A mixed infantry formation made up of about 3,000 men armed with pikes, swords and handguns, the innovative and influential tercio or 'Spanish square' was the basic combat unit of the armies of Spain throughout much of the 16th and 17th centuries. Arguably the first permanent tactical formation seen in Europe since the Roman cohort, the tercio was the forerunner of modern formations such as the battalion and regiment. The variety of different weapons fielded in the tercio meant the Spanish infantry could resist opposing cavalry forces while overcoming every kind of enemy infantry deployed against them. Featuring full-colour artwork and photographs of rare items held at the Spanish Army Museum, this study covers the whole period during which the tercios were active, opening with the third Italian war between the forces of France and the Holy Roman Emperor and concluding with the final transformation of the Spanish tercios into regiments in 1704.
"This 48-page paperback succinctly traces the history of the tercio from its antecedents in early 16th-century campaigns in Italy to its decline and ultimate realignment into a regimental system in 1704. Readers will learn how Emperor Charles V formed the first tercios; their recruitment, training, organization and logistics; and the soldiers’ duties and ranks. Full-color illustrations are combined with black and white photographs of artifacts from the Spanish Army Museum to show the foot soldiers’ armor, weapons, clothing and flags while illuminating their tactics." - Toy Soldier & Model Figure (January 2013)
The Spanish Tercios 1536-1704 by Ignacio J.N. López