The Neapolitan Attack on The Castel Mirabello

Battle Map Key

Whilst the main body of imperial army formed up on the south side of the breach in the deer park wall, Lannoy sent an advance guard of 3,000 Neapolitan arquebusiers to seize the Castel Mirabello.

Lannoy hoped the Neapolitans would capture the French king asleep in his bed and if this daring raid had succeeded the battle of Pavia would have been over before it had begun. However Lannoy was unaware that King Francis had quartered himself in the larger French camp, near the deer park's north western gate.

The Neapolitans arrived at Mirabello to find nothing but the undefended French baggage train which, in true mercenary style, they proceeded to loot with extreme savagery. Hundreds of camp followers were systematically robbed and murdered in an orgy of violence that roused the rest of the French army from their slumbers.

Lannoy had now lost the vital element of surprise and his diversionary attack was rapidly becoming a full scale battle.


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