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The Thirty Years War - Coalitions against the Habsburg Empire

An uprising 1618 in Bohemia against the Catholic Habsburg Emperor initiates the two big political European "parties" to start a war against one another.

Habsburg and Anti-Habsburg
Nearly the complete European Territory had been ruled by the Roman-Catholic Habsburg Empire. Members of the Habsburg family sat on the Spanish throne, dominated parts of Italy, Burgundy and some overseas colonies. The Austrian Habsburgers with the Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire ruled upon Germany, Austria, Hungarya, Bohemia and Wallonia.

The anti-Habsburgers were the provinces of northern Netherlands (which just had got free from Spanish domination in 1609), France, Bohemia, England, Sweden, Denmark and the Union of protestant German Nobles lead by Frederic V. of Pfalz.

Habsburg-follower Duke Maximilian, Electorate of Bavaria, was the leader of the German Catholic association, called Catholic Liga. The Liga´s military commander was Count Tilly.

1620 Battle at the white mountain
Defeat of the Bohemian army, the fighting swept over to southern German territory of upper Rhine area and the Pfalz.

1621-1623 Pfalz war
The result of this war was the Occupation of upper and lower Pfalz area by Spanish-Bavarian Troops. Armed conflicts are regionally restricted, but interrelation of forces within Germany becomes unstable.

1625-1629 Danish war
Danish troops under Christian IV. invade Northern Germany. The Danes are defeated by the armies of Tilly and Wallenstein and have to retreat back home.
Bavarian and Imperial troops occupy the baltic coast area to face a supposed Swedish invasion. Towards the end of the 1620s Wallenstein, a Bohemian nobleman an leader of a mercenary army in the Emperor´s service, controls Mecklenburg, Schleswig-Holstein, Jütland and later parts of Pommerania and Brandenburg.

1630 Wallenstein´s army dissolves.
Growing political opposition against the person of General Wallenstein leads to his discharge, his army is dissolved.

1630-1635 Swedish war
Swedish victory at Breitenfeld 1631, Lützen 1632, defeat at Nördlingen 1634. The desintegration of Wallenstein´s army led to Sweden´s entry into war. Financial support by the German Protestant coalition enabled the Swedish King to lead a victorous campaign through Germany. Even after their defeat in 1634 the Swedish still play an eminent part in the German theater of war.

1635-1648 France enters the theatre, Swedish-French war
France makes a subsidies contract with Sweden and supports the Netherlands in the fight against Spain. In the Baltic region, Sweden also fights against Poland for parts of the baltic coast. A piece contract between the French king and Poland enables the Swedish King to send his baltic-bound troops into Germany.

1638 France declares war to Spain
After having fought at the Spanish frontier, a strong French army under the command of the Prince of Condé and Turennes marches to Southwest Germany.

Westfalian peace 1648
Since the 1630´s the war tended to slow down. Germany, the war´s main theatre, had been totally plundered and became increasingly unable to feed the massed troops. Marauding soldiers passing through the land were a plague for the peasants.
The fighting states were financally unable to continue the war. A decisive victory for either of the parties had become impossible for mere lack of money. The end of the war was concluded 1648.

Winners and loosers
The Habsburgers did not succeed in dominating over whole of Europe, nevertheless negociations at the war´s end set the basis for the Austro-Hungarian monarchy.
France becomes the dominating Force within Europe. Germany stays ununited, the land had been devastated by the fighting armies, the population deminished, trade and business layd down.

The military development during the war
Soon after the start of the war, the local levies who had hitherto been mobilized in case of a war, had been replaced by hired mercenary troops. Their leaders acted as private undertakers or businessmen ordered by the Emperor or one of the fighting coalitions to rise one or several companies or even whole regiments. Some of them like Wallenstein became rich and got political influence as a general. As troops used to change sides when they did not get their payment, originally Catholic leaders could fight under Protestant order or vice-versa. Indeed, the war was fought not in first rate for religious conviction but for reasons of political influence.
A big part of the troops were foreign mercenaries, especially many a Scotsman, Irish- and Englishman, also German - all these in Swedish service. The Swedish king alone payed 20 scottish regiments between 1624 and 1632. The Holy-Roman-Catholic Emperor´s Army saw many more foreign faces within its ranks.

1/72-174: Thirty Years War 1618-1648 (1), Imperialistic Catholic Troops I

Imperialistic foot regiments, 2 flags / Spanish foot flag ca. 1600-1650 / Imperial regiment of foot Verdugo / imperialistic horse troops, 2 different flags / Bavarian horse troop flag / Imperialistic musketeers flag.

1/72-175: Thirty Years War 1618-1648 (2), Bohemian Campaign 1618/20
May be used for the Battle at White Mountain 1622.

Imperialistic foot regiment flag / Bavarian foot regiment flag / Bavarian horse troop flag / Imperial horse troop flag / Bohemian foot regiments, 2 different flags / horse troops, 2 different flags.

1/72-176: Thirty Years War 1618-1648 (3), Protestant Troops I

Danish regiment of foot, flag / Scots regiment of foot, flag / Swedish regiment of foot, flag / "Schlammersdorf" regiment of foot, flag / Earl of Mansfield Army regiment of foot, flag / Swedish horse troops, 2 different flags.

1/72-177: Thirty Years War 1618-1648 (4), Protestant Troops II

Swedish foot regiments, 2 different flags / Swedish horse troops, 3 different flags / Houwald´s regiment of foot, flag / Earl of Mansfield Army regiment of foot, flag.

1/72-178: Thirty Years War 1618-1648 (5),Imperialistic Catholic Troops II: 1632
May be used for the Battle of Lützen 1632.

Imperialistic foot regiment flag / Bavarian foot regiment flag / Mansfeld regiment of foot, flag / "Breuner" regiment of foot flag / Bavarian horse regiment of Tilly, troop flag / Imperialistic horse flag / Mansfeld regiment of horse, flag / Pappenheim cuirassiers flag.

1/72-179: Thirty Years War 1618-1648 (6), Protestant Troops III: 1632
Gustavus Adolphus Army. May be used for the Battle of Lützen 1632.

Gustavus Adolphus Life Guard Regiment, Flag / the Old Blue regiment of foot, flag 1633-35 / Wilhelm Bürt´s Old White regiment of foot 1632 / Bernhard von Sachsen cuirassiers flag / Uppland horse, 2 different flags / Oehm´s horse troop flag / Wilhelm von Weimar horse Life Guard flag / Tott´s horse, 2 different flags.

1/72-180: Thirty Years War 1618-1648 (7). French Infantry flags.

One flag each for:
Regiment de Turenne / Regiment de Calvisson / Regiment de Picardie / Regiment de la Champagne / 2 different for Gardes Francaises

1/72-181: Thirty Years War 1618-1648 (8), Netherlands and Spanish foot regiments.

Spanish foot, 2 different flags / Netherlands foot, 2 different flags

30YW Books

Richard Brzezinski / Richard Hook: The Army of Gustavus Adolphus, 1 Infantry.
Osprey Men-At-Arms Nr. 235, London.

Richard Brzezinski / Richard Hook: The Army of Gustavus Adolphus, 2 Cavalry.
Osprey Men-At-Arms Nr. 262, London.

Richard Brzezinski / Graham Turner / David G. Chandler:
Lützen 1632 - Climax of the Thirty Years War.
Osprey Campaign Nr. 68, London.