The military campaign in Silesia by the imperial general Martin Maximilian von der Goltz in the years 1640-1641

Jan Kilián
Original title: Slezské tažení císařského generála Martina Maximiliána z Golče v letech 1640–1641
Śląski Kwartalnik Historyczny Sobótka 2011

Martin Maximilian von der Goltz (cca 1593-1653), born in Pomeranian area nearby Wałcz, crowned his long military career in 1730s as a general and commander-in-chief of military corps in territories under the rule of Habsburgs. His most prestigious, but certainly not the most successful expedition was the campaign in Silesia, where he operated against the Swedish adversaries and their garrisons in fortified towns. At that time the main attack was concentrated against Jelenia Góra, finally occupied by Goltz. It was, however, captured without any glory, because the Swedish troops withdraw from the town in autumn 1640. During the winterbreak Goltz was going to prepare new actions for the next year, but the imperial logistics, not as good as the Swedish one, did not supported these plans. Therefore the cooperation between the Goltz´s corps with Saxon allies became very important. The Saxons were afraid that the Swedes could attack Lusatia just from Silesia. Goltz´s field manoeuvres were in this emergency a form of pulling the enemy away from the new lands of the Saxon elector. There was very close to a decisive battle between Goltz and the Swedish general Stallhans in the area around Krosno Odrzańskie, but it never happen. Thereafter Goltz turned to the South and captured several fortresses, the town of Lubań included. Unfortunately he already suffered chronic illnesses: urolithiasis and podagra. Therefore in autumn 1641 the general resigned from his key post of the commander-in-chief and retired following the appropriate Bohemian rules.

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