By Enric Martí

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Unofficial Scenarios for Thirty Years War Quad (Decision Games)

By Enric Martí

The Battle of the Dunes

14 June 1658
1.Historical Intro.

Quite a few authors identify this battle and not Rocroi as the beginning of the end of the supremacy of the Spanish Infantry in the European battlefields. Nevertheless, the main cause of the Spanish defeat was the poor performance of its commander, the young, lethargic and unimaginative Don Juan José de Austria.

The 27 May 1658 a combined Anglo-French army led by Turenne began the siege of Dunkirk. Don Juan came to the rescue without artillery and leaving behind some of its infantry, despite of the advises of the great general Condé, then serving the King of Spain.
At 0500 hours of the 14 June, Turenne’s army deployed to attack. The Spanish deployment couldn’t be more incompetent. Seeing the Spanish line of battle, Condé asked the Duke of Gloucester, another general serving the Spanish Crown, if he had ever seen a battle. “No”-was the answer of the Englishmen. “Then” remarked Condé “within half an hour you will see us losing one”.
2. The Battle.

The Allied attack began around 0800 hours, led by English infantry commanded by Turenne himself and supported by a considerable

artillery fire coming from the Allied positions and from the three English ships anchored near the shore.
The Spanish right flank under Gaspar Bonifacio was strongly entrenched in a hill, but was dislodged of its positions by the enemy assault. Then, the Allied cavalry under Castelnau charged across the beach taking advantage of the low tide thus outflanking the Spaniards that anchored its right flank on the sea.
Meanwhile, in the Spanish left, Condé, after suffering many casualties due to the enemy gunfire, launched up to three cavalry charges against the French right, but the French resisted and refused all Spanish attempts to break its formations.
The final result of the disaster were 1000 deaths and 4000 prisoners for the Spaniards, 400 casualties suffered by the Allied. Most of the Allied casualties came from the English contingent.

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