Battles of the Seven Years' War

The Seven Years' War, 1754–1763, spanned five continents, affecting Europe, the Americas, West Africa, India, and the Philippines.

The conflict split Europe into two coalitions: Kingdom of Great Britain, Prussia, Portugal, Hanover, and other small German states on one side versus the Kingdom of France, Austria-led Holy Roman Empire, Russia, Spain, several small German states, and Sweden on the other. The coalitions represented a "revolution" in diplomatic alliances, reflected in the Diplomatic Revolution. Ultimately, the victory of the Anglo-Prussian coalition undercut the balance of power in Europe, a balance that was not reestablished until 1815.

Seven Years' War

Anglo-Prusso-Portuguese Coalition victory

Status quo ante bellum in Europe. Transfer of colonial possessions between Great Britain, France, Spain, and Portugal.

 Great Britain

Portugal Portugal (from 1762)
Province of Hanover Hanover
Iroquois Confederacy



Habsburg Monarchy Holy Roman Empire:

 Russia (until 1762)
Spain Spain (from 1762)
Sweden Sweden (1757–62)
Abenaki Confederacy
Mughal Empire (from 1757)


Although Anglo-French skirmishes over their American colonies had already begun in 1754, the large-scale conflict that drew in most of the European powers was centered on Austria's desire to recover Silesia, which they had lost in 1747, from the Prussians. In India, the Mughal Empire, with the encouragement of the French, tried to crush a British attempt to conquer Bengal: these are known as the Third Carnatic War.

In the European theater, seeing the opportunity to curtail Britain's and Prussia's ever-growing power, France and Austria put aside their ancient rivalry to form a coalition of their own. Faced with this sudden turn of events, Britain aligned herself with Prussia; this alliance drew in not only the British king's territories in personal union, including Hanover, and also those of his relatives in the Electorate of Brunswick-Lüneburg and the Landgraviate of Hesse-Kassel. This series of political maneuvers became known as the Diplomatic Revolution.[1]

In the Americas, the same coalitions prevailed; both sides added a First Nation partner. Abenaki, an Algonquin linguistic tribe, joined with the French. The Iroquois, or Five Nations, joined with the British. In both cases, the war in North America in particular proved expensive. The Iroquois, who lived predominantly in lands controlled by the French, wrought havoc on the European trade routes and settlements. The Abenaki, who were also known as "People of the Dawn", lived in, or had been displaced by, English settlers in the Atlantic colonies. In the West Indies, the British and Spanish fought for control of key points in the Caribbean trade routes, particularly the Windward Passage and Havana. In West Africa, the British effort to oust France from its colonies in Gorée, Senegal, and Gambia.

After seven years of fighting (nine in North America), the Anglo-Prussian coalition prevailed. The war marked the rise of Britain as the world's predominant power; it also destroyed France's land supremacy in Europe; Prussia, due to Frederick the Great's military prowess, established itself as a dominant land-power in Europe; and the Austrian Habsburgs lost permanently their territories in Silesia. This altered the European balance of power.[2]

Theater Abbreviation Location
Baltic BAL Area bordering on the Baltic sea, principally disputed between Sweden, Denmark, Russia, Poland-Lithuania and Prussia
Hereditary Habsburg lands HHL Lands previously part of the Habsburg inheritance but lost to Prussia in the War of Austrian Succession
French-British coast FBC Attempted invasions of France and Britain, and naval battles in the coastal areas.
Central Europe CE Portions of the Holy Roman Empire upon which combat occurred (such as Saxony, Prussia, Hannover)
Rhineland RH Western portions of the Holy Roman Empire under contest.
North America NA British colonies in North America, unsettled lands to the Mississippi River, and portions of Canada
Iberia IB Predominantly coastal cities and fortresses in Portugal, Spain, and Malta.
West Africa WA
Indian Subcontinent IS India, Bengal, Carnatic, and Indian Ocean battles, fought between French and British East India Company


Name Theater Date Year Combatant Combatant2 State/Location of Action Outcome
Siege of Pirna CE 11 September – 14 October 1756 Prussia Austria Saxony Siege and blockage of Saxon army began in early September and ended with surrender of the Saxon Army on 14 October to Hans Karl von Winterfeldt
Battle of Lobositz CE 1 October 1756 Prussia Austria Saxony Prussian tactical victory; Austrian strategic victory. Prussians won the battle but Austrians forced them to retreat.
Battle of Reichenberg CE 21 April 1757 Prussia Austria Saxony
Battle of Prague (1757) HHL 5 May 1757 Prussia Austria Saxony
Prussian Bohemia Incursion HHL 14 April - 20 April 1759 Prussia Austria Bohemia Six-day raid into Bohemia by Prussia to destroy Austrian magazines and disrupt troop movements. Austrian summer campaign delayed.
Battle of Prague (1757) (conclusion) HHL 20 June 1757 Prussia Austria Saxony
Battle of Kolín HHL 18 June 1757 Prussia Austria Bohemia Austrian victory; Frederick's first defeat in this war forced him to abandon a march on Vienna, raise his siege of Prague, and fall back on Litoměřice/Leitmeritz.
Siege of Olomouc (start) HHL 1 May 1758 Prussia Austria Bohemia
Siege of Olomouc (conclusion) HHL 2 July 1758 Prussia Austria Bohemia
Battle of Domstadtl HHL 30 June 1758 Prussia Austria Bohemia
Battle of Hastenbeck RH 26 July 1757 Hanover
France Hanover
Battle of Rheinberg RH 12 June 1758 Hanover
France Hanover
Battle of Krefeld RH 23 June 1758 Great Britain
France North Rhine-Westphalia
Battle of Bergen (1759) RH 13 April 1759 Great Britain
France Near Frankfurt
Battle of Minden RH 1 August 1759 Great Britain
France formerly West Prussia, now North Rhine-Westphalia
Battle of Emsdorf RH 14 July 1760 Britain
France Hesse
Battle of Warburg RH 31 July 1760 Britain
Battle of Kloster Kampen RH 15 October 1760 Britain
France North Rhine Westphalia
Battle of Langensalza (1761) HRE 10 February 1761 Prussia
France Thuringia
Siege of Cassel (1761) RH 30 April 1761 Brunswick France Hesse-Cassel
Battle of Grünberg RH 21 March 1761 Hanover
France Hesse-Cassel
Battle of Corbach RH 10 July 1760 Britain
France Hesse Cassel
Battle of Villinghausen RH 16 July 1761 Prussia
Great Britain
France Hesse Cassel
Battle of Ölper (1761) RH 13 October 1761 Brunswick France
Duchy of Brunswick
Battle of Wilhelmsthal RH 24 June 1762 Brunswick
Hesse Cassel
France Castle of Wilhelmsthal near Calden, northwestern Germany
Battle of Nauheim RH 30 August 1762 Hesse Cassel
France Hesse Cassel
2nd Siege of Cassel RH 30 November 1762 Britain
France Hesse-Cassel
Battle of Rossbach HRE 5 November 1757 Prussia France
Saxony-Anhalt Prussian victory over the largely French army
1st Battle of Lutterberg RH 10 October 1758 Britain
Austria Saxony
Battle of Hochkirch HHL 14 October 1758 Prussia Austria Silesia Austrian victory over Frederick's army
Battle of Hoyerswerda HRE 25 September 1759 Prussia Austria Saxony
Battle of Maxen HRE 20 November 1759 Prussia Austria Saxony
Battle of Meissen HRE 4 December 1759 Prussia Austria Saxony
Battle of Torgau HRE 3 November 1760 Prussia Austria Saxony
Siege of Dresden HRE 22 July 1760 Prussia Austria, Saxony Saxony
2nd Battle of Lutterberg HRE 23 July 1762 Britain
France Lower Saxony
Battle of Freiberg HRE 29 October 1762 Prussia Austria Saxony
Battle of Zorndorf HRE 25 August 1758 Prussia Russia Brandenburg
Battle of Kay HRE 23 July 1759 Prussia Russia Brandenburg Russian victory
Battle of Kunersdorf HRE 12 August 1759 Prussia Russia Brandenburg Russian and Austrian victory
Battle of Moys HHL 7 September 1757 Prussia Austria Upper Lusatia
Battle of Breslau HHL 22 November 1757 Prussia Austria Silesia Austrian victory; forced Frederick to return to Breslau.
Battle of Leuthen HHL 5 December 1757 Prussia Austria Silesia Decisive Prussian victory over Austrian army
Breslau siege HHL 19 December 1757[3] Prussia Austria Silesia Decisive Prussian victory
Battle of Landeshut HHL 23 June 1760 Prussia Austria Silesia
Siege of Glatz HHL 26 July 1760 Prussia Austria Silesia
Battle of Liegnitz HHL 15 August 1760 Prussia Austria Silesia
Raid on Berlin HRE 12 October 1760 Prussia Russia
Brandenburg Russian and Austrian victory
Battle of Burkersdorf HHL 21 July 1762 Prussia Russia Silesia
Battle of Gross-Jägersdorf BAL 30 August 1757 Prussia Russia East Prussia
Blockade of Stralsund (start) BAL December 1757 Prussia Sweden Stralsund, Swedish Pomerania Prussians blockaded the Swedes in their fortress but couldn't take it because they lacked naval support
Blockade of Stralsund (conclusion) BAL June 1758 Prussia Sweden
Stralsund, Swedish Pomerania Prussians withdrew blockade due to lack of British naval support
Tornow BAL 26 September 1758 Prussia Sweden Tornow (Fürstenberg/Havel) in the Grand Duchy of Mecklenburg-Strelitz Prussian victory
Battle of Fehrbellin BAL 28 September 1758 Prussia Sweden Fehrbellin, located 60 kilometers (37 mi) NW of Berlin
Battle of Güstow BAL 18 November 1758 Prussia Sweden Güstow Pomerania Prussian victory
Battle of Frisches Haff BAL 10 September 1759 Prussia Sweden Oder Lagoon Swedish victory; Prussia lost its small fleet
Battle of Pasewalk BAL 3 October 1760 Prussia Sweden Draw Paul von Werner's troops took many prisoners, but abandoned the effort as too costly.
Siege of Kolberg BAL 4 October 1759 Prussia Russia Kolberg, in the Duchy of Brandenburg, on the Baltic Sea. Prussian victory. First of three sieges.
Battle of Neuensund BAL 18 September 1761 Prussia Sweden Neuensund, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Minor skirmish resulting in a Swedish rout of the Prussian force commanded by Wilhelm Sebastian von Belling
Battle of Neukalen BAL 2 January 1762 Prussia Sweden Swedes surprised von Belling's troops near Neukalen. Last battle between Sweden and Prussia
Siege of Almeida IB August 1762 Portugal Spain Almeida, Portugal Spanish victory
Battle of Valencia de Alcántara IB 27 August 1762 Britain
Spain Valencia de Alcántara, near the Portuguese border Decisive British-Portuguese victory, with negligible losses
Battle of Vila Velha de Ródão IB 5 October 1762 Britain
Spain Vila Velha de Ródão, Portugal On 22 November, a truce withdrew Spain from the war.
Battle of Marvão IB 9–10 November 1761 Great Britain
Spain Marvão, Portugal British-Portuguese victory. By 22 November, Spain was out of the war.
Siege of Fort St Philip IB April – 29 June 1756 Britain France Principle British garrison at Fort St. Philip British sent a relief force commanded by Admiral John Byng; after relief failed, the garrison eventually surrendered
Battle of Minorca IB 20 May 1756 Britain France Mediterranean island of Menorca British withdrew to Gibraltar; commander was court-martialed and executed.
Raid on Rochefort FBC September 1757 Britain France Rochefort, a port on the Charente estuary, where it joins the Atlantic. French victory. British withdraw without capturing Rochefort.
Battle of Cartagena IB 28 February 1758 Britain France Cartagena, Spain
Action of 29 April 1758 FBC 29 April 1758 Britain France naval Bay of Biscay British victory
Raid on St Malo FBC 5–12 June 1758 Britain France Amphibious assault on Brittany British tactical victory
Raid on Cherbourg FBC 7–16 August 1758 Britain France northern France British landed troops in Cherbourg. Withdrew them again
Battle of Saint Cast FBC 11 September 1758 Britain France France Last of the British amphibious assaults on northern France
Planned invasion of Britain FBC October 1760 Britain France scrapped Plan to invade Britain via Portsmouth.
Battle of Quiberon Bay FBC 20 November 1759 Great Britain France naval British victory
Capture of Belle Île FBC 7 April – 8 June 1761 Britain France Belle Île, off the Brittany coast.
Action of 17 July 1761 FBC 17 July 1761 Britain France naval action near Cádiz British victory
Battle of Chandannagar IS 23 March 1757 Britain
British East India Company
France Chandannagar, Bengal
Battle of Plassey IS 23 June 1757 British East India Company France Plassey, Bengal
Battle of Cuddalore (1758) IS 29 April 1758 British East India Company France Cuddalore
Battle of Negapatam (1758) IS 3 August 1758 British East India Company France Naval battle off the Carnatic coast near Negapatam Indecisive.
Battle of Condore IS 9 December 1758 British East India Company France Condore
Siege of Madras IS 14 December 1758 British East India Company France Madras Annus Mirabilis of 1759
Siege of Pondicherry (1760) IS 4 September 1759 British East India Company France Pondicherry
Siege of Pondicherry (1760-61) IS 15 January 1761 British East India Company France Pondicherry British successfully captured Pondicherry
Battle of Wandiwash IS 22 January 1760 British East India Company France Vandavasi, Tamil Nadu
Battle of Chinsurah IS 24–25 September 1759 British East India Company Dutch East India Company Chinsurah, Bengal
Battle of Pondicherry IS 10 September 1759 British East India Company France Pondicherry indecisive battle
Siege of Masulipatam IS 6 March–7 April 1759 British East India Company France Masulipatam
Siege of Masulipatam (conclusion) IS 7 April 1759 British East India Company France Masulipatam Siege ended when British stormed the town
Battle of Cape Finisterre FBC 13–14 August 1761 British French naval British victory


  1. ^ D.B. Horn, "The Diplomatic Revolution" in J.O. Lindsay, ed., The New Cambridge Modern History vol. 7, The Old Regime: 1713–63 (1957): pp 449–64.
  2. ^ Jeremy Black, "Essay and Reflection: On the 'Old System' and the Diplomatic Revolution' of the Eighteenth Century", International History Review (1990) 12#2 pp. 301–323
  3. ^ Siege began on 7 December 1757 and ended on 19 December 1757.
Battle of Fehrbellin (1758)

The Battle of Fehrbellin was a battle at Fehrbellin of the Seven Years' War between Swedish and Prussian forces, fought on 28 September 1758.

The Prussian forces under General Carl Heinrich von Wedel were attempting to stop the Swedish offensive into Brandenburg. The Swedish forces held the town, with one gun at each of the three gates.

The Prussians arrived first and managed to break through at the western (Mühlenthor) gate, driving the outnumbered Swedes in disarray through the streets. However, reinforcements arrived, and the Prussians, who had failed to burn the bridge, were forced to retreat.The Swedes lost 23 officers and 322 privates in the battle. Prussian casualties were significant; the Prussians reportedly took with them 15 wagons loaded with dead and wounded soldiers when they retreated.

Battle of Grünberg

The Battle of Grünberg (21 March 1761) was fought between French and allied Prussian and Hanoverian troops in the Seven Years' War at village of Grünberg, Hesse, near Stangenrod. The French, led by the duc de Broglie, inflicted a significant defeat on the allies, taking several thousand prisoners, and capturing 18 military standards. The allied loss prompted Duke Ferdinand of Brunswick to lift the Siege of Cassel and retreat.

Battle of Güstow

The Battle of Güstow, also known as the Battle of Tornow, was a battle during the Pomeranian War in the Seven Years' War fought between Prussia and Sweden near the village Güstow in Germany on 18 November 1758. The battle ended with a Prussian victory.

Battle of Kolín

The Battle of Kolín on 18 June 1757 saw 44,000 Austrians under Count von Daun defeat 32,000 Prussians under Frederick the Great during the Third Silesian War (Seven Years' War). The Prussians lost the battle and nearly 14,000 men, the Austrians lost 8,000 men.

Battle of Landeshut (1760)

The Battle of Landeshut was an engagement fought on 23 June 1760 during the Third Silesian War (part of the Seven Years' War).

A Prussian army of 12,000 men under General Heinrich August de la Motte Fouqué fought an Austrian army of over 28,000 men under General von Loudon and suffered a defeat, with its commander taken prisoner.

Battle of Langensalza (1761)

The Battle of Langensalza (10 February 1761) was an engagement between French forces and allied Prussian and Hanoverian forces during the Seven Years' War. It was fought near Langensalza in what is now eastern Germany. An allied advance surprised the French, resulting in the capture of 2,000 French soldiers.

Battle of Liegnitz (1760)

The Battle of Liegnitz on 15 August 1760 saw Frederick the Great's Prussian Army defeat the Austrian army under Ernst von Laudon during the Third Silesian War (part of the Seven Years' War).

The armies collided around the town of Liegnitz (now Legnica, Poland) in Lower Silesia. Laudon's Austrian cavalry attacked the Prussian position in the early morning but were beaten back by General Zieten's Hussars. An artillery duel emerged which was eventually won for the Prussians when a grenade hit an Austrian powder wagon. The Austrian infantry then proceeded to attack the Prussian line, but was met with concentrated artillery fire. A Prussian infantry counter-attack led by the Regiment Anhalt-Bernburg on the left forced the Austrians into retreat. Notably, the Anhalt-Bernburgers charged Austrian cavalry with bayonets, a rare example of infantry assaulting cavalry.

Shortly after dawn the major action was over but Prussian artillery fire continued to harass the Austrians. General Leopold von Daun arrived and, learning of Laudon's defeat, decided not to attack despite his soldiers being fresh.

Battle of Lutterberg (1758)

The Battle of Lutterberg took place on 10 October 1758 during the Seven Years' War between a French force of 42,000 commanded by Charles, Prince of Soubise and a much smaller Anglo-German force commanded by General Christoph Ludwig von Oberg.

The two armies clashed near the town of Lutterberg, Lower Saxony. The 14,000 mostly Prussian Allied troops, were overwhelmed by several charges of French cavalry and were forced to withdraw. Despite having won a decisive victory, Soubise was slow to pursue the retreating enemy - causing his superiors in Paris to replace him with the Marquis de Contades.Soubise earned a Marshal's baton for this victory. François de Chevert was decorated with the Grand Croix for his contributions in the battle.

Battle of Lutterberg (1762)

In the Second Battle of Lutterberg (23 July 1762), the Franco-Saxon contingent under General the Comte de Lusace were defeated by Prince Ferdinand.

Battle of Maxen

The Battle of Maxen (20 November 1759) was a battle at Maxen, in the Electorate of Saxony during the Third Silesian War (part of the Seven Years' War). It resulted in surrender of a Prussian corps.

The Prussian corps of 14,000 men, commanded by Friedrich August von Finck (one of Frederick the Great's generals), was sent to threaten lines of communication between the Austrian army at Dresden and Bohemia. Field Marshal Count Daun attacked and defeated Finck's isolated corps on 20 November 1759 with his army of 40,000 men. The next day (21 November) Finck decided to surrender.

Battle of Meissen

The Battle of Meissen (4 December 1759) was an Austrian victory over a larger Prussian army during the Third Silesian War (part of the Seven Years' War). An Austrian force under the command of general Beck assaulted 3,500 Prussian troops under Diericke at Meissen, overwhelming them and driving the survivors across the Elbe. The Prussians lost 400 men in the action and 1,543 fell prisoner. Austrian losses were few, totalling only 72 killed and 115 wounded. The Austrians secured an important victory, which effectively kept their ally Saxony in the war.

Battle of Neukalen

The Battle of Neukalen was a battle at Neukalen of the Seven Years' War between Swedish and Prussian forces fought on January 2, 1762. The Swedish force under the command of Carl Constantin De Carnall managed to rout the Prussian forces camping on a hill next to the town of Malchin. This was the last battle of the Swedish and Prussian troops during the war.

Battle of Pasewalk

The Battle of Pasewalk was a battle at Pasewalk of the Seven Years' War between Swedish and Prussian forces fought on October 3, 1760.

The Prussian force of 4,200 men under Paul von Werner were attempting to seize Pasewalk where a Swedish force of 1,700 men under Augustin Ehrensvärd were stationed. After two failed attacks on the town and several skirmishes outside, the Prussian force, after seven hours of fighting, retreated as the night approached.

Casualties on both sides were severe, as Sweden had suffered 500 men in losses, many of them captured by Prussian troops taking the nearby redoubts. However, the Prussians suffered 300 men lost while attempting to storm the main Swedish army at Pasewalk.

Battle of Reichenberg

The Battle of Reichenberg was a battle of the Third Silesian War (part of the Seven Years' War), fought on 21 April 1757 near the town of Reichenberg (Czech: Liberec) in Bohemia.

Marshal von Bevern had entered Bohemia with a corps of 16,000 Prussians. At Reichenberg he encountered Königsegg's Austrian corps. The full Austrian corps consisted of 18,000 infantry and 4,900 cavalry, but only about 10,000 of them had been concentrated at Reichenberg.

The experienced Bevern defeated his opponent. As a result, Bevern captured large quantities of Austrian supplies and could continue his march on Prague.

Battle of Rheinberg

The Battle of Rheinberg took place on 12 June 1758 in Rheinberg, Germany during the Seven Years' War. A French force under the command of Comte de Clermont and an Anglo-German force under the command of the Duke of Brunswick fought a largely indecisive battle. It was a precursor to the more decisive Battle of Krefeld nine days later.

Battle of Udgir

The Marathas under the command of Sadashivrao Bhau defeated the Nizam's army at Udgir.

Battle of Warburg

The Battle of Warburg was a battle fought on 31 July 1760 during the Seven Years' War. The Battle was a victory for the Hanoverians and the British against the French. British general John Manners, Marquess of Granby achieved some fame for charging at the head of the British cavalry and losing his hat and wig during the charge. The French lost 1500 men, killed and wounded, around 2,000 prisoners and ten pieces of artillery.

Present in the British line were the regiments of In the first line from left to right were the first (KDG) Third And Second Dragoon Guards (Bays) in one brigade, the Blues, Seventh and Sixth Dragoon Guards in another; in the second line were the Greys, Tenth, Sixth, and Eleventh Dragoons.

Battle of Ölper (1761)

The Battle of Ölper was a battle at Ölper, now a district of Brunswick, on 13 October 1761. It occurred between a Franco-Saxon force and a Brunswick-Hanoverian force, lasted long into the night and ended in a Brunswickian victory. It was part of the Seven Years' War.

Raid on Cherbourg

The Raid on Cherbourg took place in August 1758 during the Seven Years' War when a British force was landed on the coast of France by the Royal Navy with the intention of attacking the town of Cherbourg as part of the British government's policy of "descents" on the French coasts.

Siege of Cassel (1761)

The Siege of Cassel (March 1761) was a failed attempt by Duke Ferdinand of Brunswick to capture French-held Kassel, the capital of Hesse-Kassel. Brunswick lifted the siege after forces of the Duc de Broglie inflicted heavy casualties on his forces at the Battle of Grünberg, making continuation of the siege untenable.

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