Battle of Wimpfen


Battle of Wimpfen

Infobox Military Conflict
conflict=Battle of Wimpfen


caption=Tilly as portrayed by van Dyck
partof=the Thirty Years' War
date=May 6, 1622
place=Wimpfen near Heidelberg
result=Catholic victory
combatant1=Protestants
combatant2=Holy Roman Empire, Catholic League
commander1= Georg Friedrich of Baden,Ernst von Mansfeld
commander2=Count of Tilly, Gonzalo de Córdoba
strength1= 14,000
strength2= app. 25,000
casualties1= virtually wiped out
casualties2=unknown

The Battle of Wimpfen was a battle in the Bohemian Revolt period of the Thirty Years' War on May 6, 1622 near Wimpfen. The forces of the Holy Roman Empire and Catholic League under Marshal Tilly and Gonzalo de Córdoba defeated the Protestant forces of General Ernst von Mansfeld and Georg Friedrich, Margrave of Baden-Durlach.

After the fall of the Bohemian capital of Prague following the Battle of White Mountain, Georg Friedrich decided to continue the battle and oppose Tilly and Cordoba at Wimpfen.

By early May, the forces of Christian of Brunswick had arrived to the north of the Neckar River and were prepared to assist the Protestant forces. This came as good news to the combined forces of Mansfeld and Georg Friedrich, who hoped to combine their armies before risking a major battle.

To gain time and to attempt to split the combined Catholic army, Mansfeld crossed the Neckar near Heidelberg while Georg Friedrich marched east up the river to cross at Wimpfen. The plan failed as the troops under Tilly and Córdoba did not split and instead pursued the 14,000 strong army of Georg Friedrich and cut him off near Wimpfen. Outnumbered, the margrave deployed his troops into a defensive position on a low hill outside of the village. Here the Protestants made an effective stand, rallied by a strong artillery position until a random Spanish countershot exploded the Protestant magazine, costing the Badeners their position. The Catholics drove the hill and shattered the Protestant army. Georg then fled to Stuttgart with but a few remaining men under his command.

Meanwhile, Mansfeld was hurriedly trying to meet up with Christian who was positioned at the Main; Cordoba and Tilly were in hot pursuit to keep this junction from occurring.

The story of the 400 citizens of Pforzheim who sacrificed themselves for their prince after the battle has been shown by modern research to be a myth.


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