Battle of Bezhdov

Article

October 25, 2021

The Battle of Bejdov (Waidhofen), also known as the Battle of Kirchberg or the Battle of Hart, took place on October 14, 1431, probably near the present-day town of Waidhofen an der Thaya (formerly Bejdov) in Austria. The Tábor allies, led by Mikuláš Sokol from Lamberk, were defeated by retinue of Austrian feudal lords and some Czech city garrisons under the command of the governor of České Budějovice, Lipolt Krajíř of Krajek.

Overture

In the first days of October 1431, divisions of nobles from the ranks of Tábor's allies crossed the Moravian-Austrian border, whose goal was to seize rich booty, especially quality wine, the import of which was hampered by the trade blockade imposed on Hussite Bohemia by the Catholic Church. Czech written sources state that 600 riders and 4,500 infantry with 360 cars took part in the raids, according to Austrian sources it was 2,000 fighters. Namely, Tóma from Chotěmice was present sitting at Vlašim, Arnošt Leskovec from Humpolec, Jan Kamarét from Žirovnice, Sezima from Kunštát and Jevišovice and the younger brother of the commander Mikuláš Sokol from Lemberk Jaroslav. After crossing the border of a group of Czech and Moravian peasants, they stretched through the Dyje valley without resistance, plundered the surroundings of the town of Pernek and looted the women's monastery in Altenburg. After filling the wagons with wine, grain, and other goods and obtaining large numbers of cattle, they set out on the return journey without properly securing the area. However, carefree movement in enemy territory became fatal for them, as on October 14 they were surprised by the army of the Austrian militia near Bejdov, which was reinforced by local farmers and crews from Znojmo and České Budějovice. The command staff of this group consisted of experienced warriors such as the governor of České Budějovice Lipolt Krajíř of Krajek, the governor of Znojmo Jiří Laun and Ulrich and Martin Eicinger.

Battle

News of contemporaries

The Chronicle of the Catholic Soldier Bartošek of Drahonice speaks in the most detail of Czech written sources about the events of October 14, 1431. However, its data are insufficiently specific in this case and the numbers of stakeholders, including the losses of the Hussites, are considerably high. A list of foreign annals providing more detailed information on the encounter can be found in the book History of the Czech Nation in Bohemia and Moravia (Book XIII.) By the historian František Palacký.

Probable course

Although the battle is mentioned in several contemporary sessions, it is not possible to comment unequivocally on its course. It is possible that the Austro-Czech troops struck the Hussites at a time when they were most vulnerable, ie when they moved to the Czech border in a marching column. This attack was fatal for the Czech warriors, as they were unable to assemble a vehicle formation, thanks to which they could not resist significant resistance. However, there is the opinion of older historians that the encounter was strikingly similar to the Battle of Lipany. According to this court, the Czechs and Moravians detected the presence of enemy militants in time and managed to close the wagon wall. The first concentrated onslaught of home troops then repulsed and then set off into the open field to complete their victory by pursuit. However, the enemy's retreat was only feigned, the Austrians soon stopped the escape and, in cooperation with another division, hidden in the reserve, completely crushed the members of the rega.

Consequences and balance

Despite the fact that it is not possible to determine exactly how the battle went, it is clear that the victory of Lower Austrian cash was perfect. Historical sources state that 700-1000 Hussites died and 500-700 were captured on the battlefield. Only a small part of the soldiers managed to escape,

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