Wallenstein, Albrecht Wenzel Eusebius von
Albrecht Wenzel Eusebius von Wallenstein, painting
Wallenstein, Albrecht Wenzel Eusebius von, b. Hermanice, Czech Republic (then Hermanitz), Sept. 24, 1583, d. Cheb, Czech Republic (then Eger; murdered), Feb. 25, 1634. Politician and military commander in the Thirty Years War. In 1623 Imperial Prince, 1625 Duke of Friedland, 1627/28 Prince of Sagan, 1627/29 Duke of Mecklenburg. Belonged to the Bohemian Waldstein family. From 1604 served the Habsburgs, and in 1617 supported Archduke Ferdinand II against Venice, remained loyal to him during the Bohemian uprising in 1618-1620 and was made governor of Bohemia in 1622. Became rich through marriage, acquired large estates, and in 1625 raised his own "private" army with his own means, and became Supreme Commander of all imperial troops. In April 1626 defeated E. Mansfeld near Dessau, conquered Silesia in 1627, advanced to Jutland in 1627 and mediated the peace of Lübeck.
In 1630 the German Princes obtained his dismissal in Regensburg. After the Swedish advance under King Gustavus II Adolphus, W. was again given the supreme command on April 13, 1632 and expelled the Swedish king from Southern Germany, who was killed on November 16, 1632 in the indecisive Battle of Lützen (Saxony). In 1633, in a position of military supremacy, W. wanted to make peace. He refused to protect Bavaria and negotiated with the Swedes and the French. Due to the distrust of the Vienna court, W. attempted to secure the support of the army by the Plzen Declaration, but was outlawed and dismissed by Emperor Ferdinand II and murdered in Eger together with a number of people, including his closest friend (A. E. Terzka). The attempt to prove his betrayal failed. W. was the most significant military commander of the 30 Years War.
Literature: H. v. Srbik, Wallensteins Ende, 21952; Golo Mann, Wallenstein, sein Leben, 1986; H. Diwald, Wallenstein, 1987; J. Polisenský and J. Kollmann, Wallenstein. Feldherr des Dreißigjährigen Krieges, 1997.