The Free Dictionary  
mailing list For webmasters
Welcome Guest Forum Search | Active Topics | Members

El Gran Capitán Options
Posted: Monday, November 6, 2017 12:00:00 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 3/7/2009
Posts: 25,997
Neurons: 77,169
Location: Inside Farlex computers
El Gran Capitán

Known to his contemporaries as "El Gran Capitán", or "the Great Captain," Gonzalo Fernández de Córdoba was a Spanish general who made Spain the world's preeminent military power. Born in 1453, de Córdoba was one of the founders of modern warfare. He formed the first modern standing army and was the first European general to organize the pursuit of defeated armies after a victory in order to destroy the retreating enemy. Historians refer to him as the father of what kind of warfare? More...
Posted: Tuesday, November 7, 2017 12:06:46 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 1/28/2015
Posts: 4,756
Neurons: 2,750,020
Location: Kolkata, Bengal, India
Article of the Day
El Gran Capitán
Known to his contemporaries as "El Gran Capitán", or "the Great Captain," Gonzalo Fernández de Córdoba was a Spanish general who made Spain the world's preeminent military power. Born in 1453, de Córdoba was one of the founders of modern warfare. He formed the first modern standing army and was the first European general to organize the pursuit of defeated armies after a victory in order to destroy the retreating enemy.
raghd muhi al-deen
Posted: Tuesday, November 7, 2017 3:23:05 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 4/19/2017
Posts: 1,067
Neurons: 92,454
Location: Baghdad, Mayorality of Baghdad, Iraq

Gonsalvo de Córdoba
Also found in: Encyclopedia.
Gonzalo Fernández de Córdoba
Gonzalo Fernández de Córdoba
Equestrian statue of Gonzalo de Córdoba by Mateo Inurria; erected in Córdoba in 1923.
Nickname El Gran Capitán ("The Great Captain")
Born 1 September 1453
Montilla, Spain
Died 2 December 1515
Córdoba, Spain
Allegiance Pendón heráldico de los Reyes Catolicos de 1492-1504.svg Spain
Years of service 1482–1504
Rank General

Granada War 1st Italian War

Atella (1496)

3rd Turkish-Venetian War

Kefalonia (1500)

2nd Italian War

Cerignola (1503)
Garigliano (1503)

Other work Viceroy of Naples (1504–1507)

Gonzalo Fernández de Córdoba also known as The Great Captain (or El Gran Capitán in Spanish), Duke of Terranova and Santangelo, Andria, Montalto and Sessa, or simply Gonzalo de Córdoba, Italian: Gonsalvo or Consalvo Ernandes di Cordova (1 September 1453 – 2 December 1515) was a Spanish general who fought in the times of the Conquest of Granada and the Italian Wars. He reorganized the emerging Spanish army and its tactics and came to be known as "the Father of Trench Warfare". He was admired by the generation of conquistadors that followed and many influential men fought under him such as the father of Francisco Pizarro.
Early life

He was born at Montilla, in what is now the province of Córdoba, a younger son of Pedro Fernández de Córdoba, Count of Aguilar, and his wife Elvira de Herrera.[1]

He and his older brother, Alonso, became orphans when they were very young. The counts of Aguilar carried on a hereditary feud with the rival house of Cabra, in spite of both family branches coming from the same family tree. As a cadet child within the family, he could not expect much on the way of inherited wealth or titles, having, as nearly always then, to try a church or a military career, the latter being more satisfactory to his wishes.

He was first attached to the household of Don Alfonso, the king's half brother, and upon his death devoted himself to Don Alfonso's sister, Isabel of Castile, who later, mediating a civil war, had proclaimed herself successor queen in 1474, disputing the right of her niece, Juana, to ascend the throne.

During the ensuing civil war between the followers of the daughter of deceased King Henry IV of Castile, Juana la Beltraneja, and the king's half sister Princess Isabella of Castile, there were also conflicts with Portugal as king Afonso V of Portugal sided during the war with his 13 year old niece, Juana. Córdoba fought under the grand master of the Order of Santiago, Alonso de Cárdenas. After the battle of Albuera, the grand master gave him special praise for his behavior.

Widowed at the age of 36, he married Luisa Manrique de Lara, one of the ladies in waiting to Queen Isabella I of Castile, on 14 February 1489. His only surviving daughter, Elvira Fernández de Córdoba y Manrique, would inherit all their titles upon his death in 1515. To keep her father's name, she married within the close family, someone from a long time antagonistic branch but bearing her own family name, "Fernández de Córdoba".

During the ten-year long conquest of Granada under the Catholic monarchs, he completed his apprenticeship under his brother Alonso, the grand master of Santiago, Alonso de Cárdenas, and the counts of Aguilar and of Tendilla, of whom he spoke always as his masters. It was a war of sieges and the defence of castles or towns, of skirmishes, and of ambushes in the defiles of the mountains. The skills of a military engineer and a guerilla fighter were equally employed. Córdoba's most distinguished feat was the defence of the advanced post of Íllora. Able to speak Berber Arabic, the language of the emirate, he was chosen as one of the officers to arrange the capitulation, and, with the peace of 1492, was rewarded with a grant of land in the town of Loja, near the city of Granada.
Italian Campaigns

Gonzalo de Córdoba was an important military commander during the Italian Wars. He held command in Italy twice and won the title of the Great Captain.
First Italian War
Italy political map around 1494 when king Frederick IV of Naples took power as the second inheriting son of Royal bastard king Ferdinand I of Naples.

The Italian Wars began when Charles VIII of France marched to Italy with 40,000 men to make good an Angevin dynastic claim to the Neapolitan throne. When, in 1495, the Catholic Monarchs decided to support King Ferrandino against Charles VIII of France, Gonzalo, then in his mid-forties, was chosen by the Queen's preferment to command the Spanish expedition of a little more than five thousand men.

Ordered to pit his light infantry and cavalry against the heavy French forces, his first major battle in Italy, at Seminara in 1495, ended in defeat at the hands of Bernard Stewart d'Aubigny. The following year, he captured the rebel county of Alvito for the King and avoiding a major pitched battle, used his highly mobile forces to drive the French back to Calabria.

During his first command he was mostly employed in Calabria in mountain warfare which bore much resemblance to his former experience in Granada. There was, however, a material difference in the enemy. The French forces under d'Aubigny consisted largely of Swiss mercenary pikemen, and of their own men-at-arms, the heavily armoured professional cavalry, the gendarmes. With his veterans of the Granadine war, foot soldiers armed with sword and buckler, or arquebuses and crossbows, and light cavalry, who possessed endurance unparalleled among the soldiers of the time, he could carry on a guerrilla-like warfare which wore down his opponents, who suffered far more than the Spaniards from the heat.

His experience at Seminara showed him that something more was wanted on the battlefield. The action was lost mainly because Ferdinand, disregarding the advice of Gonzalo, persisted in fighting a pitched battle with their more lightly equipped troops. In the open field, the loose formation and short swords of the Spanish infantry put them at a disadvantage against a charge of heavy cavalry and pikemen. Gonzalo therefore introduced a closer formation, and divided the Spanish infantry into the battle or main central body of pikemen, and the wings of shot, called a colunella - the original pike and shot formation.

The French were expelled by 1498 without another battle and he returned home.
Second Italian War

When the Great Captain reappeared in Italy he had first to perform the congenial task of driving the Turks out of Kefalonia, together with such condottieri as Pedro Navarro, helping the Venetian navy to reconquer the Castle of Saint Georges, 25 December 1500, killing there over 300 people including the Albanian born leader of the garrison Gisdar, to aid in the campaign against Frederick IV of Naples.

Córdoba was again on Italian soil in 1501. Ferdinand II of Aragón had entered into his apparently iniquitous compact with Louis XII of France for the spoliation and division of the kingdom of Naples: The Secret Treaty of Granada. Córdoba was chosen to command the Spanish part of the coalition.
El Gran Capitán

After Ferrandino of Naples had abdicated, the French and Spaniards engaged in a guerilla war while they negotiated the partition of the kingdom. The Great Captain now found himself with a much outnumbered army besieged in Barletta by the French. The war was divided into two phases very similar to one another. During the end of 1502 and the early part of 1503 the Spaniards were besieged in Barletta near the Ofanto on the shores of the Adriatic. Córdoba resolutely refused to be tempted into battle either by the taunts of the French or the discontent of his own soldiers. Meanwhile he employed the Aragonese partisans in the country, and flying expeditions of his own men, to harass the enemy's communications and distracted his men with a tournament between Italian knights under Ettore Fieramosca and French prisoners.

When he was reinforced, and the French committed the mistake of spreading out their forces to forage for supplies, he took the offensive and pounced on his enemies' supply depot in the Cerignola. There he took up a strong defensive position (he was still outnumbered three to one), threw up hasty field works and strengthened them with wired entanglements. The French made a headlong front attack, were repulsed, assailed in the flank, and routed in only half an hour by the combination of firepower and defensive measures. Later operations on the Garigliano against Ludovico II of Saluzzo were very similar, and led to the total expulsion of the French from the Kingdom of Naples.

with my pleasure
Posted: Tuesday, November 7, 2017 4:38:12 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 4/20/2016
Posts: 892
Neurons: 71,305
Location: South Dublin, Ireland
Who was Francesco Guicciardini?

Italian historian.

J'ai perdu mes amis en Afrique durant la dernière semaine de 2017
Jyrkkä Jätkä
Posted: Tuesday, November 7, 2017 7:36:59 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/21/2009
Posts: 42,112
Neurons: 427,548
Location: Helsinki, Southern Finland Province, Finland
KSPavan and Raqhd,

what's the meaning of your posts?

In the beginning there was nothing, which exploded.
Users browsing this topic

Forum Jump
You cannot post new topics in this forum.
You cannot reply to topics in this forum.
You cannot delete your posts in this forum.
You cannot edit your posts in this forum.
You cannot create polls in this forum.
You cannot vote in polls in this forum.

Main Forum RSS : RSS
Forum Terms and Guidelines | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2008-2018 Farlex, Inc. All rights reserved.