Commemorative Plan of the Battle of Roßbach (Saxony) on November 5, 1757 (c. 1760)
In the second year of the Seven Years War (1756-63), Frederick (“the Great”) of Prussia (r. 1740-86) saw an enemy coalition of Austria, Russia, Sweden, and France descend upon on the Prussian heartland. Despite severe difficulties, Frederick scored a resounding victory at the battle of Roßbach (Saxony) on November 5, 1757. This victory was followed by another at Leuthen (Silesia), one month later. The victory at Roßbach, accomplished with relatively few Prussian casualties, caused Frederick's popularity to soar in many parts of Germany. His popularity also grew in allied Great Britain, which increased its financial support for Prussia and kept the French army engaged in other theaters of war. The map reproduced here shows the deployment of Prussian troops (blue banners, on the right) and the combined imperial and French armies (red banners, on the left) in a battle that lasted less than two hours and was decided by the Prussian cavalry under the command of General Frederick William von Seydlitz (1721-73). Colored pen-and-ink drawing by an unknown artist, c. 1760.