Relief of Genoa
|Relief of Genoa|
|Part of the |
Relief of Genoa by the
| || |
|Commanders and leaders|
|2,700–4,000 Spanish infantry|
(After the relief)
|Casualties and losses|
|5,000 dead or wounded |
The Relief of Genoa took place between 28 March 1625 and 24 April 1625, during the
In 1625, when the Republic of Genoa, traditionally an ally of Spain, was occupied by French troops of the
However, the Spanish fleet commanded by General
|“||I have been careful until now to avoid anything that could provoke an open war between the two crowns;[but] if the king of Spain takes up arms against me, I will be the last to lay them down.||”|
In northern Italy,
The French claimed that due to the alliance between them and the Duke of Savoy, they had to help Savoy, which was attacking Genoa, by attacking Valtelline and diverting the resources of the Spanish, who were supporters of Genoa. In the autumn of 1624, using the pretext that papal forces had not been withdrawn from the Valtelline as agreed, French and Swiss troops invaded the Catholic valleys of the Grey Leagues and seized the forts, to protect them, Richelieu had established the Governors of the Duchy of Milan. Consequently, Spain formed an alliance with the Grand Duke of Tuscany, the Duke of Modena and Parma, and the republics of Genoa and Lucca, deciding to make a several action.
The irony of a Cardinal attacking the troops of a Pope was not lost on Rome, Spain, and
The time seemed opportune, with the apparent convergence of Protestant hostility to the Habsburgs, and explains French participation in the London talks with Mansfeld. Richelieu hoped Britain and the Dutch would send a fleet to assist his own squadron in cutting the seaway between Spain and Genoa, while Venice attacked Milan.
By this time Cardinal Richelieu remarked:
I shall not emphasize, that Spain, pressed to extremity by us, might enter its forces into France, either from the kingdom [of Spain] itself or from Flanders. It is easy to guard against invasion from Spain with small forces because of the lie of the land.
The Duke of Estrées quickly conquered the Valtellina, because the Papal garrisons offered no resistance except at Riva and Chiavenna. Richelieu's elaborate plan then began to unravel. The Valtellina operation placed France in direct opposition to an essentially Francophile papacy, incensing the dévots. Don
At present our republic and its liberty are founded on its fortunes and on the protection of Spain, and we must hope to find strength in the arms of this monarch. These vessels, besides the unbearable cost to us, would show complete imprudence, or even make the Spaniards jealous. It has been proposed, but nothing has been decreed.