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Dustin Faulkner




Location: BOERNE, TX
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PostPosted: Sat 28 Jan, 2012 11:30 am    Post subject: Anyone ever read "The Thirty Years War - Europe's Trage         Reply with quote

Hello:

I just got this book. It is big! Hopefully, it will educate me about more battles and give me a sense of chronology and background. All these battles we discuss are a disorganized mess in my head.

Anyway ... I was wondering what others think of this book. It appears to be very thorough.

Thank you! :-)

Sincerely,
Dustin Faulkner

DUSTIN FAULKNER
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A. Spanjer




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PostPosted: Sat 28 Jan, 2012 1:49 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I've been looking at getting that book, but haven't yet as I have far to many books to read at the moment.

It looks like an excellent book to educate oneself on the thirty years war.

Na sir 's na seachain an cath.
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Gottfried P. Doerler




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PostPosted: Sun 29 Jan, 2012 7:30 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

do you mean the book by Peter H. Wilson ?
maybe i`ll buy it, its only € 17 at amazon.
I´ve so far only read the osprey titles about gustavus adolphus army, which focus on the fighters but still leave great confusion about the course of events.
would be good to know better, after all the 30years war was the worst war my region has ever seen.

citing wiki
"So great was the devastation brought about by the war that estimates put the reduction of population in the German states at about 25% to 40%. Some regions were affected much more than others. For example, Württemberg lost three-quarters of its population during the war...The male population of the German states was reduced by almost half. The population of the Czech lands declined by a third due to war..."
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Marko Susimetsa




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PostPosted: Sun 29 Jan, 2012 8:32 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It's one of my most important sources as I'm attempting to write novel set during the events of the 30 years war. Wink

An excellent book at a general level, but when you want to go into the details, you will need accompanying source books.
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D. Phillip Caron




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PostPosted: Sun 29 Jan, 2012 9:51 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Marko, there is a book by ERIC FLINT titled "1632" ( Amazon). It is a novel about that war in Germany. It's fiction, but a fun read. It has a LOT of history in it too. Might be good prep for your own book.
The first casualty of battle is bravado, the second is macho.
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Marko Susimetsa




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PostPosted: Tue 31 Jan, 2012 4:01 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Excellent tip! Thank you! Happy
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John Turner




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PostPosted: Tue 31 Jan, 2012 4:27 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Marko,

I am reading it at the moment - I got it for Christmas. So far the detail is remarkable (I am still on the chapters dealing with the causes), but having skimmed through to have a look at the battle descriptions it is not so detailed - the Author's strong point certainly seems to be the social, religious and political context of the war. I would highly recommend it (so far), as even if the battle detail is lacking (and I have only glanced at those bits), it will give you a very detailed and insightful view of the background to the war.

"Those who don't know history are destined to repeat it."

Edmund Burke

"If History is so important, why is it so easy to forget?"
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Marko Susimetsa




Location: Finland
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PostPosted: Tue 31 Jan, 2012 9:03 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I've been devouring history books (both old and new) as well as novels (including The Three Musketeers, Alatriste etc.) to get into the feel of the era and style of writing, but it sounds like 1632 might be able to provide what many other sources lack: the voice of the common people. I'll get my hands on it as soon as possible. Happy

Now, the next thing to look for is some good descriptions of the telescopes one might find military officers using during the era...
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Kurt Scholz





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PostPosted: Tue 31 Jan, 2012 2:28 pm    Post subject: some more sources         Reply with quote

Contemporary sources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simplicius_Simplicissimus
Is a fiction book written by a contemporary of the war about the war or at least it appeared even to contemporaries as such. Remember Karl May, we are good forgers of adventurers in Germany. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karl_May

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Hagendorf
Is a simple mercenary of this war whose diary has been discovered.

Later views in literature:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mother_Courage_and_Her_Children
It's a modern fiction work by Brecht, but nicely highlights modern German attitudes towards this war.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wallenstein_%28play%29
Another famous play long after the war about later German views on this war is by Friedrich Schiller:


And here's the homepage of another writer who already did pretty good research on this specific time and region: Just ask him about anything, he's a nice guy and knows a lot of sources.
http://l-clausewitz.livejournal.com/

I read this brief summary of the telescope.
http://www.cosmicelk.net/telrev.htm
You should ask the technical museums on more information. They only exhibit part of their inventory and have much more in their archives. Especially Munich was one of the centers for optic instruments. http://www.deutsches-museum.de/en/contact/
Another source would be English patents, they are among the best documented and go way back and England would be one of the places where I'd get a patent on such an item (the aforementioned museum has a library with a collection of these ancient patents from England in case you decide to visit Munich)
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Marko Susimetsa




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PostPosted: Tue 31 Jan, 2012 9:10 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Excellent stuff, again! I had found Simplicius on my own and have it on my Kindle, but those other sources are all new. Happy

Actually, I had read that telescope bit as well. Great source on a general level, but tells nothing of what kinds of telescopes one might expect the military to use - I assume not the ones showing the image upside down and reversed?
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Lafayette C Curtis




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PostPosted: Wed 01 Feb, 2012 9:15 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

You can't beat the primary sources when you're looking for gritty but exciting details on contemporary battles. Which sources you pick will often depend on what languages you read. For the Thirty Years' War you'd generally be best off if you can read and access German sources, but it's worth noting that the war extended much further than that and saw a great deal of action in Italy as well as the Low Countries and parts of France (you know, the Spanish invasion of France, the campaigns along the Spanish road, and all that stuff), so there should be a healthy amount of memoirs written in French, Spanish, or Italians by participants in the respective theatres. If you're stuck with English, well, I'm afraid most of the memoirs from that era were from the English Civil War instead, but many Civil War soldiers were Continental veterans and English mercenaries made up a significant part of just about any Protestant army of the time (as well as some Catholic ones!). Finns...well, seriously? Where do you think Gustaf Adolf recruited many of his soldiers from?
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Sean Manning




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PostPosted: Wed 01 Feb, 2012 4:05 pm    Post subject: Re: some more sources         Reply with quote

Kurt Scholz wrote:
Contemporary sources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Hagendorf
Is a simple mercenary of this war whose diary has been discovered.
Does the edition of that come with a Modern German translation and glossary of terms? My German is very limited, but it might be fun to read a few pages if I don't have to worry about dialect and spelling changes. The quote on wikipedia is not easy going.
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Marko Susimetsa




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PostPosted: Thu 02 Feb, 2012 6:59 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I found out that there's an English translation of that diary in this book:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/0872209393

... ordered it immediately!

And, to the comment of me being a Finn and much of Sweden's army being Finnish: Yes, that is true, but it seems pretty much impossible to find any written journals or diaries of any of the men who served in the Hakkapeliittas or musketeers. If there are sources, they are hidden from public view. However, I have found several very good history books telling about the 30-year-war in Finnish in addition to the English language sources. So, overall, I'm pretty happy with the amount of knowledge available. Nevertheless, it is a hobby that only makes you hungrier for more as you get deeper and deeper into matters.
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Lafayette C Curtis




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PostPosted: Fri 10 Feb, 2012 12:51 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Actually, if I'm not mistaken, there's a fair number of publicly-accessible Finnish and Swedish sources on the Thirty Years' War from the grunt's eye view in some of the older (and larger) public libraries. The problem of getting at those sources is usually about the cost of travel to said libraries, since such old works aren't likely to be lent out (and thus would most probably have to be read within the premises). I wonder if there's some way to get publishers interested in putting out modern reprints (or reprints with side-by-side English translations!) of these works.
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Marko Susimetsa




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PostPosted: Fri 10 Feb, 2012 5:47 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

D. Phillip Caron wrote:
Marko, there is a book by ERIC FLINT titled "1632" ( Amazon). It is a novel about that war in Germany. It's fiction, but a fun read. It has a LOT of history in it too. Might be good prep for your own book.

Just finished this book and I must say I wasn't very impressed by the historical research behind the novel - or the way the historical detail was presented. Basically, you got long sections of prose about the technological and social struggles of the US citizens and then a chapter here and there with historical exposition that read like it had been transcribed from history book (description of Gustavus Adolphus in the chapter in which he was introduced was the worst example of this, as was the long list of myths about him and their detraction (sounded like it had been copied from Osprey's Men-At-Arms books).

Also, the descriptions of the "natives" was quite a bit off, and I have more to say about it here:
http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/270341991

Of course, I should not be this harsh, given that I'm only trying to write something and Flint actually had his stories published... Blush
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Marko Susimetsa




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PostPosted: Fri 10 Feb, 2012 6:03 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Lafayette C Curtis wrote:
Actually, if I'm not mistaken, there's a fair number of publicly-accessible Finnish and Swedish sources on the Thirty Years' War from the grunt's eye view in some of the older (and larger) public libraries. The problem of getting at those sources is usually about the cost of travel to said libraries, since such old works aren't likely to be lent out (and thus would most probably have to be read within the premises). I wonder if there's some way to get publishers interested in putting out modern reprints (or reprints with side-by-side English translations!) of these works.

Sounds like I have some more hunting to do. The library databases did not have any info that I could find, but perhaps such old sources are not in the database in the first place.

And, yes, it would be great to see these sorts of sources published for us enthusiasts.
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Daniel Staberg




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PostPosted: Fri 10 Feb, 2012 1:51 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Lafayette C Curtis wrote:
Actually, if I'm not mistaken, there's a fair number of publicly-accessible Finnish and Swedish sources on the Thirty Years' War from the grunt's eye view in some of the older (and larger) public libraries. The problem of getting at those sources is usually about the cost of travel to said libraries, since such old works aren't likely to be lent out (and thus would most probably have to be read within the premises). I wonder if there's some way to get publishers interested in putting out modern reprints (or reprints with side-by-side English translations!) of these works.

Layfayette,
I'm sorry but I do think you are confusing the 30YW with the Great Northern War. For the later there is indeed a considerable number of letters and diaries, many of which have been published. (Though most are from officers & nco's rather than actual "grunts")

But for the 30YW there is nothing of the kind from the ranks, nor indeed from the officers. Swedish & Finnish conscripts would have been illiterate in the vast majority of the cases and both the native and foreign professionals serving as NCO's and junior officers were often semi-iliterate at best. Senior officers were mostly able to both read and write so it there the riches sources are to be found.

Written eyewitness accounts by "Grunts" are rare in the other armies as well, Peter Hagendorf's diary is pretty unique among the German sources as is Patrick Gordon's dirary though he wrote about the wars in Poland and Russia.

"There is nothing more hazardous than to venture a battle. One can lose it
by a thousand unforseen circumstances, even when one has thorougly taken all
precautions that the most perfect military skill allows for."
-Fieldmarshal Lennart Torstensson.
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Marko Susimetsa




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PostPosted: Sun 19 Feb, 2012 10:37 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I've been reading The Thirty Years War: A Documentary History for a week now and gone through the first few pages of Hagendorf's diary. Very juicy stuff, I must say and I recommend it to anyone interested in the period. I was especially taken by how the mercenary manages to talk about witch burnings and bread making within a couple of sentences and seems more fascinated by the latter than he is horrified by the former:

"In Lippstadt there was good, old beer and also witches. I saw seven of them burned alive. Among them was even a pretty girl of eighteen, but she too was burned.

In this land they bake bread that is as big as a large grindstone, but square. The bread has to bake in the oven for twenty-four hours. They call it pumpernickel. It is, however, quite good and tasty bread, completely black."

And, this bit was pretty funny as well:

"At Schaffhausen I made so much by begging that I was going to buy woolen shoes, but I first went to the inn, and there the wine was so good that I forgot about the shoes. Instead I wrapped my old shoes with willow and then walked as far as Ulm on the Danube."

A very good purchase, I must say and I must thank Kurt Scholz for bringing up this diary so that I knew to look for it! Happy
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Lafayette C Curtis




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PostPosted: Wed 22 Feb, 2012 10:27 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Daniel Staberg wrote:
Layfayette,
I'm sorry but I do think you are confusing the 30YW with the Great Northern War. For the later there is indeed a considerable number of letters and diaries, many of which have been published. (Though most are from officers & nco's rather than actual "grunts")


I may have. The one thing I can recall clearly is that there's a wealth of Early Modern sources languishing for lack of interest in transcription and translation, but now that I think of it I'm not sure any of it could be securely ascribed to the Thirty Years' War period.
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