Battle of Lutter

Battle of Lutter
Part of the Thirty Years' War
Lutter Schlacht Bild.png
Battle of Lutter, contemporary woodcut
Date27 August 1626
LocationLutter am Barenberge, Principality of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel
present-day Lower Saxony, Germany

ResultDecisive Imperial victory
Belligerents
 Kingdom of Denmark Holy Roman Empire
Catholic League (Germany).svg Catholic League
Commanders and leaders
Christian IVCount of Tilly
Strength
20,00020,000
Casualties and losses
3000 dead, 2500 captured and 2000 deserters700 dead or wounded
Lutter am Barenberge is located in Lower Saxony
Lutter am Barenberge
Lutter am Barenberge

The Battle of Lutter (Lutter am Barenberge) took place during the Thirty Years' War, on 27 August 1626 (17 August 1626 in the old Julian calendar), between the forces of the Lower Saxon Circle, combining mostly Protestant states, and led by its Circle Colonel Christian IV of Denmark, and the forces of the Catholic League. Lutter am Barenberge lies to the south of the modern town of Salzgitter, then within the Imperial Circle of Lower Saxony, and now in northwest Germany.

The battle resulted in a heavy defeat of Christian IV's troops by those of Emperor Ferdinand II, led by the Catholic League general Johan Tzerclaes, Count of Tilly.

Prelude

Before the Thirty Years' War hostilities reached the Lower Saxon Circle, the chiefs of state of its members were alarmed and prepared for the worst. So in 1625 they elected from their midst the Lutheran Duke Christian IV of Holstein, simultaneously King of Denmark, the new Lower Saxon Circle Colonel, i.e. the commander in chief of the joint circular forces. In this function Christian IV allied with Ernst von Mansfeld in a military campaign and planned to start in Thuringia in Middle Germany, and then take to its south. His intention was to bring relief to German Protestants, who had been severely defeated a few weeks earlier in the Battle of Dessau Bridge.

With the participation of Christian IV, the Thirty Years' War, which had hitherto been confined to opposing factions of the Holy Roman Empire, now extended to other European powers, though Christian, as Duke of Holstein, was not a complete foreigner.