Siege of Metz, October 1552-January 1553

Siege of Metz, October 1552-January 1553


We are searching data for your request:

Forums and discussions:
Manuals and reference books:
Data from registers:
Wait the end of the search in all databases.
Upon completion, a link will appear to access the found materials.

Siege of Metz, October 1552-January 1553

The siege of Metz (October 1552-January 1553) was a failed Imperial attempt to recapture Metz that was one of Charles V's last major military operations and that was said to have played a part in the decline of his health and his decision to abdicate (Fifth Hapsburg-Valois War).

In 1551 Henry II of France entered into negotiations with the German Protestant Princes, led by Maurice of Saxony. The Princes wanted an ally against Charles V, and in return for French help were willing to offer Henry the 'three bishoprics' of Metz, Toul and Verdun, then part of the Duchy of Lorraine (then part of the Holy Roman Empire).

The French invaded Lorraine in March 1552 and in April they captured Metz and Toul. Metz was taken with the help the bishop of Metz. The French army was commanded by Francis, duke of Guise, who would also later lead the defence of the city. The French also attempted to take Strasburg, but were repulsed. Henry II reached the Rhine, but then turned back west, taking Verdun in June, before returning home.

At the same Maurice of Saxony and the German Protestant leaders moved towards Innsbruck, in an attempt to capture the Emperor Charles V. Charles only just managed to elude capture and was unable to intervene in Lorraine during the summer of 1552. In May he left southern Germany and made a daring but failed attempt to reach the Netherlands, where he could raise troops. He then managed to escape east from Innsbruck, and Maurice didn’t dare follow him. Peace negotiations soon followed, and by the late summer Charles and most of the Protestant leaders had come to terms. Charles had already raised a sizable army, which he now led to Augsburg, then on to Ulm and Strasburg. Charles was also able to add a large number of Protestant troops to his army.

Charles now decided to attack Metz. The city was strongly held. Guise had been given plenty of time to improve the fortifications. Most of the population had been sent away, buildings outside the walls had been demolished and provisions gathered. The garrison was 10,000 strong and there was a field army in the area. Guise also had the help of Camillo Marini and the French engineer Saint-Rémy. Guise was a successful commander with an impressive ability to motivate his men, and he would use that skill to great effect at Metz.

Charles had around 45,000 men, and he was supported by the Duke of Alba (then a successful military commander, rather than the infamous ruler of the Netherlands he is now remembered as). Charles was later joined by Albert Alcibiades, margrave of Brandenburg-Kulmbach, a notorious rebel against his authority who was won over by Alba bringing reinforcements with him, but losing Charles much support in Germany.

Alba was first to reach Metz, arriving outside the city with the advance guard on around 19 October. Charles V had been sidelined by an attack of gout, and didn't join the army until 20 November, but the siege proper began on 31 October. The arrival of Alcibiades allowed the Imperial forces to complete a blockade of the city, but the Imperial army was a multi-national force, split by intense rivalries. The Netherlands contingent hated the Spanish, and their leaders criticised Alba's approach to the siege. There were also German, Bohemian and Italian contingents, each with their own rivalries.

Eventually the bombardment had its impact. On 28 November the curtain wall between the old towers of Massieux and Ligniers began to lean outwards, and then at 2pm the wall collapsed outwards over a long stretch of the wall. This should have led to an assault, but Guise had prepared for this possibility by building an interior ditch and rampart (as first used during the defence of Pisa in 1500), and Charles couldn't get his men to attempt an attack. According to Alba after this failure Charles was so angry that it triggered his decision to enter a monastery. Only a few years later, after abdicating from his titles, he did just that.

During December Charles continued to press the siege. There was a limited attempt at mining the walls, and massive gun batteries were built, but the siege had been started too late in the year. The winter weather now struck, making work in the trenches very difficult. Scurvy, dysentery and typhus also hit the Imperial forces.

By the end of 1552 it was clear that the siege had failed. Charles pressed on with it for rather longer than was sensible, and as a result his army suffered very heavy losses, halving in size (this includes a large number of deserters).

The siege was lifted on 1 January 1553 when Charles left. A few days later Albert Alcibiades and the rearguard retired after covering the retreat. The retreat was well organised, but that couldn't disguise the total failure of this major military effort.

The failure of the siege had a great impact on Charles. His health had improved during the siege, but it collapsed after its failure. He did make another attempt to retake the bishoprics in 1554, but this also ended in failure (including a minor defeat at Renty, 12 August 1554, his last battle, during an invasion of Picardy). The bishoprics were retained by France at the end of the Fifth Hapsburg-Valois War, and officially ceded to France at the end of the Thirty Years War.


Three Bishoprics

The Three Bishoprics (French: les Trois-Évêchés [le tʁwa.z‿evɛʃe] ) constituted a government of the Kingdom of France consisting of the dioceses of Metz, Verdun, and Toul within the Lorraine region. The three dioceses had been Prince-bishoprics of the Holy Roman Empire until they were seized by King Henry II of France between April and June 1552. At the end of the Thirty Years' War, they were officially ceded to France by the 1648 Peace of Westphalia.

In the course of the rebellion against the Habsburg emperor Charles V, several Protestant Imperial princes met at Lochau Castle near Torgau in May 1551. Here the receiving Wettin elector Maurice of Saxony forged an alliance with Duke John Albert I of Mecklenburg, Prince William IV of Hesse, whose father Landgrave Philip I was jailed by the emperor, the Hohenzollern margrave Albert Alcibiades of Brandenburg-Kulmbach and his cousin Duke Albert of Prussia.

Dissatisfied with the Interim decreed by Charles V at the 1548 Diet of Augsburg, the insurgents were full of resolution to defend Protestantism and–not least–their autonomy against the Imperial central authority. They agreed to establish contacts with the Catholic French king Henry II, disregarding his oppression of the Protestant Huguenots. In autumn Henry declared war against Charles V and prepared to march against the Empire up to the Rhine River. On 15 January 1552, he signed the Treaty of Chambord with Maurice of Saxony and his Protestant allies, whereby the French conquests were legitimised ahead of time. The princes acknowledged the king's lordship as "Vicar of the Empire" over the Imperial cities of Metz, Toul and Verdun, as well as Cambrai "and other towns of the Empire that do not speak German". [ citation needed ] The insurgents in turn received subsidies and military assistance from the French, their troops moved into the Habsburg hereditary lands and laid siege to the emperor at Innsbruck, while his brother Ferdinand I entered into negotiations that led to the revocation of the Augsburg Interim by the 1552 Peace of Passau.

Backed by Duke Francis of Guise and his brother Cardinal Charles of Lorraine, King Henry II of France upon his agreement with the Protestant princes had started his Voyage d’Allemagne "for the sake of German liberties". On Palm Sunday 1552 French troops under the command of Anne de Montmorency in a surprise attack moved into the walls of Metz, followed by the occupation of Toul on 13 April. Henry then turned against the Lorraine capital Nancy, where he had the minor duke Charles III abducted to the French court in Paris. On 18 April the king celebrated his entry into Metz and, after a failed attack on the Imperial City of Strasbourg, returned from the Rhine to move into Verdun on 12 June. At that time, the French had occupied the three Imperial cities as well as the territory of the surrounding Prince-bishoprics.

As from the emperor's perspective, Elector Maurice and his allies had no right to legally dispose of Imperial territory, Charles V started a campaign against the French in order to reconquer the occupied dioceses culminating in the Siege of Metz from 19 October 1552 to 2 January 1553. The expedition ultimately failed, when the Imperial troops were defeated by the French forces under Duke Francis of Guise in the 1554 Battle of Renty. When the emperor, worn out and exhausted, abdicated in 1556, his successor Ferdinand I discontinued all attempts to regain the Three Bishoprics.

King Henry II left a permanent garrison in each of the cities and gradually subjected its citizens to his royal authority. Especially the Metz townsmen filed several petitions to the Imperial Diet, however, the retrieval of the lost Three Bishoprics was no longer a main concern of the disintegrating Empire during the ongoing confessionalization. Initiated by Cardinal Richelieu, the Trois-Évêchés received a certain autonomy with a provincial parlement installed in 1633 in Metz, dominated by the city's patriciate. Civil commotions decreased as the cities prospered under French rule, though the implementation of the gabelle of salt sparked some unrest in Metz. When King Louis XIV acceded to the throne in 1643, he confirmed the privileges of the Metz, Toul and Verdun citizens as his "good and faithful subjects".

After the acquisition of the Three Bishoprics was finally recognized by the Holy Roman Empire in the 1648 Peace of Westphalia, the province's territory was further enlarged by parts of the Duchy of Luxembourg around Thionville (Diedenhofen), ceded to France according to the 1659 Treaty of the Pyrenees, and several Lorraine villages annexed in 1661.

The Diocese of Saint-Dié, created in 1777 and sometimes called the "Fourth Bishopric of Lorraine" ("le Quatrième Évêché lorrain"), is not related historically to the Three Bisphoprics.


Siege of Kulmbach 1553

Diorama of the siege of Kulmbach 1553. The battle is recreated in the German Tin Soldiers Museum in Kulmbach. Margrave Albrecht Alcibiades of Brandenburg-Kulmbach (1522-57) had tried to create a Franconian dukedom for himself at the expense of the Franconian prince-bishoprics Würzburg, Bamberg, Eichstätt and the imperial cities Schweinfurt and the rich and powerful Nuremberg. This meant war.

The prince-bishops and Nuremberg allied with the prince elector of Saxony and the duke of Braunschweig and fought against the margrave.

1553 the allied armies could enclose Kulmbach, the residence town of Albrecht Alcibiades and conquer the city. Kulmbach was completely destroyed, all male citizens killed, only the mighty Plassenburg could withstand for another eight months, but then had to capitulate too.

The Second Margrave War (German: Zweiter Markgrafenkrieg) was a conflict in the Holy Roman Empire between 1552 and 1555. Instigated by Albert Alcibiades, Margrave of Brandenburg-Kulmbach and Brandenburg-Bayreuth, it involved numerous raids, plunderings and the destruction of many towns and castles in the empire, especially in Franconia. Other towns in other areas where also affected, such as Mainz, Worms, Oppenheim, Metz, Verdun, Frankfurt, and Speyer.

19 June 1552: Nuremberg capitulates to Albert Alcibiades capture of Forchheim and Bamberg

9 July 1553: Battle of Sievershausen Maurice, Elector of Saxony and Henry V, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg defeat Albert Alcibiades Maurice is killed in the battle and Henry loses his two sons

1553: The city of Hof was successfully besieged by the opponents of Margrave Albert II Alcibiades.

26 November 1553: Capture and destruction of Kulmbach, Albert’s residence, by troops from Brunswick-Lüneburg, Bohemia, Bamberg, Nuremberg, Würzburg and other areas of the Empire. Siege of Plassenburg Castle


Siege of Metz (1552)

The Siege of Metz during the Italian War of�–59 lasted from October 1552 to January (1-5), 1553.

The so-called Augsburg Interim came to an end when Protestant princes of the Schmalkaldic League approached Henry II of France and concluded the Treaty of Chambord, giving the free cities of Toul, Verdun, and Metz (the 'Three Bishoprics') to the Kingdom of France. The Holy Roman Emperor Charles V [2] laid siege to the French garrison commanded by Francis, Duke of Guise. [1] Although cannonades destroyed large parts of the fortifications (see fr:Remparts médiévaux de Metz), the Imperial army was unable to take the city. Stricken by typhus, dysentery, and scurvy, [1] Charles' army was forced to abandon the siege along with the sick and wounded. Metz remained a French protectorate (fr:République messine) until its annexation was formalized in 1648 by the Treaty of Westphalia. [4]


History

In the course of the rebellion against the Habsburg emperor Charles V, several Protestant Imperial princes met at Lochau Castle near Torgau in May 1551. Here the receiving Wettin elector Maurice of Saxony forged an alliance with Duke John Albert I of Mecklenburg, Prince William IV of Hesse, whose father Landgrave Philip I was jailed by the emperor, the Hohenzollern margrave Albert Alcibiades of Brandenburg-Kulmbach and his cousin Duke Albert of Prussia.

Dissatisfied with the Interim decreed by Charles V at the 1548 Diet of Augsburg, the insurgents were full of resolution to defend Protestantism and–not least–their autonomy against the Imperial central authority. They agreed to establish contacts with the Catholic French king Henry II, disregarding his oppression of the Protestant Huguenots. In autumn Henry declared war against Charles V and prepared to march against the Empire up to the Rhine River. On 15 January 1552, he signed the Treaty of Chambord with Maurice of Saxony and his Protestant allies, whereby the French conquests were legitimised ahead of time. The princes acknowledged the king's lordship as "Vicar of the Empire" over the Imperial cities of Metz, Toul and Verdun, as well as Cambrai "and other towns of the Empire that do not speak German". The insurgents in turn received subsidies and military assistance from the French, their troops moved into the Habsburg hereditary lands and laid siege to the emperor at Innsbruck, while his brother Ferdinand I entered into negotiations that led to the revocation of the Augsburg Interim by the 1552 Peace of Passau.

Backed by Duke Francis of Guise and his brother Cardinal Charles of Lorraine, King Henry II of France upon his agreement with the Protestant princes had started his Voyage d’Allemagne "for the sake of German liberties". On Palm Sunday 1552 French troops under the command of Anne de Montmorency in a surprise attack moved into the walls of Metz, followed by the occupation of Toul on 13 April. Henry then turned against the Lorraine capital Nancy, where he had the minor duke Charles III abducted to the French court in Paris. On 18 April the king celebrated his entry into Metz and, after a failed attack on the Imperial City of Strasbourg, returned from the Rhine to move into Verdun on 12 June. At that time, the French had occupied the three Imperial cities as well as the territory of the surrounding Prince-bishoprics.

As from the emperor's perspective, Elector Maurice and his allies had no right to legally dispose of Imperial territory, Charles V started a campaign against the French in order to reconquer the occupied dioceses culminating in the Siege of Metz from 19 October 1552 to 2 January 1553. The expedition ultimately failed, when the Imperial troops were defeated by the French forces under Duke Francis of Guise in the 1554 Battle of Renty. When the emperor, worn out and exhausted, abdicated in 1556, his successor Ferdinand I discontinued all attempts to regain the Three Bishoprics.

King Henry II left a permanent garrison in each of the cities and gradually subjected its citizens to his royal authority. Especially the Metz townsmen filed several petitions to the Imperial Diet, however, the retrieval of the lost Three Bishoprics was no longer a main concern of the disintegrating Empire during the ongoing confessionalization. Initiated by Cardinal Richelieu, the Trois-Évêchés received a certain autonomy with a provincial parlement installed in 1633 in Metz, dominated by the city's patriciate. Civil commotions decreased as the cities prospered under French rule, though the implementation of the gabelle of salt sparked some unrest in Metz. When King Louis XIV acceded to the throne in 1643, he confirmed the privileges of the Metz, Toul and Verdun citizens as his "good and faithful subjects".

After the acquisition of the Three Bishoprics was finally recognized by the Holy Roman Empire in the 1648 Peace of Westphalia, the province's territory was further enlarged by parts of the Duchy of Luxembourg around Thionville (Diedenhofen), ceded to France according to the 1659 Treaty of the Pyrenees, and several Lorraine villages annexed in 1661.

The Diocese of Saint-Dié, created in 1777 and sometimes called the "Fourth Bishopric of Lorraine" (« le Quatrième Évêché lorrain »), is not related historically to the Three Bisphoprics.


1500s

1540s

  • 1541 - In Trier, Archbishop-Elector Philip von Wied formally converts to Jungism. Having previously been a proponent of Erasmian reforms but against Konrad Jung in his lifetime, over the years Philip had became much more sympathetic to the movement, and a correspondent and friend of Johann Freud. Although the Archbishop is popular, especially among the sizable Jungist population, it was expected that his actions would not be tolerated by the Pope.
  • 14 January 1546 - At a conclave held in the city of Hamburg, Cardinal Jean Ferrier II is elected pope, taking the name Zephyrinus II. This places him as an antipope to Paschal III. The "Zephyrinites" thus far find the support of Catholic nations in Germany, Arles-Burgundy, and Poland, and also include France's Catholic population.
  • 25 February 1547 - The Kingdom of Arles-Burgundy declares war on the Kingdom of Lotharingia in order to assert its claim to the city of Amiens, beginning the Amiens War.
    • 4 March - An Arlesian army under the command of Hugh the Fearless crosses into Lorraine with the assistance of the Messin Republic, successfully capturing the region after the brief Battle of Epinal. Lotharingian forces withdraw toward the fortress of Luxembourg.
    • 28 April - The Duchy of Habsburg declares war on Lotharingia, citing its conversion to the Reformed Faith and its aggression against Alsace, prompting an attack from the Alsace League.

    A disorganized retreat would occur near Doullens after a light skirmish with the French, as Lotharingian forces fell back to the Aa River.

    1550s

    The ambitious Archbishop Philip von Wied of Trier would expand the war between Lotharingia and the Duchy of Habsburg along religious lines.

    • 14 January 1550 - The Siege of Calais ends in a French defeat, after the city is reinforced by some 8,000 English soldiers, as well as an English fleet and supplies.
    • 29 January 1550 - Under the leadership of Archbishop Philip von Wied of Trier, the largely Jungist Alsace League defects from the leadership of Habsburg, and make peace with the Lotharingians. The Habsburgs are successfully baited into an attack against Strasbourg, which although results in a Habsburg victory, leads to the Emperor being obligated to side against the Duchy of Habsburg.
    • 31 January 1550 - With Pope Zephyrinus II still vacant from Rome after several years, the College of Cardinals in Rome elects Francis Xavier as Leo XII. This renews the papal schism, which divides Europe in part by the ongoing Amiens War. Lotharingia and England support Leo XII, while Arles-Burgundy continues to support Zephyrinus II. Emperor Henry X voices support for Zephyrinus II, causing relations to sour with the Pope in Rome.
    • 13 February 1550 - Emperor Henry X calls for a diplomatic end to the Amiens War, after he is personally called to defend both sides: France due to its familial ties to Bohemia, and Lotharingia through his obligations as emperor.
    • 20 February 1550 - The fortress of Verdun surrenders to the Kingdom of Arles after a prolonged siege, after an unsuccessful French attempt to take the city weakens the garrison. The French occupy the western bank of the Meuse River.
    • 30 March 1550 - Lotharingian forces under Tromp lay siege to the city of Luxembourg. With the city's defending garrison having been reduced greatly by the defection of the Alsace allies, Metz begins peace negotiations with the Lotharingians.
    • 1 April 1550 - French forces break through the Lotharingian defenses at the Battle of Isbergues, allowing the French to cross the Aa River region.
    • 5 April 1550 - The Battle of Baden ends with the Habsburg heir, Frederick, defeating a numerically superior army from Metz and Alsace, managing to repulse the alliance out of the Duchy. After this victory, a peace would be negotiated between the Palatine and Habsburg, in which minor territorial concessions were made to the Palatine, leading to both nations focusing against the Jungist Alsace League now as allies.
    • 20 April 1550 - Unrest breaks out in Prague between Catholics and Taborites. This is exacerbated by a large number of religious dissenters entering Bohemia from Hungary, which the Hungarians do nothing to stop and even support. The Emperor would be forced to raise an army and combat peasant rebels in the east of the nation as a result.
    • 2 May 1550 - Frederick of Habsburg leads an army to capture Murbach after a light skirmish. His forces march through several polities along the Rhine River, supporting Catholic resistance against several Jungist city governments.
    • 3 May 1550 - The Peace of Luxembourg is created, creating peace between Lotharingia and the Messin Republic and Arles-Burgundy. Luxembourg and Verdun are both vacated by Metz, with the border largely following the Moselle. Arles would gain Lorraine, while also receiving a large sum from Lotharingia. Almost immediately the Metz-Arles alliance would break down now that the threat of Lotharingia had been quelled. With Habsburg actively occupying Messin land, Arles would ally with Habsburg.
    • 19 May 1550 - Relations break down between Arles and France, after France refuses to vacate Amiens to the Arlesians. Bohemia would be forced to break its alliance with Arles over France, to the detriment of its relations with other Catholic nations in Germany.

    The election of Leopold II of Habsburg as King of Germany would begin an imperial civil war.


    Prelude

    Ottoman army

    In the spring of 1529, Suleiman mustered a large army in Ottoman Bulgaria, with the aim of securing control over all of Hungary and reducing the threat posed at his new borders by Ferdinand I and the Holy Roman Empire. Estimates of Suleiman's army vary widely from 120,000 to more than 300,000 men, as mentioned by various chroniclers. [8] As well as numerous units of Sipahi, the elite mounted force of the Ottoman cavalry, and thousands of janissaries, the Ottoman army incorporated a contingent from Moldavia and renegade Serbian warriors from the army of John Zápolya. [9] Suleiman acted as the commander-in-chief (as well as personally leading his force), and in April he appointed his Grand Vizier (the highest Ottoman minister), a Greek former slave called Ibrahim Pasha, as Serasker, a commander with powers to give orders in the sultan's name. [10]

    Suleiman launched his campaign on 10 May 1529 and faced numerous obstacles from the onset. [11] The spring rains that are characteristic of south-eastern Europe and the Balkans were particularly heavy that year, causing flooding in Bulgaria and rendering parts of the route used by the army barely passable. Many large-calibre cannons and artillery pieces became hopelessly mired or bogged down, leaving Suleiman no choice but to abandon them, while camels brought from the empire's Eastern provinces, not used to the difficult conditions, were lost in large numbers. Sickness and poor health became common among the janissaries, claiming many lives along the perilous journey.

    Suleiman arrived in Osijek on 6 August. On the 18th he reached the Mohács plain, to be greeted by a substantial cavalry force led by John Zápolya (which would later accompany Suleiman to Vienna), who paid him homage and helped him recapture several fortresses lost since the Battle of Mohács to the Austrians, including Buda, which fell on 8 September. [12] The only resistance came at Pozsony, where the Turkish fleet was bombarded as it sailed up the Danube. [11]

    Defensive measures

    As the Ottomans advanced towards Vienna, the city's population organised an ad-hoc resistance formed from local farmers, peasants and civilians determined to repel the inevitable attack. The defenders were supported by a variety of European mercenaries, namely German Landsknecht pikemen and Spanish musketeers sent by Charles V. [13] [14]

    The Hofmeister of Austria, Wilhelm von Roggendorf, assumed charge of the defensive garrison, with operational command entrusted to a seventy-year-old German mercenary named Nicholas, Count of Salm, who had distinguished himself at the Battle of Pavia in 1525. [11] Salm arrived in Vienna as head of the mercenary relief force and set about fortifying the three-hundred-year-old walls surrounding St. Stephen's Cathedral, near which he established his headquarters. To ensure the city could withstand a lengthy siege, he blocked the four city gates and reinforced the walls, which in some places were no more than six feet thick, and erected earthen bastions and an inner earthen rampart, levelling buildings where necessary to clear room for defences. [11]


    BROWNE, Anthony I (1528-92), of Battle Abbey and Cowdray Park, Suss.

    b. 29 Nov. 1528, 1st s. of Sir Anthony Browne of Battle Abbey and Cowdray Park by 1st w. Alice, da. of Sir John Gage of Firle. m. (1) Jane (d.1552). da. of Robert Radcliffe, 1st Earl of Sussex, 1s. 2da. (2) by 10 Dec. 1558, Magdalen, da. of William, 3rd Lord Dacre of Gilsland, 5s. 3da. suc. fa. 28 Apr. 1548. Kntd. 20 Feb. 1547 cr. Viscount Montagu 2 Sept. 1554 KG nom. 23 Apr., inst. 17 Oct. 1555.1

    Offices Held

    Standard bearer Jan. 1546-d. sheriff, Surr. and Suss. 1552-3 commr. goods of churches and fraternities, Suss. 1553, musters, Surr. in 1557, 1572/3, in 1583, Suss. from 1569, subsidy, Surr. 1559 other commissions 1553-?d. keeper, Guildford park Oct. 1553-d., Hampton Court chase June 1554-d. j.p. Surr., Suss. 1554-d. master of the horse to King Philip Apr.-Sept. 1554 trier of petitions in the Lords, Parlts. of 1555 and 1558 PC 28 Apr. 1557 ld. lt., Suss. Mar.-Oct. 1558, jt. Nov. 1569-85 envoy to Rome 1555, Spain 1560, Flanders 1565-6.2

    Biography

    Anthony Browne evidently owed his return for Guildford to the Parliaments of 1545 and 1547 to his father, who was senior knight of the shire on both occasions and who had been joint keeper of Guildford park since 1527 and sole keeper since the death of his half-brother, Sir William Fitzwilliam, Earl of Southampton, whose property in the borough he had also inherited. The younger Browne was first returned on 26 Dec. 1544, a few weeks after his 16th birthday (although the Parliament did not meet until a few days before his 17th), yet he took precedence over his fellow-Member Thomas Elyot, who was his father’s servant. Sir Anthony Browne also obtained his son’s appointment as royal standard bearer, surrendering his own patent of the office in return for a grant to himself and his son in survivorship. The younger Browne accompanied his kinsman John Dudley, Viscount Lisle, to France in the summer of 1546, being given £40 towards his expenses by Henry VIII, and was knighted at the coronation of Edward VI. He was still under age when his father died in April 1548, and in the following January (Sir) Thomas Wroth was appointed standard bearer during his minority, but he was allowed to buy his own wardship for £333 6s.8d. In May 1550, six months after he came of age, he received livery of his lands.3

    Browne’s career received its first check in the following year, when he spent six weeks in prison for hearing mass. He admitted to the Council on 22 Mar. 1551 that he had done so ‘twice or thrice at the Newhall and once at Romford now, as my Lady Mary was coming hither about ten days past’. The Council sent Browne to the Fleet on 4 May he and (Sir) Richard Morgan who had likewise heard mass in Princess Mary’s chapel, were released ‘with warning to beware how they erred again’. Although there is no evidence that he then conformed, Browne was pricked sheriff of Surrey and Sussex in November 1552 and in the following year was even made a commissioner for church goods. These appointments may have been bids for his support by John Dudley, now Duke of Northumberland, who also perhaps procured his young kinsman’s return for Petersfield to the Parliament of March 1553. Fitzwilliam had held land in the neighbourhood but in tail male so that it had not passed to the Brownes. The lord of the borough, Henry Weston, was then about 18 years old and his stepfather, John Vaughan II, took the junior seat: Vaughan’s kinsman Sir Roger Vaughan may already have been married to a daughter of Henry, 2nd Earl of Worcester, by Browne’s aunt Elizabeth, but it is unlikely that Vaughan, especially in view of his own relegation to the junior seat, could have exercised complete control over the election. Browne himself seems to have intervened in several elections as sheriff of Surrey and Sussex, and his return of George Rithe for Bramber may have been part of an electoral bargain whereby Rithe, who held lands near Petersfield, stood down there in Browne’s favour.4

    Browne was re-elected for Petersfield, with Rithe, to the first Parliament of the new reign, after he had apparently rallied to Queen Mary. He was also returned for Stafford to this Parliament, doubtless on the nomination of Lord Stafford. Browne’s wife was related to Stafford—the name of Browne’s ‘base brother’ Charles Stafford alias Browne is of interest in this connexion—and Browne may have had a hand in the choice of his replacement there, Simon Lowe alias Fyfield, a friend of Browne’s steward William Denton: Denton himself was to sit in eight successive Parliaments for Browne’s own borough of Midhurst. Having at length achieved the knighthood of the shire in the Parliament of April 1554, Browne was raised to the peerage in the following September. He probably owed this honour to an attempt to cover up a blunder of King Philip. In June 1554, when an English household was set up for Philip before his marriage, Browne was appointed his master of the horse and was given £200 to provide for his stable. Great was the indignation when Philip arrived in July with a Spanish household and promptly dismissed the Englishmen. It was particularly inept, since in the previous March the Spanish ambassador had bought Browne’s friendship with a gift of 150 crowns. Several anxious letters were exchanged about the ‘Browne affair’, which was settled by his creation as viscount, with an annuity of 20 marks, a material reward augmented in February 1555 by a grant of lands, made in consideration of his service to the Queen during the recent rebellions and for the better maintenance of a viscount’s estate. He was also granted a Spanish pension of 500 crowns a year that this was already two years in arrear in 1558 reflected no lack of confidence in Browne, whom the Spanish ambassador succinctly appraised as ‘a good man and a Christian’.5

    In February 1555 Philip and Mary sent Bishop Thirlby, Viscount Montagu and Sir Edward Carne to treat for the reconciliation of the Church in England to the papacy. On his way home Montagu visited Venice. Back in England he was the chief mourner at the funeral of Bishop Gardiner, who had named him one of his executors. In April 1556 Montagu was given licence to retain 60 men, and a year later he was sworn a member of the Privy Council. In the summer of 1557 he served under the Earl of Pembroke as lieutenant of the army preparing to defend Calais and was present at the siege of St. Quentin, and in the spring of 1558, as lieutenant of Sussex, he organized the defences of the English coast.6

    Nothing is known of Browne’s role in the Commons but he was an active member of the Lords: during Mary’s reign he was regular in attendance and was frequently appointed to committees, including one in 1555 for the bill to punish exiles. On 14 Nov. 1558 he was a member of the Lords’ delegation to the Commons about a subsidy. In Elizabeth’s first Parliament he voted for the bill to restore first fruits and tenths to the crown, but was the only temporal peer to oppose the bills for the dissolution of the religious houses restored by Mary and for the re-establishment of the royal supremacy he also voted against the bill for uniformity, in conjunction with eight other temporal peers. His speech against the supremacy bill has recently come to light: he objected to the abrogation of the mass and the profanation of the sacraments but he also warned of the danger to the realm should the pope proceed to its excommunication, with the consequent threat of invasion or rebellion, and besought the House to ‘be not noted thus often to change your faith and religion, and with the Prince to bury your faith’. He again distinguished himself in the Parliament of 1563 by his opposition to the bill for extending the obligation to take the oath of supremacy and for sharpening the penalties for refusal. A new law, he said, ought to be necessary, just and reasonable, and apt and fit to be put in execution, and the proposed measure was none of these things. Speaking on his last point, he asked, ‘What man is there so without courage and stomach, or void of all honour, that can consent or agree to receive an opinion and new religion by force and compulsion?’ Although the Act was passed (5 Eliz., c.1), peers were exempted from its operation and Montagu was not therefore tendered the oath. In November 1566 he opposed the bill to confirm the consecration of bishops.7

    His opposition to the Anglican settlement had not excluded Montagu from employment. In January 1560 Elizabeth sent him—against his will, as he told the Spanish ambassador, and accompanied by a man to spy on him—to tell Philip of the French landings in Scotland and to ask his help to prevent an invasion of England. In 1565 he was employed to negotiate a commercial treaty with the Netherlands, which moved him to comment to the Spanish ambassador, ‘I cannot understand these people they cannot endure me and yet they send me to do their business for them’. Four years later his unswerving loyalty received signal recognition when he was appointed joint lord lieutenant of Sussex.8

    Montagu was the subject of many rumours in the various Catholic intrigues of the day, doubtless because of the involvement of many of his kinsmen and associates. His servant George Chamberlain is said to have fled overseas ‘upon the rebellion in the north’, and Chamberlain’s activities, perhaps in conjunction with those of Montagu’s son-in-law Henry, 2nd Earl of Southampton, may explain the otherwise incomprehensible reports of the Spanish ambassador made late in 1569. In the first, of 1 Dec. 1569, within a fortnight of Montagu’s being commissioned joint lieutenant of Sussex, he said that Montagu and Southampton had sent to ask him whether they should take up arms or go over to join Alva. Then on 18 Dec. he wrote that they had taken the latter course, but had been driven back by contrary winds and summoned to court to explain their conduct—whereupon Montagu received the governorship of Sussex. The ambassador added that Montagu had sent ‘George Hamberton, a kinsman of the Duchess of Feria’ to assure Alva of his good intentions. ‘Hamberton’ may well have been Chamberlain, whose contacts with his kinswoman had been one of the causes of his arrest seven years earlier Southampton was indeed imprisoned but not until June 1570. In August 1580 the Spanish ambassador thought that Montagu was likely to be arrested and a month later the Venetian ambassador reported that he was in prison, but there is no confirmation of this.9

    Although Montagu was removed from the Sussex lieutenancy in 1585, in the following year he was appointed a commissioner for the trial of Mary Queen of Scots and he remained active in his shire. On 21 Aug. 1587 the Council wrote to thank him for the speed with which he had travelled to the coast on hearing reports that foreign ships had been sighted, and in the Armada crisis of the following year he showed himself equally anxious to help. According to a pamphlet written by Lord Burghley, but purporting to be by an English Catholic, he led 200 horsemen to Tilbury, determined ‘to live and die in defence of the Queen and of his country’. Three years later Elizabeth spent a week at Cowdray Park and among the knights dubbed during her stay were Montagu’s second son George and his son-in-law Robert Dormer † .10

    Montagu died on 19 Oct. 1592 at his house in Horsley, Surrey, and was buried at Midhurst: his tomb, on which he is depicted with his two wives, was later removed to Easebourne church, close to the entrance to Cowdray Park. Several portraits survive. The executors of his will, proved on 14 Mar. 1593, were his wife Magdalen, his son-in-law Dormer, Edward Gage, Richard Lewknor † and Edmund Pelham † and the supervisor (Sir) Thomas Heneage, who was later to be the second husband of Montagu’s daughter the Countess of Southampton. His heir was his grandson Anthony Maria, who had married Buckhurst’s daughter.11


    “I Argued Strenuously With Eisenhower on Monty’s Extravagance in Tonnage but Without Success.”

    American commanders were appalled at such a daring and risky move and urged Eisenhower to stick to the “on to Berlin” plan. Eisenhower, who earlier had been convinced that the Germans were on the verge of collapse, now believed that they were strengthening daily, especially with newly arrived divisions from the Eastern Front. It was apparent that there would be no German surrender by Christmas. There was also concern that in order to clear the Scheldt Estuary and capture the launching sites for the V-1 flying bombs, which were terrorizing Britain, Montgomery would have to get the majority of the gasoline and supplies. Eisenhower reluctantly gave his approval for Market Garden in September.

    General Bradley stated after the war, “Had Monty pared down his ammunition requirements and concentrated instead on gasoline, Patton might have advanced farther.… I argued strenuously with Eisenhower on Monty’s extravagance in tonnage but without success. ”

    Combined with the increasingly bad weather in early September, the gasoline shortage allowed the Germans time to build their defenses in front of the Third Army. As Patton’s offensive operations gradually slowed, German counterattacks on Third Army’s flanks increased. It was apparent that the Germans were in a full fighting withdrawal. Their operations focused on defending and delaying actions while units of all types were massing in their rear. Remnants of the German Army were now engaged in delaying actions east of the Moselle River and concentrated armored counterattacks against Third Army’s bridgeheads.

    After these attacks were blunted by the Third Army, Hitler replaced Col. Gen. Johannes Blaskowitz as commander of Army Group G with the tough campaigner from the Eastern Front, General Hermann Balck. Hitler had considered Blaskowitz too passive and favored Balck, who, having many of the same characteristics as his adversary Patton, would conduct an aggressive and ruthless campaign against the Americans. Balck, as an ardent Nazi, was more than willing to carry out his Führer’s directives. Instead of fleeing to the West Wall (Siegfried Line), he dug in around Metz and the Moselle and Seille Rivers. He was prepared to make the Americans pay for every yard.

    Meeting at 5th Infantry Division HQ, Metz. (left to right) Lt. Gen. Thomas T. Handy , Lt. Gen. George S. Patton, Jr., Maj. Gen. Hiram C. Walker, Maj. Gen. S. Leroy Iwin, Gen. George C. Marshal.

    By the end of September, gasoline shipments to the Third Army had been reduced to a mere trickle. The October lull would be used to build up Army supplies, reassemble, regroup, and plan the imminent invasion of Germany. The XX Corps was to be used as a training unit for teaching troops how to assault fixed fortifications like the kind that faced them around the heavily fortified city of Metz.

    Third Army’s intelligence section had already determined that the Germans intended to make the most of the ring of forts around Metz, the ancient gateway city through which so many invading armies had passed. Metz was to be the linchpin in the Germans’ defensive strategy. An army had not directly taken Metz since 1552. It had been captured after a 54-day siege during the Franco-Prussian War and had been fortified by the Germans in World War I. However, after the Great War the string of fortresses were left in ruins.

    These were all facts that the history-conscious Patton should have known. When it became apparent that the Allies were going to plunge through France, the fortresses were reoccupied and slightly renovated. They would provide security for the retreating German armies and the advance of the Allies. Metz was to be Balck’s anchor for the German Line of defense that paralleled the Siegfried line to the west. It was the Germans’ intention to hold this main line of resistance to buy time so defensive positions could be strengthened along the Rhine. The cold and wet weather would also keep Allied air operations to a minimum. With the Allied advance literally stopped cold, Patton decided, against his own better judgment, to test the defensive qualities of the German positions around the southern half of Metz. It became clear that any gains made along the Moselle near Metz could not be exploited without doing something about the German defensive positions in the forts.

    Fort Driant, in particular, with its 150mm guns, could bring down flanking fire and was already producing casualties among XX Corps personnel as Walker’s men tried to throw bridges across the Moselle. Patton decided that while it might not be able to continue an offensive posture, Third Army was not going to remain idle during the lull. Third Army would conduct a reconnaissance in force, and if anything broke open the gains would be exploited.

    It became the task of Patton’s XX Corps, and its commander, Maj. Gen. Walker, to take Metz and its fortification system. It was quickly ascertained that the key to Metz was Fort Driant, and on September 17 an excited Walker came up with a plan for its capture, code-named Operation Thunderbolt. This was to be a combined air and ground assault against Fort Driant.

    Operation Thunderbolt called for close support from the XIX Tactical Air Command and the use of massed formations of medium bombers. The air attack would then be followed by an intense artillery barrage and a combined assault by armor and infantry. Ground attack aircraft would provide close support as needed. Walker advocated this plan to Patton partially because he did not want Eddy and the XII Corps to get all the glory with their operations outside Nancy. Operation Thunderbolt was conceived when Colonel Charles W. Yuill of the 11th Infantry Regiment in Maj. Gen. S. Leroy Irwin’s 5th Division suggested that Driant could be taken by storm with only a few regiments.

    The key to the success of the attack on Fort Driant was to be massed attacks from the air. Patton had high hopes that the bombing would work but probably underestimated the defensive edge afforded by tons of well-placed concrete. Two events that occurred before the attack threw a shadow of doubt upon the success of the operation. The 12th Army Group placed the use of its bombers on a day to day basis and could not commit them long-term to a protracted operation, but far worse, the weather became cold and rainy. Mobility was hampered, and air support would be limited.

    Patton later became disappointed with the results obtained from the use of air power. He should have seen this going into the operation because of the ineffective results of massed bombing on the German heavy defenses in Brittany. Operation Thunderbolt was slated for anytime after September 19. The 2nd Battalion, 11th Infantry was kept on alert and told that it might be called upon to go in at a moment’s notice. Because of a lack of ammunition of all types, the concept of a massed attack on the fort was abandoned and air power would be parceled out to different areas of the front on a daily basis.


    Voies navigables de France (VNF, Navigable Waterways of France) is the French navigation authority responsible for the management of the majority of France's inland waterways network and the associated facilities&mdashtowpaths, commercial and leisure ports, lock-keeper's houses and other structures.

    A war memorial is a building, monument, statue or other edifice to celebrate a war or victory, or (predominating in modern times) to commemorate those who died or were injured in a war.


    Watch the video: Opening Battles of the Franco-Prussian War: Saarbrücken, Wissembourg, Wörth