Continuing where the author left off in Battles of the Thirty Years War, this companion volume details the military aspects of the final years of this important early modern conflict. Whereas the earlier half of the war was dominated by a few climactic battles (White Mountain, Lutter, Breitenfeld, and Nordlingen), the later period consisted of a more drawn-out struggle between more evenly matched opponents. The successful general had to conduct strategic campaigns, in which battles, sieges, maneuvers, and logistics would all play a part. Guthrie examines broad questions of strategy, leadership, armaments, organization, logistics, and war finances.
Battles detailed in this volume include the Swedish victories of Wittstock, 2nd Breitenfeld, and Jankow; the French victories of Rheinfelden, Rocroi, Freiburg, and 2nd Nordlingen; as well as the anticlimactic action of Zusmarhausen. Guthrie emphasizes the unique aspects of the Thirty Years War, its place in the evolution of warfare and weapons, and the adjustment of the actual waging of war to the rise of the nascent linear system. Based on research previously unavailable in English, each campaign is recreated in detail, including orders of battle, tactics, and maps.
About the Author
William P. Guthrie is an independent researcher. Since receiving his PhD in 1992, he has written extensively on military history and the 17th century. This is his second book.
Table of Contents
The Early Thirty Years War
Baner's War and the Battle of Wittstock
Bernhard Sax-Weimar: The Battle of Rheinfelden
Torstensson's War: 1642-1645-Second Breitenfeld and Jankow
The Battle of Rocroi: The War in Flanders and France
Mercy and Turenne: The Battles of Freiburg and Second Nordingen
The Battle of Zusmarshausen: The End of the Thirty Years War
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
To a large degree this is a tactical nuts-and-bolts survey of the period in question, as Guthrie places the major battles and campaigns in context; both to the war itself and to the evolving conduct of linear warfare. The major emerging theme is that the Imperial coalition lost as much due to consistently inferior field command as they did to structural factors. As for negative points, there are occasional stabs at adopting a popular tone that jar with the rest of the book. Also, if one is going to argue that factors of military leadership were the ultimate explanation of the conflict's outcome, why not be more up front about this from the start?