Bavaria : Landshut War of Succession, 1504-1505

A.) Prehistory

In the 14th century, the Duchy of Bavaria (Baiern or Bayern in German) was split in three lines - Baiern-Straubing (-Ingolstadt), Baiern-Landshut and Baiern-München. In 1447, Duke Heinrich of Baiern-Landshut annexed the territory of Baiern-Straubing, whose last duke (and his prisoner) had died without an heir. In 1503, Duke Georg 'the rich' of Baiern-Landshut (he resided in Burghausen) died without an heir.

B.) The Feud

Both Count Ruprecht von der Pfalz (the 'Palatinate') and Duke Albrecht of Baiern-München contested the inheritance. In April 1504, Count Ruprecht had the most important cities and castles occupied; he enjoyed the support of the nobility of Lower Bavaria and Bohemian mercenaries entered his service. Count Ruprecht commanded over a force 30,000 strong. The Swabian League sided with Duke Albrecht.
Emperor Maximilian supported Duke Albrecht, as did Margrave Friedrich of Bayreuth and Brandenburg. A Bayreuth force of 3,000, which had pillaged the Oberpfalz, was surprised by 1,000 Upper Palatine forces and routed them, at Waldengefälle on August 8th 1504.
The combined Habsburg-Upper Bavarian force, 60,000 strong, defeated the Lower Bavarians and Bohemian mercenaries at Wenzenbach September 12th 1504 ; Upper Bavarian forces occupied Lower Bavaria. An Imperial force laid siege to the forrtress of Kufstein, held by troops loyal to Count Ruprecht, in September 1504. The city surrendered on October 12th.

C.) The Legacy

Duke Albrecht ceded the districts of Kufstein, Kitzbühel and Rattenburg to the (Habsburg) County of Tyrol, the Bavarian territory in Burgau to Habsburg Burgau (Cologne Recess July 30th 1505). Neuburg became seat of the Wittelsbach sideline Pfalz-Neuburg. The Duchy of Bavaria, unified after one and a half centuries of partition, was not to be partitioned again, and thus came to play the role of one of the Holy Roman Empire's larger territories.

Chronik von Bernhardswald, timeline in German
Albrecht IV. Herzog von Bayern 1504-1508, posted by Heinz Wember, in German
Die Schlacht zwischen Neusorg und Schwarzenreuth am 8. August 1504 (the Battle between Neusorg and Schwarzenreuth on August 8th 1504), from Fichtelgebirgsverein
Die Belagerung von Kufstein 1504, from Tirol Edition (The Siege of Kufstein), in German
REFERENCE Andreas Kraus, Geschichte Bayerns von den Anfängen bis zur Gegenwart, München : C.H. Beck 1988

This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted on February 21st 2004, last revised on November 17th 2004

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