Johann Tserclaes, Count of Tilly

Johann Tserclaes

Count of Tilly
Johann Tserclaes Tilly.jpg
Count Tilly on a portrait by Anthony van Dyck.
Nickname(s)The Monk in Armor
BornFebruary 1559
Castle Tilly, Duchy of Brabant, Spanish Netherlands in the Holy Roman Empire (present-day Belgium)
Died30 April 1632 (aged 73)
Ingolstadt, Electoral Bavaria in the Holy Roman Empire
AllegianceSpain Spain
 Holy Roman Empire
Service/branchArmy of Flanders
Imperial Army
Years of service1574–1632
Battles/warsEighty Years' War

Long Turkish War
Thirty Years' War

Bronze statue of Count Tilly in the Feldherrnhalle on Odeonsplatz in Munich
Statue of Tilly in Altötting
Statue of Tilly in the hall of fame of the Museum of Military History, Vienna

Johann Tserclaes, Count of Tilly (Dutch: Johan t'Serclaes Graaf van Tilly; German: Johann t'Serclaes Graf von Tilly; February 1559 – 30 April 1632) was a field marshal who commanded the Catholic League's forces in the Thirty Years' War. From 1620–31, he had an unmatched and demoralizing string of important victories against the Protestants, including White Mountain, Wimpfen, Höchst, Stadtlohn and the Conquest of the Palatinate. He destroyed a Danish army at Lutter and sacked the Protestant city of Magdeburg, which caused the death of some 20,000 of the city's inhabitants, both defenders and non-combatants, out of a total population of 25,000. Tilly was then crushed at Breitenfeld in 1631 by the Swedish army of King Gustavus Adolphus. A Swedish arquebus bullet wounded him severely at the Battle of Rain, and he died two weeks later in Ingolstadt. Along with Duke Albrecht von Wallenstein of Friedland and Mecklenburg, he was one of two chief commanders of the Holy Roman Empire’s forces in the first half of the war.

Early years

Johann Tserclaes was born in February 1559 in Castle Tilly, Walloon Brabant, now in Belgium, then the Spanish Netherlands. Johann Tserclaes was born into a devoutly Roman Catholic Brabantine family; and, after having received a Jesuit education in Cologne, he joined the Spanish army at age fifteen and fought under Alessandro Farnese, Duke of Parma and Piacenza in his campaign against the Dutch forces rebelling in the Eighty Years' War and participated in the successful Siege of Antwerp in 1585. After this he joined in the Holy Roman Empire's campaign against the Ottoman Turks in Hungary and Transylvania as a mercenary in 1600 and through rapid promotion became a field marshal in only five years. When the Turkish Wars ended in 1606, he remained in the service of Rudolf II in Prague until he was appointed commander of the Catholic League forces by Bavaria under Maximilian I, Duke of Bavaria in 1610.[1]

Other Languages
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Ян Тэрцы фон Цільлі
српски / srpski: Јохан Церклас Тили
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Johann T’Serclaes von Tilly