Home Forums Renaissance The War of Religion in Brittany

This topic contains 9 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by Patrice Patrice 1 week, 2 days ago.

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  • #105208
    Patrice
    Patrice
    Participant

    A rather unusual subject: the “War of the League in Brittany” (1588-1598) during the last part of the French Wars of Religion.

    Basically there were two sides: the French royals (white scarf) allied with the English (yes it happened sometimes!) vs the Catholic League, which in Brittany was led by the Duke of Mercoeur (green scarf), allied with Spain (red scarf). And there were lots of brigands too.

    I have miniatures of this (very-well known) range since years. Till recently they were waiting on the lead pile, but now I need new pictures to update Argad! rules for this period and to add explanation about small-scale actions and duels in the rules, so at least these guys begin to see life and death on a gaming table!

    http://www.argad-bzh.fr/argad/en.html
    http://argad.forumculture.net/

    #105211
    Jim Jackaman
    Jim Jackaman
    Participant

    Very interesting!

    My wife is Breton from Quimperle but born in Vannes.

    All her family are from the bit in the middle around Ploermel.

    I’d be interested to know where in Brittany all the action occurred?

    #105227
    Patrice
    Patrice
    Participant

    Hi Jim.

    There were no large-sized battles in Brittany in this war, they happened elsewhere. There was not even a clear front line, there were patches of different allegiance as in medieval times, with lots of small skirmishes etc which can be inspiring for short scenarios or RPG adventures.

    It’s part of the Wars of Religion but there were not many Protestants in Britanny. The fight was between supporters of the new king Henri IV, and the “Catholic League” (which was strong in Brittany) and did not want him for king.

    You mention Vannes, the town supported the Catholic League, with help of a Spanish garrison; there was a big skirmish in the suburbs in 1590 but the Royalists were not strong enough to attack the town. It seems Quimperle had a Spanish garrison for a short time too.

    Brittany was a strategical place between Spain and England, so the Spanish sent troops in, built forts as in Port-Louis, and also near Brest in a place still called “Pointe des Espagnols” which was considered so threatening that it was attacked by French and English troops in 1594.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siege_of_Fort_Crozon

     

    http://www.argad-bzh.fr/argad/en.html
    http://argad.forumculture.net/

    #105231
    Jim Jackaman
    Jim Jackaman
    Participant

    Hi Patrice,

    I thought it rang a bell or two.

    Funnily enough I was there last year with my family;

    http://jimswargamesworkbench.blogspot.com/2017/08/fortifications-presquile-de-crozon.html

    And I was in Camaret Sur Mer this Summer as well.

    Funny old world.

    • This reply was modified 1 week, 3 days ago by Jim Jackaman Jim Jackaman.
    #105233
    Jim Jackaman
    Jim Jackaman
    Participant

    Brittany was a strategical place between Spain and England, so the Spanish sent troops in, built forts as in Port-Louis, and also near Brest in a place still called “Pointe des Espagnols” which was considered so threatening that it was attacked by French and English troops in 1594.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siege_of_Fort_Crozon

    There’s most definitely a siege wargame in there somewhere! It would be perfect for skirmish gaming too 

    #105249
    cmnash
    cmnash
    Participant

    There’s most definitely a siege wargame in there somewhere! It would be perfect for skirmish gaming too

    Well there goes butterfly Jim off on another project …  

    .

    #105250

    Steve Johnson
    Participant

    Well a whole new conflict I was unaware off and one that seems so full of gaming possibilities.

    #105260
    Jim Jackaman
    Jim Jackaman
    Participant

    Don’t panic Colin…I am fully in control of the ‘oooh shiny’ impulse.

    #105298
    hammurabi70
    hammurabi70
    Participant

    Pardon my ignorance.  Are these the standard colours for the participants?

    the French royals (white scarf) allied with the English (yes it happened sometimes!)

    the Catholic League, which in Brittany was led by the Duke of Mercoeur (green scarf),

    allied with Spain (red scarf)

    Were these the colours used at the time?  Are there any others of note?

    #105316
    Patrice
    Patrice
    Participant

    Well a whole new conflict I was unaware off and one that seems so full of gaming possibilities.

    Not much investment needed if you’ve already got figures for other conflicts of the Elizabethan period (Armada campaign, Border reivers, etc.) most of them would do.

    Thanks for the pictures. It’s a few years since I’ve visited the place.

    Um, such boards are a good idea, but when a Tourist Office gives this work to do to some employee who has certainly been well trained for communication but has never been told about historical research or even about asking an historian advice you often get mistakes in the text. The French besiegers were not Protestants (if some of them were it was not the main reason) most of them were Catholics and supported the new king Henri IV (himself a former protestant…) by loyalty to the crown and/or because they believed he would bring peace (which he eventually did) after years of endless bitter wars which had left the population and the armies exhausted.

    Pardon my ignorance. Are these the standard colours for the participants? the French royals (white scarf) allied with the English (yes it happened sometimes!) the Catholic League, which in Brittany was led by the Duke of Mercoeur (green scarf), allied with Spain (red scarf) Were these the colours used at the time? Are there any others of note?

    Scarves are often mentioned in the context as they were necessary to know friend from foe. White had been a scarf colour of the Protestant side in the Wars or Religion; when Henri IV became king he kept the colour, it became a symbol of the French Monarchy again (also remembering the medieval French white crosses). The Spanish mostly wore red scarves. In other parts of France the Catholic League wore red scarves as their Spanish allies, but in Brittany they wore green which was the colour of the House of Lorraine where their leader Mercoeur was from. I’m uncertain about the colour of English scarves in this time, they seem to vary but there are certainly more knowledgeable people on this forum…

    http://www.argad-bzh.fr/argad/en.html
    http://argad.forumculture.net/

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