O.T.L. 16th Century European Heartlands by BobHope



First Italian War; 1494-1498
League of Venice

When Ferdinand I of Naples died in 1494, Charles VIII invaded the peninsula with a French Army. French forces moved through Italy virtually unopposed, since the condottieri armies of the Italian city-states were unable to resist them.
Charles was unopposed by Florence and Pope Alexander VI let the French pass through the Papal States.
Reaching Monte San Giovanni, in the Kingdom of Naples, Charles VIII sent envoys to town and castle seeking their surrender.
The garrison killed and mutilated the envoys, angering the French who reduced the castle with artillery and stormed it, killing everyone inside. This was termed "the sack of Naples" and news of the massacre provoked a reaction among the city-states of Northern Italy.

The Italian states realizing the danger to their autonomy collaborated to create the Holy League of 1495. The alliance was formed by Pope Alexander VI and comprised the Papal States, Ferdinand II of Aragon, also King of Sicily, Emperor Maximilian I, Ludovico Sforza of Milan, the Republic of Florence, the Duchy of Mantua and the Republic of Venice. The League gathered an army under the condottiero Francesco II Gonzaga, Marquess of Mantua.This effectively cut Charles off from returning to France.

After establishing a pro-French government in Naples, Charles started north to return to France, in the town of Fornovo he met the League army.
After an hour the League was forced back across the Taro river. The French continued on their march to Asti but left their carriages and provisions behind, abandoning nearly all of the booty from the campaign.
Both parties tried to present themselves as the victors but, because the French had repelled their enemies and succeeded in moving forward, the consensus was of a French victory.
Although the League managed to force Charles off the battlefield, it suffered much higher casualties and could not prevent them crossing Italian lands as it returned to France.

Meanwhile, in Naples, after initial reverses, Spanish general Gonzalo Fernández de Córdoba reformed his army, creating the Spanish Tercio, a mix of Pike and Arquebus. Cordoba, with this innovative formation and superb generalship, forced the French back and eventually forced the French garrison out of the Kingdom of Naples, installing Ferdinand II as King of Naples.
Charles VIII lost all that he conquered in Italy and died in 1498. He was succeeded by his cousin who became Louis XII of France.

In 1496, while Charles VIII was trying to rebuild his army, Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor, entered Italy to resolve the ongoing war between Florence and Pisa.
Called the "Pisan War", Pisa had been at war almost continually since the early 14th century. In 1406 after a long siege, Pisa fell under the control of the Florentine Republic. When King Charles invaded Italy in 1494, Pisa rose up against the Florentines and ousted them, establishing Pisa as an independent republic again.
When Charles withdrew from Italy in 1495, the Pisans were not left to fight the Florentines alone. Much of northern Italy was suspicious of the rising power of Florence. Pisa received arms and money from the Republic of Genoa and Venice and Milan supported Pisa by sending them cavalry and infantry troops.

This was the conflict Emperor Maximilian vowed to resolve in 1496. In the eyes of Maximilian I and the Holy Roman Empire, the Pisan War caused distractions and divisions of the members of the League of Venice, weakening the anti-French League. Maximilian sought to strengthen the League by settling this war. When Florence heard of Maximilian's intention, they were suspicious that the "settlement" would be heavily inclined toward Pisa. The Florentines rejected any attempted settlement of the war by the Emperor until Pisa was back under Florentine control.

There was another option open to the Florentines, the French, under Louis XII, were intent on returning to Italy and Florence chose to take their chances with the French. They felt that France might help them re-conquer Pisa.

Louis was in fact intending to invade Italy to establish his claim over the Duchy of Milan and was also considering renewing the claim to the Kingdom of Naples. However, Louis was aware of the hostility that was developing among his neighbors. Louis needed to neutralize some of this hostility so, in 1498, Louis signed a treaty with Archduke Philip, son of Maximilian I, securing the border with the Holy Roman Empire, and, renewed the Treaty of Étaples with Henry VII of England. Lastly, the Treaty of Marcoussis was signed between Louis and King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain.
This resolved none of the outstanding territorial disputes between Spain and France, but agreed that both Spain and France "have all enemies in common except the Pope."

Second Italian War; 1499–1504
Angevin inheritance

In July 1499, the French Army left Lyon and invaded the Duchy of Milan in alliance with the Republic of Venice. In August 1499, the French Army came across Rocca di Arazzo, the first of a series of fortified towns in the western part of the Duchy of Milan. Once the French artillery batteries were in place, it only took five hours to open a breach in the walls of the town. Louis ordered that the garrison and part of the civil population be executed to instill fear, crush their morale and encourage the quick surrender of the other strongholds in western Milan. The strategy was a success and the campaign for the Duchy of Milan ended swiftly.
Ludovico Sforza was captured and eventually died a prisoner in France in 1508.

Louis came under pressure from the Florentines to assist them in re-conquering Pisa. Louis was mindful that if he were to conquer Naples, he must cross Florentine territory and so needed good relations with Florence. In June 1500, a combined French and Florentine army laid siege to Pisa. Within a day French guns had knocked down 100 feet of the city walls. An assault was made at the breach, but the French were stopped by the strong resistance thrown up by the Pisans. The French Army was forced to break off the siege in July 1500, and retreat north.

Louis XII opened discussions with Ferdinand and Isabella and, in November 1500, signed the Treaty of Grenada. This was an agreement to divide the Kingdom of Naples.
Louis, then, set off from Milan towards Naples. By December 1500, a combined French and Spanish force had taken control of the Kingdom.
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After the death of Charles the Bold, the Valois Dukes of Burgundy died out. His Flemish territories subsequently became a possession of the Habsburgs. Maximilian I of Habsburg married Charles’ only daughter Mary of Burgundy. The Duchy proper reverted to the crown of France under Louis XI.
Louis had invaded the Franche-Comté attaching it to its Kingdom. Later, by the treaty of Senlis, in 1493, his successor, Charles VIII, ceded the Franche-Comté to Maximilian’s son Philip the Handsome (Duke of Burgundy from 1482). In doing so, Charles attempted to bribe the Emperor to remain neutral during his planned invasion of Italy.

Phillip the Fair married Joanna of Castile, also known as Joan the Mad, heiress of Castile, Aragon, and most of Spain. They had six children, the eldest of whom, Charles would inherit the Burgundian lands.

The origin of the Guelders Wars trace back to 1471, when Charles the Bold lent 300,000 guilders to Arnold, Duke of Guelders. As security for the loan, Charles chose the title to the Duchy of Guelders. When Arnold died, in 1473, without repayment, Charles the Bold assumed the title to the Duchy. Arnold's grandson Charles took back the Duchy by military means.
After the death of Charles the Bold and the start of the Burgundian War of Succession, Guelders saw the chance to regain their independence. Initially this failed.
After a popular uprising, in 1492, Arnold's grandson, Charles van Egmont, was released from captivity in France and he was inaugurated as Duke.
Attempts between 1493 and 1499 by Philip the Fair (Duke of Burgundy) and his father, Maximilian of Austria (German Emperor), to recapture Gelre in alliance with the Dukes Julich and Cleves failed. The conflict was characterised by the absence of large battles, instead small hit and run actions, raids and ambushes were the common practice. Burgundian and Habsburg attention was drawn away by the Flemish "revolt", civil war in Utrecht and the Swabian War of the Habsburgs against the Three Leagues and it's allies in the Swiss Confederation.
In the Empire, there was a general reluctance to fight a war was more in the interests of the Habsburgs than in the interest of the Empire.
After the withdrawal of Cleves army in 1499, things had been quiet. Gelre was recruiting an army, causing some concern in Cleves. Duke Charles passed ordinances to allay their fears.

Albert III, Duke of Saxony, was appointed hereditary governor of 'the Frisian lands' by Emperor Maximilian I in 1498. Though appointed governor, Albert and his sons Henry and George first had to conquer these lands while facing stiff resistance from the West Frisians, loosely organised into rebel groups.
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Unlike Western Europe, the lands of the East mostly had elective Monarchies.


The reign of Władysław III Jagiellon as King of both Poland and Hungary, was cut short by his death at the Battle of Varna against the forces of the Ottoman Empire. This disaster led to an interregnum of three years that ended with the accession, in Poland, of Casimir IV Jagiellon in 1447.

Casimir IV's reign lasted until 1492.
In 1454, Royal Prussia was incorporated into Poland causing the Thirteen Years' War of 1454–66 with the Teutonic Order. In 1466, the Peace of Thorn divided Prussia to create East Prussia, a fief of Poland under the administration of the Teutonic Knights.
In 1485, Poland confronted the Ottoman Empire and the Crimean Tatars in the south in defence of it's vassal, Moldovia, after its seaports were taken by the Ottoman Turks. Turkish vassals, the Crimean Tatars, raided their eastern territories in 1482 and 1487, but were defeated.
In the east, it helped Lithuania fight the Grand Duchy of Moscow.

Poland was attacked in 1487–1491 by remnants of the Golden Horde who raided into Poland as far as Lublin before being beaten at Zaslavl.
King John Albert, in 1497, unsuccessfully attempted to resolve the Turkish problem militarily, but he was unable to secure the participation of his brothers, King Ladislaus II of Bohemia and Hungary and Alexander, Grand Duke of Lithuania, and the reluctance of Stephen the Great, the ruler of Moldavia.
More Ottoman Empire-instigated Tatar raids took place in 1498, 1499 and 1500.
Diplomatic peace efforts were finalized in 1503, resulting in a territorial compromise and an unstable truce.


In 1471 Władysław (Ladislaus II) became King of Bohemia, negotiating the Peace of Olomouc, in 1479, which finally ended the Hussite Wars. In 1490 Ladislaus also became King of Hungary. The Bohemian and Hungarian Kingdoms were held in personal union, and, as absentee monarchs, Bohemia was effectilye governed by the regional nobility.


John Hunyadi became the Hungary's most powerful lord, thanks to his outstanding capabilities as a mercenary commander. In 1446, parliament elected him governor, then regent (1453).
He successfully fought the Ottoman Turks, relieving the Siege of Belgrade in 1456 then defending the city against Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II.

Matthias Corvinus, the son of John Hunyadi, was the last strong Hungarian King. Although a very prominent governer of the Kingdom, John Hunyadi was never crowned King. Matthias, however, was a true Renaissance Prince: a successful military leader and administrator, an outstanding linguist, a learned astrologer, and an enlightened patron of the arts and learning. He regularly convened the Diet and expanded the lesser nobles' powers in the counties, he exercised absolute rule over Hungary using a secular bureaucracy.
Matthias desired to strengthen the Kingdom and to make it the foremost regional power, he set out to build a realm expanded to the south and northwest.
In 1467, Mathias fought against Moldavia but was unsuccessful at the Battle of Baia.
However, he conquered large parts of the Holy Roman Empire using his standing mercenary army, the Black Army of Hungary. He secured a series of victories in the Austrian-Hungarian War of 1477-1488 and captured parts of Austria, including Vienna, in 1485, and parts of Bohemia in the Bohemian War of 1477–88. In 1479 the Hungarian army even broke off to destroy the Ottoman and Wallachian armies at the Battle of Breadfield.

In 1490, Mattias died without a legal successor causing a serious political crisis for Hungary, additionally, the Hungarian state was gravely threatened by the expanding Ottoman Empire.
Instead of preparing for the defence of the country, Hungarian Magnates focused more on maintaining their privileges by ensuring the King would be ineffective. They chose King Ladislaus II of Bohemia precisely because of his notorious weakness. During his reign central power began to erode, causing severe financial difficulties, largely due to the enlargement of feudal lands at his expense and the dismantling of the administrative systems by the Magnates.
The country's defenses declined as border guards and castle garrisons went unpaid, fortresses fell into disrepair, and initiatives to increase taxes to reinforce defenses were stifled.
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The conquest of Constantinople in 1453 by Mehmed II cemented the status of the Empire as the pre-eminent power in southeastern Europe and the eastern Mediterranean. After taking Constantinople, Mehmed granted limited autonomy to the Orthodox patriarch who accepted Ottoman authority.
The majority of the Orthodox population accepted Ottoman rule as preferable to Venetian rule.

Making Constantinople (Istanbul) the new capital of the Ottoman Empire in 1453, Mehmed II assumed the title of Kayser-i Rûm (Rome). In order to consolidate this claim, he planned to launch a campaign to conquer Rome and spent many years securing positions on the Adriatic Sea, such as in Albania Veneta, and then invaded Otranto and Apulia in 1480. The Turks stayed in Otranto and surrounding areas for nearly a year, but after Mehmed II's death in 1481, plans for expansion into the Italian peninsula were given up. Ottoman troops sailed back to the east of the Adriatic Sea.

Expansion in the Balkans had not been given up on and the position in Albania was consolidated with wars against Venice and Montenegro. Ragusa voluntarily became a vassal.


Second Italian War; 1499–1504
Spanish Conquest

At the end of 1500, France was in the ascendancy, dominant in Italy. Although it had been agreed that Louis XII should assume the throne of Naples, he soon quarreled with the monarchs of Spain over the division of Naples, additionally Ferdinand wanted to call himself King of Sicily and Naples.

Soon war broke out again, between France and Spain, in the second half of 1502. Spanish Commander, Don Gonzalo de Cordoba lacked numeric superiority but was able to apply lessons learned against the Swiss Pike; moreover, the Spanish Tercios, accustomed to close combat after the Reconquista, redressed some of this imbalance.
Cordoba avoided encounter with the enemy at first, hoping to lure the French into complacency. Later, the conflict became characterized by short skirmishes.
A better supply-line guaranteed by the Spanish navy, gave Cordoba and his Spanish troops the upper hand against the French, who suffered defeat at Cerignola in 1503 and Garigliano later in the year. Louis XII was forced to abandon Naples and withdrew to Lombardy in 1504.

The Treaty of Lyon was signed in January 1504; France ceded Naples to Spain. France and Spain defined their respective control of Italian territories. France controlled northern Italy from Milan and Spain controlled Sicily and southern Italy.

After the First Italian War, Pope Alexander VI had, with French assistance, moved to consolidate Papal control over central Italy by seizing the Romagna. Cesare Borgia, Gonfalonier of the Papal armies, expelled the Bentivoglio family from Bologna, which they had ruled as a fief, and was well on his way towards establishing a permanent Borgia state in the region when Alexander died in August 1503. Cesare seized the Papal treasury for his own use but was unable to secure Rome itself. French and Spanish armies converged on Rome attempting to influence the Papal conclave; the election of Pius III (who soon died, to be replaced by Julius II) stripped Cesare of his titles and relegated him to commanding a company of men-at-arms. Seeing Cesare's weakness, the dispossessed lords of the Romagna offered to submit to the Republic of Venice in exchange for aid regaining their dominions; the Venetian Senate accepted and took possession of Rimini, Faenza and a number of other cities by the end of 1503.

Julius II secured control of the Papal armies, arresting and imprisoning Cesare, moved to re-establish Papal control over the Romagna, demanding Venice return the seized cities. Venice was willing to agree Papal sovereignty over the Adriatic coast and willing to pay an annual tribute but refused to surrender the cities themselves.
Although diplomacy forced Venice to abandon several of the cities, Julius was dissatisfied with his gains.
Julius did not have sufficient forces to fight the Republic; for the next two years he concentrated on the reconquest of Bologna and Perugia, which had become semi-independent.
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In 1502 Duke Charles of Guelders attempted a surprise attack on the city of Huissen, an enclave of the Duchy of Cleves. It was of strategic value to Gelre and levied a toll on traffic on the Rhine, hindering Gelre's commercial interests. Failing in the attack, he besieged the city, but it was possible to fish from the Rhine, so the people of Huissen could not be starved out. After a battle in which the Gelderland troops were defeated, Huissen was relieved.

Cleves had, for once, an ally ready and able to assist. Philip, Duke of Burgundy, captured Arnhem, the most important of the four capitals of Gelre, in 1502.
Philip offered the Duchy, as a fief of Burgundy, to Charles in 1505, but Charles refused: he wanted Gelre directly from the Emperor. Philip didn't negotiate further but went on to conquer a large part of Gelre in the same year. Gelre seemed about to become part of the Duchy of Burgundy.

In 1504, Charles could do nothing but surrender and make peace with Philip the Fair. Charles had to humble himself, kneeling before Philip. A condition of the agreement was that Charles was exiled from Gelre and was to stay at the Spanish court.
Charles traveled to Antwerp to embark, but, after Philip had left for Spain, he returned to Gelre to continue his reign as Duke. Philip died in Spain in 1506, Charles's gamble had succeeded.
Charles had the opportunity to undo the Burgundian conquest.

Burgundy was now in the hands of the Regent for Charles Habsburg of Burgundy, who was 6, Margaret of Austria.

Austria was forced to recognise Swiss independence at the Treaty of Basel (a process that was finally formalised by the Peace of Westphalia in 1648). This was significant as the Habsburgs had originated in Switzerland, their ancestral home being Habsburg Castle.
Attempts at creating a unified Austrian state were not very successful, the idea of the three divisions of Austria that existed prior to the unification of Frederick and Maximilian re-emerged.
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The War of the Succession of Landshut resulted from a dispute between the Duchies of Bavaria-Munich and Bavaria-Landshut.
A 1329 agreement between the different Wittelsbach lines over the rule of succession stated that if one branch should become extinct in the male line then the other would inherit.
This disregarded Imperial law, which stated that the Emperor would inherit should a line fail.

George, Duke of Bavaria-Landshut, failed to produce a male heir, so, in a breach of both Imperial law and the Wittelsbach treaty, he named his daughter Elisabeth as his heir.
Duke Albert of Bavaria-Munich did not accept this decision, leading to war in 1503.
The war ended in 1505 with the death of Elisabeth and her husband and a decision, through arbitration, by Emperor Maximilian.
George's two grandsons, Otto Henry and Philip, retained Palatinate-Neuburg. The rest of the territory went to the Munich line of the House of Wittelsbach.

The Emperor took the territory around Kufstein for himself as reward for his mediation.
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Ottoman Empire-instigated destructive Tatar raids took place in 1498, 1499 and 1500. John Albert's diplomatic peace efforts that followed were finalized after the King's death in 1503, resulting in a territorial compromise and an unstable truce.
Crimean Khanate invasions of Poland and Lithuania continued also during the reign of King Alexander in 1502 and 1506; in 1506 the Tatars were defeated at the Battle of Kletsk by Michael Glinski.
Lithuania was increasingly threatened by the growing power of Moscow. In 1492, the border of Lithuania's loosely controlled eastern Ruthenian territory ran less than one hundred miles from Moscow. But as a result of the warfare, a third of the Grand Duchy's land area was ceded to the Russian state in 1503. The Grand Duke Alexander was elected King of Poland in 1501, after the death of John Albert. In 1506 he was succeeded by Sigismund I the Old (Zygmunt I Stary) in both Poland and Lithuania, the two states were drawing closer together.
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Ottoman-Venetian War 1499-1503

In January 1499, Kemal Res set sail from Constantinople in order to wage a large-scale war against the Republic of Venice. Kemal Reis defeated the Venetian navy at the Battle of Zonchio (also known as the First Battle of Lepanto). It was the first naval battle in history with cannons used on ships., and took place on four separate days: on August 12, 20, 22 and 25, 1499.
Ottoman incursions into inland Dalmatia also started in 1499, under command of Isa Pasha and Feriz Beg.

In December 1499, the Venetians attacked Lepanto hoping to regain their lost territories in the Ionian Sea. Kemal Reis re-took Lepanto, from there he set sail and bombarded the Venetian ports on the island of Corfu, and in August 1500 he again defeated the Venetian fleet at the Battle of Modon. Kemal Reis bombarded the fortress of Modon from the sea and captured the town. He later captured the town of Coron. In September 1500, Kemal Reis assaulted Voiussa and in October he appeared at Cape Santa Maria on the Island of Lefkada, before ending the campaign and returning to Constantinople in November.
With the Battle of Modon, the Turkish fleet and army quickly overwhelmed most of the Venetian possessions in Greece. Modon and Coron, the "two eyes of the Republic", were lost. Doge Agostino Barbarigo asked the Pope and the Catholic Monarchs for help, and on 24 December a Spanish–Venetian army commanded by Gonzalo de Córdoba took Cephalonia, temporarily stopping the Ottoman offensive on eastern Venetian territories.

The Ottoman attacks in Dalmatia escalated to the point where Venice was forced to sign a treaty with Vladislaus II of Hungary and Pope Alexander VI by which they pledged 140,000 ducats a year for the Kingdom of Hungary to actively defend its southern Croatian territories. In 1501 Feriz Beg captured Durazzo in Venetian Albania.

By the end of 1502, Venice and the Ottoman Empire agreed on an armistice but, in 1503, Turkish cavalry raids reached Venetian territory in Northern Italy, and Venice was forced to recognize the Ottoman gains, ending the war.



When Philibert II of Savoy died in 1504, he was succeeded by Charles III the Good, a rather weak ruler. Savoy was occupied by foreign armies, and France was just waiting for the opportunity to permanently annex the duchy of Savoy and its possessions.

In 1507, Pope Julius II, once again rebuffed by the Venetian Senate, encouraged Emperor Maximilian I to attack the Republic. Maximilian, entered Venetian territory in February 1508 and advanced on Vicenza, but was defeated by a Venetian army under Bartolomeo d'Alviano.
A second attack several weeks later was an even greater failure; Alviano not only routed the Imperial army but also seized the entire County of Gorizia, Austrian Istria (Merania and the county of Pazin), as well as Trieste, Fiume and the westernmost portions of Inner Carniola, forcing Maximilian to conclude a truce with Venice.

League of Cambrai; 1508-1510
Papal States France Holy Roman Empire Spain Duchy of Ferrara

Julius, humiliated by the Imperial failure, turned to Louis XII of France with an offer of alliance. In mid-March, using a pretext, the Pope called for all Christian nations to join him in subduing Venice. In December 1508, representatives from the Papacy, France, the Holy Roman Empire and Ferdinand I of Spain concluded the League of Cambrai against the Republic.
The agreement allowed for dismemberment of Venice's territory in Italy and its partition among the signatories.

Despite the alliance there was very little co-operation between the allies. In April 1509, Louis moved rapidly into Venetian territory, defeating one half of a mercenary army hired by Venice.
The other half was forced to retreat, men desrting on the way, towards Treviso.
Louis occupied Venetian territory as far east as Brescia with no resistance. Padua, Verona and Vicenza surrendered to Maximilian when Imperial emissaries arrived.
Julius, meantime, invaded the Romagna and seized Ravenna with the assistance of Alfonso d'Este, Duke of Ferrara.

The new Imperial governors quickly proved to be unpopular. In mid-July, citizens of Padua, aided by detachments of Venetian cavalry revolted. Landsknechts garrisoning the city were too few in number to resist, Padua returned to Venetian control.
The success of the revolt finally made Maximilian act. An Imperial army, supported by French and Spanish troops, set out from Trento into the Veneto but would not reach Padua until September, giving Venice time to concentrate their troops in the city. Although French and Imperial artillery breached Padua's walls, the defenders managed to hold the city until Maximilian lifted the siege and withdrew to Tyrol.

Venetian troops defeated the remaining Imperial forces, capturing Vicenza, Este, Feltre and Belluno. A subsequent attack on Verona failed but destroyed a Papal army.
A river attack on Ferrara by the Venetian galley fleet failed, however, when the Venetian ships anchored in the Po River were sunk by Ferrarese artillery. A new French advance soon forced a Venetian withdrawal to Padua once again.

Short of both funds and men, the Senate sent an embassy to Julius in order to negotiate a settlement. The Pope's terms were harsh: Venice lost the right to appoint clergy and all jurisdiction over Papal subjects in Venice, the Romagnan cities were to be returned to Julius, and reparations paid to cover his expenses capturing them.
The Senate argued for two months, but finally accepted Julius' terms in 1510.

The agreement did not stop the French from again invading the Veneto in March. Maximilian failed to reinforce Louis, the French army was nonetheless sufficient to drive the Venetians from Vicenza by May. Padua was garrisoned expecting an attack by a combined Franco-Imperial army, but Louis, after the death of his advisor, Cardinal d'Amboise, abandoned his plans for a siege.

Veneto-Papal alliance; 1510-1511
France Duchy of Ferrara
Papal States Venice

Pope Julius II became concerned by the growing French presence in Italy. He had plans to seize the Duchy of Ferrara, a French ally, claimed by the Papal States.
His own forces being inadequate for the venture, Julius hired an army of Swiss mercenaries, ordering them to attack the French in Milan and invited Venice to ally with him against Louis. The Republic, facing a renewed French onslaught, readily accepted the offer.

By July 1510, the new Veneto-Papal alliance was on the offensive. An attack on French-occupied Genoa failed, but, in August Venetian troops drove the French from Vicenza and a joint force captured Modena. Julius excommunicated Alfonso d'Este, thus justifying an attack on the Duchy of Ferrara itself.

The French army, however, were unopposed by the Swiss who had been bribed to leave Lombardy by Louis and marched south into Italy. In October, they advanced on Bologna, splitting the Papal forces; by mid October, they were only a few miles from the city.
Julius realized the Bolognese were hostile to the Papacy and left with a detachment of Venetian cavalry. The French, meantime had been convinced by the English ambassador to avoid attacking the person of the Pope and had withdrawn to Ferrara.

In December, a Papal army conquered Concordia and, in December, besieged the fortress of Mirandola. The French marched to relieve them but lost their General, Charles II d'Amboise, to illness leaving the French in disarray.
Mirandola fell in January 1511. The new French General, Gian Giacomo Trivulzio, took back Concordia and Castelfranco, while the Papal army retreated.
Alfonso d'Este, meanwhile, had destroyed the Venetian forces on the Po River, leaving Bologna isolated once more. Julius departed Bologna, again, when the French reached their gates, they quickly surrendered.

The war between Maximilian and Venice continued. In early 1511, the Imperial army advanced to Cividale, prompting a massacre of supposedly pro-Austrian families in the Friulian revolt of 1511.
The Austrians also took the fortress of Gradisca d'Isonzo.

Holy League; 1511–1513
France Duchy of Ferrara Scotland Florence
Papal States Venice Spain Holy Roman Empire England + Swiss mercenaries

By June 1511, most of the Romagna was in French hands and the Papal army was in no condition to prevent an advance on Ravenna.
In response to this, Julius proclaimed a Holy League against France. The alliance grew to include not only Spain and the Holy Roman Empire, but also Henry VIII of England who tried to expand his holdings in northern France.

In February 1512, Louis appointed Gaston de Foix, his nephew, to command the French forces. Foix proved energetic and, having checked an advance of Spanish troops on Bologna, he returned to Lombardy to sack Brescia, which had rebelled against the French. Aware that an English invasion would divert much of the French army, Foix besieged Ravenna, the last Papal stronghold in the Romagna, hoping to force the Holy League into a decisive engagement. The Spanish marched to Ravenna's relief in April, but were decisively beaten.
The death of Foix during the fighting leaving command with Jacques de la Palice, who was unwilling to continue the campaign without direct orders from Louis.

By May 1512, the French position had deteriorated, Julius had hired another army of Swiss mercenaries and they had descended on Milan. French garrisons abandoned the Romagna and retreated to Lombardy to intercept the invasion. By August, the Swiss, combined with a Venetian army, forced the French out of Milan, allowing Sforza to be proclaimed Duke with their support.
La Palice was forced to withdraw across the Alps.

In late August, the League met at Mantua to discuss the Italian situation. They quickly came to an agreement regarding Florence, which had angered Julius. At the Pope's request, Spanish troops marched into Tuscany, smashing Florentine resistance and installing Giuliano de' Medici as ruler of the city.

Disagreements arose however;
Julius and Venice insisted that Maximilian Sforza keep the Duchy of Milan but Emperor Maximilian and Ferdinand wanted, instead to have one of their cousins installed as Duke.
The Pope demanded the annexation of Ferrara to the Papal States but Ferdinand objected to this arrangement, wanting an independent Ferrara to counter growing Papal power.
The Emperor refused to surrender any Imperial territory, which, to him, included most of the Veneto, to the Republic and signed an agreement with the Pope to exclude Venice from the final partition.

The Republic objected but Julius threatened to re-form the League of Cambrai against her. In response, Venice turned to Louis in March 1513, signing a treaty to divide northern Italy between France and the Republic.

Franco-Venetian alliance; 1513–1516:
Venice France Duchy of Ferrara
Papal States Spain Holy Roman Empire England Duchy of Milan + Swiss mercenaries

In May 1513, a French army crossed the Alps and advanced on Milan, at the same time, a Venetian army marched west from Padua.
Maximilian Sforza was unpopular and seen by the Milanese as a puppet of the Swiss mercenaries. This enabled the French to move through Lombardy with little resistance.
Having seized Milan, the French besieged the remaining Swiss in Novara. The French were attacked by a Swiss relief army and were routed despite having superior numbers.

The rout at Novara saw a period of continuous defeats for the French alliance. English troops under Henry VIII besieged Thérouanne, defeated La Palice at the Battle of the Spurs, and captured Tournai.
In Navarre, resistance to Ferdinand's invasion collapsed and he consolidated his hold over the entire region, moving to support another English offensive in the Guyenne.
James IV of Scotland invaded England at the behest of Louis but failed to draw Henry away from France. James died at the Battle of Flodden in September 1513, ending Scotland's involvement in the war.

The Venetian army, left without French support, retreated into the Veneto, pursued closely by the Spanish. While the Spanish were unable to capture Padua in the face of determined resistance, they penetrated deep into Venetian territory and by September were in sight of Venice itself. A bombardment of the city proved largely ineffective and, with no boats to cross the Venetian Lagoon, the Spanish turned back for Lombardy.
Having been reinforced by hundreds of volunteers, the Venetian army pursued them, making contact in October. The Venetian army was decisively defeated in the resulting battle.

The Holy League failed to follow up these victories. Spain and Venice skirmished in the Friuli for the rest of 1513 and through 1514, without the Spanish making any real progress. Henry VIII, having failed to gain any significant territory, concluded a separate peace with France.
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The appointment of a Habsburg relative as Bishop of Utrecht prompted Duke Charles of Guelerland to invade the Twente, part of the Oversticht, in 1508.
In October he plundered Kuinre and went on to occupy Oldenzaal, main town of the Twente. He gained the alliance of Zwolle by backing their war with the city of Kampen.

A temporary peace brought some relief, but the war soon started again. The Knighthood and Cities of Overijssel decided to support the Bishop. In the early 1510 Charles re-took Arnhelm by stealth, the following year Gelre survived a major Burgundian attack on Venlo. Duke Charles threatened Kampen, looted Genemuiden and cut the connection between Over- and Nedersticht.
Charles' intention was protect himself from Overijssel, to facilitate his plans for Friesland and Groningen.
In the end Maximilian came to the aid of the Bishop by expelling the Gelderland troops from Twente. However Roelof van Munster of Coevorden invaded Salland, western Oversticht. By July 1513, Charles had largely recaptured the region. In 1513 Maximilan and Charles of Gelre made another short-lived peace.

In 1509, John III, Duke of Cleves, married Maria von Geldern, daughter of William IV, Duke of Jülich-Berg, and heiress to her father's estates, Jülich, Berg and the County of Ravenstein, which by the Salic laws of the Empire pass to the husband of the female heir.

Duke George of Saxony had, in 1504, demanded that all cities and districts in Frisia pay homage to him as "eternal governor". The City of Groningen refused. Count Edzard I of East Frisia turned the situation to his advantage. In 1506 Edzard broke his allegiance to George, forming an alliance with Groningen. Edzard was now recognised by Groningen Ommelanden as its ruler. Maximillian proclamed an Imperial ban on Edzard and the Pope excommunicated him. Twenty-four dukes and counts took up arms against Edzard and invaded East Frisia, devastating large areas of his territory.


In King Ferdinand II's later years as ruler, the government slowly decayed and became more corrupt.
Ferdinand pursued an ambitious foreign policy, participating in the Italian Wars, invading Navarre in 1512. This stretched the finances of Aragon and Castile to their limit. The coasts were constantly raided by Barbary pirates as a result of the Reconquista.
Revolt of an oppressed Muslim-convert population in Granada was a concern. Troops needed to be stationed in Granada and Navarre to maintain order. In order to maintain a coastal defense Ferdinand gave permission to form local paramilitary brigades.
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After the Second Peace of Thorn, in 1466, the Teutonic Order was under Polish suzerainty. In the late 1490s, the Order decided to elect an Imperial Prince as future Grand Master, who, as subject to the Emperor, could resist paying homage to the Kings of Poland.
Albert of Hohenzollern was chosen as Grand Master in 1511 hoping his relationship to his uncle, Sigismund I the Old, Grand Duke of Lithuania and King of Poland, would facilitate a settlement of the disputes over eastern Prussia. Albert refused to submit to the crown of Poland. As war appeared inevitable, Albert made efforts to secure allies, negotiating with Emperor Maximilian I.

In 1512, Muscovy invaded the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, which was in personal union with Poland. The Order refused to help, angering Sigismund I.
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During the reign of Bayezid II a war was fought between his two sons Ahmed and Selim.

A widespread Safavid Shia inspired revolt broke out in 1511. An Ottoman force was sent but was defeated, it's General, executed. A second army was sent, commanded by Ahmed and the Grand Vizier Hadım Ali Pasha.
They cornered the rebels but, instead of fighting, Ahmed tried to win them over to his cause. Failing in this he left the battlefield. Ali Pasha, however, pursued and fought between Kayseri and Sivas.
The battle was a draw, but both Ali Pasha and Rebel leader, Şahkulu, were killed. After a third army was sent the remnants of the rebels fled to Persia where they were executed.

Ahmed claimed the victories as his own but his behavior in the battle caused a reaction among the troops. Ahmed marched on Istanbul to exploit his "triumph". The death of Hadım Ali, chief partisan of Ahmed, gave an advantage to his brother, Selim.
Fearing for his safety, Selim staged a revolt in Thrace but was defeated by Bayezid and forced to flee to Crimea. Bayezid II, concerned that Ahmed might kill him to gain the throne, refused to allow his son to enter Istanbul.

Selim returning from Crimea with support from the Janissaries, defeated and killed Ahmed. Bayezid II abdicated the throne in his favour in 1512.


Franco-Venetian alliance; 1513–1516:
Venice France Duchy of Ferrara
Papal States Spain Holy Roman Empire England Duchy of Milan + Swiss mercenaries

The death of Pope Julius II in 1513 left the League without effective leadership. In 1515 Louis XII also died, succeeded by Francis I. Francis continued the war against the League of Cambrai.
Francis led a French and Venetian Army against the Swiss, routing them at Marignano in September 1515. This decisively reversed the string of defeats the Swiss had inflicted on the Venetians and French. After this battle the League of Cambrai or Holy League collapsed. Both Spain and the new Pope, Leo X, gave up their support for Massiliano Sforza as the Duke of Milan.
In the 1516 treaties of Noyon and Brussels, the entirety of northern Italy was surrendered to France and Venice by Maximilian I.
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By the end of 1513 Charles had recaptured his Duchy.
In 1514, the Frisians appealed to Gelre in their struggle for independence against Duke George of Saxony. George had crossed the river Lauwers in 1514, entering Ommelanden and laid siege to Groningen, which called for help from Edzard of East Frisia and Charles of Guelders. George of Saxony failed to take Groningen and was pushed back.
Charles also expelled the Saxons from Ommelanden and Westerlauwers Friesland. George did manage to retain Leeuwarden, Harlingen and Franeker.
George's overlord, Emperor Maximilian, was already fighting Guelders, so instead of fighting East Frisia, he imposed the Imperial ban on Edzard. 24 German Princes invaded East Frisia in response.

Count John V of Oldenburg seeing an opportunity to provide North Sea access to attacked the Frisians in the Butjadingen area, and defeated them at Langwarden. Duke Henry I of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel invaded East Frisia with 20,000 men and besieged Leerort, only defended by a few peasants and soldiers. Henry I was killed by a targeted gunshot leaving his troops without a leader. They withdrew from East Frisia.

John V captured the castle at Großsander, then destroyed all three castles in Dornum. Edzard retreated, leaving John to besiege Aurich which was destroyed by the pillaging troops. (The city was rebuilt in 1517 as it was an important central livestock market)
Dünebroek was plundered, Burmönken, Marienhafe, Leerhafe and Rispel destroyed whilst Friedeburg surrendered. The castle at Altgödens was destroyed and Kniphausen Castle was captured.
An attempt to capture Oldersum failed.
In 1515, the tide turned in favor Edzard I. He recaptured the castle at Großsander and the fortresses Gutzwarden in Butjadingen. In 1517, Edzard I recaptured Friedeburg castle.

In 1515, George renounced his claims to the Frisian countries and sold the rights to Prince Charles for 100,000 guilders .

At the same time as the 1515 declaration of majority of the Prince Charles of Burgundy (Lord of the Netherlands), his aunt, Margaret of Austria, was replaced as governor by William II of Croÿ. He did not consider the reconquest of Gelre as urgent but the tension flared up again as Margaret re-took office two years later.

Prince Charles sent troops to the area and appointed Floris van Egmont as stadholder. The Frisians rebelled against this, attacked Dutch ships at sea and attacked Medemblik in 1517. The Frisians, Gueldersen, East Frisians, Groningers and Ommelanders united against their common enemy led by Duke Charles, who also had an alliance with King Francis I of France.

In 1516, King Ferdinand II of Aragon died. His grandson, Prince Charles, became King of Spain in Brussels and had to travel to Spain to settle state affairs.
In 1517, whilst awaiting favorable sea breezes for travel to Spain, he learned that 6,000 Guelders soldiers had been transported to Medemblik. After landing, they moved to Alkmaar and through Holland to Asperen, looting along the way. King Charles postponed his journey to respond to this. He recaptured Asperen and ordered an expedition to re-take Holland.
Needed elsewhere, he negotiated a compromise peace with Edzard, recognizing him as Count of East-Frisia and lifting the Imperial ban, and with Charles, Duke of Guelders, leaving him in control of most of Frisia, the Ommelanden and Groningen, then sailed to Spain.
Edzard vacated Groningen and concluded the Peace of Zetel with Duke Henry II of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel and Count John V of Oldenburg, ceding the "Frisian Forest" to Oldenburg.


Ferdinand invaded Navarre in 1512 during a war against France. This stretched the finances of Aragon and Castile to their limit.
Unable to face the Castilian-Aragonese army, King John III fled to Béarn. Pamplona, Estella, Olite, Sanguesa, and Tudela were captured by September. In October 1512 King John III returned with an army recruited north of the Pyrenees and attacked Pamplona without success.
After this failure, the Navarrese Cortes had no option but to pledge loyalty to King Ferdinand of Aragon.
In 1513, the first Castilian viceroy took a formal oath to respect Navarrese institutions and laws.

Navarre, north of the Pyrenees, along with the neighbouring Principality of Béarn, survived as an independent Kingdom.

Ferdinand died in January 1516, succeeded by his mentally unstable daughter Joanna, her son proclaimed himself co-ruler as King Charles I of Castile and Aragon.
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Foundations for the future expansion of Habsburg rule were laid with the weddings of Louis, only son of Ladislaus II, King of Bohemia and Hungary, and Mary, granddaughter of Maximilian; and between Archduke Ferdinand and Vladislaus' daughter Anna, in 1515.
[They were all still minors, so the weddings were formally completed in 1521. Vladislaus died in 1516, Maximilian died in 1519. On Louis's death in 1526, Maximilian's grandson, Charles V's brother, Ferdinand, became King of Bohemia.]

The Poor Conrad were secret peasants' leagues which, in 1514, revolted against Duke Ulrich of Württemberg. The term used to mock them, meaning "poor fellow", was adopted by the rebels.
Duke Ulrich's lifestyle had depleted the Württemberg treasury, instead of cutting down his expenses, the Duke raised taxes further. Citizens of Stuttgart and Tübingen refused to pay a wealth tax, so he imposed a tax on meat, wine and fruit to the disadvantage of the unprivileged population.
Crop failures of 1508 and 1513 meant that farmers were unable to pay the new taxes. This led to a hike in food prices.
To collect the tax, Ulrich had the unit of measurement of weight reduced, so, for the price of one kilogram of flour, one received only 700 grammes.

Riots broke out in Leonberg and Grüningen, encouraged by town priest. In mid-July, rebels occupied Schorndorf, the Duke narrowly escaping. Marching through Württemberg, the rebels camped near Beutelsbach but approaching Ducal troops persuaded more and more rebels to leave the camp. Finally the Poor Conrad rebellion collapsed quietly.
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The Teutonic Knights avoided paying tribute to Poland.
This situation had got worse after the 1511 election of Albrecht as Grand Master of the Order. Albrecht's rearmed and made hostile alliances.
Poland declared war in 1519.


In 1514 the Hungarian chancellor returned from Rome with a papal bull authorising a crusade against the Ottomans. He appointed Dózsa, a soldier of fortune who had won a reputation for valour, to organize this. Within a few weeks, Dózsa had gathered an army of some 40,000, consisting mostly of peasants, students, friars and priests; the lowest-ranking groups of medieval society.
By the time he had provided some military training, they began to air grievances about their status and treatment. No measures had been taken to supply food or clothing and, as harvest-time approached, their landlords ordered them to return to the fields. On their refusing to do so, landlords maltreated their wives and families and set armed retainers upon the local peasantry.

Angry at the Noble's failure to provide military leadership, their anti-landlord sentiment became apparent during the march across the Hungarian Plain, and the Hungarian chancellor cancelled the campaign. Diverted from its original object, the peasants and their leaders sought vengeance against the landlords.

Dózsa was losing control, his command had fallen under the influence of Lőrinc Mészáros, parson of Cegléd. The rebellion intensified when towns joined the peasants. In Buda cavalry sent against the rebels were unhorsed as they passed through the gates.

Rebellion spread quickly in the central, purely Magyar provinces, where manor houses and castles were burnt and gentry killed by impalement, crucifixion, and other methods. Dózsa's camp at Cegléd was the centre of the revolt, raids in the surrounding area radiating out from there.

The papal bull was revoked and King Vladislaus II issued a command for the peasants to return home, under pain of death. All of the Kingdom's vassals were called out and mercenaries hired from Venice, Bohemia and the Empire.
Dózsa captured the city and fortress of Csanád and impaled the Bishop and the Castellan. Subsequently, the Lord Treasurer was seized and tortured to death at Arad. During the summer, Dózsa seized the fortresses of Arad, Lippa and Világos, gaining cannons and trained gunners. Some of troops approached within 25 kilometres of the capital, but his ill-armed men were outmatched by heavy cavalry.

Dózsa was routed at Temesvár by 20,000 men led by John Zápolya and István Báthory. Dózsa was captured, condemned to sit on a smouldering, heated iron throne and forced to wear a heated iron crown and sceptre.
The revolt was repressed but some 70,000 peasants were tortured. No longer a politically united people, the execution and brutal suppression of the peasants aided the 1526 Ottoman invasion.

A Peasant revolt took place in 1515 in the Slovene lands.
About 80,000 rebels demanded the reintroduction of their original feudal obligations and trade rights and demanded input on decisions about taxes.
The uprising started in the Gottschee region where peasants killed their lord, Jorg von Thurn. They attacked the castles in the region but the revolt was put down by mercenaries from the Empire after a battle fought at Celje.

The Kingdom of Hungary was almost in ruins. The nobility was divided and, without a strong central government, it could not unite in defense of the country. King Louis II was weakened by the numerous conflicts. Lower nobility clashed with the higher nobility and court circles, and the Duke of Erdel, John Zápolya, one of the wealthiest nobles, represented open opposition to the already weak regime. The Duke's supporters were in constant conflict with the court circles. The King was a powerless figure in the hands of his ambitious advisors.
It was not possible to strengthen the defense of the southern border or to undertake any military campaigns.
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Whilst the Ottomans were intent on an Eastward policy during the reign of Selim I, fighting both the Safavid Empire and the Mamluks, there were also actions in North Africa and the Western Mediterranean against Spain. Algeria was taken in 1516.

Defeating the Persian Safavids at Chaldiran in 1514, Selim was preparing for another campaign against them when the Mamluks attacked, moving against them with this army, the Mamluk's crumbled.
Selim crushed all opposition as he moved through Syria and defeated the remnants of the Mamluk forces ouside Cairo.
Egypt became part of the Ottoman Empire in 1517, along with large parts of Mesopotamia, dramatically expanding the Empire's eastern and southern frontiers.
Selim I established a naval presence on the Red Sea and moved on Mecca and Medina.
After this expansion, the Ottomans and Portuguese competed to become the dominant power in the seas around Arabia.

In 1519, Selim, cultivating Babur as an ally, dispatched artillerymen, matchlock marksmen, and other military aid to assist Babur in his conquests in India.


Italian War of 1521–1526;
France Venice
Holy Roman Empire Spain Papal States England

In June 1519 the German Princes elected Charles V Holy Roman Emperor to succeed his grandfather Maximilian I. Charles, already Prince of the Netherlands, King of Spain and Archduke of Austria now had the ultimate influence in the Empire. The territories surrounding France were now mostly under the rule of Charles V.
Francis I had been a candidate for election as Emperor and this led to a personal rivalry between Francis and Charles that was one of the fundamental conflicts of the sixteenth century.

The deterioration of relations provided Francis with a pretext for war. Francis' candidacy had been supported by Pope Leo X, but, when Francis counted on the Pope's support in a war against Charles, Leo made peace and sided with the Empire against France. The Papacy needed to strengthen their position in Germany against Martin Luther.
Henry VIII of England joined the Pope (Pope Leo X died in 1522, was replaced by Adrian VI who died in 1523 and was succeeded in turn by Clement VII) and the Emperor in the war on France.
An English army advanced from Calais in conjunction with a Flemish-Imperial force.

The war broke out across Western Europe late in 1521, when a French–Navarrese expedition attempted to reconquer Navarre, supported by popular rebellion as the army approached Pamplona.
Tudela and other cities declared their loyalty to the House of Albret. Spain was distracted by the Revolts of the Communeros in Castile and of the Brotherhoods in Valencia, allowing the French-Navarrese army to briefly liberate all of Navarre. A large Castilian army won at the Battle of Noáin in June 1521, the Navarrese completely defeated.
Shortly afterwards, French-Navarrese troops seized the city of Fuenterrabia, at the mouth of the Bidasoa River, providing the French with a foothold on the Franco-Spanish border that would remain in their hands for the next two years.

In June, Imperial armies invaded northern France via the Meuse, razing cities and besieging Tournai, which had been returned to France by Henry VIII in 1519.
They were delayed by the French defence during the Siege of Mezieres which gave Francis time to raise an army to confront the attack. In October 1521, Francis made contact with the Imperial army, commanded by Charles V, near Valenciennes. Francis hesitated, allowing Charles time to retreat. Heavy rains prevented an effective pursuit when Francis was finally ready, the Imperials were able to withdraw without a battle.

With both Francis and Charles focused on northeast France, the conflict in Italy became a sideshow.
The Papal-Imperial army took Milan from the French in 1521, returning it to Francesco Sforza, the Duke of Milan, in 1522. At the Battle of Bicocca in April 1522, the French, outmatched by Imperial-Spanish arquebusier tactics, were defeated driving them from Lombardy.

This defeat brought England into the conflict. In the Treaty of Windsor in June 1522 a joint English-Imperial attack was agreed with each providing at least 40,000 men.
In July, the English attacked Brittany and Picardy from Calais. Francis, unable to raise funds to continue resistance, the English army burned and looted the countryside.

Francis concentrated on a lawsuit against Charles III, Duke of Bourbon to raise money. The Duke had received most of his lands via marriage to Suzanne, Duchess of Bourbon, who had recently died. Suzanne's sister, the King's mother; Louise of Savoy, claimed the lands should pass to her because of her closer kinship to Suzanne.
Francis began to confiscate portions in Louise's name before the outcome. Bourbon began to make overtures to Charles V to betray the French King.

By 1523, with the death of the Doge, Andrea Gritti rose to power in Venice. He quickly removed the Republic from the war.
Bourbon offered to begin a rebellion against Francis in exchange for money and German troops. When discovered by Francis, he fled to Besançon and openly entered the Emperor's service.

Charles invaded southern France over the Pyrenees, Bayonne successfully resisted the Spanish, but they were able to recapture Fuenterrabia in February 1524.
Meanwhile, in September 1523, an English army advanced into French territory from Calais in conjunction with a Flemish-Imperial force. Stretched thin by the Imperial attack, the Frenchb were unable to resist. The English advanced past the Somme, devastating the countryside, stopping only fifty miles from Paris. Charles failed to support the English offensive, however, so the English moved away from Paris, returning to Calais.

Francis focussed on Lombardy. In October 1523, an 18,000 strong French army advanced through the Piedmont to Novara, where it was joined by Swiss mercenaries. The Spanish, with only 9,000 men available retreated to Milan. When the French moved into winter quarters rather than attacking, 15,000 landsknechts and a force under Bourbon's command were able to reinforce Milan.
Many of the Swiss abandoned the French army forcing a withdrawal. French defeat at the Battle of the Sesia showed the power of massed arquebusiers against more traditional troops, the French retreated over the Alps in disarray.

Bourbon crossed the Alps with 11,000 men invading Provence in July, entering the provincial capital of Aix-en-Provence in August 1524. By mid-August, Marseille, the last French stronghold in Provence was besieged. Assaults on the city failed, however, and Bourbon was forced to retreat back to Italy when a French army arrived at Avignon.

In October 1524, Francis crossed the Alps, advancing on Milan with an army of 40,000. The French brushed aside Imperial attempts to hold its advance, but failed to bring the main body of Imperial troops to battle. With 16,000 men to resist the 33,000 French troops closing on Milan, it was decided that the city could not be defended and they withdrew to Lodi.
Francis advanced on Pavia, with a sizable Imperial garrison rather than puruing of the retreating Imperials.
The French invested Pavia in the last days of October. Inside were about 9,000 men, mainly mercenaries. In November, Francis attempted an assault through two breaches, but was beaten back with heavy casualties. The French decided to starve the defenders out.

In December, a Spanish force landed near Genoa, to interfere in conflict between pro-Valois and pro-Habsburg factions in the city. Francis dispatched a larger force to intercept them. Confronted by the more numerous French the Spanish troops surrendered.
Francis signed an agreement with the Pope who pledged not to assist Charles in exchange for assistance with the conquest of Naples. Against advice Francis detached forces south to aid the Pope.
An attempt to intercept the expedition near Fiorenzuola suffered heavy casualties and was forced to return to Lodi by the intervention of the forces Giovanni de' Medici, who had entered French service. Medici then returned to Pavia with a supply train of gunpowder and shot gathered by the Duke of Ferrara. The French position was, however, weakened by the departure of nearly 5,000 Swiss mercenaries returning to defend their cantons from marauding landsknechts.

In January 1525, The Spanish in Lodi were reinforced by 15,000 fresh landsknechts and renewed the offensive. A French outpost at San Angelo was captured, cutting the lines of communication between Pavia and Milan, while a column of landsknechts advanced on Belgiojoso and occupied the town. By February, they were only a few miles from Pavia.
Francis stationed the majority of his forces in the walled park of Mirabello outside the city walls, placing them between the garrison and the approaching army. Skirmishing and sallies from the garrison through February saw Medici seriously wounded, he withdrew to Piacenza to recuperate. This forced Francis to recall most of the Milan garrison

On the morning of 24 February 1525, engineers opened breaches in the walls of Mirabello park, allowing Imperial-Spanish forces to enter. Simoultaniously the garrison sortied from Pavia.
The French heavy cavalry masked its own artillery by a rapid advance, was surrounded and cut apart by landsknechts and massed Spanish arquebusiers. A series of infantry engagements resulted in the rout of the Swiss and French infantry. The French suffered many casualties, losing the majority of their army. It's commanders were killed or captured along with Francis himself.

Losing the larger part of the army to attrition and desertion, the remnants of the French forces, aside from a small garrison left to hold the Castel Sforzesco in Milan, retreated across the Alps.

Louise of Savoy, regent in France, gathered troops to defend against an expected invasion of Artois by the English troops. She also sent a mission to Suleiman the Magnificent requesting an attack on the Habsburgs. Suleiman sent an ultimatum to Charles, asking for the immediate release of Francis and demanding a yearly tithe from the Empire; when this was not forthcoming, the Ottomans launched an invasion of Hungary in the summer of 1526, aiming to reach Vienna.

Charles demanded of Francis the surrender of Lombardy, Burgundy and Provence.
At the start of 1526, Charles had demands from Venice and the Pope to restore Francesco II Sforza to the Duchy of Milan, and became eager to settle with Francis. Francis, having argued over Burgundy, was prepared to surrender it to obtain his release.
On 14 January 1526, Charles and Francis agreed the Treaty of Madrid; Francis renounced all his claims in Italy, Flanders, and Artois, surrendered Burgundy, agreed two of his sons be hostages in Madrid, promised to marry Charles' sister Eleanor and to restore to Bourbon the territories that had been seized from him.

Francis was released in March, Louise had made peace with England by the Treaty of Hampton Court. Francis, with the Pope's blessing, announced he would not be bound by the Treaty because it had been signed under duress. The Pope, meanwhile, convinced that the Emperor's growing power was a threat to his position in Italy, sent envoys to Francis and Henry VIII proposing an alliance.
Henry, having received nothing from the Treaty of Madrid, was receptive. In May, Francis and the Pope launched the War of the League of Cognac. Henry would not join until 1527.

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In 1519, Charles I, King of Spain and Prince of the Netherlands, inherited the Archduchy of Austria from his Grandfather Maximillian. He was later elected Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire as Charles V. In 1520 he also inherited the Duchy of Wurttemburg which, along with the Archduchy of Austria was administered on his behalf by Ferdinand I, Charles' brother.

King Charles was now Lord of the lands originally claimed by George of Saxony, any military actions would now be co-ordinated rather than ad-hoc.

The Italian Wars continued politically if not militarily as the election of a new German Emperor was approaching.
King Charles was put forward by the Habsburg Netherlands but Charles of Guelders canvassed votes for King Francis of France. He argued his right to Guelders and rejected the offer to make his country a fief of the Habsburg Netherlands. He wanted the Duchy directly from the Emperor and knew Francis would favour that.
However, King Charles was elected Emperor and crowned in 1519. This was one of the causes of the new Italian war that broke out in 1521 as France and its allies contested the election.

Because both Habsburg and Valois could use all possible support, it was important to find allies in the Netherlands; France and Guelders needed each other to defeat the Habsburgs, who had raised taxes in the Netherlands to pay for the war. Initially the states allowed this but, really, only wanted to raise money for danger close to home.

In 1520, Duke Charles controlled or owned most of Friesland, except a few places where Burgundian troops were garrisoned; Leeuwarden, Harlingen and Franeker.
Groningen and the Ommelanden were governed by Charles of Geulders and the trade war between Kampen and Zwolle allowed him to claim the Overijssel.

In July 1521 Gelderland and Zwolle troops failed to take Hasselt by surprise, besieged the town in vain from July 16 to 21, finally to abandon it.
Charles of Geulders took advantage of the alliance with Francis I to proclaim himself Lord of the Ommelanden, in 1522, and occupied the Overijssel and Drenthe which he now controlled except for Hasselt and Oldenzaal.

A new Burgundian governor of Friesland counter-attacked in 1522. Guelders troops were expelled from Sneek and Stavoren, the following year Lemmer and Sloten were captured, the last Gelderland footholds in Friesland. Guelders' Frisian allies were captured and beheaded in Leeuwarden. Steenwijk was also lost but re-taken in 1523, soon evacuated again after an accidental fire. Zwolle fell out with Duke Charles and resisted a siege in 1524.

When the Bishop of Utrecht died in April 1524, the city chose Henry of Bavaria as Bishop Henry II. The Habsburgs and Gelderland had to accept this neutral election. They negotiated with Henry for the evacuation of the Overijssel, where both of them still had troops. In December Charles of Geulders sealed a deal with Henry II, renouncing his rights to the Overijssel for a large compensation. At the end of 1524 Guelders owned Groningen, the Ommelanden and Drenthe.

Henry II could not manage without problems, high taxes led, in 1525, to riots in Utrecht. The city government was replaced by an administration where the guilds had great influence and they carried out far-reaching reforms. In 1526 a second revolution took place. Armored men, knights and some civilians defeated the guild in a street fight. Their government no longer obeyed elect Henry II.

The Revolt of the Brotherhoods was a revolt by artisan guilds against the government of King Charles I in the Kingdom of Valencia. Taking place from 1519–1523, with most of the fighting occurring during 1521, this inspired a related revolt on the island of Majorca, from 1521–1523.

The Revolt of the Comuneros was an uprising by citizens of Castile against the rule of Charles I's administration between 1520 and 1521. The rebels controlled the heart of Castile, ruling many cities, including Valladolid, Tordesillas, and Toledo.

Both rebellions were inspired by Charles' departure for Germany to take the throne as Holy Roman Emperor, leaving behind a somewhat disreputable Royal Council and regent, Adrian of Utrecht, the future Pope Adrian VI.

Ferdinand had pursued an ambitious foreign policy, stretching the finances of Aragon and Castile to their limit. Spanish relations with the Muslim nations of North Africa was still poor after the Reconquista. The coast of Aragon constantly raided by Barbary pirates.
Troops were required to be stationed in Granada and Navarre to maintain order. In order to maintain a coastal defense against the pirates, Ferdinand gave the Guilds permission to arm themselves.
Local nobles did not approve of this and tried to prevent the Guilds from arming.

In 1519, Charles' grandfather, Emperor Maximilian I, died. Charles competed with King Francis I of France to win the Imperial election by bribing Prince-Electors. Charles won, becoming Emperor Charles V.
He raised funds to pay the debts incurred in the election through taxes in Castile. This would help spark the Revolt of the Comuneros.
Charles re-affirmed the right of the Guilds to arm themselves against Muslim raids, forcing the Valencian nobles to accept this decision.

In 1519, plague struck Valencia, nobles died, and many others fled to the countryside. The population rioted against the nobles amidst many rumours. Government tried to contain the rioters, but was deposed instead. The Guilds stepped into this power vacuum, replacing the government of Valencia. The "Council of Thirteen" became the new government of the Valencia, a representative government similar to the Italian republics.
Charles I was in Aachen, in 1520, preparing to be crowned Holy Roman Emperor. The only steps he took were to revoke the Guild's grant of arms, measures which were ignored.
Tension increased after the appointment of a new Viceroy in April 1520. The Guilds staged a coup d'état and popular representatives replaced most of the remaining government functions and the courts.
Councils of Thirteen took power in the other cities of Valencia as the revolt spread. What had previously been a quiet assertion of power became a civil war.

A more radocal group took power seeking land reform and a social revolution to reduce the power of the aristocracy.
In summer 1520, some military actions occurred such as an assault on the viscounty of Xelva, the pillage of noble palaces, and the redistribution of nearby land but, the war did not truly expand until June 1521. Royalists were in two groups; In the south, the Viceroy led a force based out of Denia, Andalusian nobles sent an army to assist as well. In the north, the Duke of Segorbe, commanded.
The Guilds took over several cities, in the north, the regions of the Maestrat and Camp de Morviedro and in the south, in Alzira, Xàtiva, Gandia, and Elx.

In the north, the Guilds suffered two defeats in short succession, but the southern front was more successful, the rebels took the castle of Xàtiva and won a victory at the Battle of Gandia against the personal troops of the Viceroy in July 1521.

After this, the leadership of the Guilds fell into disarray. Some favored a negotiated peace, whilst the military urged the Guilds to fight on. Distracted by internal disputes, the Guilds suffered a crushing defeat a week after their victory at Gandia at the Battle of Oriola, against the Viceroy reinforceed from Andalusia. The south of the Kingdom of Valencia, mostly fell back into royalist hands. The Council of Thirteen resigned, and three months later, in November, the City of Valencia surrendered to the royalist army.

Only Xàtiva and Alzira remained under the control of the Guilds, their area of action limited to the Horta of Valencia, Alzira, and Xàtiva.
The Viceroy advocated a policy of reconciliation, offering generous terms to those who surrendered. In December 1522, the strongholds of Xàtiva and Alzira fell, which ended the Revolt of the Guilds conclusively.

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In the 16th Century Germany was a patchwork of small and medium sized territories with many different laws, traditions, religious practices and levels of wealth.
This is shown by the myriad of titles. At the top there were a few Kingdoms, Principalities and Electorates but below these were Counties, Baronies, Abbeys, Bisheropics, Archbisheropics, Duchies, Margravates, Landgrafts, Imperial Cities, territories and numerous more ways to hold land. All of these lands interacted in different ways, as vassals, protectorates, allies or loose confederations within the framework of the Electoral Circles and the large Holy Roman Empire.
Added to this was the emerging Protestant movement stirring discontent with the corrupt practices of the Roman Church.

It was a time when the Feudal system was breaking down, Urban growth was changing the dynamic of power and many were seeking new ways to exist.
Feudalism was breaking down more in the North of Germany, improving the lot of the people in the main. In the South, however, nobles were more catholic, in both senses of the word, and slow to adapt to change.
For the Knights, feuding, including kidnapping, ransom and bribery were legitimate means of enforcing one's interests and, for the Franconian Imperial Knights, whose importance was waning, it was also a means to combat the power of the emerging states. The Imperial Cities presented an Act of Protest to the Imperial Reichstag but the only part of the Act actually passed was a ban on private warfare. Even then, the Princes ensured the ban applied only to the knights and exempted any private wars in which the Princes might engage. This took a major source of income from the knights. Capturing and holding cities and Princes for ransom was a major source of their income.

This background saw a number of disturbances, termed wars or revolts but more protests against change or conditions.

The Knights' Revolt;
Was a revolt by a number of Protestant and religious humanist German knights from autumn 1522 to May 1523

The Franconian War;
Was a campaign by the Swabian League against 23 "Robber Baron" castles in June and July 1523.

The Great Peasants' Revolt;
Was a widespread popular revolt in Central Europe from 1524 to 1525.
This was the most dangerous to the established nobility and cost over 80,000 deaths to subdue.

The Duchies of Jülich and Berg united in 1423. In 1521, the ruling house of these Duchies and the county of Ravensberg, fell extinct. Only the last Duke's daughter Maria von Geldern was left to inherit; under Salic law, women could only hold property through a husband or guardian, so the territories passed to her husband, John III, Duke of Cleves and Mark. These United Duchies controlled most of the North Rhine region, excepting the ecclesiastical territories of Electoral Cologne and Münster.
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The Polish–Teutonic War of 1519–1521, between the Kingdom of Poland and the Teutonic Knights, ended with an armistice in April 1521 enforced by Emperor Charles V.

Four years later, under the Treaty of Kraków, part of the Catholic Monastic state of the Teutonic Knights became secularized as the Duchy of Prussia. The reigning Grand Master Albert of Hohenzollern-Brandenburg-Ansbach became the first Duke of Prussia by paying the Prussian Homage as vassal to his uncle, Polish king Sigismund I the Old.

The Teutonic Order was under Polish suzerainty. The Order decided to elect an Imperial Prince as Grand Master, who as subject to the Emperor could resist having to pay homage to Kings of Poland.
Albert of Hohenzollern became Grand Master in 1511. His uncle, Sigismund I the Old, Grand Duke of Lithuania and King of Poland, it was hoped, would agree to settle disputes over eastern Prussia.
The new Grand Master refused to submit to the crown of Poland. As war appeared inevitable, Albert secured allies and negotiated with Emperor Maximilian I.

In 1512, Muscovy invaded the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, the Order refused to help the Duchy, angering Sigismund I. In 1517, the Order allied with Vasili III of Muscovy. Albert felt he held the upper hand and demanded the return of Royal Prussia and Warmia territories, as well as compensation for their "Polish occupation".
In December 1519, the Polish sejm, declared a state of war existed between the Polish Kingdom and the Order. Lithuania was unable to aid Poland as it was occupied with Muscovy.

Polish forces gathered near Koło and towards Königsberg, laying siege to Marienwerder. The siege was slow as the Polish forces lacked artillery power. The Polish fleet blockaded Teutonic ports.
The Knights took the Warmian city of Braunsberg. The Polish army received artillery in April and took Marienwerder later that month, but failed to retake Braunsberg.

Polish forces from the Duchy of Masovia and Gdańsk attacked nearby Teutonic forts. The Order recieving reinforcements from Germany in summer 1520, started an offensive, attacking Masovia, Warmia and Ermeland, besieging Lidzbark Warmiński. In August other German reinforcements attacked Wielkopolska, taking Międzyrzecz.
The Order took Wałcz, Chojnice, Starogard Gdański and Tczew and started a siege of Gdańsk, but retreated when faced with Polish reinforcements and financial troubles which impacted on their mercenaries who refused to fight until paid.
Polish forces retook Tczew, Starogard and Chojnice whilst the Knights retreated towards Oliwa and Puck. Poland then experienced financial troubles. The Knights launched a counteroffensive, taking Nowe Miasto Lubawskie and approaching Płock and Olsztyn.
At that point, the Ottoman Empire invaded Hungary, attacking Belgrade. The Holy Roman Emperor, Charles V, demanded the Knights and Poles stop hostilities and aid in the defense of Europe.

An armistice was agreed in the Compromise of Toruń. During the four-year truce, the dispute was referred to Emperor Charles V but no settlement was reached.
Albert was advised by Martin Luther to abandon the rules of his Order, marry, and convert Prussia into a hereditary Duchy. Albert agreed, converted to Lutheranism in 1525 and assumed the hereditary rights to the now-secularized Duchy of Prussia, as a vassal of the Polish Crown.
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The strongest Hungarian fortress in the south, Nándorfehérvár (modern Belgrade), was attacked by the Turks.

Suleiman attacked mid-May 1521. Hungary was in disarray and unable to effectively counter.
Suleiman decided that the main direction of attack was be from the Sava, unlike previous attempts. The Ottoman army first had to capture Srem, which was eventually done.
Belgrade persisted its resistance, despite having a garrison of only 700 men, and receiving no aid from Hungary. They had to surrender the city in late August 1521.
The loss of Belgrade had caused great alarm in Hungary but the 60,000 strong relief army neglected to take food and disbanded due to hunger and disease without even trying to recapture the city.

Sulieman pushed no further, wanting to eliminate the potential threat from the Knights Hospitaller on Rhodes. Now that Sulieman also ruled in Egypt, naval communication and trade in the Eastern Mediterranean was key and the Hospitallers had a formidable navy which waged a constant campaign against Ottoman shipping.
The Siege of Rhodes was the second attempt by the Ottomans to expel the Knights of Rhodes (Knights Hospitaller) from the island stronghold securing Ottoman control of the Eastern Mediterranean. In the summer of 1522, Suleiman dispatched an armada of some 400 ships and personally led an army of 100,000. Following a siege of five months, Rhodes capitulated and Suleiman allowed the Knights of Rhodes to depart.

Sulieman did not ignore Europe during this time, Ottoman forces in Croatia continued to advance slowly, besieging and taking Knin, Ostrovica and Blagaj.



War of the League of Cognac
Holy Roman Empire Spain Ferrara
France Papal States Venice Florence England Navarre Genoa Milan

Pope Clement VII, along with Venice, organized an alliance to drive Charles V from Italy. Francis, having signed the Treaty of Madrid, was released and returned to France, where he soon announced his intention to assist Clement. In May 1526, the League of Cognac was signed by Francis, Clement, Venice, Florence, and the Sforza of Milan. Henry VIII, wanting the treaty signed in England, refused to join until 1527.

Imperial troops in Italy were discontented because they were owed so much back pay, some were even refusing to take the field. The League of Cognac wished to take advantage of this to attack.

Venetian troops, marched westward to join their Papal allies, along the way, they discovered that a revolt had occurred in Lodi, under the Visconti family. A disaffected captain was willing to open the gates to Venice. The League seized Lodi, but Imperial troops marched into Lombardy and forced Sforza to abandon Milan. Imperial forces were paid off by Bologna and Florence on their way to Rome.

In June 1526 the commander of the Imperial forces in Italy, went, as an ambassador from the Emperor, to Pope Clement VII. The message was that if the Papal States aligned with France, the Holy Roman Empire would use Italian allies against the Papacy. Pope Clement VII recognized the threat presented to the Papal States if Siena joined with Imperial troops already in Italy.
In 1527, 14,000 landsknechts and 6,000 Spanish tercios gathered at Piacenza and advanced on Rome. The Papal armies, proved barely able to resist. Charles III, Duke of Bourbon, commander of the Spanish army, attacked Rome. The city was taken rapidly but Charles de Bourbon was killed. The underpaid army thoroughly sacked the Holy City, forcing Pope Clement VII to flee to the Castel Sant’Angelo. The Pope was forced to ransom himself.

The Pope withdrew his forces from the League just as French forces entered Lombardy.
The looting of Rome, and removal of Clement from any part in the war, prompted the French to approach Henry VIII.

Henry and Francis signed the Treaty of Westminster, pledging to combine their forces against Charles. Francis sent an army through Genoa, where Andrea Doria joined the French, to Naples, where it dug itself in for an extended siege.

Francis delayed handing back Savona to the Genoese as he had promised. In 1528 Doria deserted the French and sailed for Genoa where, with the help of some leading citizens, he expelled the French and re-established the Republic under imperial protection.

Holy Roman Empire Spain Genoa Ferrara Mantua
France Papal States Venice Florence Milan Navarre

The siege collapsed when plague broke out in the French camp. Andrea Doria's offensive in Genoa, where he broke the blockade of the city and forced the surrender of Savona, along with the defeat of a French relief force ended Francis's hopes of regaining his hold on Italy.
In 1529 a French army was destroyed by Spanish troops leaving the Duchy of Milan under complete control of the Emperor.

Francis sought peace with Charles. Negotiations began in July 1529 in Cambrai, conducted by Francis's mother Louise of Savoy and her sister-in-law Margaret of Austria, leading to its being known as the Peace of the Ladies.
The final terms mirrored the Treaty of Madrid of three years earlier; Francis surrendered his rights to Artois, Flanders, and Tournai, and paid a ransom of two million golden écus before his sons were released. The surrender of Burgundy and the clause about Charles de Bourbon, who died at Rome, was no longer included. The Treaty of Cambrai removed France from the war, leaving Venice, Florence, and the Pope alone against Charles.

Charles, having arrived in Genoa, proceeded to Bologna to meet with the Pope. Clement absolved the participants of the sack of Rome and promised to crown Charles. In return he received Ravenna from Venice who, in exchange, was permitted to retain the lands gained at Marignano. Charles abandoned his plan to place Alessandro de' Medici on the throne of Milan, in part due to Venetian objections.

The Republic of Florence alone continued to resist the Imperial forces. A Florentine army engaged the Imperial armies at Gavinana in 1530, the Imperial army won a decisive victory and Florence surrendered ten days later. The Medici, ousted during the war, were restored as Alessandro de' Medici was installed as ruler of Florence by the victorious Imperial troops.

Henry II, Bishop of Utrecht, sought support from Charles V, who would only help him if he would surrender his secular power to Charles. Henry agreed and signed the Treaty of Schoonhoven, in 1527.
When the cities of Overijssel also asked for assistance against Gelre, Imperial envoys advised that they could enjoy protection from Charles V if they accepted him as Lord. The States of Overijssel agreed this in January 1528, Henry II accepted this in February, if the Pope agreed. Pope Clement VII had no alternative, after the Sack of Rome in 1527, but to agree.

Habsburg troops entered Overijssel, driving the Geldersen out; Overijssel became part of the Habsburg Netherlands.
Meanwhile a Gelre raid through Holland sacked The Hague. Because of this Dutch and Brabantine cities were now prepared to pay for troops. An army invaded the Veluwe to link with the Overijssel. In Utrecht, Gelderland troops were demoralized by poor payment and being cut off from Guelders, the citizens were so discouraged that they let Henry II's army enter at the end of June.
The Geldersen vacated the entire Nedersticht (Utrecht) but Henry ruled only briefly as Charles demanded payment. In October 1528, Henry surrendered Utrencht, recognized by the Pope in August 1529.

With Gelre itself threatened, and towns already occupied, in October 1528, Charles V and Charles of Gelre agreed peace. Gelre would retain Groningen, the Ommelanden and Drenthe.
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First War of Kappel;

The war was a conflict in 1529 between Protestant and Catholic cantons of the Swiss Confederacy.
The Protestant canton and city of Zürich had concluded a defence alliancewith other Protestant cantons and included the free imperial cities of Konstanz and Strasbourg. In response, the Catholic cantons formed an alliance with Ferdinand of Austria.

Conflicts over common territories, especially the Thurgau, saw mediation attempts fail. A Catholic priest was executed in the Thurgau in May 1528, and a Protestant pastor burned at the stake in Schwyz in 1529. Zürich declared war on 8 June, occupied the Thurgau and the territories of the Abbey of St. Gall, and marched to Kappel on the border with Zug.

Mediation avoided open war but armies were in the field. With negotiations taking place the two armies arranged to avoid mutual provocation.
Without any battle in the war, the first peace of Kappel was signed.
The peace was not favourable to the Catholic party, which had to dissolve its alliance with the Habsburgs. Tensions remained, flaring up again in the Second War of Kappel two years later.

The marriage of Ferdinand of Habsburg to Anna Jageillon led to Ferdinand's inheritance of Bohemia upon the death of Louis II.
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Mazovia was integrated into the Polish Crown in 1529.
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King Louis II of Hungary married Mary of Habsburg in 1522. The Ottomans saw this Jagiellonian-Habsburg marital alliance as a threat to their power in the Balkans and worked to break it.
When Suleiman I came to power in 1520, the High Porte made the Hungarians offers of peace. For unclear reasons, Louis refused.
Even in peacetime, the Ottomans raided Hungarian lands and conquered border castles, but a battle still offered Louis a glimpse of hope.


King Francis I of France had been defeated at Pavia in 1525, imprisoned, Francis was forced to sign the Treaty of Madrid.
Francis formed a formal Franco-Ottoman alliance with Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent as an ally against Charles V. To relieve the Habsburg pressure on France, in 1525 Francis asked Suleiman to make war on the Holy Roman Empire, and the road from Turkey to the Holy Roman Empire led across Hungary. The request coincided with the ambitions of Suleiman and gave him an incentive to attack Hungary in 1526, 5 years after attacking the city of Belgrade.

The Grand Vizier constructed a bridge ahead of the army, despite this, the army took five days to cross the Danube River meeting no resistance from the Hungarians. Pétervárad, Ujlak, and Eszek fell to the Turks in July 1526. For 400 km along the Danube between Pétervárad and Buda there was no defensible town, village, or fortification of any sort. The Ottomans had advanced almost unopposed.

King Louis II had planned to send a vanguard to hold the Danube but the nobles refused to follow the King's deputy in battle.
The Hungarians assembled three units: a Transylvanian army, under John Zápolya, to guard the passes of the Transylvanian Alps, about 13,000 strong; a main army about 25,000 strong, including Spanish, German, Bohemian and Serbian mercenaries plus a 1,500 strong polish contingent; and a small Croat force of around 5,000 men. However, the Transylvanian and Croatian forces were farther from Buda than the Ottomans were.
The army, expensive but obsolete, was reliant on old fashioned heavily armoured knights on armoured horses.

The Ottomans deployed some 300 cannons, the largest field artillery of the era, whilst Hungary had only 85 cannons, still a greater number than any deployed on battlefields by contemporary Western European armies.

When Louis took the field, it was on an open but uneven plain with some swampy marshes, near Mohács. The Hungarian army, arrayed to take advantage of the terrain, hoped to engage the Ottoman army piecemeal. They had the advantage of well-rested troops, while the Turks had a strenuous march in scorching summer heat. Rather than attacking the fatigued enemy immediately, the Hungarians let them struggle through the marshy terrain.
The Hungarian battlefront consisted of two lines. The first had a center of mercenary infantry and artillery with the majority of the cavalry on either flank, the second was a mix of levy infantry and cavalry.
The Ottoman army, 50,000 strong, was a more modern force built around artillery and the elite, musket-armed Janissaries. The remainder consisted of feudal Timarli cavalry and conscripted levies from Rumelia and the Balkans.

As Suleiman's troops, Rumelians, moved onto the battlefield, the heavy Christian knights launched an effective charge, brushing aside first the Akinjis and then the Sipahis. This caused considerable chaos among the irregular Ottoman troops, but the arrival of Ottoman regulars, from the reserves, steadied them.
The superiority of the Ottoman regulars and a charge of the, elite, Janissaries overwhelmed the attackers. The Hungarians taking serious casualties, advancing into withering fire and flank attacks, from skillfully handled Turkish artillery and musket volleys, could not hold their positions. Those who did not flee were surrounded and killed or captured.

Louis left the field but was thrown from his horse in a river and died weighed down by heavy armor.
Suleiman waited at Mohacs for a few days before moving cautiously against Buda. Buda was left undefended; only the French and Venetian ambassadors awaited the Sultan, to congratulate him on his victory.

Though they pillaged the castle and surroundings, the Ottoman army retreated soon afterwards.

Conflicting Claims;
Bohemia elected Archduke Ferdinand but the Habsburgs needed the economic power of Hungary to resist the Ottomans. In 1527, the Croatian nobles met in Cetin electing Ferdinand as their King.
John Zápolya arrived at the battle too late and retreated. Suleiman was not ready to annex Hungary completely, Zápolya was chosen by Hungarian electorate as their ruler in 1526. Meanwhile, at the Diet of Bratislava Archduke Ferdinand of Austria was declared King of Hungary in 1527. The nobles of Hungary had to choose between pledging allegiance to a native, but vassal of Suleiman, or a Christian "foreigner". The Habsburg Archduke of Austria, Ferdinand I, Louis's brother-in-law, was to succeed under the treaty with King Vladislaus II.

The primary goal of these two Kings was to gain the upper hand or, if possible, destroy the other. Zápolya more than once acquired the help of the Turkish sultan, Suleiman. Ferdinand received help from Austria and from the West.

War of Succession
The Hungarian campaign of 1527–1528 was launched by Ferdinand I, Archduke of Austria and King of Hungary and Bohemia against the Ottoman Turks and to drive out John Zápolya.
After Mohács, the Ottomans withdrew and Ferdinand attempted to enforce his claim as King of Hungary. He invaded Hungary with two armies, Zápolya was unable to prevent Ferdinand's advance which captured Buda, Győr, Komárom, Esztergom, and Székesfehérvár by the start of 1528, moving east, he defeated Zápolya at Tarcal. In the south the second army captured Varasd, securing Slavonia for Ferdinand. In March 1528 John Zápolya was again defeated at Szina and fled to Poland.
Suleiman the Magnificent, took no action at this stage, despite the pleas of his vassal, until 1529, when he led an army about 120,000 strong into Hungary.

Returning, Zápolya won at Sarospatak as Ferdinand now had to deal with the Ottomans.

Siege of Vienna
Suleiman started the campaign in May facing obstacles from the beginning, spring rains were particularly heavy causing flooding and rendering parts of the march route barely passable. Many large-calibre cannons and artillery pieces became hopelessly mired or bogged down, leaving Suleiman no choice but to abandon them. Sickness among the janissaries claimed many lives.
Joined by a large cavalry force led by John Zápolya, Suleiman re-took Buda on 8 September. Ferdinand's gains of the previous two years were easily taken. Many of the forts surrendered without resistance, greatly speeding up the advance. Only the fortress of Pozsony resisted, where the Turkish fleet was bombarded as it sailed up the Danube.

With Buda back under Ottoman control, through vassal John Zápolya, the Ottoman position in Hungary was strengthened. The campaign deliberately left a trail of collateral damage in Habsburg Hungary and Austria impairing Ferdinand's capacity to mount a counter-attack. Suleiman, unable to force Ferdinand to open battle, arrived at Vienna in September.

Many Ottoman troops arrived in a poor state of health after the long march through the wet season. Of those fit to fight, a third were light cavalry, or Sipahis, ill-suited for siege warfare and Suleiman's heavy artillery had already been abandoned on the march.

Ferdinand's garrison was about 16,000 strong including an ad-hoc resistance formed from local farmers, peasants and civilians, but was outnumbered roughly 7 to 1. The walls of Vienna were an invitation to Ottoman cannon being only 6ft thick in some areas. Nonetheless, Vienna was defended with great vigor. The defending forces detected and successfully destroyed several mines intended to bring down the city's walls, dispatching 8,000 men on 6 October to attack Ottoman mining operations, destroying many of the tunnels. On October 12 a war council was called and on October 14 Suleiman abandoned the siege. The retreat was hampered by, still untaken, Pozsony which once more bombarded the Ottomans.

Early snowfall made matters worse and it would be another three years before Suleiman could campaign in Hungary. Although the siege was a failure, the campaign can be seen as a success, since John Zápolya now ruled most of Hungary as a vassal of Ottomans.

After the attack on Vienna measures were taken to organize the defence of Habsburg borders, Charles V ceded the Maltese islands to the Knights Hospitaller and there was a rapprochement between Charles V and Pope Clement VII, culminating in the Pope's coronation of Charles V as Holy Roman Emperor on February 24, 1530.

In 1530 Ferdinand again attacked Zápolya, capturing Esztergom but was repulsed from a seige at Buda.
The "Second Serbian Empire" 1526-1527

Since the end of the Serbian Empire and the Ottoman conquest, Serbian nobility had moved north into southern Hungary. In the confusion after the disaster at Mohács the leader of Serbian mercenaries in Hungary, Jovan Nenad, drove the Ottomans from parts of Banat, Syrmia and Srem, which he then ruled as the Second Serbian Empire.

He tried to ally with John Zápolya but Zápolya refused to acknowledge Nenad's territory. Conflict with Hungarian nobility arose when they were refused their properties, confiscated by Nenad, additionally, he pillaged Hungarian estates and villages, terrorizing the population. This turned both nobility and peasants against him.

His army grew, drawing Serbs from Ottoman territory, Vlachs and some Roman Catholics. By the beginning of 1527, it numbered around 15,000 men.

Nenad considered the fight against the Ottomans for the liberation of the Serb lands his primary task. In early 1527, Ferdinand was preparing for the against Zápolya, during that time, Zápolya sent men after Nenad but underestimated his strength. Zápolya's men were defeated in early April at the Battle of Szőlős.
A second army, the entire strength of Transylvania and upper Hungary, decisively defeated Nenad's army in the Battle of Sződfalva, killing around 8,000 of his men.

Attempting to unite with Ferdinand, Nenad was wounded in Szeged, shortly after he was captured and killed, his head was delivered to Zápolya. After his death the remainder of his army dispersed.

1531- 1537


Italian War of 1536–1538

The third war between Charles V and King Francis I of France began with the death of Francesco Sforza, Duke of Milan in November 1535. Sforza left no heirs but Emperor Charles V was in Italy when Sforza died. Charles' representatives took charge of the Duchy, encountering no protests from the people of Milan. However, there were objections from France.
Francis I believed that Asti, Genoa and the Duchy of Milan were rightfully his and recovering Milan for France remained his primary goal.
When Charles annexed Milan, Francis I invaded Italy. In late March 1536, a French army advanced into Piedmont with 24,000 infantry and 3,000 horse. It captured Turin in early April 1536, but failed to take Milan. Meanwhile, pro-French supporters in Asti rose up, expelling the Imperial garrison.

Charles V invaded Provence in response to this, advancing to Aix-en-Provence, taking it in August. A French Army blocked the roads leading south to Marseilles. Charles withdrew via Spain rather than attack heavily fortified Avignon.

The French army in Piedmont were joined by 10,000 Italian infantry and a few hundred horsemen whilst marching on Genoa.
In preparation for his invasion of Italy, Francis' ambassador to the Ottoman Empire obtained, in early 1536, a treaty of alliance. By the end of 1536 an Ottoman fleet was off the coast of Genoa ready to coordinate with the French. Arriving in August 1536, the French found the garrison of Genoa had recently been reinforced and an expected uprising did not materialize. The army moved past Genoa and marched on into Piedmont, capturing Carignano, Pinerolo, Chieri and Carmagnola, towns between Turin and Saluzzo. The Ottoman participation in the war was not significant but curbed the options for Charles V. Ottoman troops had landed in Otranto in July 1537 but were withdrawn within a month when it was obvious that Francis could not link up from Lombardy. However, the prescence of Ottoman troops in Apulia and a large Ottoman fleet in the Strait of Otranto did generate fear in Rome that a large-scale invasion would follow.
Fighting a two front war, Ottomans in the east and French in the west, did not appeal to Charles, consequently, by 1538, Charles was ready for peace.

The Truce of Nice, which ended the war in June 1538, provided little resolution to the long conflict between Charles and Francis; Turin was left in French hands, hostilities had ended, under pressure from the Pope, leaving a cautious entente and neither monarch satisfied with the outcome.

The Palaiologos dynasty died out in 1533, Montferrat was seized by the Spanish who, in 1536, gave it to Federico II, Duke of Mantua.
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Charles of Gelre allied himself with Christian III of Denmark and Balthasar of Esens, enemies of his enemies, Charles V and Enno II of East Friesland. Balthasar now held Harlingerland as a fief of Gelre and, supported by Duke Charles he raised troops, defeating Enno at the Battle of Jemming in 1533. The same troops fought the Habsburgs in East Friesland during 1532-34.
In 1534, the Danish Count's Feud spilled over into the Low Countries. Charles of Gelre and Christian III offered each other mutual assistance whilst Charles V supported Christopher of Oldenburg.

Charles V gathered a fleet to lift the siege of Copenhagen, and sent men from the Palatinate to clear enemy troops from East Friesland and Groningen.
The Habsburgs occupied Groningen and defeated the Gueldersen and their allies in the Battle of Heiligerlee in 1536. Before the Dutch fleet was ready, Copenhagen fell to Christian III and peace was concluded.
Charles of Gelre signed the Treaty of Grave after this, ceding Groningen and Drenthe to Charles V.

Conflict in Bohemia was complicated by the Reformation and the subsequent wars of religion. Adherents of the Reformed Church (Hussites) opposed the Roman Catholic Habsburgs, who were supported by Bohemian and German Catholics. The Lutheran Reformation of 1517 introduced another dimension to the struggle: much of the German population of Bohemia adopted either Lutheran and Calvinist Protestantism. The Hussites split, and one faction allied with the German Protestants. In 1537, Ferdinand, in a concession to the Bohemians, recognized the Compacts of Basel, and accepted moderate Utraquism. The reconciliation, however, was of brief duration.
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The Musso War
The Milanese reeve of Como had been raiding the valley of Chiavenna since 1521. In 1525 his forces were defeated at Morbegno but he remained in control of Chiavenna. The Three Leagues sent a delegation to negotiate peace with the city of Milan, but, en route they were captured by the reeve in September 1525.
In spring 1526 another delegation, supported by France and Venice, were able to secure their release, but only after ceding the Tre Pievi north of Lake Como.

In 1531 Milan attacked again, capturing Morbegno and defeating the League forces. The Three Leagues called on the Swiss Confederacy for help, religious conflicts in the Confederation meant only the Protestant cantons supported them. The Catholic cantons insisted that help was dependent on the Leagues converting back to the old faith. The Protestant and League forces were able to drive the Milanese out of the Valtellina and a peace treaty was signed the next year, Chiavenna and the Valtellina remained with the Three Leagues; the Tre Pievi with Milan.
The Valtellina would become strategically important to Spain in the future.

The Second War of Kappel
This was an armed conflict between the Protestant and the Roman Catholic cantons of the Swiss Confederacy.

Tensions had not been resolved after the First War of Kappel two years earlier. Provocations continued and the Catholic party accused Zürich of territorial ambitions.

Catholic cantons refused to help the Three Leagues in the Grisons during the Musso war against the Duchy of Milan. Zürich declared this a breach of contract between the Confederacy and the Three Leagues, declaring an embargo against the five alpine Catholic cantons, in which Berne also participated. Mediation failed this time and in October 1531, Catholic cantons declared war on Zürich.

A force of about 7,000 soldiers from the Catholic cantons met an army of 2,000 men from Zürich in the Battle of Kappel. Zürich's army arrived at the battlefield in scattered groups and exhausted from a forced march. Catholic forces attacked and, after a brief resistance, the Protestants soon broke.
After the defeat, the forces of Zürich regrouped and attempted to occupy the Zugerberg.
Berne and other Reformed Cantons marched to rescue Zürich. A Reformed army marched up the Reuss valley to outside of Baar. The Catholic army was now encamped on the slopes of the Zugerberg. The Zürich-Berne army sent 5,000 men to encircle the army on the Zugerberg but they army marched slowly due to poor discipline and looting. They were attacked by a small Catholic force driven off.

This destroyed much of the combined Zürich-Berne army. Already faced with increasing desertion, it retreated, leaving Zürich unprotected. Zürich pushed for a rapid peace settlement.

The peace that ended the war forced the dissolution of the Protestant alliance, giving Catholicism priority in the common territories.
Only strategically important places such as the Freiamt or those along the route from Schwyz to the Rhine valley at Sargans (and thus to the alpine passes in the Grisons) were forcibly re-catholicised. The treaty confirmed each canton's right to practice either the Catholic or Reformed faith, defining the Swiss Confederation as a state with two religions.

The political situation in Savoy gave Berne the opportunity it had been seeking to take the lands around Lake Geneva that it had claimed for years. Savoy was not in a position to resist and they were absorbed into Confederation lands.

Münster rebellion
An attempt by radical Anabaptists to establish a communal sectarian government in the German city of Münster, then part of the large Prince-Bishopric of Münster.

After the German Peasants' War an attempt to establish theocracy was made at Münster, in Westphalia between 1532–1535.
Pamphlets were published that denounced Catholicism from a radical Lutheran perspective, but soon started to proclaim that the Bible called for the absolute equality of man in all matters including the distribution of wealth. The pamphlets were distributed throughout northern Germany and called upon the poor of the region to join the citizens of Münster to share the wealth of the town and benefit spiritually from being the elect of Heaven.

With many adherents in the town, at the elections for the magistracy, the Theocrats had no difficulty taking possession of the town, deposing the mainly Lutheran magistrates.

Anabaptist disciples entered the city and introduced adult baptism in 1534, well over 1000 adults were soon baptised. The Lutherans who left were outnumbered by arriving Anabaptists and rebaptism became compulsory. The property of the emigrants was shared out with the poor and a proclamation issued that all property be held in common.

The city was then besieged by its expelled Bishop, most of the residents of Münster were starving as a result of the year-long siege.
After lengthy resistance, the city was taken by the besiegers in June 1535.
and John of Leiden and several other prominent Anabaptist leaders were captured and imprisoned. In January 1536 John of Leiden, Bernhard Knipperdolling and one more prominent follower, Bernhard Krechting, were tortured and executed in the marketplace of Münster. Their bodies were exhibited in cages, which hung from the steeple of St. Lambert's Church. The bones were removed later, but the cages hang there still.

The city was under Anabaptist rule from February 1534, when the city hall was seized, until its fall in June 1535.
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The Count's Feud
This was a war of succession that raged in Denmark in 1534–36.
The Count's Feud takes its name from the Protestant Count Christopher of Oldenburg, who supported the Catholic King Christian II, deposed in 1523 in favour of Frederick of Holstein, over the election of Christian III, a staunch Protestant who had already implemented Lutheranism as the state religion in Schleswig and Holstein in 1528.

Eight years after Christian II fled abroad, he tried to regain his Kingdom. However, in October 1531, most of his fleet was wrecked off of Norway. Christian II surrendered to Frederick I, in exchange for his surrender, Frederick promised him a safe retreat. Frederick did not keep this promise and captured Christian II, locking him up in Sønderborg Castle.

After Frederick I's death in 1533, the Jutland nobility proclaimed his son, then Duke Christian of Gottorp, as King under the name Christian III.
Count Christopher organized an uprising against the new King, demanding that Christian II be set free. Supported by Lübeck and troops from Oldenburg and Mecklenburg, parts of the Zealand and Skåne nobilities rose up, together with cities such as Copenhagen and Malmø.
The peasants of Vendsyssel and North Jutland to rose up against the nobles, manors were burned down in northern and western Jutland. Count Christopher was proclaimed regent on Christian II's behalf by Zealand and, in August 1534, accepted the same position in Skåne.
An army of nobles was defeated at the Battle of Svenstrup in October 1534. Christian III, however, forced peace on Lübeck, freeing up troops to fight the rebels.
Royal troops pursued the peasants all the way to Aalborg, where they took refuge behind the city's fortifications. On 18 December the city was stormed and plundered over the following days.

Swedish King Gustav Vasa sent a Swedish army to the aid of Christian III, which invaded Skåne at Loshult and advanced toward the town of Væ. A Swedish army, later, invaded Halland, which was devastated. The stronghold of Helsingborg Castle supported Count Christopher. In January 1535, the Swedes and supporting nobles advanced on Helsingborg. Its commander turned coat and opened the castle to the Swedes, who set fire to Helsingborg and reduced the town to ashes.

After Aalborg, Royalists fought the Battle of Øksnebjerg on Funen, where Count Christopher's army was decisively defeated. Both Copenhagen and Malmø, however, were able to hold out until 1536, when they were forced to capitulate after several months' siege. With this, the Count's Feud was officially over.
Christian III's rule saw the rise of royal absolutism in Denmark, and greater repression of the peasants.
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After the attempt by Suleiman the Magnificent to capture Vienna, in the siege of 1529, Ferdinand launched a counter-attack in 1530 to regain the initiative.
An assault of Buda was driven off by John Zápolya, the vassal King of Hungary, but Ferdinand was successful elsewhere, capturing Gran (Esztergom) and other forts along the Danube river.
Suleiman, in response, led an army of over 120,000 troops to besiege Vienna again. Suleiman advanced rapidly, Ferdinand feared forces would not be assembled in time to stop him.
After Suleiman crossed the river Drava at Osijek, Suleiman turned westwards into Ferdinand's Hungarian territory.

Ferdinand withdrew his army to defend Vienna, leaving only 700 men with no cannons and a few guns to defend Kőszeg (Güns). In order to make decisive gains, Suleiman had to take the city quickly.
Kőszeg was not a place of importance, an insubstantial obstacle. Many stronger places had yielded without a fight. Ibrahim Pasha, Grand Vizier of the Ottomans, did not realize how lightly defended it was. After taking a few minor places, Suleiman joined Ibrahim Pasha, when the siege had already started.
A large Imperial army, reinforced by Spanish troops and led by Emperor Charles V, was gathering in support of Ferdinand at Regensburg.
The Ottomans met stiff resistance, Suleiman had hoped that the Imperial army would come to relieve Kőszeg, feeling a larger engagement would be to his advantage, however, it remained in Regensburg.
The Ottomans attacked again and again, bringing down parts of the walls, mines were sapped by countermines but Ibrahim Pasha could secure no surrender.
Several mines succeeded in blowing holes in the fortifications but the defenders held out for more than twenty-five days, without any artillery, against nineteen full-scale assaults and an incessant bombardment.

Suleiman withdrew at the arrival of the August rains, returning homeward instead of continuing towards Vienna. Delayed nearly four weeks, a powerful army had been collected in Vienna, which Suleiman did not intend to face. During their retreat, they suffered defeat at the battle of Leobersdorf.
Although he stalled at Kőszeg, Suleiman strengthened his possessions in Hungary by taking several forts. After the Ottoman withdrawal, Ferdinand reoccupied, mostly devastated, territory in Austria and Hungary. Nevertheless, a peace treaty was signed in 1533, in Constantinople, confirming the right of John Zápolya as King of all Hungary, but recognizing Ferdinand's possession of western Hungary.
This treaty did not satisfy John Szapolyai or Ferdinand who began to skirmish along the borders. Ferdinand tried to strike a decisive blow in 1537, sending an army to take Osijek, violating the treaty. The siege failed and led to the Battle of Gorjani, which was a disaster for the Austrians, with an Ottoman relief army routing them.
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In the Mediterranean, a Christian offensive tried to eliminate the Turkish fleet in 1535. A fleet captured Tunis, expelling the Ottoman fleet from the Western Mediterranean.
However, this worked to Ottoman advantage in the east where the combined fleets were turned against the Republic of Venice's possessions in the Aegean and Ionian Seas.

In the east, the Ottoman Turks took Baghdad from the Safavid dynasty under Tahmasp I in 1534, gaining control of Mesopotamia and naval access to the Persian Gulf. Baghdad was taken without resistance, as the Safavid government fled and left the city undefended.



In January 1537, the Duke of Florence, Alessandro de'Medici, was assassinated, he had the support of the Empire as he was married to Charles V's daughter, Margaret. With the Duke removed, some citizens of Florence attempted to establish a republic in the city, other pro-Medici citizens wanted to install Cosimo de' Medici as the new Duke. The republicans raised an army while the pro-Medici faction sought assistance from Charles V. Francis I supported the, now-exiled, republicans, trying to prevent Charles from taking over Florence.
Negotiations between Francis and Charles continued through 1538 and into 1539. In 1539, Francis invited Charles, facing a rebellion in the Low Countries, to travel through France. Charles accepted, and was richly received; but while he was willing to discuss religious matters, the Protestant Reformation being underway, he held back on political differences and territorial claims. Nothing had been decided by the time he left France.

Francis continued to claim the Duchy of Milan; Charles, insisted that Francis comply with the terms of the Treaty of Madrid, which had been forced on Francis during his captivity in Spain after the war of 1521–26. Conflicting claims to other territories, Charles's to Burgundy, Francis to Naples and Flanders were a matter of contention as well.
Charles had plans for a campaign in North Africa, and wished to avoid entanglements in Europe. By September 1541, Charles was in Majorca, preparing an attack on Algiers; Francis, considered it impolitic to attack a fellow Christian who was fighting the Muslims, decided not to declare war for as long as the Emperor was campaigning. The Algerian expedition was unsuccessful due to storms which scattered the invasion fleet after the initial landing. Charles returned to Spain with the remnants of his troops by November. In 1542, the French ambassador returned from Constantinople with promises of Ottoman aid against Charles. Suleiman, seeking to distract Charles away from Hungary, encouraged the Franco-Imperial rift. Francis tried to gather new allies to his cause; William, Duke of Jülich-Cleves-Berg, engaged in the Guelders Wars against Charles, sealed an alliance by marrying Francis's niece, Jeanne d'Albret. Francis sought an alliance with the Schmalkaldic League as well, but was refused. By 1542 French potential allies in northern Germany had reached understandings with the Emperor.

Italian War of 1542–1546

Once again Milan was the pretext for the war and, in July 1542, Francis declared war on the Holy Roman Empire. Fighting began at once in the Low Countries, France attacking Luxembourg and briefly capturing the city. Francis also unsuccessfully besieged Perpignan in Rousillon, northern Spain.

In February 1543, Henry VIII and Charles signed a treaty of offensive alliance, pledging to invade France within two years. In June 1543, Henry declared war, 5,000 men sent to Calais to aid the defense of the Low Countries.
The French, captured Lillers in April and by June had taken Landrecies as well. William of Cleves joined Francis, invading Brabant, and fighting began in Artois and Hainaut. Francis inexplicably halted his army near Rheims, meantime, Charles attacked William, invading the Duchy of Jülich, capturing Düren. Francis ordered an attack on Luxembourg, taken in September, but it was too late to affect William who had already surrendered, signing the Treaty of Venlo. William conceded the Duchy of Guelders and County of Zutphen to Charles.
Charles moved to besiege Landrecies, seeking battle with Francis; the defenders repulsed the attack, but Francis withdrew to Saint-Quentin leaving Charles free to seize Cambrai.

In April 1543, Suleiman placed Barbarossa's fleet at the disposal of Francis, with more than a hundred galleys, in July it arrived in Marseilles. In August, a joint Franco-Ottoman fleet anchored off of Nice, landing troops at Villefranche to besiege Nice which fell in late August, although the citadel held out until the siege was lifted in September.
For Christian and Islamic troops to act together was regarded as shocking but Francis went further. Barbarossa threatened to depart if he were not given the means to resupply his fleet. Francis ordered that the population of Toulon be expelled and the city given over to Barbarossa, who used it as a base for for the next eight months.

In Piedmont, a stalemate had developed. The French were besieging Carignano, captured by Imperial forces. Francis and Charles reinforced their armies, the Imperial army advanced to relieve Carignano. In April 1544, at Ceresole, the French were victorious, however, an impending invasion of France by Charles and Henry VIII forced Francis to recall most of his army.
An Imperial victory over a French-Florentine republican mercenary army at Serravalle in early June 1544 ended the campaign in Italy.

In December 1543, Henry VIII and Charles V had agreed to invade France by 20 June 1544. Both were to provide no less than 35,000 infantry and 7,000 cavalry. Francis could muster about 70,000 men in his scattered armies. Charles had also reached an agreement with the Electors of Saxony and Brandenburg who agreed to join the invasion.

Two Imperial armies were ready to invade, one north of Luxemburg and the other from the Palatinate. Charles had gathered more than 42,000 men and had sent another 4,000 to join the English.
In May Luxembourg was re-captured and the army moved towards Commercy and Ligny. In July, it besieged Saint-Dizier where the second army soon joined it.

Henry sent an army of 40,000 men to Calais but the army only slowly moved into French territory. Deciding that the army be split, one part besieged Montreuil but proved ineffective due to inadequate supplies and poor organization. The other part was to attack Boulogne where a siege began in July, even though Charles asked that Henry should advance towards Paris.

Charles was still delayed at Saint-Dizier as the city continued to resist the Imperial army. In mid-July, Charles captured Vitry-le-François, tightening the siege and, finally, in mid-August, Saint-Dizier capitulated having resisted for 41 days. The Imperial offensive had stalled.
Charles continued towards Châlons but was prevented from crossing the Marne by a French force at Jâlons. So, Imperial troops marched through Champagne, capturing Épernay, Châtillon-sur-Marne, Château-Thierry, and Soissons.

Francis made no attempts to engage the advancing army and Paris was gripped by panic. Henry was still besieging Boulogne, the town and castle fell in September. Charles, without support from Henry, turned back in early September. Short on funds and needing to deal with religious unrest in Germany, Charles concluded a treaty with Francis; Francis and Charles would abandon their conflicting claims, restoring the status quo of 1538; Charles relinquished his claim to the Duchy of Burgundy and Francis to the Kingdom of Naples, as well as claims on Flanders and Artois.

The conflict between Francis and Henry continued. The army advanced on Montreuil, forcing the siege to be lifted. Henry returned to England ordering Boulogne be defended but, the bulk of the English army withdrew to Calais, leaving only 4,000 men to defend Boulogne. The English were trapped in Calais, the French concentrated besieging Boulogne. In October, a French assault nearly capturing the city was beaten back when men prematurely started looting. Peace talks were attempted without result; Henry refused to return Boulogne.

Francis embarked on an attack on England. More than 30,000 men assembled in Normandy, a fleet of 400 vessels prepared at Le Havre. In May 1545, a French expeditionary force landed in Scotland. In early July, the English attacked the French fleet but had little success due to poor weather.
The invasion force left Le Havre in July and entered the Solent, briefly engaging the English fleet, with no effect - although the Mary Rose sank accidentally. Attempted landings on the Isle of Wight and at Seaford in later July were abortive. The French fleet returned to blockading Boulogne.

By September 1545, the war was at stalemate; both sides were running low on funds and troops, the war was the costliest conflict of both Francis's and Henry's reigns. Francis could not afford to resume the war, and Henry was concerned only for Boulogne.
Negotiations resumed in May and, in June 1546, the Treaty of Ardres was signed. Henry would retain Boulogne until 1554, then return it in exchange for two million écus.

Salt War
The Salt War of 1540 was a result of an insurrection by the city of Perugia against the Papal States during the pontificate of Pope Paul III (Alessandro Farnese). The principal result was the city of Perugia's definitive subordination to papal control.

Perugia was a free commune until 1370 when it was incorporated into the Papal States, it continued to have a semi-autonomy, including privileges like trial by a local judge and freedom from paying taxes on salt; an important product for preserving food.
In the late 15th century, successive popes attempted to rein in Perugia's autonomy, despite resistance.
In 1539, Perugia suffered a disastrous harvest which drove up prices, in this difficult situation, Pope Paul III decided to levy a new tax on salt for all of his subjects. This violated treaties, which Paul III had confirmed, between Perugia and previous Popes but Perugian protests were to no avail. Perugia rebelled but, in June 1540, papal troops forced the city to surrender.

The Third Ottoman Venetian War 1537–1540
Against the background of the war raging in Italy and the Franco-Ottoman alliance which saw Ottoman troops in Apulia and the presence of the large Ottoman fleet in the Strait of Otranto, Venetian-Ottoman relations were deteriorating during the siege of Klis, the last Habsburg stronghold in Dalmatia, that fell in March 1537. The Venetian government feared Turkish forces would attack Dalmatian cities and made diplomatic overtures to avoid war.

Fears increased following a skirmish when the Ottomans suddenly laid siege to the Venetian Island of Corfu, breaking the peace treaty of 1502. On Corfu, Ottoman forces faced defenses specifically designed to counter Ottoman artillery. The siege lasted less than two weeks.
Pope Paul III formed a Holy League in 1538, including the Papacy, Republic of Venice, Holy Roman Empire, Spain, Archduchy of Austria and the Knights of Malta, to combat the expected Ottoman assaults. Intense diplomacy by the Pope stopped the war between Charles V and Francis I and secured Charles’s support. Venice joined the league, reluctantly and only after much debate.

During summer, 1538, the Ottoman fleets turned their attention to Venetian possessions in the Aegean, capturing the islands of Syros, Aegina, Ios, Paros, Tinos, Karpathos, Kasos, Naxos, Andros and Santorini, also taking the Venetian settlements in the Peloponnese; Monemvasia and Navplion. The Italian cities of Otranto and Ugento and the fortress of Castro, in the province of Lecce, were also looted. In the Adriatic, through the combined use of navy and army, the Ottomans captured forts in Dalmatia, securing their hold there.
After taking Kotor, the League’s navy managed to trap the Ottoman navy in the Ambracian Gulf. However, they were supported by Ottoman artillery in Préveza while the League had to wait in open sea.
Spanish forces landed on the Dalmatian coast and captured Castelnuovo. This town was a strategic fortress between the Venetian possession of Cattaro and independent Ragusa. Venice therefore claimed ownership of Castelnuovo, but Charles V refused to cede it.
Eventually the League navy retreated, allowing an Ottoman attack which resulted in a major Ottoman victory in the Battle of Préveza.

Castelnuovo was garrisoned by about 4,000 men, mainly Spanish veteran but also included 150 light cavalry, a small contingent of Greek soldiers and knights and some artillery pieces.
Castelnuovo was proposed as a beachhead for an offensive against the heart of the Ottoman Empire. The garrison depended entirely on the support of the fleet, and this had been defeated.

200 Ottoman ships with 20,000 soldiers aboard, would blockade Castelnuevo by sea while the army would besiege the fortress by land with 30,000 soldiers. The Spanish used the time before the siege to improve the town's defenses, repairing walls and bastions and building new fortifications.
30 galleys were sent to block the entrance of the Gulf of Cattaro. They disembarked a thousand soldiers to find water and capture Spanish soldiers for information. The Spanish sent three companies and the cavalry to attack them, forcing the Ottomans to re-embark.

After the arrival of the main fleet troops and artillery began to land, joined by the army a few days later. Pioneers dug trenches and built ramparts for 44 siege guns. Castelnuovo was also bombarded by sea. By late July, all was ready for a general assault and artillery prepared to break down the walls. The assault lasted all day and was costly in lives, partly due to "friendly fire" from the Ottoman artillery. The attack was resumed the next morning but the Spanish continued to resist, even raiding the Ottoman camp, forcing it's commander to retire to his ships.

In the following days the artillery concentrated its fire on one fort in the upper town, a key point of the fortifications. In early August, the shattered ruins of the fort were assaulted. The assault began at dawn and battle lasted all day. By nightfall the remnants of the garrison retreated to the walls of the town, the ruined fort in Ottoman hands.
Next day an attack was launched against the walls but, despite the overwhelming numerical superiority, the Spanish defense was successful. At dawn the following day a heavy downpour ruined the matchlocks, the few remaining pieces of artillery, and the last gunpowder. The defence was only with swords, pikes and knives but, again, the Spanish managed to repel the assault.
The last attack took place the next morning. Demolished by artillery fire, the walls became indefensible. The 600 Spanish survivors retreated to a castle in the lower city but found the entrance blocked by the local populace. Surrounded by the Ottoman army, the Spanish soldiers fought back to back until none were able to fight. At the end of day, Castelnuovo was in Ottoman hands.

Ottoman losses amounted to 37,000 dead, of the Spanish troops only 200 survived.

The siege of Castelnuovo put a stop to any Holy League plans to bring the fight to the Ottomans in their own territory. A treaty or "Capitulation" was signed between Venice and the Ottoman Empire to end the war in October 1540. The Ottomans made advances in the Dalmatian hinterland but didn't occupy the Venetian cities. It took Croatian possessions between Skradin and Karin, eliminating them as a buffer zone between Ottoman and Venetian territory.

A truce between Charles V and Suleiman the Magnificent was signed in 1543.
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Charles of Guelders died without an heir in June 1538, he had done everything to find a successor other than Charles V. He appointed William, also Duke of Jülich-Cleves-Berg from 1539, as his successor and the parliament of Guelders elected William to succeed him, creating a large Rhenish patchwork state to which he also added Ravensberg in 1539. Charles V would not accept this and claimed Guelders.

William had allied with Francis I marrying Jeanne d'Albret, so, when war broke out, in 1542, troops raided through Brabant, plundering the countryside and besieging Antwerp and Leuven, taking Amersfoot which had to pay 80,000 guilders to avoid being sacked. The governor, Mary of Hungary, had few troops available, Charles V was committed to the invasion of France, and expected German mercenary reinforcements were yet to arrive, however, the danger was limited due to poor coordination and suspicion amonst their enemies.
Mary sent an army to Jülich, which was conquered within eighteen days but, was forced to an armistice by an army mutiny. The army disintegrated due to disagreement and desertion and William was able to recapture most of Jülich with the help from the Duke of Saxony. In March 1543, a new army advanced into Guelders and Jülich, but was defeated in the Battle of Kemperkoul.

In summer 1543, a 40,000 strong army campaigned through Guelderland to Venlo, taking Düren along the way. The Guelders army was defeated. France did not intervene, Guelders and Jülich were occupied, receiving a Habsburg governor.
The Treaty of Venlo, signed in September 1543, saw the acquisition of the Duchy of Guelders and the County of Zutphen by the House of Habsburg. William V, Duke of the United Duchies of Jülich-Cleves-Berg-Mark had to relinquish his claims in favour of Charles V and commit himself to suppressing the rise of Protestantism in his lands of Jülich, Cleves, Berg, Mark and Ravensberg.
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The Schmalkaldic War 1546 - 1547

During the Lutheran Reformation some Imperial States had adopted the new confession, opposed by the Catholic House of Habsburg, who saw the conversions as a means to increase autonomy to the detriment of Imperial authority.

At the 1521 Diet of Worms, Charles V had Martin Luther banned and his writings prohibited. The edicts condemned Luther and banned citizens of the Empire from defending or propagating his ideas, subjecting Lutheran advocates to forfeiture of all property, half to be forfeit to the Imperial government, the other half forfeit to the accuser.
Enforcement of this was suspended due to the strength of Luther's popular appeal. The Diets of Nuremberg failed to agree on arresting Luther and, the Diet of Speyer, in 1526 reversed course and suspended the Edict of Worms.
This led to the presentation of the Lutheran Augsburg Confession and Catholic Confutatio Augustana at the 1530 Diet of Augsburg. A response to the Confutatio was rejected by the Emperor but, it was signed at a meeting of the Schmalkaldic League as the 1537 Apology of the Augsburg Confession.

Lutheran states led by Elector John Frederick I of Saxony and Landgrave Philip I of Hesse met at Schmalkalden, where they established the Schmalkaldic League in 1531. The Nuremberg Religious Peace of 1532 granted religious liberty to members of the Schmalkaldic League but, in 1544, after Charles V's return to Germany from the Italian War, Charles began to forge alliances not only with Pope Paul III but also with Lutheran princes, foremost with Duke Maurice of Saxony, the Albertine cousin of Saxon Elector John Frederick I.
In view of the Charles' preparations, the Schmalkaldic leaders gathered in July 1546, John Frederick and Philip of Hesse agreed that although Charles had greater financial resources and could therefore raise a larger army, they were positioned to mobilize their troops faster than Charles as he had not yet hired a significant amount of mercenaries. They decided to wage a preventive war.

Charles gathered an army of about 52,000 men (20,000 Germans, 12,000 Italians, 10,000 Spaniards and 10,000 Dutch) for his campaign.

The war started in Swabia. An army from several Lutheran Imperial cities occupied the Catholic town of Füssen, a possession of the Augsburg Prince-Bishops. Imperial forces moved toward Ingolstadt in Bavaria. Both Duke William IV of Bavaria and the Austrian Archduke Ferdinand I declared themselves neutral in the conflict.

The Schmalkaldic leaders disagreed over forcing a battle on the entrenched Imperial troops. In July 1546 Elector John Frederick I and Landgrave Philip I were placed under Imperial ban. Duke Maurice of Saxony, with the aid of Ferdinand I as King of Bohemia, invaded the lands of his cousin in Ernestine Saxony, forcing Elector John Frederick I to turn his troops around. He returned from Swabia and liberated Ernestine Saxony and invaded Albertine Saxony and the adjacent Bohemian lands.

In Swabia, Hessian troops took no action as the Lutheran Duke Ulrich of Württemberg and Count Palatine Frederick II were made to submit to the Emperor. In March 1547 Charles went to Bohemia, uniting forces with his brother. Bohemian Lutherans had not provided hoped for military assistance to Elector John Frederick I so, the Spanish-Imperial army forced him to retreat.
The League was routed in April 1547 at the Battle of Mühlberg, where John Frederick I was taken prisoner.

Only Bremen and Magdeburg continued to resist, refusing to pay the fines Charles imposed. Bremen was besieged by 12,000 imperial soldiers from January until May but this was raised as a Schmalkaldic army was plundering Calenberg. Although low on supplies and exhausted, the Imperial forces confronted the Schmalkaldics and were quickly defeated.
As a consequence of the Battle of Drakenburg, Imperial troops left northern Germany.

Elector John Frederick I was initially sentenced to death. In order to obtain pardon, in May 1547, he signed the Capitulation of Wittenberg. He lost the Electoral dignity and some minor Ernestine territories to his cousin who was declared the new Saxon Elector. Philip I of Hesse threw himself on the mercy of the Emperor but Charles had him imprisoned.
Although victorious over the Schmalkaldic League, the ideas of Luther had spread so far in Europe they could not be contained by military force.
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Rather than attack Vienna again, Suleiman sent 8,000 light cavalry to attack Otranto in southern Italy the same year. The troops were withdrawn when expected French forces, expected to coordinate with the Ottomans, failed to materialize. An Ottoman victory at the naval Battle of Preveza in 1538 defeated the Habsburg-led coalition again.

The title of King of Hungary was disputed between Zápolya and Ferdinand until, in 1538, they finally made peace. Zápolya agreed that after his death Ferdinand should become the sole King. However, Zápolya's son was born two weeks before his death and he instructed his followers to elect the baby, John Sigismund, as the new King. Suleiman was made his guardian. On August 29, 1541, the 15th anniversary of Mohács, Suleiman marched into Buda, under the pretense of protecting the interest of John Sigismund, and stayed.

In response this violation of their bargain, Ferdinand immediately launched an attack on Buda in October 1540 and again in May 1541. In August, with the Hungarian defenders having continually repelled attacks, Suleiman also appeared near the city, having failed to take the fortress of Szigetvár. The Hapsburg commander clashed with the Turks, but then quickly retreated.
The Regents had been forced to ask for Turkish help but, after the Austrians were repulsed, the Sultan's troops took possession of Buda.

Suleiman put an end to the vassal Kingdom, declaring Buda and the central part of the country Turkish territory and Transylvania, which he also considered part of the Empire, was established as the Eastern Hungarian Kingdom under the nominal rule of the infant King (after 1570, the Principality of Transylvania).
The West and North recognized Ferdinand as King ("Royal Hungary").

The Regents changed policy, offering to hand over Transylvania, on behalf of the infant King, if Ferdinand recaptured Buda. The attempt failed and in retaliation for the failed Austrian counter-attack in 1542, Suleiman returned to capture the Hungarian towns that had gone over to the Austrians and, in April 1543 Suleiman campaigned again in Hungary, securing Buda and conquering the western half of central Hungary, taking both the ex-seat of the cardinal, Esztergom, in August, and the royal ex-capital and coronation city, Székesfehérvár, in September. However, the army of 35–40,000 men was not enough for Suleiman to mount another attack on Vienna. . As part of the Franco-Ottoman alliance French troops accompanied the Ottomans in Hungary.
Suleiman enlarged his territory, additionally capturing Siklós, Pécs, Visegrád, Pápa and Szeged, providing better security for Buda. The army of 35–40,000 men was not enough for Suleiman to mount another attack on Vienna. A truce was signed in 1547, which was soon disregarded by the Habsburgs.
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In the Mediterranean, a Christian offensive tried to eliminate the Turkish fleet in 1535. A fleet captured Tunis, expelling the Ottoman fleet from the Western Mediterranean.
However, this worked to Ottoman advantage in the east where the combined fleets were turned against the Republic of Venice's possessions in the Aegean and Ionian Seas.

Despite Venice's attempts to recover the lost territories by the creation of a "Holy League" they bowed out in 1540. Spain, however, remained at war, declared or otherwise, for decades of the 16th century.
Naval superiority was of the essence for the projection of Ottoman power. No coastline was safe, the fleet landed troops in Sicily, the Balearics, France, every part of Italy, mainland Spain and Northern Africa, often from bases like Tunis or Algeria, even for a short period from Toulon in France.
Important naval victories of the Ottoman Empire in this period include the Battle of Preveza (1538); Battle of Ponza (1552); Battle of Djerba (1560); conquest of Algiers (in 1516 and 1529) and Tunis (in 1534 and 1574) from Spain; conquest of Rhodes (1522) and Tripoli (1551) from the Knights of St. John; capture of Nice (1543) from the Holy Roman Empire; capture of Corsica (1553) from the Republic of Genoa; capture of the Balearic Islands (1558) from Spain; capture of Aden (1548), Muscat (1552) and Aceh (1565–67) from Portugal during the Indian Ocean expeditions; among others.

In the east, the Ottoman Turks took Baghdad from the Safavid dynasty under Tahmasp I in 1534, gaining control of Mesopotamia and naval access to the Persian Gulf. Baghdad was taken without resistance, as the Safavid government fled and left the city undefended.

In 1538 Suleiman invaded Moldavia. Prince Peter IV Rareş fled into exile in Transylvania, and Suleiman occupied major cities of Moldavia, including the capital of Jassy (Iaşi). He appointed Ştefan as the new King of Moldavia but occupied Suceava and annexed Bessarabia.


Build up to war

Fighting broke out at Piacenza in 1547. Pierluigi Farnese, a relative of Pope Paul III and an unpopular ruler was killed by rebels. The Spanish quickly seized the city, activating an alliance between the Pope and France.
Henry II re-occupied Saluzzo, on the border between France and Savoy in 1548.
In spring 1549 the French attempted to recapture Boulogne, but an assault was foiled. Boulogne was under siege until the following year. In March 1550 England and France made peace, Henry II bought Boulogne as part of the peace treaty, leaving him free to prepare for war with Charles V.

Meanwhile, the new Pope, Julius III, had restored Parma to Ottavio Farnese, grandson of the previous Pope and son-in-law of Charles V. Ottavio's relationship with Charles was poor, he had been dispossessed by Imperial forces after the murder of his father in 1547. Ottavio clashed with the Imperial Viceroy of Naples, who had already occupied Piacenza and wanted to take Parma. In December 1550 Ottavio asked for assistance from France to counter the pressure from the Viceroy, Henry II accepted his request and moved an army to Mirandola, in the northern Romagna.

The Hapsburg-Valois War (1551-59)

Pope Julius stripped Ottavio of Parma and Piacenza in May 1551 and, in June, a combined Papal and Imperial army prepared to move against Parma. The fighting involved both Imperial and French troops, but wasn't seen as a direct war between Henry and Charles. Fighting began with a minor defeat for the Papal forces en route to join with the Imperial army. French allies, the Farnese, threatened Papal territory at Bologna, causing the Pope to pull part of his army back to defend the city.
French troops from Mirandola moved to Parma. The Viceroy decided to try and attack both places.
Another French army began operations in Savoy in September 1551 and Charles lacked the resources to conduct two campaigns so Parma and Mirandola held out.

In January 1552 Henry II allied with the Protestant Schmalkaldic League, led by Elector Prince Maurice of Saxony. In the agreement they agreed to give the French the three Bishoprics of Toul, Metz and Verdun, surrounded by the Duchy of Lorraine and theoretically part of the Holy Roman Empire.
In March 1552 Henry II invaded Lorraine to establish his power in the Bishoprics, he also attempted to capture Strasburg, on the Rhine, but was repulsed.

Charles V was caught out by the outbreak of warfare in Germany, he tried to reach his forces in the Netherlands, but spent most of the summer trying to avoid the League. Eventually he came to terms with them, raised an army and besieged Metz between October 1552-January 1553. Charles's troops suffered heavy losses in the siege and the attack had to be abandoned.

In April 1552 Pope Paul made peace with Henry II, Ottavio was able to keep Parma. In July revolt broke out in Siena, where the Spanish were building a castle, the Spanish were expelled from the city. Cosimo de Medici, Duke of Florence, stopped trouble spreading, but the French got a garrison into the city. A siege started in 1553, but the French held out against the Spanish until 1555.
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The Second Schmalkaldic War
An uprising of German Protestant Princes led by Elector Maurice of Saxony against Emperor Charles V broke out in 1552. The Protestants were supported by King Henry II of France who sought to expand his territory in Lorraine.
The war was effectively a continuation of the First Schmalkaldic War in which Charles V and Maurice of Saxony jointly defeated the Schmalkaldic League of almost the same Protestant Princes. That conflict was settled by the Augsburg Interim, but discontent was growing at Augsburg in 1548. The Protestant Princes formed an alliance by the Treaty of Torgau in May 1551.
They sought to defend Protestantism and "Teutonic Liberty" which meant the freedom of the Imperial Princes. They also wanted to liberate Philip of Hesse, incarcerated by Charles in 1547.

France declared war in the autumn of 1551, and invaded Germany. In the Treaty of Chambord of January 1552, France promised financial and military aid in return for the three Bishoprics of Metz, Verdun, and Toul.

The Saxon elector, Maurice, acting for Charles, marched at the head of an army against Magdeburg, but allied himself with the city and the Emperor's opponents instead. Troops of the allied Princes conquered the southern German cities that remained loyal to the Emperor, and advanced into Tyrol in March 1552.
The Catholic Imperial Estates stressed they were neutral in this conflict. It was not in their interest to increase the Emperor's power. Charles barely escaped capture in Innsbruck and fled to Villach to rally new troops, meanwhile, his brother Ferdinand was negotiating with Maurice and the other Protestant princes.

Both parties signed the Peace of Passau in August 1552. The Princes gave up their alliance with France, and the Imperials released their prisoners.
They reached a compromise on the religious question, the basis for the Religious Peace of Augsburg of 1555.

The Second Margrave War
Albert Alcibiades, Margrave of Brandenburg-Kulmbach and Brandenburg-Bayreuth, instigated numerous raids, plunderings and the destruction against many towns and castles in Franconia. Other towns were also affected, such as Mainz, Worms, Oppenheim, Metz, Verdun, Frankfurt, and Speyer.
Despite having been part of the Schmalkaldic League, Alcibiades did not desist with the peace. In June 1552, Nuremberg capitulated followed by the capture of Forchheim and Bamberg.
In July 1553, Maurice, Elector of Saxony and Henry V, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg defeated Albert Alcibiades at the Battle of Sievershausen, Maurice was killed in the battle. Hof and Kulmbach surrendered to the allies later in 1553
Alcibiades was defeated in the Battle of Schwarzach in June 1554 effectively ending the war.
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For much of John II's reign, Eastern Hungary was governed by his mother, Isabella, with Bishop George Martinuzzi as regent. Martinuzzi and Isabella fell out, and Martinuzzi also turned against the Ottomans. He allied instead with Ferdinand, and compelled Isabella to sign the Treaty of Nyírbátor in 1549, which ceded Transylvania to Ferdinand. Isabella opposed the dispossession of her son and informed the Sultan immediately. A struggle between Isabella's forces and Martinuzzi's pro-Habsburg troops saw the royal residence at Gyulafehérvár besieged in 1550 and 1551.

Ferdinand was distracted by events in Germany which would impact on the intrigues for the impending election for the Imperial crown. The Habsburg army sent to Transylvania was composed of mercenaries, commanded by Giovanni Castaldo. Martinuzzi continued his intrigues, sending feudal tribute to the Sultan, and was killed by Castaldo in 1551. John II abdicated as king, and together with Isabella left for Poland.

Szeged was taken from the Turks by stealth but was recaptured by a force from Buda. A Turkish raid in 1551 temporarily captured southern Banat but these were re-taken after it withdrew.

In 1552 two Ottoman armies crossed the border, one campaigned against the western and central part of the country whilst the second attacked the Banat region, another force was active on the Croatian front. In the north, news of Drégely's fall allowed the Turks to take possession of the nearby castles without a fight. Outside Fülek, a 7,000-strong army, including German troops was completely destroyed and Fülek fell into the hands of the Turks.
In the south, Aldana, the Habsburg commander, retreated rather than reinforce Temesvár with his troops. Temesvár could possibly have withstood siege with reinforcements but fell in late July. Aldana retreated leaving Lippa, Karánsebes, and Lugos to the Turks.

The two armies marched on Szolnok, a new, modern, castle. The defenders had no trust in their commander and fled, Szolnok was captured without a struggle. The Turks turned their attention to Eger in the north, few expected it to put up much resistance as the two armies arrived before Eger.
The defenders numbered at most 2,000, all Hungarians, who fought for their homeland and family. The city fell to the Turks and cannon were now in close proximity to the walls of the outer castle.
Although assaulted several times, the Turks were repulsed. When called on to surrender, the messenger was driven out unanswered. The carronade continued and most of the walls were in ruins. After three days of attacks in four places, with full force, the Turks broke into the castle from three sides but, after hours of hard fighting, all seemed lost.

It was then that the women of the castle rushed to aid the fighters, throwing rocks, pouring hot water and oil on the enemy. Eger was saved.
The enormous loss, lack of food and early onset of winter forced the enemy into retreat.


The Hapsburg-Valois War (1551-59)

In the north, Charles captured Thérouanne after a two month siege in April-June 1553. Command passed to Emmanual Philibert, Duke of Savoy, who captured Hesdin in the Pas-de-Calais and destroyed it. Henry II attacked Cambrai, but retreated when Charles V appeared in person.

In August 1554 the French were defeated at Marciano, allowing the blockade of Sienna to be strengthened.
The main French campaign of 1554 occurred in the Meuse valley, where they captured Marienburg, Dinant and Bouvines. Charles ordered construction of fortresses at Charlemont and Philippeville, near Liège. Henry attacked Namur, bringing Charles back into the field. Henry II pulled back to besiege Renty, and the armies clashed in the minor battle of Renty in August 1554. Both sides claimed victory, but it was Henry who withdrew. Charles meanwhile raided across Picardy rather than pursuing.

In April 1555 Siena surrendered after food supplies ran out, initially the entire area was held by the Spanish, but in 1557 Philip gave the city and most of the State to Cosimo de Medici, Duke of Florence. Five sea ports were kept by the Spanish and ruled from Naples as the 'Stato dei Presidi'.

Pope Julius III died on 24 March 1555, followed by Marcellus II who died a month later. Pope Paul IV, a stubborn opponent of Spain, succeeded in April. The new Pope arranged an alliance with France.

In February 1556 Charles and Henry II agreed the Truce of Vaucelles. Charles used this time to transfer his powers and titles to his brother, Ferdinand and his son Philip.

He abdicated as King of Spain and Sicily in favour of Philip [II] who was already Duke of Milan and King of Naples, in October 1555, he also passed the Netherlands to Philip. Abdicating as Holy Roman Emperor in favour of Ferdinand, who also recieved Habsburg Austria, was more complex, it involved the German Diet. Ferdinand became Holy Roman Emperor in 1558.

In the Mediterranean, French and Ottoman fleets were co-operating. An Ottoman fleet, together with a French squadron, raided the coasts of Naples, Sicily, Elba, and Corsica in 1553.

The Ottoman fleet ferried French troops from Sienna to Corsica. Supported by Corsican Bastia and Saint-Florent were captured in August 1553, Bonifacio was captured in September. Calvi surrendered after the Turkish fleet returned to Istanbul, the island was occupied, almost completely, by the end of the summer.
Only 5,000 old soldiers garrisoned the island, along with the Corsican insurgents. Henry II negotiated with Genoa in November 1553 but Genoa sent 15,000 men and recaptured Saint-Florent.

By 1555, the French had been cleared from most of the coastal cities but many areas remained under French control. French diplomats arranged the return of the fleet but it stood by during the siege of Calvi, contributing little. It was also inactive during the siege of Bastia, which had been retaken by the Genoese.

Finally, in the Treaty of Cateau-Cambrésis in 1559, the French returned Corsica to Genoa.
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Ferdinand did not fulfill his obligations to Queen Isabella, she wanted to move closer to the Hungarian border and both the Turkish and French encouraged her to return to Transylvania.
Sulieman returned Lugos and Karánsebes, in 1554, to those who wanted Ferdinand out.
The Székelys and some nobles hoisted Prince John's flag and asked the Sultan to help them although the Szász [also known as "Saxons" although the original settlers came from many parts of Germany] remained loyal to the Habsburgs. The nobles György Bebek, György Báthory, Gábor Perényi and Ferencz, and András Báthory supported Isabella who arrived home in 1556.
Ferdinand asked for a one-year truce which was granted as Sulieman needed time to fight the Persians but still, in 1554 he bought Fülek and Salgót, bribing the defenders.

Sulieman told the Transylvanians that if they did not restore John he would destroy the land. In February 1556 Parliament sent an envoy to Isabella and John to come home.
The whole country accepted Isabella and John, with the exception of a few castles, where Ferdinand had garrisons. Parliament asked them to leave peacefully and hand over the castles but their commander would not consider retreat without resistance.

In summer 1555, the Transdanubian forces gathered. The Habsburg leadership did not know what the target of the campaign would be. They expected the attack to come west from Veszprem but, as they could not be certain, troops were stationed near Körmend. Part of the army set off from Buda and was transported by ship to Tolna. Other formations marched south from Szekesfehervar to Kaposvár. Southern forces headed from the Danube.

The Habsburgs were unprepared, no supplies or reinforcements arrived in the endangered castles. The siege of Kaposvár began in September and the small forts in the area, Szentjakab and Kaposmérő, fell almost immediately. The Turks arrived with an army of about 10,000 and forcibly mobilized the peasants of the area to work. Seeing the castle was indefensible the garrison to nearby Korotna and Szenyér.
During the campaign of 1555, the county of Somogy was lost, and now the Turks of Kaposvár, Korotna and Babócsa also ravaged and looted the area. However, Szigetvár remained still standing, and both sides were aware that this was the key to lasting possession of the region. In late 1555 Ferdinand attempted bribery of the Turkish garrison in Kaposvár.

The struggle continued in 1556 with the siege of Szigetvár. Ferdinand made great efforts to liberate the city on which the retention of Somogy depended. Croatian forces captured Babocsa, defeating the Turk attempt to re-take it in July. Whilst the main force was absent the Szigetvár garrison sallied, attacked the Turkish camp and carried away loot and food which enabled Szigetvár to resist the siege.

Ferdinand gathered an army, headed by his second son, Archduke Ferdinand but it was already short of food. Archduke Ferdinand moved on Korotna which fell in September. Görösgál, and Sellye's Turkish garrisons fled and the Archduke thought to advance towards Pécs, but it was rumored that 60,000 Turkish troops were approaching.

In June 1556, Ferdinand wrote to the Sultan, confirming the verbal offer of his ambassadors to revoke Transylvania and give it to John II Zápolya, to evacuate the castles and withdraw his troops from the country but, prompted by the French, Suleiman made new demands. He demanded the dismantling of fortifications at Szigetvár. News of this only reached Ferdinand in the summer of 1557, negotiations were slow due to travel between the two capitals, whilst talks took place, in March 1558 they made a seven-month truce.

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Wyatt's rebellion
A popular English uprising in 1554, named after it's leader, Thomas Wyatt. The rebellion arose from concern over Queen Mary I's determination to marry Philip of Spain and, "to prevent us from over-running by strangers".

In November 1553 a Parliamentary delegation waited upon the Queen, formally requesting that she choose an English husband. After Queen Mary I’s accession, there were questions whether England would return to Catholicism. Some would welcome this but it was a concern for many Protestants. With many Catholics appointmed to the Privy Council and other posts, fears began to grow.

The rebellion also provided a way for the lower classes to voice their frustrations, specifically yeomen, husbandmen, and urban workers who expressed social and economic frustrations.
There were four main focii for the rebellion, Kent, Hertfordshire, Devon and Leicestershire which recieved support from the French ambassador, who knew that a Spanish king on the throne of England was not in the best interests of France.

Plans went awry when the HRE ambassador informed the Lord Chancellor there was a rebellion planned. The Devon rebellion failed through lack of support, as did Leicestershire, raising only 140 men.
Only Wyatt, in Kent, succeeded in raising a substantial force.
In January 1554 Wyatt occupied Rochester. The sheriff, seemed able to suppress the rising, routing a rebel force of 500 in late 28 January. But the Spanish marriage was unpopular, and Kent was affected by reformist preaching. The sheriff's men deserted who went over to Wyatt. He now had 3,000 men at his command, later boosted by a detachment of the London trainbands, sent against him, which raised his numbers to 4,000.

The Queen sent a deputation to Wyatt to ask for his terms, he demanded the Tower of London be surrendered to him, and the Queen put under his charge. These demands turned an initially sympathetic London against Wyatt, and Mary was able to rally the capital to her cause.

Wyatt reached Southwark in February bur Mary's supporters occupied London Bridge and the rebels were unable to penetrate the city. Wyatt was driven from Southwark by the threat cannon-fire from the guns of the Tower.

The rebels marched to Kingston, although the bridge there was destroyed, the rebels repaired it and crossed. They met little resistance marching through the outskirts of London, but were stopped by the inhabitants of Ludgate. The rebel army then broke up.

Wyatt surrendered and was tried and executed, his family lost their title and lands, including the family home, Allington Castle but, when Elizabeth ascended the throne in 1558, she restored the families titles and lands.


The Hapsburg-Valois War (1551-59)

Pope Paul renewed his alliance with France as a defensive alliance then went out of his way to engineer an invasion of the Papal States from the south [arresting the secretary of the Spanish Embassy]. So, in December a French army, under the Duke of Guise, crossed the Alps into Italy. The Pope convinced Guise to attack Naples. Guise moved south and began a siege of Civitella in 1557.

By 1557 Philip II completed the encirclement of France, as husband of Mary he was also King of England and, in June, England declared war. In July Philip II invaded northern France with 50,000 men [including an English contingent] commanded by Emmanuel Philibert of Savoy. The French had only a small army in the north, led by Anne of Montmorency, and Paris was vulnerable to attack.

Instead of exploiting their numerical avantage Philip refused to leave French fortresses in his rear, the Spanish besieged Guise then St. Quentin. Admiral Coligny reached St. Quentin before the siege began, and inspired the defenders to hold out for longer than expected. Montmorency raised 26,000 men, raw and badly trained, and tried to harass the Spanish but suffered a heavy defeat near St. Quentin in August 1557 when his forces were caught crossing a river. He lost 6,000 dead and 6,000 captured, including himself.
Philip still refused to advance on Paris, insisting on capturing St. Quentin. Coligny surrendered in late August, giving the French time to recover from their defeat. In September Philip abandoned the siege, retreating back to the Netherlands. Duke Emmanuel resigned his position in disgust.

News of St. Quentin soon reached Guise in Naples, forcing him to abandon the siege of Civitella and retreat back to France, available to defend of France, but leaving Pope Paul IV without any allies in Italy. Philip II agreed a lenient peace with the Pope to free up his troops.

Late in the year Guise carried out a series of raids from Champagne across the frontier of the Netherlands to keep the Imperial forces off balance.

At the start of January 1558, Guise attacked and captured Calais, reducing the chance of further English invasion by removing their port of entry. In spring 1558 the French held the initiative, the plan was to capture Thionville then launch a two-pronged invasion from Calais. The plan was disrupted by the defenders of Thionville, who held out until mid June, preventing Guise from taking part in the invasion of Flanders.
The left wing of the French army still attacked, taking Dunkirk in late June, but was forced to retreat in the face of a Spanish-Netherlands army. In mid July 1558 the French were defeated, by a combination of the Spanish army and English naval gunnery, at Gravelines. Guise's army, however, was able to prevent the Spanish from taking advantage of the victory.

Negotiations begun in May resumed at Saint Pol in October. The death of Mary I of England removed any need for Philip to arrange the return of Calais. The Treaty of Edinburgh of 1560 ended the Franco-English part of the war.

In April 1559 the Treaty of Cateau-Cambrésis was signed the Peace of Cateau-Cambrésis ending the Italian Wars. France would give up all of their claims in Italy, apart from in the border region of Saluzzo, and surrender Guise's conquests from the last year of the war. France would keep Metz, Toul and Verdun. Duke Emmanual Philibert of Savoy was restored to Savoy and Piedmont.

At the end of the wars Milan and Naples had been taken over by the Spanish where, before most of the peninsula had been in the hands of Italian rulers, or dynasties mainly based in Italy. Florence was now an independent duchy, but firmly within the Spanish sphere of influence. Only Venice, Genoa, Lucca and San Marino remained independent republics.

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In June 1556, Ferdinand wrote to the Sultan, confirming the verbal offer of his ambassadors to revoke Transylvania and give it to John II Zápolya, to evacuate the castles and withdraw his troops from the country but, prompted by the French, Suleiman made new demands. He demanded the dismantling of fortifications at Szigetvár. News of this only reached Ferdinand in the summer of 1557, negotiations were slow due to travel between the two capitals, whilst talks took place, in March 1558 they made a seven-month truce.

The following year the rebellion of one of the sultan's sons again took precedence over peace. Ferdinand wanted to take advantage of the situation but King Philip of Spain advised him to make peace even if he had to raise the annual tax of 30,000 by 5-10,000 thalers. The demolition of Szigetvár, however, was strongly opposed by Philip because of it's military importance standing in the way of a Turkish march on the Danube.

The peace treaty was made for eight years, from 1 February 1559, on the basis of actual holdings.

This treaty did not come into force, there was always new wording; so from 1560 to 1562 negotiations continued. In 1562 it became apparent that the treaty consecrated by Sulieman was very different from that signed by Ferdinand. Transylvania remained an unresolved, open question even after reconciliation with the Sultan. Although Ferdinand renounced Transylvania in 1556 and withdrew his armies, he did not reconcile with Isabella, who made a claim to the neighbouring counties and tried to assert the claim by force.

Isabella again fell out with the powerful lords who had supported her return and had the three most powerful murdered in August 1559 however, she became ill and died herself in September.
John II Zápolya, when he finally ascended the throne, led the government with surprising intellect, zeal, and force despite his youth. Elected long ago, his accession to the throne took place without disturbance, and the Sultan immediately acknowledged it.

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The Saadian dynasty developed in southern Morocco. It had been successful evicting the Portuguese from it's forts in southern Morocco including Agadir, in 1541. The Saadians challenged the Wattasids of northern Morocco, trying unify Morocco.

Wattasid - Ottoman contact started around 1545. In June 1545 the Ottoman Regent of Algiers, occupied Tlemcen, installing a Turkish garrison, putting pro-Ottoman Sultan Muhammad on the throne. The Ottoman Regent wanted to establish an alliance with the Wattasids, against the Spanish. In 1545 the Wattassid Emir was captured by the Saadians. Ali Abu Hassun, regent for the Emir's young son, needing Ottoman military support against the Saadians, pledged allegiance to the Ottomans to obtain it.

In 1547, Spain sent an expedition against Mostaganem, in support of the ousted ruler of Tlemcen, but, whilst it failed, they did capture Tlemcen from the Ottomans and installed a puppet ruler. After the expedition was withdrawn Tlemcen was reconquered.

The Ottoman Regent could not intervene when the Saadians conquered Fez in 1549 but, the deposed pro-Ottoman regent was given asylum in Algiers. With the Ottomans preparing to restore Wattassid rule, the Saadians attacked the Regency of Algiers in 1551. An army of 30,000 men invaded Tlemcen, taking it easily. The Saadians advanced to Mostaganem, but failed to capture the city. The Saadian army was defeated by a joint army of Ottoman Janissaries and tribal troops. Tlemcen was again reconquered and an Ottoman governor and garrison installed, establishing direct Ottoman rule.

In 1552 Suleiman started diplomatic negotiation with the Saadians but this failed in 1554, the Saadians rejecting cooperation with the Ottomans. The Regent of Algiers marched on Fez, occupying it in early 1554. Ali Abu Hassun was installed as Emir of Fez, supported by Janissaries but, in September 1554, Fez fell to the Saadians who opened negotiations with Spain for an alliance.

The Regent of Algiers had the Saadian ruler assassinated in October 1557 and, in early 1558, invaded Morocco, but he was defeated by the Moroccans north of Fez at the Battle of Wadi al-Laban, and retreated after hearing of Spanish preparations for an offensive from Oran. He returned to Algiers to prepare a defence.

The Spanish attacked Mostaganem, with Saadian support, in 1558, but, again, failed. The failure ended attempts to form an alliance between Spain and Morocco.

In Morocco, following the 1557 assassination a struggle for power between the sons of the Emir forced the three younger sons to leave Morocco for exile Istanbul, where they received Ottoman training.
A01. 1st War of Religion 1562-1563 V2.PNG

Background to the Wars of Religion

France, like much of Europe, was divided by the Reformation. French Protestants, known as Huguenots, were increasingly persecuted during the reign of Henry II, and this continued after his death in 1559, after the peace of Catteau-Cambresis ended of the long series of Hapsburg-Valois Wars. Huguenot communities were scattered all over the Kingdom, but mostly in the South in a crescent from Saintonge to Lyon, principally Saintonge, south of Poitou, Guyenne, Gascogne, Béarn, Bas-Languedoc, Cévennes, Vivarais, Dauphiné. Other communities could be found in Caen, Rouen, Lyon and Paris.
Henry was succeeded by Francis II, but power was seized by Duke François of Guise as Regent. The policy of repression continued inspiring the Conspiracy of Amboise in March 1560, a plot to seize the King and overthrow Guise. The conspiracy failed, around 1,200 people were executed, the Prince Louis de Condé was condemned.

Guise fell from power after the death of Francis II in December 1560, his brother became King as Charles IX. His mother, Catherine de Medici made sure to be his Regent. Guise was dismissed, Condé released and the policy of religious oppression dropped. After both sides met at Poissy in September 1561, the Edict of Saint-Germain, also known as the 'Edict of Toleration' was issued in January 1562. This gave Huguenots the right to preach during the day in the countryside and allowed Protestant noblemen to run Huguenot churches on their estates.

Catholic response to this toleration was hostile. Late in 1561 Duke François of Guise, Duke Anne de Montmorency, Constable of France, and Marshal Saint-André formed an alliance, later joined by Antoine of Bourbon, King of Navarre, and sought aid from Philip II of Spain.

The community in Savoy, known as Waldensians, were under attack after Duke Emmanuel Philibert regained his land in the treaty of Cateau-Cambrésis. He sent a military expedition against the Waldensians in 1560. Dauphine Protestants sent military support and the Waldensians were able to make a stand against the Duke’s armies. After six months of fighting, Philibert agreed to sign a treaty.

The First War of Religion- 1562-63
Catholic Leaders; Duke François of Guise, Duke Anne de Montmorency- Constable of France, Marshal Saint-André and Antoine of Bourbon- King of Navarre. Aided by Philip II of Spain and the Duke of Savoy.
Protestant Leaders; Prince Louis de Condé, François de Beaumont- Baron des Adrets and Admiral Gaspard de Coligny. Aided by Elizabeth I of England.

As Guise was passing through Vassy in March 1562 he came across a Protestant congregation and opened fire, the 'Massacre of Vassy'. In response Huguenots asked Louis de Bourbon, Prince of Condé, to raise troops to protect them. He issued a call for the Protestants of France to raise troops to oppose Guise and his allies.

In the first weeks of the war a number of towns and cities came out in favour of the Huguenots or were seized by them. Tours, Blois, Angers, Beaugency, Poitiers and Bourges were amongst the places to fall into their hands. In the Rhône River valley, Protestants under the François de Beaumont, Baron des Adrets attacked Valence and, later, in April, captured Lyon where Marshal Saint-André died. In Toulouse, Huguenots seized the Hôtel de ville but were countered by Catholic mobs in street battles resulting in the death of around 3,000, mostly Huguenots. The Huguenots also attempted to gain foreign help, turning to Protestant England and Germany to balance Philip II of Spain.
In April and July there were massacres of Huguenots at Sens and Tours, the Crown revoked the Edict under pressure from the Guise faction.
In September 1562 Elizabeth I announced the Treaty of Hampton Court where she agreed to lend the Huguenots 140,000 gold crowns. They promised to hand Calais over to the English if they won the war, while Le Havre was to be occupied as a security.

In July 1562 the Royal army marched south from Paris, Poitiers was captured, Bourges surrendered in August after a short siege. The Royal army moved on to Rouen, which fell to assault in October.
Antoine of Bourbon, King of Navarre, died in November of a wound inflicted in the siege.
After the fall of Rouen the Catholic army dispersed. Part was sent into winter quarters, part remained near Orleans and part, under the Duke of Guise, prepared to move against the English at Le Havre.

Condé responded by marching on Paris, the Huguenot army sat outside the city between 28 November and 10 December, but after fruitless negotiations it was clear the city was too strong to capture. The 15,000 strong Huguenot army raised camp and marched towards Chartres, heading for Normandy. They were intercepted by the Royal army, 19,000 strong, at Dreux in mid December. During the battle both Condé and Montmorency were captured. The battle of Dreux was particularly confused, losses on each side of about 4,000 casualties. The battle was saved by a counter-attack led by Guise and the Royal army held the field. The Huguenot forces retreated to Orleans, which was besieged.

In February 1563, as the siege seemed to be nearing its end, Guise was shot and mortally wounded by an assassin. With three of the major Catholic leaders dead and Montmorency in captivity, Catherine de Medici was able to use Condé to begin peace negotiations, he negotiated with Montmorency and, in March the war was ended by the Edict of Amboise. This gave the Huguenots some religious freedoms including the right to preach outside towns. In the south the success of François de Beaumont led to him being bought off and created a Prince of Dauphine.
The end of the War left the English isolated at Le Havre. In spring 1563 a powerful army, including both Catholic and Huguenot elements and jointly commanded by Louis de Condé and Constable Anne de Montmorency, besieged Le Havre. In August the French reoccupied the city. In 1564 England and France signed the Peace of Troyes, Elizabeth accepted a payment of 120,000 gold crowns to give up any claim to Le Havre.