Christian the Great
…Fresh from his victories in the Baltic Christian IV and his allies begins the Long March to Münich to finish of the Bavarians and hence break the Emperors grib on Southern Germany. A forth night from Münich the King falls from his horse and crack his skull. Christian IV’s tragic and accidental death signaled the end to The Holy Wars in Central Europe. The wars that had ravaged Europe continuosly between 1618 and 1645 had been dominated by the United Danish Kingdoms energetic and sometimes remarkably tactless king, Christian IV, also known simply as Christian the Great in the Kingdoms. After his death Christians IV’s liege, Albrecht von Wallenstein, first negotiated a armistice and then brought the body of the King home together with the army.
Extract from Professor Inga Lundstrøm and Doctor Martin Kruse’s acclaimed biography, Christian the Great. Available from Københavns Universitets Presse, Sjælland, De Forenede Danske Kongedømmer.
Christian IV, King of The United Danish Kingdoms (1588 – 1645).
Born: 1577 to Frederik II of The United Danish Kingdoms and Sofie of Mecklenburg-Schwerin.
Motto: Regna Firmat Pietas.
Astrologists foretold at his birth that Christian would be a Great King and a Lord among Lords, and indeed he was.
Everything about Christain was larger and more gradios than was usual. He was a big, tall man, standing 188cm. He ate and drank vast quantities of food and beverages. He fathered 23 children. Had nummerous lovers. He overwas the creation of the Copenhagen we known today, the Northern Venice. He created one the strongest armies the world had seen at the time. He made the Royal Danish Navy an effective, modern and much feared force. And he waged war!
Christian IV was a very ambitious man, but had an eye for details and was sincerely interested in amongst other things architecture. He founded Christiania in Norway and he designed several well known Danish landmarks: Rosenborg, Nyboder, Holmens Church etc. etc. Building were not his only passtime as he personally drew up plans for some of the Royal Danish Navys finest and largest warships.
Besides architecture, shipbuilding and lawmaking Christian IV had other passions. Perhaps best known is his exploits in war. Christian IV’s was allready at an early age recognised for his talented leadership, be it on land or at sea. In the battled at Kolberger Heide in the summer of 1644 where Danish and Swedish fleets clashed in a major battle, he personally commanded the Royal Danish Navy from his flagship, The Trinity (Trefoldigheden) even though he got wouded and subsequently lost an eye. Needless to say The Danish Navy prevailed once again, and sunk nearly half the Swedish Fleet and captured four Ships-of-the-Line. One was actually captured by The Trinity and The Lion. This engagement marked the end of Gustav II Adolfs aspirations to make Sweden into a power in The Baltics, or elsewhere.
When being made The Champion of the Protestant Cause in 1626, Christian IV unleashed his conscripted army upon the catholics of the German Empire. The first major engagement of the war was The battle at Lutter am Barenberg, where the well trained, motivated and equiped Royal Danish infantry utterly defeated Count Tillys mercenary army.
For the rest of 1626, 1627 and most of 1628 Christian IV is busy fighting the Emperor and his lackeys in Germany. It’s is during these campaigns that Aachen and Köln is sacked. The sacking is condemed by monarchs and lordlings all over Europe and Christians IV’s reputation is forever tarnished, and rumours about exessive drunkenness begin to appear(1). Recent research into the matter suggest that it was Christian’s cavalry commander, the bright but unscrulpolous Nordalbingien nobleman, Albrecth von Wallenstein, who was behind the sackings.
The King is in 1597 married to Anna Cathrine af Brandenburg. Christian IV however is very rarely without the company of his many mistresses, including Kirsten Munk. Chritian IV is estimated to have sired some 23 children. The so called Frillebørn (Mistress Children) was well taked care of and got the family name Gyldenløve (Golden Lion). The Gyldenløve lineage is among the finest in the Kingdoms to this day and has forstered many capable soldiers, politicians and administrators.
On Christian IV’s death his son, Frederik III, became King and signed the peace Wallenstein had made with the German Emperor. The Emperor is forced to conceed to many of the Danish and protestant demands. The Holy Wars are officially over and the United Dansih Kingdoms reputation as a great power is cemented for centuries to come.
Events during Christian IV’s reing
1590: In Copenhagen 13 women are being burnt as witches.
1596: At his coronation the King is crowned with the new crown.
1610: The General Conscrption Laws is introduced.
1616: The Tranquebar colony is established in India. First stock company is created; The Eastindian Company.
1623: Silver is found at Kongsberg in Norway. Mining begins in 1624.
1629: Teological university examinations is introduced at the univesities.
1639: The first goldhorn is found at Gallehus.
1645: The Wallenstein Peace Treaty is signed, and is later confirmed by King Frederik III.
1) A German envoy once told an anecdote about the 56 year old Danish king. A feast started at 11 in the morning and lasted alle the way til late evening. The King made 35 toasts (each to be emptied), and drank some more on the side.The King had to be carried from the feast in his chair. When the envoy came to speak with King Christian the next day he was told that the King was out hunting, and had been since dawn.
So, no comments?
I'm considering translating, and updatind, my entire Stordanmark (Greater Denmark) TL! Would it have any interest for you guys?
Best regards and all!
Honeste vivere, alterum non ladere, suum cuique tribuere!
The Wallenstein Peace Treaty
After taking Nördlingen in 1638, thus having secured the western parts of Germany, the Danes shifted their attention briefly to the mounting Swedish threath in the Baltics. King Chritian IV and a small escort of nobles and Lifeguards rode north and left his talented cavalry commander, Albrecht von Wallenstein, in command. Von Wallenstein eager to show his true value (again one is tempted to say) attacked eastward toward Bohemia.
Von Wallenstein’s forces besieged the city of Eger in northern Bohemia. Panic ran rampant throughout the city as wild tales of the sackings of Aachen and Koln was retold in vivid details. Despite repeated attempts at relieving the beleaguered city, Eger fell to von Wallanstein and his army in mid 1638.
The Danish Army then once again marched forth, and eventhough counterattacks by general van Werth were launchen nothing seemed to be able to stop the victorious Danes.
The Return of Maximilian I
Maximilian I entered, in september 1638, into the Treaty of Pilsen with Ferdinand III,. The Bavarian King, fearful that the French, having their own internal problems, and the Emperor would disregard his interests, determined to return to Catholic Alliance.
The Bavarian army moved through the Palatinate and reinforced the Imperial forces in Bohemia. The combined Bavarian-Imperial army was strong enough to give even von Wallenstein problems and he fell back through Saxony and Hesse and across the Weser. Melander however gave no chase, instead he stayed in Hesse, and involved himself in the local civil war.
Another King Returns
In march 1640, what was destined to be the last campaigning season of the Holy Wars, opened with the Danish King back in Germany. The Royal Danish Army bolstered by Danish reinforcements and Protestant allies began to move south once again. Christian IV’s army drove Melander’s combined Imperial and Bavarian forces back over the Danube.
The Kleine Seite Fire
Having made up mind to invade Bavaria the Danish King dispatched a small force under von Wallenstein, to invade Bohemia once more, and to make trouble for the Imperials in generel. Marching with usual haste and purpose into Bohemia, von Walllenstein destroyed all in his path, adding to the already fearsom and tarnished reputation of his liegelord, Christian IV. On 26 July in 1640, von Wallenstein approached the walls of Prague.
Despite his relative small army, von Wallenstein was able to enter one quarter of the city, the Kleine Seite. This was mostly because the place had been betrayed by a former Imperial officer. Von Wallenstein sensed that the capture of the entire city were not within his powers, so he sat the Kleine Seite on fire and began to fall back from Prague.
The Battle of Zusmarhausen
The opposing Danish and Bavaro-Imperial armies met one final time in battle at Zusmarhausen near Augsburg. There, in the spring of 1640, the last Imperial field army were soundly defeated and both Melander and van Werth killed. Von Wallenstein, who were back from Prague, and his veteran cavalrymen routed the already broken Catholic army. Casualties rose into the thousands as men were hacked down from behind while they ran for their lives.
The Danes enter Bavaria
After Zusmarhausen, the remaining Imperial and Bavarian forces fell back, first to Augsburg and then beyond the Inn. Piccolomini, who had returned from spanish service, since he after the Spanish-Dutch peace no longer were needed, was placed in command of the remaining Imperial forces. He managed to hold the Danes behind the Inn. All of Bavaria behind that line was devastated with a fury notable even for the Danes, and von Wallenstein – The King is said to have been drunk most of the time and Von Wallenstein thus in command.
Most Danes, besides the King and a few likeminded, were long since tired of the costly German adventures, and the King in his sober moments were trying to find an end to the seemingly endless slaughter. He decided to knock Bavaria out of the war for good, and began what is now know as The Long March to Münich
The Making of the Peace
Maximillian I of Bavaria saw with mounting fear the Royal Danish Army and its allies prepare to utterly destroy his beloved kingdom and began to inquire into making a peacefull settlement. With one military disaster following the other in very close order, the German Emperor too was more than ready for peace by the time of 1640. So was the French First Minister. Mazarin, who had replaced Richelieu, found his hold over France being loosened by a series of rebellions which will become known as the Fronde. Thus when King Christian IV in late 1640 fell from his horse and died, von Wallestein made peace and signed an armistice, which in 1645 turned into The Wallenstein Peace Treaty. To this day it is unknown what made the bellicose general want for peace, but it is hinted that most of the officers made it clear that enough was enough. Nonetheless von Wallenstein proved to be as good a diplomat as he was a warlord.
Peace at last
The Wallenstein Peace Treaty represented more of an unconditional surrender than one of the usual compromises between the European powers. With the nearly unbroken string of Protestant victories delivered by Danish, French and Dutch armies in mind this can hardly surprise anyone.
The Danes insisted on a guarantee of Protestant rights in Germany and of religious freedom, which were accepted with great reluctance by the Emperor (Maxilimillian I would by this time sign anything to save Bavaria). The Calvinists were at last to be considered to have and receive the same rights under the Imperial constitution as the Catholics and Lutheran Protestants.
The constitution of the German Empire was adjusted to protect against the Catholics using the machinery of Imperial state to advance Catholicism. Protestants were to be admitted as judges in the Imperial courts in equal numbers to the Catholics. Any religious matter brought before the Diet had to be decided by unanimity.
Within the Empire, an amnesty was to be granted to all who had risen up in arms and rebellion after the Danish intervention in the Holy Wars 1625.
Likewise were a majority of the de facto acquisitions of territory, that the war had brought about, reluctantly accepted. Most of them either representing confiscation of Chuch lands or direct conquest. These transfers ended the Roman Church’s dream of reestablishing itself and Catholicism in Northern Germany and fundamentally weakened the strength of the German Empire.
The Danes on the surface gained little for their many sacrifices in the Holy Wars, but they nonetheless gained supremacy over large tracts of territory through their vassals in Northern and Western Germany (Most notably Brandenburg). The Danish claims to island of Rügen and the bishopries of Bremen and Verden were confirmed, and the Emperor made to pay war indemnities amounting to 25,000,000 Reichsthaler.
France received Alsace, Breisach and Lorraine, and the formindable Countess of Hesse-Cassel received Hersfeld and Schaumberg together with the Marburg inheritance.
The Pope protested the loss of lands, probably in order to preserve the Roman Church’s rights should the war be resumed. But both parties wisely ignored the Papal envoys.
The Greate Peacemaker
The Great Peacemaker
… the man who arguably was the best Danish cavalry commander since Vitslaff of Talinn and was behind the burning of Prague and most likely masterminded the sackings of Koln and Aachen is ironically best know for his diplomatic talents. After Christian IV’s premature dead in ’40, von Wallenstein first secured an armistice with the German Emperor and the King of Bavaria, then brought the body of his beloved king home together with the grieving Danish Army. With the new King, Frederik III’s backing von Wallenstein returned to Southern Germany and negotiated a lasting peace with all the participants in The Holy Wars. The peace is to this day known as The Wallenstein Peace Treaty…
Extract from Royal Historian Arnaud Laursen’s book on Albrecht von Wallenstein, Count of Mecklenburg and Royal Treasurer. Available from Gyldendahl Bogtryk, Haslev, Sjælland, De Forenede Danske Kongedømmer.
Name: Albrecht Wenzel Eusebius von Wallenstein
Albrecht Wenzel Eusebius von Wallenstein is one of The United Danish Kingdoms most controversial figures. He ranks amongst the best and most daring generals of the Kingdoms history, but is in many parts of Southern Europe known as a terrible villain, to say the least. Like King Christian IV of Denmark and the French Cardinal Richelieu, von Wallenstein shaped the history of his time, and defined our perception of The Holy Wars as brutal, unforgiving and bloody.
Von Wallenstein parents were Hussites, which meant that they followed the teachings of the Protestant Jan Hus. Von Wallenstein was by birth not of neither high rank og many means. Considering the religious climate of the Catholic German Empire at the time, it is no surprise that his family soon after von Wallensteins birth sought their happiness elsewere.
The family moved to Nordalbingien, which as the rest of The United Danish Kingdoms at the time, was mostly Protestant, but as a rule not overly religious. Von Wallenstein began his rise to porminence and power as a page at the well known Duke Mikael of Lolland-Falster's court, where von Wallenstein showed an impressive ability to sieze opportunities, as in later life, and a keen intellect. For a bright boy such as von Wallenstein the Duke’s court must have been heaven.
The patronage of the Duke enabled him to partake in the Swedish Wars (1520-1605), where as we known the Danish and Swedish kings fought for supremacy over and in the Baltics and Skåne, as captain in the Dukes household calvary. He used his company so successfully that he soon came to the notice of the King.
Like Christian IV, von Wallenstein was a brilliant military planner and leader of men, but where the King especially excelled at sea, von Wallenstein met no match on dry land. The two men would compliment each other for the rest of their lives. It is seemed as a very peculiar friendship, the highborn king and the lowly von Wallenstein, but von Wallenstein soon proved that he not only knew how the break an enemy army, he also knew how to broker a deal. With the King and the Duke’s backing, and not a small amount of loot, he sat up an merchant empire, that lives on to this day in form of the Combined Shipping Company of Öresund. In business he shown himself to be deviously clever at intrigues, and exploitated every chance to enrich himslef or gain more power. From the King and Danish noblemen he obtained privileges and monopolies. When von Wallenstein died he was among the five richest men in The United Danish Kngdoms, if not actually the richest!
As is well known von Wallenstein rode with King Christian IV when the former suffers his accidental fall from his horse. With the King dead, von Wallenstein decides in counsel with the rest of the Danish officers to negotiate an armistice and return to The Kingdoms. During the next 5 years von Wallenstein spends most of his time in Germany negotiating and dealing until a peace treaty finally is signed in 1645.
Von Wallenstien no doubt made a lot of enemies, which was shown by his ill attended funeral. King Frederik III and several menbers the Helt family of Lolland-Falster was attended though.
Events in von Wallenstein’s time:
1520-1605: The Swedish Wars. Danish and Swedish kings fights long and protracted wars over southern Sweden and the Baltic regions.
1595: The von Wallenstein emigrates to The United Danish Kingdoms.
1597: The young von Wallenstein enters the Duke of Lolland-Falsters’ service.
1601-1605: Von Wallenstein leads first the Duke’s cavalry in Skåne, then the Royal Cavalry and finally commands the entires army’s cavalry.
1607: Von Wallenstein is married to Katinka van Grot, with whom he has 3 children.
1610: The General Conscription Laws is introduced, and von Wallenstein makes his first fortune by providing clothing to the regiments.
1623: Lauritz Rantzau of the famous Rantzau lineage is killed by von Wallenstein in a duel. The King refuses to exile the young officer, even though it is rumored that the rules were not observed probably.
1625-1645: The Holy Wars. The Kingdoms intervene in the religios wars of Germany.
1640: Von Wallenstein returns with the dead King Christian IV.
1645: The Wallenstein Peace Treaty is finally signed and confirmed by King Frederik III.