But the king of Sweden stood his ground

There.  Then.  At that moment.

The Father of Modern Warfare Gustavus certainly was not, but he may have very well been the Father of the Modern World.  Because then at that place, at that moment when the Saxons broke and the Inquisition bade fair to triumph over all of Europe, the King of Sweden stood his ground.

And proved, once again, that the truth of history is always concrete.  Abstractions are the stuff of argument.  Whatever might have been was not.  Not because of tactics or formation or artillery…but because of a simple truth.  At that instant history pivoted on the soul of one man.  His name was Gustavus Adolphus, and there were among his followers who thought him the only monarch in Europe worthy of the name.   They were right, and the man was about to prove it.  For one of the few times in human history, royalty was not a lie.

The above is taken from Eric Flint’s 1632.   It’s a highly fictionalized account, but magnificent nonetheless.  Had Gustavus faltered that day, the entire continent would have been plunged under the Inquisition.   England was borderline papist under Charles I, and with the tremendous pressure from an entire continent, it’s doubtful she could have long resisted.

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