Osprey's Campaign title for the climax of the Italian Wars (1494-1559). The battle of Pavia has been hailed as the first modern battle, marking the rise of hand held weapons as a tool of warfare. In this titanic clash - the most decisive of the Italian Wars, caused by French territorial ambitions in first the Kingdom of Naples and then the Duchy of Milan - the French troops were smashed by the Spanish Imperial Army. King Francis I was captured, and the cream of his nobility slaughtered. France's greatest defeat since Agincourt, the battle dramatically swung the balance of power in Western Europe.