Franco-Spanish War (1635–1659)

The Franco-Spanish War (1635–1659) was a military conflict that was the result of French involvement in the Thirty Years' War. After the German allies of Sweden were forced to seek terms with the Holy Roman Empire, the French first minister, Cardinal Richelieu, declared war on Spain because French territory was surrounded by Habsburg territories. The conflict was a continuation of the aims of the War of the Mantuan Succession (1628–31) in which France invaded northern Italy to take possession of territory claimed by the Spanish Habsburgs. The Franco-Spanish War ended inconclusively in 1659 with the Treaty of the Pyrenees.[3][4][5][6][7][8]

Franco–Spanish War

La Bataille de Rocroi by François Joseph Heim.
Date19 May 1635 – 7 November 1659
(24 years, 5 months, 2 weeks and 5 days)
Northern, Eastern and Southern France, Northern Spain, the Spanish Netherlands, Italy, Atlantic Ocean, Mediterranean Sea
Result Treaty of the Pyrenees
Artois, Roussillon and Perpignan annexed by France
Commanders and leaders
Casualties and losses
300,000[2] Unknown


For years, the Kingdom of France, under the Valois and Bourbon dynasties, had been the rival of the House of Habsburg, whose two branches ruled the Holy Roman Empire and Spain, respectively. For much of the 16th and 17th centuries, France faced Habsburg territory on three sides: the Spanish Netherlands to the north, the Franche-Comté on its eastern border, and Spain to the south. The Habsburgs thus stood in the way of French territorial expansion, and France faced the possibility of invasion from multiple sides. France therefore sought to weaken Habsburg control over its possessions.

During the Thirty Years' War, in which various Protestant forces battled Imperial armies, France provided subsidies to the enemies of the Habsburgs. France generously financed the Swedish invasion of the Empire after 1630. After a period of extraordinary success, the Swedish-led Protestant forces were decisively defeated in 1634 by a combined Catholic Imperial-Spanish army in the Battle of Nördlingen, leading many of Sweden's allies to defect to the Imperial side. Although Sweden itself continued to fight, it was seriously weakened.

Seeking to ensure that its major ally remained in the war and ensure an outcome favourable to France, the First Minister of France, Cardinal Richelieu, decided in 1635 to involve his kingdom in the active fighting and declared war on Spain.

During the Thirty Years' War (1635–1648)

The open war with Spain started with a promising victory for the French at Les Avins in 1635 as part of a combined Franco-Dutch assault on the Spanish Netherlands. But after defeating the Franco-Dutch invasions, the Spanish forces under Cardinal-Infante Ferdinand of Austria hit back with devastating lightning campaigns in northern France the following year, leaving French forces reeling. The Spanish looked set to invade Paris just as their vast commitments forced them to suspend their offensive. The lull in the Spanish attacks gave the French a chance to regroup and force the Spanish back towards the northern border. They also sent forces through Lorraine into Alsace to cut the Spanish Road, the vital supply line connecting the Spanish Netherlands to Spain through the Mediterranean port of Genoa.

In 1640, internal political tensions caused by the burden of the Thirty Years' War led to simultaneous revolts in Catalonia and Portugal against the Spanish Habsburgs. Spain was now fighting two major wars of secession in addition to a great international conflict; the total collapse of the Spanish Empire appeared imminent. The institutions of Catalonia proclaimed the Catalan Republic allied with France in January 17, ostensibly to help the rebels. In 1643, the French defeated one of Spain's best armies at Rocroi, northern France; the myth of Spanish invincibility was at an end.

During the last decade of the Thirty Years' War, the Spanish forces in the Spanish Netherlands were sandwiched between French and Dutch forces. The French won a major victory at Lens, but Franco-Dutch forces could not decisively crush the embattled Army of Flanders. When the peace treaty was negotiated, France insisted upon Spain being excluded, but the demand was rejected by other parties to the talks. In the Peace of Westphalia, France gained territory in Alsace, thus interrupting the Spanish Road. At the signing of the treaty, Spain recognized the independence of the Dutch republic but gave up little else; indeed the Spanish had to be paid to leave positions they had seized on the Rhine.

In Italy, France fought with the more or less reluctant support of its client state Piedmont against the Spanish in the Duchy of Milan. Confusion was added from 1639–1642 by the Piedmontese Civil War. The siege of Turin in 1640 was a famous event in both this war and the Franco-Spanish conflict.[9] In 1646, a French fleet commanded by Jean Armand de Maillé-Brézé (18 October 1619 – 14 June 1646) was defeated in the Battle of Orbetello on the Tuscan coast, and the army it was sent to support was repulsed by Spain's Tuscan presidios; Milan remained firmly under Spanish dominance.

Later War (1648–1659)

Juan Jose de Austria
Don Juan José de Austria, Spanish general at Valenciennes, 1656

In 1648, a major revolt against royal authority, known as the Fronde, erupted in France. Civil war continued until 1653, when royal forces prevailed. At the conclusion of the Fronde, the whole country, weary of anarchy and disgusted with the nobles, came to look to the king's party as the party of order and settled government, and thus the Fronde prepared the way for the absolutism of Louis XIV.[10] The general war that had been initiated by the French nobles continued in Flanders, Catalonia and Italy, wherever a Spanish and a French garrison were face to face, and Condé, with the wreck of his army, openly and definitely entered the service of the king of Spain. This "Spanish Fronde" was almost purely a military affair and, except for a few outstanding incidents, dull to boot.[10] Along with this uprising, Spain was also fighting in Italy and still battling the revolt in Portugal and the French-backed Catalan Revolt. The Spanish focused their main efforts on recovering the Principality of Catalonia and various Italian territories for strategic reasons, which helped the Portuguese to consolidate their rebellion.

In Italy, the war along the border between Piedmont and the Spanish-held Duchy of Milan continued. Twice, in 1647–1649 and 1655–1659, France managed to open a second front against Milan by gaining the alliance of Francesco I d'Este, Duke of Modena, but this never achieved the desired result of breaking the Spanish defence. In the south, the Neapolitan revolt collapsed, and the French forces backing it were driven out by the Spanish army and naval forces in 1648. However, a Franco-Portuguese fleet captured Piombino and Porto Longone, which encouraged the Duke of Modena to become allied with the French Crown and gave the French a new base for operations against the Spanish in the Italian peninsula. Practically every French campaign in Italy during the war was intended to cut the Spanish Road, but all failed.[11]

The French, weakened by the Fronde, were unable to hold Catalonia against reconquest by the Spanish forces; the French cause was undermined when the Catalans discovered that the French were even more overbearing than their former Spanish Habsburg masters, and many switched their loyalty back to the chastened regime in Madrid. Taking advantage of French divisions, Spanish forces, under Archduke Leopold Wilhelm, sallied forth from the Netherlands on two occasions: the first met a spirited defence assisted by local peasantry; the second successfully seized several northern French forts in February–March 1652. Having lost support from the Catalans, weakened by internal squabbles, and threatened by the Spanish from the north once again, the French were obliged to withdraw most of their forces from south of the Pyrenees. The remnants of Catalan resistance and the depleted French forces in Barcelona surrendered to Spanish Habsburg forces in October 1652. The Spanish remained distracted by the Portuguese Restoration War, and although they carried the war north, across the Pyrenees into the old Catalan county of Roussillon, the fighting was desultory and the front stabilised, with the Pyrenees as the effective border.

By 1653, general exhaustion had reached the point that "neither invaders nor defenders were able to gather supplies to enable them to take the field until July.[10] At one moment, near Péronne, Condé had Turenne at a serious disadvantage, but he could not galvanize the Spanish general, Count Fuensaldaña, who was more solicitous to preserve his master's soldiers than to establish Condé as mayor of the palace to the King of France, and the armies drew apart again without fighting.[10] In 1654 the principal incident was the Siege and Relief of Arras. On the night of the August 24–August 25 the lines of circumvallation drawn round that place by the prince were brilliantly stormed by Turenne's army, and Condé won equal credit for his safe withdrawal of the besieging corps under cover of a series of bold cavalry charges led by himself, as usual, sword in hand.[10]

La Bataille des Dunes by Charles-Philippe Larivière.

In 1655, the French suffered another major blow in Italy with their defeat at Pavia, but the attempt of Spanish forces based in Milan to conquer Modena failed to break a skillful defense led by the Duke of Modena. Under Turenne, the French captured the fortresses of Landrecies and Saint-Ghislain.[10] In 1656, the prince of Condé revenged himself for the defeat at Arras by storming Turenne's circumvallation around Valenciennes (July 16), but Turenne drew off his forces in good order.[10]

Since England was already at war with Spain, an Anglo-French alliance against Spain was established when the Treaty of Paris was signed in March 1657. The campaign of 1657 was uneventful and is only memorable because 3,000 civil war hardened English infantry, sent by Cromwell in pursuance of his treaty of alliance with Mazarin, took part. The presence of the English contingent and its very definite purpose of making Dunkirk a new Calais, to be held perpetually by England, gave the next campaign a character of certainty and decision that had been entirely wanting in the latter stages of the war."[10]

Dunkirk was besieged promptly and in great force, and when Don Juan of Austria and Condé appeared with the relieving army from Veurne, Turenne advanced boldly to meet them. The Battle of the Dunes, fought on June 14, 1658, was the first real trial of strength since the Battle of the Faubourg St Antoine.[10] The battle resulted in an Anglo-French triumph over the forces of Spain, Condé and the English royalists. Dunkirk fell to French forces for the second time in the war and was handed over to England as had been promised. It would remain under English rule until 1662 when it was sold by Charles II to Louis XIV.

A last desultory campaign followed, which ended when the Spanish again repelled French advances in Italy and Catalonia. The last battle was fought at Camprodón, Catalonia, in 1659, resulting in a Spanish victory.


The Peace of the Pyrenees was signed on November 5, 1659. France gained the territories of Artois, Roussillon and smaller areas along its border with the Spanish Netherlands. In return, France agreed to end its support for the breakaway kingdom of Portugal in the Portuguese Restoration War. On January 27, 1660 the Prince de Condé asked and obtained at Aix-en-Provence the forgiveness of Louis XIV. The later careers of Turenne and Condé as great generals were as obedient subjects of their sovereign.



  1. ^ Lord Wentworth's Regiment served as part of the Spanish Army.
  2. ^ Clodfelter, M. Warfare and Armed Conflicts: A Statistical Encyclopedia of Casualty and Other Figures, 1492-2015, 4th ed. p. 40.
  3. ^ "The treaties of Westphalia and the Pyrenees were more obviously a compromise reflecting an existing balance of forces than a military diktat imposed by victorious powers". Parrott, David: Richelieu's Army: War, Government and Society in France, 1624–1642. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003. ISBN 0521792096, pp. 77–78. Parrott develops this idea in France's War against Habsburgs, 1624-1659: the Politics of Military Failure in García Hernan, Enrique; Maffi, Davide: Guerra y Sociedad en La Monarquía Hispánica: Politica, Estrategia y Cultura en la Europa Moderna (1500-1700), 2 vols; Madrid: Laberinto, 2006. ISBN 9788400084912, pp. 31-49. There, he labels France's war against Spain as "25 years of indecisive, over-ambitious and, on occasions, truly disastrous conflict".
  4. ^ "The Peace of the Pyrenees was a peace of equals. Spanish losses were not great, and France returned some territory and strongholds. With hindsight, historians have regarded the treaty as a symbol of the 'decline of Spain' and the 'ascendancy of France'; at that time, however, the Peace of the Pyrenees appeared a far from decisive veredict on the international hierarchy". Darby, Graham: Spain in the Seventeenth Century. London: Longman, 1995. ISBN 9780582072343, p. 66.
  5. ^ R.A. Stradling states that despite the French victory at the Battle of the Dunes, "The subsequent negotiations [...] resulted in a peace settlement in which both sides made concessions; the treaty of the Pyrenees was far from being the Ditkat commonly implied in the textbooks". He also cites Antonio Domínguez Ortiz's The Golden Age of Spain, 1516–1659 (1971) to reflect the stalemate: "It is certain that if in 1659 France had not moderated its demands the contest would have been continued interminably." Stradling, R.A.: Spain's Struggle For Europe, 1598-1668. London: The Hambledon Press, 1994. ISBN 9781852850890, p. 27.
  6. ^ "Spain had maintained her supremacy in Europe until 1659 and was the greatest imperial power for years after that. Although Spain economic and military power suffered an abrupt decline in the half century after the Peace of the Pyrenees, Spain was a major participant in the European coalitions against Louis XIV and in the peace congresses of Nymwegen (1678-79) and Ryswick (1697)". Levy, Jack S.: War in the Modern Great Power System: 1495-1975. Lexington, Kentucky: The University Press of Kentucky, 2015. ISBN 081316365X, p. 34.
  7. ^ "The other consequence was that many of the wars of this age had only inconclusive results [...] Spain and France settled for such a draw in 1659, with a virtually equal exchange of the main territories". Luard, Evan: War in International Society: A Study in International Sociology. London: Tauris, 1986, p. 50. ISBN 9781850430124
  8. ^ "The result was the inconclusive conflict which dragged through to 1659". Black, Jeremy: The Origins of War in Early Modern Europe. Edinburgh: J. Donald, 1987, p. 106. ISBN 9780859761680
  9. ^ Saluzzo, Alessandro de (1859). Histoire militaire du Piémont (in French). Turin.
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h i Wikisource Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Fronde, The" . Encyclopædia Britannica. 11 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 248.
  11. ^ Schneid, Frederick C.: The Projection and Limitations of Imperial Powers, 1618-1850. Brill: Leiden, 2012. ISBN 9004226710, p. 69
Action of 23 November 1650

The Action of 23 November 1650 was a minor naval battle between Spain and France, in which a small Spanish squadron of 6 galleys commanded by Don Francisco Fernández de la Cueva, Duke of Alburquerque, captured an entirety of a French squadron of galleons under the Baron de Ligny, near Cambrils, during the Franco-Spanish War (1635-1659). The French fleet consisted of a galleon of 500 tons and 30 cannons, 2 of 300 tons with 20 cannons, and the last of 300 tons and 16 cannons.The French fleet was sent filled with provisioneses to help the defenders in the Siege of Tortosa, but the squadron of the Duke of Albuquerque, knowing the enemy's plans, intercepted the French by surprise, achieving a complete victory. This case is almost unique in naval history, 6 galleys with 30 guns in total, completely defeated a squadron of four galleons with 86 guns in total, and whose crew had been reinforced by 500 musketeers. The Spaniards captured all the artillery (2 pieces of artillery of campaign and 4 mortars), ammunition carts, flags, equipment (over 1,000 musketry), and supplies from the enemy.King Philip IV of Spain personally congratulated the Duke of Albuquerque for the victory. On 4 December 1650, the French troops led by the Duke of Mercoeur finally capitulated to the Spanish forces commanded by the Marquis of Mortara at Tortosa.

Alexander von Bournonville

Alexander von Bournonville, Alexander de Bournonville, Alexander II Hyppolite, Prince of Bournonville and third Count of Hénin-Liétard (Brussels, 5 January 1616 – Pamplona, 20 August 1690) was a Flemish military man. He held the titles of Field Marshal of the Holy Roman Empire, Knight of the Order of the Golden Fleece, Viceroy of Catalonia (1678–1685) and Viceroy of Navarre (1686–1691).

He was the son of Alexander I de Bournonville, count of Henin, Order of the Golden Fleece (1585–1656) and Anne de Melun (1590–1666).

He married with María Ernestina of Arenberg, daughter of Philippe-Charles, 3rd Count of Arenberg and had 3 daughters and a son Alexander III de Bournonville (1662–1705), his successor.

He fought for the Holy Roman Empire in the Thirty Years' War and then for Spain in the Franco-Spanish War (1635–1659), where he distinguished himself in the Battle of Arras (1654) and the Battle of Valenciennes (1656).

He was awarded on 12 July 1658, in Madrid, by King Philip IV of Spain the title of Prince of Bournonville, now a place located in Pas-de-Calais near the frontier with Belgium.

In 1672, he fought as Imperial Field marshal in the Franco-Dutch War and was unable to defeat Vicomte de Turenne in the Battle of Entzheim, despite the Holy Roman Empire's numerical superiority.

In 1676 he entered again in Spanish service and was sent the next year to Messina to crush there the rebellion supported by France.

Bournonville later settled in Spain and became both Viceroy of Catalonia and Viceroy of Navarre.

Battle of Barcelona

The Naval battle of Barcelona was a naval engagement of the Franco-Habsburg War fought off Barcelona from 29 June to 3 July 1642 between a Spanish fleet commanded by Juan Alonso Idiáquez, Duke of Ciudad Real, and a French fleet under Jean Armand de Maillé-Brézé, Duc de Fronsac.

In a three-day battle, Brézé defeated the Spanish fleet, which was attempting to relieve some Spanish garrisons isolated along the Catalan coast, and forced the Duke of Ciudad Real to retreat to Majorca for repairs. As usual in most of the battles involving Maillé-Brézé, the French fleet made an extensive use of her fireships. This time, however, a large French vice-flagship, the Galion de Guise, fell victim to one of his own fireships and went down enveloped in flames. The victory, in any case, was for the French fleet, and its main long-term effect was the fall of Perpignan into the hands of the Franco-Catalan army.

Battle of Barcelona (disambiguation)

Battle of Barcelona may refer to

Battle of Barcelona, a naval battle during the War of the Two Peters in 1359.

Battle of Barcelona, a naval battle during the Franco-Spanish War (1635–1659) in 1642.

Landing at Barcelona (1704), an aborted landing taking place in 1704.

A nickname for the riots following the 1972 European Cup Winners Cup.

Battle of Bordeaux (1653)

The Battle of Bordeaux was a naval engagement of the Franco-Spanish War of 1635 fought on 20 October 1653 in the Gironde estuary. A Spanish fleet under Álvaro de Bazán, 3rd Marquis of Santa Cruz, sent to relieve Bordeaux, at that time held by the nobles rose up against Louis XIV during the Fronde, encountered a great concentration of French warships belonging to Duke of Vendome's army in the channel of Blaye and captured or destroyed most of it. Shortly after a landing was made by some 1,600 soldiers of the Spanish Tercios which sacked the village of Montagne-sur-Gironde. A similar attempt in the Island of Ré was rejected, so Santa Cruz, having accomplished his orders, returned to Spain.

Battle of Cádiz (1640)

The Battle of Cádiz (1640) was a naval battle in the Franco-Spanish War (1635-1659), which took place on July 21, 1640, when a French squadron under Jean Armand de Maillé-Brézé attacked a Spanish convoy coming from the Americas.

The attack occurred just in front of the coast of Cádiz.

Armand de Breze employed a hitherto unknown tactic to attack the Spanish convoy from both sides. The Spanish lost a galleon and a small vessel but the convoy completed its journey and delivered most of its cargoes including its silver bullion. French losses are unknown.

Battle of Orbetello

The Battle of Orbetello, also known as the Battle of Isola del Giglio, was a major naval engagement of the Franco-Spanish War of 1635. It was fought on 14 June 1646 off the Spanish-ruled town of Orbetello, on the coast of Tuscany, Italy, between a French fleet led by Admiral Armand de Maillé, Marquis of Brézé, and a Spanish fleet commanded by Miguel de Noronha, 4th Count of Linhares sent to break the blockade of Orbetello and relieve the town, besieged since 12 May by a French army under the command of Prince Thomas of Savoy. The Battle of Orbetello was tactically very unusual, since it was fought by sailing ships towed by galleys in a light breeze.After a hard but inconclusive fight during which Admiral Brézé was killed, the French fleet withdrew to Toulon leaving the sea to the Spanish, who decided not to pursue them to relieve Orbetello. The land forces disembarked by Count of Linhares a few days later, however, failed to dislodge the French lines, and the siege could be undertaken until 24 July, when another Spanish army led by the Marquis of Torrecuso and the Duke of Arcos, which had come from the Kingdom of Naples across the Papal States, defeated the besieging French troops, forcing them to retreat with heavy losses.

Battle of Pavia (disambiguation)

Battle of Pavia may refer to the following battles:

Battle of Pavia (271) - Alamanni invasion of the Roman Empire

Battle of Pavia (476) - Fall of the Western Roman Empire

Siege of Pavia (569–572) - Lombard invasion of Italy

Siege of Pavia (773–774) - Conquests of Charlemagne

Battle of Pavia (1431) - Wars in Lombardy

Battle of Pavia (1525) - Italian War of 1521

Battle of Pavia (1655) - Franco-Spanish War (1635-1659)

Battle of Tarragona (August 1641)

The Battle of Tarragona of August 1641 was a naval battle that took place between 20 – 25 August, 1641, between the Spanish and French fleets during the French stage of the Thirty Years' War. The Spanish fleet, led by the Duke of Fernandina and the Duke of Maqueda broke the French naval blockade over Tarragona and defeated the French fleet under Henri d'Escoubleau de Sourdis, forcing it to retreat. The city was also besieged by land since April by a Franco-Catalan army commanded by Philippe de La Mothe-Houdancourt. The Spanish success in driving Sourdis out of the area, together with the arrival of a relief force sent by land, forced the Franco-Catalan army to leave the siege, and to retreat to Valls, pursued by the Spanish army.The Spanish victory prevented the fall of Tarragona to the Franco-Catalan allies, for which Cardinal Richelieu deprived Sourdis of his office and replaced him by the young Jean Armand de Maillé-Brézé, his nephew. In spite of his success, the Duke of Fernandina was also dismissed from duty. The Count-Duke of Olivares was dissatisfied because the Duke of Fernandina failed to destroy the French fleet, and imprisoned him. The case was truly unusual: the two admirals, both the victor and the vanquished, had the same bitter reward. However, the ostracism of the French Admiral was final, while the Spanish Admiral was soon restored after the fall of Olivares in 1643, and even became part of the Council of the King of Spain.

Battle of Valenciennes (1656)

The Battle of Valenciennes (16 July 1656) was fought between the Spanish troops commanded by Don Juan José de Austria against the French troops under Marshal Henri de la Tour d'Auvergne, Vicomte de Turenne, in the outskirts of the town in the Spanish Netherlands, during the Franco-Spanish War. It was the worst of only a few defeats that the French Marshal Vicomte de Turenne suffered in his long career campaigning and is regarded as Spain's last great victory of the 17th century.

Battle of the Dunes (1658)

The Battle of the Dunes, also known as the Battle of Dunkirk, was fought on 14 June 1658 (Gregorian calendar). It was a victory of the French army and their Commonwealth of England allies, under Turenne, one of the great generals of his age, over the Spanish army and their English Royalist and French Fronde rebels, led by John of Austria the Younger and Louis II de Condé. The battle was part of the Franco-Spanish War and the concurrent Anglo-Spanish War, and was fought near Dunkirk (Dutch for 'Church in the dunes') a fortified port city on the coast of the English Channel in what was then the Southern Netherlands that belonged to Habsburg Spain. The French army had laid siege to Dunkirk and the Spanish army was attempting to raise the siege.

Capture of Fort Rocher

The Capture of Fort Rocher took place on 9 February 1654, during the Franco-Spanish War (1635–1659). Equipped with one siege battery, a Spanish expedition of 700 troops attacked the buccaneer stronghold of Tortuga, capturing the Fort de Rocher and 500 prisoners including 330 buccaneers and goods valued at approximately 160,000 pieces-of-eight. The Spanish burned the colony to the ground and slaughtered its inhabitants, leaving behind a fort manned by 150 soldiers. They possessed the island for about eighteen months, but on the approach of the expedition under Penn and Venerables were ordered by the Conde de Peñalva, Governor of Santo Domingo, to demolish the fortifications, bury the artillery and other arms, and retire to his aid in Hispaniola.


The Fronde (French pronunciation: ​[fʁɔ̃d]) was a series of civil wars in France between 1648 and 1653, occurring in the midst of the Franco-Spanish War, which had begun in 1635. King Louis XIV confronted the combined opposition of the princes, the nobility, the law courts (parlements), and most of the French people, and yet won out in the end. The dispute started when the government of France issued seven fiscal edicts, six of which were to increase taxation. The parlements pushed back and questioned the constitutionality of the King's actions and sought to check his powers.The Fronde was divided into two campaigns, the Parlementary Fronde and the Fronde of the Princes. The timing of the outbreak of the Parlementary Fronde, directly after the Peace of Westphalia (1648) that ended the Thirty Years War, was significant. The nuclei of the armed bands that terrorized parts of France under aristocratic leaders during this period had been hardened in a generation of war in Germany, where troops still tended to operate autonomously. Louis XIV, impressed as a young ruler with the experience of the Fronde, came to reorganize French fighting forces under a stricter hierarchy whose leaders ultimately could be made or unmade by the King. Cardinal Mazarin blundered into the crisis but came out well ahead at the end. The Fronde represented the final attempt of the French nobility to do battle with the king, and they were humiliated. In the long-term, the Fronde served to strengthen Royal authority, but weakened the economy. The Fronde facilitated the emergence of absolute monarchy.

Naval Battle of Tarragona (July 1641)

The Naval Battle of Tarragona fought between 4 and 6 July 1641, was a naval engagement of the Reapers' War in which a Spanish galley fleet led by the Duke of Fernandina attempted to break the French naval blockade over Tarragona, at that time besieged by land by the French and Catalan armies under the French Viceroy of Catalonia. The French blockading fleet was under command of Henri d'Escoubleau de Sourdis, Archbishop of Bordeaux, and consisted both of sailing and rowing vessels. On 4 July it was engaged by the Spanish galleys, of which some managed to enter the port of the town during a fierce action. In the end, a large number of Spanish galleys were abandoned when their crews panicked and fled to the beaches. On the night of 6 July Abraham Duquesne escorted 5 fireships to the mole of the harbor, where the Spanish galleys were abandoned, and set fire to them.

The worsening of the situation inside Tarragona after the battle, caused largely because the vessels that had entered the port remained blocked, adding hundreds of mouths to feed, compelled Philip IV of Spain to order the assembling of a second relief fleet. This time, the number of vessels gathered was much larger, after the joining of Fernandina's squadron with another one commanded by the Duke of Maqueda. Sourdis offered battle to them on 20 August, but was defeated and the blockade was lifted. Viceroy Philippe de La Mothe-Houdancourt had to face simultaneously a land relief, and was forced to abandon the siege, retreating to Valls. Even if the siege and the 2nd Battle were two clear setbacks for the French, some Spanish authors also claim that Fernandina won the first battle.

Siege of Dunkirk (1658)

The Siege of Dunkirk in 1658 was a military operation by the allied forces of France and Commonwealth England intended to take the fortified port city of Dunkirk, Spain's greatest privateer base, from the Spanish and their confederates: the English royalists and French Fronduers. Dunkirk (Dutch for 'Church in the dunes') was a strategic port on the southern coast of the English Channel in the Spanish Netherlands that had often been a point of contention previously and had changed hands a number of times. Privateers operating out of Dunkirk and other ports had cost England some 1,500 to 2,000 merchant ships in the past year. The French and their English Commonwealth allies were commanded by Marshal of France Turenne. The siege would last a month and featured numerous sorties by the garrison and a determined relief attempt by the Spanish army under the command of Don Juan of Austria and his confederate English royalists under Duke of York and rebels of the French Fronde under the Great Condé that resulted in the battle of the Dunes.

Siege of Fuenterrabía (1638)

The Siege of Fuenterrabía of 1638 took place in June – September 1638, between Spain and France during the Thirty Years' War and the Franco-Spanish War (1635-1659).

The French army commanded by Henri de Bourbon, Prince of Condé and Henri d'Escoubleau de Sourdis composed of 27,000 men and several warships besieged the city for two months, firing 16,000 shells into the walled city, leaving only 300 survivors, most of them women and children. The city was virtually destroyed, but nevertheless did not surrender.

On 7 September, the Spanish army led by Juan Alfonso Enríquez de Cabrera, 9th Admiral of Castile, relieved the city and defeated the French forces. The Spanish soldiers were successful, and the raising of the siege is celebrated annually on 8 September in a parade, known as Alarde.

After the French disaster of Fuenterrabía (Hondarribia), Henri d'Escoubleau de Sourdis attempted to blame the defeat on one of his generals, Bernard de La Valette, Duke d'Épernon, who had refused to lead the attack, believing that it would fail.

For the successful resistance, the city received the title of «Muy noble, muy leal, muy valerosa y muy siempre fiel».

Siege of Salses

The Siege of Salses (1639–1640) was a double siege during the Franco-Spanish War (1635-1659), starting with a French success, but ending with a Spanish victory.

Siege of Turin (1640)

For other siege of this city in 1706, see Battle of Turin.

The 1640 siege of Turin (22 May–20 September 1640) was a major action in two distinct wars: the Franco-Spanish War (1635–59) and the Piedmontese Civil War. When Thomas Francis, Prince of Carignano and his Piedmontese faction captured Turin, the French garrison supporting the Regent Christine Marie of France retired within the citadel and continued to resist. A Franco-Piedmontese army led by Henri de Lorraine, count of Harcourt and Henri de la Tour d'Auvergne, Vicomte de Turenne invested the forces under Prince Thomas within the city. Finally, a Spanish army under Diego Felipez de Guzmán, Marquis of Leganés appeared and encircled the French besiegers. In this triple siege, the Spanish army surrounded the French army which surrounded Prince Thomas' Piedmontese who surrounded the French controlled citadel. In the end the French prevailed; Prince Thomas surrendered on terms and was allowed to march his troops elsewhere, leaving Turin in French control. Turin is a major city in the northwest part of modern-day Italy.

Treaty of Paris (1657)

The Treaty of Paris signed in March 1657 allied the English Protectorate of Oliver Cromwell with King Louis XIV of France against King Philip IV of Spain, merging the Anglo-Spanish War (1654–1660) with the larger Franco-Spanish War (1635-1659). The treaty confirmed the growing rapprochement between France and the English Republican regime.

Until the mid-1650s, the French had been supporters of the Royalist exiles under Charles II, but the move towards an alliance with Cromwell led Charles to conclude the Treaty of Brussels with Spain in 1656.

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