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View Diary: Hearing No Evil: The Amazing Obtuseness of Campus Conservatives (130 comments)

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  •  30 years wars (9+ / 0-)
    A major consequence of the Thirty Years' War was the devastation of entire regions, denuded by the foraging armies (bellum se ipsum alet). Famine and disease significantly decreased the population of the German states, Bohemia, the Low Countries, and Italy; most of the combatant powers were bankrupted. While the regiments within each army were not strictly mercenary, in that they were not units for hire that changed sides from battle to battle, some individual soldiers that made up the regiments were mercenaries. The problem of discipline was made more difficult by the ad hoc nature of 17th-century military financing; armies were expected to be largely self-funding, by means of loot taken or tribute extorted from the settlements where they operated. This encouraged a form of lawlessness that imposed severe hardship on inhabitants of the occupied territory.
    ...
    So great was the devastation brought about by the war that estimates put the reduction of population in the German states at about 25% to 40%.[51] Some regions were affected much more than others.[52] For example, Württemberg lost three-quarters of its population during the war.[53] In the territory of Brandenburg, the losses had amounted to half, while in some areas an estimated two-thirds of the population died.[54] The male population of the German states was reduced by almost half.[55] The population of the Czech lands declined by a third due to war, disease, famine and the expulsion of Protestant Czechs.[56][57] Much of the destruction of civilian lives and property was caused by the cruelty and greed of mercenary soldiers.[58] Villages were especially easy prey to the marauding armies. Those that survived, like the small village of Drais near Mainz, would take almost a hundred years to recover. The Swedish armies alone may have destroyed up to 2,000 castles, 18,000 villages and 1,500 towns in Germany, one-third of all German towns.[59]
    http://en.wikipedia.org/...

    Wars of mass extermination are not a uniquely 20th century phenomenon.

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