In this episode, the Battle of White Mountain shatters Frederick's regime, but how did we get here? Let's roll back the clock a bit....
Frederick’s prospects were fair so long as his allies came to aid him against the Emperor. Yet, once these allies refused to pick up the phones, once his new subjects refused to pony up what was needed for defence, and once the Emperor called in HIS favours with the Spanish and several other electors, it was only a matter of time before Frederick’s mistake was brought home to in full. It began with a Spanish invasion of the Palatinate, alongside a Bavarian invasion which followed. Frederick had probably never expected or imagined such an act – after all, Spain was not at war with him, and Maximilian of Bavaria was a distant cousin for crying out loud! But family proved a curse rather than a blessing at this juncture, and worse news was to come. John George of Saxony was the most influential Protestant Elector in the Empire, and Frederick may have at least expected a sympathetic ear. Instead, he got an opportunistic enemy, who invaded Bohemia, seizing Lusatia, one of the kingdom’s contingent parts, and siding firmly with the Emperor. The walls were now closing in, and disaster then struck.
In November 1620, the Battle of White Mountain saw a Spanish-Bavarian-Imperial army defeat Frederick’s ragtag force of militia and mercenaries, and Frederick was only notified when the remnants of this shattered force began to stream back to Prague. The attack and disaster had come so quickly there was not even time to drain the bathwater, and Frederick fled along with his wife to the Netherlands, where a new chapter of their lives, and a new phase of the war, was due to begin in earnest. Ferdinand had won this round, but as far as Frederick was concerned, so long as he was breathing, the contest was far from over…
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