Alexander Leslie and the Scottish Generals of the Thirty by Alexia Grosjean

By Alexia Grosjean

Box Marshal Alexander Leslie was once the top rating commander from the British Isles to serve within the Thirty Years’ struggle. although Leslie’s existence presents the thread that runs via this paintings, the authors use his tale to discover the affects of the Thirty Years’ warfare, the British Civil Wars and the age of army Revolution.

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It is not clear why the Dutch remained stubborn on this point. However, for those who sought to climb higher there was another option open to them. 70 As Spens’s title implies, in Sweden no glass ceiling was applied to foreigners who took service there, and it was apparent that a command position was easily in the grasp of the competent military entrepreneur. Sweden: The Unofficial Alliance When Sweden broke from the Danish-controlled Kalmar Union in 1523, it did so with foreign aid, principally from Lübeck and northern Germany.

Both sides in this struggle had demonstrated the ability to raise considerable forces at short notice. The question as to how the king could muster his armies to confront his enemies is answered by looking to the nature of Scottish militia structures on the cusp of the seventeenth century. 73 However, the government’s attempts to curb localized violence through such measures merely stated that weapons should not be carried. There remained an expectation of ownership 20 Alexander Leslie and the Scottish Generals of the Thirty Years’ War, 1618–1648 and proficiency to be demonstrated at wapinschaws in order that they could be utilized in the defence of the realm if so required.

31 The evidence implies that for some of these Scots the emphasis was not necessarily on developing military skills or advancing through the ranks while in service in France. Their role carried with it prestige; the Garde seemed to serve as a ‘holding pen’ for some who needed or wanted to leave Scotland for a time. The Scots only really mobilized larger forces for France at times of political expedience, with the companies of archers and Garde Écossaise serving as the kernel around which larger forces were built.

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