Montecuculi, Raimondo, Count Of
prince imperial turenne
MONTECUCULI, RAIMONDO, COUNT OF (1608-1680), a prince of the empire and duke of Melfi, a famous Austrian general, was born at the castle of Montecuculi in Modena, in 1608. At the age of nineteen he began his career in a regiment of infantry under his uncle, Ernest, count of Montecuculi ; and during the Thirty Years' War lie found many opportunities of displaying his military genius in the imperial service. In 1631, having been severely wounded, he was made prisoner while retreating after the battle of Breitenfeld. Soon after his release he was promoted to the rank of major ; and he distinguished himself at the siege of Niirdlingen in 1634, and at the storming of Kaiserslautern in 1635. As colonel, he took part in much hard fighting in Pomerania and in Bohemia ; and in 1639 at Melnik, where he tried to prevent the Swedes front crossing the Elbe, he was taken prisoner a second time, being compelled on this occasion to spend more than two years in Stettin. The time was not lost, for he devoted it to a thorough study of military science. In 1642 he was again at work in the imperial army, and for eminent services in Silesia he was made a major-general of cavalry. After a brief visit to Italy, during which he entered the service of the duke of Modena, he returned to Germany, and became councillor of war in 1644. In the following year ho supported the archduke Leopold in a campaign against Prince Rakoczy of Transylvania, resisted Marshal Turenne in the Rhine country, and fought with the Swedes in Silesia and Bohemia. The victory at Triebel in Silesia, in 1647, was due chiefly to him, and he was rewarded by being raised to the rank of general of cavalry. After the peace of Westphalia in 1648 he occupied himself for seine time with the work of the council of war ; and in 1654 he undertook diplomatic missions to Christina, queen of Sweden, and to Cromwell. In 1657 he commanded an expedition against Prince Rakoczy and the Swedes, who had attacked the king of Poland, and Rakoezy was soon forced to withdraw from the Swedish alliance, and to accept terms of peace. As field-marshal he was sent to the aid of Denmark against Sweden ; and this war he conducted so successfully that the peace of Oliva was concluded in 1660. In 1663 he resigned the command of an army with which, for about three years, he had been opposing the Turks ; but in 1664 he was again made commander-in-chief, and in the same year he defeated the Turks so decisively near the abbey of St Gotthard that they concluded an armistice for twenty years. He had to deal with more formidable enemies in 1672, when, the emperor and the imperial diet having resolved to uphold the Dutch against Louis XIV., Montecuculi, who had been serving as president of the council of war and director of artillery, was appointed commander of the imperial forces. He took Bonn, and, although closely watched by Turenne, contrived to effect a junction with the prince of Orange, thereby overthrowing all the calculations of the French. When the elector of Brandenburg received the supreme command in 1674 Montecuculi withdrew from the army ; but in 1675, being restored to his former position, he resumed operations against Turenne. The two commanders manoeuvred so brilliantly that for about four months neither could do the other much injury; but, Turenne having been killed by a cannon-ball on the 27th of July 1675, Montecuculi pursued the French into Alsace, and besieged Hagenau and Zabern, retiring from Alsace only when he found himself confronted by Conde. Montecueuli's last achievement in war was the siege of Philippsburg. During the rest of his life he was president of the council of war. In 1679 the emperor Leopold made him a prince of the empire, and shortly afterwards he received from the king of Naples the dukedom of Melfi. Having accompanied the emperor to Linz during the pestilence, he was injured by the fall of a beam when entering the castle, and died at Linz on the 16th of October 1680.
Montecuculi was an ardent lover of science, and wrote several important military works. The Opere complete di Nontecuculi were published in two volumes, at Milan in 1807, at Turin in 1821 ; and there is a German translation (1736) of his Memorie della guerra ed istruzioni d'un generale.
See Campori, Raimondo Montecuculi, le sua famiglia e i suoi tempi (1877).