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Le Journal de Charles V de Lorraine comme source pour l'histoire de la reconquête de la Hongrie sur les Turcs

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Abstract

Charles V Leopold, duke of Lorraine (1643-1690) military and political career was strongly attached to the early modern history of Hungary, because of his important role played as commander in chief during the Great Turkish War of 1683-1699. The aim of this study is to explain the role played by Charles V of Lorraine in the reconquest of Hungary and in the formation of a new relationship between Hungary and the Habsburg Empire. Thanks to this Journal, we can get a much more detailed overview about the military and political career of Charles V, Duke of Lorraine, one of the main actors of the liberation of Hungary from the Turkish occupation. It allows us to have a better understanding of the specific activities of the Duke, such as the organisation and command of the army, as well as the political role of the Duke as a military officer. Finally, we focus on the issue whether he could benefit at the occidental theatre of wars from his experiences obtained in Hungary by the application of the small war.

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This paper analyzes the military thought of Duke Charles V of Lorraine (1643-1690) and its sources. He was one of the greatest captains of the 17th cen- tury, he fought the French and Ottoman armies on both fronts of the Habsburg Monarchy and achieved considerable victories. The majority of the sources of his campaigns are conserved in Vienna in the collections of the Maison de Lorraine of the Austrian National Archives (Haus-, Hof- und Staatsarchiv, Lothringisches Hausarchiv), but we can find others in different other European archives (Paris, Budapest etc.). After a brief presentation of the biography of Charles of Lorraine, this work turns to the origins of his military thought. Then, his diaries of cam- paigns are presented and analyzed by subjects. Finally, the study examines the military reforms proposed in the posthumous work Testament politique attributed to the Duke of Lorraine. Historical sources describing his decision-making con- firm the idea that Charles of Lorraine was one of the most significant strategists of his time.
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