THE FATHER OF MODERN WARFARE: GUSTAVUS ADOLPHUS

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TANUJ BANSAL

The King of Sweden, one of the greatest military commanders the history of war and this world has ever seen, the one credited for marking Sweden as a great European power and the Father of Modern Warfare, GUSTAVUS ADOLFUAS THE GREAT. With the successful reign of 21 years, Gustavus marked himself as legends in battlefield, born on 19 December, 1594 in Stockholm. He was the eldest son Duke Charles of House of Vasa and his mother Christina of Holstien-Gottorp. Sigismund his cousin was the king of Sweden as well as Poland when Duke Charles forced the catholic Sigismund to let go of the throne in 1599, as a part preliminary religious strife before the Thirty Years War and reigned as regent before taking throne as Charles IX of Sweden in 1604 but after his death in 1611, the crown prince Gustavus inherited the throne at the age of just 16 years. He also inherited the ongoing succession for occasionally belligerent dynastic disputes with his polish cousin. Sigismund III wanted to regain the throne of Sweden and tried to force Gustavus to renounce the title. Gustavus invaded Poland when he was 31 that started the period Polish-Swedish war (1626-1629). He intervened on the behalf of Lutherans in Germany, who opened the gates in their city for him. His reign became known from his actions a few years later when he landed in Germany in 1630, marking the Swedish intervention in Thirty Years War. He intervened the losing anti-imperial side against the Holy Roman empire and its catholic allies and reversed the motion and situation of the war in the favor of anti-imperial side. Gustavus was married to Maria Eleonora of Brandenburg and had one daughter, Christina of The House of Vasa who was his father’s successor of Sweden after the death of Gustavus in the battle of Lutzen in 1632.

 Gustavus is noted among the few innovators just as Maurice of Nassau, both of who many scholars credited with revolutionary development and having laid of the military foundation that continues for next 200 years. Scholars consider him extremely able military commander. His integration of infantry, cavalry, logistics and particularly his use of artillery, earned him the title of the “Father of Modern Warfare”. Among other innovations he installed an early form of combined arms in his formations. His artillery was themselves different as in addition of use of usual complements of heavy cannon, he introduced light mobile guns for the first time in the Renaissance Battlefield. He created the modern Swedish Navy which transported troops and supplies to the continental battlefield. Carl von Clausewitz and Napoleon Bonaparte studied him and admired him and considered him one of the greatest generals ever born. Gustavus politics also showed progressive tendencies in conquered area of Estonia. In 1631 he forced the nobility to grant the peasants greater autonomy. He also encouraged education opening a school in Tallinn in 1631, today known as Gustavus Adolf Grammar School. On June 30, 1632 Gustavus signed Foundation Decree of Academia Dorpatensis in Estonia, today knows as University of Tartu. After significant hardships for common people, Swedish rule over Estonia was called “good old Swedish times”. 

Gustavus Adolphus became the Swedish Pride all of the world.

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