Spanish soldier known as The Iron Hand
Captaincy – Master
Strategy – Master
Alvaro de Salamanca’s career as a soldier seemed destined for mediocrity when he was posted to Mazalquivir on the Barbary Coast in 1607, but he devoted himself to his duties, keeping the local Berber tribes in order and conducting profitable cavalcades – raids – for slaves and booty among the infidels.
In 1611, Salamanca (b. 1589) was brought to Sicily in the service of Pedro Téllez-Girón, duque de Osuna. Salamanca served aboard Osuna’s galleys, particpating in the battle of Cape Corvo in 1613. Salamanca continued to serve Osuna until the latter’s recall in 1620 – it’s whispered by some that Salamanca betrayed Osuna to Olivares, valido of King Phillip IV, in exchange for command of a tercio in Flanders. After two years serving under Ambrogio Spinola, Salamanca returned to Italy in 1624 at the behest of the duque de Feria, governor of Milan, leading Spanish troops in the Valtelline against the French and Swiss. In 1625, Salamanca was named governor of the Forte de Fuentes, an important fortress in the north of Lombardy, by Feria.
Salamanca enjoys a nasty reputation for cruelty, ruthlessness, and crudity, earning him the sobriquet El Mano de Hierro – the Iron Hand. He is nonetheless respected for his considerable skill on the battlefield. Since 1624, Salamanca is a member of the Order of Santiago.