Slag van Novara, 8 April 1500

Slag van Novara, 8 April 1500


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Slag van Novara, 8 April 1500

Die slag van Novara (8 April 1500) was 'n maklike Franse oorwinning wat 'n einde gemaak het aan 'n poging van Ludovico Sforza om hulle uit die hertogdom Milaan te verdryf (Tweede Italiaanse Oorlog/ Italiaanse Oorlog van Lodewyk XII).

In 1494 het Ludovico, destyds die regent van die jong hertog van Milaan, aan die kant van Charles VIII van Frankryk begin by sy inval in Napels (Eerste Italiaanse Oorlog/ Italiaanse Oorlog van Charles VIII), maar in 1495 het hy van kant verander en by 'n anti-Franse alliansie wat Charles gedwing het om Napels te verlaat en huis toe te veg. Die toekomstige Lodewyk XII was sterk betrokke by die gevegte teen Milanese magte in die noorde van Italië.

In 1498 sterf Charles en Louis kom op die troon. Vanaf die begin van sy bewind het hy beweer dat hy koning van Napels en hertog van Milaan was, en hy het die eerste jaar voorberei op 'n inval. Die inval het in Augustus 1499 plaasgevind, en aan die begin van September is Ludovico gedwing om uit Milaan te vlug in ballingskap in Tirol. In Oktober-November het Louis Milaan besoek. Toe Louis weg is, is Giacomo Trivulzio in Milaan aangestel.

Ludovico kon 'n leër van ongeveer 20.000 man in Tirol oprig, met 'n kragtige Switserse kontingent en 1500 wapenskut uit Bourgondië. In Januarie het hierdie weermag 'n aanval op Milaan geloods. Die Franse was in die minderheid en op 3 Februarie 1500 het Trivulzio Milaan verlaat en weswaarts teruggetrek na Novara en Mortara.

Ludovico keer op 5 Februarie terug na Milaan en ontvang 'n entoesiastiese ontvangs. Die Franse het nog steeds die kasteel van Milaan gehou, sodat hy gedwing is om sy leër te verdeel. 'N Gedeelte daarvan is oorgelaat om die kasteel te beleër, terwyl die res suidwaarts na Pavia verhuis het, dan wes na Vigecano, wat hulle van die Franse geneem het. Die volgende teiken was Novara, wat geval het ná 'n twee weke lange beleg (beleg van Novara, 5-21 Maart 1500).

Die Franse was gedurende hierdie tydperk nie onaktief nie. Op 23 Maart het Louis de la Tremouille Mortara bereik met 500 man by die hand en 'n bietjie artillerie. Hy het die ongewilde Trivulzio vervang en die moraal van die Franse leër verbeter.

Terselfdertyd het toestande in die leër van Ludovico versleg. Betaal was min, en die lojaliteit van sy Switserse troepe was in twyfel getrek - Louis het voor die oorlog 'n amptelike verdrag met die Switserse kantone onderteken en dit was moontlik dat sy Switserse troepe sou weier om teen hul landgenote te veg.

Op 8 April val die Franse Ludovico by Novara aan en sy leër ontbind. Ludovico het probeer ontsnap onder die terugtrekkende Switserse, maar is op 10 April gevange geneem en die oorblywende tien jaar van sy lewe in Franse ballingskap deurgebring. Die Franse het Milaan weer binnegegaan en begin met 'n tydperk van onderbroke Franse beheer van die hertogdom wat tot in die 1530's geduur het. Louis berei hom toe voor op die tweede deel van sy Italiaanse avontuur, 'n gesamentlike Frans-Spaanse inval in Napels.


Speelgeleenthede is nog steeds beperk. Die klub is nie oop nie, maar ons kan nou elke twee weke tuis gespeel word. Ten minste is dit iets!

Hy is ook 'n oorlogspeler en 'n voormalige lid van die South East Scotland Wargames Club, wat Donderdagaande in Edinburgh vergader.
Sien www.seswc.co.uk vir meer inligting.

Argiewe

Die Slag van Novara, 1513

17 November 2016, 3 kommentaar

Die Italiaanse oorloë, Pike & amp; Shotte, 28 mm

Hierdie week het die Duitse Michael ” nog een van sy renaissance -speletjies opgevoer. dit word beskou as 'n uiteindelike “ groot vetgeveg ”, met 64 figuur snoekblokke. Ongelukkig het niemand dit aan die Switsers gesê nie, wat opgedaag het met 'n gewone 32 man. Tog het dit goed gelyk, veral die groot Franse en Landsknecht -eenhede van Michael ’. As 'n spel het dit egter veel te wense oorgelaat. 'N Paar stamgaste (jy weet wie jy is) het nie daarvoor opgedaag nie, want hulle het óf gewerk óf hul wargaming -poeier vir die naweek bespaar. Tog het ons drie spelers aan die kant, en 'n mooi tafel, gedomineer deur 'n ommuurde dorp. Heel links het Donald bevel oor die Basel- en Berne -snoekblokke, ondersteun deur 'n paar kleiner eenhede, en 'n paar gewere. Teenoor hom was Michael ’s Bande Nere landskneckts, en 'n paar Franse Gascogne -snoekers, plus die gewone gewere en skermutselinge. 'N Groot hout en die dorp het die slagveld effektief in twee verdeel. Regs daarvan was die Switserse wag, onder bevel van Jack, ondersteun deur gewere en kruisboogskutters, terwyl aan sy regterkant my kavallerie 'n mengsel van Italianers en stradiote was. Teenoor ons was Ken ’s se bevel, twee eenhede elite Franse gendarmes en vyf eenhede gemonteerde kruisboog en argoulets. Dus – twee kante van die slagveld, en twee gevegte. Aangesien niemand die tipe troepe gehad het wat in staat was om die dorp te beset nie, was dit nogal vreemd gedurende die hele wedstryd.In die werklike slag van Novara beleër die Franse (met 'n bietjie Venesiaanse hulp) onder Louis de la Tremoille die klein stad Novara, wes van Milaan. Die Switsers (met 'n bietjie hulp van Milanese) val hulle aan en val die Franse uit verskillende rigtings aan om hulle onkant te hou. die Franse trek terug na hul kamp, ​​waar hulle uiteindelik verslaan is. Dit was 'n redelik bloedige stryd, selfs volgens die standaarde van die tydperk, en het die massale teregstelling van landsknechts ingesluit wat gevang is om vir die Franse te veg. Ons stryd sou nie presies soos die regte ding wees nie, maar sou 'n deel van die geur bevat deur die gebruik van groot snoekblokke. Die plan val natuurlik uitmekaar danksy 'n gebrek aan Switsers.Ons kant van die slagveld – die kavalerykant – of Switserse regs en Frans links – sou altyd 'n syvertoning wees. Die werklike stryd sal beslis word deur die ooreenstemmende pare Switserse en Franse snoekblokke aan die ander kant van die tafel. Ons het dus die grootste deel van die aand gesukkel. ken het een van my stradiote -eenhede gevorder en opgekap, wat onbeskof genoeg was om sy gemonteerde kruisboogmanne te volg en geïsoleer te beland. Toe manoeuvreer die twee kante, skiet hul gewere af en stoot die vreemde aanklag af, maar niks belangrik gebeur tot die laaste halfuur van die wedstryd nie. Toe tree my Milanese soldate in aksie teen die Franse gendarmes. Een eenheid het sy nabygeveg misluk en moes 'n poustoets aflê. Ek het 'n 𔄛 ” op 2D6 gerol, wat 'n roete beteken het. Terwyl Ken gesê het dat ek dit nie nodig het nie, het ek gevoel dat ek ook die tweede Milanese eenheid moet ondersteun wat dit ondersteun. Ek rol nog 'n 𔄛. ” Lift-off. Op daardie stadium het die kavaleriegeveg uitgebars. Ken het dit duidelik gewen, maar ons het ten minste die elite -gendarmes weggehou van die Switserse snoekblokke …Aan die ander kant van die tafel het Donald met sy Switser gevorder en reguit op pad na sy Franse en Landsknecht -teenstanders. Hulle het ook behoorlik gevorder, ondersteun deur 'n redelike akkurate artillerie en skermutseling. Toe die twee kante inbots, het dit baie skouspelagtig gelyk, maar die skoffel wat die Switsers eenvoudig oor hul teenstanders sou rol, het te danke aan 'n paar slegter rolletjies. Stadig begin die landsknechts die Bernese terugstoot, terwyl die Gascon -snoekers nader aan die middel van die tafel hulself teen die Baselers behou het. Toe die wedstryd eindig, stop Donald Trump twee groot blokke, en die jubelende Franse en Duitsers volg hulle op om die druk op hulle te hou. Om 22:00 beëindig ons die wedstryd en verklaar dit 'n duidelike Franse oorwinning. Die geskiedenis het tot die volgende keer omgekeer. Alhoewel hierdie stryd my mooi-klein Venesiaanse leër nie behels het nie, het sommige Venesiese kavalleries verskyn, wat ook verdubbel as Milanese. Volgende keer, met geluk, kan die troepe van La Serenissima hul regte rol speel.

3 antwoorde “ Die Slag van Novara, 1513 ”

Miskien was dit 2 gevegte, want u kant het dit so gelaat. Jou Switserse kon 'n heining gehad het of die dorp agter die muur ingevaar het. Niemand het ooit daaraan gedink om u kragte te konsentreer om op ons swak punte te slaan nie. … En kom nie met die opdragverskoning nie, hierdie stryd het meer bevele gehad as ooit!


Europa 1849: Slag van Novara

Revolusionêre gevoel was steeds sterk in die Italiaanse state, wat daartoe gelei het dat die pous in November uit Rome gevlug het en daartoe gelei het dat republieke in Februarie in Rome en Toskane verklaar is. Die gety was egter besig om te draai. In Maart het Sardinië afstand gedoen van sy wapenstilstand met Oostenryk, maar is vinnig verslaan tydens die Slag van Novara en gedwing om tot verhaal te kom, terwyl Napels terselfdertyd begin met die verowering van die wegbreek Koninkryk Sisilië.

Hoofgebeure

5 Jan 1849 Oostenrykers vang Buda-Pest ▲ vas

Na die oorwinning oor die Hongaarse rebelle in die Slag van Mor, het magte van die Oostenrykse Ryk die verlate Hongaarse hoofstad Buda en die naburige Pest ingeneem. in wikipedia

9 Februarie 1849 Romeinse Republiek (19de eeu) ▲

Die Grondwetgewende Vergadering in Rome, in die pouslike state, het die Romeinse Republiek uitgeroep. in wikipedia

18 Feb 1849 Toskaanse Republiek ▲

Op 18 Februarie 1849 word die Toskaanse Republiek in Florence uitgeroep, met Francesco Domenico Guerrazzi as diktator aangestel. Dieselfde dag vlug hertog Leopold II na Gaeta. in wikipedia

4–7 Maart 1849 Maart Grondwet van Oostenryk ▲

Graaf von Warthausen, die minister van binnelandse sake van die Oostenrykse Ryk, verklaar die Maart-grondwet, herower die Habsburgse mag na die toegewings van 1848, verminder die regte van die nie-Duitse bevolking van die Ryk en herroep die Aprilwette in Hongarye. in wikipedia

12 Maart 1849 Sardinië breek wapenstilstand met Oostenryk ▲

Charles Albert, koning van Sardinië, het afstand gedoen van die wapenstilstand met die Oostenrykse ryk en het die Eerste Italiaanse Onafhanklikheidsoorlog weer aangestuur. in wikipedia

19 Maart 1849 hervat Napels die oorlog op Sicilië en#9650

Die Kingdom of the Two Sicilies (Napels) het sy wapenstilstand beëindig met die wegbreek van die koninkryk Sicilië en sy leër uit Messina gestuur. in wikipedia

22–23 Maart 1849 Slag van Novara ▲

Kragte van die Oostenrykse Ryk, onder leiding van veldmaarskalk Joseph Radetzky von Radetz, verslaan Sardynse magte in Novara, Piemonte, in die koninkryk Sardinië. in wikipedia


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1849: Veldmaarskalk graaf Radetzky wen die Slag van Novara

Dit het die leër van die Koninkryk Sardinië naamlik verslaan in die Slag van Novara, wat probeer het om sy invloedsgebied uit te brei na die dele van Italië onder Oostenrykse beheer.

Die Oostenrykse veldmaarskalk wat die geveg gewen het, was die bekende veldmaarskalk graaf Joseph Radetzky. Die beroemde Radetzky -mars, saamgestel deur Johann Strauss Sr., is presies vernoem na die genoemde graaf Radetzky.

Die stad Novara, naby waar die geveg plaasgevind het, is tussen Milaan en Turyn geleë. Turyn was die hoofstad van die koninkryk Sardinië, terwyl Milaan die hoofstad van Lombardy was, wat destyds onder Oostenrykse beheer was (keiser Francis Joseph I was ook die koning van Lombardy en Venesië).

Georg Decker: Johann Josef Wenzel Graf Radetzky omstreeks 1850

Meer as 100,000 soldate het aan die Slag van Novara deelgeneem. Oostenrykse magte het 'n beslissende oorwinning behaal, wat Italiaanse pogings om Lombardije van die Oostenrykse bewind te bevry, tydelik beëindig het. Oostenrykse troepe was in daardie opsig die verteenwoordigers van die konserwatiewe stelsel, net soos toe hulle 'n revolusie in Hongarye, wat op ongeveer dieselfde tyd plaasgevind het, verpletter het.

Julius Jacob von Haynau het in Italië en in Hongarye een van die berugste Oostenrykse generaals geword. Hy het uiterste wreedheid gebruik om die Italiaanse opstand in Brescia neer te sit, wat hom die bynaam “Hyena van Brescia” besorg het. In Hongarye organiseer hy die wrede ophang van tien rebelgeneraals, bekend as die Martelare van Arad. Dit is interessant om op te let dat generaal von Haynau deur 'n buite-egtelike lyn die agterkleinseun van die Britse koning George II was. Dit het hom natuurlik ook 'n familielid gemaak van die Britse koningin Victoria, wat regeer het tydens die Slag van Novara.


Slag van Novara, 8 April 1500 - Geskiedenis

Die Oostenrykse fregat Novara lê in Sydney Harbour, November 1858, vas. Oorspronklike foto, gepubliseer in L. Lind (1988). Die foto is waarskynlik geneem deur die plaaslike fotograaf en mede -Oostenrykse Wilhelm Hetzer.

Konstruksie in Venesië 1843-51

Wêreldwye wetenskaplike ekspedisie 1857-9

Die dood van Ferdinand Maximillian 1867

"die wonderlikste vaartuig." - so skryf die 16 -jarige Australiër Mary Caroline "Minnie" Mann op 16 November 1858 in haar dagboek met verwysing na die Oostenrykse keiserlike fregat Novara, dan in die hawe in Sydney. Die sentiment het die meeste ontstaan ​​uit 'n begeleide toer deur die vaartuig wat Minnie vroeër die dag deur die kaptein van die skip, baron Frederick von Pck, gegee het. Destyds het die Novara was besig met 'n wêreldwye wetenskaplike ekspedisie wat sou duur van April 1857 tot en met Augustus 1859. 'n Kort tussenstop in Sydney gedurende November-Desember 1858 bied geleentheid vir herstelwerk aan die skip, rus en ontspanning aan die kant van die bemanning, en 'n paar kuier saam met die jong dames van die kolonie.

Juffrou Mann, ten spyte van haar jeug, was goed gekwalifiseerd om 'n beoordeling te maak van die grootheid van die Novara. Sy het aan die oewer van die hawe gewoon en was die dogter van Gother Kerr Mann, hoofingenieur van die werf van die Cockatoo Island in Sydney. Voor haar persoonlike toer deur die Oostenrykse fregat daardie Novemberoggend, het sy baie kennis opgedoen oor die strukturele en ander besonderhede van hedendaagse oorlogskepe, omdat sy die voorreg gehad het om dit van naby te sien terwyl hulle herstelwerk ondergaan het in die onlangs geopende (1857) FitzRoy Dok op die hawe van Sydney. Sy het ook deelgeneem aan begeleide toere deur die Engelse fregatte wat toe van die Australiese stasie af opereer het. Die Oostenrykse Novara was verplig om van die werfgeriewe gebruik te maak terwyl hy in Sydney was, weens skade opgedoen in 'n tifoon wat op 18-19 Augustus onderweg was na Australië uit Sjanghai. Toe die fregat Port Jackson binnekom, werk die pompe hard en daar word gesê dat die vaartuig 'n besliste lys het.

Voorblad van die Duitse uitgawe (Scherzer, 1861-3) van die drie volume-verslag van die rondvaart van die Novara tussen 1857-59, waarin die vaartuig onder volle seil is. Die verskillende plekke wat tydens die ekspedisie besoek is, word in die sierlike omgewing gelys.

Vanuit haar woning 'Greenwich House', aan die noordelike oewer van die Sydney Harbour met 'n uitsig oor die Cockatoo-eiland, kon "Minnie" Mann baie van die groot passasiers- en handelsvaartuie en manne-oorlog sien wat die premier van die kolonie besoek het hawe gedurende die 1850's. Seeverkeer het die afgelope dekade aansienlik toegeneem as gevolg van die ontdekking van goud in Nieu -Suid -Wallis en Victoria in 1851. Die gevolglike goudstuwings het duisende fortuinjagters na Sydney gebring uit alle uithoeke van die wêreld, en terwyl die Novara in 1858 nie fortuin gesoek het nie, was sy en haar bemanning nietemin op soek na die ewe waardevolle goedere - kennis, ervaring en reputasie.

Hierdie Oostenrykse fregat was ook ongetwyfeld een van die beste in haar klas wat deur Sydney Heads gegaan het en van Cockatoo Island vasgebind het sedert die Engelse strafkolonie 'Botany Bay' in 1788 gestig is. Gedurende November 1858 het die Novaraalhoewel dit effens gekneus en gehawend was, het dit opgemerk onder die vloot van Britse vlootvaartuie, immigrante- en vragskepe en klein kushandels- en stoombootjies wat die vele baaie en dokke in hierdie mees skilderagtige van alle hawens besoek. Sy was die seevolle verpersoonliking van die Habsburgse monargie, heersers van die uitgestrekte Oostenryk-Hongaarse ryk, wat destyds gestrek het vanaf die oostelike oewer van die Adriatiese See en Venesië en Italië in die weste, suid deur Bosnië-Herzegovena in die rigting van die Baltiese en Turkye, noord van die Duitse state, en oos tot in Roemenië en Rusland.

Die omstandighede wat die Novara as die eerste Oostenrykse oorlogsoorlog wat Nieu-Suid-Wallis besoek het, en die grootste vaartuig wat tot op daardie tydstip in FitzRoy Dock ingekom het, kan teruggevoer word na die besette Italiaanse gebied Venesië in 1843, toe die Oostenrykse monargie het 'n nuwe vaartuig bestel vir sy klein, maar steeds groeiende vloot. Gebou tydens die laaste fase van die tydperk van die oorlogskepe van hout - gedurende die laat 1850's en vroeë 1860's sou ystergedrewe en stoom aangedrewe oorlogskepe hul plek inneem - die Novara was, na voltooiing in 1851, 'n nuutste drie-mast seil fregat. Sy was vinnig en weelderig toegerus met fyn tapyte en meubels om die offisiere en bemanning van die Oostenrykse vloot te bedien, en het ook aansienlike wapens gedra vir beskerming teen vyandelike vloot. Die behoefte aan sulke vuurkrag was werklik, soos die Novara Hy het op 20 Julie 1866 deelgeneem aan een van die bekendste seegevegte van alle tye, naamlik die wat tussen die Oostenrykse en Italiaanse vloot langs die Adriatiese eiland Lissa plaasgevind het (sien hieronder).

Die Novara is gebou met die beste Adriatiese hout en was bedoel om die verskillende Habsburgse prinse, baronne, hertogte en grawe te akkommodeer wat op haar sou vaar as kadette, volwaardige vlootoffisiere of vrye passasiers. Gedurende die 1850's en 1860's het sy 'n belangrike rol gespeel as 'n vlagskip van die Oostenrykse vloot, met die Oostenrykse vaandel en die aspirasies van die Habsburgse monargie na alle uithoeke van die aardbol, terwyl sy in waters nader aan die huis was as seilopleidingsvaartuig, kanonne skip, en nabygeveg fregat.

Die Novara was 'n vreemdheid vir die kolonialiste toe sy laat op die middag van 5 November 1858 in Sydney aankom. Hierdie pragtige vaartuig vaar onder 'n vlag wat selde in Australië gesien word-bestaande uit vet horisontale rooi-wit-rooi strepe. sentreer die Oostenrykse helmteken van 'n tweekoppige arend. Alhoewel dit die amptelike vlag van die Oostenrykse Ryk was, was die amptelike vaandel van die Oostenrykse vloot op dieselfde manier rooi-wit-rooi versperring, maar met hertoglike kroon en seël in die middel.

Die Britse koloniste sou grootliks nie daarvan bewus gewees het dat die Oostenrykse Ryk oor 'n vloot beskik nie, en dit SMS (Seiner Majesteit Schiff) Novara was een van die vlagskepe van die Oostenrykse Kaiserliche und Kénigliche Kriegsmarine (keiserlike en koninklike vloot). Oostenryk is destyds nie erken as 'n seemag op dieselfde manier as Groot -Brittanje of Frankryk nie, wat albei lang en trotse vloottradisies gehad het. Die Oostenrykse monargie het eers in die laat agtiende eeu ernstig 'n vloot begin ontwikkel, maar teen die 1850's het die Habsburgers die sterkste vloot van die Duitse Konfederasie van State gehad.

Hierdie uitbreidingsperiode gedurende die vroeë tot middelste deel van die eeu was grootliks te danke aan die entoesiastiese ondersteuning van twee Habsburgse aristokrate. Eerstens, die jong aartshertog Frederick, wat in 1837 - toe hy net 16 was - by die vloot aangesluit het en dit daarna vir ander lede van die aristokrasie in die mode gemaak het om dieselfde te doen.

As matroos was aartshertog Frederick gedurende 1839 betrokke by suksesvolle optrede in Sirië en Palestina, en in 1844 word hy as opperbevelhebber van die vloot aangestel. Gedurende hierdie tydperk kon hy 'n entoesiasme wek vir die ontwikkeling van die vloot onder 'n heersende bureauraat wat sy aandag lankal gevestig het op die opbou van die Oostenrykse leër. Hierdie groep was traag om Frederick se oproepe om 'n modernisering en uitbreiding van die vloot te beantwoord. Nietemin is daar in 1843 'n bevel by die skeepswagters by die Venesiaanse Arsenal ('n groot skeepsboukompleks) gelas vir die bou van 'n nuwe vegfregat om die Oostenrykse vloot te bedien. Dit was jammer dat aartshertog Frederick nie daar was om die vaartuig te sien as die Novara in 1851. Hy sterf voortydig in 1847, op 26 -jarige ouderdom, en verlaat die vloot sonder leierskap of invloed gedurende 'n tydperk toe die rewolusie Europa deurdring. Sy uiteindelike plaasvervanger was aartshertog Ferdinand Maximillian (1832-67), jonger broer van die keiser Franz Joseph I (1830-1916). Alhoewel 'n persoon van mag en invloed in die aristokratiese Oostenryk, Ferdinand Maximillian, in sy pogings om die vloot gedurende die 1850's op te bou, ook teëgekom het deur 'n geldelike burokrasie en dele van die Ryk - insluitend Hongarye - wat geen behoefte aan 'n aansienlike vlootaanwesigheid. Met 'n hoofstad (Wene) en gedwing om staat te maak op Adriatiese kushawe met bevolkings of etniese minderhede wat aktief teen die Oostenrykse 'besetting' gekant is, word die idee van 'n vloot vir die Ryk nie wyd ondersteun nie, anders as die omstandighede in lande soos Groot Brittanje of selfs die Verenigde State van Amerika, waar die praktiese oorwegings om veilige handelsroetes te beveilig en 'n vloot te onderhou onlosmaaklik verbind was met die welsyn van die land. Gelukkig, of ongelukkig, het die onbestendige politieke klimaat van die dag en die betrokkenheid van Oostenryk in 'n aantal oorloë met haar nabye bure, gewig bygedra tot aartshertog Ferdinand (en later Maximillian) se pogings om 'n moderne, slaggereed vloot op te bou.

As ons ongeveer 150 jaar later terugkyk op hierdie tydperk van die negentiende-eeuse geskiedenis vanuit 'n uitkykpunt, sien ons Oostenryk nou as 'n land sonder 'n land wat sy langdurige Adriatiese hawens Trieste en Pola verloor het. Die Oostenryk-Hongaarse vloot is ook net 'n herinnering. Sy eens trotse vloot - wat in 1914 die sesde grootste ter wêreld was - het laas aksie beleef tydens die Eerste Wêreldoorlog. Na die nederlaag van November 1918 is sy vaartuie as oorlogsvergoeding na die oorwinnaars versprei of skandalig geskrap. Die verhaal van die seil fregat Novara neem ons dus terug na 'n groter tydperk in die geskiedenis van die Habsburgse monargie en die Oostenryk -Hongaarse Ryk - na 'n tyd toe haar prag, sowel op land as op see, teenstrydig was met dié van die ander grootmoondhede van die dag tot 'n tyd alles behalwe vergete.

Bou van die Novara, Venesië 1843-51

Die verhaal van die konstruksie van die Novara is een van voorvalle en onderbrekings, gekoppel aan die politieke onrus van die tyd en die strewe na Italiaanse eenwording. Die fregat is eers by die skeepswerf van Arsenal, Venesië, neergelê as die Minerva op 20 September 1843, met haar sye deurboor om 42 gewere te huisves. Op hierdie stadium het die Oostenrykse Ryk nie sy eie vlootwerwe gehad nie, maar eerder gebruik gemaak van die lang tradisie van skeepsbou in Venesië en die vaardighede van die Italiaanse skeepsvaarders. Dit sou aan die einde van die 1850's verander toe 'n plaaslike nywerheid tot stand gekom het, en skepe vir die Oostenrykse vloot is daarna gelanseer vanaf werwe soos die Stabilimento Tecnico Triestino in Trieste ('n privaat werf wat in 1857 gestig is) en die nabygeleë Pola -vlootwerf. Beide fasiliteite was aan die oostelike Adriatiese kus geleë, ietwat verwyderd van die steeds vyandiger Italianers.

Vertikale gedeelte van die Oostenrykse fregat Novara ten tyde van haar reis om die wêreld, 1857-59. Afgesien van Scherzer (1861-3).

Die bouprogram van die Minerva / Novara was 'n buitengewoon lang tydperk, veroorsaak deur die voortdurende konflik van die Ryk met Italië en sy verskillende semi-onafhanklike state, veral Sardinië in die suide en Venetië in die noorde. Oostenryk het die Venesiaanse gebied in 1797 verwerf en verloor dit kort na Napoleon in die daaropvolgende dekade en herwin dit dan weer in 1814. Napoleon se nederlaag by Waterloo in 1815 het gelei tot 'n lang tydperk van relatiewe vrede, maar in 1848 het revolusionêre ywer weer oor Europa versprei, wat 'n uitwerking op beide Oostenryk en sy Italiaanse buurman. Die konstruksietydperk van die Novara (1843-51) stem ooreen met 'n ontwikkelende gevoel van Italiaanse nasionalisme onder die uiteenlopende state en owerhede wat dan strek van die Alpe suid tot Sicilië. Oostenryk, as 'n aristokratiese heerser en onderdrukker, was 'n duidelike teiken vir Italiaanse patriotte terwyl hulle geveg het om die skiereiland te verenig. Venetia was 'n fokuspunt vir hul pogings, en gebeurtenisse was 'n sneller.

Na ongeveer vyftig jaar as 'n besette gebied, het Venesië op 17 Maart 1848 teen die Oostenrykse heerskappy opgestaan, net soos Milaan in die weste later in die maand. Die Venesiërs het die Oostenrykers verdryf en in 'n poging om Italiaanse onafhanklikheid 'n republiek te stig. Drie Oostenrykse korvette, baie kleiner vlootvaartuie, saam met die gepaardgaande skeepsbouwerf, arsenaal en winkels het almal in rebellehande geval. Die gevolglike ontwrigting van die Novara Die bouprogram was een van 'n aantal wat tussen 1843-50 plaasgevind het.

Gedeeltelik voltooi, die Minerva is hernoem Italia deur die Venesiaanse revolusionêre, wat hul opstandige houding teenoor die Oostenrykers versterk en in direkte weerwil van bevele wat die gebruik van die woord verbied. Tot hierdie breuk het die Oostenrykse vloot 'n sterk Italiaanse karakter gehad, maar na die gebeure van 1848 sou dit meer multikultureel word, en die Oostenrykers moes matrose trek uit ander dele van die Ryk, veral die oostelike Adriatiese kusprovinsies soos Montenegro en Dalmatië.

Vroeg in 1848 was die momentum beslis by die rebelle. Gedurende April en Mei het die Oostenrykse weermag 'n reeks nederlae ondervind in die hande van die Italianers in Goito en Pastrengo. Eers in Julie-Augustus kon die Ryk sy magte onder die bevel van veldmaarskalk Joseph Radetzky mobiliseer en Milaan en dele van Venetië van die Sardiniërs herower. 'N Wapenstilstand (wapenstilstand) is op 9 Augustus 1848 onderteken en die Sardiniërs is op die 11de uit Venesië verdryf, hoewel die stad haar onafhanklikheid van Oostenryk bly behou het. Die wapenstilstand het op 12 Maart 1849 geëindig en op die 23ste was Radetzky se weermag seëvierend oor koning Charles Albert van Piemonte (Monargie van Sardinië) tydens die slag van Novara, in die noordwestelike deel van Italië. Ten spyte hiervan het Venetia bly uithou. 'N Belegging van Venesië het op 20 Julie begin, alhoewel dit net geduur het tot die 28ste, toe die antieke stad hom aan Oostenryk onderwerp het, veral as gevolg van plaaslike hongersnood, die uitbreek van siektes en Oostenrykse vlootbombardement. Die Vrede van Milaan is kort daarna op 2 Augustus 1849 onderteken en sodoende die oorlog tussen Sardinië en Oostenryk beëindig.

Na die Oostenrykse herowering van Venesië, het veldmarshall Radetzky die werf daar besoek en beamptes het 'n versoekskrif aan hom gedoen om die byna voltooide Italia herdoop ter ere van sy oorwinning oor koning Charles Albert. Die skip is daarna gedoop Novara en die werk is weer ernstig onder Oostenrykse toesig begin. Haar romp was eindelik gereed om teen November van die volgende jaar (1850) die glybaan te verlaat.

Gebeure tuis sou ook 'n uitwerking hê op die toekomstige loopbaan van die nog nie voltooide fregat nie. 1848 - 'die jaar van revolusie' - was 'n onstuimige tyd vir Oostenryk en haar Europese bure. In revolusies in Wene gedurende daardie jaar het keiser Ferdinand I verdryf, gevolg deur die tydelike instelling van 'n verantwoordelike regering, die afskaffing van diensbaarheid en die instelling van 'n Oostenrykse grondwet. Ondanks hierdie aanvanklike belofte van verandering, was die rewolusie van korte duur. Aan die einde van 1848 keer die ou maniere terug, met die abdikasie van Ferdinand I ten gunste van sy 18 -jarige neef Franz Joseph I. Na die aanstelling as keiser - 'n posisie wat hy beklee het tot sy dood in 1916 - het Franz Joseph Deens agteradmiraal Hans Birch von Dahlerup in die pos van opperbevelhebber van die Oostenrykse vloot. Met die steun van die keiser het von Dahlerup die volgende twee en 'n half jaar die vloot volgens die Britse vloot geherorganiseer, wat hom in staat gestel het vir die komende jare. Hy het die vloot vroeg in 1849 as deel van die Venetion -blokkade in werking gestel en die bouprogram wat gedurende 1848 tot stilstand gekom het, herbegin. die Deen met 'n Oostenrykse-von Dahlerup is twee jaar later vervang deur aartshertog Ferdinand Maximillian, wat van 1854 tot 1862 as opperbevelhebber gedien het.

Nadat hy die rewolusie en ongeveer sewe jaar op die aandele oorleef het, het die Novara is op 4 November 1850 amptelik van die Venesiaanse skip af gelanseer. Sy was destyds aangewys as 'n driemastige seilfregat, 42 gewere, lengte 165 voet, gewig / verplasing 2107 Oostenrykse ton (2630 Engelse ton), en kon 'n aanvulling hê van 403. Die oppervlakte van die hoofseile beloop 18 291 vierkante voet. Die presiese afmetings van die vaartuig sou gedurende haar leeftyd verander, veral na 'n groot herbouing in 1861-2 om die installering van 'n stoomenjin te vergemaklik. Ten tyde van die opknapping van die vaartuig in 1857 ter voorbereiding op 'n wêreldwye wetenskaplike ekspedisie, waarin daar geen groot veranderinge aan die oorspronklike afmetings aangebring is nie, is sy egter soos volg beskryf:

Die tuishawe van die Novara was nominaal Trieste, hoewel sy van die Venesiaanse Arsenal en later die Pola -vlootwerwe bedien sou word. 'N Opvallende kenmerk van die vaartuig was die Venesiese gondel, wat as een van haar hulpbote gedien het en moontlik as 'n huldeblyk aan haar bouers ingesluit is. Die gondel het gereis met die Novara tydens haar wêreldwye reis tussen 1857-9. 'N Jong Australiese meisie - "Minnie" Mann - sou gedurende November 1858 die opwinding van die Sydney Harbour aan boord van hierdie eksotiese gondel opneem, beman soos deur matrose van die fregat. Dit was ongetwyfeld die eerste Venetiaanse vaartuig wat Port Jackson besoek het sedert dit die eerste keer in 1788 gekoloniseer is.

Die 'Novara' -kamer, Miramar -kasteel, Triëst. Gebou vir aartshertog Ferdinand Maximillian as herinnering aan sy jare as vlootkadet aan boord van die Oostenrykse fregat.

Alhoewel die Novara in November 1850 die skip verlaat het, was die aanpassing eers in Junie 1851 voltooi. Sy het haar eerste seevaarte op die Middellandse See onderneem, en was 'n vinnige vaartuig, en teen 1857 was sy die vinnigste van die vloot. Gedurende haar eerste diensjaar het die 19 -jarige aartshertog Ferdinand Maximillian tyd aan boord gesien as 'n jong vlootoffisier. He was to develop such a fondness for the vessel during this period that when he built his residence Miramar Castle on a bluff overlooking the Adriatic Sea near Trieste, he included within it a study room which resembled his quarters on board ship in precise detail. Daylight entered the room through a round scuttle in the ceiling, like that on the Novara's own deck. The room also featured richly carved wooden beams, centrally located to imitate the cramped and crowded condition of the rooms on board the Novara which, during the course of a normal cruise, would be called on to accommodate anywhere from 400-500 sailors.

Upon her initial period of service, the Novara acted as a sail-training vessel and ship of the line. European powers such as Britain and France used their naval cruisers as station ships to protect colonial possessions (e.g. the British frigates HMS Herald en HMS Iris were both serving at the Sydney station during 1858 at the time of the Novara visit). The Habsburgs had no such colonial aspirations and, as a result, the duties of the Austrian fleet were relatively limited to sail training, patrol duties upon the Mediterranean and Adriatic Seas, fighting, or putting up in port in order to save expense and extend the naval budget. Due to a large amount of indifference on the part of the Habsburg bureaucracy, this latter activity occupied many vessels of the fleet for an inordinate period of time, resulting in an unacceptable state of preparedness when called on to defend the Empire in battle. Archduke Maximillian fought to overcome this, and was somewhat successful in his efforts. For example, a report in the London Tye of 2 September 1852 noted that some 2400 workmen were then employed in the Venice Arsenal 'building new ships' for the Austrian navy, or 'rendering old ones fit for war service.'

The opportunity to show off her naval prowess came early in 1853 when a conflict broke out between Austria and Turkey over the latter's despatch of troops into Montenegro. Die Novara and a squadron of Austrian naval vessels was despatched to the Montenegran coast to show the flag and ward off further Turkish incursions. No action took place at this time, and the vessels eventually returned to port and extended duties of a less exciting nature.

A Round-the-World Scientific Expedition 1857-9

Circumstances were to change for the Novara, however, when in 1856 she was selected for duty in connection with a round-the-world scientific expedition to be sponsored by Ferdinand Maximillian and the great German scientist Alexander von Humboldt. Instead of gathering barnacles in port, the frigate would be dispatched on an extended voyage of discovery to the Far East and the Pacific. This was indeed a noble task for any vessel during periods of war or peace, and one which placed the Novara among that distinguished list of ships of exploration which includes Captain James Cook's Endeavour, HMS Beagle with Captain FitzRoy and Charles Darwin on board, the French Astrolabe, America's USS Pou, en HMS Challenger, to name but a few.

"Te Deum" Mass on board the Novara, 1857, officiated by Father von Marochini. Engraving after original drawing by Joseph Selleny

The idea of an Austrian flag-waving exercise combined with a scientific expedition came at a time of relative security for the Empire, and a lull in fighting on its borders. This followed on the Italian uprising and internal revolutions of 1848-9, and a series of smaller conflicts during the first half of the 1850s. Wanneer die Novara was launched from the Venetian stocks in 1850, Austrian and Bavarian troops were in the process of occupying parts of Hanover, and tensions had developed with neighbouring Prussia, the strongest of the Germanic states. However these conflicts were resolved by 1851 when the Novara was commissioned, and there was relative calm for a number of years. During 1853 tensions began to mount - the Montenegro conflict flaired there was insurrection in Milan the Kosta affair at Smyrna was a severe embarrasment to Austria and its navy, pointing to the simmering Hungarian indpeendence movement and there was an assassination attempt carried out on Franz Joseph during that year.

Early in 1854 the Crimean War broke out. Austria tried to stay out of any direct involvement in this conflict, though it was aligned with Great Britain and France, in defense of Turkey against a Russia advance which sought control of the Baltic Sea and hoped to profit from the breakup of the Ottoman Empire. Hostilities continued in the Crimea until February 1856, at which point the allies claimed victory over the Russian incursion.

Following cessation of the war, the Austrian navy and scientific establishment could now proceed undistracted with its plans for a round-the-world scientific expedition, no longer fearful that her naval vessels would be attacked or confiscated by a hostile fleet. How long this state of affairs would last remained unclear, however a window of opportunity opened in 1856 following the closure of the Crimean War.

When Archduke Ferdinand Maximillian received permission from his brother the Emperor Franz Joseph to mount a round-the-world scientific expedition and sail-training exercise, he immediately contacted Alexander von Humboldt, seeking support and guidance. Replying to the request in December 1856, Humboldt was enthusiastic, as were other European scientists such as English geologist Sir Roderick Murchison. All saw the opportunity to build upon the work of previous non-Austrian expeditions in expanding the realms of scientific knowledge and acquiring specimens of natural history from far off lands. It was agreed that Austria should mount an official expedition to not only widen the skills of her most distinguished scientists and allow them to gather items for study and display in local museums, but also to carry the Habsburg banner to all corners of the globe, thereby proclaiming the Empire's existence as a world power. A further task, as noted by the expedition's historiographer Karl Scherzer, was "the practical instruction of our young and rapidly increasing navy."

Commodore Bernhard von W llerstorf-Urbair was given general commander of the expedition. Archduke Ferdinand Maximillian selected the Novara to carry out this task, not only because of his personal attachment to the ship, but also due to the practicalities of using sail as opposed to steam on such a long voyage. A sailing frigate offered greater disposable storage area on board, in comparison with the steaming equivalent, which required a large amount of area below decks for coal and machinery. Also necessary on this occasion was room for the scientific contingent, their supplies and equipment, and storage space for the many specimens to be acquired during the course of the expedition. This was on top of the extra sailors and marines who would also be on board. As the vessel was travelling to areas of the globe where it was known that the winds blow freely and supplies of coal could not always be easily obtained, sail won out over steam. Die Novara was therefore given the honour of transporting a contingent of scientists, naval officers, diplomats, sailors, marines, and even a musical band on a two-year cruise around the world.

In order to prepare for the voyage ahead, the Novara was laid up at the Pola naval yards for a refit early in 1857. The ventilation of the lower decks was improved and the number of cabins increased in proportion to the number of individuals to be accommodated. The gun room was converted into a reading room and provided with a well-selected library and various charts and maps for use by the officers and scientists as they went about their respective tasks of researching, recording, calculating and drawing. The store rooms for the sail and tackle were enlarged so as to take double the normal quantity. A distilling apparatus was installed on the gun deck, and shower-bath facilities were improved so that the health of the crew could be maintained over a long period. Such precautions proved effective, with no major outbreaks of disease occurring on board during the length of the expedition.

The refit was completed on 15 March 1857, at which point the Novara, accompanied by the corvette Carolina, headed north for Trieste, the expedition's official point of departure. Final farwells took place amid much fanfare and cannon fire on 30 April 1857. Both vessels left Trieste not under sail, but in tow, courtesy of the steamer St. Lucia. They were taken south as far as Sicily and the Straits of Messina, before sails were unfurled and the ships headed west into the Mediterranean, past the Straits of Gibraltar and out into the Atlantic Ocean. Die Novara was accompanied as far as Rio de Janiero by the Carolina, and thereafter traveled on alone to Africa, India, China, the Philippines and Indonesia, Australia, New Zealand, and various South Pacific islands. Her precise itinerary was as follows:

SMS Novara Itinerary 1857-9

Library and former Gun Room on board the Novara, 1857. Engraving after original drawing by Joseph Selleny.


Famous Birthdays In 1500

Famous People Born In This Year In History

Feb 22 On this day in history birth of cardinal Rodolfo Pio da Carpi, Italian humanist (d. 1564)

Feb 24 Carlos V, King of Spain (1516-56)/Holy Roman Emperor was born in the year 1500.

Mar 03 Reginald Pole, English Cardinal/"heretic" was born in the year 1500.

Apr 12 Joachim Camerarius, [Liebhard Kammerer], German humanist was born in the year 1500.

Apr 23 On this day in history birth of alexander Alesius, [Aless/Alane], System theologist/physician

Apr 23 Alexander Ales, Scottish theologian (d. 1565) was born in the year 1500.

Nov 01 On this day in history birth of benvenuto Cellini, sculptor/goldsmith/author (Perseus)


The First Italian War of Independence

Since the breakup of the Roman Empire, Italy had separated into several different city-states and small kingdoms. In 1815, after the Napoleonic Wars, control of the northern Italian states of Lombardy and Venezia was returned to the Austrian Empire of the Habsburgs, by whom they had long been dominated. Neighbouring Lombardy was Piedmont, a state ruled by the King of Sardinia. The authorities were keen to crush revolutionary ideas and return to the pre-Napoleonic status quo, but some Italians had been inspired by events in France and wanted more say over their own lives. This desire for better rights for ordinary citizens developed into a movement to make Italy stronger by unifying all its states into one country. This was known in Italian as Risorgimento. At the beginning of 1848, a year of revolutions across Europe, several states in Italy had uprisings by people demanding written constitutions that guaranteed them certain rights and freedoms. Charles Albert, the King of Sardinia, saw an opportunity to increase his power by harnessing Risorgimento and placing himself at the head of a campaign to get control of Lombardy and Venetia from the Austrian Empire.

Die oorlog

In March 1848, there were citizen uprisings in Milan and Venice that forced the Austrian garrisons out of the cities. King Charles Albert of Sardinia declared war on Austria on 23 March. As his Piedmontese armies marched towards the Austrian-controlled state of Lombardy, they were joined by troops from other Italian states. Over the next few days, the Italians reached and crossed the border into Lombardy. They then slowly advanced towards the Mincio river, which marked the border between Lombardy and Venetia, allowing the Austrians to carry out an orderly retreat to strong positions. By 8 April most of the Austrian troops in northern Italy had withdrawn to the Quadrilateral fortresses at Verona, Peschiera, Mantua and Legnago, where they could regroup and plan counterattacks against the Italians. The Austrians were commanded by 81-year-old Josef Radetsky.

The first military clashes of the war came at various crossings of the Mincio, where from 8-11 April 1848 the Austrian rearguard failed to prevent the Italians from moving into Venetia. Meanwhile, Austrian reinforcements were coming, marching into Venetia from the east. By 27 April the Italians were besieging the Austrian-held fort at Peschiera, and three days later on 30 April, there was a clash at Pastrengo as they successfully forced the Austrians out of several strongholds in the vicinity. Although this success was a boost to Italian morale, they failed to cut off the Austrian supply route to the north, a move which would have been a serious blow to the Austrian war effort. The Italian cause had also taken something of a knock when Pope Pius IX withdrew his support, although many of the troops from the Papal States chose to remain and fight despite this.

The Battle of Santa Lucia on 6 May 1848 saw the Italians attack Austrian-held villages west of Verona. Although there was some success, the failure of attacks in other parts of the line led to the Italians abandoning the gains they had made rather than leave their troops exposed. The Austrians were able to retake the villages without opposition, and the battle marked a turning point in the campaign, where the Italians lost the initiative they had held to that point. Two days later the other Austrian army, under General Laval Nugent, fought Papal troops at the Battle of Cornuda. When expected reinforcements failed to arrive, the Papal army was forced to retreat. Ill health forced Nugent to hand command over to Georg Thurn, who marched the troops to link up with Radetsky’s Austrians at Verona.

The aim of the Austrians was to break the siege of Peschiera, but an attempt to break through the Italian lines at Goito on 30 May failed, and on that very same day, the Austrians at Peschiera surrendered. Charles Albert was hailed by his victorious troops as the ‘King of Italy’. However, this would prove to be the high-water mark of Italian success. On June 11 the Papal troops in the east were forced to withdraw from the war after losing the battle for the city of Vicenza. Their departure weakened the Italian position in Venetia and allowed the Austrians to regain control of Padua, Trento and Palmanova.

After several weeks of inactivity, troops from the Savoy region retook the town of Governolo from the Austrians. Although it was an impressive victory, the Italians were now overextended. The Battle of Custoza, playing out between 22-27 July 1848, saw the two armies confront each other in almost equal numbers. At first, the Italians were able to repel Austrian attacks around Rivoli, but over the next few days, the Austrians gained several crossings over the Mincio river. By 27 July, the Italians were falling back. Charles Albert wanted to negotiate a truce but, finding the Austrian demands excessive decided instead to retreat to Milan. The city was still in the hands of a provisional government after ejecting the Austrian garrison earlier in the year, and Charles Albert hoped to gain control of it for Piedmont and the Sardinian crown.

In Milan, the Italian soldiers found the citizens ready to resist the Austrian army to the death. However, Charles Albert was concerned at the lack of supplies and decided to abandon the city. He left under cover of darkness, protected by armed guards against any Milanese citizens who might take violent objection to his decision.

On 6 August, Charles Albert’s armies had withdrawn into Piedmont, back inside the Sardinian territory. On 9 August an armistice was signed with the Austrians. Although the fighting had officially stopped, Italy had not returned to the pre-1848 status quo. Venice was still in rebel hands and had agreed to be annexed by Sardinia. Garibaldi and Mazzini were still trying to fight for republicanism across Italy, and in February 1849 Tuscany and Rome declared themselves to be republics.

The Chamber of Deputies in the Kingdom of Sardinia voted to break the terms of the armistice and resume hostilities against Austria in early March 1849. Charles Albert officially declared war on 20 March, but the Austrians had not wasted those few weeks and were ready with a surprise invasion of Piedmont. On 23 March 1849, the two armies met at the Battle of Novara. Although the attacking initiative changed hands several times over the course of the day, the end result was a heavy defeat for Piedmont. That night Charles Albert announced that he would be abdicating his throne in favour of his son and heir, Victor Emmanuel II. His first duty as the king was to meet Josef Radetzky to negotiate the terms of the armistice. The Italians were forced to allow the Austrians to keep garrisons in their territory, and to pay reparations. The Peace of Milan officially came into effect on 6 August 1849.

In the months following the Battle of Novara, other Italian states were gradually returned to their pre-1848 rulers. The last holdout was Venice, which finally surrendered to the Austrians on 22 August after being stricken with starvation and disease. Although the spirit of Risorgimento seemed to have been extinguished, the desire for greater freedom and national unification in Italy would continue to grow.

Chronologie

In 1848 Italy was divided into several different states and kingdoms under various different rulers. The call was growing for greater freedoms for ordinary Italians, and for a return to a united Italy last seen under the Romans, inspired in part by the French Revolution. In 1848, several Italian cities and states saw uprisings. In Milan and Venice, the ruling Austrians were ejected from the cities. King Charles Albert of Sardinia decided to declare war on Austria as a way of harnessing the revolutionary movement to increase his own power in northern Italy. He began his campaign in March 1848, marching into the Austrian puppet states of Lombardy and Venetia alongside allies from other Italian states. Despite initially driving the Austrians back, the Italian campaign ultimately failed and Charles Albert signed an armistice in August 1848. In the following year, he declared war on Austria again, but the conflict was swiftly ended when the Austrians launched a surprise invasion of Charles Albert’s own territory of Piedmont. The First War of Italian Independence was officially ended by the Peace of Milan on 6 August 1849. Charles Albert abdicated and his son Victor Emmanuel II became King of Sardinia.

Verwysings:

[1.] Various, The Times Complete History of the World (Times Books, 2004)


Battle of Novara, 8 April 1500 - History

By William J. McPeak

Bishops in battle? It’s not as unlikely as it sounds. At the Battle of Hastings in 1066, Norman Duke William, soon to be dubbed William the Conqueror, held his heavy cavalry in check until the most advantageous moment to charge the right flank of King Harold’s Saxons. Riding with him was his brother Odo, a capable military man in his own right besides being the bishop of Bayeux. Of the three great divisions of knights heading east for Constantinople in 1096 to inaugurate the First Crusade against the Seljuk Turks, that of the warriors of Provencals was led by Prince Raymond of Toulouse and another leading churchman, Bishop Adhemar de Puy, was the papal commissary. And when Scottish patriot William Wallace was defeated in 1298 at the Battle of Falkirk by King Edward I of England, it was due in part to Anthony Bek, the prince bishop of Durham, who directed the king’s right flank that day.

The thought of a lordly bishop wielding a sword or mace in combat might seem unlikely, but throughout history many clerical leaders have proven themselves to be talented and determined military commanders. The local village priest on the battlefield was actually fairly commonplace before ad 1000. It was natural to find men of the cloth—however homespun—marching with soldiers to bless them before battle or administer last rites after the fighting was over. But some of the fathers were made for more than merely turning the other cheek. They might also have carried a concealed dagger or garrote with which to more speedily administer last rites to the enemy.

Higher churchmen such as bishops often accompanied lords and king as a symbol of their spiritual unity. Some did much more. Bishops were the leaders and administrators of the early Christian church, and most candidates for a bishopric were nobles who had been appointed to the position by the king. Noble families traditionally gained power through exemplary military service. As such, they were vassals to the king and the church. The oldest son, by tradition and law, inherited the family land and title, while the youngest was usually picked to become a cleric. Although not necessarily his first inclination, it was a matter of familial duty and self-interest. Bishops, like other noblemen, held great tracts of land, and their privileges could be boundless. A king might influence the choosing of a bishop sympathetic to him to gain control of rich church lands or acquire more influence with the church for political ends. A bright offspring in clerical robes, therefore, could be a useful means of enhancing family power. If his talents included a strong right arm—so much the better for everyone involved.

The aforementioned Bishop Bek was part of an early political strategy by the English monarchy. The city of Durham, in northern England, traditionally was controlled by a loyal bishop capable of protecting the English border from the always troublesome Scots. Being given royal-like powers to rule the county, he was called the “Prince Bishop.” Nobles, knights, and lower clerics of demonstrated military ability would join the Prince Bishop’s Men, an elite force that was essentially a mercenary band. Armed clashes between the Scottish reivers, or raiders, and the Prince Bishop’s Men, were common.

There was an old saying that bishops did not carry a mace into battle to draw blood, but merely to split hairs by other means. There were blade-wielding bishops as well. European cathedrals, typically the largest church building at the center of a bishop’s territory or diocese, contained a variety of medieval swords used in various ceremonies—and many were the former battle swords of bishops. The French bishops of Caliors proudly followed a martial tradition of displaying their hardware openly in church, regularly placing their swords and helmets on the altar when they said Mass.

Many bishops took their military duties in stride and passed unnoticed in the annals of military history. Actively malicious churchmen were another matter. The tradition of the bad bishop was an old one. Some used their positions and military prowess for troublemaking and intrigue. On such intriguing bishop in 14th-century England was Thomas de Lisle, the bishop of Ely (1345-1361), who used his aggressive nature to form a gang of bravos to terrorize, harass, and otherwise extort money from local merchants and relatives of King Edward III until he finally was exiled.

As the Protestant Reformation progressed, stories focusing on bad clergy became a key point of attack on the Catholic Church. Bishops with exceptional abilities—or good connections—became archbishops who ruled over whole provinces of bishops and their ecclesiastical lands. In isolated areas without strong civil authorities, an archbishop might wield nearly ultimate power. In the medieval Holy Roman Empire (modern-day Germany), powerful archbishops ruling the ecclesiastical principalities of Mainz, Cologne, and Trier were designated as three of the seven electors of the Emperor. An archbishop could be elected a cardinal, a “Prince of the Church,” a position that made him eligible to elect or be elected pope.


The College of Cardinals at that time comprised archbishops, bishops, priests, and even deacons—but the most important figures were the archbishops. Such a figure was Ippolito d’Este (1479-1520) of the famous and ancient d’Este family of Ferrara, Italy. The son of Ercole I, duke of Ferrara, Ippolito was anything but pious, but as a younger son he was obliged to promote family interests in the religious life. A bishop at the astonishingly early age of eight, he became an archbishop, then moved on to become a cardinal at 15. As ambitious as any man in Italy, Ippolito took his nobility in stride—mistresses, expensive tastes, fine weapons for the hunt and war. He used church lands for family profit. A cardinal’s official outer dress was a dark red (cardinal) robe. Ippolito wore expensive cardinal-colored clothes—sometimes—but cut the figure of a lordly courtier with extreme hats to match. With a fiery temper and will to match his clothing, Ippolito participated in a number of military campaigns, a notable one being as commander of Duke Ferrara’s army against Venice in 1509.

Ippolito’s older brother Alfonso married Lucretia, the sister of another high-ranking man of religion—also a cardinal, but really in name only. Cesare Borgia (1476-1507) would become the embodiment of the ruthless Renaissance Italian mercenary lord. Bad followed bad. Borgia’s father, Rodrigo, had risen through church offices with bribes to become one of the most scandalous of clerics and popes, Pope Alexander VI. This indulgent clerical father intended Cesare for the church as a younger son—a matter of family power sharing. Cesare was an archbishop at 12 and a cardinal by 18. But his greed for power and glory—he was implicated in the murder of his older brother, Giovanni, the duke of Gandi—led Cesare to a different purpose.

The pope needed a muscle man to replace Giovanni. In August 1498, Cardinal Cesare was released from his ecclesiastical duties, freeing him to move against the despots of Romagna (central and eastern Italian territories belonging to the principality known as the Papal States). Cesare was not a particularly good general, although he was so physically strong that he could unbend a horseshoe or decapitate a bull with one stroke of a two-handed sword. He was not a good combat leader, either. But with a mix of good foreign and Italian mercenary captains and troops under the papal banner, he was quite successful. Cesare attempted to gobble up all the city states of Italy in the name of unity and the papacy, taking one after the other: Imola, Rimini, Pesaro, Faenza, Camerino, and Urbino.

As the Borgia name has come to suggest, Cesare’s real talents lay in treachery, bribery, and murder. From the papal fortress of Sant Angelo in Rome, he supposedly murdered four or five enemies a day. With ducal titles to cap his conquests, he was feared throughout Italy. Ironically, Cesare had brought the Papal States into better order for a martial pope to follow. Driven from Italy, he ended his days in the family’s ancestral Spain, dying on the battlefield as a common mercenary.

Popes, too, went into battle. The pope was defined as bishop of Rome. Before ad 425, any bishop was considered a pope (only after 700 did it come to mean the supreme pontiff). By then, the bishop of Rome had gained enough influence to be recognized the leader of the Roman Catholic Church. When Jesus Christ was taken by Roman soldiers in the Garden of Gethsemane, the first act of resistance came from his most enthusiastic apostle, Simon, later to become St. Peter, the first bishop of Rome, who drew his sword and hacked off the ear of one Malchus, servant of the high priest of Jerusalem. Jesus, after restoring Malchus’s ear to its usual place, told Peter to put up his sword because “he who lives by the sword dies by the sword.”

But the popes had a martial tradition of their own, for power meant having to have an army to back it up. Two of the strongest early medieval popes were Gregory the Great and Leo IV. Like royalty, the papacy had its own coat of arms and could grant noble status to its followers. Several cardinals had been papal generals, and because of the desire to control the Papal States and protect against foreign intrusions, a pope with a strong military arm was still needed. Giuliano delle Rovere (1443-1513) had an easy road to high church positions as bishop and archbishop, and by 1471 he was a cardinal by virtue of appointment by his uncle, Pope Sixtus IV. Like any cardinal with his eye on the papacy, Rovere stayed in Rome—that is, when he was not away putting out fires. In 1474, Rovere led an army to restore papal authority in Umbria. He tasked himself with the goal of recovering all the Papal States. The Borgias had begun that effort, but Rovere had no use for the Borgias. He hated their power grabbing—and meant to do something about it. But with his uncle gone and the Borgia-favoring Pope Alexander VI in control in Rome, he could do little but bide his time. Rovere hired his own soldiers to man fortresses he used as he began his struggle to check the Borgias. But he found himself having to flee to France (1493) to induce French King Charles VIII to invade. This would be one cause for the start of French dynastic designs on Italy for the next half century.

Although Rovere saw the dangers of letting in foreign powers, at the time he was more concerned with pulling Alexander from the throne of St. Peter. The French helped—and many welcomed them—until they proved no better than the self-serving mercenary lords already causing endemic warfare in the country. Finally, with the passing of Alexander VI and the sickly Pius III, who reigned less than a month after him, Rovere himself became pope in 1503—Pope Julius II. While most previous popes had family and factions to reward for their rise, the new pope was his own man in more ways than one—he had three daughters. One observer wrote: “We have a pope who will be both loved and feared.” The Venetian envoy was more descriptive: “No one has any influence over him, and he consults few or none,” he wrote. “It is almost impossible to describe how strong and violent and difficult he is to manage. In body and soul he has the nature of a giant. Everything about him is on a magnified scale, both his undertakings and his passions. He inspires fear rather than hatred, for there is nothing in him that is small or meanly selfish.”

Julius wanted to make the papacy and ultimately Italy independent of foreigners and self-seeking Italian nobles. For this, he needed complete possession of the cities of the Papal States before he could push out the French. Although a cultured man, Julius was also a warrior in spirit and disposition. He loved horses, hunting, and the feel of armor. He was not content with brainstorming with his generals and then sending them out on campaign—he had to go himself. He often acted as commander in the field, whether at sieges or on the battlefield. In full armor he directed siege gunfire and, sword in hand, rode down enemy soldiers as they retreated from his heavy cavalry. He was not called pontefice terribile (the terrible pope) for nothing.


In 1504, Julius began to methodically roll up papal enemies by making an alliance of convenience with the French and Germans to secure, among others, the papal towns of Faenza and Rimini in the Romagna from opportunistic Venice, which had grabbed them from the weakened Borgia political machine. In 1506, the pope engineered a brilliant campaign to wrest the strategic papal cities of Perugia and Bologna from Venice. He and his French, Hapsburg, and Spanish allies finally broke the Venetian domination of Italy at the Battle of Agnadello on May 14, 1509. Then it was time to deal with the French.

In 1510, Julius quickly made up with Venice to ally himself with it in order to force the French out of Italy once and for all. Julius was 68 years old, but late in the year, with winter coming on, he marched north to Bologna only to fall sick and almost be captured by the French. Recovering, he moved on to Modena and took it. In the dead of winter, Julius turned to besiege Mirandola. He took it in January 1511. Waiting to gain former allies (England, Spain, and Venice) against France, he fell gravely ill in August. Although not expected to live, he did. Overcoming the French victory at Ravenna (1512), he was able to restore the Papal States with the defeat of the French at Novara and the peace in 1513. The French were back north of the Alps at last—or at least for the foreseeable future.

Although the king of France, Louis XII, had called Julius the Antichrist, he was in reality a great patron of art, cajoling Michelangelo into doing the frescos of the Sistine Chapel and other magnificent works of art. Julius also patronized Raphael’s art and Bramante’s architecture in Rome. To his mind, he had been the proper instrument of God in getting things done. The great Dutch humanist Desiderius Erasmus, who hated war, did not agree. To him, the warrior pope was not deserving of heaven. In his humorous tract Julius Excluded, Erasmus depicted Julius at the closed gates of heaven, bellowing for entrance while St. Peter looked down unmoved and refused to let him enter.

The well-ordered society of 16th-century Western Europe was a far cry from conditions in the eastern borderlands—and none was worse than Hungary. With miles of flat plain ripe for invasion, fortified towns and fortresses were strategically positioned along important river fords. Since the later 15th century, invasion meant progressive incursions by the Ottoman Turks. Traditionally, the eastern border bishops and archbishops raised and supplied their own troops as a necessity against encroaching Turkish forces. The largest fortified cities were in central and eastern Hungary and had long been ecclesiastical holdings of bishops and archbishops. One of the oldest was Kolocza. Having gained the right in the 12th century to crown the Hungarian king, the archbishops of Kolocza warred frequently against Moslem Patarenes in Bosnia. Archbishop Ugrin (1219-1241), the greatest of the Hungarian archbishops, also fought the Tatars before falling at the Battle of Muhi. In a similar mold was another of Kolocza’s ruling archbishops, Paul Tomori (1475-1526), who turned to religion after his wife was killed. It was only out of national necessity that he became archbishop, and he continued to wear light armor under his robes.

No one took a more active role in the business of military preparedness than Tomori. He was designated captain in chief along the southern borders of Hungary, which meant seeing to troop preparedness and scouting Turkish movements. By March 1526, he was receiving reports of a logistical buildup among the Turkish border fortresses, indicating that the Turkish army was preparing to march. The Turks had marched before in 1523, and the Hungarians had been able to deal with them, but not before incurring heavy losses from which they had not yet recovered. Tomori rushed north to Buda (later Budapest) to alert the young King Louis II of Hungary of the danger. Louis was hopelessly mired in bickering with self-serving nobles, and Tomori could only seethe over the decision to delay a meeting of the Diet for a month to discuss the matter. By that time, the young, ambitious Turkish sultan, Suleiman I (1494-1566), was already heading west from Constantinople with his personal troops toward Turkish-held Belgrade. His European and Asiatic vassals would meet him there.

Back in Buda, there was talk and more talk, when mobilizing should have been the first order of business. Finally, the War Council called for every military unit, including contracted mercenaries, to meet 50 miles south of Tolna on July 2. For a battleground they chose unwisely—the uneven plains at Mohacs. With political excuses already pouring in from allied countries—Austria, Bohemia, Poland, and Wallachia all declined to send troops—raising a sufficient force in time looked hopeless. But Tomori was not one to wait passively for defeat. At Kolocza, he fitted out 3,000 horse and foot soldiers from his own diocese and headed south for the southernmost fortress city of Peterwardein on the Drava River. The Turks would make their first assault there. To reinforce it, Tomori moved quickly before a Turkish siege could begin and committed 1,000 infantry troops to bolster the garrison.

It took 15 days for the fortress to fall on July 27—not much time bought. The garrison retreated to the inner citadel after the city walls were breached and held off two massive assaults of Janissaries (the sultan’s shock troops made up of former Christian boy captives). The remaining 500 survivors were massacred. Tomori could do nothing with the 2,000 cavalrymen left to him but shadow the continued westward march of the Turkish victors. He continually sent information to the king, hoping that the regent would be moving south with his troops to intercept the Turks before they crossed the river at the strategic town of Essek.

At Tolna, the young king made that strategic decision to detach a large contingent of troops and send it southward to occupy Essek and oppose a Turkish crossing there. Incredibly, the Hungarian nobles chosen to go to Essek would not do so unless led personally by the king. Enraged, Louis had to forget reinforcing Essek and keep moving south. He arrived at the small town of Mohacs on the Danube in mid-August. There he was reunited with Tomori, now heading a force of 6,000 warriors and waiting on the opposite side of the river. Meanwhile, farther south, Suleiman and his Turkish commanders could scarcely believe that no waiting Hungarian army opposed them at Essek. In four days’ time, they constructed a pontoon bridge, and by August 24, the Turks were moving north to meet the Hungarian army at Mohacs.

Along with George Zapolya, brother of the wily John, voivode of Transylvania (who did not show), Tomori was nominated co-commander of the Hungarian forces at Mohacs. He was strongly critical of those who counseled the king to fall back before the advancing Turkish host. It would be a scandal, he said, to let half the kingdom go without a fight. He felt some confidence, for many of the king’s levies had arrived, including no less than eight other bishops. The archbishop of Gran had come with the king from Buda, while the bishops of Warasdin and Raab had joined up at Tolna. The bishop of Agram brought 700 horsemen the bishop of Fünfkirchen brought 2,000 archers. The clerical count went on—the bishops of Bosnia, Nitria, and Vacz all arrived with their promised troops.

Tomori did his best to boost morale and fire the zeal of the Christian army. He downplayed the size of the Turkish army, noting that its ranks were swollen by irregulars, mercenaries, and camp followers who traditionally were untrustworthy in battle. Tomori felt they could defeat the enemy at Mohacs, although he could see clearly that the odds against them were formidable. There were about 20,000 European forces in hand, mostly Hungarians, but also Bohemians, Croats, and Poles as well as some Germans, Italians, and Spanish mercenaries. Arrayed against them were 70,000 fighting Turks. Francis, bishop of Warasdin, whose brother was the great frontier fighter Peter Perenyi, was prophetically sarcastic when he whispered to King Louis that the pope had better make ready to canonize 20,000 Christian martyrs.

By the morning of August 29, 1526, the showdown had come. Suleiman’s host appeared at the foot of the low hills west of Mohacs. The European forces were drawn up before the town, with the marshes of the Danube to the south. Suleiman used a deep formation, with most of his cavalry stationed in the first two lines. The Turkish cannons—twice as many as the Europeans’—came next, followed by his royal cavalry and his Janissary infantry shouldering arquebuses and drawn up to protect him. Off to the north, the sultan had dispatched well over 4,000 light cavalry irregulars, called Akindjis, whose job it would be to move in quickly to outflank the Europeans if the battle looked in doubt. The Europeans were stretched in long lines of blocks to avoid being flanked. An 80-cannon train stood in front as a means of softening up the Turkish cavalry.

Tomori, as usual, rode in the front line of heavy horse in full armor. He led one of the two largest feudal cavalry formations, interspersed with infantry blocks. Among Tomori’s formation was the Hungarian light cavalry, the Hussars, better armed than their Turkish counterparts and virtually unstoppable in their headlong charges. The second line was actually two lines—the remaining squadrons of the Hungarian horse followed by the king, his personal guard, and the eight bishops with their troops arrayed on the king’s flanks.


In the late afternoon, the fiery Hungarian horsemen attacked prematurely, before the cannons could open on the Turkish cavalry. Initially, they were successful in driving back the enemy front line into its second line. But in the meantime, the Turkish cannoneers and arquebusiers unleashed a furious fire of their own that completely disorganized the Hungarian cavalry. The Hungarian right attacked and caused some disorganization—their arrows dangerously accurate and just missing the sultan—but the Janissaries pushed them back. In came the flanking Akinji cavalry. They turned the Christian host into a panic-stricken mob fleeing toward the illusive safety of the marsh, with the Turks pressing their advantage. One by one, most of the great lords went down. Six of the eight bishops fell. Tomori, trying to turn back fleeing soldiers, was killed as well. By nightfall, the unfortunate King Louis, in heavy armor, retreated south—only to fall into the marsh and drown. (He was later found still in his full armor and astride his horse.) Total European losses numbered more than 10,000.

In an uncharacteristic move, the usually modest Suleiman set up a gory display of his easy victory. He ordered the decapitation of any lordly prisoners, along with those found dead on the battlefield, and had the heads staked around his tent. That night Tomori, six of his brother clerics, and other dead lords stared with unseeing eyes upon Hungarian territory that was now in Turkish hands.

Four decades later, when Suleiman’s ongoing war against the West was decisively turned back on the Mediterranean island of Malta, it was an entire army of Christian clerics—the Knights Hospitallers of the Order of St. John—that accomplished the feat. Since its founding at the time of the First Crusade, the order had functioned as a veritable nation unto itself, beholden to no one but the Lord and the pope—a far cry from the solitary village priests who first set out in the Middle Ages to carry a sword for king and cross.


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