Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden (1594-1633)

Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden

1594 He was born in Stockholm, on the 9th of December. He was the King of Sweden from 1611 to 1632 and is credited as the founder of Sweden as a Great Power. He led Sweden to military supremacy during the Thirty Years War, helping to determine the political as well as the religious balance of power in Europe. Son of Carol IX, Gustav was grown up and educated in the war art.

1611 He followed his father to the throne when he was only 17 years old, becoming King of Sweden on the 30th of October while Sweden was fighting on three battle fields – against Denmark, Russia and Poland.

1612 He made peace with Denmark and agreed to pay huge compensations, but he continued the Swedish military campaigns against Russia and Poland obtaining territories in the Netherlands.

1629 Because Russia neutralized the threat to the throne represented by his cousin, King Sigismund III of Poland signed the Truce of Altmark.

Gustav had become known as “Lion of the North”.

Gustav was very interested in education: he founded Uppsala University in Sweden and Tartu University in Estonia, which was occupied at that time by Sweden. It became the most modern and the most efficiently led state in Europe. He founded the first army of recruits in Europe focusing on officers training, on a stricter discipline.

1630 Sweden joined Thirty Years War. Gustav came to defend Protestant cause in Germany, which was under the siege of Catholic League of the Holy Roman Empire’s Emperor, Ferdinand II. League’s military leadership was insured by the best commanders of that age, generals of Habsburg, Johann Tserclaes von Tilly and Albrecht von Wallenstein.

1631 Von Tilly lost the battle at Breitenfeld. When he saw that the left flank of his army was shrouded by imperial army, Gustav removed Swedish infantry to this breach, an unprecedented measure at that time. Next months, Gustav swept everything in his path and his army went over the South of Germany.

1632 Tilly lost Lech battle. At the beginning his army was stopped by von Tilly’s successor, Wallenstein, at Alte Veste on September. But on the 6th of November, Gustav attacked Wallenstein’s positions at Lutzen, near Leipzing, in Saxony and he defeated again the imperial army.

1633 During this battle Gustav was also shot and killed within a chivalry attack. He died few weeks before being 38 years old but he succeeded to turn Sweden into a great European power and established new standards for arts of war; recovered victories over Catholic League insured to Protestants the survival in Germany and in the North of Europe.[1]




    1. Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden (1594-1633),


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