinance of Genoa, 1536 - the Tercios Viejos of Sicily, Naples and Lombardy

Unit Organization 12

Evolution, 1536-1704

Military Ranks & Duties 14

Recruiting, Training & Logistics 18

Beating for recruits - transit - allocation - instruction 18

Logistics: food - weapons and ammunition - the 'Spanish Road'

Morale 21

Ésprit de corps: honour and loyalty - discipline - mutinies - disbandment

Equipment 34

Pikes - polearms - swords - arquebuses - muskets - armour

Tactics 37

Formations

The Tercio in battle

Clothing 40

Everyday dress - field signs - the first uniforms

Further Reading 43

Plate Commentaries 43

Index 48

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