The Battle of Rocroi of 19 May 1643 resulted in the victory of a French army under the Duc d'Enghien against the Spanish Army under General Francisco de Melo only five days after the accession of Louis XIV of France to the throne of France, late in the Thirty Years' War. The battle is considered by many to be the turning point of the perceived invincibility of the Spanish tercio. After Rocroi, the Spanish abandoned the tercio system and began to use linear Dutch-style battalions like the French.
From 1618 on the Thirty Years' War had been raging in Germany between the Spanish Habsburgs under Philip IV of Spain and Protestant powers. Fearing strengthened Hapsburg presence on its borders, France had in 1635 declared war in support of the Protestant Anti-Hapsburg States, despite being a stern catholic power and having suppressed the Huguenot rebellions at home. An opening invasion of the Spanish Netherlands had ended in failure, with the French retreating back to their borders for the next several years.
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