Battle of Coutras, 20 October 1587
The battle of Courtras (20 October 1587) was the first major Huguenot battlefield victory during the Wars of Religion, but Henry of Navarre failed to take advantage of his success (Eighth War of Religion).
In the early spring of 1587 a Royal army led by Anne, duke of Joyeuse, one of Henry III’s favourites, advanced west towards Henry of Navarre. He decided to retreat into La Rochelle, leaving Joyeuse free to recapture a number of places that had fallen to the Huguenots, including Saint Maixent (half way between La Rochelle and Poitiers), Tonnay Charente (sixteen miles to the south-east of La Rochelle) and Maillezais (20 miles to the north-east of La Rochelle). Some of these successes were accompanied by massacres of the defenders, which greatly angered many of the Huguenots and would later cost Joyeuse his life. They also cost him the support of Henry III, and in an attempt to restore his position he returned to Paris.
Once Joyeuse had gone, Navarre left La Rochelle and moved north-east to the southern bank of the Loire, in an successful attempt to help Condé’s younger brother, the count of Soissons, to change sides. He had been raised as a Catholic, but was now disillusioned with the Court, and moved to Montsoreau on the Loire between Tours and Angers, with reinforcement from the north of France. After collecting Soissons, Navarre returned to La Rochelle to pick up his artillery, and then moved south towards Gascony to join up with more reinforcements. His plan after that was probably to turn east to join up with an army of German and Swiss troops that was coming from Alsace.
By now Joyeuse had realised that his position at court was vulnerable, and decided that he needed a military success to secure his position. He rejoined his army at Poitiers, where he received a call for help from Marshal Matignon, the Royalist commander around Bordeaux, who had realised where Navarre was heading. He promised to meet Joyeuse with 4,000 men, and the Duke decided to move south in response.
The two armies were now heading south on almost parallel courses, heading for the small town of Courtras. Navarre’s route took him south-east from La Rochelle to Archiac and then south to Montlieu. Joyeuse was a little further to the east. Both needed to cross the River Isle using bridges just to the south of Courtas, which lies between the Isle to the south and the Dronne to the north-west.
Henry’s men were the first to cross the Dronne, and by the night of 19 October his army was across the river and quartered in the town of Coutras. Joyeuse crossed over further to the north, and prepared to camp at La Roche Chalais, ten miles to the north-east. However when he discovered that Henry was close by he ordered an overnight march to close up with the Huguenots before they could escape.
Henry took up a position on the plain to the north of Courtas. His left flank was protected by the Dronne and a wood containing one of its tributary books, and his right by the park and warren of a chateaux built by Marshal Lautrec, a French commander during the Italian Wars.
Henry’s line formed a slight crescent, with the centre bulging forward. The three Bourbon princes, Navarre, Condé and Soissons, each commanded a cavalry force in the centre, with Navarre in the centre with around 300 men, Soissons on his left and Condé on his right. The Gascon cavalry under Turenne and the light horse under Trémouille were on Condé’s right. Most of the infantry was posted on the flanks, but there were also bodies of 25 arquebusiers posted between each cavalry squadron, with orders to fire only if the foe got within 20 paces. Henry also had somewhere between two and five cannon, which he positioned very skilfully.
On the Royalist side Joyeuse was in the centre with around 1,200 lances, and 500 men of arms under Montigny. On his left Lavardin’s 400 light horse faced Turenne. His infantry was also on the flanks. Joyeuse had more cannon, but they were badly placed.
All of the sources agree that Navarre was outnumbered, but there is little agreement on the exact size of the two armies. Navarre is given somewhere between 5,500 and 7,000 men, Joyeuse between 7,000 and 12,000. The Royalists had more artillery and cavalry, but probably not by a very large margin.
The battle began with a small scale artillery duel in which the well placed Huguenot guns did better than the poorly placed Catholic guns, inflicting heavy casualties. Joyeuse then gave Lavardin permission to charge, supported by the infantry on the Royalist left. Lavardin defeated Turenne’s Gascons and pursued then back to Coutras, but his infantry was repulsed in the park around the castle. Some of the Gascons were rallied, and they and Tremouille then took up a position behind Condé.
Joyeuse then ordered his main cavalry force to advance. As the lancers began to move, Navarre called for a prayer, and his Huguenots knelt to pray, apparently convincing some of their opponents that they were about to give up in fear. They then rose to their feet and chanted Marot’s version of the 118th Psalm.
They were given the time to do this because the Royalists had to advance over about a mile to reach the Huguenot lines. The Royal cavalry was said to have been an impressive glittering sight, but the charge soon slowed down into a canter, and some disorder began to creep in. The force slowed down more as they had to advance up the slight hill Navarre was positioned on. Towards the end of the charge they also realised that the Huguenot cavalry was split into three forces, and part of the left and right of the Catholic force had to split off to face them, leaving open flanks on both sides of Joyeuse’s mian force.
When the advancing Royalists were within 20 paces, the Huguenots opened fire, and their men at arms then charged. They were fresher and quicker than the Royalists, and very quickly had the best of the fighting. Joyeuse was killed in the fighting, after his opponent refused to accept a 100,000 crown ransom because of the earlier massacres. His brother Saint Sauveur was also killed. The battle began at 9am and was over by 10am. A three hour pursuit followed, which almost reached Chalais, 18 miles to the north.
The Royalists lost 300-400 noblemen and 2,000-3,000 infantry killed during the battle. The Huguenots only admitted to 25-32 deaths. This was the first major battlefield victory for the Huguenots in the entire wars of religion, but Henry failed to take advantage of it. He decided not to try and join up with the Swiss and German troops who were advancing into France to help him, leaving them to be defeated at Vimory (26 October 1587) and Auneau (24 November 1587). In the aftermath of this second defeat the Germans accepted an offer of safe conduct, and left France.
Polemos ECW Battle - Coutras 1587 Re-themed
"Coutras 1587" - A French Wars of Religion Battle Re-framed as an ECW Battle
The Royal Army (Admiral Joyce):
5 bases of Raw Infantry (M) in two brigades
14 bases of Veteran Horse (S) in two brigades
1 base of Raw Dragoons
1 base of Artillery
6 bases of Raw Infantry (M) in two brigades
The Parliamentary Army (Lord Joseph):
3 bases of Trained Infantry (S)
8 bases of Trained Infantry (SH)
1 base of Artillery
8 bases of Trained Horse (D) in two brigades
1 base of Trained Dragoons
I also gave the Royal Army two Poor generals, each controlling one of the infantry wings.
This scenario was re-themed from the Battle of Coutras scenario in Minature Wargames 008:
The forces were faithfully ported across, with the closest reflection of troop types and ratings possible, with the French Catholics becoming the Royalists and the French Huguenots becoming the Parliamentarians (it seemed most appropriate this way round!).
|An "aerial shot": slightly unnerving because it isn't straight above!! But useful for showing the ground and general positions: river to the left, with woods and marshes the twon of Coutras astride the road, then scrub and trees at the bottom-right (treated as "enclosure" in the rules). The Royal Army is at the top of the board, foot on the flanks and horse in the centre the Parliamentary army is at the bottom shot on the flanks, mixed infantry and horse in the centre|
|The position looking from Coutras behind the Parliamentary line towards the Royalists - note the position of the left flank is hinged on the marshes, protected by a unit of shot.|
|The view from just behind the Parliamentary commander in the centre|
Let Battle Commence!
|Following the Royalist battle-plan in the original, the initial attacks were directed against the Parliamentary flanks|
|On theother flank, the leading brigade of Royalist infantry, with Dragoons in support, attmepts to get to grips with the defending Parliamentary shot|
The initial period was dominated by this Royalist attempt to attack and turn one or both of the Parliamentary flanks.
|The advancing Royalist infantry struggle to wade through the marsh and musketry combination (shaken markers are still red counters at this point, I will use something better by the end of the week!)|
|A similar struggle on the other side of the table. The Royalist infantry outnumbers its opponents, but is undergunned and ill-experienced in comparison to the Parliamentary musketeers.|
|First blood for the King! The left hand unit of Shot (red flag) is routed by the Royalist infantry on the left of picture who have managed to negotiate the ground and the musketry their comrades have been driven back by the fire of the second unit of shot (yellow flag), however|
|Affairs are a mirror image on the other wing: the Royalist infantry struggle to make progress through the marsh|
|The right flankingRoyalist unit (mid-left of picture, yellow flag) is routed by the fire of the Parliamentary shot|
|The remaining Parliamentary shot on the right is coming under increasing pressure, outnumbered as it is by six-to-one|
|Parliamentary infantry engage in a desultory musket duel with some Royalist dragoons|
|Feeling that the flanking attacks were going as well as could be expected - and the Parliamentarians were certainly not able to move any troops from the flanks to support the centre - the Royalist commander begins to move up his Horse ready to charge|
|The Parliamentarians watch and wait.|
|The Royalist infantry finally break through the wall of musketry and the scrub and come to grips with the remaining Parliamentary shot, who flee in short order|
|The storm about to break on the Parliamentarian centre.|
|The Parliamentarian commander advances some foot (towards the left of the picture) to try and disrupt the Royalist preparations, without any appreciable success|
|Eschewing any complexity, the Royalist cavalry charge straight in. As so often, they prove that "bold measures are the safest", routing 500 Parliamentary foot and 500 horse in 10 bloody minutes! A Parliamentary counter-attack achieved nothing but exhausting the troops and getting the commander captured! At this point, Parliamentary morale collapsed.|
An enjoyable enough game, although I badly messed up the scenario's translation into the ECW period, which made the game far too one-sided (in reality, this had been a crushing Huguenot victory). There were three main drivers for this:
1. The original scenario rated the French Catholic horse as 'A Class' and the French Huguenot horse as 'B Class'. However, the rules reflected a tactical superiority of the Hugeunot horse over the Catholic 'lancers'. In the Polemos ECW rules, the Royalist cavalry generally have a tactical superiority over their Parliamentarian rivals. Thus in this game the Royalist cavalry was simply too strong for anything the Parliamentarians had.
2. Because the Royalist Army was 27-bases strong overall, I gave the Royalists a couple of sub-commanders. This however made the Royalist infantry too capable of recovering and re-attacking the Parliamentary shot on the flanks until they got lucky.
3. The scenario suggested that the Royalists should get a -1 on all dice throws to simulate the effect of their long night march before the battle. I am slightly sceptical of such things in general and didn't implement it but looking back on how the game went, I think this may have been a mistake!
In addition, I probably deployed the Huguenot lines of horse too close together (which meant that the rear line was swept away in the rout of the first - support lines in this game probably need to be 2BW back for horse.
Played with the Polemos ECW rules, using Baccus 6mm ECW figures and Total Battle Miniatures' buildings on a 4'x3' table. The game took about two hours.
Prince Henry, upon awaking, was faced with a desperate situation: there was enough time for the cavalry, a few infantry and the Huguenot leaders to escape or to gamble all in battle against the far stronger Royal army now decamping onto the field in front of Coutras.
If Henry felt dismayed, he concealed it from his subordinates, and gave the impression that he could not have chosen a better time and place to fight: he said to the Prince de Condé and Count de Soissons: 'You see, my cousins, it is to our family that everyone turns. It would not be reasonable for this fine dancer [Joyeuse] and the darlings of the court to chop off the three principal heads that God has guarded in order to protect the others and the state. This quarrel is the same for us all the outcome of this day will bring down on us more envy than maliciousness we will share mutually in its honor.' He led the army out from the village onto the field opposite the Catholics.
Both forces were in great disarray, and, as if by mutual consent, virtually ignored each other until both armies were in order:
The Huguenots were well-disposed: Henry had placed his infantry on the flanks: a scratch regiment on his left flank, drawn back behind a marshy brook, and on the right, three battalions they were placed in the warren attached to the chateau where it mattered less that they were short of pikes. Across the center were the Huguenot cavalry on the right, attached to the warren the light horse, under Turenne and la Tremuille, and across the center, the Huguenot medium cavalry, drawn up in three columns and companies of arquebusiers between.
The Catholics were drawn up in a similar, though simpler line: Joyeuse placed two regiments of Royal infantry on each flank, the force on the left at least as strong as the Huguenot force in the warren, the one on the right much stronger than the scratch regiment behind the brook. Lavardin's light horse opposite Tremuille's, and opposite the Huguenot horse, the Gens d'armes d'ordannance: the royal heavy Cavalry, deployed 'en Haye': in one long glittering line.
There was a period of quiet while the opponents faced each other: the Catholic heavy cavalry were bright and glittering like some medieval host: The Gens d'armes wore armor, from cuirass and morion to gorgets, covered with gold leaf.
The Huguenots opposite them, by contrast, wore greasy leather and grime-encrusted armor: their armor consisted of cuirass and morion and they were armed with swords and pistols The Catholic line rippled as the lords (many of whom served in the front rank) manoeuvered for position by contrast the Huguenots, tough partisan troops, the veterans of a hundred petty skirmishes, sat still in their compact squadrons.
It was at this time that the Huguenot artillery, deploying later than the royal forces on the field but first into position, opened fire: they were ensconced on a small knoll of minor elevation, but placed so as to command the entire field. Served by veterans and commanded by a master gunner, the Huguenots managed eighteen deadly shots for six ineffectual ones from the royal battery: hitting the Royal cavalry almost at an enfilading angle, they caused near-chaos in the Catholic ranks.
Lavardin, cried: 'we lose by waiting!' and Joyeuse called for the charge: the trumpet was sounded and the Catholic host surged forward.
Lavardin's light horse was first off the mark: they crashed into Tremuille's light troops opposite, bowling them over and sending some fleeing through the town eighteen recently joined Scottish volunteers formed a solid core in Tremuille's force and aided by the artillery, quickly brought Lavardin to a halt.
The Catholic townsfolk, seeing the light troopers fleeing, began cheering and crying 'Victory!'
The Huguenot infantry on the left, hearing the cries, and believing they might as well die attacking as attacked, charged forward over the brook, falling on the surprised Royal troops unexpectedly, dragging pikes aside or rolling under them, they closed in hand-to-hand combat and the left side of the battlefield dissolved into a melee.
The infantry on the right were hotly engaged, but were able to spare some vollies for Lavardin's horse, the Royal infantry continued fighting until the battle was over, bravely charging the warren again and again.
But it was in the center that the battle was decided: at the trumpet-call, the entire Catholic line, still rippling and unsteady, lowered their lances and went to the gallop.
The Huguenots began walking their horses, conserving them for the fight as they speeded to the trot, they raised their voices in the battle hymn of their party: "This is the day which the lord hath made, we will rejoice and be glad in it. " One lord, on Joyeuse's right cried: "Ha! the cowards! They are confessing themselves!" Lieutenant Vaux, on the duke's left, a veteran with much experience against the Huguenots replied: "M'sieur, when the Huguenots make those noises, they are prepared to fight hard."
It could not have been much after that thet the Arqubusiers between the Huguenot squadrons fired and the Huguenots spurred to the gallop.
Module:Avec Infini Regret
With Permission from the Designer Florent Coupeau, Laurent Closier, and VaeVictis I present Avec Infini Regret, which is based off of Ben Hull's Musket & Pike series. The game has simplified a lot of the Musket & Pike rules, yet has maintained the flavor. A great game system for newbies to jump into to understand the system.
31MAR2020 = Version 1.22 modifications to the 1.1 modules include: Consolidated rt-click menu items for Troop units Implemented Orders counters in place of labels Orders appear on the Leaders Masked with added GKC on menu bar for revealing Orders counters When you replace a deceased Leader with a subordinate they are automatically sent to the Dead box Implemented Player sides (Royal, Protestant & Solo) for each player to sign in as.
- - In the Battle for La Roche-l'Abeille module the Protestant player (only) has a hidden "Entry Hex" game marker they can
19NOV2014 = Version 1.1 modified mouse over view to see hex numbers and trimmed down Dreux by a couple of megs
The Battle of Coutras
The sixth religious war, which now broke out, was carried on with great cruelty, and ended by granting the Huguenots some of the judgeships, and eight fortresses, as a sort of guarantee that their rights would thereafter be respected (1577). Notwithstanding this agreement, which proved so advantageous to the Protestants, the Catholic party continued to predominate in France, and especially in Paris, where the sixteen wards of the city were under sixteen magistrates, all of whom were strong partisans, both of the League and hence of the Duke of Guise.
In a vain attempt to regain the allegiance of many of the nobles whom his weak and effeminate conduct had alienated, Henry founded the order of the Holy Spirit (Saint Esprit, in 1578), appointing at first only twenty-four members, which made it a very select affair. This was the second order of knighthood which had been founded in France, the first being that of St. Michael (St. Michel, instituted in 1469), which counted by this time so many members that it was no longer considered a distinction to belong to it.
There had been already, as we have seen, six religious civil wars in France. A seventh was about to break out, but this time new complications arose to embitter both parties, for the Duke of Alencon had died. As long as this prince had lived, the Catholics fully expected him to succeed his brother, Henry III, whose weak constitution was being rapidly undermined by his fast life. But when Alencon passed away without offspring, it became apparent that the crown, at the death of the present ruler, would fall to Henry of Navarre, next of kin, but a Huguenot.
The idea of a heretic upon the throne of France was unendurable to the bulk of the population, which was, and has always been, stanchly Roman Catholic. For that reason the Holy League's plan to place the Duke of Guise on the throne now gained many adherents. Still, there were many Frenchmen who did not deem it right to attempt to change the natural order of succession. Besides, Henry of Navarre had many of the manly qualities which appeal strongly to the nation, for while he, too, loved pleasure, he was nevertheless a thorough soldier, brave, shrewd, and cordial, making friends easily, holding them fast after they were once made, and ever ready to bear anything and everything for the good of his party or people.
It was in 1587 that Henry of Navarre, leader of the Huguenots, found himself face to face with the royal army, at Coutras, led by the king's favorite, Joyeuse. The royal forces outnumbered their opponents, and when the Huguenots, according to their custom, knelt before entering into battle, one of the courtiers cried to Joyeuse: "Look! look! the Huguenot traitors are already beaten! They prostrate themselves! They tremble!"
But a bystander, knowing better what such conduct portended, replied: "Do not be deceived, my lord I know these said Huguenots. They are pleased now to appear down in the mouth and sanctimonious, but when we come to the charge, we shall find them devils and lions of courage!"
At this statement, it is said, some of the royalists were badly frightened, and turning to Joyeuse, timorously inquired, "What is to be done?" Their leader, who was quite as brave as dandified, retorted briefly, "Die!" And he set them the example by perishing on the battlefield after having fought to the last.
Just before the battle began, Henry of Navarre said to his relatives: "Cousins, I only remind you that you are of Bourbon blood, but with God's help, I will show you today that I am your elder!" To this, Conde retorted: "And we will show you that you have worthy juniors!" Thus saying, all plunged into the fray with such ardor that in less than an hour the royalist general was dead, his troops in full flight, and Henry of Navarre had won a triumph which gave him great prestige in France.
Although dauntless in battle, Henry of Navarre was a generous foe. Before beginning the fight, he sent word to the royalists what terms of peace he was willing to grant, and when, on the point of surrendering, the foe inquired what conditions he would now demand, he promptly answered, "The same as before."
The Huguenot victory in the south of France was offset in the north by the success of the Duke of Guise, who drove back an invading army of German Protestants. The war, therefore, continued fiercely, and as it was carried on by Henry the king, Henry of Guise, and Henry of Navarre, it is often known as the "War of the Three Henrys."
Had the Catholics been united, there is no doubt that they could have triumphed quickly over the Huguenots but they were greatly divided. The Duke of Guise was aiming to secure the throne for himself his ally, Philip II of Spain, claimed it for his daughter, a niece of Henry III and the French king, who wanted to retain his power as long as possible, was desperately jealous of these rival claims for his crown.
In his anger over Guise's growing popularity, Henry III forbade the duke to return to Paris but in spite of this, Guise shortly after marched boldly into the city. When the king ordered his guards to eject the disobedient nobleman, the Parisians rose up and formed barricades in the streets to defend the man who had become their idol (1588). Indeed, it was only because the duke forbade it that the people refrained from attacking the king's guards.
Battle of Coutras, 20 October 1587 - History
480 BC &ndash Greeks defeat the Persians in a naval Battle at Salamis
1587 &ndash In France, Huguenot Henri de Navarre routs Duke de Joyeuse&rsquos larger Catholic force at Coutras
1632 &ndash Astronomer and architect, Sir Christopher Wren, is born
1709 &ndash Marlborough and Eugene of Savoy take Mons in the Netherlands
1714 &ndash George I of England crowned
1774 &ndash The First Continental Congress creates the Continental Association, which calls for a complete ban on all trade between America and Great Britain of all goods, wares or merchandise
1803 &ndash The U.S. Senate approves a treaty with France providing for the purchase of the territory of Louisiana, which would double the size of the United States
1805 &ndash Austrian General, Karl Mac, surrenders to Napoleon&rsquos army at the battle of Ulm
1818 &ndash The United States and Britain establish the 49th Parallel as the boundary between Canada and the United States
1819 &ndash One of the most interesting generals in the US Union Army, Daniel Sickles, is born
1827 &ndash During the Greek War for Independence, a combined Turkish and Egyptian armada is destroyed by an allied British, French, and Russian naval force at the Battle of Navarino
1853 &ndash Poet Arthur Rimbaud is born
1859 &ndash American philosopher and psychologist, John Dewey, is born
1874 &ndash Composer, Charles Ives, is born
1884 &ndash Actor, Bela Lugosi, is born
1890 &ndash English soldier, diplomat, geographer Richard Francis Burton, dies
1891 &ndash Nobel Prize-winning physicist, Sir James Chadwick, is born
1901 &ndash Cabaret singer, Adelaide Hall, is born
1903 &ndash The Joint Commission, set up on January 24 by Great Britain and the United States to arbitrate the disputed Alaskan boundary, rules in favor of the United States
1904 &ndash Bolivia and Chile sign a treaty ending the War of the Pacific
1918 &ndash General Charles Townshend travels from Constantinople to the Greek Isles to liaison with the British government over a possible armistice between the Allies and the Ottoman Empire in World War I
1924 &ndash Baseball&rsquos first &lsquocolored World Series&rsquo is held in Kansas City, Mo
1925 &ndash Humorist, Art Buchwald, is born
1931 &ndash Baseball player, Mickey Mantle, is born
1932 &ndash Beat Poet, Michael McClure, is born
1935 &ndash Mao Zedong arrives in Shensi Province in northwest China with 4,000 survivors and sets up Chinese Communist headquarters, a bit over a year after the start of his &ldquoLong March.&rdquo The journey from Chiang Kai-shek&rsquos Nationalist forces lasted 368 days and covered 6,000 miles
1938 &ndash Czechoslovakia, complying with Nazi policy, outlaws the Communist Party and begins persecuting Jews
1940 &ndash Former US Poet Laureate, Robert Pinsky, is born
1941 &ndash German troops reach the approaches to Moscow
1944 &ndash U.S. troops land on Leyte in the Philippines during World War II, keeping General MacArthur&rsquos pledge &ldquoI shall return&rdquo
1944 &ndash Two liquid gas tanks explode in Cleveland, Ohio, killing 130 people
1945 &ndash Egypt, Syria, Iraq, and Lebanon form the Arab League to present a unified front against the establishment of a Jewish state in Palestine
1946 &ndash Journalist and humorist, Lewis Grizzard, is born
1946 &ndash Austrian playwright and novelist, Elfriede Jelinek, is born
1947 &ndash The House Un-American Activities Committee opens public hearings on alleged communist infiltration in Hollywood
1948 &ndash Singer, songwriter, and musician, Tom Petty, is born
1950 &ndash American statesman, lawyer, and politician, Henry Stimson, dies
1958 &ndash American actor Viggo Mortensen is born
1962 &ndash White House press corps is told that President John F. Kennedy has a cold when actually he is holding secret meetings with advisors on the eve of ordering a blockade of Cuba
1964 &ndash 31st President of the US, Herbert Hoover, dies
1968 &ndash Jacqueline Kennedy marries Aristotle Onassis
1971 &ndash Rapper, songwriter, and actor Snoop Dogg aka Calvin Broadus, Jr. is born
1973 &ndash Arab oil-producing nations ban oil exports to the United States, following the outbreak of Arab-Israeli war
1973 &ndash Solicitor General Robert Bork dismisses Watergate special prosecutor Archibald Cox, leading Attorney General Richardson and Deputy Attorney General Ruckelshaus to resign in protest
1973 &ndash After 15 years of construction, the Sydney Opera House is opened and dedicated by Queen Elizabeth II
1977 &ndash Charter plane crashes in Mississippi, killing three members of popular Southern rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd, along with their assistant road manager, the pilot, and co-pilot
1984 &ndash Nobel Prize laureate, English physicist, Paul Dirac, dies
1990 &ndash Three members of the rap group 2 Live Crew are acquitted of obscenity charges in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Luther Campbell, Chris &ldquoFresh Kid Ice&rdquo Wong Won, and Mark &ldquoBrother Marquis&rdquo Ross had faced a year in prison for performing their songs, which were considered to be sexually prurient and obscene, at a club in Hollywood, Florida
1991 &ndash Oakland Hills firestorm destroys nearly 3,500 homes and apartments and kills 25 people
1994 &ndash Actor, Burt Lancaster, dies
2011 &ndash In the Libyan civil war, rebels capture deposed dictator Muammar Gaddafi in his hometown of Sirte, killing him soon afterward
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Written by Crystal McCann
Crystal is the Chief Operating Officer of Lanterns Media Network and the owner of Madisons Media. She lives in Texas with her husband and dogs and is the proud mother of two adult children.
Battle of Coutras, 20 October 1587 - History
Two revolutions in 1917 changed Russia for good. How the Russians switched from Empire to the Bolshevik Peace, Land, and Bread government:
Also called the Persian Wars, the Greco-Persian Wars were fought for almost half a century from 492 to 449 BC. Greece won against enormous odds. Here is more:
Mexico's transition from dictatorship to constitutional republic translated into ten messy years of skirmishing in Mexican history.
More from the Mexican Revolution:
Voyages in History
When did what vessel arrive with whom onboard and where did it sink if it didn't?
The greatest of all Barbarian rulers, Attila kicked rear on a large scale.
Henry IV's military accomplishments and so-called failures
Contemporaries acknowledged that Henry possessed a keen eye for ground of tactical importance and a remarkable sense of the tempo, pulse, and patterns of battle. An early chronicler of the religious wars, Enrico Davila, wrote in the seventeenth century that Henry could appear and disappear on the battlefield "like lightning," meaning Henry had his own brand of "shock and awe" based on superb use of sixteenth-century tactics and technology. David Buisseret credits Henry with perfecting a tactic known as the pistolade in which his cavalry fired their pistols only after coming into close contact with the enemy at which point Henry's forces charged with their swords. Henry also rejected the medieval gendarme or horse-mounted, armored knight and relied instead on a new kind of cavalry soldier called the arquebusier-à-cheval, the forerunner of the seventeenth-century dragoon. He achieved remarkable success by combining the use of infantry armed with pike and firearm with artillery and light cavalry. Posting musketeers between cavalry squadrons seems to have been an original idea with Henry. Perfecting a Huguenot ambush tactic that delivered a counter-punch attack, he ordered his musketeers to fire in volleys from multiple ranks and at point blank range into the flank of the enemy.  Henry was also open to innovation and established a number of adapted tactical and administrative measures that soon became standard within Europe. He was one of the first commanders in Europe to use common colors among his troops that did not privilege noble captains over common soldiers.  He developed his corps of engineers and had them build impressive systems of fortresses and trenches when besieging cites, and he produced the first army field hospital recorded in French history at the 1597 siege of Amiens.  He experimented with new technologies and, according to Christopher Duffy, may well have invented the petard.  Additionally, Henry was not only interested in taking advantage of the printing press to propagandize his quest for the throne, he also experimented with map-making. In 1590 he ordered Jacques Fougeu, a lodging-master with his army, to prepare maps that would aid the billeting of troops.  Fougeu produced over five hundred maps during his tenure with Henry IV, advancing the science of military cartography in the process. 
Even while acknowledging these innovations and achievements, military historians virtually always berate Henry IV for misuse of his battlefield successes and for personal recklessness. For example, Henry has been repeatedly criticized since the sixteenth century for a perceived failure to exploit his first major victory at the battle of Coutras in 1587. Numerous historians have criticized him for failing after defeating the duke of Joyeuse to take his army straightaway to meet up with a nearby force of 34,000 German and Swiss troops to march on Paris and force battle on Henry III.  Even Henry of Navarre's ally and close confident the baron of Rosny (later duke of Sully) wrote that the advantage of Coutras "floated away like smoke on the wind."  A more recent critic, Sir Charles Oman, one of England's most distinguished military historians in the first half of the twentieth century, used Coutras and other post-battle actions to label Henry "the most inconsequent and the most un-Napoleonic of generals."  The oft-repeated story with regard to Coutras goes that after the battle Henry galloped away in the direction of Béarn to lay the captured standards from his victory at the feet of his mistress, Corisande d'Andoins. 
Ronald S. Love rejects this assessment of Coutras in an article published in 1999, in which he underscores that one cannot separate Henry's military campaigns from his political goals. In this example Love supports an analysis of the aftermath of Coutras first expounded by Garrett Mattingly in 1959, although both historians are indebted to Father Hardouin de Beaumont de Péréfixe's seventeenth-century assessment of the battle.  Péréfixe, Mattingly, and Love all argue that Henry of Navarre had nothing to gain in 1587 by engaging Henry III in battle. Aside from the fact that Henry's army was tired and in need of rest, the army of Henry III actually blocked the Loire River at that time. Engaging the Valois king's army might actually have strengthened the Guise-led Catholic League, a situation that would have destroyed any hopes Navarre had for an eventual alliance with Henry III to defeat the League. Coutras occurred before the Day of the Barricades when Henry III fled Paris and was discredited in the eyes of his subjects. The strategy in place in 1587 thus mandated that it was more important for Henry of Navarre to appear to be a Calvinist war leader who was loyal to Henry III and intent on defeating the Guise threat to the realm.  Love argues, "But from Navarre's much broader political perspective, restoring the integrity of his campaign to win the Valois monarch was more important than securing his short-term military gains." 
Henry has also been criticized for his rash behavior as a soldier-king, for taking the lead in battle and so often putting himself in harm's way. His allies warned that the Protestant cause would collapse without him, and after 1589 his ministers frequently chastised him for his reckless pursuit of valor. More recently Edmund Dickerman and Anita Walker have echoed these sentiments by noting that Henry seemed oblivious to the fact that every risk he took compromised the future stability of France.  But Henry had good practical reasons for wanting to take the lead in battle. The nobles in Henry's army, in particular, needed frequent reminders that he was one of them and their leader. He certainly knew as well that many of his cavalrymen were not competent to command critical wings of his unique force. Additionally, where Henry was not personally involved, plans had a way of unraveling. At the battle of Ivry his own squadron began to break up when he was believed dead and only reassembled in the heat of battle at his desperate urging. Even after victory was achieved, post-battle jubilation was subdued until Henry returned from the field and removed his helmet to prove he was still alive.  Henry's victories were personal he was the cause for whom his troops fought. Christian Desplat states, "With Henry IV, the king of France was rebaptized as the first soldier of the realm the function of monarchy had thus returned to its original purpose."  Accepting the totality of his monarchical heritage, Henry as warrior became the embodiment of the state long before his grandson made the claim.  His kingly acts of clemency to survivors, rewards to victors, and gentle admonitions to those who failed to follow him were meaningless without his personal role in battle. In this light, Henry actually embodies what John Keegan calls "heroic leadership" and echoes the exemplary risk-taking and raw courage of Alexander the Great. 
Duplessis-Mornay and Henri IV
With the access to the throne of Henri IV in 1589, the task of de Mornay as councillor became extremely difficult. He was more and more frequently kept aside from royal initiatives taken against his advice. The King rallied the main Roman Catholic lords and promised to protect their religious stand. The pressure of the League and of Spain was such that the King announced his conversion to Roman Catholicism. De Mornay condemns this conversion but remained faithful to the King.
He took an active par in the negotiations concerning the Edict of Nantes. He did not take part in the wording of the Edict, but contributed to its establishment by pleading with the King in favour of the Protestants and calling for moderation. He did his utmost to overcome all difficulties.
He was regarded by the Protestants as their most obvious protector at the King’s councils, but his influence declined and he left the court in 1598. In 1600 he was definitively put aside from power, following what Hughes Daussy called « the Fontainebleau sacrifice » : his disastrous and humiliating confrontation concerning the Eucharist, with the bishop of Evreux, Jacques Du Perron whom the King openly supported.
From that time on his whole activity was concentrated upon Saumur to he was appointed governor in 1588 and where he founded the Academy of Protestant Theology in 1604.
He worked for the revival of Protestantism and founded the Academy of Protestant theology of Saumur in 1599.
What's on my reading table
The Defeat of the Spanish Armada.
Introduction by J. H. Elliott.
London: The Folio Society, 2002.
Originally published as: The Armada, Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1959 and London: Jonathan Cape, 1959.
Currently in-print as: The Armada, Mariner Books / Houghton Mifflin Company, 2005 [Publisher Google Books Amazon.com].
- . . . (1588). . (1560s-1648). or Dutch War of Independence (1568). (1562-1598). from ca. 1524 to 1697. . . . (1485-1603). (1558-1603). .
- : Did God really help the English defeat the Spanish Armada?. : How did England try to show Spain planned to invade in 1588?.
[Ch 1, Fotheringhay] : Mary Stuart aka Mary, Queen of Scots Babington Plot.
[Ch 2, London] : Elizabeth Tudor aka Elizabeth I of England.
[Ch 6, Rome] : Enrique de Guzmán, Count of Olivares William Allen Felice Peretti aka Pope Sixtus V.
[Ch 7, San Lorenzo de Escorial] : Philip Habsburg aka Philip II of Spain El Escorial.
[Ch 9, Cadiz Bay] : Cadiz Drake's 1587 expedition, "Singeing the King of Spain's Beard".
[Ch 11, Cape St Vincent and the Azores] : Azores Drake's 1587 expedition.
[Ch 13, Coutras] : Battle of Coutras, 20 October 1587 French Wars of Religion (1562-1598) Henry Bourbon aka Henry of Navarre, later Henry IV of France War of the Three Henrys (i.e., Henry Valois, Henry Bourbon, Henry Guise).
[Ch 14, France] : Michel de Montaigne (1533-1592).
Following his victory at Coutras, Henry of Navarre visited Montaigne at his home Montaigne then traveled to Paris and met with Henry III the topics of these meetings are unknown.
[Ch 15, Western Europe] : The year 1588 1580s in England.
For reasons of astrology and numerology the year 1588 was prophecied by Regiomontanus (1436-1476) to be one of momentous events that prophecy had been propagated over the following century and heightened anxieties among the credulous. In 1588 John Harvey published, probably, Mattingly speculates, with official encouragement, a pamphlet debunking the prophecies: A discoursiue probleme concerning prophesies.
[Ch 16, Greenwich and English Waters] : John Hawkins William Wynter Charles Howard aka Howard of Effingham, Lord High Admiral.
[Ch 17, Lisbon] : Álvaro de Bazán, Marquis of Santa Cruz Alonso Pérez de Guzmán, Duke of Medina Sidonia.
[Ch 18, Paris] : Day of the Barricades, 12 May 1588.
Mattingly does not mention the census ordered by Henry III for 12 May. But Mattingly does discuss that Henry III knew well beforehand who the Sixteen and their co-conspirators were, but Henry III failed to arrest them, which may have suppressed the revolt. Henry III's failure to control his opponents was the beginning of his end. The slippery scheming by Henry III's mother Catherine de' Medici, by assisting Henry Guise, clearly didn't help Henry III's longevity.
[Ch 19, Paris] : Day of the Barricades, 12 May 1588.
By weakening Henry III, Bernardino de Mendoza (Philip II's ambassador to France) and the Catholic League succeeded in implementing the French phase of Philip II's plan for invading England: France would not be able to assist England during a Spanish invasion, and France would not be able to undo the Spanish conquest of the southern territories of the Netherlands when the Duke of Parma's army left the Netherlands to invade England.
[Ch 20, Lisbon to Corunna] : Alonso Pérez de Guzmán, Duke of Medina Sidonia Spanish Armada: Planned invasion of England List of ships of the Spanish Armada Corunna.
Mattingly notes that in May, before leaving Lisbon, Medina Sidonia published a detailed description of the armada which was widely distributed in Europe Elizabeth's advisor William Cecil, Lord Burghley had a copy. The publication's title: La felicissima Armada.
[Ch 21, Plymouth, the Sleeve and Biscay] : Plymouth Sound Bay of Biscay. On 29 July Captain Thomas Fleming reports seeing Spanish ships near the Scilly Isles at the mouth of the English Channel.
[Ch 23, The Eddystone to Start Point, 31 July] : Start Point the first battle occured on Sunday 31 July Spanish Armada: First actions. (Note: The Wikipedia Spanish Armada article uses "old style" Julian calendar dates while Mattingly uses "new style" Gregorian calendar dates, which I have followed here. "Old style" date + 10 = "new style" date.)
[Ch 24, Start Point to Portland Bill, 31 July - 2 Aug] : Portland Bill.
[Ch 25, Portland Bill to Calais Roads, 2-6 Aug] : Calais. On Wednesday evening 3 Aug a change in English tactics: four squadrons led by Charles Howard, Francis Drake, John Hawkins and Martin Frobisher. An eastern fleet led by Henry Seymour had patrolled the waters around Dunkirk from where the English expected the Duke of Parma to emerge with an invasion army in coordination with the Spanish Armada. While that was indeed the Spanish plan, Parma never assembled a fleet that could transport his troops. Seymour's fleet joins the four other English squadrons.
[Ch 26, The Neighbourhood of Calais, 6-7 Aug] : The English launch fireships (not quite Hellburners) at the Spanish fleet anchored near Calais.
[Ch 27, Calais Road to Gravelines, 8 Aug] : The fireships scatter the Spanish Armada from their anchorage, but later that day they regroup. Spanish Armada: Battle of Gravelines the Spanish fleet suffers its greatest damage by English action.
[Ch 28, The Banks of Zeeland and the North Sea, 9-12 Aug] : The English almost herd the Spanish Armada into grounding itself in shallow waters but the wind shifts in the Spaniards favor and they escape into the North Sea.
[Ch 29, Tilbury, 18-19 Aug] : Tilbury. Elizabeth I reviews her army accompanied by Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester and Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex. Speech to the Troops at Tilbury (which contains the fondly remembered phrase: "I know I have the body of a weak, feeble woman but I have the heart and stomach of a king, and of a king of England too . . .").
[Ch 30, Western Europe, Aug & Sept] : Mattingly discusses how reports of the outcome of the English-Spanish sea war spread across Europe. The outcome will have significant political impacts for various groupings in Europe: nations, kingdoms, religions.
[Ch 31, From the North Sea, around Ireland to Spanish Ports] : Spanish Armada: Return to Spain Spanish Armada in Ireland. Great losses of ships and men occurred especially along the Irish coast to a fleet perilously weakened at Gravelines and by the effects on men's physical condition of two months at sea with inadequate food and water.
[Ch 32, Blois, 23 Dec] : Blois Château de Blois. Henry III finally dispatches the troublesome House of Guise the Catholic League gets their revenge in July 1589 Henry III is suceeded by Henry of Navarre, the first Bourbon king of France.
[Ch 33, El Escorial, New Year's Day 1589] : For Philip II war with England would continue the rest of his life and until, during the reigns of his successor and Elizabeth I's successor, peace was negotiated in 1604.
[Ch 34, Richmond, New Year's Day 1589] : Richmond Palace. Among the younger retainers present Mattingly notes Walter Raleigh and Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex.
[Epilogue, New York 1959] : Miguel de Cervantes (1547-1616). Mattingly writes:
Recall that this was written in 1958/1959 so I think it's safe to infer that Mattingly was also indirectly commenting on the contemporary standoff between Capitalism and Communism. (Wikipedia: 1958 1959 Cold War (1953).)