In 1618, Protestants were rebelling in Bohemia.  During this period of rebellion, two Catholic Councillors were thrown out of a castle window in Prague.  This is known as the "Defenestration of Prague". These protests erupted in greater Bohemia (a state in present day Czech Republic).

Frederick V, Elector of the (Protestant) Rheinland-Palatinate (1610-1620), was named King of Bohemia in 1619.  There was an agreement that the Palatine Elector would become King of Bohemia if Bohemia was allowed into the Protestant Union which Frederick's father founded in 1608.  The Protestant Diet of Bohemia had just deposed the Roman Catholic King Ferdinand (HRE Ferdinand II) and chose Frederick as their King.  Frederick accepted but did not receive any aid or support from his father-in-law, King James I of England and from the Protestant Union which was against Ferdinand. 

Frederick's forces were defeated by Imperial Catholic forces at White Mountain (near Prague in Bohemia) in 1620 and the electorate of Bohemia was transferred to Duke Maximillian I of Bavaria.  His short tenure as King led to the name Frederick the Winter King.

Count Gottfried Heinrich von Pappenheim distinguished himself in the Battle at White Mountain.  He would enter Imperial Service in 1623.

Meanwhile, in Sept. 1622, Catholic forces under Johann Tserclaes Tilly, Count from Bavaria - serving under Duke Maximillian I of Bavaria, ransacked Protestant Heidelberg. Tilly would later take command of the Imperial Army (Catholic forces) in 1630.

Later in May 1631, Count Pappenheim's cavalry soldiers and the forces of now General Tilly (Imperial Catholic) assaulted the Protestant city of Magdeburg. The 40,000 Catholic troops laid the city in ruins with nearly 30,000 residents dead.  The city was set on fire.  The Imperial Catholic forces were made up of Hungarians, Poles, Italians, Spanish, French, and Germans.

In September 1631, Pappenheim and Tilly were defeated at Breitenfeld (near Liepzig) by Gustavus Adolphus, King of Sweden (Protestant forces aligned with Finland). 

On April 15 of 1632, General Tilly was wounded in the Battle of Lech (near the Lech River) while trying to prevent the Swedes from crossing the Lech into Bavaria.  Fifteen days later, he would die of tetanus as a result of the wound. 

By May of 1632, the Protestant forces of Sweden took over the cities of Augsburg and Munich, Bavaria.  The remaining Catholic forces there marching out and the forces from Sweden marching in.  The Swedes would control the cities until 1635 when Imperial forces returned.

Nov. 16, 1632, while fighting under Commander Wallenstein (Imperial Catholic) against the Swedish forces (Protestant) at Lutzen (also near Liepzig), Count Pappenheim was mortally wounded by a small-calibre cannon ball.  Also killed in battle was the Gustav Adolphus, King of Sweden.  The Swedes with 19,000 troups were victorius over the Imperial troops of 22,000.  There were 3000 in Pappenheim's Cavalry.

In Sept. 1634, Imperial forces and Spanish forces besieged the Protestant Swede forces and Saxon forces at Noerdlingen.  14,000 Protestants dead and 3,500 Imperial forces dead.  This was the end of the Swedish Phase of the Thirty-Year War. 

With the Imperial forces gaining strength, France steps in.  In May of 1635, France declares war on Spain. 

The second battle of Noerdlingen occured in August 1635.  This time the Protestants would prevail.  Both sides however, suffered tremendous losses.

In 1636, France is attacked from three directions.

It is important to note, that since the 1620's, Spanish Forces had been united with the Imperial Catholic forces to form the Catholic League.  Philip IV, King of Spain was a cousin to the Holy Roman Emperor Ferdinand.

The Protestant Rheinland was in-between these two Catholic allies.  As a result, much destruction occured in the Rheinland as troops moved about.  With Elector Frederick V being named King of Bohemia in 1620, nothing was stopping the Spanish Catholic forces from moving into the Rheinland-Palatinate and taking Frederick's lands.  Soon, both Spanish and Bavarian forces occupied the Palatinate.  Remember, Count Tilly of Bavaria was victorious at Heidelberg in 1622.  When France entered the fray in 1635, there was still greater movement of troops through the Rheinland-Palatinate. From 1618 to 1648,  the Palatinate would loose three quarters of its population
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Some Events of the Thirty-Years War
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See also: Peasants Revolt of 1525
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