Duke of Alva (Dictionary of World Biography: Renaissance)
Article abstract: One of the greatest European soldiers and diplomats of the 1500’s, Alva fought for and represented the Hapsburg emperor Charles V and his son King Philip II of Spain.
Fernando Álvarez de Toledo, the third duke of Alva (also spelled “Alba”), was descended from one of the most illustrious Spanish families. Alva’s father Garcia was killed in 1510 in Tunis in battle with the Moors. Alva’s grandfather Fadrique, the second duke of Alva, gave him a humanistic education and nurtured in him a great fascination with the martial arts. By 1534, Fernando (the “great duke” of Alva, as he has commonly been called), had caught the eye of the Hapsburg emperor Charles V of Austria (Charles I of Spain), who had visited him in that year at the ducal palace in Alva de Tormes near Salamanca. The Alva holdings consisted of some three thousand acres, a considerable block of western Castile.
In 1535, the duke was chosen for military service by the emperor and participated with him in battles in Tunis. In the same year, Charles decided that he would have to take action against French invasions in Italy. In the ensuing campaign, in which Alva had his first independent field command, he revealed a mastery of the art of war that left an indelible...
(The entire section is 1883 words.)
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Duke of Alva (Magill’s Guide to Military History)
Article abstract: Military significance: As chief minister to Philip II of Spain, Alva was sent to quell Calvinist uprisings in the Netherlands in 1567. With the iron-fisted ruthlessness that had earned him the nickname “Iron Duke,” Alva set up a dictatorship in the Netherlands that lasted until 1573.
The duke of Alva was a Spanish general and statesman born into one of the most distinguished noble families in Spain. At the age of fourteen, he earned notoriety as an officer in Emperor Charles V’s campaigns against France. After the Battle of Fuenterrabía in 1524, he was rewarded for his military discipline, strict Catholic piety, and loyalty to the Crown when Charles V named him governor of Fuenterrabía. By the time Alva inherited the family estate at the age of twenty, he had become a military commander known for his outstanding mastery of discipline, tactics, and logistics.
In 1535, Alva commanded part of Charles V’s Tunis campaign. In 1547, during the Schmalkaldic League at Mühlberg. In 1552, Alva took over command of the Spanish forces in Italy, and, when Philip II became king of Spain, Alva was named governor of Milan and commander of the imperial forces in Italy. During 1556-1559, he served as viceroy of Naples. During his time in Italy, he waged war against the papal...
(The entire section is 722 words.)