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Battle of Mühlberg
Part of Schmalkaldic War
Schlacht bei Mühlberg 1547.jpg
Battle of Mühlberg, wood engraving, Luis de Ávila y Zuniga, about 1550
Date 24 April 1547
Location Mühlberg, Saxony
Result Decisive Imperial–Spanish victory
Schmalkaldic League  Holy Roman Empire
Flag of New Spain.svg Spain
Flag of Hungary.svg Hungary[1]
Flag of Electoral Saxony.svg John Frederick I, Elector of Saxony Holy Roman Empire Emperor Charles V

Fernando Álvarez de Toledo, 3rd Duke of Alba
12,000 infantry
3,000 cavalry
15 guns
25,000 infantry
4,500 cavalry (partly Hungarian cavalrys)
20 guns
Casualties and losses
8,000 dead or wounded 200 dead or wounded

The Battle of Mühlberg was a large battle at Mühlberg in the Electorate of Saxony during the Protestant Reformation at which the Catholic princes of the Holy Roman Empire led by Emperor Charles V decisively defeated the Schmalkaldic League of Protestant princes under Elector John Frederick I of Saxony. The Schmalkaldic League's commanders could not agree to any sort of military actions on the battlefield, thereby allowing Charles' forces to run through the League's defences.

Emperor Charles V at the Battle of Mühlberg, oil on canvas, Titian, 1548

Charles was 47 years old at the time, and suffering from gout. He was therefore carried to the battle in a litter, rather than on the great warhorse in modern armour depicted by his court painter Titian.

The battle began early in the morning. Charles's forces, who were mostly Spanish levies and mercenaries, took advantage of a heavy mist to outflank the Schmalkaldic forces. The Protestant troops were taken completely by surprise and, after a token resistance, fled.

The victory of the Imperial forces led to the dissolution of the Schmalkaldic League. John Frederick I was captured (the hungarian cavalry captured in the battle) and arrested, in the course of the Capitulation of Wittenberg a few weeks later he had to resign the electoral dignity and the major part of his lands in favour of his cousin Maurice of Saxony.


  1. ^ History of Hungary 1526-1686, Akadémia Publisher, Budapest 1985. ISBN 963 05 0929 6

External links

  • Battle of Mühlberg An analysis of the battle.
  • History of Hungary book-series (10 tome): History of Hungary 1526-1686, First book, Editor in chief: Pál Zsigmond Pach; Editor: Ágnes Várkonyi R. Akadémia Kiadó, Budapest 1985. ISBN 963 05 0929 6



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