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Hazard, H. W. (ed.) / The fourteenth and fifteenth centuries

XVII: The Crusades Against the Hussites,   pp. 586-646 ff. PDF (24.0 MB)

Page 603

 There is no doubt that Sigismund favored the strategy of combined operations
from west and east, but he wanted to have an army of overwhelming strength,
and this took more time than he had orig inally expected. He might have been
wiser if, under these circum stances, he had stopped the whole campaign and
replanned it for the next year, but he had, by then, spent a good deal of
money on the enterprise. So he decided to invade the kingdom with an army
which was still very strong, and not to worry about the lateness of the season.45
Though he maintained the role of supreme commander, he left many of the decisions,
and especially the tactical details, to the Florentine condottiere Philip
Scolari (created by Sigismund count of Ozora), usually called Pipo Spano,
who had proved his gifts as a general repeatedly in fights with the Turks,
and who was in com mand of the Hungarian troops. Among them, as usual, light
cavalry was to play an important role. It was Pipo Spano who, still in the
first half of October (1421), entered Moravia, j9ining up in its northern
region with a small army raised by John "the Iron," the vigorous anti-Hussite
bishop of Olomouc (formerly of Litomysl), and soon afterward also with troops
from Silesia and Lusatia led by bishop Conrad of Breslau and some other Silesian
 Sigismund himself, who had entered Moravia on October 16, moved very slowly,
gaining some additional strength through the arrival of Austrian troops under
his son-in-law Albert of Hapsburg. It appears that at this stage the king
had altogether an army of about fifty thousand, almost one third of whom
consisted of Hungarian cavalry. He might have had a good chance now, since
even after the withdrawal of the German crusaders in the west the situation
of the Hussites was far from good. The Taborites under Zizka were engaged
in a difficult struggle with the royalists organized in the so-called "Landfrieden"
of Pilsen, while the Prague forces, at the time com manded by a young and
inexperienced squire called John Hvëzda of VIcemilice who had been made
captain-general by Zelivsky, had limited strength and would hardly have been
able to deal with an army the size of Pipo Spano's. 
 But Sigismund, far from acting fast, tried first to establish his position
in Moravia by political means. He summoned a diet at which a majority of
the Moravian nobility, including those who had taken part in the assembly
of Cáslav, renounced their previous actions. 46 They were also forced
to condemn the Four Articles as heresy and to 
 45. See, for this whole exciting campaign, ibid., chapter 18 (pp. 286—306),
with refer ences to the main sources. 
 46. U.B., I, 166—17 1. 

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