The war began as a religious war between the Northern Protestants and the Southern Catholics, and deteriorated into a series of battles between rival mercenary Armies.
Many villages were completely destroyed, towns and cities lost up to 90% of their population. Wandering undisciplined troops robbed, burned and looted at will. Both France and Sweden took advantage of the chaos to send their armies into the fray.
As the armies marched back and forth across Germany they ate the cattle and destroyed the crops.Healthy young men were drafted into armies so there was no one to plant crops. After the first year, of the thirty years war, famine was rampant.By the last year, cannibalism was common.
Simultaneously, the armies carried with them the fleas and rats that bore the plague.
War, Famine, and Plague, the harpies had arrived.The entirepopulation of the empire dropped from 21,000,000 to 13,000,000.
The war ended with the Treaty ofWestphalia in 1648.
Schiller wrote a series of three plays about Count Albrecht Wallenstein. A Bohemian Protestant General, who switched sides in the midst of the war.
Films that include segments of the The Thirty Years War:
The Last Valley -Sacking of Magdeburg, 20 May 1631 – Tilly became General of a wasteland. Cyrano de Bergerac -The Siege of Arras 1640