The Battle of Lützen 1632

The Battle of Lützen 1632

The Battle Reassessed

Andre Schürger

The 1632 Battle of Lützen and its specific details are re-evaluated after recovering and organizing several thousand battle-related artifacts recovered during systematic four-year metal detector survey, re-considering all written or pictorial historical sources and by including a landscape reconstruction and tactical analysis based on 17th century
Date Published :
December 2022
Publisher :
Helion and Company
Series :
Century of the Soldier
Illustration :
c 150 color & b/w illustrations and maps
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Paperback
ISBN : 9781915113962
Pages : 272
Dimensions : 9.75 X 7 inches
Stock Status : Not Yet Published. Available for Pre-Order


In 1632, the Thirty Years War (1618-1648) took another turn. Gustavus Adolphus’s triumphal campaign in the Holy Roman Empire was halted at Ingolstadt, Bavaria, where the Imperial-Leaguist Generalleutnant Tilly died of wounds received in the battle Rain am Lech. The former commander of the Imperial army, Generalleutnant Wallenstein, who had lost command in 1630 due to political intrigue at the court of Vienna, was re-instated as Generalissimus.

Wallenstein refused an initial battle on open ground against the Swedish King by entrenching his army at Nürnberg and then forced Gustavus Adolphus to retreat by cutting his supply lines. With winter near, Wallenstein deployed his regiments into garrisons throughout Saxony, like Nürnberg a Swedish ally. During this maneuvering, the Swedish King almost took Wallenstein’s rear guard by surprise at the town of Lützen.

During this battle, two of the most famous and brilliant commanders of the Thirty Years War tried to end the war with one fierce battle. At the end, one lost his life and the other lost his will to fight on.

One day after the battle, the mystery of Gustavus Adolphus’ death was used to twist the facts about the battle, a legend that continued into modern times.This book includes the results of a systematic four-year metal detector survey conducted on the Lützen Battlefield during a research project, which set out to create a new data source by mapping several thousand battle related artefacts and excavating archaeological testing to shed light on Wallenstein’s ‘trenches’. Work on late 16th and early 17th Century firearms was conducted to evaluate the lead bullets from the battlefield and create artefact distribution maps.

All historical sources, written and pictorial, were reviewed, and the locations of eyewitnesses pinpointed to assess their credibility and accuracy. Their accounts were compared to the archaeological results, then introduced into a landscape analysis to highlight topographic features affecting tactical movements.

The battle was divided into several episodes through which the reader is guided step-by-step through the battle by interpreting and evaluating every available source dealing with each event. Discussing the reliability of eyewitnesses and secondary sources, the potential and limits of battlefield archaeology, and assessing weapon efficiency, troop speed, tactics, line of sight, and topographic features will help the reader better understand the methodology of battle research.

About The Author

André Schürger conducted a four-year archaeological battlefield research project on the 1632 Lützen battlefield, recovering and documenting thousands of battle artefacts. He intensified and academically ordered his research on the Battle of Lützen during his PhD studies in the Department of Conflict Archaeology, University of Glasgow. His fieldwork on the battlefield and documentary research into the battle, its personae, and material culture profited from his earlier studies in history and archaeology at the University of Cologne, his tactical training as a Bundeswehr officer, and his many years of experience as a professional field archaeologist.

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