30YearsWar #54: Protestant Germany Joins Sweden


Manage episode 324109284 series 3017946
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From the moment Gustavus Adolphus landed in Northern Germany, it was clear that his triumph was impossible so long as the Protestant Electors of Brandenburg and Saxony refused to join his side. Throughout spring and summer of 1631 though, Gustavus' luck finally began to turn, thanks in part to his liberal use of intimidation, and the horrendous miscalculations of the Emperor. Pointing his cannons at Berlin soon compelled a defenceless Elector of Brandenburg to make an alliance. Saxony, on the other hand, was a different matter. Dresden chose Sweden not because of what Gustavus did, but because of what Count Tilly, the Emperor's commander, was forced to do.

Desperate for supplies after Magdeburg had been destroyed, Tilly sought aid from his Emperor. When this was denied, and when his troops appeared dangerously close to dissolving, Tilly came to terms with the new reality. The unspoiled lands of Saxony must be harnessed to reinvigorate his army - whether the Elector of Saxony liked it or not. The blunder forced the Saxon and Brandenburg Electors into Sweden's camp, and with the rest of Protestant Germany bound to follow their banners, the stage looked set for the great test of the Swedish King. As the new reluctant allies looked anxiously at the approach of autumn 1631, not even they could have imagined what would happen next...


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