Europe in Flames : The Crisis of the Thirty Years War by John Matusiak


The Thirty Years War claimed more lives proportionately than either the First or Second World Wars - not only from battle and the endemic violence of marauding armies, but also from famine and plague. The bitter struggle encompassed the entire political and religious future of Europe and involved all the major players of the Continent. As the turmoil unfolded, vast mercenary armies exacted an incalculable toll upon helpless civilian populations, while their commanders and the men who equipped them frequently grew rich on the profits, leaving rulers perched on the brink of catastrophe.

When peace came in 1648, the underlying tensions were far from wholly resolved. In Europe in Flames John Matusiak provides a compelling account of this most tumultuous time, exploring the causes, course and outcomes of a conflict that not only produced one of the greatest manmade calamities of its kind, but changed the direction of European history forever.

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