Leuthen fought today in 1757\.
Today, the 5th December, in 1757 Frederick the Great of Prussia won his greatest victory at Leuthen against an allied army of mostly Austrians under FM Prince Charles of Lorraine.
It was the Seven Years War and Frederick was battling most of Europe. His Prussia could count a population of 4.5 million. His enemies one in excess of 100 million, but Frederick was the difference. He had won victory after victory and the battle of Leuthen was fought in lands captured from Austria, but 1757 had started badly for him. He had lost to the Austrians at Kolin and been driven out of Bohemia. All looked lost, then he defeated the French at Rossbach and now faced an army twice his size at Leuthen.
The Austrians were confident after inflicting the first ever defeat on Frederick and were aware of how he won his battles. Frederick did not fight in a linear manner, rather he did so obliquely. He would crush one flank, by holding it with his centre while his flank turned the enemy. His other flank he would refuse(bend back) and take the rest of the pressure.
At Kolin this tactic had failed. It did not at Leuthen.
He was able to fool the right wing Austrian commander(Lucchese)into thinking he was attacking his flank, so he demanded Charles’ specially designed reserve for such a contingency, only for them to discover too late that the left was the target.
All went to plan for Frederick as his Prussians defeated the enemy to his front(many of whom were Protestants, like the Prussians, not Catholics like the Austrians, so had less inclination to fight hard today) and sent them fleeing.
The Prussians lost 6000 men, but Charles army of between 60-80000 lost 30000, mostly as prisoners. As a consequence of the battle, a further 17000 surrender without a fight at Breslau.
Frederick is rightly lauded as the 18th century’s greatest military commander and thy victory at Leuthen would be used to great effect in uniting Germany and building up a sense of military superiority over its neighbours, which was felt even as late as the 20th century.
Writing this I thought of you Worsham, as I know you admire Frederick.
I only hope I have done this subject justice; I know very little of 18th century battles, despite being overly fond of Prussia as a nation.
December what a time to be fighting!
I know who’s going to name thier next son Frederick Wittmann!
ABWorsham4 last edited by
Thank you Wittmann.