Alba, Duke of

Parker, Geoffrey
January 1996
Reader's Companion to Military History;1996, p9
Fernando Alvarez de Toledo, third duke of Alba, was a famous European soldier who is a member of the prominent warrior dynasty of Castile. He had memorized the military treatise of Vegetius by age thirteen, and from 1532 he served his Hapsburg sovereigns in Hungary, Germany, North Africa, Italy, and the Netherlands. Alba's most celebrated military achievements took place in the early stages of the Dutch Revolt. At the age of seventy-three, Alvarez de Toledo commanded the army raised to enforce Spain's claim to Portugal, and he died at the height of his military reputation. A determined enemy of uniforms, Alvarez de Toledo habitually dressed from head to toe in bright blue when he led his troops on campaign.


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