The battle of Fornovo (6 July ) was an unsuccessful attempt by an Italian army to stop Charles VIII of France during his retreat from Naples. Battle of Fornovo Charles VIII, attempting to seize control of southern Italy for use as a platform for war against the Ottoman Turks, lead the most. Nicolle, David. Fornovo France’s Bloody Fighting Retreat. Oxford: Osprey, Santosuosso, Antonio. “Anatomy of Defeat: The Battle of Fornovo in
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Charles organized his army in battle groups. Very many wounded were found naked fornpvo the corpses, some begging aid, some half-dead. And so as the Venetians approached the French were the first to hurl their artillery at the lines of the enemy, producing more fear and disorder in the ranks especially among the new recruits than they did destruction. July Learn how and when to remove this template message.
14995 In the confusion of those who were fighting Count Niccold of Pitighano, who was in the van of the enemy ranks, found an opportunity and fornnovo surrendered himself to the Venetians. There were also precious books from the holy chapel, a plaque inlaid with gems and deserving of reverence for its sacred relics, and rings loaded with jewels.
He put Gian Giacomo Trivulzio in charge of the first, which consisted of three hundred horsemen, two hundred light-armed soldiers, and two thousand German foot soldiers equipped with spears, who were surrounded by men carrying small hand-machines and armed with axes and hatchets.
During this confusion Rodolfo Gonzaga, who had fought a memorable battle in the midst of the enemy lines, opened his helmet, was seriously wounded on the face, and straightway fell. It would indeed have been the height of felicity if all had turned out well, but we must endure it if fortune has heaped on this one day all the evils of a whole year, a fortune which had been predicted to us as black, so that now, driven by hunger amid great danger, with glory and a kingdom and a triumph lost, with soldiers left behind in Puglia and Calabria, I must return home with a few forces.
A lesser number of Venetians pursued the French who were finally yielding, and the latter straightway went off hastily to the hill opposite the camp of the Venetians, and at last, when the fighting had broken off of itself, the Latins returned to the lines of their allies, and then all betook themselves to camp. Italy was to be the scene of a dispute between the main continental powers, with the result that the Italians were left with only a secondary role in their own destiny.
Only VeniceGenoathe Papal StatesSavoy and Tuscany will survive as indipendent nations after the end of the Italian Wars,losing however their original power and stability. When this report had been carried throughout the camp, straightway the sound of trumpets aroused the soldiers to arms; they were eager to fight, and they took their stations at their horses, some still hungry, others refreshed, and the soldiers quickly fell into their companies.
The Italian states opposing this venture flrnovo into the League of Venice and at Fornovo brought the French juggernaut to a standstill.
Battle of Fornovo, – The Art of Battle
The Venetians indeed fought with greater spirit, the French with greater industry, for a fear far from moderate had invaded their minds and the huge numbers of their enemy terrified them.
But on the contrary the Venetian proveditors, suspecting the loyalty of the people of Parma, took Oppiano and dashed the hopes of the Frenchman that the people of Parma might dare to desert. They were uncertain of victory partly because the soldiers had returned to their tents to divide the spoils, partly fornkvo the tornovo which was unaccustomed to arms had turned to flight, and also because of the great confusion in camp.
Battle of Fornovo, 1495
He had great credence and authority with the King, since he had left his son as hostage, and he wanted the Frenchman to acquire the rule and become arbiter over all Italy. At length, when he saw that it was necessary to fight, he put all his trust in the courage of a few soldiers, in the strength of the Swabians, and in the wonderful mastery of his engines, and feigning hope on his countenance he seemed like a man entirely happy and of ready daring in arms.
The French had lost the booty of the Italian expedition.
His battle plan was to distract the first and middle groups of the French with two lines while outflanking the rear. None of the enemy risked fighting in single combat, but in greater numbers attacked single individuals and straightway returned to the standards. The herald was conducted to another room and the matter was considered, and I heard that when he was admitted again one proveditor said to him that they had no authority from the Senate to make peace or a truce, but that if he wished peace he should first lay down his arms and return Novara to their ally, Duke Lodovico, and restore the cities and towns of the Pope which he had taken by violence.
He was welcomed with rejoicing by the citizens, as the French had made themselves hated through their behaviour. The Milanese laid siege to Novara, defended by a French garrison, while the main part of the army, perhaps as many as 40, men under the command of Francesco II Gonzaga, Marquess of Mantuaprepared to stop Fornovoo escaping from Italy. But Charles was anxious, seeing the enemy numbers growing, while he had no hope of reinforcements.
And first Melchiorre Trevisan with the approval of his colleague said a few words in their midst. Francesco II Marquess of Mantua . A great many of his soldiers wished to flee that very day and not, as a new byword forbovo the camp puts it, hunt the flushed-out fox. The gist of it was that the army in close array had fought with the enemy; very many had perished on both sides and the army was at length saved.
We thank the Renaissance Society of America for their permission to republish this item. Armies comprising forces from the many independent towns of Italy were raised by establishing a contract, or condottabetween the town leaders and the leaders of mercenary bands, who came to be called Condottieri. In addition to those I have mentioned the following were captured: Machines protected the first line from the front and the second toward the Taro, and they were drawn up properly and with such military discipline that nothing was out of the right order and neither soldier nor footman wandered off from the line.