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Editor says, what if the Thirty Years War had taken an unexpected turn? Please note that the opinions expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of the author(s). This article is part of the Generals thread.
In 1636,confirmation that the Swedes were a spent force after the earlier battle of Nordlingen was assured by the glorious victory of the combined Imperial-Saxon army at Wittstock.
Swedes defeated at WittstockBecause a Swedish-allied army (pictured) under general Johan Baner decisively was comprehensively defeated by a combined Imperial-Saxon army, led by Count Melchior von Hatzfeld and the Saxon Elector John George I. Baner was helped by Swedish Count Lennart Torstenson and Scottish professional soldiers Alexander Leslie, later first Earl of Leven, James King, later first Lord Eythin, and John Ruthven. The Imperial army was larger in strength than the Swedish army, but at least one-third of it was composed of Saxon units of questionable quality. The Swedish artillery was considerably stronger, forcing the Imperial commanders to adopt a surprise tactics and fool Baner who expected them to maintain a largely defensive position on the hill tops. 
The broader context for the battle was that the Holy Roman Emperor, with his Saxon and Roman Catholic allies, was fighting for the control of northern Germany against the Swedes and an alliance of Protestant princes opposed to Habsburg hegemony. The Swedes were also allied to the French, but they played no part in the engagement, but after Wittstock the French soon became the dominant partner in the alliance.
Editor says, in reality Wittstock was a resounding victory for the Swedish forces and corrected any delusions harboured by the Imperialists that they were a spent force after the earlier battle of Nordlingen. We have repurposed significant amounts of content from Wikipedia in authoring this post. Editorial comments are entered in [light green] typeface.