The longer the war lasted, the more difficult it became to maintain troops in the most devastated parts of Germany. This led to a decrease of the size of the armies. There is a large contrast to the situation already if we study the plans for the campaign of Then Axel Oxenstierna planned to mobilize three fieldarmies along Elbe around Magdeburg , Oder and Weser with together But of these only The Swedes also had some 9. In the year Most of these troops were still in reserve in Sweden, Finland and the Baltic provinces.
Since the Polish navy ceased to exist in the late 's and the Imperial naval armaments in the Baltic sea were stopped a very early moment, there were only two navies left in this sea, the Danish and the Swedish, century-long rivals.
Part 20 - the Swedish army
In january chancellor Axel Oxenstierna told the council at the Stockholms castle, that Athe king of Denmark is now out of the Baltic, and Her Majesty has it most by herself", a correct analyse of the strategic situation. There were a large amount of discussion within the royal council if this wasn't to hazardous, but the ships were still sold. Beside of this a number of other naval ships were given to private entrepreneurs who had lended the crown substantial amounts of money for the war.
Thus the Swedish navy in lost 20 ships and only gained 7 new. At the early years of the war in Germany Denmark was still much more powerfull on sea than Sweden, in there were 42 Danish and only 31 Swedish ships in the region. Still the Swedish navy had grown since the early 's, although the large ship Vasa sunk in Stockholm's harbour when she was destined to the front in Prussia in But already in the Swedish navy had grown to 53 ships after a large acquisition program.
In , when the Swedish navy was at it's peak, it could muster 58 ships against 35 Danish. But the sellout of a number of ships reduced, together with other factors, the Swedish superiority to a more equal situation in , 42 Swedish and 43 Danish ships. In the year , when the Swedish navy was as largest, it could muster 6.
In comparison the total number in was just above 5.
These seamen and soldiers were almost all recruited in Sweden and Finland. Already in the late 's an agreement between the crown and the burghers in the cities of Sweden was made, stipulating how many seamen each city should muster for the navy. A large number of seamen was also recruited from the countryside, in the same way as the army got it's Swedish and Finnish soldiers. On land German or Scottish units could fight in their own formations, but on a naval ship all men had to act close together and understanding the same language.
There were no place for mercenaries who didn't spoke or at least understood Swedish on the ships, although we have examples of Dutch and English seamen on Swedish naval ships heading for the Swedish colony New Sweden in North America in the 's. In this way the Swedish navy during the whole thirty years war became a national force, and not multieuropean as the army.
The navy's most important task was to secure the transportation lines between Sweden and her forces in Germany. In the summer the navy took 7.
In all 20 navy ships and special hired ships were used for these transports, the last of this size during the war. In a large number of garrisons there were additional 9. Instead the proportion of Swedish troops had risen. The large question for all participants of the war was that about satisfaction, that is compensation for the war costs in general and the mercenaries in specific, so that masses of unpaid mercenaries wouldn't start uncontrolled anarchy all over Germany.
In this situation the Swedes were unwilling to retreat from areas were the troops could be provided for, and at the same time a high degree of preparedness could be maintained if the enemy would try anything hostile. The Imperial field marshall Ottavio Piccolomini realised this, and on November 23, he wrote to the Imperial court-councellor and vice chancellor count Kurz, that the Swedes step by step widened the area that they occupied around Prague.
Piccolomini enraged declared that the Swedish soldiers Adas Land arm zu essen", when they let themself be provided by the Bohemian population. Sweden couldn't afford to pay herself for the demobilization of the still relatively strong army. Such a scenario was a large threat to the country's financies, or as the royal council formulated it, that was to be sitting with Athe whole army against our throat", a situation that would hurt Sweden Ainto her bones".
Both the Emperor, Bavaria and France had to crush revolts among mercenaries at several times. The most serious events occured in Anhalt, were revolting mercenaries were circled in and shot down. Neither was the possibilities of continued service a beat for mercenaries in the Swedish army, far from it.
During the autumn the number of deserteurs increased rapidly, when the Swedish army retreated step by step towards Pomerania, while the soldiers feared to be sent to the Baltic provinces or Sweden, places far away and with small temptations for most German soldiers. Axel Oxenstierna concluded in august that the large units were spread over a large territory: AThe army is under the Alps and in Bremen, and garrisons all over Germany. Think what time it will demand first to sign the decision of a demobilization; my remark , and then realize it properly and with security".
For Sweden it was Charles Gustavus in Commander in Chief and from king Charles X of Sweden who was responsible for the realization of the peace agreement, while Piccolomini got the same responsibility on the Imperial side. At the end of the war the total amount of Swedish troops were The allied in Hessen-Kassel could muster The Emperor had still Everyone got his share.
Best payed was the commander of the whole demobilization, Charles Gustavus himself who got Many soldiers also took weapons and other equipment when they left the army. At the same time large arms depots were built by the Swedes at the end of the war in several Northgerman harbours. Some high-ranking officers also could get their payment not in cash, but in canons sic! The first plans for the demobilization was drawn up in Stockholm already in april and the strategy was obvious. Step by step the army would be drawn back to Pomerania, a province that the peace-treaty also formally placed in Swedish hands, a process carefully coordinated with the demobilization of the Imperial forces.
It was also important to have enough troops to secure the promised compensation money from Germany. The first step was to demobilize Aall foreign cavalry Since new problems had occured the process halted, but in the beginning of october the two men made a new agreement. At this time already Swedish and Imperial cavalry companies had been demobilized, as well as several Bavarian units. During the month of October the Swedes began the withdrawal their forces out of Kur-Sachsen.
At the end of almost 9. Of the artillery only men remained in Germany.
Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden | Military Wiki | FANDOM powered by Wikia
The lifeguard with it's 1. The transports of Swedish units were to some extent financed with extra taxes from the new Swedish provinces in Germany. On July 16, Charles Gustavus and Piccolomini agreed upon the continued demobilization. During the summer this process was finished for the Swedish forces, and after August the remaining Swedish units in Germany had been drawn back to Pomerania. The only exceptions were Hinterpommern and a Swedish garrison in the fortress Vechta in Niedersachsen, where the Swedes stayed until to secure unpayed compensation money.
At the end of the French forces had also totally left Germany and the Imperial demobilization was finished. Remaining in Germany was now, two years after the treaty of Westphalia, 4. The Swedish and Finnish units in the new German provinces numbered 4.
The Army of Gustavus Adolphus (1)
The proportions between Swedish and Finnish soldiers and foreign mercenaries were now also restored to those that existed in The circle was to some extent closed. Now in it was an army of a nation that had gained provinces in northern Germany as well as seat in the German Reichstag. These achievements had been gained to the cost of the lives of tens of thousands of Swedes and Finns, but also, the lives of tens of thousands of soldiers from Germany, England, Scotland, Estonia, Livonia Latvia , Holland, Ireland, France and a number of other European soldiers when they served in one of the largest multieuropean armies ever seen before the time of Napoleon.
Barudio , pp. The law of is printed in Styffe , pp.
Nilsson ; Lindegren For parts of Finland: Villstrand Nilsson , p. Junkemann , pp. Mankell , pp. Mankell's figures are mainly based on the Oxenstierna-collection in the National Archives Riksarkivet , Stockholm. This later aspect has been stressed in Barudio , p. Ekholm ; Lorenz Parker Parker , p. Anderson , pp. Crefeld A list of the troops on November 5, printed in Mankell , p.
The strength of the Swedish army is discussed in Generalstaben , pp. Generalstaben , p. See also Roberts Carl von Clausewitz and Napoleon Bonaparte considered him one of the greatest generals of all time, an evaluation agreed with by George S. Patton and others. He was also renowned for his constancy of purpose and the equality of his troops—no one part of his armies was considered better or received preferred treatment, as was common in other armies where the cavalry were the elite, followed by the artillery, and both disdained the lowly infantry.
In Gustavus' army the units were extensively cross-trained. Both cavalry and infantry could service the artillery, as his heavy cavalry did when turning captured artillery on the opposing Catholic Tercios at First Breitenfeld. Pikemen could shoot—if not as accurately as those designated musketeers—so a valuable firearm could be kept in the firing line.
His infantrymen and gunners were taught to ride, if needed. Napoleon thought highly of the achievement and copied the tactics.