Born Feb. 21, 1609, in the castle of Montecuccoli, near Modena; died Oct. 16, 1680, in Linz. Count, granted title as a prince of the empire and duke of Melfi in 1679; an Austrian field marshal from 1658. Military theorist.
Montecuccoli entered the Austrian service in 1625 and participated in the Thirty Years’ War (1618–48). During the war waged by Denmark, Brandenburg, and Austria against Sweden in 1657–58, he commanded Austrian forces and inflicted several defeats on the Swedish troops, expelling them from Poland, Jutland, and Pomerania. In 1664, as commander of a combined Austrian-French-Hungarian army, he was victorious over Turkish troops in Western Hungary. Between 1672 and 1676, Montecuccoli successfully operated on the Rhine against a French army under Turenne and the Great Condé.
In The Military Art, Montecuccoli systematically stated the tenets of military theory prevalent in his time and argued the necessity of a well trained standing army. He advocated the tactic of imposing battle on the enemy in addition to maneuvering to disrupt enemy communications. He attached great importance to the combat role of artillery.