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Following the death of Isabel of Castile in , Spanish and international politics took a turn, especially with the wedding between the king Don Fernando of Aragon and Germana de Foix, of the Royal House of Navarre. Fernando never trusted in the loyalty of Gonzalo. Although, this attitude of Fernando was totally unjustified. The hero, Gonzalo fell into disgrace.


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He was betrayed by his master. He relegated his figure to oblivion.

Gonzalo aged prematurely and got sick until he died in So that she will ask for permission from Emperor Charles V himself and he accepted her proposal. During his first command he was mostly employed in Calabria in mountain warfare which bore much resemblance to his former experience in Granada.

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There was, however, a material difference in the enemy. The French forces under d'Aubigny consisted largely of Swiss mercenary pikemen, and of their own men-at-arms, the heavily armoured professional cavalry, the gendarmes. With his veterans of the Granadine war, foot soldiers armed with sword and buckler, or arquebuses and crossbows, and light cavalry, who possessed endurance unparalleled among the soldiers of the time, he could carry on a guerrilla-like warfare which wore down his opponents, who suffered far more than the Spaniards from the heat.

His experience at Seminara showed him that something more was wanted on the battlefield. The action was lost mainly because Ferdinand, disregarding the advice of Gonzalo, persisted in fighting a pitched battle with their more lightly equipped troops.


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In the open field, the loose formation and short swords of the Spanish infantry put them at a disadvantage against a charge of heavy cavalry and pikemen. Gonzalo therefore introduced a closer formation, and divided the Spanish infantry into the battle or main central body of pikemen, and the wings of shot, called a colunella - the original pike and shot formation. The French were expelled by without another battle and he returned home. Second Italian War When the Great Captain reappeared in Italy he had first to perform the congenial task of driving the Turks out of Kefalonia, together with such condottieri as Pedro Navarro, helping the Venetian navy to reconquer the Castle of Saint Georges, 25 December , killing there over people including the Albanian born leader of the garrison Gisdar, to aid in the campaign against Frederick IV of Naples.

The Great Captain now found himself with a much outnumbered army besieged in Barletta by the French.

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The war was divided into two phases very similar to one another. During the end of and the early part of the Spaniards were besieged in Barletta near the Ofanto on the shores of the Adriatic. Meanwhile he employed the Aragonese partisans in the country, and flying expeditions of his own men, to harass the enemy's communications and distracted his men with a tournament between Italian knights under Ettore Fieramosca and French prisoners. When he was reinforced, and the French committed the mistake of spreading out their forces to forage for supplies, he took the offensive and pounced on his enemies' supply depot in the Cerignola.

There he took up a strong defensive position he was still outnumbered three to one , threw up hasty field works and strengthened them with wired entanglements. The French made a headlong front attack, were repulsed, assailed in the flank, and routed in only half an hour by the combination of firepower and defensive measures. Later operations on the Garigliano against Ludovico II of Saluzzo were very similar, and led to the total expulsion of the French from the Kingdom of Naples.

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Who was Francesco Guicciardini? In this last crusade, the last Nazarite Sultan, Boabdil , was taken prisoner, and was forced to sign a truce with Don Fernando, the king of Aragon. With this treaty he turned Granada into a vassal kingdom of Castile, leaving his children as a pledge.

Thus, Ahmed, son of Boabdil spent much of his childhood with the Great Captain, who treated him like a son, until he was returned to his father after the surrender of the city of Granada in Don Gonzalo was a skilful strategist on the battlefield. He knew very well how to organize his armies and he had multiple victories in Italy. He was admired by everybody.

Ciclo de Conferencias sobre Historia de España: Gonzalo Fernández de Córdoba (Parte I)

Pope Julius II wanted him for his personal guard. However, the Great Captain was loyal to King Don Fernando and he declined this offer and many other ones.


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