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Old February 14th, 2018, 12:54 AM   #1

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Vauban's Opinion about the Siege Strategy of Turin


In 1706, Marshal Sebastien Le Prestre de Vauban, a master of siege techniques, volunteered his services for the French siege of Turin. He was turned down due to his age, but he still gave his sagely advice which the commander of the operation, Louis de la Feuillade decided to ignore.

Vauban was very vocal about La Feuillade's decision on how he was going to lay siege that he stated publicly that he would cut his own throat if the French succeeded in taking Turin on La Feuillade's chosen point of attack.

Needless to say, the siege ultimately failed. Just something interesting that I just happened to stumble on.
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Old February 14th, 2018, 01:23 AM   #2

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That's an episode which is obviously studied in all schools here in Piedmont [substantially the dinasty of Savoy had its first proper King as a consequence of that victory, he was Vittorio Amedeo II].

The great mistake that the French general made was to underestimate the underground defenses of the city: while de Vauban, knowing them well, suggested a lateral attack, la Feuillade attacked directly.

An aspect of the sieges in that age, which usually is not that known, is that they saw not a few underground actions [all the armies had ranks of "miners" who excavated tunnels ... the attackers to mine the walls, the defenders to intercept the attackers ...].

Turin had defended by a well planned and realized network of underground tunnels.

But le Feuillade made even an other mistake.

The underground network of tunnels of the defenders were causing serious troubles to the attackers. King Louis had ordered not to kill Amedeo and the French general allowed him to leave Turin. But Amedeo and his troops started a real guerrilla to divert the besieging forces. Le Feuillade ordered to general Chamarande to chased him ... and Amedeo [knowing the territory, of course] attracted him into the valleys of the Valdesi. The French army renounced.
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Old February 14th, 2018, 04:26 AM   #3

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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlpinLuke View Post
That's an episode which is obviously studied in all schools here in Piedmont [substantially the dinasty of Savoy had its first proper King as a consequence of that victory, he was Vittorio Amedeo II].

The great mistake that the French general made was to underestimate the underground defenses of the city: while de Vauban, knowing them well, suggested a lateral attack, la Feuillade attacked directly.

An aspect of the sieges in that age, which usually is not that known, is that they saw not a few underground actions [all the armies had ranks of "miners" who excavated tunnels ... the attackers to mine the walls, the defenders to intercept the attackers ...].

Turin had defended by a well planned and realized network of underground tunnels.

But le Feuillade made even an other mistake.

The underground network of tunnels of the defenders were causing serious troubles to the attackers. King Louis had ordered not to kill Amedeo and the French general allowed him to leave Turin. But Amedeo and his troops started a real guerrilla to divert the besieging forces. Le Feuillade ordered to general Chamarande to chased him ... and Amedeo [knowing the territory, of course] attracted him into the valleys of the Valdesi. The French army renounced.
Good stuff there. I've read about the siege on the internet, but the details are fairly scarce. But I just think his statement is really funny and brazen.
An old man with little patience with incompetence.
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