Lennart Torstenson - Field Marshal

Field Marshal

The sudden death of Banér in May 1641 recalled Torstensson to Germany as generalissimo of the Swedish forces and Governor General of Pomerania. He was at the same time promoted to the rank of Field Marshal. In 1642 he marched through Brandenburg and Silesia into Moravia, taking all the principal fortresses on his way. On returning through Saxony he crushed the imperial army at the second Battle of Breitenfeld on October 23, 1642.

In 1643 Torstensson invaded Moravia for the second time, but was suddenly recalled to invade Denmark, when his rapid and unexpected intervention paralysed the Danish defence on the land side, though Torstensson's own position in Jutland was for a time precarious owing to the skilful handling of the Danish fleet by Christian IV of Denmark. In 1644 he led his army for the third time into the heart of Germany and routed the imperials at the battle of Jüterbog on November 23. At the beginning of November 1645 he broke into Bohemia, and the victory of Jankau on February 24, 1645 laid open before him the road to Vienna. Yet, though one end of the Danube bridge actually fell into his hands, his exhausted army was unable to penetrate any further and, in December the same year, Torstensson, crippled by gout, was forced to resign his command and returned to Sweden in the early summer of 1646.

In 1647 he was created a count. From 1648 to 1651 he ruled all the western provinces of Sweden, as Governor-General. On his death at Stockholm on April 7, 1651 he was buried in the Riddarholm Church, the Pantheon of Sweden.

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