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Something else. Was the ratio of pikemen to arquebusiers really 1:1? I was under the impression that the c. 2:3 ratio introduced by the Swedish army during the reign of Gustavus Adolphus was one of the highest (pro-firearm) force ratios of the era? --Trithemius 16:50, Nov 6, 2004 (UTC)

I'm pretty sure that muskets weren't a long range weapon at all. They had far better striking power than an arquebus, but were far heavier and often considered a relative failure in comparison to the wheel-lock pistol that both destroyed cavalry and weighed far less, which allowed for their use by mounted soldiers - which were a very valuable asset.
What do you mean by musket? The arquebus is generally taken to be an older firearm, typically using matchlock, and in some cases, firelock, mechanisms to discharge the powder. The matchlock used by most of the combatants in the Thirty Years War required rests to aim and discharge; to my knowledge the term musket is generally applied to later matchlocks, and to the flintlocks that slowly replaced them, but it appears that contemporaries of Gustavus would have used the terms interchangably, the principal determinants of difference being age and weight. --Trithemius 10:09, 5 November 2005 (UTC)
I recommend look the link, there you can see the composition of the Tercios along their history and too the question about the arquebus and the muskets, this is very good for the fire weapons of that time

"However, the tercio continued to be used during the English Civil War." - Was this a true Spanish-style tercio, or just the use of the word tercio as a synonym for a brigade of linear battalions? J Heath 02:16, 20 March 2006 (UTC)

Sir, I removed my reference to the English Civil War. What I meant was that there was still a lot of similarity in the English ¨push the pike¨ type of fighting and the older style classic ¨tercio¨ style of fighting. After all it did evolve and didn´t suddenly disappear with Adolphos. But point taken in the confusion it may cause - (By the way I thank those warheads who created and improved this important article. cheers. (Im a bit thrown by this Spanish keyboard in Barcelona, adios)

The article say "absorbing three cavalry charges by the French, before the fourth finally broke their formation with the assistance of artillery."

Three combined charges of cavalry+infantry plus the support of the artillery, unsuccesfully. Any charge destroyed the spanish formation.


The book by P, Guthrie, 'The Later Thirty Years War' says there was three cavalry charges, the forth broke it with artillery. The statement "But the Spanish formed the core" is incorrect, Geoffrey Parker in his book 'The Army Of Flanders and the Spanish Road' has a table that shows the composition of the army of Flanders. It shows the spanish to be clearly in the minority. Im not sure about Italy though, i would suspect the tercios in Italy to be dominated by Italians and Spaniards. I dont have any statistics though for Italy. But interesting to note that Parma's later conquest in flanders was achieved with no Spanish troops at all. In March 1623 there were more british people in the army of Flanders than Spaniards

Sorry man for this time. According with spanish works based on documents of the time

the tercios wasn't destroyed by any attack of the french, but they surrendered.

About the composition of the of the army, althought the spanish was a minority they were in fact the core around the other units was organizated, with the spanish tercios (totally composed of spanish, by law) assuming the main task of the armies. This is explained by the own Geoffrey Parker.


So many Citations ?[edit]

What is needed is not citations all over this article but several scholarly sources for those who want to follow this subject up.

  • The complaint is that the statements made here are unsubstantiated, not that each fact needs a separate citation. It could be the same scholarly source for all of them, if that was adequate. Average Earthman 15:28, 25 December 2006 (UTC)

I'm pleased as hell that no one has irresponsibily deleted the statements, as has happend on many other pages. In this case, maybe a single source is needed. That said, the information here is, in general, extraordinarily well know amongst the historical community. 03:44, 26 January 2007 (UTC)

  • The article does not seem so well writen though, seems like a romantic version of the tactic.

Originaged in Phalanx Formation[edit]

If anyone cares, the tercio can be called a development of the original Babylonian phalanx (commonly credited to Macedon). Trekphiler 01:06, 28 February 2007 (UTC)

I was just wondering, thanks. I think this should go in the article. It is mentioned in the phalanx article. I took the liberty of changing the title of this section. Timtak (talk) 07:20, 11 March 2008 (UTC)


i above made the statement that the spaniards were a minority in the army, that is correct but thats only in reference to the terecios in the netherlands. i got my source from 'Parker G, The Army of Flanders, Cambridge'. inndeed the Tercios in flanders was composed mainly of native netherlanders and Germans.

In regards to the battle of Rocroi, yes it did take 4 charges to break the spanish tercios i got my source from a book - Guthrie, not a internet source which is highly unreliable. The corrections made up on the page now are incorrect, i dont like writing up pages from books to support my argument but i will quote some information from the books i have later (dont have time at the moment). also can someone say why it says in my history i have edited those webpages? i havent edited any of those webpages! someone stole my ip?

—The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 07:02, 28 April 2007 (UTC).

1. If you read carefully to Parker you will see that althought the number of spanish was a minority he consider (as the people of the XVI century) that the spanish units was the core of the army in the sense that they were the elyte troops and the men who was in charge of the main missions of the army of Flanders, with the valoons and the germans as backbone or as garrison with the Flanders's commanders always suspicious about they.

2. I put before the link (i was Fco) which is based on bibliographical works not net works. The spanish historians claim that, based on the accounts of the time Rocroi wasn't fought as say the french.

I propose if you aren't confident with this claim, to show both versions of the battle.

Regards --Bentaguayre 09:59, 16 May 2007 (UTC)

"Several centuries"?[edit]

I don't see how the tercio can be said to have dominated field warfare for "several centuries," as the lead formerly said. The article has the tercio being introduced by Gonzalo de Cordoba, presumably in 1503 during his victories at Cerignola, the Garigliano, etc. While the tercio may have endured after Rocroi, I see no cause for saying that it dominated warfare after that. So the tercio could be said to be dominant for about 140 years, give or take a little. Nothing to sneeze at, but hardly justification for giving it a reign of "several centuries." Pirate Dan (talk) 19:51, 20 April 2009 (UTC)

Mark Sittlich[edit]

Is Mark a real person or a misunderstood German phrase? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:30, 21 April 2011 (UTC)

ethnic composition of the tercios[edit]

Hello all,

The article right now states that:

That army was further supplemented by "an army of different nations", a reference to the fact that many of the troops were mercenaries from Germany (Landsknecht), Italian and Walloon territories of the Spanish Netherlands, as was characteristic of European warfare before the levies of the Napoleonic Wars. In the 16th and 17th centuries however, the core of Spanish armies were formed by Spanish subjects, who were frequently praised by others for their cohesiveness, superiority in discipline and overall professionalism.[4]

Now, I recall reading that the Spaniards in the narrow ethnic sense formed a minority of the army, even in the elite units. The book from which I took this notion is Henry Kamen's "Spain's Roan to Empire" but I don't have it anywhere near. Does anyone have readily available sources in this?

Tee passage above is not really clear, actually, so I think it merits a rewrite. But in what way? I guess we need to get the facts right before a rewrite.

Bazuz (talk) 16:29, 24 April 2012 (UTC)

The Spanish Tercios were truelly made up of Spanish soldiers only. Beside them, tercios of Italians and Walloons fought, and also German companies. You can check this in Parker, P.23-28

--Bentaguayre (talk) 19:00, 1 January 2013 (UTC)

People are confusing the Spanish tercios with the Spanish armies. The Spanish armies had soldiers and generals from many countries. The tercios were units in these armies and to work better because of language issues there were Spanish tercios, Flemish tercios, Italian, etc.

"instead of paddles for a campaign"???[edit]

This is in the very beginning of the article. What does this mean??? I did some searching and didn't find a definition that suits. Maybe this should be reworded. I'd be happy to make a suggestion, but I have no idea what the intent is. Gnuarm (talk) 00:47, 4 October 2014 (UTC)