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Osprey Campaign 113 : Rossbach and Leuthen 1757 : Prussia's Eagle Resurgent

By July 1757, in the aftermath of the defeat at Kolin, the situation looked very grim for Frederick the Great of Prussia. A French army of 100,000 men had invaded the Hanoverian territory of his English allies. Simultaneously, another French army, 24,000-strong, under Charles, Duke of Soubise and an Austrian army of 60,000 under Prince Joseph of Saxe-Hildburghausen were moving north-east to join Marshal d'Estrées in Hanover. The army Austrian army of 110,000 men under Charles of Lorraine and Marshal Daun was marching on Prussia from Bohemia. In the east a Russian army of 100,000 was invading East Prussia. In four days at the very end of the month the Duke of Cumberland was driven from Hanover and the Prussian General Lehwald was defeated by the Russians under Marshal Apraksin at Gross-Jägersdorf. Ina series of forced marches during September and October Frederick first moved west to prevent the junction of the Austrian and French forces in Saxony and then east to rescue Berlin which had been plundered by Austrian raiders. Marching west again Frederick's 21,000 men faced the 64,000 under Hildburghausen and Soubise at Rossbach on 5 November. The Austro-French attempted to flank Frederick's force but was met head on by Prussian artillery and infantry. The Prussian cavalry slammed into the Austro-French flank and in less than an hour and a half it was over. The Allies had lost 10,150 men and the rest fled. Frederick's casualties were 548 but Seydlitz the hero of Kolin had been badly wounded. Frederick hurried back to Silesia where Bevern had been defeated at Breslau. On 6 December exactly a month after Rossbach Frederick won what was perhaps his greatest victory over the Austrians in a hard fought battle at Leuthen. More than 12,000 Austrians were captured, 6,750 killed, 116 guns and 51 colours captured. 5 days later Breslau surrendered and 17,000 more Austrians became prisoners ending the campaign. Napoleon referred to this campaign as a 'masterpiece of manoeuvre and resolution.'. Text by Simon Millar with illustrations by Adam Hook.

    Contents
  • Origins of the Campaign
  • Chronology
  • Opposing Commanders
  • Opposing Armies
  • The Rossbach Campaign
  • The Battle of Leuthen
  • Aftermath
  • The Battlefields Today
  • Bibliography
  • Index

 

Osprey Campaign


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