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"The structure of Ferdinand’s army: Wallenstein" Topic

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274 hits since 12 Mar 2018
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
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Tango0112 Mar 2018 9:15 p.m. PST

"In theory, Ferdinand, as Kaiser, had at his beck and call a Reichsarmee but this concept was not worth the paper on which it was written. The German princes who made up the patchwork of the Holy Roman Empire had long had local forces to support their own interests but the ‘right' of the Kaiser to require the supply of a contingent was a frequent source of contention. The circumstances of the Reformation forced the Kaiser to appoint two Field Commanders, one Catholic and one Protestant.

Such contradictions did not make any easier the so-called Simplum whereby a minimum of 40,000 soldiers were in theory available to the Emperor. Other difficulties arose from the fact that the local nobility and the Church were reluctant to part with their staff and workers who contributed so much to the upkeep of their estates. As a result, the Landesaufgebot (contingent) rarely materialised.

Thus the Kaiser was really only able to establish his own army if he was prepared to finance it exclusively himself. But such an army required logistics and money, both of which were lacking as Ferdinand II at the beginning of his reign found himself confronted with a vast conflict. Unsurprisingly he panicked and called for international support, thus helping transform a local dispute into a full-scale European war…"
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