Youth of the Great Elector - George Upton

Sweden's Revenge

There had been many changes in Brandenburg. They feared the Swedes now as greatly as they had once feared the Emperor's army. The cause of this will be found in the following statement:

At the beginning of the year 1637 Emperor Ferdinand the Second died, and his successor, Ferdinand the Third, exhibited a friendly attitude toward Brandenburg. In March of the same year Bogislav the Fourteenth died childless, and Brandenburg made preparations to enforce certain rights in Pomerania which were provided in the treaty. Its most important cities at the time were beset by Swedish troops. Sweden also asserted certain claims in the dukedom, which it would not yield until it was assured of ample indemnity for the great sacrifices it had made in maintaining the good cause. When George William summoned Stettin to take the oath of allegiance, the. Swedish commander Banner was so infuriated that he ordered the herald bearing the summons to be hanged. It was only by the greatest exertions that the Duchess-widow saved the poor man's life.

This proceeding induced the Elector to agree to the treaty which had been made between the Emperor and the Elector of Saxony. The Emperor expressly declared his readiness to support the Elector in his efforts to obtain a settlement in Pomerania, with all the necessary means. Shortly thereafter the Brandenburg troops, acting with the Imperialists under Gallas, invaded Pomerania. At first the Swedes were driven back, but after they had received reinforcements of fourteen thousand men from home the fortunes of war changed, and they drove the Brandenburgers and Imperialists before them. The unfortunate people of Brandenburg suffered unspeakably at the hands of their former friends who believed that they had been treacherous, and for that reason became their bitter enemies. Their former troubles were light in comparison with those growing out of Sweden's revenge. Although the main army was removed to the south, Brandenburg continued to suffer from the depredations of small detachments.