Monday, 30 November 2015

Port for Christmas

Can you see what it is yet?
Whilst the Duke of Milan is away I thought that I should make some headway building a key piece of terrain for the Christmas game.  Hopefully this will be a port for the island of Kos defended by Germans and Italians, and attacked by the British.

I have a number of other items to get ready but I will need Jon's British paras and E-Boat, and a brigade of Russ' British infantry with supporting artillery and tanks.  Mark should have enough amphibious equipment for the landing forces.

Let me know if you can all make it for a particular day and I will post a more detailed OOB in the next few weeks.

Saturday, 28 November 2015

Battle of Turin

Anatomy of a Milanese disaster. Those of a nervous disposition look away now...

With time running out, the French must attack or Milan wins the whole of North Italy.  Has a single battle ever been so important?  But two factors play into the French hands.  The landschnects have placed themselves in horrible terrain, limiting their movement, and the mounted crossbow fill the gap in the defences - giving the French Gendarmes the perfect target.  Let them shoot then charge them down.  The crossbow attempt to evade but one doesn't manage to.  The Retainers on the left meanwhile attempt to wipe out the other artillery group. Crucially the commander of the pike / artillery - caught in this furious charge - runs for cover (the mounted crossbow).  If they go, he goes.

The heavy French cavalry charge in.  The artillery on their extreme right is wiped out by the Retainers - who then unfortunately run into the pike and will not live long as a result. The Milanese condottiere countercharge the French gendarmes to protect the mounted crossbow but are now caught in-between - not good if they are forced to flee.  The remaining French forces slowly move up.

The condotierre are forced back through the crossbow (shaking them) and their own second rank (shaking them as well). The gendarmes make hay by ploughing through their shaken opponents.  The Retainers to their right are doomed BUT they prevent the unengaged unit of pike hitting the gendarmes in the flank.  This saves the French attack at the cost of the Retainers lives.  Note that the pike commander is still hiding amongst the crossbow.

With the artillery killed off, the condotierri are split.  One engages in an epic battle with the surviving retainers as the Gendarmes see off the remaining condotierri and plough into the shaken mounted crossbow.  The loss of one unit of condottieri shakes a pike unit close by and thus breaks up the pike block further.  The French attempt to mask their pike with crossbowmen to save their dense pike blocks (already shaken from gunfire).

The same action, but you can see the condottieri sitting shaken on the baggage, wondering what hit them.  The mounted crossbow meanwhile get both barrels from armoured lancers with high melee skills.   They run for it - taking the pike commander with them.  No pips for the pike!

A crucial part of the battle.  By rights the remaining unengaged gendarmes should just charge into the pike coming over the barricades.  But the French King automatically runs through the crossbow (shaking more units around them) and with 4 pips available the unengaged gendarmes instead put themselves in a position to charge the pike.  With no commander the pike have no orders and so can't react - oh dear, how sad, never mind...Meanwhile the French left have drifted over - leaving their artillery behind their gendarmes blast into the skirmishers who run for it.  The remaining cannon on the Milanese left also run for it after coming under crossbow fire.  The French pike are now free to run forward into the gaping hole forming in the Milanese centre.  The Duke of Milan sees his dreams crumbling around him.  His most powerful units are either leaderless (pike on his left) or stuck (landschnects in the middle in poor terrain).

The King and his gendarmes kill off another unit of condottieri in front of the Milanese baggage (their leader is stuck in a fight to the death with French retainers).  This mini-battle runs on and on - the condottieri just can't seem to be able to finish them off.

The Milanese pike roll for a commander replacement and he is placed with the closest pike unit to the gendarmes to provide morale support-  just as the gendarmes plough into them.  But he prevents another pike unit coming to help by blocking their way.  The King of Franch ploughs into the remaining condottieri in front of the baggage while French pike and crossbow reach the entrenchments with no-one to stop them.  The landschnects are powerless - they are stuck in the terrain and if they show their flank will have lance-armed retainers ploughing into them.  Milan's only chance is to kill the King's gendarmes attacking their left flank OR get the remaining condottieri to finish off the King's retainers and plough into the foot crossbow to cause moral checks.  But the retainers stay in the fight...

It gets worse for the Milanese.  The King's Gendarmes - having already seen off 2 units of condottieri and two of mounted crossbow AND captured the Duke of Milan's baggage - returns to smack some Milanese pike in the rear (just as his other gendarmes and handing out more damage to the pike they previously charged).  The remaining condottieri are STILL battling away with the King's retainers who resolutely refuse to die.  In the fields, the Milanese skirmishers are charged again and flee again...the French pike meanwhile climb over the entrenchments...its not looking good for Milan.

From the French view - carnage in the Milanese ranks as two units of pike are shaken and the French foot are piling through.  Only the setting sun can save Milan from a catastrophic defeat.  All those cannon lost to the French, who can capture them and use them against their old owners in the weeks to come.

The end is here.  The skirmishers in the field are caught in the open by the Gendarmes. The Milanese pike are routed completely.  The baggage is captured.  Although the Kings Retainers finally give up the ghost, the Milanese army retires, leaving cannon behind and the field to the French.  Zut alors!  Vive la France!

Friday, 27 November 2015

Battle of Turin (Spring 1505)

The French have beaten the Duke of Milan outside the walls of Turin and the city has surrendered to the victors.  The Duke and the remnants of his army have fallen back under the protection of their light cavalry.  There is jubilation in Paris but the French King is determined to push his advantage and conquer the Duchy.

At first it appeared that the Duke would secure the victory as his army had chosen a strong position bolstered by an immense train of artillery.  His engineer had worked hard to entrench many of these guns once the Duke had decided to vacate the protection of Turin and offer battle to the French.

The French commander was loathe to risk his army against such a position but many in his army were aware that the King had demanded a victory and the elite Gensd'armes clamoured for an immediate assault.  Much of the day of battle was spent by both sides manoeuvring whilst the Duke's artillery ineffectively bombarded the French host.

As the afternoon weared on the Gensd'armes demanded that an attack be launched and the French commander relented.  At this moment the Duke's mounted crossbow were deploying on the left flank to skirmish against the French heavy cavalry and they were caught in the first impetuous charge.  These light troops were able to evade with some difficulty and the Duke ordered forward his reserve pike formations and condottieri to counter the French attack.  However, the Duke's reserves came on piece meal and the French Gensd'armes and their retainers, after a fierce struggle, destroyed these troops and took the Duke's baggage in a final charge before dusk.

Many of the Duke's soldiers were ready to retire from the battle and the whole army was on the verge of route, and only night saved the whole force from disintegration.  Much of the artillery on the left flank had been over run and the Duke's engineer did well to retrieve a battery of heavy guns for future service.

The following day Turin surrendered and the French commander led his army through the main gate in triumph.  He wore full armour and carried his lance, the symbols of a conqueror.

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Autumn 1504 to Spring 1505 AD

The Venetian army had deployed some way from Padua seeking to exploit favourable defensive terrain amid the otherwise flat Po Valley.  The siege lines were thinly held but the garrison of Padua was in no fit state to intervene in the coming battle, whilst the Venetian army was well placed to prevent any attempt to resupply the stricken city.

Venetian engineers had been busy constructing a formidable line of entrenchments but the light cavalry had failed to provide any information regarding the strength or direction of the Papal army. After weeks of attempting to take Padua and with the loss of so many troops in pointless assaults it was as if the vitality had been drained from the Venetian commanders.

Pope Julius was with his army and was determined that an attack on the Venetians should be launched irrespective of any numerical disparity or impregnable entrenchments.  His generals advised caution but he knew that his pontificate required a victory on the battlefield.  His alliance with France had brought him no gains and Spain's influence had toppled the friendly regime in Florence leaving him without allies and facing Venice on his own.  He now had to contend with a reinvigorated Milan angered at his support for the attempted coup in Genoa and Florence was threatening to annex Urbino and increase the isolation of the Papal states.  Spanish intrigues had increased in Rome as the Spanish cardinals had been vocal in their criticism of his Francophile policies.  It was with some relief that he fled his critics in Rome and rejoined the army in Padua.

The Papal army was small but well motivated.  His general's dismay at the Venetian host turned to cautious optimism on closer study of the defences.  The Venetians were determined to hold the flat land on their right flank as this was ideal terrain for their force of mounted condottiere.  Infantry and artillery had been posted in the marsh land that connected this position with their left flank and baggage but they would be unable to move if an attack developed elsewhere.  Compounding this error, the Venetians had left their left flank open and poorly supported.  The Papal generals resolved on an all out attack against this left flank hoping that boldness would secure a victory against an isolated and open flank.

The Papal army moved quickly deploying artillery to play against the Venetian defences whilst infantry and men at arms moved to envelope the baggage.  The Venetians were shocked that their well emplaced artillery was unable to return the Papal bombardment and struggled to move their mercenary pike to plug the now obvious gap in their defences.  The Venetian commander could not believe that the small Papal army was the whole force facing him and held his mounted right flank in reserve in case another force attacked.  The Papal troops maintained this ruse with mounted messengers ostentatiously seeking non existent contingents.

However, Papal pressure on the left flank forced the Venetians to commit their whole army to the left.  The centre was stuck in the marsh but the condottiere moved swiftly to counter the Papal force.  In the last hour of daylight the Venetians launched a counter attack with pike and cavalry but were ably held by Papal gensdarmes.  A pike contingent routed and the lead condottier retired shaken leaving the whole Venetian army in peril.  As the shock of possible defeat reverberated along the Venetian lines it seemed possible that the Pope had achieved a victory against all the odds.  But the moment passed and as darkness descended the Papal army was prevented from exploiting this most favourable of opportunities.

The Pope was determined not to withdraw and resolved to keep his army on the field hoping that the disheartened Venetians would fall back and allow him to revictual Padua.  The Venetians were dismayed by their performance but not disheartened.  Most of the army had held and there were enough reserves to continue the battle and the Venetian commanders were now fully aware of the size of their adversary.  The Pope penned a letter during the night imploring the Duke of Ferrara to come to his aid as swiftly as possible, promising a famous victory over his deadliest enemy.

For some days the Pope held on whilst the Venetians reorganised their defence.  However, the superior Venetian light cavalry made it difficult for the Pope to secure supplies, and when after a week the Pope received a reply from Ferrara it was long on excuses and short on promises.  A council of war was summoned and the Pope was forced to accept the impossibility of his position and the now weakened army withdrew to friendly territory and winter quarters.  The following day Padua surrendered to the victorious Venetians.

Julius' situation was now completely undermined.  The Spanish cardinals on behalf of their king had been intriguing strongly against Julius since the summer.  The defeat outside Padua was the final proof of Julius' failure and the cardinals called an ecumenical council in order to dethrone Julius during the winter of 1504/05, arguing that his dissolute and warlike government had brought the church into disrepute across Europe.  The Emperor had lent his support as clergy across the Empire had complained that protests were mounting against this unholy papacy.  In reality, the Emperor sought to minimise French influence in Italy whilst Spain sought to extend its power in the peninsular.  A French delegation from Urbino attempted to defend Julius but they were ridiculed and ignored; French power was seen to be weak by all the delegates.  By epiphany 1505 Julius had been deposed and exiled to France.  His replacement, Calixtus II, was quickly installed by his Spanish backers.

The French King could not believe that the promising start to 1504 had resulted in reversals to all his plans.  Genoa had rebuffed all French intrigues, Milan had not only held out but had taken Savoy and Turin from the French.  Spain had replaced an allied government with the Medici in Florence and had now ignominiously turfed out their candidate from the Papacy.  Even Venice maintained a wary alliance with Spain in opposition to France.  As winter turned to spring, France lost its last foothold in Italy when Florence occupied Urbino and Spain trumpeted its new power by occupying Bologna in payment for its support of Florence and the new Pope.

The French king was resolved to make one last effort to secure his influence in Italy by launching an all out effort to defeat Milan.  He paid a subsidy to the English King and relinquished some territory to the Emperor in order to secure his northern and eastern territories whilst scouring his kingdom for supplies and money and marched an army across the Alps once more to besiege Turin.  The Duke of Milan was fully aware of the French threat and had stripped much of his Duchy to maintain a huge army on his threatened borders.

At first the Duke was content to sit behind the walls of Turin expecting the French to launch a typically impetuous assault against his reinforced walls.  However, the French were determined not to repeat the mistakes of the previous year and sat down to starve the garrison into submission.  The Duke could not afford to remain inactive in Turin whilst the rest of the Duchy was vulnerable and in late spring marched out his whole army and offered battle to the French.  The French commanders much preferred their chances in open battle and the challenge was accepted.

Once more the balance of power is set to change.  A French defeat would force the French King to sue for peace under the terms of "uti possidetis" which would result in all the gains made becoming core territories for their occupying states.  Milan would be the undoubted winner.  However, a French victory may result in the collapse of the over taxed and indebted Duchy and a resurgent France would be able to challenge the hegemony of Spain.

Thursday, 12 November 2015

It was a bridge too far


Rout lion and tiger from the landing zone

German units on table

 "Who do you think you are kidding  Mr Hitler"
German reinforcements

Recon battalion ready to cross the bridge

Air landing brigade blocked by armoured cars

Its all about close combats

Germans pass morale British don't
Finely balanced game could have gone either way
cheers Ian

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

1503 to 1504 AD

The Venetians were quick to accept the Spanish request for help.  A Fleet was sent to North Africa, where it helped in the subjugation of Oran and an army disembarked outside the walls of Bari, which soon capitulated.  The Spanish King was pleased to have a powerful ally in Italy which could maintain its position in the peninsular whilst he expanded his empire at the expense of the infidel.  However, by the summer of 1503 the Sultan had concluded peace terms with the Emperor and troops and ships were now free to counter the Spanish threat.  Reluctantly, the Spaniards also agreed to peace, returning Algiers but holding onto Oran.  The rebellion in Bari and the quick response of Venice had indicated how weak the Spanish position was in Italy, and an army was shipped to Naples as soon as peace was signed.

The Duke of Milan was determined to recover his position in Northern Italy before the great powers could effectively intervene and raised a large loan on the international market in order to finance its ambitions.  Novarra was soon recovered but many were surprised by the retaking of Como.  Como was the main aquisition of France in its campaign prior to the crusade and it had taken no precautions for its defence but counted on the continuing weakness of Milan.  This mistaken policy was successfully exploited by the Duke as Mont-Ferrat and Turin fell in succession.

France had been intriguing with the Church Party throughout 1503 as it attempted to wrest control of the Genoese government from Milan.  Much money was spent but the most influential citizens of the republic continued to see nominal independence under the protection of the Duke preferable to absorption by France.

Meanwhile France had been busy in cooperation with Florence and the Papacy.  A French army landed in Pisa and marched north against Lucca.  Confident that this small republic would quickly succumb to the might of France there was consternation that it took three assaults before the city fell; this boded ill for the future success of French arms.

In concert with this French attack, Florence and the Pope had combined their armies for an attack on Bologna.  Bologna had increased its defences during the winter and it stoutly held out against the initial attacks but the combined artillery train of the Allies had breached the walls by late spring and the combined Florentine Senate and Papal curia organised a joint triumphal march through the breached gates as a sign of their shared ownership of Bologna.

During the spring of 1503 there occurred the curious case of the death of Leonardo DaVinci.  Honoured by the Duke and revered as the saviour of his state by the whole of Italy, the Duke had been angered when DaVinci had sought new honours and greater wealth.  When the Duke discovered that DaVinci had accepted a lucrative position with the Florentines he ordered the ungrateful DaVinci to be imprisoned.  Soon after he was found poisoned and the whole of Christendom blamed the Duke; although he pleaded his innocence.

None of the combatants were in any fit condition to wage further campaigns in 1503 but the diplomacy was intense.  Behind the scenes, Spain and France vied for diplomatic supremacy whilst Machiavelli endeavoured to exploit the fluid politics of Italy to Florence's advantage.  Again, the French tried to improve their position in Northern Italy by engineering a coup in Genoa, and again, this was only just thwarted by Milan.  France now saw that it must bring it's main army from Lucca to Savoy in order to thwart any further attacks by Milan.  It's failure to secure Genoa meant that the army had to return by sea.  The Genoese had blockaded Savoy and a Venetian fleet sailed nearby.  The French were not sure of the Venetians intentions and decided to close with the Genoese and force their way through.  As the French galleys pushed into the blockading lines,  the Genoese were seen to buckle, and it was at this point that the Venetian admiral showed his hand.  Galeasses sailed up to support the Genoese van and used their superior firepower to drive off the French Galleys.  The French transports, that were positioned some way off from the battle,  decided that Savoy would be too difficult to attain and fled towards Marseille.  The uncommitted French Main and Rear thought that the transports could see more Venetian reinforcements over the horizon and fled in the same direction.  The French Admiral, who had led the French attack cursed the perfidy of Venice and joined the rest of his fleeing fleet.

Both the Pope and Florence now believed their treaty of non-aggression with Venice had been violated by the Venetian fleet and complained bitterly to the Doge and intrigued with the French.
During the winter of 1503/04 news of the French reverses reached the court in Paris and the army was ordered to cross the Alps into Savoy ready to attack Turin in the Spring.  The Duke of Milan rebuilt and reinforced all his conquests in anticipation of this attack.  The Duke especially hired German mercenaries to hold Turin and sent extra artillery to ensure its defence was effective.  Whilst the French moved against Turin the Duke attacked and took Savoy forcing the French to rely on a precarious supply route over the Alps.  The French commander, concerned that time was against him put his whole army into the siege lines determined to batter and assault his way into Turin.  The result was bloody, but by the slimmest of margins the German mercenaries were able to withstand each attack and the Duke's fearsome artillery wrought destruction amongst the French contingents.  Unable to maintain the siege by the summer, the French were in full retreat over the Alps.  The Duke was jubilant at his great victory and all in Italy were aware that the balance of power may have changed.

Meanwhile, the Pope was trying to exploit the French attack by laying siege to Padua, aware that Venice could expect no help from Milan.  The Duke of Ferrara was keen to help the Pope achieve his humiliation of Venice and joined him in the siege lines.  As part of this grand strategy, Florence advanced against Modena hoping to secure an easy victory against the overstretched Milanese. The Papal armies took Padua but the Florentines were repulsed and news of the French defeat and Florentine reverse led to riots in the streets of Florence as the Medici faction sought to exploit the news.  Many were still angry at Machiavelli giving up Urbino to the French and the Spanish were quick to send aid to the Medici, eager to extend their influence at the expense of France.  The news of the French defeat sparked a rebellion in the Romagna and the cry went out that the French in Urbino had aided this uprising.  Machiavelli fled Florence and during the summer months the Medici with Spanish support consolidated their regime.

The French court was dismayed at the continuous bad news from Italy and decided on a campaign to remove the Sforza Duke once and for all.  Its battered army retired to Dauphine were money was sent to rebuild it for a renewed attack in 1505.

The Pope was keen to maintain his campaign against Padua and chose to believe the Medici's promises of continued support.  However, aware of French weakness and prompted by Spain, Florence moved against Lucca in the late summer and then turned on the Romagna during the autumn.  The Pope was now bereft of support but was determined to protect his position in Ferrara.  The Venetians had been surprised by the temerity of the Pope but had assembled their whole force in Mantua and around Venice for the counter attack.  During the summer months both armies sought to divide the other without exposing their own armies to risk but by the autumn the Venetians were besieging Padua and on the brink of retaking it.  Venetian light troops harassed Ferrara but the Pope sought a decisive battle against the Venetian besiegers and all Italy looked on in anticipation of a clash that may decide the course of the campaign.

Saturday, 7 November 2015

Clash at Padua

Above is the battlefield for next week's clash between the Pope and Venice.  Mark, as the defender, has laid out the terrain but Jon must choose which side he will come on from.  I suggest Phil will play on Mark's side as he has experience of defensive works and Russ should play on Jon's side as he has experience of attacking defensive positions!

We will need to roll for baggage positions and then Mark will lay out roads to connect the baggage with the BUA and two areas of close cultivated terrain.  Please consider your plans for next week and let me know if you have any queries.

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

1501 to 1502 AD

The rulers of Italy took stock of their positions in the winter of 1500/01.  The Duchy of Milan, ravaged by rebellions and the marauding armies of France and the Emperor, had managed, with the aid of Da Vinci, to hold onto most of the Duchy and add Modena to the Dukes possessions.  His resources depleted he had become reliant on the support of Venice and the Emperor to withstand the French claim against his Dukedom.

The Venetians had marched forth confidently at the start of the year but Ferrara had withstood their attacks and Mantua had been their only gain.  The Imperial Army had devastated much of Terra Ferma in its march to aid Milan and so the Doge was expecting lower revenues this year when the disastrous news that the Grand Turk was mobilising against Christendom.  The Venetian ambassador to the Sublime Porte of Constantinople was imprisoned and the trading posts and colonies of the Venetian Empire clamoured for help as Ottoman galleys scoured the Mediterranean for plunder.  The Knights of St John beseeched the Doge for aid as they believed their stronghold in Rhodes was the Sultans next target.  The Venetian senate quickly sent a fleet to their principle base of Cyprus in anticipation of Turkish attacks.

Florence had, with some difficulty, taken Urbino and the Romagna but the heavy taxation needed to wage war had enflamed rebellions in Piombino and Camandoli.  Nevertheless, its diplomacy under the genius of Machiavelli has secured it a powerful voice in Italian politics and a strong influence at the court of the King of France.  Such influence helped secure a French candidate for Pope.

The new Pope, Julius, without any threat of interference from the other Italian powers and believing that his French friends could overawe any Spanish opposition, sought to expand his dominions to the south..  Aware that the papacy had fiefs in the old kingdom of Naples he ordered his army to take Abruzzi, thinking that the Spanish would overlook this challenge to their power.  The Spanish response was swift and it looked as if the Papacy itself would soon be overrun when news of the Ottoman threat hit the courts of Europe.

Pope Julius instantly called a crusade in order to forestall the Spanish attack.  Acutely aware of his weak position and his inability to call on his French sponsor he decided that influence with the Spanish court would be valuable in the future and so the Curia has been stacked with Spanish cardinals.

The Spanish King was gratified by the Popes gift but he too was keen to reach an accord with the Pope as the Ottomans menaced the long coastline of Spain and its Mediterranean possessions.  At the start of 1501 a Turkish tax was raised throughout the coastal provinces of Italy and the Spanish King formally asked for aid from the Venetians.  The Doge took a gamble and sent his remaining fleet to combine with Spain's navy.  During the summer this huge fleet manoeuvred against the Ottomans around Sicily and the southern coast of Italy and the Genoese fleet decisively defeated an Ottoman raid against Corsica.

The French King was disgruntled at the Pope's call for a crusade which had curtailed his attack against Milan.  Como was poor compensation for his efforts and he demanded Urbino from Florence which he saw as his due for giving the Florentine's a free hand in central Italy.  Machiavelli thought it prudent to keep the French on side and agreed to their demands.  There has been disquiet in Florence that Machiavelli was too quick to give away their hard won gains.

The Emperor's position was also harmed by the Ottoman threat. Keen to assert his authority in Northern Italy and prevent the French from increasing theirs, the war in the east forced him to abandon his Italian dreams.  He demanded Friulli as compensation, but the Venetians, fully aware that he would be too constrained by the Turkish threat, have refused his demands.

Meanwhile, the Duke of Ferrara is riding on a wave of popular support from his subjects.  Funded and beholden to the Pope he has repaired the city's defences, raised an army and constructed a powerful artillery with which he defied the Venetians throughout 1501 and 1502.  Able to raise taxes and loans he has begun construction on a new and elaborate form of artillery fortification which he claims will make Ferrara invulnerable to attack.

Lucca and Bologna have also increased their defences.  Dismayed by the absorption of so many once wealthy independent states they are determined to withstand absorption by their more powerful neighbours.  They are especially wary of Florence and have raised extra troops to defend their cities.

Genoa was the scene of political faction as the French sought to remove the Duke of Milans influence.  Bishop Campofregosa was especially active but his position was undermined by the Genoese victory against the Turks off Corsica and the successful campaign by the Duke of Milan against the rebels in Cremona.  At the close of 1502, Genoa remains a staunch ally of Milan.

The Duke of Milan was much weakened after 1500 and he struggled to put an army together against his rebel provinces.  However, an improved artillery train and the genius of DaVinci quickly overcame the rebel defences at Cremona.  Pont-Remoli was overawed by the Dukes resurgence  and was aware that Genoa was firmly in his camp, and so in 1502, it beseeched his protection.  Unfortunately, the rebels in Novarra have relied on aid from the King of France and have repeatedly refused to come to terms with the Duke.

Florence also used 1501 to recover its rebel provinces which proved expensive.  Bereft of the French alliance, Machiavelli judged 1502 would be an appropriate time to recover the states finances and await further political developments.

Venice also made capital from the crusade, confident that no major state would threaten it whilst the Ottomans menaced Christendom.  Aware that its Italian rivals were too weak to threaten its position it nevertheless looked on with dismay as Ferrara, with impunity, strengthened its defences.  However, in the summer of 1502, the Doge was informed that the Ambassador at Constantinople had been released and that the Sultan sought peace.  The Ottomans had struggled to overwhelm the Christian navies and valuable resources had been diverted from their armies in Hungary in order to withstand the counter attack launched by the Knights of St John and the Venetians.  The Spanish had turned a punitive raid in North Africa into a war of conquest as they sought to take the city of Tangiers.

The Emperor fought an indecisive campaign in alliance with the King of Hungary.  Arguments over precedence had led to delay in 1501 and in 1502, the Christian army looked on as southern Hungary was overwhelmed by the Turkish hordes.  However, the Sultan has been forced to make peace due to his failed campaign in the Mediterranean.  The Hungarian King has refused to pay any compensation to the Emperor and as peace is signed he once again demands Friulli from Venice.

The Spanish are not keen for peace as they have much to gain from their attacks in North Africa.  The Venetians are not interested in supporting Spanish demands and withdraw their fleet as they look to regain their "most favoured" trading status with the Ottoman Empire.  The Spanish King is resolved to continue the war on his own resources much to the dismay of his overtaxed subjects.  In the winter of 1502, the Italian city of Bari declares its independence.  With no army in Naples the Spanish King asks Venice for aid.