• A Warrior Dynasty

  • The Rise and Fall of Sweden as a Military Superpower 1611-1721
  • By: Henrik O. Lunde
  • Narrated by: Mark Ashby
  • Length: 10 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Release date: 24-12-14
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Audible Studios
  • 4 out of 5 stars 3.9 (9 ratings)

Summary

This audiobook examines the meteoric rise of Sweden as the pre-eminent military power in Europe during the Thirty Years War during the 1600s, and then follows its line of warrior kings into the next century until the Swedes finally meet their demise, in an overreach into the vastness of Russia. A small Scandinavian nation, with at most one and a half million people and scant internal resources of its own, there was small logic to how Sweden could become the dominant power on the Continent. That Sweden achieved this was due to its leadership - a case-study in history when pure military skill, and that alone, could override the demographic and economic factors which have in modern times been termed so pre-eminent. Once Protestantism emerged, via Martin Luther, the most devastating war in European history ensued, as the Holy Roman Empire sought to reassert its authority by force. Into this bloody maelstrom stepped Gustav Adolf of Sweden, a brilliant tactician and strategist, who with his finely honed Swedish legions proceeded to establish a new authority in northern Europe. Gustav, as brave as he was brilliant, was finally killed while leading a cavalry charge at the Battle of Ltzen. He had innovated, however, tactics and weaponry that put his successors in good stead, as Sweden remained a great power, rivaled only by France and Spain in terms of territory in Europe. And then one of his successors, Karl XII, turned out to be just as great a military genius as Gustav himself, and as the year 1700 arrived, Swedish armies once more burst out in all directions. Karl, like Gustav, assumed the throne while still a teenager, but immediately displayed so much acumen, daring and skill that chroniclers could only compare him, like Gustav, to Alexander the Great. This book examines thoroughly, yet in highly readable fashion, the century during which Swedish military power set an example for all Europe.
©2014 Henrik O. Lunde (P)2014 Audible Inc.
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
2 out of 5 stars
By Patrick on 15-02-18

Reads like a souped up hasty graduate thesis.

The author has written a thimy veneered Hagiography and not an academically sound or factual History of the dynasty nor periods he covers. His perfunctory readings of secondary sources and his specious argumentation throughout tarnishs any actual merit of the work. In constantly reminding the reader his space is limited, while often taking paragraphs outlining his chapters or retreading already covered ideas, he essentially cops out on making any sort of whollistic and convincing historical narrative out of the short, albeit complex, time period he chose to cover.
TLDR; This is a really badly done history\pop-history book. Look elsewhere for knowledge

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3 out of 5 stars
By dchicago on 08-05-17

Pretty dry military history

If you want the numbers, dates and a narrative for all the engagements in the wars Sweden waged for 100 years, starting with the 30 years war in 1630, this delivers. It does not give much sense of the reasons behind the war, or any of the personalities involved. In keeping with that, it is read like a very long list, very flat. Not what I wanted or expected, but I did listen to it all. Not completely sure why, but it had some strange attraction as background noise. I did learn more a lot about the battles and tactics.

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