Login *:
Password *:


5-03-2015, 02:29

KUTNA HORA, 21 December 1421

In this anti-Hussite crusade the city of Kutna Hora was King Sigismund’s objective, being the key to control of eastern Bohemia. His army appears to have contained a particularly large Hungarian contingent (15,000 men, mostly cavalry, commanded by the Florentine condottiere Filippo Scolari, usually called Pipo Spano), also including Silesians, Lusatians and Austrians. In all the royalist army allegedly totalled 50-60,000 men, and certainly it outnumbered the Hussites by 3 or 4 to 1 by the time of the battle, the latter being only 10-12,000 strong under Zizka. In fact as Sigismund’s army spread out before Zizka’s wagon-fortress (which had drawn up with the town to its back, after marching out of Kutna Hora oblivious to an anti-Hussite conspiracy brewing there), the king’s forces actually filled out some gaps in their front with cattle in order to make their numbers seem even greater.

Pipo’s cavalry made repeated frontal attacks against Zizka’s positions throughout the day in order to keep the Hussites continually occupied, always falling back as they came within range of the Hussite guns but, according to one source, nevertheless suffering heavy losses from these. However, as the early dusk of this shortest day fell, Pipo despatched a body of cavalry round Zizka’s right flank to the Kolin Gate of Kutna Hora which, at a pre-arranged signal, was thrown open to them by the militia detachment that was supposed to defend it. A general rising ensued within the town; all adherents of Zizka’s cause were massacred, and in the darkness the royalist right flank was now extended down to the Kourim Gate at the opposite end of the city, leaving the Hussite army before Kutna Hora surrounded and completely isolated as night fell.

Zizka managed to extricate himself from this dangerous situation by attacking Sigismund’s headquarters early the next morning, using his wagon-mounted guns to punch a hole through the royalist lines, thereby enabling him to escape with his entire wagon-fortress.