A war, thirty years and five months, that devastated Germany, inflicted terrible suffering on the country and caused the afflicted population to be brutalized.
An entire generation, raised among the knout of marauding hordes, knew nothing but struggle, hunger and suffering.
Started as a religious war, it had at least since the active entry of France in 1635 degenerated into a pure power struggle, which was about who should be the dominant power on the continent.
Now, in the thirty-first year, all parties were tired and exhausted, and peace seemed within reach.
But the negotiations dragged on for months, interrupted again and again by new flare-ups of battles and latest news from the front. Because still the rulers hoped for a change in the luck of war at the last minute. The armed armies still faced each other in the field, fighting for the smallest streaks of foreign land or for a better starting position for the next attack.
Only after the mid-1648 defeat for Emperor Ferdinand III. was always foreseeable, he agreed in the peace terms.
Thus, with the Peace of Westphalia, which covered all treaties signed between May and October 1648, the Thirty Years’ War was finally declared over.
Still, it would be years before the last of the looting mercenary armies broke up and general peace could prevail in the Empire.