Published on Jul 23, 2012
The Thirty Years' War (1618--1648) was a series of wars principally fought in Central Europe, involving most of the countries of Europe.
It was one of the longest and most destructive conflicts in European history, and one of the longest continuous wars in modern history.
The origins of the conflict and goals of the participants were complex, and no single cause can accurately be described as the main reason for the fighting. Initially, it was fought largely as a religious war between Protestantism and Catholicism in the Holy Roman Empire, although disputes over internal politics and the balance of power within the Empire played a significant part. Gradually, it developed into a more general conflict involving most of the great powers of the time.
In this general phase the war became less specifically religious and more a continuation of the Bourbon--Habsburg rivalry for European political pre-eminence, leading in turn to further warfare between France and the Habsburg powers.
A major impact of the Thirty Years' War was the devastation of entire regions, denuded by the foraging armies (bellum se ipsum alet) (English: The war will feed itself).
Famine and disease significantly decreased the population of the German states and Bohemia, the Low Countries, and Italy, and most of the combatant powers were bankrupted. While the regiments within each army were not strictly mercenary, in that they were not guns for hire that changed sides from battle to battle, the individual soldiers that made up the regiments often were.
The problem of discipline was made more difficult by the ad hoc nature of 17th-century military financing; armies were expected to be largely self-funding, by means of loot taken or tribute extorted from the settlements where they operated. This encouraged a form of lawlessness that imposed severe hardship on inhabitants of the occupied territory.
The Thirty Years' War was ended with the treaties of Osnabrück and Münster, part of the wider Peace of Westphalia. Some of the quarrels that provoked the war went unresolved for a much longer time.
Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden
Gustav II Adolf (9 December 1594 -- 6 November 1632 AD) has been widely known in English by his Latinized name Gustavus Adolphus Magnus and variously in historical writings also as Gustavus, or Gustavus the Great, or Gustav Adolph the Great (Swedish: Gustav Adolf den store, a formal distinction passed by the Swedish Parliament in 1634).
He was King of Sweden (1611--1632) and founder of the Swedish Empire (or Stormaktstiden -- "the era of great power") at the beginning of the Golden Age of Sweden.
He led his nation to military supremacy during the Thirty Years War, helping to determine the political as well as the religious balance of power in Europe. He is thereby regarded as one of the greatest military commanders of all time. His most notable military victory was the battle of Breitenfeld. With a superb military machine with good weapons, excellent training, and effective field artillery, backed by an efficient government which could provide necessary funds, Gustavus Adolphus was poised to make himself a major European leader, but he was killed at the battle of Lützen in 1632. He was assisted by Axel Oxenstierna (1583--1654), leader of the nobles who also acted as regent after his death.
He was known by the epithets "The Golden King" and "The Lion of the North" by neighboring sovereigns. Gustavus Adolphus is commemorated today with city squares in Stockholm, Gothenburg and Helsingborg. Gustavus Adolphus College, a Lutheran college in St. Peter, Minnesota is also named for the Swedish king.
Documentary: Die Deutschen - Wallenstein und der Krieg 1618-1648
Music: Killer Tracks- Titan Warfare, Killer Tracks- Nation Rises, Killer Tracks- Brodd, Two Steps From Hell- The last stand, Killer Tracks- Final Atonement.
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