This is the first complete detailed study of the military aspects of the first half of this important conflict (1618-1635). Each chapter deals with a particular battle, but Guthrie also examines wider questions of strategy, leadership, armaments, organization, logistics, and war finances. The main emphasis is on the unique character and aspects of the Thirty Years War, with attention to the evolution of warfare and weapons, the impact of this evolution on actual operations, and the replacement of the previously dominant tercio style of warfare by the nascent linear system.
The Thirty Years War is considered within its own context, rather than merely as a poor relation to the linear or Napoleonic periods. The campaigns covered in this volume include the defeat of the Bohemian and German Protestants (1618-1623), the Danish War (1625-1629), the victories of the Swedes under Gustavus Adolphus (1630-1632), and the final defeat of the Swedes at Nordlingen in 1634. Guthrie also pays particular notice to the important battle of Breitenfeld. With the inclusion of many secondary theaters and minor actions, the whole of this work constitutes a complete military history of the German War.