Tercio departamental de Holanda

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Hierarchical Path: War of the Spanish Succession (Main Page) >> Armies >> Spanish Army (Bourbon) >> Tercio departamental de Holanda

Origin and History

The tercio was raised on 30 April 1580 in Eastern Castile, mostly in Zamora, and placed under the command of Don Francisco de Bobadilla. It initially counted some 3,000 men in 12 companies. In 1582 and 1583, the tercio took part in the conquest of the Azores Islands before returning to Cádiz in September 1583.

In 1585, the tercio sailed from Cádiz to escort the Duke of Savoy to Nice. It then disembark at Velletri near Rome and marched through Savoy to reach the Low Countries. Accordingly, the tercio was renamed Tercio departamental de Holanda. It took part in the siege of Antwerp and then garrisoned the Island of Bommel between the Meuse and the Waal rivers. At the beginning of September, the Dutch broke the dykes, flooding the area but bad weather saved the isolated garrison. The tercio served in the Low Countries until 1593. From 1594 to 1597, it took part in the operations in the French Province of Picardie under Count Mansfeld. In 1598, the tercio was transferred to the Rhine. In 1599, it was forced to retire to the Island of Bommel where it drove back a Dutch attack.

From 1600 to 1605, the tercio served in the Low Countries, besieging Ostend from 1601 to 22 September 1604. In 1605, the tercio was part of the Spanish army who crossed the Rhine.

In 1614, the tercio was part of the Spanish army who invaded the County of Jülich. It then returned to the Low Countries and took its quarters in Antwerp.

In 1621, when war broke out with the Dutch once more, the tercio joined the Spanish army who invaded the County of Jülich. In 1622, after the submission of Jülich, the tercio returned to Flanders to take its winter-quarters. It then took part in the expedition against Bergen op Zoom but was forced to return to Brabant to contain an invasion. In 1624 and 1625, it took part in the siege of Breda. From 1626 to 1632, it served in Brabant. In 1629, the tercio crossed the Issel and besieged Bois-le-Duc which was soon relieved. In 1632, it occupied Namur which it evacuated in 1633. In 1634, it advanced against Maastricht. In 1635, it retired on the Lines of Louvain and took its quarters around Liège. In 1638, the tercio operated in Artois. In 1639, it took part in the combat of Saint-Nicolas. In 1640, 5 companies of the tercio were ambushed near Hulst. In 1641, the tercio was at the siege of Arras. In 1642, it received fresh troops from Spain and took part in the siege of Lens, captured on 19 April. On 19 May 1643, the tercio took part in the Battle of Rocroi where it suffered heavy losses. In 1644, it vainly tried to relieve Gravelines and Ghent. From 1645 to 1648, the tercio fought the French in the Low Countries.

In 1649, the tercio was part of the Spanish who advanced up to the Oise river and then besieged Ypres. In 1650, it was at the siege of Guiche, in 1651 at the siege of Berg-Saint-Vinock. In 1652, the tercio joined the main Spanish army who captured Gravelines before laying siege to Dunkerque who surrendered on 16 August. In September 1653, it took part in the siege of Rocroi, who surrendered on 30 September, and took up its winter-quarters in Flanders. In 1654, it took part in the unsuccessful siege of Arras before retiring to Brabant. In 1656, it was at the sieges of Valenciennes and Condé. On May 14 1658, the tercio took part in the Battle of Dunkerque.

In 1667, the tercio was part of the Spanish army who defended the Low Countries against a French invasion.

In 1672, when Spain formed an alliance with the Dutch Republic against France in the Franco-Dutch War (1672–78), the tercio joined the Dutch army at Masstricht. In 1673, it took part in the capture of Naarden on 14 September. On 11 August 1674, it fought at the inconclusive Battle of Seneffe and then unsuccessfully besieged Oudenarde before retiring to Bruges and Bruxelles. In 1676, it took part in the recapture of Bouchain. On 11 June 1677, it fought in the Battle of Mont Cassel. In 1678, the tercio defended Ypres and, on 25 March, surrendered with the honours of war.

In 1689, during the Nine Years' War (1688–97), the tercio joined the army assembling in Flanders. On 1 July 1690, it fought in the Battle of Fleurus, retiring to Bruxelles after the defeat. In 1691, it retired in the fortified city of Mons which was immediately encircled and besieged by a French army. The tercio capitulated on 10 April under the condition that it would not take part to the operation for a full year. On 29 July 1693, it fought in the Battle of Neerwinden. In 1694, it joined the Dutch army who attacked Huy. In 1695, the tercio took part in the siege and capture of Namur (4 August).

During the War of the Spanish Succession, the tercio was under the command of:

  • in 1701: Don Juan Carlos de Guzman
  • in 1702: Don Franscisco Ibañez

For a brief period, the tercio was named “Valois” but on 20 April 1715, it was transformed into a regiment and became known as the Regimiento de Zamora.

Service during the War

In 1702, the tercio joined the French army and took part to the siege of Kihuyt.

In June 1703, the tercio was among the troops of the Franco-Spanish army assembling at the camp of Ekeren. On 30 June, it took part in the Battle of Ekeren near Antwerp before retiring on the lines of Brabant.

On 24 May 1706, the tercio fought in the Battle of Ramillies and then marched to Ostend where it capitulated on 6 July.

In 1710, the tercio was transferred to Spain. Its first battalion went to Catalonia and its second to Old Castile.

In 1713, the two battalions were reunited in Castile before marching to Alcántara and the tercio was stationed in the Province of Extremadura where it remained until the end of September 1716.

Uniform

Privates

Uniform circa 1702 - Copyright: Richard Couture
Uniform Details
Headgear
Musketeer black tricorne laced silver with a red cockade
Grenadier black tricorne laced silver with a red cockade
Neckstock white
Coat grey-white with red lining, pewter buttons on the right side and 1 pewter button on each side in the small of the back
Collar none
Shoulder Straps none
Lapels none
Pockets horizontal pockets, each with 3 pewter buttons
Cuffs red, each with 3 pewter buttons
Turnbacks none
Waistcoat red with pewter buttons
Breeches red
Stockings red fastened under the knee with a natural leather strap
Leather Equipement
Crossbelt natural leather (often whitened with pipe-clay) with a brass buckle
Waistbelt natural leather (often whitened with pipe-clay) with a brass buckle
Cartridge Box natural leather
Bayonet Scabbard n/a
Scabbard black with white metal fittings
Footwear black shoes with a brass buckle


Officers

Uniforms of officers differed from those of privates and NCOs by the finer material used. Their waistcoat, saddle cloth and housings were edged with a wide golden braid.

In the infantry, officers wore a silver or gold gorget and a spontoon.

The regulation of 30 December 1704 specified the distinctive of each military rank:

  • colonel: a baton with a gold knob
  • lieutenant-colonel: a baton with a silver knob
  • sargento mayor: a baton with a silver topped knob
  • captain: baton as worn under the reign of the Habsburg
  • lieutenant: baton as worn under the reign of the Habsburg
  • sub-lieutenant: baton with a horn band and a silver ring

NCOs

The regulation of 30 December 1704 specified the distinctive of each military rank:

  • sergeant : baton without knob and halberd
  • mariscal de logis (quartermaster): small white woolen epaulette
  • brigadier: swagger stick
  • corporal of squadron: swagger stick
  • second corporal of squadron (rank suppressed in 1706): swagger stick

Musicians

no information found yet

Colours

no information found yet

References

This article is mostly made of abridged and adapted excerpts from the following books which are now in the public domain:

  • Clonard, Conde de, Historia Orgánica de las Armas de Infantería y Caballería, vol. VIII, Madrid, 1851-62, pp. 343-388