Gustavus Adolphus, Sweden and the Thirty Years War, 1630–1632 (Hardback)
As one of the foremost military commanders of the early seventeenth century Gustavus Adophus, king of Sweden, played a vital role in defending the Protestant cause during the Thirty Years War. In the space of two years – between 1630 and 1632 – he turned the course of the war, winning a decisive victory at the Battle of Breitenfeld and conquering large parts of Germany. Yet in English remarkably little has been written about him and no full account of his extraordinary career has been published in recent times. That is why Lars Ericson Wolke’s perceptive and scholarly study is of such value.
The book sets Gustavus in the context of Swedish and European dynastic politics and religious conflict in the early seventeenth century, and describes in detail Swedish military organization and Gustavus’s reforms. His intervention in the Thirty Years War is covered in graphic detail – the decision to intervene, his alliance with France, his campaigns across the breadth of Germany and his generalship at the two major battles he fought there. His exceptional skill as a battlefield commander transformed the fortunes of the Protestant side in the conflict, and he had established himself as a major European figure before his death on the battlefield.
Lars Ericson Wolke, one of the leading experts on the military history of the Baltic and the Thirty Years War, offers a fascinating insight into Gustavus the man and the soldier.