Frundsberg, Lannoy and de Leyva's attacks

Battle Map Key

Whilst the Neapolitans were slaughtering the whores and sutlers of the French baggage train, Lannoy was busy dividing the rest of his army into two columns. The first column, led by Frundsberg and consisting of two pike squares made up of German landsknechts, was sent to engage their old enemies the Swiss who were guarding the deer park's eastern walls and gateways.

Meanwhile the second column, consisting of the Spanish cavalry and infantry led by Lannoy in person, moved west to engage the French mounted knights and the infamous 'Black Band'. These renegade German landsknechts fought for France and were led by the exiled English rebel Richard de la Pole, Duke of Suffolk. 

As the early morning mist began to rise from the cold, boggy ground Frundsberg's landsknechts raised their blood red banners to indicate that no quarter would be asked or given. This battle would be what both sides called 'Bad War'.

In the east the landsknecht pike squares soon gained the upper hand against the Swiss but in the west it was the French who had the best of the fighting. A charge by the heavily armoured French knights routed the lightly armed Spanish horsemen and the imperial infantry fled in panic into a nearby wood. However, at the very moment of victory Francis made a fatal mistake.

Instead of withdrawing the French knights and sending the Black Band into the trees to deal with the imperial foot soldiers, Francis led his horseman into the wood. Once in the trees, the mounted knights were unable to manoeuvre and the flower of French chivalry was quickly cut down by the imperial infantry's halberds and handguns.


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