Using military assistance of Bohemian nobleman Albrecht von Wallenstein, who provided his army of an estimated 50, soldiers to Ferdinand II in exchange for the freedom to plunder any captured territory, began to respond and, bythe Swedes were vanquished.
Mansfeld died some months later of illness, in Dalmatia, exhausted and ashamed that this one battle had cost him half his army. Some of the Protestant leaders of Bohemia feared they would be losing the religious rights granted to them by Emperor Rudolf II in his letter of majesty.
Under severe internal and external strain, it merely required a final spark, which it found in Bohemia. This phase of the war was marked by unprecedented brutality; for example, inimperial troops massacred two-thirds of the population of Magdeburga city of 20, that had withstood a long siege.
The Bohemians, desperate for allies against the Emperor, applied to be admitted into the Protestant Union, which was led by their original candidate for the Bohemian throne, the Calvinist Frederick V, Elector Palatine.
With Spain weakening, France became the dominant power in Europe, an outcome confirmed by its victory in the subsequent Franco-Spanish War. By much of this objective was realized.
The period leading up to the war was characterised simultaneously by an extreme piety and increasing confessional divide in the empire, yet in its numerous theological, political and legal forms, the confessional conflict alone cannot be considered the sole cause of the conflagration.
When the contending powers finally met in the German province of Westphalia to end the bloodshed, the balance of power in Europe had been radically changed.