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As far as one can see, warfare is always defined by the leading army that at some point dominated a region. For instance in Europe in the XVII century one of the most famous and effective "army" was the Spanish Tercio. Watching the movie of Alatriste in the final scene, I have always wondered if the battle beneath the pikes was common during the period. This is somehow at odds because Hollywood movies always depict most of the time e.g. Romans, medieval battles without this technique. So my questions are:

  1. Was this common during an encounter between the armies?

  2. Does it have a particular "name"?

  3. Was there an appointed unit to specifically do this? (In the movie the "musketeers" are the guys going below.)

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    I can confirm it was common in the 16th century, there are primary sources about this happening in the Battle of Ravenna (1512) (Source: Anonymous: Relación de los sucesos de las armas de España en Italia, en los años de 1511 a 1512, con la jornada de Rávena) and in the battle of Scherwiller (1525), (Source: La Marck, R.: Mémoires du maréchal de Florange, dit le Jeune Adventureaux). – Carlos Martin Jan 21 at 10:12

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