Vicomte De Turenne
Turenne, Vicomte De
(Henri de La Tour d’Auvergne). Born Sept. 11, 1611, in Sedan, France; died July 27, 1675, in the battle of Sasbach in Baden, in what is now the Federal Republic of Germany. French military leader. Son of the duke of Bouillon (one of the Huguenot leaders); grandson of William I of Orange. Marshal of France (1643).
Turenne joined the Dutch Army in 1625 and studied military affairs under the guidance of his uncle, Prince Maurice of Nassau. He joined the French Army in 1630. During the Thirty Years’ War (1618–48), he was promoted rapidly because of his outstanding capabilities and valor. In 1634, Turenne commanded a regiment, and in the 1640’s he led the French Army in Germany, where he gained victories at Freiburg (1644), Nórdlingen (with Louis II de Bourbon-Condé, 1645), and Zusmarshausen (with Swedish troops, 1648).
From 1648 to 1651, Turenne took part in the Fronde, but in May 1651 he went over to the king’s side and headed the army sent against the Frondeurs. In 1660 he received the military rank of marshal general of the camps and armies of the king. Turenne developed the plan for the War of Devolution (1667–68) against Spain, headed the French Army during its invasion of Flanders, and successfully commanded the French Army during the Dutch War of 1672–78. He was killed while reconnoitering enemy positions.
Turenne’s strategy stressed the need for wide-ranging maneuvers within a theater of operations and the importance of decisive battles. In tactics, he deviated from the principle of linear tactics, whereby troops are distributed evenly along a front, choosing instead to strengthen one of the flanks to strike the main blow.
WORKSMémoires, vols. 1–2. Paris, 1909–14.
Collection des lettres et mémoires, vols. 1–2. Paris, 1782.
Correspondance inédite. Paris ,
REFERENCESRutchenko, A., and M. Tubianskii. Tiurenn. Moscow, 1939.
Weygand, M. Turenne. Paris, 1935.
V. P. GLUKHOV