Before Lechfeld, the Hungarians had periodically run amok over western Europe for over a century, marauding as far as Spain and Italy before returning laden with booty. Otto the Great, king of Germany and future Holy Roman Emperor, determined on a reckoning. Hearing they were besieging Augsburg, he confronted them on the plain of Lechfeld, at a site bounded by two rivers, thus restricting the scope for manoeuvre of the highly mobile Hungarian horsemen. As the armies closed, the Hungarian feinted a charge, but instead outflanked Otto’s left, descending on his Bohemian rearguard and slaughtering them. They then attacked from the rear, thus sandwiching Otto’s army. But Otto ordered Conrad the Red to wheel his Franconians and counterattack. Conrad did so, trapping the Hungarians. In close combat, the lightly armed Hungarians were routed, then remorselessly pursued. Thousands were killed, and the leaders captured and executed. The days of Hungarian marauding were over.
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