Batalha de Novara, 8 de abril de 1500

Batalha de Novara, 8 de abril de 1500


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Batalha de Novara, 8 de abril de 1500

A batalha de Novara (8 de abril de 1500) foi uma vitória francesa fácil que pôs fim a uma tentativa de Ludovico Sforza de expulsá-los do Ducado de Milão (Segunda Guerra Italiana / Guerra Italiana de Luís XII).

Em 1494, Ludovico, então regente do jovem duque de Milão, aliou-se a Carlos VIII da França no início de sua invasão de Nápoles (Primeira Guerra Italiana / Guerra Italiana de Carlos VIII), mas em 1495 mudou de lado, juntando-se a um aliança anti-francesa que forçou Charles a deixar Nápoles e lutar para voltar para casa. O futuro Luís XII esteve fortemente envolvido na luta contra as forças milanesas no norte da Itália.

Em 1498, Carlos morreu e Luís subiu ao trono. Desde o início de seu reinado, ele afirmou ser rei de Nápoles e duque de Milão, e passou o primeiro ano se preparando para uma invasão. A invasão ocorreu em agosto de 1499 e, no início de setembro, Ludovico foi forçado a fugir de Milão para o exílio no Tirol. Em outubro-novembro, Louis visitou Milão. Quando Louis saiu, Gian Giacomo Trivulzio foi colocado no Milan.

Ludovico conseguiu reunir um exército de cerca de 20.000 homens no Tirol, com um poderoso contingente suíço e 1.500 homens de armas da Borgonha. Em janeiro, este exército lançou um ataque ao Milan. Os franceses estavam em menor número e, em 3 de fevereiro de 1500, Trivulzio abandonou Milão e se retirou para o oeste, para Novara e Mortara.

Ludovico voltou a Milão em 5 de fevereiro e foi recebido com entusiasmo. Os franceses ainda controlavam o Castelo de Milão, então ele foi forçado a dividir seu exército. Parte dela foi deixada para sitiar o castelo, enquanto o resto se mudou para o sul para Pavia, depois para o oeste para Vigecano, que eles tomaram dos franceses. O próximo alvo foi Novara, que caiu após um cerco de duas semanas (cerco de Novara, 5-21 de março de 1500).

Os franceses não ficaram inativos durante este período. Em 23 de março, Louis de la Tremouille alcançou Mortara com 500 homens em armas e alguma artilharia. Ele substituiu o impopular Trivulzio, melhorando o moral do exército francês.

Ao mesmo tempo, as condições no exército de Ludovico estavam piorando. O pagamento estava se esgotando e a lealdade de suas tropas suíças estava em dúvida - Luís havia assinado um tratado oficial com os cantões suíços antes da guerra e era possível que suas tropas suíças se recusassem a lutar contra seus compatriotas.

Em 8 de abril, os franceses atacaram Ludovico em Novara e seu exército foi dissolvido. Ludovico tentou escapar entre os suíços em retirada, mas foi capturado em 10 de abril, passando os dez anos restantes de sua vida em cativeiro francês. Os franceses voltaram a entrar em Milão, iniciando um período de controle francês intermitente do ducado que durou até a década de 1530. Luís então se preparou para a segunda parte de sua aventura italiana, uma invasão conjunta franco-espanhola de Nápoles.


As oportunidades de jogo ainda são limitadas. O clube não está aberto, mas agora podemos jogar jogos cara a cara em casa a cada quinze dias. Pelo menos é algo, entretanto!

Ele também é um wargamer e ex-membro do South East Scotland Wargames Club, que se reúne em Edimburgo nas noites de quinta-feira.
Consulte www.seswc.co.uk para obter mais informações.

Arquivos

A Batalha de Novara, 1513

17 de novembro de 2016, 3 comentários

As guerras italianas, Pike e amp Shotte, 28mm

Esta semana, & # 8220German Michael & # 8221 encenou outro de seus jogos renascentistas. foi anunciado como uma batalha final & # 8220big fat & # 8221, com blocos de pique de 64 dígitos. Infelizmente ninguém disse aos suíços, que apareceram com modelos normais de 32 homens. Ainda assim, parecia bom, especialmente as grandes unidades francesas e de Landsknecht da Michael & # 8217s. Como jogo, porém, deixou muito a desejar. Alguns frequentadores regulares (você sabe quem você é) não compareceram, pois estavam trabalhando ou guardando a pólvora de jogos de guerra para o fim de semana. Mesmo assim, tínhamos três jogadores de cada lado e uma mesa bonita, dominada por uma vila murada. Na extrema esquerda, Donald comandava os blocos de lanças Basel e Berne, apoiados por algumas unidades menores e alguns canhões. Diante dele estava Michael & # 8217s Bande Nere Landkneckts e alguns piqueiros franceses da Gasconha, além dos canhões e escaramuçadores habituais. Um grande bosque & # 8211 e a vila & # 8211 efetivamente dividiram o campo de batalha em dois. À direita estava a Guarda Suíça, comandada por Jack, apoiada por armas e besteiros, enquanto à sua direita vinha minha cavalaria & # 8211 uma mistura de italianos e stradiots. À nossa frente estavam Ken & # 8217s command & # 8211 duas unidades de gendarmes franceses de elite e cinco unidades de besteira montada e argoulets. Portanto, & # 8211 dois lados do campo de batalha e duas batalhas. Como ninguém tinha o tipo de tropa capaz de ocupar a vila, estranhamente ela ficou vazia durante todo o jogo.Na verdadeira batalha de Novara, os franceses (com alguma ajuda veneziana) comandados por Louis de la Tremoille estavam sitiando a pequena cidade de Novara, a oeste de Milão. Os suíços (com alguma ajuda milanesa) os atacaram, atacando os franceses de diferentes direções para mantê-los desprevenidos. os franceses retiraram-se para o acampamento, onde foram finalmente derrotados. Foi uma batalha bastante sangrenta, mesmo para os padrões da época, e incluiu a execução em massa de landsknechts pegos lutando pelos franceses. Nossa batalha não seria exatamente como a realidade, mas conteria um pouco do sabor, por meio do uso de grandes blocos de lúcios. Esse plano, é claro, fracassou devido à falta de suíços.Nosso lado do campo de batalha & # 8211 o lado da cavalaria & # 8211 ou a direita suíça e a esquerda francesa & # 8211 sempre seria um espetáculo à parte. A verdadeira luta seria decidida pelos pares de blocos de lúcios suíços e franceses do outro lado da mesa. Então, passamos a maior parte da noite lutando. ken avançou e picou uma das minhas unidades de stradiots, que foi precipitada o suficiente para perseguir seus besteiros montados & # 8211 e pousar isolado. Em seguida, os dois lados manobraram, dispararam suas armas e repeliram a carga ímpar, mas nada de importante aconteceu até a última meia hora do jogo. Então meus homens de armas milaneses entraram em ação contra os gendarmes franceses. Uma unidade falhou no combate corpo a corpo e teve que fazer um teste de pausa. Rolei um & # 82203 & # 8221 em 2D6, o que significava uma derrota. Embora Ken tenha dito que eu não precisava, senti que também precisava rolar para a segunda unidade milanesa que o apoiava. Rolei outra & # 82203. & # 8221 Decolagem. Nesse ponto, a batalha da cavalaria acabou. Ken claramente ganhou, mas pelo menos mantivemos os gendarmes de elite longe dos blocos de lúcios suíços & # 8230Do outro lado da tabela, Donald avançou com seu suíço, indo direto para seus adversários francês e lansquenete. Eles também avançaram devidamente, apoiados por uma artilharia bastante precisa e fogo de escaramuça. Quando os dois lados entraram em confronto parecia muito espetacular, mas qualquer enxada que os suíços simplesmente rolassem sobre seus oponentes naufragou graças a algumas jogadas de dados mais ruins. Lentamente, os landknechts começaram a empurrar o Bernese para trás, enquanto mais perto do centro da mesa os lanceiros Gascon surpreendentemente se mantiveram contra os Baselers. Quando o jogo terminou Donald & # 8217s, dois grandes blocos estavam se retirando, e os exultantes franceses e alemães os estavam acompanhando, para mantê-los sob pressão. Então, às 22h terminamos o jogo, declarando-o uma clara vitória da França. A história foi revertida & # 8211 até a próxima vez. Embora essa batalha não envolvesse meu pequeno e simpático exército veneziano, alguma cavalaria veneziana apareceu, dobrando-se como milanesa. Da próxima vez & # 8211 com sorte & # 8211, as tropas de La Serenissima podem desempenhar o seu papel.

3 Respostas & # 8220A Batalha de Novara, 1513 & # 8221

Talvez tenham sido 2 batalhas, porque o seu lado deixou para se tornar assim. Seu suíço poderia ter explorado a cerca viva ou se aventurado na aldeia atrás do muro. Ninguém, em nenhum momento, pensou em concentrar suas forças para atacar nossos pontos fracos. & # 8230 E não venha com a desculpa de comando, esta batalha teve mais comandos do que nunca!


Europa 1849: Batalha de Novara

O sentimento revolucionário ainda era forte nos estados italianos, levando o Papa a fugir de Roma em novembro e levando à declaração de repúblicas em Roma e na Toscana em fevereiro. No entanto, a maré estava mudando. Em março, a Sardenha renunciou à trégua com a Áustria, mas foi rapidamente derrotada na Batalha de Novara e forçada a chegar a um acordo, enquanto, ao mesmo tempo, Nápoles iniciava sua reconquista do separatista Reino da Sicília.

Principais eventos

5 de janeiro de 1849, austríacos capturam Buda-Pest & # 9650

Após a vitória sobre os rebeldes húngaros na Batalha de Mor, as forças do Império Austríaco capturaram a abandonada capital húngara de Buda e a vizinha Pest. na wikipedia

9 de fevereiro de 1849, República Romana (século 19) & # 9650

A Assembleia Constituinte de Roma, no que haviam sido os Estados Pontifícios, proclamou a República Romana. na wikipedia

18 de fevereiro de 1849 República da Toscana & # 9650

Em 18 de fevereiro de 1849, a República da Toscana foi proclamada em Florença, com Francesco Domenico Guerrazzi nomeado ditador. No mesmo dia, o duque Leopold II fugiu para Gaeta. na wikipedia

4-7 de março de 1849, Constituição da Áustria e # 9650

O conde von Warthausen, o Ministro do Interior do Império Austríaco, declarou a Constituição de março, recuperando o poder dos Habsburgos após as concessões de 1848, reduzindo os direitos da população não alemã do Império e revogando as Leis de Abril na Hungria. na wikipedia

12 de março de 1849 Sardenha rompe trégua com Áustria & # 9650

Charles Albert, Rei da Sardenha, renunciou ao armistício com o Império Austríaco e reacendeu a Primeira Guerra da Independência Italiana. na wikipedia

19 de março de 1849 Nápoles retoma a guerra na Sicília & # 9650

O Reino das Duas Sicílias (Nápoles) encerrou seu armistício com o Romido Reino da Sicília, enviando seu exército de Messina. na wikipedia

22–23 de março de 1849 Batalha de Novara & # 9650

As Forças do Império Austríaco, lideradas pelo Marechal de Campo Joseph Radetzky von Radetz, derrotaram as forças da Sardenha em Novara, Piemonte, no Reino da Sardenha. na wikipedia


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1849: O Marechal de Campo Conde Radetzky vence a Batalha de Novara

Ou seja, ele derrotou o exército do Reino da Sardenha na Batalha de Novara, que tentava expandir sua área de influência para as partes da Itália sob controle austríaco.

O marechal de campo austríaco que ganhou a batalha foi o conhecido marechal de campo conde Joseph Radetzky. A famosa Marcha Radetzky, composta por Johann Strauss Sr., foi nomeada precisamente em homenagem ao mencionado Conde Radetzky.

A cidade de Novara, perto da qual ocorreu a batalha, está localizada entre Milão e Turim. Turim era a capital do Reino da Sardenha, enquanto Milão era a capital da Lombardia, que estava sob controle austríaco na época (o Imperador Francisco José I também era o Rei da Lombardia e de Veneza).

Georg Decker: Johann Josef Wenzel Graf Radetzky por volta de 1850

Mais de 100.000 soldados participaram da Batalha de Novara. As forças austríacas alcançaram uma vitória decisiva, que pôs um fim temporário às tentativas italianas de libertar a Lombardia do domínio austríaco. As tropas austríacas eram, nesse sentido, os representantes do sistema conservador, de forma semelhante a quando esmagaram uma revolução na Hungria, que ocorreu quase ao mesmo tempo.

Julius Jacob von Haynau se tornou um dos generais austríacos mais famosos na Itália e na Hungria. Ele usou de extrema crueldade para reprimir o levante italiano em Brescia, que lhe rendeu o apelido de “Hiena de Brescia”. Na Hungria, ele organizou o enforcamento cruel de dez generais rebeldes, conhecidos como os Mártires de Arad. É interessante notar que o general von Haynau era bisneto do rei britânico George II por meio de uma linhagem ilegítima. Claro, isso também o tornou um parente da rainha britânica Victoria, que governou na época da Batalha de Novara.


Batalha de Novara, 8 de abril de 1500 - História

A fragata austríaca Novara atracou no porto de Sydney, em novembro de 1858. Fotografia original, publicada em L. Lind (1988). Foto provavelmente tirada pelo fotógrafo local e colega austríaco Wilhelm Hetzer.

Construção em Veneza 1843-51

Expedição científica de volta ao mundo 1857-9

Morte de Ferdinand Maximillian 1867

". o navio mais magnífico." - assim escreveu a australiana Mary Caroline "Minnie" Mann, de 16 anos, em seu diário em 16 de novembro de 1858, em referência à fragata imperial austríaca Novara, depois no porto de Sydney. O sentimento mais parecido surgiu de uma visita guiada ao navio dada a Minnie no início do dia pelo capitão do navio, o barão Frederick von P ck. Na época o Novara estava envolvido em uma expedição científica ao redor do mundo que durou de abril de 1857 a agosto de 1859. Uma breve parada em Sydney durante novembro - dezembro de 1858 proporcionou uma oportunidade para reparos no navio, descanso e recreação por parte do tripulação e alguma socialização com as moças da Colônia.

Miss Mann, apesar de sua juventude, era bem qualificada para fazer uma avaliação ou não da magnificência do Novara. Ela morava na costa do porto e era filha de Gother Kerr Mann, engenheiro-chefe do estaleiro da Ilha Cockatoo de Sydney. Antes de sua visita pessoal à fragata austríaca naquela manhã de novembro, ela adquiriu um grande conhecimento sobre a estrutura e outros detalhes de navios de guerra contemporâneos, tendo o privilégio de vê-los de perto enquanto eram submetidos a reparos no recém-inaugurado (1857) FitzRoy Dock em Sydney Harbour. Ela também participou de visitas guiadas às fragatas inglesas que operavam na estação da Austrália. O austríaco Novara foi forçado a aproveitar as instalações do estaleiro enquanto estava em Sydney devido a ter sofrido danos em um tufão no Mar da China Meridional encontrado em 18-19 de agosto a caminho da Austrália saindo de Xangai. Quando a fragata entrou em Port Jackson, as bombas funcionavam muito e dizia-se que o navio tinha uma lista definida.

Frontispício para a edição alemã (Scherzer, 1861-3) do relato em três volumes da viagem de volta ao mundo do Novara entre 1857-59, mostrando o navio a todo vapor. As várias localidades visitadas durante a expedição estão listadas nos arredores ornamentados.

De sua residência 'Greenwich House', localizada na costa norte do porto de Sydney com vista para a Ilha Cockatoo, "Minnie" Mann estava em posição de observar muitos dos grandes passageiros e navios mercantes e navios de guerra que visitaram o premier da Colônia porto durante a década de 1850. O tráfego marítimo aumentou significativamente na década anterior devido à descoberta de ouro em New South Wales e Victoria em 1851. A corrida do ouro resultante trouxe milhares de caçadores de fortunas para Sydney de todos os cantos do globo, e enquanto o Novara não estava procurando fortuna em 1858, ela e sua tripulação estavam, no entanto, em busca dessas mercadorias igualmente valiosas - conhecimento, experiência e reputação.

Esta fragata austríaca também foi sem dúvida uma das melhores de sua classe a ter passado por Sydney Heads e amarrado na Ilha Cockatoo desde que a colônia penal inglesa de 'Botany Bay' foi fundada em 1788. Durante novembro de 1858, o Novara, embora um pouco machucado e espancado, destacou-se entre a frota maltrapilha de embarcações navais britânicas, navios de imigrantes e de carga, e pequenas barcas comerciais costeiras e vapores que então frequentavam as muitas enseadas e docas neste mais pitoresco de todos os portos. Ela era a personificação marítima da monarquia dos Habsburgos, governantes do vasto império Austro-Húngaro que, na época, se estendia da costa oriental do Mar Adriático e Veneza e Itália no oeste, ao sul através da Bósnia-Herzegovena em direção ao Báltico e Turquia, ao norte com os Estados alemães e a leste até a Romênia e a Rússia.

As circunstâncias que marcaram o Novara como o primeiro navio de guerra austríaco a visitar Nova Gales do Sul, e o maior navio a ter entrado na doca FitzRoy até aquele momento, pode ser rastreado até o território italiano ocupado de Veneza em 1843, quando a monarquia austríaca encomendou um novo navio para sua pequena, embora em constante expansão, marinha. Construído durante o que seria a última fase da era dos navios de guerra de madeira - durante o final da década de 1850 e início da década de 1860, navios de guerra blindados e movidos a vapor tomariam seu lugar - o Novara foi, após a conclusão em 1851, uma fragata à vela de três mastros de última geração. Rápida e suntuosamente equipada com tapetes e móveis finos para servir aos oficiais e tripulantes da marinha austríaca, ela também carregava armamentos substanciais para proteção contra as frotas inimigas. A necessidade desse poder de fogo era real, pois o Novara passou a participar de uma das batalhas marítimas mais famosas de todos os tempos, nomeadamente a que ocorreu entre as frotas austríaca e italiana na ilha de Lissa, no Adriático, em 20 de julho de 1866 (ver abaixo).

o Novara foi construída com as melhores madeiras do Adriático e destinava-se a acomodar os vários príncipes, barões, duques e condes dos Habsburgos que navegariam nela como cadetes, oficiais navais de pleno direito ou passageiros livres. Durante as décadas de 1850 e 1860, ela desempenhou um papel importante como uma nau capitânia da frota austríaca, levando a bandeira austríaca e as aspirações da monarquia dos Habsburgos a todos os cantos do globo, enquanto nas águas mais próximas de casa servia como um navio de treinamento de vela, artilharia navio e fragata de combate próximo.

o Novara era algo estranho para os colonos quando ela chegou a Sydney no final da tarde de 5 de novembro de 1858. Este magnífico navio estava navegando sob uma bandeira raramente vista na Austrália - composta de ousadas listras horizontais vermelho-branco-vermelhas, destacava-se em seu centro a crista austríaca de uma águia de duas cabeças. Embora esta fosse a bandeira oficial do Império Austríaco, a bandeira oficial da marinha austríaca era similarmente barrada de vermelho-branco-vermelho, embora com coroa ducal e selo em seu centro.

Os colonos britânicos em grande parte não sabiam que o Império Austríaco possuía uma frota naval, e que SMS (Seiner Majest t Schiff) Novara foi uma das nau capitânia da Kaiserliche und K nigliche Kriegsmarine (Marinha Imperial e Real) austríaca. Na época, a Áustria não era reconhecida como uma potência marítima da mesma forma que a Grã-Bretanha ou a França, ambas possuindo uma longa e orgulhosa tradição naval. A monarquia austríaca só começou a desenvolver uma marinha para valer durante o final do século XVIII, no entanto, na década de 1850, os Habsburgos possuíam a frota mais forte da Confederação Alemã de Estados.

Este período de expansão durante o início até a metade do século foi em grande parte devido ao apoio entusiástico de dois aristocratas Habsburgos. Em primeiro lugar, o jovem arquiduque Frederico que, em 1837 - quando tinha apenas 16 anos - ingressou na marinha e, posteriormente, tornou-se moda para outros membros da aristocracia fazerem o mesmo.

Como marinheiro, o arquiduque Frederico se envolveu em ações bem-sucedidas na Síria e na Palestina durante 1839 e, em 1844, foi nomeado comandante-chefe da marinha. Durante este período, ele foi capaz de engendrar um entusiasmo pelo desenvolvimento da frota entre uma burocracia governante que há muito tempo focava sua atenção no aumento do exército austríaco. Este grupo demorou a responder aos apelos de Frederick para uma modernização e expansão da frota. No entanto, em 1843, foi feita uma encomenda aos construtores navais do Arsenal de Veneza (um grande complexo de construção naval) para a construção de uma nova fragata de combate para servir a marinha austríaca. Foi uma pena que o arquiduque Frederico não estava por perto para ver o lançamento desse navio como o Novara em 1851. Ele morreu prematuramente em 1847, quando tinha apenas 26 anos, e deixou a marinha sem liderança ou influência durante um período em que a revolução estava varrendo a Europa. Seu eventual substituto seria o arquiduque Ferdinand Maximillian (1832-67), irmão mais novo do imperador Francisco José I (1830-1916). Embora uma pessoa de poder e influência na aristocrática Áustria, Ferdinand Maximillian, em suas tentativas de aumentar a frota durante a década de 1850, também enfrentou oposição de uma burocracia sem dinheiro e de setores do Império - incluindo a Hungria - que não viam necessidade de um presença naval substancial. Com uma capital sem litoral (Viena) e forçada a contar com portos costeiros do Adriático contendo populações ou minorias étnicas ativamente opostas à 'ocupação' austríaca, a ideia de uma marinha para o Império não foi amplamente apoiada, ao contrário da circunstância em países como o Grande A Grã-Bretanha ou mesmo os Estados Unidos da América, onde as considerações práticas de proteger rotas comerciais marítimas e manter uma frota naval estavam inextricavelmente ligadas ao bem-estar da nação. Felizmente, ou infelizmente, o clima político volátil da época e o envolvimento da Áustria em uma série de guerras com seus vizinhos próximos aumentaram os esforços do arquiduque Ferdinand (e mais tarde de Maximilliano) para construir uma frota moderna e pronta para a batalha.

Quando olhamos para trás neste período da história do século XIX de um ponto de vista cerca de 150 anos depois, vemos agora a Áustria como um estado sem litoral, que perdeu seus portos marítimos do Adriático de longa data de Trieste e Pola. A marinha austro-húngara também é apenas uma memória. Sua frota outrora orgulhosa - que em 1914 era a sexta maior do mundo - entrou em ação pela última vez durante a Primeira Guerra Mundial. Após a derrota de novembro de 1918, seus navios foram dispersos aos vencedores como reparação de guerra, ou ignominiosamente desmantelados. O conto da fragata à vela Novara portanto, nos leva de volta a um período mais grandioso na história da monarquia dos Habsburgos e do Império Austro-Húngaro - a uma época em que seu esplendor, tanto em terra quanto no mar, rivalizava com o de outras grandes potências da época a uma época agora quase esquecido.

Construção da Novara, Veneza 1843-51

A história da construção do Novara é um incidente e interrupção, ligado à turbulência política da época e ao impulso para a unificação italiana. A fragata foi instalada pela primeira vez no estaleiro do Arsenal, em Veneza, como o Minerva em 20 de setembro de 1843, com os lados perfurados para acomodar 42 armas. Nesse ponto, o Império Austríaco não tinha seus próprios estaleiros navais, mas, em vez disso, fez uso da longa tradição de construção naval em Veneza e das habilidades dos construtores navais italianos. Isso mudaria no final da década de 1850, quando uma indústria local foi criada e os navios da marinha austríaca foram posteriormente lançados de estaleiros como o Stabilimento Técnico Triestino em Trieste (um estaleiro privado fundado em 1857) e o estaleiro naval de Pola, nas proximidades. Ambas as instalações estavam localizadas na costa oriental do Adriático, um tanto distantes dos italianos cada vez mais hostis.

Seção vertical da fragata austríaca Novara na época de sua viagem ao redor do mundo, 1857-59. Extraído de Scherzer (1861-3).

O programa de construção do Minerva / Novara foi extraordinariamente longo, causado pelo conflito contínuo do Império com a Itália e seus vários estados semi-independentes, mais notavelmente a Sardenha no sul e Venetia no norte. A Áustria adquiriu o território veneziano em 1797, perdeu-o brevemente para Napoleão na década seguinte e depois o recuperou novamente em 1814. A derrota de Napoleão em Waterloo em 1815 resultou em um longo período de relativa paz, no entanto, em 1848 o fervor revolucionário novamente se espalhou por toda a Europa, impactando tanto a Áustria quanto seu vizinho italiano. O período de construção do Novara (1843-51) correspondeu ao desenvolvimento do senso de nacionalismo italiano entre os diversos estados e principados que se estendiam dos Alpes ao sul até a Sicília. A Áustria, como senhor aristocrático e opressor, era um alvo óbvio para os patriotas italianos enquanto lutavam para unir a península. Venetia era o foco de seus esforços, e os eventos ali um gatilho.

Após cerca de cinquenta anos como território ocupado, em 17 de março de 1848 Veneza se levantou contra o domínio austríaco, assim como Milão a oeste no final do mês. Os venezianos expulsaram os austríacos e, em uma tentativa de independência italiana, estabeleceram uma república. Três corvetas austríacas, muitas embarcações navais menores, junto com os estaleiros de construção naval associados, arsenal e provisões caíram nas mãos dos rebeldes. A perturbação resultante para o Novara programa de construção foi um de vários que ocorreram entre 1843-50.

Parcialmente concluído, o Minerva foi renomeado Italia pelos revolucionários venezianos, reforçando sua atitude rebelde para com os austríacos e em desafio direto às ordens que proibiam o uso da palavra. Até esta fratura, a marinha austríaca tinha um forte caráter italiano, porém após os eventos de 1848 ela se tornaria mais multicultural, com os austríacos forçados a atrair marinheiros de outras partes do Império, especialmente das províncias costeiras do Adriático oriental, como Montenegro e Dalmácia.

No início de 1848, o ímpeto foi definitivamente com os rebeldes. Durante abril e maio, o exército austríaco sofreu uma série de derrotas nas mãos dos italianos em Goito e Pastrengo. Não foi até julho-agosto que o Império foi capaz de mobilizar suas forças sob o comando do Marechal de Campo Joseph Radetzky e retomar Milão e partes de Venetia da Sardenha. Um armistício (trégua) foi assinado em 9 de agosto de 1848 e os sardos foram expulsos de Veneza no dia 11, embora a cidade continuasse a manter sua independência da Áustria. O armistício terminou em 12 de março de 1849 e no dia 23 o exército de Radetzky venceu o rei Carlos Alberto do Piemonte (Monarquia da Sardenha) na batalha de Novara, no noroeste da Itália. Apesar disso, Venetia continuou a resistir. O cerco de Veneza começou em 20 de julho, mas durou apenas até o dia 28, quando a antiga cidade foi submetida à Áustria, devido em grande parte à fome local, ao surto de doenças e ao bombardeio naval austríaco. A Paz de Milão foi assinada logo em seguida, em 2 de agosto de 1849, encerrando assim a guerra entre a Sardenha e a Áustria.

Após a retomada de Veneza pelos austríacos, o marechal de campo Radetzky visitou o estaleiro de lá e oficiais solicitaram que ele tivesse o quase concluído Italia renomeado em homenagem a sua vitória sobre o rei Charles Albert. O navio foi posteriormente batizado Novara e o trabalho recomeçou a sério sob a supervisão austríaca. Seu casco estava finalmente pronto para deixar a rampa de lançamento em novembro do ano seguinte (1850).

Os acontecimentos em casa também teriam um efeito sobre a carreira futura da fragata ainda não concluída. 1848 - "o ano da revolução" - foi uma época tumultuada para a Áustria e seus vizinhos europeus. As revoluções em Viena durante aquele ano testemunharam a destituição do imperador Fernando I, seguida pela instalação temporária de um governo responsável, a abolição da servidão e a introdução de uma constituição austríaca. Apesar dessa promessa inicial de mudança, a revolução durou pouco. O final de 1848 viu um retorno aos velhos hábitos, com a abdicação de Ferdinand I em favor de seu sobrinho de 18 anos, Franz Joseph I. Após a posse como imperador - cargo que ocupou até sua morte em 1916 - Franz Joseph imediatamente nomeou o O contra-almirante dinamarquês Hans Birch von Dahlerup para o cargo de comandante-chefe da marinha austríaca. Com o apoio do imperador, von Dahlerup passou os próximos dois anos e meio reorganizando a frota ao longo das linhas da marinha britânica, colocando-a em uma boa posição para os anos seguintes. Ele colocou a frota em ação como parte do bloqueio de Venetion no início de 1849, e reiniciou o programa de construção que havia parado em 1848. Após sua renúncia em 1851 - causada pela falta de apoio da aristocracia dominante e da burocracia política que procurava substituí-la o dinamarquês com um austríaco - von Dahlerup foi substituído dois anos depois pelo arquiduque Ferdinand Maximillian, que serviu como comandante-chefe de 1854 a 1862.

Tendo sobrevivido à revolução e cerca de sete anos nas ações, o Novara foi lançada oficialmente da rampa de lançamento de Veneza em 4 de novembro de 1850. Na época, ela foi classificada como uma fragata à vela de três mastros, 42 canhões, comprimento de 165 pés, peso / deslocamento 2.107 toneladas austríacas (2.630 toneladas inglesas) e capaz de acomodar um complemento de 403. A área superficial das velas principais era de 18.291 pés quadrados. As dimensões precisas do navio mudariam durante sua vida, especialmente após uma grande reconstrução em 1861-2 para facilitar a instalação de uma máquina a vapor. No entanto, na época da reforma da embarcação em 1857 em preparação para uma expedição científica de volta ao mundo, na qual nenhuma grande mudança nas dimensões originais foi feita, ela foi descrita da seguinte forma:

O porto de origem do Novara era nominalmente Trieste, embora ela recebesse serviços do Arsenal de Veneza e, mais tarde, dos estaleiros navais de Pola. Uma característica notável do navio era a gôndola veneziana que servia como um de seus barcos auxiliares e talvez fosse incluída como uma homenagem aos seus construtores. A gôndola viajou com o Novara durante sua viagem ao redor do mundo entre 1857-9. Uma jovem australiana - "Minnie" Mann - iria registrar em seu diário durante novembro de 1858 a emoção de cruzar o porto de Sydney a bordo desta gôndola exótica, tripulada como era por marinheiros da fragata. Esta foi, sem dúvida, a primeira dessas embarcações venezianas a visitar Port Jackson desde que foi colonizada pela primeira vez em 1788.

Sala 'Novara', Castelo Miramar, Trieste. Construído para o arquiduque Ferdinand Maximillian como uma lembrança de seus anos como cadete naval a bordo da fragata austríaca.

Embora o Novara havia deixado a rampa de lançamento em novembro de 1850, o equipamento não foi concluído até junho de 1851. Empreendendo seus primeiros cruzeiros de shakedown no Mediterrâneo, ela provou ser uma embarcação rápida e em 1857 foi considerada a mais rápida da frota. During her first year in service, the 19 year old Archduke Ferdinand Maximillian saw time on board as a fledgling naval officer. He was to develop such a fondness for the vessel during this period that when he built his residence Miramar Castle on a bluff overlooking the Adriatic Sea near Trieste, he included within it a study room which resembled his quarters on board ship in precise detail. Daylight entered the room through a round scuttle in the ceiling, like that on the Novara's own deck. The room also featured richly carved wooden beams, centrally located to imitate the cramped and crowded condition of the rooms on board the Novara which, during the course of a normal cruise, would be called on to accommodate anywhere from 400-500 sailors.

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

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

A Round-the-World Scientific Expedition 1857-9

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SMS Novara Itinerary 1857-9

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


Famous Birthdays In 1500

Famous People Born In This Year In History

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


The First Italian War of Independence

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

A guerra

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cronologia

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

Referências:

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


Battle of Novara, 8 April 1500 - History

By William J. McPeak

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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