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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The French then advanced quickly down fornovoo valley, with 3, of the Swiss and a large part of the French force in the advance guard on the assumption that this part of the army would see the hardest fighting.

Battle of Fornovo, – The Art of Battle

A letter which came from Ferrara on the same day increased the suspicion of a very grim outcome, since it stated with pretended sorrow that the Venetians had been defeated in war. The second was composed of Italian mailed horsemen under Ranuccio Farnese and Luigi Avogadro; the third, a phalanx of infantry, numbered four thousand, with Gorlino of Ravenna and other leaders in charge.

An evil boy he seemed to me on that day, but if the fight had taken place in the open he would have been far worse.

With his bold spirit entirely unbroken he incited each one by name, cornovo the French, who regard their king with a certain wondrous reverence, straightway replied in these words: How to cite this article: Gradually the Fornivo retreated fornogo they fought over the slopes of the hill and the Venetians, though wounded, followed them.

Then the enemy by bringing together its wings trapped the disordered soldiers; they fought wounding one another, and the few were overcome by the many and killed. Since they did not yet know the losses of the enemy, they could scarcely indicate them. The line over which Giovanni Francesco of Caiazzo had command was scattered by fear of missiles rather than by actual carnage. Wherever the danger is greater, I shall leave the duty of commanding to my uncle here and will myself with javelin and sword and a chosen band cut a path among the enemy; neither the magnitude of the enterprise nor the utmost desperation of the French disturbs my spirit.

There was in addition a large phalanx of spear soldiers. Gonzaga had about 20, troops On every side the sky repeatedly flashed with fire and thundered with artillery and was filled with wails and cries.


The League was quickly able to raise a powerful army in the north of Italy. Currently you have JavaScript disabled. Lodovico, duke of Milan, had had almost the same report in a letter from the Count of Caiazzo, and his mind was greatly disturbed; he had sent a copy of this letter to the Senate.

Medici-ruled Florence fell quickly, and the French helped with the restoration of Republican government. Then the Venetians, who were unbelievably anxious to fight, raised a mighty shout through the lines as soon as they heard the signal of the trumpets; they were ordered to advance zealously in the ranks to which they had been assigned, and they attacked the forces of the enemy.

The rest of his army was left in Naples in an unsuccessful attempt to hold onto his conquest. At once joy pervaded the entire assembly. On 20 May Charles left Naples leaving behind a garrison to hold the country and proclaiming that he only desired a safe return to France. The Harper Encyclopedia of Military History: The war with King Alfonso and his son we fought without bloodshed.

Likewise the avarice of the Greek soldiers who were rushing forward to plunder had sapped their confidence in fighting. The League army decided to stop him at Fornovo, near the northern end of the valley. In other projects Wikimedia Commons.

The King straightway sent a herald who did not dare enter the camp without a Venetian trumpeter. Thank you for visiting The Art of Battle: He was the first to report to the Venetian proveditors that the French were greatly terrified and would doubtless turn their backs, and that therefore those should pursue for whom it is not enough to rout the enemy and to be satisfied fonovo flight alone.

On 4 July the French reached the village of Fornovo and found their passage blocked by the main League army camped just north of the village. In the aftermath of the battle Charles knighted notable performers, including Pierre Terrail, seigneur de Bayardffornovo went on to become one of the most famous French commanders of the period.

This page was last edited on 26 Decemberat Very many think fornivo the French with a small 4195 could have routed the Italians if they had dared advance freely, but the narrowness of the field refutes them. Artillery ranged before the first line and protected the second line on the side of the Taro.

However, for Italy the consequences were catastrophic.

Meanwhile, with the fighting still keen, certain heads of the infantry, unworthy even to be named, reported to the proveditors whether through treachery or greed that the Italians were defeated in battle and that soldiers ought to be assembled at new salaries.


July Learn how and when to remove this template message. There is indeed nothing lasting under the heavens, and we must yield sometimes to fortune.

Battle of Fornovo

Though expressing dismay at his financial losses, Charles also voiced pride at the conduct of his soldiers and in the limited loss of soldiers. The French army got quite badly spread out along the valley, and in the end the advance guard escaped virtually unscathed. When an effort to sway the undecided forces of Parma was thwarted by the Venetians, Charles instead sent a messenger to request free passage to return to France, but the Venetians replied that he would have to restore all his conquests before such could be considered.

In the sixth line Alessandro Colleoni and Taddeo dalla Motella led soldiers, and they had orders to assist wherever a wavering line needed help, and to take their stand accordingly a short distance away. He put Gian Giacomo Trivulzio in charge of the first, which consisted of three hundred horsemen, two forrnovo 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. 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.

These allowed reluctantly a stipulated cessation of hostilities only until noon of the following day. That effectively ended the battle. The Venetian proveditors, riding toward the camp, forced back the fleeing soldiers whom excessive fear had made cowards even though no enemy was pursuing for terror had taken possession of most of them and reproached them severely for their vain anxiety; they pointed out that they themselves were unarmed and urged them to stop their fkrnovo and stay with them.

Count Niccola Pitigliano continued to urge the squadrons to bring aid and kept shouting that they should not neglect so great and so providential an opportunity for formovo It remains to establish the whole army in safety with the greatest possible speed. On 6 July he ordered his soldiers first to care for their bodies and then to arm themselves. Date 6 July