Battle of Arras (1654)
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|Battle of Arras|
|Part of the Franco-Spanish War|
|Commanders and leaders|
Vicomte de Turenne|
Duc de La Ferté
Archduke Leopold Wilhelm|
Prince de Condé
|Casualties and losses|
2,000 killed and wounded
The place, held by a French garrison, was besieged by the Spaniards under the Great Condé. A relief army under Turenne, d'Hocquincourt and de la Ferté attacked the Spanish lines and totally routed them with a loss of 7,000 men. Condé succeeded in rallying the remainder of his army and made a masterful retreat to Cambrai.
Before the battle, Turenne risked exposing himself and his officers in order to reconnoitre the Spanish lines. He was criticised for taking such risks by some of his officers, but the Duke of York, the future King James II of England, later observed that these officers realised their error after they realised that Turenne had worked out where to attack during these reconnaissances. Turenne attacked at night, two hours before daybreak on 25 August. D'Hocquincourt attacked the troops from Lorraine, Turenne attacked the Spanish and provided support for de la Ferté, whose attack was less successful. In the morning Condé counter-attacked, falling on French troops who were pillaging the former Spanish camp. De la Ferté panicked and abandoned some high ground. Turenne rode up and placed some cannon on the high ground, forcing Condé to retreat. The young Louis XIV visited the battlefield and saw the disparity between the numbers of French and Spanish dead. This was Louis XIV's first victory against a foreign army.
- Bodart, G. (1908). Militär-historisches Kriegs-Lexikon (1618-1905).
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