Thursday, July 30, 2009

AR Dampierre (2) in the War in Friuli (Ger.: Friaul)

(War of Gradisca; Uskok War), 1615-1617

This was a precursor conflict of the Thirty Years’ War – in a sense like the Russo-Japanese conflict in Manchuria in the run-up to World War II. The war was an attempt by the Venetian Republic to end the depredations of the Uskok pirates in the Adriatic. The Uskoks, based at Senj, were refugees who had fled from their native lands as the Turkish Empire expanded into the Balkans. As vassals of the Austrian Archduke Ferdinand, they were under his protection. When the Venetians moved against them, Ferdinand was drawn into the conflict. Ferdinand was joined by his brother-in-law, King Philip III of Spain. Venice was supported by troops from Holland and England.

The war theater was quite small. The fighting took place largely in the Austrian province of Friaul (Istria) along a front roughly defined by the Isonzo River. The major event was the Venetian siege of Gradisca. There were many small actions in the countryside that were characteristic of partisan warfare and cavalry security operations. AR Dampierre took part in many of these, as follows:

Raid on Romans (Nov. 19, 1616)

Expedition against Palma (Dec. 1, 1617)

Siege of Gradisca (Apr. 1617)

Combat at Rubia (Jun. 27, 1617)

Combat of Mariano (Jul. 13, 1617)

In these operations, AR Dampierre sometimes acted as part of a task force that included 300 Polish horse and 600 Hungarian foot.

The war was concluded by the Treaty of Madrid in which Venice achieved its objectives with the complicity of the Austrians. Some of the Uskoks’ leaders were executed, and the Uskoks themselves were removed to the interior, where in future they would be more useful in fighting the Turks.

AR Dampierre moved on to participate in the Bohemian War.

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