Turenne, Henri de La Tour d'Auvergne, vicomte de
Turenne, Henri de La Tour d'Auvergne, vicomte de(äNrē` də lä to͞or dōvĕr`nyə vēkôNt` də tərĕn`), 1611–75, marshal of France, one of the greatest of French commanders. The son of the duc de BouillonBouillon, Henri de La Tour d'Auvergne, vicomte de Turenne, duc de
, 1555–1623, marshal of France, diplomat, and Protestant leader. He served with Henry IV against the Catholic League but fled (1603) to Geneva when he was ordered arrested for his part in a conspiracy
..... Click the link for more information. , he was brought up as a Protestant. He began his military career in the Dutch army but soon entered French service. Turenne showed his great capabilities in the Thirty Years WarThirty Years War,
1618–48, general European war fought mainly in Germany. General Character of the War
There were many territorial, dynastic, and religious issues that figured in the outbreak and conduct of the war.
..... Click the link for more information. , distinguishing himself under Bernhard of Saxe-Weimar in the victory (1638) over the imperial forces at Breisach. In the successful battles of Freiburg im Breisgau (1644) and Nördlingen (1645) he served with the brilliant commander Louis II de Bourbon, prince de Condé; the lives of the two were thereafter intertwined. Turenne, who had been made a marshal in 1643, was—with the Swede Lennart Torstensson—the dominant figure in the last years of the war. His series of victories expedited the long negotiations leading to the Peace of Westphalia (1648). In the war of the Fronde of the Princes (see under FrondeFronde
, 1648–53, series of outbreaks during the minority of King Louis XIV, caused by the efforts of the Parlement of Paris (the chief judiciary body) to limit the growing authority of the crown; by the personal ambitions of discontented nobles; and by the grievances of
..... Click the link for more information. ) he was persuaded by Mme de Longueville, Condé's sister, to take the part of the rebels led by Condé and was defeated (1650) by government forces at Rethel. When the princes of the Fronde had been reconciled with Mazarin, Turenne again became a government commander. He defeated (1652) Condé roundly at the battle of the Faubourg Saint-Antoine near Paris and was again (1658) victorious over Condé in the Battle of the Dunes, when the latter was serving with Spain. In the War of Devolution (see Devolution, War ofDevolution, War of,
1667–68, undertaken by Louis XIV for the conquest of the Spanish Netherlands. On her marriage to Louis, Marie Thérèse, daughter of Philip IV of Spain, had renounced her rights of inheritance in return for a large dowry.
..... Click the link for more information. ) he commanded (1667) in Flanders but had no part in the campaign (1669) of Condé (now reconciled to the government) in Franche-Comté. In the third of the Dutch WarsDutch Wars,
series of conflicts between the English and Dutch during the mid to late 17th cent. The wars had their roots in the Anglo-Dutch commercial rivalry, although the last of the three wars was a wider conflict in which French interests played a primary role.
..... Click the link for more information. he marched with King Louis XIV and Condé into Holland, but the French were checked before Amsterdam by the opening (1672) of the dikes. On the Rhine, Turenne defeated (1674) enemy troops at Sinzheim and ravaged the Palatinate. He was killed in battle against the troops of Raimondo Montecucculi. His emphasis on mobility and surprise and his patient calculation, matched by his personal courage and his popularity with his men, won him much admiration. Late in his life he was converted (1668) to Roman Catholicism.
See biography by M. Weygand (tr. 1930).