Sweden: Thirty Years War - map of the Battle of Leipzig
The Battle of Leipzig October 23, 1642
Sweden entered the Thirty Years War in 1630. It led to an expansion of the military cartography, especially in the areas where the Swedish troops pulled out. Both topographical maps, which could almost be considered as a basis for warfare together with city and fortress plans, and maps of specific events - often drawn in retrospect - were developed during the course of the war. Among the latter is this hand-drawn and magnificent map of the Battle of Leipzig October 23, 1642, also known as the Second Battle of Breitenfeld, where Swedish troops with 15.000 men under Lennart Torstensson defeated the numerically larger imperial forces.
The map - or rather panorama - designed by Conrad A. Maesberg, possibly identical with the baron Conrad Marderfelt who as fortification officer in the Swedish army in Germany in 1630's participated in several battles, and portrayed them in the map and picture form. In this presentation, we see the whole battle and the extended front line.
By combining the slightly tinted squares and the detailed troop formations the map illustrates the movement between the different courses of events during the battle. Each soldier - including Field Marshal Torstensson himself - is depicted, and even others who followed the armies in the field. There are women seated around a campfire, pets and carriages, buildings and vegetation. Top left, we see a cartouche with a portrait of Torstensson, which is surrounded by a series of military attributes.
Dr. Senior Archivist
Map: SE/KrA/0425/04/080, Swedish Military Archive
Sources and Literature
- The Military Archives, Sweden, collection: Sweden's wars number 4:80
- Ulla Ehrensvärd The Nordic map's history. From myth to reality (2006)
- Lars Ericson et al., "Leipzig 1642nd Second Battle of Breitenfeld " in Swedish Battlefield (2003)
- Björn Gäfvert, "Knowing the territory Swedish mapping during the Thirty Years War" in Mare Nostrum About Peace of Westphalia and the Baltic Sea as a Swedish power center (1999)
People around a campfire.
The cartouche with a portrait of Field Marshal Torstensson, surrounded by a series of military attributes.