Finely engraved news broadside map of the Battle of Hochst, issued in about 1622.
Shows the battle during the Bohemian-Palatinate War in the Thirty Years' War near Hoechst, with the area as far as Oberursel and the area between Königstein, Hanau, Schwanheim, Frankfurt and Kelsterbach along the course of the river Main.
Shows the engagement of the forces of County Tilly, Gonzalo Fernandez de Cordoba, and Colonel Knyphausen against the Protestant force commanded by Christian the Younger at the far left, with reinforcements marching to support the battle from the direction of Frankfurt and Hanau.
Below the engagement, at Hochst, a pontoon bridge (which would later fail) across the Main is shown, with troops retreating back to the south side of the river.
Further down the Main, another group is crossing the Main in the direction of Frankfurt.
Battle of Hochst
Prior to the battle, in April 1622, Johan Tzerclaes, the Count of Tilly had lost the Battle of Mingolsheim to Ernst von Mansfeld and Georg Friedrich, Margrave of Baden-Durlach. In early May, however, Tilly won a decisive engagement at the Battle of Wimpfen most of Georg Friederich's army, leaving only Christian of Brunswick and Ernst von Mansfeld to command in the coming battle. Meanwhile, even though Tilly had lost the army of Gonzalo de Córdoba, who had left, Tilly gained the support of the troops of General Tommaso Caracciolo and the count of Anholt, Johann Jakob.
Christian wanted to use the situation for a crucial strike against the Catholic League. With 12,000 infantrymen, nearly 5,000 cavalrymen, and three guns he moved from Westphalia along the Weser River shoreline, and through Hesse towards the Main River to unite his troops with armies of Mansfeld and Baden-Durlach, at Darmstadt. Continuing their mission of blocking a rendezvous between Mansfeld and Christian of Brunswick, the Catholic forces reached the river at Höchst on June 20 to find Christian's army already crossing the river.
The Battle of Höchst (June 20, 1622) was fought between a combined Catholic League army led by Johan Tzerclaes, Count of Tilly and Gonzalo Fernández de Córdoba and a Protestant army commanded by Christian the Younger, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg, close to the town of Höchst, today a suburb of the city of Frankfurt am Main.
On June 15, 1622, Christian reached the territory of the Archbishopric of Mainz at Oberursel. He sent Colonel Dodo zu Innhausen und Knyphausen with an advance guard of 1,500 men against Höchst to take the town and to safeguard the Main crossing point. However, the Höchst municipal troops successfully defended the town against Knyphausen's initial assault. On the 16th Knyphausen's troops finally stormed and plundered Höchst.
Two days later the Protestants started building a pontoon bridge across the Main. Meanwhile, Christian moved with his troops towards Höchst and destroyed the villages of Oberusel, Eschborn, and Sulzbach. At the same time the Catholic troops approached from Würzburg with 20,000 infantrymen, 6,000 cavalrymen, and 18 guns. On 19 June, they arrived at the Nidda River between Nied and Sossenheim late at night.
When the bridge was completed on June 20, Christian's baggage started to cross the river. Tilly planned to force Christian's troops back to the Höchst walls and the Main, isolating the two thousand troops in Sossenheim. Hence, Christian ordered his troops to withdraw over the pontoon bridge towards Kelsterbach, but under the Catholic artillery fire the withdrawal turned into panicked retreat. The bridge broke after only 3,000 men had crossed and many of Christian's soldiers and horses drowned in the Main.
By the time Höchst castle was captured at around 10 p.m., Christian had already lost a third of his army and was forced to retreat. Christian's entire baggage train and guns became Catholic loot. While the League troops lost only 100 soldiers, nearly 2,000 of Christian's soldiers died. However, Christian succeeded in escaping with 3,000 cavalrymen, 8,000 infantrymen, and his war chest.