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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 605

force a breach in the enemy lines and to escape from the iron ring. There
was no pursuit; Sigismund was, at the moment, satisfied with having gained
Bohemia's second most important city, and was even so sure of himself that
he sent a Polish nobleman as an emissary to Prague demanding its surrender.
He was not successful. 
 Meanwhile the king, who had established his headquarters in Kutná
Hora and was feeling close to victory, had to find quarters for his army.
It was an early and cold winter and he could not expect his soldiers to camp
in the open. There was not enough space for the army in Kutná Hora,
and so its contingents were distributed among the villages in the region
roundabout, with a somewhat stronger unit established at the large village
of Nebovidy halfway between Kutná Hora and KolIn. 
 It was at Kolin that Zizka had halted after his retreat and planned his
further steps, including a good deal of additional recruiting, especially
in the Orebite region, where he was very popular. In early January 1422 his
numerical strength was no longer so inferior to that of the royalists, and
he had his troops together whereas the royalists were dispersed. On January
6 Zizka began his own offensive, striking first at the royalist troops at
Nebovidy. Completely unprepared, they could not resist long, and soon were
in headlong flight. Zizka's army, in hot pursuit, approached Kutná
Hora. Sigismund, seeing himself in danger of being surrounded there, decided
to leave immediately, and since the Bohemian and Moravian barons whom he
asked to defend the precious city refused, he ordered that it be evacuated
and put to the torch. Before the order could be obeyed Zizka's army arrived.
While the fleeing German Catholics tried to keep up with the king's army,
the Czech inhabitants returned. In the further retreat south eastward Sigisrnund's
reassembled army made an attempt, on Janu ary 8, to stand up to the Czechs
at the little town of Habry, but this battle, again, ended with a complete
defeat of the royal troops. The next stop was at the city of Nëmecky
Brod, on the Sázava river near the Moravian border. Here another attempt
at resistance was made by the king's army; it was sufficient to cover his
own retreat, freeing him from personal danger,50 but after a short siege
the Hussites took and burned Nemecky Brod. The royalist army, having lost
 50. The "Old Annalists" (in Palacky's edition, see the most recent issue,
"StaiI letopisové cesti," in Dilo Frant. Palackého, II [Prague,
1941], 61) reports that no fewer than 548 Hungarian soldiers drowned when
attempting to cross the Sázava river by riding across the current.
This was taken as a fact by most historians, including the present writer
(Zizka, pp. 301—302). At a later visit to this neighborhood I became
rather doubtful about it, since the Sázava river below Nëmecky
Brod (now Havlicküv Brod) appeared to me too narrow and too shallow
to play the role of a Berezina. 

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