Louis XIV's siege wars

The increasing role played in battle by the infantry in the 16th century continued into the 17th century, leading it to play a central role. The cavalry thus lost its central role in the army. Except for the wars at the end of his reign, the wars waged by Louis XIV were only sieges: including, inter alia, the War of Devolution (1667-1668), the Dutch War (1672-1678) and the Nine Years' War (1688-1697).

Siege warfare is a war of infantrymen, artillerymen and sappers in which the cavalry only plays a secondary role.

Colonel Dugué Mac Carthy, La cavalerie au temps des chevaux [Cavalry in the Time of Horses], éditions Pratiques Automobiles (EPA), 1989.

The result of the increase in the number of armies in the field and the growing importance of infantry and artillery fire, armies grew increasingly reliant on their supplies, i.e., the strongholds and citadels in which food, powder and ammunition were stored. This strategy is therefore the opposite of manoeuvre warfare: siege warfare is a war of infantrymen, artillerymen and sappers in which the cavalry only plays a secondary role.

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Jean-Pierre Béneytou, Histoire de la cavalerie française des origines à nos jours, Lavauzelle, 2010, 248p.

Colonel Dugué Mac Carthy, La cavalerie au temps des chevaux, éditions Pratiques Automobiles (EPA), 1989.