The Cambridge Modern History: Planned by the Late Lord Acton - Vol. 4

By A. W. Ward; G. W. Prothero et al. | Go to book overview

CHAPTER VII.
WALLENSTEIN AND BERNARD OF WEIMAR.

1. WALLENSTEIN'S END.
(1632-4.)

DURING the winter months which followed on the battle of Lützen neither of the hosts which contended for victory there maintained possession of Saxony or engaged in important operations beyond its borders. While Wallenstein, after evacuating the electorate, set up his winter quarters at Prague, and there collected the forces with which in May he joined Gallas in Silesia, the Swedish army broke up again into several divisions. That commanded by Bernard of Weimar, after clearing Saxony of Holk's and other Imperialist soldiery, passed into Thuringia and Franconia. In March Bernard pushed forward as far as the river Altmühl in the Ansbach territory, and, after a brush with the redoubtable Bavarian cavalry general, Johann von Werth, united his forces south of Donauwörth with those of Horn, who had in the last month of 1632 conquered nearly the whole of Elsass.

The expectant character of these movements on the one and the other side is explained by the fact that Lützen had virtually been a drawn battle. But in the summer of 1633 they came more or less to a standstill--Wallenstein's by his own calculated inaction, Bernard of Weimar's because of an agitation (it can hardly be called a mutiny) in the Swedish army, which was only with some difficulty repressed. Broadly speaking, we may regard this standstill as reflecting the doubts and difficulties which, after the death of the great King, pressed upon some of the chief combatants.

The Swedes, though resolved not to break off except on their own terms the struggle of which their King had, first and last, so clearly defined the ends, could no longer exercise over its progress the controlling influence proper to his mighty personality. Gustavus Adolphus was succeeded on the Swedish throne by his daughter Christina, a child of six years of age; and, so long as she remained in tutelage, the government, as will be shown in a later chapter, was practically carried on by a small committee directed by the strong will of the Chancellor, Axel

-223-

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