Charles Gustav of Sweden is the man charged with inheriting the throne of Sweden after his cousin Queen Cristina, the daughter of the indomitable Gustavus Adoplhus, abdicates for pastures less regal. That incident was unusual in itself, but Charles does his utmost here to set the Swedish crown on a firm and stable footing. There's bills to pay, nobles to appease and borders to secure, yet Charles Gustav is almost immediately thrust into making a difficult decision when news arrives of an opportunity too good to pass up nearby, as an old enemy falls prey to a situation previous Swedish monarchs could only have dreamed of. The Swedish Deluges followed, and they gave me the chance to tell amazing stories of bravery, conquest and resilience as Europe rallies against the unstoppable Swedish tide. How would it end, where would it lead? Find out here.

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WDF 27.0: The Swedish Deluges Part 1

The first episode of our coverage of the Swedish Deluges requires a bit of scene setting. Who was Queen Cristina, and what was the deal with Poland to the South? Could Sweden maintain its rampant successes from the Thirty Years War? Find out here!

Cristina was remarkably similar in temperament to her late father Gustavus Adolphus, and in many ways was a monarch before her time, though she of course had her faults.

Cristina was remarkably similar in temperament to her late father Gustavus Adolphus, and in many ways was a monarch before her time, though she of course had her faults.

WDF 27.2: The Swedish Deluges Part 2

My my Poland, what big problems you have! How did the Commonwealth of Poland Lithuania go from eternal, dangerous enemy of Sweden to the sick man of 17th century Europe? A lot of its problems were rooted in its strange structure, variety of peoples and inability to contend with its enemies, but we explore all such issues here.

Poland Lithuania encompassed the virtual entirety of middle Europe, but by our timeline this sweeping size was more a problem than a blessing.

Poland Lithuania encompassed the virtual entirety of middle Europe, but by our timeline this sweeping size was more a problem than a blessing.

WDF 27.4: The Swedish Deluges Part 3

The dramatic and incredible invasion of Poland by the Swedes that bore witness to its almost complete disintegration is examined here in full, covering the period of summer 1655 to early 1657. The campaigns of the Swedes and their devastating impact were one issue, but how the rest of Europe reacted, from the Holy Roman Emperor to the Dutch Republic, was another issue entirely. Hope you enjoy this extended episode!

The incredible pace and impact of the Swedish Deluges into Poland eclipsed the efforts of Charles Gustav's uncle and surpassed all expectations of the relevant powers.

The incredible pace and impact of the Swedish Deluges into Poland eclipsed the efforts of Charles Gustav's uncle and surpassed all expectations of the relevant powers.

WDF 27.6: The Swedish Deluges Part 4

Now forced to turn its attention to the Danes, Charles Gustav plans a monumental strike against Sweden's eternal foe, that shattered the sensibilities of the wider world. Elsewhere, Poland reeled but recovered under a pall of religious passion and enthusiasm, which collectively forced the Swede out.

The religious element of the war is worth emphasising in the Polish case, because it was only after the repeated insults against Catholic churches and monasteries, most notably as Jasne Gora, that Poland rallied against the invader. 

The religious element of the war is worth emphasising in the Polish case, because it was only after the repeated insults against Catholic churches and monasteries, most notably as Jasne Gora, that Poland rallied against the invader. 

WDF 27.8: The Swedish Deluges Part 5

The world seemed to be turning against Sweden, but as the belts froze and Denmark was suddenly devoid of the protection of the seas, Charles Gustav moved to affect his greatest triumph - the march across the belts. Bringing the fight directly to Copenhagen, it seemed as though only the rest of Europe could halt Charles' unstoppable advance, but just then, the Danes held firm. Have a listen to this final part of the Swedish Deluges! Thankssss!

For so long Denmark's geographic position ensured its safety, but when the seas froze over the Swedes were able to use it to their advantage, affecting one of the most breathtaking advances ever seen in history.

For so long Denmark's geographic position ensured its safety, but when the seas froze over the Swedes were able to use it to their advantage, affecting one of the most breathtaking advances ever seen in history.