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The Tercio Cárdenas was established in the fall of 1633 in Naples by Maestre de campo Don Pedro de Cárdenas. In May 1634 it was shipped to Savona together with other newly raised Neapolitan tercios and detached to the expeditionary army of Cardinal Infante Fernando. On its arrival in Germany in the summer it had only 950 men divided into 13 companies.

In September 1634 the T. Cárdenas fought at Nördlingen where it served mainly as reiforcement of the Albuch defenses. After the battle it was merged with the Tercio Toraldo and other (remnants of) tercios and integrated into the Ejército de Alsacia.