Russian Empire

Seven Years' War
Battle of Zorndorf ©Image Attribution forthcoming. Image belongs to the respective owner(s).
1756 May 17

Seven Years' War

Europe

The Russian Empire was originally aligned with Austria, fearing Prussia's ambition on the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, but switched sides upon the succession of Tsar Peter III in 1762. The Russians and the Austrians were determined to reduce the power of Prussia, the new threat on their doorstep, and Austria was anxious to regain Silesia, lost to Prussia in the War of the Austrian Succession. Along with France, Russia and Austria agreed in 1756 to mutual defence and an attack by Austria and Russia on Prussia, subsidized by France. The Russians defeated the Prussians several times in the war, but the Russians lacked the necessary logistical capability to follow up their victories with lasting gains, and in this sense, the salvation of the House of Hohenzollern was due more to Russian weakness with respect to logistics than to Prussian strength on the battlefield. The supply system that allowed the Russians to advance into the Balkans during the war with the Ottomans in 1787–92, Marshal Alexander Suvorov to campaign effectively in Italy and Switzerland in 1798–99, and for the Russians to fight across Germany and France in 1813–14 to take Paris was created directly in response to the logistic problems experienced by the Russians in the Seven Years' War. The taxation needed for war caused the Russian people considerable hardship, being added to the taxation of salt and alcohol begun by Empress Elizabeth in 1759 to complete her addition to the Winter Palace. Like Sweden, Russia concluded a separate peace with Prussia.


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Last Updated: : Wed Aug 17 2022