The Lion of the North

Episode Artwork
0% played 00:00 00:00
Nov 25 2006 11 mins   3
Listen to "The Lion of the North"

Gustavus Adolphus II the Great, the Lion of the North, was an innovator as the king of Sweden and the commander of its armies. His innovations include the conscription system, the tribute system, the squadron-based organization system, the Swedish infantry weaponry, and the artillery regiment system.

All of these useful improvements were demonstrated during the Baltic Campaigns and during the Thirty Years War. One example is the Battle of Breitenfield, in which he defeated a larger Holy Roman Empire Army, despite the fact that one of his allies fled during the battle. He was killed a few years later in another one of his victories, the Battle of Lutzen.

The Lion of the North (the name was given to him by Protestants in Germany) is, without a doubt, the greatest commander in Swedish history and the greatest commander in the 1600s.

For more information, read:
Military Anecdotes by Max Hastings
Dictionary of Battles by David Chandler
Extreme War by Terrence Poulos
Galenet: Adolphus
ABC-Clio: Adolphus

Military History Podcast is sponsored by: Armchair General Magazine, International Research and Publishing Corporation, and Axis and Allies Reserves