Online Encyclopedia


Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V03, Page 313 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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BANER (BANNER, BANTER), JOHAN (1596-1641), Swedish soldier in the Thirty Years' War, was born at Djursholm Castle on the 23rd of June 1596. Entering the Swedish army, he served with distinction in the wars with Russia and Poland, and had reached high rank when, in 163o, Gustavus Adolphus landed in Germany. As one of the king's chief subordinates, Bailer served in the campaign of north Germany, and at the first battle of Breitenfeld he led the right wing of Swedish horse. He was present at the taking of Augsburg and of Munich, and rendered conspicuous service at the Lech and at Donauworth. At the unsuccessful assault on Wallenstein's camp at the Alte Veste Bailer received a wound, and, soon afterwards, when Gustavus marched towards Lutzen, his general was left in command in the west, where he was opposed to the imperial general Aldringer. Two years later, as Swedish field-marshal, Bailer, with 16,000 men, entered Bohemia, and, combined with the Saxon army, marched on Prague. But the complete defeat of Bernhard of Saxe-Weimar in the first battle of Nordlingen stopped his victorious advance. After this event the peace of Prague placed the Swedish army in a very precarious position, but the victories won by the united forces of Bailer, Wrangel and Torstensson, at Kyritz and Wittstock (4th Oct. 1636), restored the paramount influence of Sweden in central Germany. Even the three combined armies, however, were decidedly inferior in force to those they defeated, and in 1637 Balser was completely unable to make headway against the enemy. Rescuing with great difficulty the beleaguered garrison of Torgau, he retreated beyond the Oder into Pomerania. In 1639, however, he again overran northern Germany, defeated the Saxons at Chemnitzand invaded Bohemia itself. The winter of 164o-1641 Bailer spent in the west. His last achievement was an audacious coup-de-main on the Danube. Breaking camp in mid-winter (a very rare event in the 17th century) he united with the French under the comte de Guebriant and surprised Regensburg, where the diet was sitting. Only the break-up of the ice pre-vented the capture of the place. Baner thereupon had to retreat to Halberstadt. Here, on the loth of May 1641, he died, after designating Torstensson as his successor. He was much beloved by his men, who bore his body with them on the field of Wolfenbuttel. Bailer was regarded as the best of Gustavus's generals, and tempting offers (which he refused) were made him by the emperor to induce him to enter his service. His son received the dignity of count. See Baners Bref till Axel Oxenstjerna (Stockholm, 1893) ; B. P. von Chemnitz, Koniglichen Schwedscher in Deutschland gefuhrten Kriegs; Martin Veibull, Sveriges Storhedsted (Stockholm, 1881); Lundblad, Johan Batter (Stockholm, 1823) ; Ardwisson, Trittioariga Krigets rnaerkvaerdigaste personer (Stockholm, 1861).
End of Article: BANER (BANNER, BANTER), JOHAN (1596-1641)

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