History Community ~ All Empires Homepage


This is the Archive on WORLD Historia, the old original forum.

 You cannot post here - you can only read.

 

Here is the link to the new forum:

  FAQ FAQ  Forum Search   Events   Register Register  Login Login

Forum LockedThe Battle of Nordlingen

 Post Reply Post Reply
Author
Ikki View Drop Down
Chieftain
Chieftain
Avatar
Guanarteme

Joined: 31-Dec-2004
Location: Spain
Status: Offline
Points: 1358
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ikki Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: The Battle of Nordlingen
    Posted: 21-Jan-2007 at 13:57
About this battle i only want talk about one question, there were swedish on the battlefield that day?

According with a friend, in fact althought commanded by swedish (the right protestant wing) no one soldier fight there. Well this is not correct following my sources wich say that the swedish corp was their national army with their colered battalions, true many other nations there as scotish and germans but not all. According with my friend, this is wrong because the entire swedish corp althought the same in the unit level was in fact composed by this time by germans mainly and other troops like, certainly, scotish.

What do you know about this?
Back to Top
Reginmund View Drop Down
Arch Duke
Arch Duke
Avatar

Joined: 08-May-2005
Location: Norway
Status: Offline
Points: 1941
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Reginmund Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21-Jan-2007 at 15:29
I'm on shaky ground here, but it would be strange IMO if the Swedish army was in fact composed by foreign mercenaries, seeing Sweden's military had long since been reformed into being one of Europe's first nationally based armies. The one possibility would be that the Swedish troops were withheld from combat, but this doesn't rhyme with the fact that the battle ended with the Swedish army's destruction and marked the turning point of the war in favour of the Catholics.
Hwæt! wē Gār-Dena in geār-dagum,
þeod-cyninga, þrym gefrunon,
hu ða æþelingas ellen fremedon.
Back to Top
Ikki View Drop Down
Chieftain
Chieftain
Avatar
Guanarteme

Joined: 31-Dec-2004
Location: Spain
Status: Offline
Points: 1358
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ikki Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21-Jan-2007 at 16:14
Totally agree i understand that the end of the swedish intervention only can be explained because their main army and units was destroyed. Only laterly the swedes have an army totally built by mercenaries, in the battles of Gustavus Adolphus i read that around 20% of the total protestant armies was swedish. Did they dissapear from the battlefield in two years? Any swedish in the seven infantry brigades of Horn in Nordlingen?

And the same question for the cavalry, wich was finnish and then...german?
Back to Top
Reginmund View Drop Down
Arch Duke
Arch Duke
Avatar

Joined: 08-May-2005
Location: Norway
Status: Offline
Points: 1941
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Reginmund Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21-Jan-2007 at 16:45
It's a good question. Let's hope pikeshot1600 sees this thread soon, I'm sure he has this figured out.
Hwæt! wē Gār-Dena in geār-dagum,
þeod-cyninga, þrym gefrunon,
hu ða æþelingas ellen fremedon.
Back to Top
Styrbiorn View Drop Down
Caliph
Caliph


Joined: 04-Aug-2004
Location: Sweden
Status: Offline
Points: 2818
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Styrbiorn Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21-Jan-2007 at 18:22
Well, the Yellow, the Green, the Red, the White and the Blue regiments were all comprimised mostly of Germans (iirc some regiment ceased to exist after Ltzen). I don't know the exact order of battle of Nrdlingen though, so I can't tell.
Back to Top
pikeshot1600 View Drop Down
Immortal Guard
Immortal Guard


Joined: 22-Jan-2005
Location: United States
Status: Offline
Points: 4232
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pikeshot1600 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21-Jan-2007 at 19:03
Originally posted by Reginmund Reginmund wrote:

It's a good question. Let's hope pikeshot1600 sees this thread soon, I'm sure he has this figured out.
 
Well thanks for the vote of conficence, Wink but i did look it up between football games this afternoon.
 
I was aware that the Swedes had made the decision to reserve their own troops as much as possible after Lutzen, as well as the Scots who they so valued as reliable soldiers and co-religionists.  I was not aware of the extent to which the decision turned the army into a German army. 
 
The Swedes had born a very high cost in the wars of the 1620s losing perhaps 50,000 soldiers out of a national population of about 1,200,000 - 1,300,000.  After the death of the king, policy was mostly in the hands of the Rad and the chancellor Oxenstierna.  As there were plenty of experienced, willing soldiers in Germany, and with French and Dutch subsidies, it was decided that the bulk of the fighting would be taken over by German mercenary troops.  The Swedes and the Scots would garrison areas, towns and fortifications that were crucial to Sweden's interests in north Germany - the "strategic redoubt" that would protect Sweden's interests along the Baltic and make them a "German" political factor.
 
At Nordlingen, there were very few Swedish or Scots troops.  The Swedish Yellow Brigade of around 1,400 men was annihilated, losing over 1,000.  Count Thurn's brigade also lost about 800.  There were several regiments commanded by Swedish officers that were composed of German soldiers - those of colonels Taupadel and Sperreuter, who had served in the Prussia campaigns, and there were six companies of Scots under colonel Ruthven, and 100 dragoons that were Scots.
 
Even Field Marshal Horn's life regiment was German, as was his Dragoon "regiment" of about 100.
 
Of about 25,000 men, these were very few.  The general officers and the artillery of course were under Swedish control (except maybe Bernhard Confused )
 
 
Back to Top
Ikki View Drop Down
Chieftain
Chieftain
Avatar
Guanarteme

Joined: 31-Dec-2004
Location: Spain
Status: Offline
Points: 1358
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ikki Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22-Jan-2007 at 13:55
Good points Pikeshot, this will be very useful thanks very much. Only one question, how you have that info?
Back to Top
Reginmund View Drop Down
Arch Duke
Arch Duke
Avatar

Joined: 08-May-2005
Location: Norway
Status: Offline
Points: 1941
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Reginmund Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22-Jan-2007 at 16:15
Yeah, you seem to be well versed with the Thirty Years War, pikeshot1600, so if you wouldn't mind giving some suggestions on literature it'd be welcome.
Hwæt! wē Gār-Dena in geār-dagum,
þeod-cyninga, þrym gefrunon,
hu ða æþelingas ellen fremedon.
Back to Top
Roberts View Drop Down
Chieftain
Chieftain

aka axeman

Joined: 22-Aug-2005
Location: Riga
Status: Offline
Points: 1140
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Roberts Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22-Jan-2007 at 16:29
Originally posted by Reginmund Reginmund wrote:

Yeah, you seem to be well versed with the Thirty Years War, pikeshot1600, so if you wouldn't mind giving some suggestions on literature it'd be welcome.


Indeed, I am also impressed of pikeshot's knowledge of renaissance warfare.
Currently I am very into this, because there is a plan to recreate battles of 30 years war in Medieval 2: Total War (the latest game of strategic gaming franchise - Total War). I will be working on this as graphical artist (3D modelling etc), and currently looking for information( troop types) and reference pictures of Swedish army under Gustav Adolf.


Edited by axeman - 22-Jan-2007 at 16:30
Back to Top
pikeshot1600 View Drop Down
Immortal Guard
Immortal Guard


Joined: 22-Jan-2005
Location: United States
Status: Offline
Points: 4232
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pikeshot1600 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22-Jan-2007 at 17:42
Originally posted by Ikki Ikki wrote:

Good points Pikeshot, this will be very useful thanks very much. Only one question, how you have that info?
 
There are two volumes on the Battles of the Thirty Years War by William Guthrie (who sadly died I think last year [cancer]).  He was not an academic historian, so of course there was a lot of bashing of his work.
 
However, he did consult the army lists (Vienna/Munich, Sweden, France, others) used in previously published works. His is about the only  large source, secondary though it is, available in English on these matters. 
 
Since I don't read 4 or 5 languages, and don't have either the time or the stipend to travel to the archives, I am taking Guthrie's books for what they are worth - the only thing I have. Smile 
 
The army lists and the index of regiments are both quite extensive.
 
 
Back to Top
pikeshot1600 View Drop Down
Immortal Guard
Immortal Guard


Joined: 22-Jan-2005
Location: United States
Status: Offline
Points: 4232
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pikeshot1600 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22-Jan-2007 at 17:49
Originally posted by axeman axeman wrote:

Originally posted by Reginmund Reginmund wrote:

Yeah, you seem to be well versed with the Thirty Years War, pikeshot1600, so if you wouldn't mind giving some suggestions on literature it'd be welcome.


Indeed, I am also impressed of pikeshot's knowledge of renaissance warfare.
Currently I am very into this, because there is a plan to recreate battles of 30 years war in Medieval 2: Total War (the latest game of strategic gaming franchise - Total War). I will be working on this as graphical artist (3D modelling etc), and currently looking for information( troop types) and reference pictures of Swedish army under Gustav Adolf.
 
Thanks to you both for the kind words.
 
I shall pull together a bibliography of some recent books, and maybe websites (often suspect), to get a small e-library going for the TYW.
 
I'll include what I have, and have read (well I have read a good bit of what I do have), and maybe some others that have a reputation - and I'll make note of that.
 
Let's do the Thirty Years War! ! !
 
 
Back to Top
Spartan View Drop Down
Knight
Knight
Avatar

Joined: 23-Feb-2005
Location: United States
Status: Offline
Points: 92
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Spartan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22-Jan-2007 at 22:58
Good question Ikki.
 
Of course there were some Swedish soldiers at Nordlingen in 1634, but the 'Swedish' army by this time was one of a nominal nature only. Remember, Gustavus landed in Pomerania 4 years earlier with only 13,000 of his core Swedes, which were immediately supported by the garrison of Stralsund, mainly Scots. But as pikeshot has stated, there weren't many here at Nordlingen; many would have been with Gustav Horn on the Protestant right (south), who stormed the Allbuch hill (initially capturing it), and practically the rest would have been with Thurn's unit, which was sent, form the Protestant center line, by Bernhard to help Horn's plight, as he was failing in repeated cavalry attacks. It didn't help, and ultimately, we are told, the 'Swedes' lost 8,000 killed and 4,000 prisoner. Of those 12,000, how many can we conservatively guess were native Swedes? Half of them? Less than half? Some accounts say the army was 19,000 total, but more seem to state 25,000 (16,000 infantry and 9,000 cavalry) total.
 
Whether Gustavus' personal presence, which so much was centered around, could have made a difference, the actuality that manifested was the Swedes were unable to establish sufficient support for his great army in Germany by 1632. After all, a primary impetus for their arrival was French subsidizing; Armand Richelieu woked hard to get Gustavus out of Poland and into Germany, and formed an alliance with Bernhard in 1635, bringing France into the 30 Years War. In May of 1633, Axel Oxenstierna 'admitted' that the wages of the Army in Germany were more than quadruple the amount of local contributions. Basically, what befell the Swedes was akin to what happened to the Spaniards in Flanders a generation earlier: a problem of distances covered and the cost of military intervention in foreign lands. Moreover, the premium of marshalling infantry firepower and improved artillery became more costly than ever. Geoffrey Parker tells us, in his The Military Revolution, Pg. 21,
 
"...Most wars in the century 1550-1650 were in fact decided by the relative financial strength (or weakness) of the various antagonists: it was very often a case of 'he who has the most money wins', as the Marquis of Aytona put it. In wars where the resources of the two sides were fairly equal, and the combatants obstinate, it might even take eighty years for a victor to emerge..."
 
Not long after the Battle of Lutzen, Oxenstierna extracted Swedish national troops, placing them back in the Baltic, and sending most of the mercenaries in Swedish service, here since 1630, back to Germany. Thus the Swedish conquests in the Rhineland were too be primarily maintained by Germans; resentment of Sweden didn't take long to foster; who can blame the peoples of Germany for resenting their lands being constantly overrun by foreigners. Furthermore, Bernhard, it seems, was claiming Lutzen as his personal triumph (fair argument: he did assume command and charge home tactically after Gustavus' death). Though he was denied the title of generalissimo of the Swedish forces, obviously his influence wasn't too weak, as the Protestant army at Nordlingen attacked a resolute and well-entrenched enemy, reinforced with the Tercios Viejos, with no supporting artillery barrage (the unlucky explosion in the ammunition wagons happened after they were thrown back, and then attacked by the imperial cavalry). Horn, the Swede, advocated a delay until 6,000 approaching Germans under a Rheingraff arrived.  
 
By 1635, the Swedes were mutineering for pay arrears, but Oxenstierna conciliated them with land grants, which included a license to loot. Bernhard benefited greatly form this policy. For better or worse, he was becoming another Wallenstein.     
 
Unlike Mauritz van Nassau, whose outstanding reforms centered around improved flexibility wrought from drill and discipline, Gustavus did not fight his wars in his own land out of direct civil defense. Thus, though Gustavus brought to new heights tight discipline, extended infantry lines, the 'counter-march', mobile field artillery, and a national character amongst his core troops surrounded by soldiers of fortune etc., somebody - or something - had to pay for all this! With his death in the fog at Lutzen, the 30 Years War was destined to drag on for another 16 years. The French subsidy and the invaluable revenues gained from his Polish campaign sustained him well until 1632, but now increased suffiency was needed.
 
In 1630, for all in all, mercenaries comprised perhaps 1/2 the Swedish army; by 1631, 3/4; by 1632, when Gustavus' total forces in Germany were about 150,000 (I have read also up to 200,000), maybe as many as 9/10 were non-Swedes. After his death, in which attritional war would become more prominent, the domestic conscriptions functioned erratically, and the native replacements and mercenaries could not deliver the superb standards of drill and discipline required to effectuate the tactics of Gustavus. The Swedish Brigade was a brilliant instrument of war; never before had one faced an army utilizing its cavalry, artillery, pikemen, and musketeers in self-sustaining little combat units with such cohesion, speed, and adaptability. It was worse for the imperialists, as not only were they outgunned in quantity, the Swedish regimental guns contained fixed-ammunition cartridges, which resulted in 3 shots to 1 - on even terms! So the imperialists were really, potentially, outfired by a count of 6 to 1! But it must be stated that Gustavus' methods were quickly adopted and adapted by his enemies, as everyone began strengthening their artillery, and the Battle of Nordlingen of 1634 proved that traditional methods could still win the day.  
 
But this demanded a high degree of discipline and a superb officer corps (NCO), not to mention that such a structure was remarkably effective only under a cerebral commander capable of juggling the arms in positive conjunction. The fact the Swedish Brigade was gone by 1634 illustrates that these very qualities were absent, a result primarily wrought from the economic issues. Remember, it was mostly an economic deterioration that brought the Roman Empire down; the 'barbarians' who marched into Italy at the beginning of the 5th century were scarcely opposed by field armies.
 
In his famous historical study of the 30 Years War, Johann Schiller, no fan of Gustavus, tells us that 6,000 Swedes came directly from Sweden to join Bernhard and the Palatinate Christian of Birkenfeld, whom in turn were to junction with 4,000 from Saxony, all to meet up with the now-fugitive Wallenstein, who had recently lost the support of his army. This would have occured in early 1634.
 
For all his qualities as the finest, in my opinion, commander of his age, Gustavus' ambition for Sweden may have been sought at an unsustainable cost. As pikeshot stated, his system of conscription (Utskrivning), which brought about 10,000 men to the colors every year, saw the numbers of men betweeen the 15-60 age range fall by half - in a country vastly underpopulated for its military objective. Gustavus could have made a difference had he lived, but he certainly would have outlived, if not killed in battle or an 'accident', the condition of Germany as a Swedish province: the thought of Sweden controlling Germany for long is like a cat digesting an elephant! I'm sure he knew that. 
 
But as we know, hindsight is 20/20, and maybe those embrolied in these events we discuss have cataracts. Maybe Gustavus should have marched on Vienna after Breitenfeld, and not chase Tilly. Maybe had he not been killed the war would have ended sooner, as he must have known that the extravagances of his recruitments by 1632 could not be supported unless a rapid end to hostilities was achieved. The power of his commanding person was not unlike that of Hannibal, Caesar, or Suvorov. Maybe...maybe...maybe... 
 
The Protestant forces at Nordlingen in early September, 1634 presumably numbered some 25,000 men. Whatever figures we may come across as the number of native Swedes, they are extrapolations, which can be gauged by the probability that it was already 2 years past the point that attrition (Gustavus would have sought more battles in the field) and constant warfare had depleted the great Swedish army of its significant ranks. True, the likes of Johan Baner, Lennart Torstensson (who avenged Nordlingen of 1634 against Matthias Gallas in 1642), and Karl Wrangel (with the great Turenne) achieved successes up until the Peace of Westphalia against the imperialists, it was advanced more for Protestantism than for Sweden per se, and by now the 'Swedish army' was almost entirely composed of adventurers and now-more-dubious mercenaries. Certainly, the native Swedes at Nordlingen, 1634, were but a handful.
 
A couple of works I have browsed:
 
Cicely Wedgwood's The Thirty Years War, I thought, was an outstanding narrative on the subject, and its subjects (getting old, but some sall it 'timeless').
 
The Cambridge Modern History, Vol. IV, is invaluable.
 
Theodore Dodge's Gustavus Adolphus: A History of the Art of War... is terrific, but must be supplemented by more modern works, such as those by Michael Roberts. I love Dodge's biographies; he was a veteran soldier and officer, and was very compelling with his exceptional military judgement. he can be long and tedious, though, if one doesn't enjoy the subject matter.
 
Geoffrey Parker's The Thirty Years War and his The Military Revolution are very detailed about the 'stuff' we don't discuss much.
 
But William Guthrie's works, which I haven't yet seen, apparently are what you want for the details regarding unit strengths, positions, composition, and command quality and control. maybe he gave us a figure of how many native Swedes fought at Nordlingen. 
 
To draw from the fountainhead, Johann Schiller's classic work is online:
 
 
Thanks, Spartan Smile 


Edited by Spartan - 23-Jan-2007 at 11:34
"Cry havoc, let loose the dogs of war!"
Back to Top
Styrbiorn View Drop Down
Caliph
Caliph


Joined: 04-Aug-2004
Location: Sweden
Status: Offline
Points: 2818
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Styrbiorn Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23-Jan-2007 at 05:21
If you can read Swedish, Finnish, Polish, German or Czech I strongly suggest Ofredsr by Peter Englund. Personally I think it's one of the best pieces I've ever read, extremely well-written and researched. As opposed to older Swedish works which seem to glorify the war, Englund dispises it and approach it from another point of view. Well worth the money.

Edited by Styrbiorn - 23-Jan-2007 at 12:27
Back to Top
Ikki View Drop Down
Chieftain
Chieftain
Avatar
Guanarteme

Joined: 31-Dec-2004
Location: Spain
Status: Offline
Points: 1358
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ikki Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23-Jan-2007 at 12:14
Sorry guys i havn't many time to talk but many thanks to all, you are providiying a lot of dates (great Spartan) that i will take and analize, thanks again.
Back to Top
pikeshot1600 View Drop Down
Immortal Guard
Immortal Guard


Joined: 22-Jan-2005
Location: United States
Status: Offline
Points: 4232
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pikeshot1600 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23-Jan-2007 at 20:03

Well, Spartan has listed some good starting points.

There is also a bibliography on a TYW website:
 
 
I would add to it a really great book on the French army of the time:
 
D. Parrott, Richlieu's Army:  War, Government and Society in France, 1624-1642.  Cambridge U. Press, 2001.
 
Spartan mentions the importance of how war was prosecuted and maintained from the resources the combatants could secure and command (from G. Parker, and others).  VERY important.  Dr. David Parrott does a good job both on the army, the elites who supported it, and the methods and rationale of how the army was kept in being and paid for.  It is an expensive book, and not an easy read, but it does show how this intensive and long period of war was made possible.  (yes it was his PhD dissertation expanded Smile )
 
 
 
 

 

Back to Top
 Post Reply Post Reply
  Share Topic   

Forum Jump Forum Permissions View Drop Down

Forum Software by Web Wiz Forums® version 11.10
Copyright ©2001-2017 Web Wiz Ltd.

This page was generated in 0.063 seconds.