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The Battle of Dessau Bridge ( ) was a battle of the Thirty Years' War near Dessaumarker on April 25 1626. The Imperial Roman Catholic forces of Albrecht von Wallenstein defeated the Protestant forces of Ernst von Mansfeld in the battle.

With the entrance of King Christian IV of Denmark into the Thirty Years' War in 1625, Protestant forces that had been dealt one defeat after another were suddenly infused with fresh hope as Denmarkmarker became the first major European nation to formally enter the war since the Austrian defeat in the early years. With the new alliance came ambitious plans involving Christian of Brunswick, fresh from his victory at Fleurusmarker in the previous year. The projected campaign assigned Christian to assault the forces of Tilly in the Rhineland, and for Ernst von Mansfeld to challenge Albrecht von Wallenstein in the Archbishopric of Magdeburg.

Moving first, Mansfeld began his march towards Dessau in early spring, 1625. Wallenstein learned of his movements though, and hurried his troops, some 20,000 strong, to Dessau as well and established a bridgehead on the eastern side of the Elbe River. The two sides met soon after and, on April 25, Mansfeld began the battle against the inexperienced Wallenstein. With his infantry and artillery skilled to give illusion that his army was smaller than the Catholics, Mansfeld attempted to use the sheer weight of the number of his men to push across the river. This proved a great mistake as when the full extent of Wallenstein's forces was exposed, the assault quickly proved to be a deathtrap for Mansfeld. Before he managed to retreat, Mansfeld's casualties numbered at some 4,000 men, a third of his army. He hastily retreated up the Oder River into Silesia, and began a march for the Dalmatian coast to offer his army and its services to the Republic of Venicemarker. En route, he died and his army disbanded. Wallenstein, who at this point was pursuing Mansfeld, sent 8,000 troops to assist Tilly who was stationed near Brunswickmarker.


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