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The Battle of Lutter (Lutter am Barenbergemarker) took place during the Thirty Years' War, on 27 August 1626, between the forces of the Protestant Christian IV of Denmark and those of the Catholic League. Lutter am Barenbergemarker lies to the south of the modern town of Salzgittermarker, then within the Imperial Circle Estate of Lower Saxonymarker, and now in northwest Germanymarker.

The battle resulted in a heavy defeat of Christian IV's troops by those of Emperor Ferdinand II, led by the Catholic League general Johan Tzerclaes, Count of Tilly.


Christian IV, as a Lutheran, allied with Ernst von Mansfeld in a military campaign he had planned to start in Thuringiamarker in central Germanymarker, and then take to its south. His intention was to bring relief to German Protestants, who had been severely defeated a few weeks earlier in the Battle of Dessau Bridge.

With the participation of Christian IV, the Thirty Years' War, which had hitherto been confined to opposing factions of the Holy Roman Empire, now extended to other European powers, though Christian, as Duke of Holstein, was not a complete foreigner.

The battle

Tilly succeeded in drawing Christian's army to Lutter and forcing it into open battle. The imperial infantry broke through the Danishmarker line on three occasions but each time was repulsed by a cavalry counter-attack. However, eventually the Danish army was no longer able to maintain its ground and when its entire artillery fell to the hands of the enemy, panic set in and the Danes retreated towards the town of Stademarker. The Danish losses were approximately 6,000 dead and 2,500 prisoners.


The battle was a irreparable blow to Christian IV and Denmarkmarker. It forced the Protestant German princes to sue for peace and Ferdinand II could have ended the war then satisfied with Imperial catholic gains but instead issued the Edict of Restitution which brought Sweden into the war.

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