Tuesday 13 February 2024

30 Years War French army : Catalan regiment 1640-52

Hi guys,

I played a very small game a couple of weeks ago using Pike & Shotte rules with just a couple of units per side.  I think I will switch to Pike & Shotte Epic rules, in order to have mixed units of pike and musket , and not a unit of pikemen and 2 units of musketeers like in the original Pike & Shotte. 

As I am expanding my 30 Years War armies, I need at least 4 infantry units and 2-3 units of cavalry per side (Spanish and French). For the battles taking place in Spain itself, I added this unit to give some flavour to my French army.

Some years ago, I bought an English Civil War regiment, painted by Peter Walker ( here is his blog : http://peterw3169.blogspot.com/ ).

I removed all the minis from their previous bases, and started rebasing them. This time I decided to make a regiment or tercio of rebel Catalans fighting for France against the Spanish, following the Catalan uprising in 1640.

The context of this unit is a small rebel Catalan "army"  inside the French army that operated several years with mixed results. It's name was the "Batalló". Its size and importance declined throughout the conflict, and the number of Catalans joining the loyal/royalist forces under the Habsburgs increased.

The Catalan revolt of 1640, also known as the reapers war, the war had its roots in the discomfort generated in Catalan society by the presence of the royal army (made mostly of mercenaries and troops from different nationalities from and outside the Hispanic Monarchy) during the Franco-Spanish War between the Kingdom of France and the Monarchy of Spain as part of the Thirty Years' War, as well the opposition of Catalan institutions to the centralised policies and new war taxes of Spanish prime minister Count-Duke of Olivares.

Catalan authorities maintained contacts with France, in order to establish an alliance between the Principality of Catalonia and this country. By the pact of Ceret, French promised to help the Principality. In this way, the States-General presided by Pau Claris proclaimed the Catalan Republic under the protection of the French monarchy, on 17 January 1641, which lasted a week until 21 January 1641, when they declared the French king Louis XIII count of Barcelona. Catalans would discover very soon that their new French masters were even more centralists than the Habsburgs.

The threat of the French enemy establishing a powerful base south of the Pyrenees caused an immediate reaction from the Habsburg monarchy. The Habsburg government sent a large army of 26,000 men under Pedro Fajardo to crush the Catalan Revolt. On its way to Barcelona, the Spanish army retook several cities, executing hundreds of prisoners, and a rebel army of the Catalan Republic was defeated in Martorell, near Barcelona, on 23 January. 

In response the Catalans reinforced their efforts and the Franco-Catalan armies obtained an important military victory over the Spanish army in the Battle of Montjuïc on26 January 1641...

A Franco-Catalan army under Philippe de La Mothe-Houdancourt moved south and gained several victories against the Spanish until 1644, When the tide turned and the Spanish and Catalan royalists started the reconquer of the Principality from 1644 onwards, gaining important victories at Lerida in 1644, 46 and 47 against Condé, and Barcelona in 1652 or Camprodon in 1658.

Coming back to the miniatures, I re used the ECW painted minis,  added a commander, with black sash, It seems they wore black sashes and or plumes.

The miniature is from  Avanpost, painted in Foundry paints.

I also painted a standard bearer by Steve Barber miniatures, with the flag of the Rebel Tercio of Barcelona.

I downloaded the flag from this fantastic blog about XVI and XVII c. warfare: http://alabarda-pica-ymosquete.blogspot.com/2023/01/banderas-del-ejercito-franco-catalan-en.html



  1. Fantastic painting Jose! The Avanpost figures are wonderful sculpts.

    1. Thanks Codsticker! Yes they are, If they were a little bit bulkier or taller, they'd be perfect.