Seven Years War

Prussia fortune changes
Frederick the Great and staff at Leuthen ©Hugo Ungewitter
1757 Nov 1

Prussia fortune changes

Roßbach, Germany

Things were looking grim for Prussia now, with the Austrians mobilising to attack Prussian-controlled soil and a combined French and Reichsarmee army under Prince Soubise approaching from the west. The Reichsarmee was a collection of armies from the smaller German states that had banded together to heed the appeal of the Holy Roman Emperor Franz I of Austria against Frederick. However, in November and December 1757, the whole situation in Germany was reversed. First, Frederick devastated Soubise's forces at the Battle of Rossbach on 5 November 1757 and then routed a vastly superior Austrian force at the Battle of Leuthen on 5 December 1757.


With these victories, Frederick once again established himself as Europe's premier general and his men as Europe's most accomplished soldiers. However, Frederick missed an opportunity to completely destroy the Austrian army at Leuthen; although depleted, it escaped back into Bohemia. He hoped the two smashing victories would bring Maria Theresa to the peace table, but she was determined not to negotiate until she had re-taken Silesia. Maria Theresa also improved the Austrians' command after Leuthen by replacing her incompetent brother-in-law, Charles of Lorraine, with von Daun, who was now a field marshal.


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Last Updated: : Thu Aug 18 2022