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Website of the month
The blog Obscure Battles for the detailed and lively descriptions of battles such as Lobositz and Leuthen, and for Jeff Berry's outstanding maps and diagrams. Definitely a "must-see"!
The Seven Years' War in a few words
Frederick II of Prussia in 1763 - Source: Wikimedia Commons
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Frederick II of Prussia in 1763 - Source: Wikimedia Commons

In 1756, more than 250 years ago, the major powers of Europe became entangled in a conflict now known as the Seven Years' War that was to last until 1763. It involved all the major powers of Europe, with Austria, France, Russia, Saxony, Sweden, and later Spain siding against the alliance of Great Britain, Hanover, Prussia, and later Portugal.

The war had in fact started in 1755 in North America and India where France and Great Britain were struggling for colonial supremacy. In Europe, Maria Theresa of Austria had undertaken intense diplomatic efforts to forge an alliance against Prussia with the goal of wresting the lost province of Silesia from the Prussian grasp.

Frederick II of Prussia invaded Saxony in 1756 and Bohemia in 1757. However, he had to abandon Bohemia after the defeat of Kolin. Prussians were now on the defensive against Austrians in Silesia, Franco-Imperials in Saxony and Russians in East Prussia. Frederick II saved Prussia by two brilliant victories at Rossbach and Leuthen. Meanwhile France had successfully invaded Hanover but was soon pushed back to the Rhine.

In North America, the first years of the conflict turned to the advantage of France. In Asia, Bengal was virtually under British rule by the end of 1757.

From 1758, Prussia managed to contain its enemies on all fronts. In 1762, it was on the verge of being defeated when the Tsarina died leaving the throne to Peter III, who held Frederick II in high esteem. Consequently, the new Tsar sided with Prussia.

Meanwhile, year after year, the struggle between France and the Anglo-Hanoverians in Western Germany remained inconclusive. By the end of each campaign the belligerents were basically back to their initial positions.

In America, Africa and Asia, the tide turned in 1758. Great Britain had successfully conquered Senegal (1758), Guadeloupe (1759), Canada (1759-60), Dominica (1761), Martinique (1762) and Cuba (1762).

In 1762, a new front opened in the Iberian Peninsula where a Franco-Spanish army vainly attempted the conquest of Portugal.

Early in 1763, all belligerents made peace, leaving the political map of Europe almost unchanged. However, Great Britain had eliminated its most important competitor for the domination of the world, and Prussia had survived the war, a feat all by itself... (more...)

Project SYW needs your continuous support
The 2013 donation campaign has produced a total of 2165 $CAD. This is a 34% increase over last year. Thank you! These donations are invested in web hosting and the acquisition and integration of additional documentation. For 2014, you have started, as early as January 2, to make donations. Thank you very much for your continuous support.

To make a donation (Paypal or main credit cards) click here.


(click on the image for a detailed breakdown of donations for 2014)

Project Status

Warning: Before using our plates as reference to paint figurines or to reconstruct uniforms or colours, please read our disclaimer.

The Seven Years' War Project now numbers 2,382 articles and 3,750 images.

Image of the week: Contemporary lithography depicting the engagement of Domstadl, June 30 1758- Source: I. E. Belling
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Image of the week: Contemporary lithography depicting the engagement of Domstadl, June 30 1758
- Source: I. E. Belling

From August 25 to 31, we have created/improved the following articles:

We have also published new images (for more details see Recent Changes):

  • 1 contemporary lithography
  • 1 contemporary portrait
  • 1 photo of the memorial stone of the Marquis de Ville outside the Church of St. Peter and Paul in Horní Dubňany in Southern Moravia

(see News Archives...)

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