The Thirty Years War the first great pan European war, and until the twentieth century the most terrible ravaged Germany, but myth, propaganda and historical controversy have obscured its true nature. Another perspective is provided by the private diaries, memoirs and chronicles of soldiers and citizens who recorded their own experiences. War at the individual level is discussed and described using these sources, which are extensively quoted in their own words.
GEOFF MORTIMER is Lecturer in German at St Edmund Hall, Oxford. He gained a doctorate from Oxford University for his work on the Thirty Years War.