Johan Baner, a Swedish general, born near Stockholm, June 23, 1595, died in Halberstadt, May 10, 1641. His father, one of the councillors of Charles IX., gave that king some offence, and was executed at Linkoping in 1600. Under Gustavus Adolphus the son took an active part in the conflicts with Russia and Poland, and in the thirty years' war, distinguished himself at Leipsic (1631), where he defeated the right wing of the imperialists under Pappen-heim, contributed toward the conquest of Augsburg and Munich, became commander of an important section of the Swedish army, and succeeded in conjunction with Horn in expelling Aldringer from Bavaria. After the death of Gustavus Adolphus he was invested by Oxen-stierna with the supreme command of the army. He won a brilliant victory at Wittstock, Sept. 24, 1636, and a still more decisive triumph at Chemnitz in 1639, after which he overran and devastated the whole of Germany, his harsh and overbearing nature intensifying the calamities of the war. His attempt in 1641 to seize the emperor and diet at Ratisbon was frustrated by the difficulty of crossing the Danube. He was overtaken by illness on his return from the expedition, and his death was attributed by some to poison and by others to his licentious and intemperate habits.
He had few superiors in reckless daring and gallantry in the field. The king of France called him his cousin, and the emperor endeavored in vain to secure his services by offering him a princely title with Wal-lenstein's estates as a fief.