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Tilly, Johann Tserclaes, Graf von


Subject History » Military History

DOI: 10.1111/b.9780631168485.1994.x


(1559–1632) Tilly, who was born in the Castle of Tilly in Brabant, served with the Spanish Army of Flanders (1585–1600) and with the Austrian forces (1600–08). In 1610, he became commander of the armies of the Catholic League. He defeated Frederick V, Elector Palatine, at the Battle of the White Mountain in Bohemia (1620). He campaigned successfully in Germany during the 1620s, forcing Denmark from the Thirty Years' War through his victory at Lutter (1626). In 1630 he succeeded Wallenstein as commander of the Imperial armies as well as those of the Catholic League. He campaigned against Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden in 1631, but his army was responsible for the Sack of Magdeburg (1631) and was later badly defeated at Breitenfeld (1631). Tilly was mortally wounded in the action at Rain during the crossing of the River Lech in Bavaria in 1632. Neither a tactical nor an organizational innovator, Tilly was a highly competent professional commander, representative of the military entrepreneurs of the mid-seventeenth century. See also austria ; breitenfeld ; germany ; gustavus ii adolphus ; magdeburg, sack of ; mercenaries ; wallenstein . , Tilly im Dreissigjahrigen Krieg ( 2 vols , rev. edn , Paderborn , 1891–6 ); Fritz Red-lich, The German Military Enterpriser and his Work Force (2 vols, Wiesbaden, 1964–5) . ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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