Francois De La Noue

Francois De La Noue

French military leader and philosopher
Country: France

Biography of Francois de La Noue

Francois de La Noue, also known as "Iron Hand," was a French military commander and philosopher. He was born into a prominent Breton family and received his education in Italy. In 1557, he converted to Calvinism and became a follower of the French Huguenot leader, Admiral Coligny, commanding the Protestant cavalry.

During the first religious war, La Noue participated in the Battle of Dreux in 1562. In 1567, he led a small group of 15 men and captured Orleans, and fought at the Battle of Saint-Denis. At Jarnac in 1569, where he commanded the rearguard, and later at Moncontour, he was taken prisoner but released without ransom. In June 1570, he defeated three Catholic battalions at Lusson. However, during the siege of Fontenay in June 1570, La Noue lost his hand, which he replaced with an iron prosthetic, earning him the nickname "Iron Hand."

He also participated in the Battle of Rynemants on August 1, 1578, where 20,000 Dutch patriots, led by Count Bossu, defeated 30,000 Spaniards under the command of Don Juan of Austria.

La Noue strongly opposed intervention in the affairs of Syria. He was fatally wounded during the siege of Lamballe, where his army was suppressing the rebellious Duke of Brittany, Mercœur.