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  • Writer's pictureGeorge Castrioti

April 24th, 1547 - The Battle of Mühlberg

Conflict: Schmalkaldic War (1546-1547)

Combatants: Saxons vs. Spanish (Holy Roman Empire)

Location: Germany

Outcome: Imperial victory

Under the turmoil of the Reformation and facing a Protestant rebellion by the Schmalkaldic League, the Holy Roman Emperor Charles the V decided to bring all of Germany together and restore Catholicism as the dominant faith. In order to achieve this goal, Charles sent an army of 13,000 Imperial soldiers into southern Germany where the disorganized rebel forces were quickly suppressed. The Imperial troops then turned on Saxony in the north. There, on April 24th of 1547, Protestant forces roughly equal to the Imperial army were decisively defeated at Mühlberg. Its leader, Prince John Frederick I, was also captured.

Battle of Muhlberg by Luis De Avila y Zuniga

Points of Interest:

  • After the defeat at Mühlberg, some of John Frederick's lands were dispersed to princes loyal to the Holy Roman Emperor.

  • Charles V would abdicate his throne in 1556 after a series of failed wars with the French.

Charles V by Titian
Johann Friedrich der Großmütige von Sachsen (Prince John Frederick) by Adolph Friedrich Kunike



Dupuy, R. Ernest & Dupuy, Trevor N. (1993). The Harper's Encyclopedia of Military History. New York: HarperCollins.

Eggenberger, David (1985). An Encyclopedia of Battles: Accounts of Over 1,560 Battles from 1479 B.C. to the Present. New York: Dover Publications, Inc.

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