The Death of Von Mansfeld

“The courage, endurance and self-discipline for which he was famous were balanced by no social virtues and he was as devoid of common honesty as he was of cowardice. …What his destination was on that last journey, or what his projects, no one knew. … Mystery and legend surround his last days, but somewhere on the way to the Dalmatian coast among the hills above Sarajevo, he died, leaving his leaderless companions to starvation or captivity. It was rumored untruthfully that the Turks had poisoned him, rumoured too, perhaps with more truth, that when his body and soul were in their last struggle, he called for two of his men and, leaning a heavy arm on the shoulder of each, dragged himself to his feet so that he should die at least as befitted a soldier and the son of a noble house — a defiant and futile gesture to end that defiant and futile life.” Wedgwood, The Thirty Years War.

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