The Thirty Years’ War 1640–48

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Map Code: Ax01730

The siege of Arras (1640) was a turning point in the prolonged conflict; after capturing Arras, the French surged into Flanders, routing the Spanish at Rocroi (1643) and in the Netherlands, (Gent, Hulst, Dunkirk). The tide turned for the French in Germany, with defeats at Tutlingen and Herbsthausen. However, their Swedish allies triumphed at the second battle of Breitenfeld (1642), and went on to besiege Vienna (1645). The French returned to form at another battlefield sequel at Nordlingen (1647), the repetition of venues underlining the colossal cost and increasing futility of the conflict. All parties were nearing exhaustion, and the war concluded in a plethora of treaties as convoluted as the hostilities, collectively termed the Peace of Westphalia (1648). Through war, disease and famine the German states had lost between 25 and 40 per cent of their population.

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