The Breaking of Breisach

As 1637 rolled through, it took another major figure of the war with it. Ferdinand II had spent literally his entire tenure as Holy Roman Emperor fighting all comers for the right to rule as he saw fit, and it had killed him. The new Emperor Ferdinand III was just 29, a musician, architect, and […]

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Wittstock and Warfare

For all the fanfare of France’s entry into the fray, the initial results of French force of arms was less than spectacular. In the first campaign season, a French army marched into southern Belgium, swatted away the Spanish forces sent to intercept it, and linked up with the Prince of Orange at Maastricht. On paper […]

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Richelieu Intervenes

Nördlingen wasn’t quite a knockout punch for the Swedes, but the Protestant cause was near complete collapse. Aside from a fractured remnant of the Heilbronn League, Johan Baner’s Swedish army of 23,000 abruptly mutinied. Reduced by the war and disease, just 10 percent of the army was Swedish or Finnish. The vast majority of the […]

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The Ferdinands of Nördlingen

In a rare moment of unity, the death of Wallenstein brought a surge of optimism from all sides in the Thirty Years War. To the Swedes and their strongarmed Protestant allies, Wallenstein’s initial replacement was their ideal pick this side of a suicidal mayfly. Matthias Gallas was amiable, experienced, cautious, and a chronic alcoholic. In […]

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