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Originally appearing in Volume V17, Page 143 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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LUTZEN, a town in Prussian Saxony, in the circle of Merseburg (pop. in 1S•os, 3981), chiefly famous as the scene of a great battle fought on the 6/16th of November 1632 between the Swedes, under King Gustavus Adolphus, and the Imperialists, under Wallenstein. On the 5/15th November, Gustavus, with some 20,000 men, advanced from Naumburg on the Saale to meet a contingent of his German allies at Grimma, S.E. of Leipzig, but becoming aware of the presence of Wallenstein's army near Lutzen, and that it had been weakened by a large detachment sent away under Pappenheim towards Halle, he turned towards Lutzen. Wallenstein's posts at Weissenfels and Rippach pre-vented him from fighting his main battle the same evening, and the Swedes went into camp near Rippach, a little more than an hour's march from Lutzen. VVallenstein made ready to give battle on the following day and recalled Pappenheim. The latter had taken a small castle, the reduction of which was one of the objects of his expedition, but his men had dispersed to plunder and could not be rallied before the following morning. Gustavus had now to choose between proceeding to Grimma and fighting Wallenstein on the chance that Pappenheim had not rejoined. He chose the latter. In the mist of the early morning Wallenstein's army was formed in line of battle along the Leipzig road with its right on Lutzen. Its left was not carried out as far as the Flossgraben in order to leave room on that flank for Pappenheim. His infantry was arranged in five huge oblongs, four of which (in lozengeformation) formed the centre and one the right wing at Lutzen. These " battalias " had their angles strengthened in the old-fashioned way that had prevailed since Marignan, with small outstanding bodies of musketeers, so that they resembled rectangular forts with bastions. On either side of this centre was the cavalry in two long lines, while in front of the centre and close to the right at Lutzen were the two batteries of heavy artillery. Lutzen was set on fire as a precaution. Skirmishers lined the bank and the ditch of the Leipzig road. The total strength of the Imperial army was about 12,000 foot and 8000 horse. Gustavus's hopes of an early decision were frustrated by the fog, which delayed the approach and deployment of the Swedes. It was 8 A.M. before all was ready. The royal army was in two lines. The infantry in the centre was arrayed in the small and handy battalions then peculiar to Gustavus's army, the horse on either wing extended from opposite Lutzen to some distance beyond Wallenstein's left, which Pappenheim was to extend on his arrival. By the accident of the terrain, or perhaps, following the experience of Breitenfeld (q.v.), by design, the right' of the Swedes was somewhat nearer to the enemy than the left. In front, near the centre, were the heavy guns and each infantry battalion had its own light artillery. The force of infantry and cavalry on either side was about equal, the Swedes had perhaps rather less cavalry and rather more infantry, but their artillery was superior to Wallenstein's. Not until 11 was it possible to open fire, for want of a visible target, but about noon, after a preliminary cannonade, Gustavus gave the word to advance. The king himself commanded the right wing, which had to wait until small bodies of infantry detached for the purpose had driven in the Imperialist skirmish line, and had then to cross a ditch leading the horses. They were not. charged by the Imperialists at this moment, for Pappenheim had not yet arrived, and the usual cavalry tactics of the day were founded on the pistol and not on the sword and the charging horse. Gaining at last room to form, the Swedes charged and routed the first line of the Imperial cavalry but were stopped by the heavy squadrons of cuirassiers in second line, and at that moment Gustavus galloped away to the centre where events had taken a serious turn. The Swedish centre (infantry) had forced their way across the Leipzig road and engaged Wallenstein's living forts at close quarters. The " Blue " brigade—Gustavus's infantry wore distinctive colours—overran the
End of Article: LUTZEN

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