The Lion from the North

Volume 2, The Swedish Army during the Thirty Years War 1632-48

Michael Fredholm von Essen

After the death of Gustavus Adolphus, his chancellor Axel Oxenstierna assumed overall command and led the Swedish army to victory in the Thirty Years War.
Date Published :
November 2020
Publisher :
Helion and Company
Series :
Century of the Soldier
Illustration :
137 b/w ills, 8 b/w maps, 10 tables, 32pp color plates
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Paperback
ISBN : 9781913118839
Pages : 286
Dimensions : 9.75 X 7 inches
Stock Status : Available


The book describes and analyses the early modern Swedish army during the Thirty Years War after the death in 1632 of King Gustavus Adolphus. At this time, military operations were handled by field marshals under the overall command of the Swedish Chancellor, Axel Oxenstierna. The book expands our understanding of the Swedish army during the Thirty Years War by focusing on its later operations, including those against Polish and Danish opponents, and not only on the better-known operations in Germany against the Catholic League and the Holy Roman Empire. Meanwhile, Oxenstierna continued his administrative reforms, which enabled Sweden consistently to raise troops, despite the small population of Sweden and its territories, and enabled an intelligence and logistics system which could supply the armies, despite the vast geographical depth of operations. While the Swedish army of Gustavus Adolphus positioned Sweden as an emerging great power, it was the subsequent developments of the army under Oxenstierna that enabled the Swedish rise to regional great power status. While the army of Gustavus Adolphus has been described elsewhere, the Swedish army’s later developments are less well known. Moreover, the book includes current research that has not yet appeared in the English language. It also describes the 1643-1645 Swedish invasion of Denmark (‘Torstensson’s War’) and the battles and sieges, including those of Vienna and Prague, that led up to the Peace of Westphalia, which concluded the Thirty Years War. Finally, the book covers the military aspects of the establishment of Sweden’s first American colony.

About The Author

Professor Michael Fredholm von Essen is an historian and former military analyst who has published extensively on the history, defence strategies, security policies, and energy sector developments of Eurasia. He currently is the Head of Research and Development at IRI, an independent research institute. Educated at Uppsala, Stockholm, and Lund Universities, Michael Fredholm von Essen has lectured, including during conferences and as visiting professor, at numerous institutions and universities around the world. He is the author of a large number of books, articles, and academic papers, including Muscovy’s Soldiers: The Emergence of the Russian Army, 1462-1689 (Helion, 2018); Charles XI’s War: The Scanian War between Sweden and Denmark, 1675-1679 (Helion, 2018); Transnational Organized Crime and Jihadist Terrorism: Russian-Speaking Networks in Western Europe (Routledge, 2017); Understanding Lone Actor Terrorism: Past Experience, Future Outlook, and Response Strategies (Routledge, 2016); Afghanistan Beyond the Fog of War: Persistent Failure of a Rentier State (NIAS, 2018); Eight Banners and Green Flag: The Army of the Manchu Empire and Qing China, 1600-1850 (Pike and Shot Society, 2009); and a large number of articles on early modern warfare in the Arquebusier, the journal of the Pike and Shot Society.


"A very useful book for wargamers wishing to recreate the later battles of the Thirty Years’ War or early Swedish attempts to found colonies."

- Miniature Wargames

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