Johann Tserclaes Tilly (Graf von Tilly), the Flemish field marshal, was born in Belgium in 1559. At the outbreak of the Thirty Years' War in 1618, he was made commander of the armies of the Catholic League.
He won the Battle of Wiesserberg (White Mountain) near Prague in 1620; defeated the Protestant forces at Wimpfen (now Bad Wimpfen, Germany) in 1622 and conquered the Lutheran Prince Christian of Brunswick at Stadtlohn, Germany in 1623.
He was then created a Count of the Holy Roman Empire. His defeat of King Christian IV of Denmark at Lutter am Berenberge in 1626 led to the signing of the Treaty of Lübeck in 1629. When the Protestant armies of Sweden invaded Germany in 1630, Tilly replaced Albrecht von Wallenstein, Duke of Friedland, as commander of the imperial forces of the Catholic Holy Roman emperor Ferdinand II.
In 1631 Tilly captured the city of Magdeburg, Germany, but was defeated at Breitenfeld, Germany, the same year by Gustav II Adolph, King of Sweden.
At the Battle of the Lech in 1632, Tilly's troops were again defeated by Gustav and he himself was mortally wounded.
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