Charles had inherited the Angevin claim to the kingdom, which was then ruled by Alfonso II, a member of an originally illegitimate branch of the royal dynasty of Aragon. The initial French advance went well. Milan was an ally. Medici-ruled Florence fell quickly, and the French helped with the restoration of Republican government. Pope Alexander VI realised that he didn't have the military strength to resist the French, and allowed them to pass through his lands. As the French approached Alfonso abdicated in favour of his more popular son Ferdinand II , but the new king was also unable to stop the French and was forced to flee to Sicily.
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This battle is classified as a draw and had little eventual consequence but did create a situation in which decisive results and consequences were possible.
In a strategic sense, the French were able to achieve their objective of continuing their retreat to France as a result of their tactical victory over League forces on every front.
However, League cavalry was able to loot the French baggage train, claiming , gold ducats as well as forcing most French soldiers to go without tents, dry clothes and food for the night Nicolle, Aside from sowing tensions among the League commanders, the League army may have been in a better state compared to the French after the battle, suffering proportionately fewer casualties and possessing more fresh soldiers.
Of course, neither army followed up the battle with any bold action, and thus the battle is remembered only as an indecisive draw. The League plan correctly identified the French center and Charles as the most promising target and allotted 10, men in the battlegroups of Gonzaga, Garlino, Fortebraccio and Montefeltro to defeat the 3, men of the French center and rearguard.
However, Nicolle appears to have forgotten to multiply the number of French lances, which denote units of six, not individuals, and as such Santosuosso is favoured in this regard. I did however add the 1, low-quality infantry to the French baggage train that Nicolle mentions 53 but Santosuosso omits. Dupuy, Trevor N. New York: HarperCollins, Santosuosso, Antonio.
Battle of Fornovo, 1495
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