Jean-Louis Raduit de Souches

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Jean-Louis Raduit de Souches

Count Jean-Louis Raduit de Souches (La Rochelle France, August 16, 1608 – Jevišovice Moravia, August 12, 1682) was a Field Marshal of the Habsburg Imperial Army of French descent. He was the son of a Huguenot French nobleman, who left France after the Huguenot-war of 1629. Having fought against Louis XIII at the siege of La Rochelle, Souches went so serve into the Swedish Army during the Thirty Years' War, when he fought under Gustavus Adolphus and Johan Banér and rose to the rank of colonel.[1]

In 1642 Jean-Louis felt insulted by the Swedish general Torsten Stalhansk and challenged him to a duel. As regulations forbid to challenge a superior officer, Jean-Louis joined the Imperial Army to continue the feud and distinguished himself as the commander of Brno's defense against the overwhelming numerical superiority of Swedish forces in 1645.[1] After this success he was promotet to the rank of general and rewarded by previously confiscated estates in Moravia.

Between 1657 and 1660, he fought in the Second Northern War where he invaded Swedish Pomerania in 1659. In the Austro-Turkish War (1663-1664), he commanded the Habsburg Northern Army operating in Upper Hungary. In 1664 he conquered Nitra and Levice. On July 19, 1664 he won the important Battle of Levice against the Ottomans.

De Souches became Kammerherr, member of the Hofkriegsrat and Fieldmarshal-Lieutenant. In 1674 he fought the French in the Low Countries, but suffered unnecessary casualties in the Battle of Seneffe due to his wilfulness. He was recalled after the battle and not given any further commands. He died in 1682.


  1. ^ a b Guthrie, William P.: The Later Thirty Years War: From the Battle of Wittstock to the Treaty of Westphalia. Westport: Greenwood Press, 2003, ISBN 0313052484, p. 142.