Historical and Commemorative Medals
Collection of Benjamin Weiss


HAMERANI, Giovanni: France, ca.1675, Bronze, 51 mm
Obv: Bust (l)    PR. HENR. A. TVR ARV. VIC. TVREN
Rev: Peace standing between Mars and Justice    VIRTVS HONOS AEQVATAS (Virtue, Honor and Equality)
Ref: Toderi & Vannel, 35;  Weiss BW149

Henri de La Tour of Auvergne, Prince Viscount of Turenne (1611-1675), was Marshall of France and one of the greatest French commanders. The second son of Henri, duc de Bouillon, and his second wife Elizabeth, he was brought up as a Protestant, but late in his life (1668) was converted to Roman Catholicism.  He began his military career in the Dutch army, serving in the Dutch war of independence (1625-1630) but soon entered French service, participating in The Thirty Years War. (The Thirty Years War was a complex series of conflicts fought mainly in Germany, arising out of the aspiration of Catholic and Protestant factions and developing into a wider, dynastic struggle for power in Europe. At its end Ferdinand and the Habsburgs lost control of Germany, Sweden was established as the dominant state in northern Europe while France replaced Spain as the greatest European power). Turenne showed his great capabilities in the Thirty Years War, distinguishing himself under Bernhard of Saxe-Weimar in the victory over the imperial forces at Breisach in 1638. In the successful battles of Freiburg im Breisgau (1644) and Noerdlingen (1645) he served with the brilliant commander Louis II de Bourbon, prince de Condé. Turenne, who had been made a marshal in 1643, was—with the Swede Lennart Torstensson—the dominant figure in the last years of the war.  His series of victories expedited the long negotiations leading to the Peace of Westphalia (1648).  In the third of the Dutch Wars he marched with King Louis XIV and Condé into Holland, but in1672 the French were checked before Amsterdam by the opening of the dikes. On the Rhine, Turenne defeated enemy troops at Sinzheim and ravaged the Palatinate in 1674, but in 1675 he was killed in battle against the troops of Raimondo Montecucculi. His emphasis on mobility and surprise and his patient calculation, matched by his personal courage and his popularity with his men, made him one of the important military figures of the period. (The Columbia Encyclopedia, 2001).

LINK to Biography of Henri de La Tour (from Wikipedia)