Battle of Mingolsheim
Early in the spring of 1621, a mercenary force under the command of Georg Friedrich, Margrave of Baden-Durlach, crossed the Rhine River from Alsace to junction with a force under Ernst von Mansfeld. Tilly met the Protestant army at its rear guard and drove upon it and this attack was successful until he engaged the main Protestant body, and was rebuffed. Tilly retreated and bypassed the stationary Protestant army to link up with de Córdoba that month, after the battle, Mansfeld found himself at a distinct disadvantage until the armies of Christian of Brunswick could arrive from the north. The two armies would in the month at the Battle of Wimpfen
Siege of Heidelberg (1622)
On 16 September the city of Heidelberg was taken by storm, and the Heidelberg Castle surrendered three days to the Imperial and Spanish forces. In 1620 the Spanish commander Don Ambrosio Spinola adopted Fabian tactics in the hope of wearing the enemy out, until the approach of winter compelled the English, Sir Horace Vere divided his troops among the three most important strongholds of the Palatinate. He himself occupied Mannheim, Sir Gerard Herbert he stationed in Heidelberg Castle, while Sir John Burroughs undertook to defend Frankenthal, early in 1621 the Protestant Union was broken up, and the English garrisons had to give up all hope of relief. The English governors were not closely pressed that year, the English garrisons were now surrounded by a force of Imperialists and Spaniards under Tilly and Córdoba. Vere resolved to hold out, though he knew that the position was hopeless. The combined Protestant forces, now numbering 25,000 strong, Heidelberg came under siege by the Imperial-Spanish forces and despite an 11-week resistance, fell on 19 September 1622.
The English commander of the Protestant forces, Sir Gerard Herbert, was wounded during the siege. The progress of the Spanish was unstoppable, and after the fall of Heidelberg, and the unsuccessful Protestant defense at Mannheim, the defensive Anglo-Protestant forces under Sir Horace Vere, after a futile struggle, were defeated and capitulated. Electorate of the Palatinate Battle of Stadtlohn Rudolf Schäfer, Höchst am Main, Frankfurt am Main 1981, Frankfurter Sparkasse 1822. Rudolf Schäfer, Chronik von Höchst am Main, Frankfurt 1980, Frankfurter Sparkasse von 1822. Johann Philipp Abelin, Theatrum Europaeum, Vol.1, Frankfurt 1662, plate 1622, victor Hugo, Heidelberg of Frankfurt am Main, Societäts-Verlag,2003. Davis, What Happened in Heidelberg, From Heidelberg Man to the Present, josef V. Polišenský/Frederick Snider and society in Europe
Thirty Years' War
The Thirty Years War was a series of wars in Central Europe between 1618 and 1648. It was one of the longest and most destructive conflicts in European history, as well as the deadliest European religious war, resulting in eight million casualties. Initially a war between various Protestant and Catholic states in the fragmented Holy Roman Empire, it developed into a more general conflict involving most of the great powers. These states employed relatively large mercenary armies, and the war became less about religion, in the 17th century, religious beliefs and practices were a much larger influence on an average European than they are today. The war began when the newly elected Holy Roman Emperor, Ferdinand II, tried to impose uniformity on his domains. The northern Protestant states, angered by the violation of their rights to choose that had granted in the Peace of Augsburg. Ferdinand II was a devout Roman Catholic and relatively intolerant when compared to his predecessor and his policies were considered strongly pro-Catholic.
They ousted the Habsburgs and elected Frederick V, Elector of the Rhenish Palatinate as their monarch, Frederick took the offer without the support of the union. The southern states, mainly Roman Catholic, were angered by this, led by Bavaria, these states formed the Catholic League to expel Frederick in support of the Emperor. The Empire soon crushed this rebellion in the Battle of White Mountain. After the atrocities committed in Bohemia, Saxony finally gave its support to the union, wishing to finally crush the Dutch rebels in the Netherlands and the Dutch Republic, intervened under the pretext of helping its dynastic Habsburg ally, Austria. No longer able to tolerate the encirclement of two major Habsburg powers on its borders, Catholic France entered the coalition on the side of the Protestants in order to counter the Habsburgs. Both mercenaries and soldiers in fighting armies traditionally looted or extorted tribute to get operating funds, the war bankrupted most of the combatant powers.
The Thirty Years War ended with the treaties of Osnabrück and Münster, the war altered the previous political order of European powers. Lutherans living in a prince-bishopric could continue to practice their faith, Lutherans could keep the territory they had taken from the Catholic Church since the Peace of Passau in 1552. Those prince-bishops who had converted to Lutheranism were required to give up their territories and this added a third major faith to the region, but its position was not recognized in any way by the Augsburg terms, to which only Catholicism and Lutheranism were parties. The Dutch revolted against Spanish domination during the 1560s, leading to a war of independence that led to a truce only in 1609. This dynastic concern overtook religious ones and led to Catholic Frances participation on the otherwise Protestant side of the war and Denmark-Norway were interested in gaining control over northern German states bordering the Baltic Sea
Sack of Magdeburg
The siege lasted from November 1630 until 20 May 1631. The Thirty Years War had been raging for a dozen years by the time that the city of Magdeburg rose up against the Holy Roman emperor. His army consisted primarily of his Swedish countrymen, but the armies of the Holy Roman emperor were a mix of Hungarians, Spaniards, Italians, Frenchmen and others. In a matter of months, imperial forces under the command of the Count of Tilly laid siege to the city. On the last day of the siege Magdeburgs councilors were convinced that it was time to sue for peace, the siege was ended and Imperial Field Marshal Gottfried Heinrich Graf zu Pappenheim, and Johann Tserclaes, Count of Tilly, attacked Magdeburg for its rich stores of goods. The citys fortifications were breached and imperial forces were able to overpower armed opposition, the city was dealt another blow when Colonel Dietrich von Falkenberg, a nobleman sent by King Gustavus to direct Magdeburgs military affairs, was shot dead by Catholic imperials.
When the city was almost lost, the garrison mined various places, after the city fell, the Imperial soldiers went out of control and started to massacre the inhabitants and set fire to the city. The invading soldiers had not received payment for their service and took the chance to loot everything in sight, otto von Guericke, an inhabitant of Magdeburg, claimed that when civilians ran out of things to give the soldiers, the misery really began. For the soldiers began to beat and threaten to shoot, hang and it took only one day for all of this destruction and death to transpire. Of the 30,000 citizens, only 5,000 survived, for fourteen days, charred bodies were carried to the Elbe River to be dumped to prevent disease. In a letter, Pappenheim wrote of the Sack, I believe that over twenty thousand souls were lost and it is certain that no more terrible work and divine punishment has been seen since the Destruction of Jerusalem. All of our soldiers became rich, after Magdeburgs capitulation to the imperial forces, there was much bickering between the residents who had favored resistance against the emperor and those who had been against such an action.
Even Adolphus joined in the pointing, claiming that the citizens of Magdeburg had not been willing to pay the necessary funds for their defense. The imperial treatment of defeated Magdeburg helped persuade many Evangelical Christian rulers in the Holy Roman Empire to stand against the Roman Catholic emperor. At the time of the Peace of Westphalia, ending the war in 1648, the devastation was so great that Magdeburgisieren became an oft-used term signifying total destruction and pillaging for decades. The terms Magdeburg justice, Magdeburg mercy and Magdeburg quarter arose as a result of the sack, cathedral of Magdeburg Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden Thirty Years War Ferdinand II, Holy Roman Emperor Brzezinski, Richard. Firoozi and Ira N. Klein, universal History of the World, The Age of Great Kings. The History of the Thirty Years War, new York, Cambridge University Press,2000
Its rulers served as prince-electors from time immemorial, were noted as such in a papal letter of 1261, and were confirmed as electors by the Golden Bull of 1356. The Counts Palatine of the Rhine held the office of Imperial vicars in the territories under Frankish law and their climax and decline is marked by the rule of Elector Palatine Frederick V, whose coronation as King of Bohemia in 1619 sparked the Thirty Years War. After the 1648 Peace of Westphalia, the lands were further afflicted by the Reunion campaigns launched by King Louis XIV of France. Ruled in personal union with the Electorate of Bavaria from 1777, the office of a Count palatine at the Frankish court of King Childebert I was already mentioned about 535. Up to the 10th century, the rule of the Merovingian and Carolingian dynasties was centered at the palace in Aachen. In 985, Herman I, a scion of the Ezzonids, is mentioned as count palatine of Lotharingia and his territories were centered in the Rhineland proper around Cologne and Bonn, but extended south to the Moselle and Nahe Rivers in Lorraine.
The southernmost point was near Alzey, from about 1085/86, after the death of the last Ezzonian count palatine Herman II, the Palatinate lost its military importance in Lotharingia. The territorial authority of his successor Henry of Laach was reduced to the counties along the Upper Rhine, various noble dynasties competed to be enfeoffed with the Palatinate by the Holy Roman Emperor, among them the House of Ascania, the House of Salm and the House of Babenberg. The first hereditary Count Palatine of the Rhine was Conrad, a member of the House of Hohenstaufen, the territories attached to this hereditary office in 1156 started from those held by the Hohenstaufens in the Donnersberg, Haardt, Bergstraße and Kraichgau regions. Much of this was from their ancestors, the Salian emperors, and apart from Conrads maternal ancestry. These backgrounds explain the composition of Upper and Rhenish Palatinate in the inheritance centuries onwards, about 1182, Conrad moved his residence from Stahleck Castle near Bacharach up the Rhine River to Heidelberg.
Upon Conrads death in 1195, the Palatinate passed to the House of Welf through the—secret—marriage of his daughter Agnes with Henry of Brunswick, when Henrys son Henry the Younger died without heirs in 1214, the Hohenstaufen king Frederick II enfeoffed the Wittelsbach duke Louis I of Bavaria. The Bavarian House of Wittelsbach eventually held the Palatinate territories until 1918, as this region was politically connected to the Rhenish Palatinate, the name Upper Palatinate became common from the early 16th century in contrast to the Lower Palatinate along the Rhine. With the Treaty of Pavia in 1329, the Wittelsbach emperor Louis IV, from that time forth, the Count Palatine of the Rhine was usually known as the Elector Palatine. The Elector Palatine, now based in Heidelberg, adopted Lutheranism in the 1530s, in 1619, Frederick V accepted the throne of Bohemia from the Bohemian estates. He was soon defeated by the forces of Emperor Ferdinand II at the Battle of White Mountain in 1620, called the Winter King because his reign in Bohemia only lasted one winter, Frederick was put under the ban of the Empire in 1623.
Frederick Vs territories and his position as Elector were transferred to the Catholic Duke of Bavaria, Maximilian I, although technically Elector Palatine, he was known as the Elector of Bavaria. From 1648 he ruled in Bavaria and the Upper Palatinate alone, but retained all his Electoral dignities, after Frederick Vs death, his wife Elizabeth Stuart, Queen of Bohemia, worked tirelessly to have the Palatinate restored to her family and to the Protestant cause
Capture of Bacharach
The Capture of Bacharach took place on October 1,1620 at Bacharach, Electorate of the Palatinate. After a quick start of the invasion of states of Frederick V, proclaimed King of Bohemia, Don Ambrosio Spinola, the Spanish general in command, assessed at a council of war the choice between undertaking the siege of Heidelberg or, the town of Bacharach. The Spanish officers decided to take Bacharach due to the number of Fredericks scattered forces. On October 1, Córdoba captured Bacharach with a force of 2,500 soldiers, after securing stores of food and ammunition through the Capture of Oppenheim, Spinola had a choice between taking Heidelberg or Bacharach. On September 23, Spinola consulted with the Spanish commanders, Don Carlos Coloma, Don Gonzalo Fernández de Córdoba, Don Diego Felípez de Guzmán, there was talk of marching on Heidelberg, Frankenthal or Bacharach, but finally Spinola decided to opt for Bacharach. Bacharach was an important strategic point because it was a bridgehead over the Rhine, in addition, the operation would buy time for the arrival of reinforcements expected from the Spanish Netherlands.
On September 29, Córdoba marched with his forces and captured Lorch and he had sent another group of about 2,000 men directly to Bacharach. This group approached the outskirts of Bacharach at about 2 am, with the arrival of the Spaniards, the Protestant soldiers outside the town threw down their muskets and fled into the town. Córdobas men proceeded to build a bulwark behind the town, at dawn, the defenders, aided by heavy mist, fired shots of musket, killing three Spaniards and wounding three more. Shortly thereafter the bulk of the led by Córdoba arrived. Demoralised by the arrival of the Spanish, the officers of the decided to surrender. The Spanish troops entered Bacharach at 3 pm, two captains and 94 English soldiers, among other German troops, were taken prisoners. Córdoba left a garrison of 300 soldiers in Bacharach and sent most of his troops under the commanders Diego Ruiz, the small garrison of that town soon surrendered. Shortly thereafter, the Spaniards took the Pfalzgrafenstein Castle, meanwhile, focused on intercepting the Anglo-Dutch relief, but the Protestant force did not appear.
The Anglo-Dutch force went instead to Worms unhindered, in August 1621, Mainz fell to Spinolas army of 15,000 men, now under the command of Córdoba. Thirty Years War Army of Flanders Guthrie, P William, battles of the Thirty Years War, From White Mountain to Nordlingen, 1618–1635 Greenwood Press ISBN 978-0-313-32028-6 Josef V. Polišenský/Frederick Snider and Society in Europe. ISBN 978-0-521-21659-3 Francisco de Ibarra, Relación de las campañas del Bajo Palatinado, published on L Espagne au XVIe et au XVIIe siècle documents historiques et littéraires. Routledge Publishing ISBN 978-0-415-27531-6 Wilson, the History of Great Britain, Being the Life and Reign of King James I
Battle of Fleurus (1622)
The Battle of Fleurus of August 29,1622 was fought between a Spanish army, and the Protestant forces of Ernst von Mansfeld and Christian of Brunswick during the Thirty Years War. The bloody struggle left the Protestants mangled and the Spanish masters of the field, after failing to relieve Heidelberg, besieged by Tillys army, Frederick V, Elector Palatine, decided to disband his army. On July 13,1622 the contract was cancelled and the army of Mansfeld. The Protestant army departed from Alsace and at a fast pace crossed Northern France and he was in danger of being trapped between the two enemy armies, his line of retreat towards Antwerpen blocked by the invading German army. Gonzalo Fernández de Córdoba, commander of the Spanish army in the Palatinate, was recalled in a hurry to stop that army. Cordoba marched through the Duchy of Luxembourg and the terrain of the Ardennes. The Protestant army advance guard met Spanish cavalry scouts on August 27, Córdoba, much weaker in cavalry, had assumed a blocking position north of the town of Mellet, near Fleurus, with flanks supported by woods.
The Protestant commanders deployed their army to try to break through the Spanish position, there were 29 cuirassier companies and 24 arquebusier companies. All except 4 veteran cuirassier companies had been raised in 1621 and 1622 and they were composed by Walloon recruits and they had performed poorly at the Battle of Wimpfen, so Cordoba was obviously concerned about the flanks of his army. The infantry was of much material, poorly equipped, it had suffered the most in the march. After a short cannonade, Mansfeld ordered a general advance, some gaps opened up in the poorly drilled German infantry, and De Sylva attacked an exposed flank, routing one Battalion. However, Streiff counterattacked, the Walloon cavalry was wrong footed and suffered damage from enemy pistol fire. De Sylvas cavalry took refuge behind the wagons, while Streiff turned on the Spanish infantry. In a desperate charge, Brunswick was wounded, and his cavalry, demoralised. After five hours of fighting, Mansfeld ordered a retreat, it was midday.
The Spanish army was too tired to follow the enemy, next day, Córdoba sent Gauchier with the cavalry, he found the Protestant army strung along the road. The Protestant cavalry fled without putting up much of a fight, in march column, unable to deploy in a defensive formation, the infantry was cut to pieces. Gauchier captured the artillery and the army baggage, the Protestant army had been all but destroyed
Johann Tserclaes, Count of Tilly
Johann Tserclaes, Count of Tilly was a field marshal who commanded the Catholic Leagues forces in the Thirty Years War. He had a string of important victories against the Protestants but was defeated by forces led by the King Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden. Along with Duke Albrecht von Wallenstein of Friedland and Mecklenburg, he was one of two commanders of the Holy Roman Empire’s forces in the first half of the war. Johann Tserclaes was born in February 1559 in Castle Tilly, Walloon Brabant, now in Belgium, half of the enemy forces were killed or captured, while the Catholic League lost only 700 men. This victory was vital in crushing resistance to the Emperor in Bohemia, next he turned west and marched through Germany, but was defeated at the Battle of Mingolsheim on 27 April 1622. He was successful again at the Battle of Höchst on 20 June and was made a count for this victory and these three battles in two months allowed him to capture the city of Heidelberg following an eleven-week siege on 19 September.
Together with the surrender of Bohemia in 1623, this ended virtually all resistance in Germany. This caused King Christian IV of Denmark to enter the Thirty Years War in 1625 to protect Protestantism, Count Tilly besieged and captured Münden on 30 May 1626, whereupon local and refugee Protestant ministers were thrown into the river Werra, but could not lay a siege to Kassel. Tilly fought the Danes at the Battle of Lutter on 26–27 August 1626, in which his highly disciplined infantry charged the lines four times. This led him to win decisively, destroying more than half the fleeing Danish army, because of this and other victories by Wallenstein, Denmark was forced to sue for peace at the Treaty of Lübeck. This disrupted the balance of power in Europe resulting in Swedish involvement in 1630 under their redoubtable leader, Gustavus Adolphus had been attempting to dominate the Baltic for the previous ten years in wars with Poland, a continental power of note. The siege began on 20 March 1631 and Tilly put his subordinate Gottfried Heinrich Graf zu Pappenheim in command while he campaigned elsewhere, the assault was successful and the walls were breached, but the commanders supposedly lost control of their soldiers.
A massacre of the populace ensued in which 25,000 of the 30,000 inhabitants of the city perished by sword, one of the largest cities in Germany and about the size of Cologne or Hamburg, never recovered from the disaster. This is a controversial event in Tillys career and historians still debate how much responsibility he bears for what happened. His enemies quickly blamed him, claiming that the massacre was ordered and used it as justification to enact similar killings, but many historians consider it unlikely that he ordered the city torched. Magdeburg was a vital city of the Elbe and was needed as a resupply center for the looming fight against the Swedes. Although extremely opposed to the Reformation movement, Tilly was an experienced commander. Additionally, he sent a proposal of surrender to Magdeburg days before the final assault, however the mayor of Magdeburg rejected the offer, expecting the Swedish relief force to arrive soon
The Bohemian Revolt was an uprising of the Bohemian estates against the rule of the Habsburg dynasty. It was caused by religious and power disputes, the dispute culminated after several battles in the final Battle of White Mountain, where the estates suffered a decisive defeat. This started re-Catholisation of the Czech lands, but triggered the Thirty Years War, without heirs, Emperor Matthias sought to assure an orderly transition during his lifetime by having his dynastic heir elected to the separate royal thrones of Bohemia and Hungary. Some of the Protestant leaders of Bohemia feared they would be losing the rights granted to them by Emperor Rudolf II in his Letter of Majesty. They preferred the Protestant Frederick V, elector of the Palatinate, the king-elect sent two Catholic councillors as his representatives to Hradčany castle in Prague in May 1618. Ferdinand had wanted them to administer the government in his absence, on 23 May 1618, an assembly of Protestants seized them and threw them out of the palace window, which was some 21 metres off the ground.
This event, known as the Defenestration of Prague, started the Bohemian Revolt, soon afterward, the Bohemian conflict spread through all of the Bohemian Crown, including Bohemia, Silesia and Lower Lusatia, and Moravia. Moravia was already embroiled in a conflict between Catholics and Protestants, the religious conflict eventually spread across the whole continent of Europe, involving France, and a number of other countries. Had the Bohemian rebellion remained a conflict, the war could have been over in fewer than thirty months. However, the death of Emperor Matthias emboldened the rebellious Protestant leaders, the weaknesses of both Ferdinand and of the Bohemians themselves led to the spread of the war to western Germany. Ferdinand was compelled to call on his cousin, King Philip III of Spain, the Bohemians hinted Frederick would become King of Bohemia if he allowed them to join the Union and come under its protection. However, similar offers were made by members of the Bohemian Estates to the Duke of Savoy, the Elector of Saxony.
The Austrians, who seemed to have intercepted every letter leaving Prague and this unraveled much of the support for the Bohemians, particularly in the court of Saxony. In spite of these issues surrounding their support, the rebellion initially favoured the Bohemians and they were joined in the revolt by much of Upper Austria, whose nobility was chiefly Lutheran and Calvinist. Lower Austria revolted soon after, and in 1619, Count Thurn led an army to the walls of Vienna itself, the Spanish sent an army from Brussels under Ambrosio Spinola to support the Emperor. In addition, the Spanish ambassador to Vienna, Don Íñigo Vélez de Oñate, the Saxons invaded, and the Spanish army in the west prevented the Protestant Unions forces from assisting. Oñate conspired to transfer the title from the Palatinate to the Duke of Bavaria in exchange for his support. The Catholic Leagues army pacified Upper Austria, while Imperial forces under Johan Tzerclaes, Count of Tilly, the two armies united and moved north into Bohemia
Treaty of Stettin (1630)
The Treaty of Stettin or Alliance of Stettin was the legal framework for the occupation of the Duchy of Pomerania by the Swedish Empire during the Thirty Years War. Concluded on 25 August or 4 September 1630, it was predated to 10 July or 20 July 1630, Sweden assumed military control, and used the Pomeranian bridgehead for campaigns into Central and Southern Germany. Some of the Pomeranian nobility had changed sides and supported Brandenburg, following the Capitulation of Franzburg in 1627, the Duchy of Pomerania was occupied by forces of Ferdinand II, Holy Roman Emperor, under command of Albrecht von Wallenstein. Sweden and Stralsund concluded an alliance scheduled for twenty years, the Danish campaigns in Pomerania and other parts of the Holy Roman Empire ended with the Battle of Wolgast in 1628 and the subsequent Treaty of Lübeck in 1629. Except for Stralsund, all of Northern Germany was occupied by forces of the emperor, in 1629, the emperor initiated the Re-Catholization of these Protestant territories by issuing the Edict of Restitution.
The Truce of Altmark ended the Polish–Swedish War in September 1629, plans of Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden for such an intervention were approved of by a Riksdag commission already in the winter of 1627/28, approval by the Riksråd followed in January 1629. On 26 June or 6 July 1630, Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden with a fleet of 27 ships arrived at the island of Usedom, the core of the invasion force consisted of trained peasants, recruited to the Swedish army following Gustavus Adolphus military reforms of 1623. The western flank of the Swedish invasion force was cleared from Stralsund, which served as the basis for Swedish forces clearing Rügen, the Swedish landing force faced Albrecht von Wallensteins imperial occupation forces in Pomerania, commanded by Torquato Conti. Large parts of the army were pinned down in Italy. Wallenstein, who two years before had expelled the Danish landing forces at the place was about to be dismissed. On 9 July, Swedish forces took Stettin, but throughout 1630 were content with establishing themselves in the Oder estuary, the first draft of a Swedish-Pomeranian alliance, which the Pomeranian ducal councillors had worked out since 20 July 1630, was rejected by Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden.
A second draft was returned to the council together with a list of modifications Sweden insisted on, on 22 August, actual Swedish-Pomeranian negotiations started, which Gustavus Adolphus on 1 September joined in person. The final negotiations lasted from 2–4 September, the actual agreement was made on 25 August or 4 September, but pre-dated to 10 July or 20 July 1630. The alliance was to be eternal, the treaty included the alliance with Stralsund of 1628, which was concluded when the town resisted the Capitulation of Franzburg and was thus besieged by Albrecht von Wallensteins army. Subsequent treaties were the Pomeranian Defense Constitution of 30 August 1630, the Swedish king and the high-ranking officers were given absolute control over the duchys military affairs, while the political and ecclesial power remained with the dukes and towns. The duchys foreign affairs were to be within the responsibility of the Swedish crown, the amending treaties were necessary because the Pomeranian nobility had insisted on having the shift in military control of the duchy to Sweden separate from the Swedish-Pomeranian alliance.
The Pomeranian contributions detailed in the treaties amounted to an annual 100,000 Talers, Pomerania was obliged to supply four Swedish garrisons. Bogislaw XIV further blamed the barbarities and cruelties of the Imperial soldiers for leaving him no choice, Ferdinand II did not forgive Bogislaw XIV, and instead the imperial occupation forces in Pomerania were instructed to act even more harshly