November 8 - 1620 - The Battle of White Mountain
The Battle of White Mountain was the decisive battle of the early part of the Thirty Years' War. The Thirty Years' War really began in Prague when the Protestant nobility of Bohemia threw the Catholic representatives of King Ferdinand out of a window. Because Ferdinand was also the Holy Roman Emperor, he was able to amass a large army against Bohemia. Meanwhile, Bohemia would elect a new King, the very Protestant Frederick V, Elector Palatine. This elevated Frederick from a minor prince to a King, and was seen to provide a variety of Protestant alliances for the Bohemians. They needed it, because Emperor Ferdinand had gathered his own army, which was much better trained and drilled under the command of Johann Tsercales, Count of Tilly. Tilly's army carved through Western Bohemia, and easily came upon Prague in the late fall of 1620. The Bohemian army came out to meet Tilly's force at White Mountain near Prague, where they were routed. Almost as soon as any engagement took place, the Bohemian army fled the field. Frederick and his family needed to flee Prague, and Ferdinand would reclaim the throne of Bohemia, re-Catholicizing the nation by force.