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Johann Tserclaes, Count of Tilly
Historical Figure
Nationality: Spanish Netherlands (modern Belgium)
Religion: Catholicism
Date of Birth: 1559
Date of Death: 1632
Cause of Death: Tetanus resulting from a cannonball wound
Occupation: Soldier, Field Marshall
Affiliations: German Catholic League
1632 series
POD: May, 1631
Appearance(s): 1632
Type of Appearance: Direct

Johann Tserclaes, Count of Tilly (February 1559 - 30 April 1632), known as the Monk in Armor, was a General (Field Marshal) who commanded the Imperial and Holy Roman Empire's forces in the Thirty Years' War. He had a string of important victories against the Bohemians, Germans and later the Danish, but was then defeated by forces led by the King Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden. Along with Duke Albrecht von Wallenstein of Friedland and Mecklenburg, he was one of two chief commanders of the Holy Roman Empire’s forces.

Tilly was wounded at Breitenfeld (September 1631) where he lost to Gustavus Adolphus. He was wounded again at the Battle of Rain (April 1632), and died of tetanus 15 days later.

Count Tilly in 1632[]

At the time Grantville was teleported into the past, Count Tilly was already infamous for allowing his forces to ravage and maraud the German countryside, forcing thousands of refugees to flee. The most notable example was the sacking of Magdeburg.

Tilly finally went too far when he invaded Saxony in September, 1631. Initially, the elector of Saxony, John George, vacillated rather than turn to Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden for help. However, once Tilly took Leipzig, John George finally formally combined his forces with Gustav's.

The Battle of Breitenfeld was on September 17, 1631. Tilly lost to Gustavus Adolphus and was forced to retreat. The defeat can in part be blamed on Gottfried Pappenheim, who, without orders, launched an attack that was repelled and crushed. However, it is also true that Tilly was simply out-marshalled by Gustavus. Tilly was injured repeatedly during the battle, but refused to surrender, allowing his men to retreat in the night.

Tilly's downfall came in April, 1632, at the Battle of Rain. Tilly had been camped across the Lech River. Gustavus deployed guns built in the New United States, and had the aid of sniper Julie Sims. Tilly's leg was smashed by a Swedish shell, and he was carried from the field. Gustavus forced the river. Gustavus offered to send his surgeon to Tilly. Tilly died two weeks later.