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The Battle of Domažlice

As an introduction, briefly to the circumstances and events which had preceded the Battle of Domažlice. Economic difficulties grew up in the society despite the external glossy appearance of the reign of Charles IV and the first signs of crisis manifested themselves the most markedly in the behaviour of the Catholic Church.
The first one who fought for the moral revival of the Church was Jan Hus whose message had not burnt during the flaming performance at Constance. On the contrary, his death lit a longlasting fire. The Hussite revolution started and its initial phase was born in the academia at the Prague University as its doctrinal programme the Four Articles of Prague at the beginning of the twenties of the 15th century. Any hope for change was eagerly accepted during the tight atmosphere of general discontent. The change came in July 1419 when a disorderly crowd of people led by Jan Želivský threw the councillors out of the windows of the New Town Hall. The First Defenestration of Prague and the strengthening Czech reform movement alarmingly shattered the confidence of feudal Europe and it caused a general consternation first but then it became an impulse for a mobilization of all forces against "heretical" ideas. The Catholic Church in the name of the cross declared the Czech nation a relentless fight and the decision was to use any means to achieve this goal. And crusades suited the purpose well. Altogether, there were five crusades send against the Czech heretics and the last one, the Fifth Crusade, ended with a battle which caused an unprecedented commotion on the European political and religious scene. That battle was no other than the Battle of Domažlice.
The Catholic Church had tried to knock down Hussite Bohemia for 12 years since the Defenestration of Prague and for the same time the Hussites tried to have some chances of hearing so that their theologians could freely defend the principles of the Four Articles of Prague. Since 1429 several serious attempts had been made to solve the conflict by negotiations but unfortunately, all of them failed.
The Pope Martin V called the Catholics to arms against the Hussites, declaring the Fifth Crusade and the Pope Eugene IV confirmed the decision of his predecessor.
On 18th March 1431 preparations started for the biggest crusade that the church was able to bring to the battlefield. 
The crusader armies were to hit the heretical Czechs from four sides. The strongest corps gathered near the town of Weiden, the troops from Saxony were to operate near Žatec, the troops of Albrecht of Bavaria were to invade Bohemia from Moravia. While the feverish preparations culminated under the command  of Frederick of Brandenburg on the German side, Prokop Holý had been already prepared with his troops at a tactically convenient place in the space between Karlštejn and Křivoklát.
The crusader armies moved to the Czech border on 1st August 14731 amd tjey crpssed tje ůamd bprders om tje area pf tje Bohemean Forest on the same day.
The crusade which promised the Catholic Europe so much just began.
The command of the Hussite troops also raised historically the strongest army ever but the ratio of both parties spoke clearly, as always, to the disadvantage of the Hussites. Neverthelles, there might have been about 140,000 men in arms at a time, which is an unimaginable number even by today´s standards. The crusader troops came to Domažlice from Tachov on 10th August and after a four-day siege connected with bombing and looting the suburbs there appeared Prokop Holý with his troops at about 2 p.m. on 14th August and certainly saved the town from total destruction. The victory at Domažlice was not an easy on as it is generally presented. The Hussites attacked the unformed enemy´s troops  and caught up with the confused fleeing crusaders outside Domažlice and they killed a considerable number of them in a local battle near Chodská Lhota. The strongest resistance was put up by the troop of lancers, members of Cesarini´s personal guard, defending themselves in wa wagons below the Rýzmberk hill. Even the following day, when there was a festival of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, the Hussites were chasing the crusaders in the fields and forests where they were seeking refuge in the trees. The fiery explosions of wagons filled with gunpowder and the chanting of victorious songs announced the end of the greatest foreign military intervention and the last crusade sent to Bohemia.  The debacle of the Fifth Crusade shook the whole Christian world and the Hussite victory definitely persuaded all their opponents that it would not be possible to root out the Czech heretical beliefs by force. The tone of  communication with Prague changed truly radically after the victory at Domažlice. The papal legate Cardinal Giuliano Cesarini who had previously campaigned for crusades suddenly became an advocate of diplomatic negotiations and invited Hussites to the Bastle Council. 
It was an incredible victory of the Czech matter when the highest authority of the Catholic Church recognized the hated heretics who had been sent to the stake before as equal partners. This exceptional achievement was crowned with singning The Judge Arranged in Cheb, a contract which guaranteed Hussites that during disputes about the Four Articles of Prague the true decisive authority would be the Bible and the Holy Scriptures not the church dogma and the wordl of the Pope. It was exactly what Jan Hus has demanded in Constance seventeen years before and what he had been burnt for.
Due to these results the Battle of Domažlice is considered extremely important. The battle really represented a turning point not only in the history of Bohemia, but also in the history of Europe.