Tilly, Johannes Tserklaes, count of

Tilly, Johannes Tserklaes, count of

(yōhän`əs tsĕrkläs` tĭl`ē), 1559–1632, general in Bavarian and later imperial service during the Thirty Years WarThirty Years War,
1618–48, general European war fought mainly in Germany. General Character of the War

There were many territorial, dynastic, and religious issues that figured in the outbreak and conduct of the war.
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. A younger son of a noble family of Brabant, he served under Duke Alessandro FarneseFarnese, Alessandro
, 1545–92, duke of Parma and Piacenza (1586–92), general and diplomat in the service of Philip II of Spain. He was the son of Duke Ottavio Farnese and Margaret of Parma and thus a nephew of Philip II and of John of Austria, under whom he
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 and against the Turks before entering the service of Duke Maximilian IMaximilian I,
1573–1651, elector (1623–51) and duke (1597–1651) of Bavaria, one of the outstanding figures of the Thirty Years War and an ardent supporter of the Counter Reformation.
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 of Bavaria, founder of the Catholic League. After the outbreak of the Thirty Years War, he commanded the army of the Catholic League, which with the imperial army put down the Bohemian Protestant forces at the White Mt. (1620). In the next phase of the war, centering about the Palatinate, Tilly was chief commander against Ernst von MansfeldMansfeld, Peter Ernst von
, 1580?–1626, military commander in the Thirty Years War. Illegitimate son of a governor for the Hapsburgs in Luxembourg, he rendered distinguished service in the imperial forces in the Netherlands and was legitimized; by 1607 he was styling
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, Christian of BrunswickChristian of Brunswick
or Christian of Halberstadt,
1599–1626, Protestant military leader in the Thirty Years War, titular bishop of Halberstadt (1616–23).
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, and others. He lost to Mansfeld (Apr., 1622), but won at Wimpfen (May) and Höchst (June) and also at Stadtlohn (1623). After King Christian IV of Denmark entered the war (1625) Tilly and Albrecht von WallensteinWallenstein or Waldstein, Albrecht Wenzel Eusebius von
, 1583–1634, imperial general in the Thirty Years War, b. Bohemia.
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 were the chief generals to oppose him. In 1626, aided by some of Wallenstein's troops, Tilly was victorious at Lutter. When Wallenstein was removed from command of the imperial army in 1630, Tilly was given command of that army also, but against Gustavus II (Gustavus Adolphus) of Sweden he was unsuccessful. On May 20, 1631, Tilly and Count Pappenheim stormed Magdeburg. Tilly's troops massacred the populace and sacked the city, although he tried to check the violence. Later in 1631, Tilly was thoroughly defeated by Gustavus Adolphus at Breitenfeld. The next year he was again defeated by Gustavus Adolphus at the crossing of the Lech, where Tilly was mortally wounded.
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