How accurate is it to say that the weakness of the Protestant forces was the main reason for Habsburg military successes in Germany in 1618-1630?

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How accurate is it to say that the weakness of the Protestant forces was the main reason for Habsburg military successes in Germany in 1618-1630?

The Protestants suffered under political weaknesses mainly as a result of their lack of political allies. Frederick, the Calvinist leader of Bohemia was disregarded in the Empire as he took the crown against the advice of the Protestant Union. This meant he did not have widespread support from other Protestants within the Empire and was therefore isolated. For example, the Bohemians were supported only by Brunswick and Baden within the Empire. Moreover, they also lacked international support, for example, the Netherlands did not support Frederick as their troops were already occupied in a war with the Spanish Habsburgs. This shows Frederick not only lacked support in the Empire, but on a larger scale as well. This weakened the Protestants as they were no competition to the Habsburgs in terms of support and allies. The Danish suffered the same fate as they only had limited support in their phase of the war from 1625. However, the English and French both funded Christian with subsidies allowing him to increase his army of mercenaries. On the other hand, they did not provide any physical strength in the war effort. Moreover, Christian had no support in the Empire as people weren’t willing to take on the Habsburgs after what happened in Bohemia. The Bohemians were punished very harshly and anyone involved in the uprising had their property confiscated, the Protestants were persecuted and ultimately expelled from the state. Therefore, states within the Empire were less willing to take on the Habsburgs because they feared the same would happen to them. Christian IV’s limited support is evident in 1629 when he withdrew Denmark from the war. Their lack of political support made the Protestants even easier to defeat and was one of their significant weaknesses, although not as important as their military weakness which prevented them from putting up a strong fight and therefore losing against the Habsburgs.

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The military weakness of the Protestants is illustrated by the fact that they only had a limited army of 2,000 mercenaries under the leadership of Ernst von Mansfeld. Mansfeld had little success and was defeated in both 1620 by the Catholic League and 1626 by Wallenstein’s army at Dessau Bridge. This weak defence made the Protestants relatively easy to defeat compared to the strength of the Catholic military which consisted of a joint effort between the Catholic League, Imperial troops and the Spanish Habsburgs. In comparison, the Protestants lacked unity and were not working as a unit because they had ...

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