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The History of the Thirty Years War

If you have been reading our Domestic Annals of Scotland you'll have seen reference to the fact that up to 30,000 Scots went to fight in this war on the side of Germany although it is also true to say that Scots also fought on the other side as well.  Great concern was shown in Scotland at that time as to the many young men that were leaving the country.  It is for this reason that I wanted to bring you a story of this war so we can better understand why so many Scots went to fight in it.

From our book Scots in Germany - "But only when the bloody torch of the Thirty Years’ War (1618-1648) shed its lurid light over the whole of Europe and when Gustavus Adolfus’ fame, not only as that of a saviour of the cause of protestantism, but also as that of an unusually brilliant general and strategist, rapidly spread over the civilised world, a great number of Scottish officers, many of them of noble rank, enlisted in the Swedish Army, to go, as it were, through the high school of military training, and Scotland became the country in which by far the most numerous levies of soldiers for the "Lion of the North," were raised. Between twenty and thirty thousand men made the cause of the Swedes and of German Protestantism their own."

The History of the Thirty Years' War
by Frederick Schiller
Translated from the German by the Rev. A. J. W. Morrison, M.A.


The present is the only collected edition of the principal works of Schiller which is accessible to English readers.  Detached poems or dramas have been translated at various times, and sometimes by men of eminence, since the first publication of the original works; and in several instances these versions have been incorporated, after some revision or necessary correction, into the following collection; but on the other hand a large proportion of the contents have been specially translated for this edition, in which category are the historical works which occupy this volume and a portion of the next.

Schiller was not less efficiently qualified by nature for an historian than for a dramatist.  He was formed to excel in all departments of literature, and the admirable lucidity of style and soundness and impartiality of judgment displayed in his historical writings will not easily by surpassed, and will always recommend them as popular expositions of the periods of which they treat. Since the first publication of this edition many corrections and improvements have been made, with a view to rendering it as acceptable as possible to English readers.

  • Book I
    Introduction. -- General effects of the Reformation. -- Revolt of Matthias. -- The Emperor cedes Austria and Hungary to him. -- Matthias acknowledged King of Bohemia. -- The Elector of Cologne abjures the Catholic Religion. -- Consequences. -- The Elector Palatine. -- Dispute respecting the Succession of Juliers. -- Designs of Henry IV. of France. -- Formation of the Union. -- The League. -- Death of the Emperor Rodolph. -- Matthias succeeds him. -- Troubles in Bohemia. -- Civil War. -- Ferdinand extirpates the Protestant Religion from Styria. -- The Elector Palatine, Frederick V., is chosen King by the Bohemians. -- He accepts the Crown of Bohemia. -- Bethlen Gabor, Prince of Transylvania, invades Austria. -- The Duke of Bavaria and the Princes of the League embrace the cause of Ferdinand. -- The Union arm for Frederick. -- The Battle of Prague and total subjection of Bohemia.

  • Book II
    State of the Empire. -- Of Europe. -- Mansfeld. -- Christian, Duke of Brunswick. -- Wallenstein raises an Imperial Army at his own expense. -- The King of Denmark defeated. -- Death of Mansfeld. -- Edict of Restitution in 1628. -- Diet at Ratisbon. -- Negociations. -- Wallenstein deprived of the Command. -- Gustavus Adolphus. -- Swedish Army. -- Gustavus Adolphus takes his leave of the States at Stockholm. -- Invasion by the Swedes. -- Their progress in Germany. -- Count Tilly takes the Command of the Imperial Troops. -- Treaty with France. -- Congress at Leipzig. -- Siege and cruel fate of Magdeburg. -- Firmness of the Landgrave of Cassel. -- Junction of the Saxons with the Swedes. -- Battle of Leipzig. -- Consequences of that Victory.

  • Book III
    Situation of Gustavus Adolphus after the Battle of Leipzig. -- Progress of Gustavus Adolphus. -- The French invade Lorraine. -- Frankfort taken. -- Capitulation of Mentz. -- Tilly ordered by Maximilian to protect Bavaria. -- Gustavus Adolphus passes the Lech. -- Defeat and Death of Tilly. -- Gustavus takes Munich. -- The Saxon Army invades Bohemia, and takes Prague. -- Distress of the Emperor. -- Secret Triumph of Wallenstein. -- He offers to Join Gustavus Adolphus. -- Wallenstein re-assumes the Command. -- Junction of Wallenstein with the Bavarians. -- Gustavus Adolphus defends Nuremberg. -- Attacks Wallenstein's Intrenchments. -- Enters Saxony. -- Goes to the succour of the Elector of Saxony. -- Marches against Wallenstein. -- Battle of Lutzen. -- Death of Gustavus Adolphus. -- Situation of Germany after the Battle of Lutzen.

  • Book IV
    Closer Alliance between France and Sweden. -- Oxenstiern takes the Direction of Affairs. -- Death of the Elector Palatine. -- Revolt of the Swedish Officers. -- Duke Bernhard takes Ratisbon. -- Wallenstein enters Silesia. -- Forms Treasonable Designs. -- Forsaken by the Army. -- Retires to Egra. -- His associates put to death. -- Wallenstein's death. -- His Character.

  • Book V
    Battle of Nordlingen. -- France enters into an Alliance against Austria. -- Treaty of Prague. -- Saxony joins the Emperor. -- Battle of Wistock gained by the Swedes. -- Battle of Rheinfeld gained by Bernhard, Duke of Weimar. -- He takes Brisach. -- His death. -- Death of Ferdinand II. -- Ferdinand III. succeeds him. -- Celebrated Retreat of Banner in Pomerania. -- His Successes. -- Death. -- Torstensohn takes the Command. -- Death of Richelieu and Louis XIII. -- Swedish Victory at Jankowitz. -- French defeated at Freyburg. -- Battle of Nordlingen gained by Turenne and Conde. -- Wrangel takes the Command of the Swedish Army. -- Melander made Commander of the Emperor's Army. -- The Elector of Bavaria breaks the Armistice. -- He adopts the same Policy towards the Emperor as France towards the Swedes. -- The Weimerian Cavalry go over to the Swedes. -- Conquest of New Prague by Koenigsmark, and Termination of the Thirty Years' War.

  • The Lion of the North
    Gustaf II Adolf, King of Sweden, 1594-1632 -- Fiction - by Henty, G. A. (George Alfred) (1832-1902). This is historical fiction but you may well enjoy the story.

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