The misfortunes were started in 1648 by Bohdan Chmielnicki. Although the cossacks were defeated in 1651 in Battle of Beresteczko, their rebellion gave pretext to Russians to invade and occupy the eastern half of Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth in 1655. The Swedes invaded and occupied the rest in the same year. The Swedes were driven back in 1657, and the Russians were finally defeated in 1662. The struggle over Ukraine ended with peace in Andrusovo 1667, with the help of Turkish intervention due to their claims in the Crimean. Forces from Prussia and Siebenburgen were also defeated, but Prussia gained a formal recognition of independence and ceased to be Polish vassal.
The Deluge also stopped era of Polish tolerance, since most of the invaders were non-Catholic, with expulsion of the Polish brethren as clear sign of it.
The Deluge is described in a novel of Henryk Sienkiewicz under the same title.