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Bernhard of Saxe-Weimar

Bernhard of Saxe-Weimar (săksˈ–wĪˈmär, zäksˈə-vĪˈmär) [key], 1604–39, Protestant general in the Thirty Years War, duke of Weimar. Under Ernst von Mansfeld and the margrave of Baden, Bernhard fought against the imperial forces in defense (1622) of the Palatinate. He served in the Netherlands and later allied himself (1631) with King Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden, after whose death at Lützen (1632) he took command. In 1633, Bernhard became joint commander of the army of the Heilbronn Confederation, created under Swedish auspices. The Swedish government also granted him the newly created duchy of Franconia, formed out of the captured German bishoprics of Würzburg and Bamberg. His capture of Regensburg (1633) made him the hero of the Protestants. In 1634 he suffered a crushing defeat by the imperial army at Nördlingen and soon afterward lost Franconia. Bernhard and his army were taken into French pay in 1635. Victories at Breisgau and Breisach (1638) brought him control over Alsace and the Upper Rhine. He died suddenly of a fever.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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