Book Review: Charles XI's War: The Scanian War Between Sweden and Denmark, 1675-1679


by Michael Fredholm von Essen

Warwick, Eng.: Helion / Philadelphia: Casemate, 2019. Pp. 256. Illus., maps, personae, appends., notes, biblio. $39.95 paper. ISBN: 1911628003

A Long-Forgotten Swedish-Danish War

The Scanian War is rather poorly known in the English-speaking world, if at all, but is here given a very good overview treatment by the prolific Fredholm von Essen. The author opens with a look at the rival kings and at their armed forces, then briefly explains the origins of the war, essentially King Christian V of Denmark’s desire to recapture provinces lost to Sweden a generation earlier.

The bulk of the volume naturally covers the vicissitudes of the conflict, as amries marched to and fro, one which spilled over into northern Germany with some involvement by other powers. Discussions of operations often include explanations of the military practice of the time. But the author also helps us learn how the war fit within the larger series of conflicts initiated by the ambitions of France’s Louis XIV.

Well illustrated, with both with period and modern images, the book also has some very good maps, but does lack an index.

A part of the Helion “Century of the Soldier” series, which now numbers some 50 volumes covering various aspect of the military history of what might be termed the “long” seventeeth century (c. 1618-c. 1721), Charles XI’s War is a good treatment of an interesting, if largely overlooked, conflict.


Note: Charles XI’s War is also available in several e-editions.

StrategyPage reviews are published in cooperation with The New York Military Affairs Symposium


Reviewer: A. A. Nofi   

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