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Coordinates: 49°27′10″N 10°57′55″E / 49.45278°N 10.96528°E / 49.45278; 10.96528

Battle of Alte Veste
Part of the Thirty Years' War
DateAugust 31, 1632 (O.S.) [1]
September 9, 1632 (N.S.) [1]
LocationAlte Veste, southwest of Nürnberg
(present-day Germany)
Result Swedish defeat, Lennart Torstensson, Swedish Artillery Commander, captured
Sweden-Flag-1562.svg Sweden  Holy Roman Empire
Marienfahne.gif Catholic League
Commanders and leaders
Sweden-Flag-1562.svg Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden Holy Roman EmpireAlbrecht von Wallenstein
46,000 men 40,000 men
Casualties and losses
~1,000 killed
1,400 wounded
~1,000 killed
1,500 wounded

The Battle of the Alte Veste was a significant battle of the Thirty Years' War. In the late summer of 1632 the army of Swedish King Gustavus Adolphus had been besieged by Albrecht von Wallenstein at Nürnberg. The successes of Gustavus Adolphus over General Tilly forced Holy Roman Emperor Ferdinand II to recall Albrecht von Wallenstein into military service from retirement. Wallenstein was unmatched in his ability to raise troops within a few weeks and with fresh army he took to the field. The Imperial Army's ranks swelled as Wallenstein moved to trap the Swedes at their stronghold of Nürnberg. Repeatedly Gustav Adolf formed for battle and challenged Wallenstein to come out of his fortified camp, but he refused. As the supply situation worsened, the impetuous King attacked the Imperial camp at the Alte Veste "Old Fortress"—a derelict castle atop a wooded hill that would then allow the Swedish guns to dominate the Imperial camp. The Imperials were prepared with trenches and an abatis that stymied the Swedish advance. When the vaunted brigades faltered, much of the cavalry was sent in dismounted. Wallenstein saw an opportunity to strike a blow and sallied his cavalry and cut down many of the exhausted troops. Only the Swedish cavalry reserve was able to avert a complete disaster. The Swedes had been defeated. Commander of Swedish artillery Lennart Torstenson was taken prisoner and locked up for nearly a year at Ingolstadt. Gustav Adolf received reinforcements days later and Wallenstein left camp and moved north.


  1. 1.0 1.1 August 31 (old style or pre-acceptance of the Gregorian calendar in the Protestant region) September 9 (new style, or Gregorian dating), 1632.

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