Village in Saxony
Breitenfeld is mostly known for two major battles fought outside the village in the Thirty Years' War. The first one is one of the most important battles in European history, both due to the effect of the battle on the outcome of the war and because of the tactics used in and before the battle.
In the battle of Breitenfeld Swedish forces led by king Gustavus Adolphus supportded by German troops under John George I of Saxony, met the forces of the Holy Roman Empire commanded by field marshal Tilly, who had led an extremely successful campaign up to this point.
The battle started with a partly successful cavalry charge from the imperial forces. Their right flank, commanded by Count Fürstenberg managed to rout the opposing Saxon forces. The protestant's other flank and center held, however, and Gustavus Adolphus sent Swedish infantry to seal the breach on their left. At the same time, the mobile and fast Swedish forces started an intense barrage of musket fire that broke up every attempt from the Imperial forces to charge. This continued for seven hours, until in the late afternoon when the Swedish king called up his reserves and routed the imperial forces in a massive cavalry attack.
Tilly, who had been all but invincible until this battle was wounded and his reputation never healed after this defeat.
Gustavus Adolphus, on the other hand, was not trusted by his allies early in the war, but after Breitenfelt he gained a lot of important supporters, and also the reputation of one of the greatest generals in history.