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Battle of Breitenfeld
Part of the Thirty Years' War
Tortensson1642 marcossouza.jpg
Lennart Torstenson's military campaign in 1642
Date23 October 1642
LocationBreitenfeld, Saxony (present-day Germany)
Result Decisive Swedish victory
Sweden-Flag-1562.svg Swedish Empire  Holy Roman Empire
Commanders and leaders
Sweden-Flag-1562.svg Lennart Torstenson
Sweden-Flag-1562.svg Torsten Stålhandske
Holy Roman Empire Leopold Wilhelm
Ottavio Piccolomini
15,000 25,000
46 guns
Casualties and losses
4,000 dead or wounded 10,000 dead or wounded
5,000 prisoners

The Second Battle of Breitenfeld, also known as the First Battle of Leipzig (23 October 1642), took place at Breitenfeld (some 7.5 kilometres (4.7 mi) north-east of Leipzig), Germany, during the Thirty Years' War. The battle was a decisive victory for the Swedish army under the command of Field Marshal Lennart Torstenson over an Imperial Army of the Holy Roman Empire under the command of Archduke Leopold Wilhelm of Austria and his deputy, Prince-General Ottavio Piccolomini, Duke of Amalfi.[1]


In this second clash between ideologies for the prized Saxony city of Leipzig, the Protestant allied forces, led by Torstenson, defeated an army of the Holy Roman Empire, led by Leopold and his deputy, Prince-General Piccolomini.

Like the first battle the second was a decisive victory for Swedish led forces in their intervention in the Thirty Years' War on behalf of various Protestant "Princes" of the generally small German states against the German Catholic League formed to stamp out Protestantism in Central Europe.

The Imperial army suffered 15,000 casualties, where of 5,000 were taken prisoner. Forty-six guns were also seized. 4,000 Swedes were killed or wounded; among them, General Torsten Stålhandske, who led the Finnish Hakkapeliitta Cavalry, received a serious wound.


The battle enabled Sweden to occupy Saxony. His defeat made Emperor Ferdinand III more willing to negotiate peace, and renounce the Preliminary of Hamburg.


  1. The second battle was fully eleven years after the first battle at the crossroads village had unbottled the Swedish forces under Gustavus II Adolphus wherein he had handed Field Marshal Count Tilly his first major defeat in fifty years of soldiering on the same plain.


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