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Franco-Austrian War
Principia Moderni III
Date 1529 - 1531
Location Rhineland, North Italy
Result Austrian-Imperial Victory
  • Treaty of Trier
  • Liberation of Trier
  • Creation of Elsaß-Lothringen
  • Territorial changes in the Rhineland
Pavillon royal de la France France
  • Ancient Flag of Burgundy Burgundy
  • Flag of Lorraine Lorraine
Banner of the Holy Roman Emperor with haloes (1400-1806) Holy Roman Empire
Commanders and leaders
Pavillon royal de la France Jean Pierre Valois-Arc Flag of Austria Charles V

Flag of Bavaria (lozengy) Heinrich XVII
Flag of the Duchy of Milan (1450) Stephano the Great
Flag of ducal Hamburg PM3 V2 Friedrich II
Swabian Flag One Eberhard I
Flag of England Otto von Greiffenklau
Balthasar von Habsburg

Total: 610,000 Total: 265, 000

The War of the League of Innsbruck, also known simply as the Franco-Austrian War was a war between the state of France and the Holy Roman Empire, lasting from 1529 to 1531. The war began following pressure from states of the empire to retake the Archbishopric-Electorate of Trier, which had been previously been occupied by France previously, as well as liberate provinces of the empire held by foreign powers in the Rhineland. Although primarily a war to gain land in the Rhineland and gain influence among the states of the empire, the war also had an underlying sense of German nationalism, championed through propaganda and speeches created by the newly selected Archbishop Otto von Greiffenklau, who in turn was hoping to gain extended power over his domain.

War broke out with an Austrian invasion in 1529, following a successful petitioning of the Reichstag for use of the Reichsarmee against France. Initially France was successful in their defense, however costly defeats at the Siege of Luxembourg and other battles would eventually erode their supplies and morale, giving the Germans enough time to mobilize forces from across the empire. Faced with pressure from Lombardian forces in Savoy and German forces in the Rhineland, the French were forced to pull back. With France proper now encircled the nation of France was eventually forced to surrender.

In the aftermath of the war the belligerents signed the Treaty of Trier, ending hostilities among the combatants. The Archbishopric-Electorate of Trier was liberated from French control, as were several other German states subjugated by the French previously. The war would greatly shift the boundaries in the Rhine, as well as cause several territorial changes among states in the ensuing peace.


Invasion of Trier

In 1501 the nation of France launched an invasion of the Electorate of Trier, marching east from their possessions in the Rhineland. Unable to retaliate in time, the nations of the Holy Roman Empire were defeated, and Trier was overwhelmed. By the end of the year the city of Trier was under French occupation, as were cities in the Treverite vassals of Julich and Zweibrücken. Swiftly defeated by the French, the nation of Trier accepted an unconditional surrender that same year. Archbishop-Elector Christian von Württemberg, ruler of Trier, was forced to swear fealty to the French king, losing sovereignty over his possessions.

The unexpected subjugation of one of the empire's most influential states added to an already unsettling hatred toward the nation of France among Germans. By this time much of the Rhineland; provinces of the Holy Roman Empire, had been seized or vassalized by French forces, causing the German states to lose significant control over the region. In an effort to retake their lost territory, many German lords begin petitioning for an immediate counterattack, but unable to muster the forces or support at the time, the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V was forced to wait.

League of Innsbruck

Over the next few years the German states with interest in the Rhineland would begin gathering forces for an operation to liberate Trier. In 1529 the League of Innsbruck was created as a military alliance led by Holy Roman Emperor Charles V to directly combat Jean Pierre Valois-Arc of France. Charles V approached several Imperial states in an effort to gather support for a liberation, including Heinrich XVIII of Bavaria, who was approached by Charles V several years before the official creation of the alliance. Heinrich was both an ally of Charles' and an ally of the former Treverite government under Archbishop Elector Christian von Württemberg, and promised support against the French when the time came.

The alliance was officially commissioned in 1529 after a meeting in Innsbruck. Shortly afterword a meeting of the Reichstag was called in Augsburg by Charles' kinsman Chancellor Balthasar von Habsburg the Vespertilio. The ensuing meeting, known as the Reinland Befreiung (Rhineland Liberation), which called for a joint Imperial campaign to push back the foreign French invasion and return them to their rightful owners, was unanimously passed.

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