Book review: De Pavía a Rocroi

de pavía a rocroi los tercios españoles julio albi

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Review De Pavía a Rocroi

De Pavía a Rocroi is a Spanish book written in 1999 by Julio Albi de la Cuesta that has been recently republished by editorial Desperta Ferro. It’s a +400 pages book written in Spanish that tells the story of the legendary infantry units of Spain, the Tercios. The Tercios were a type of infantry organization that sought a parallel rise and fall with the Spanish Empire, and that certainly contributed to the period of Spanish military dominance. It’s not only focused on the military history of the Tercios, it also tells the kind of daily life that the soldiers of the Tercios lived and the spirit and discipline of this infantry.

This is what buyers say on Amazon.es:

“Fantastic book with everything related to the Tercios. Very good edition with an excellent carthography, and the author is very divulgative and pleasant. The only thing is that you should read beforehand something more basic like Esparza and Parker. From my point of view, it’s the best book about the Tercios, no doubt.” – Marcos75

“This book is wonderful, it describes perfectly how the Tercios were managed, plus the causes and consequences of their successes and failures.” – Iván A. Recio Cabrera

This is what users of Goodreads say:

“Anyone who wants to have a good idea of what the Spanish Tercios supposed (origins, organization, endemic problems, customs, evolution, decadence) should go into these pages. However, the interest must be genuine. The detailed descriptions of battles and number of contenders, along the military jargon, demand effort from the reader.

Those who seek an outrageous panegyric truffled with epic, exaggeration and patriotic nostalgia will find nothing to satisfy their hunger. The author deals with the phenomenon with objectivity and exhaustive encouragement, far from exaltation and mythology.” – César

“Great work of Spanish military literature. Despite having already heard his virtues and having high expectations, Julio Albi does not disappoint the least. With an exquisite Spanish, the author manages to make a study, at times surprisingly meticulous, of two centuries of practically continuous combat.

We could divide his work into two parts: the first half aimed at explaining the organization of the troops organically and internally. And a second, in which we delight in learning what were the Tercios in combat: both on land and by sea, without forgetting their great work in the trenches of Europe.

Essential work for those who want to know about what was, for two centuries, the best infantry of its time.” – Pablo de Angulo R-M

Finally, this is what Archivohistoria.com says about this book:

“Experts and ignorants in the field will be satisfied with this work, a classic already, that together with “The army of Flanders and the Spanish road” by Geoffrey Parker and “The Tercios” by René Quatrefages completes the perfect trilogy to know the rise and decline of the Tercios. An essential essay for lovers of military history that returns to the bookstores by the hand of Desperta Ferro.”

Summary of reviews: all are very positive, and I think it’s important to highlight that it’s not a work with a nationalist bias, it’s an objective work aimed to teach every aspect of the Tercios and their history. Very recommended to learn how Spain dominated militarily Europe and the New World.

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