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Frederick II ("the Great") Contemplates his Fate after the Battle of Kolin on June 18, 1757 (1794)
Frederick II (“the Great”) lost his first battle of the Seven Years War to the Austrians, under the leadership of field marshal Leopold Joseph Daun (1705-66), at the battle of Kolin on June 18, 1757. The massive Prussian losses (nearly 14,000) resulted not only from the enemy’s superior numbers, but also from Frederick’s poorly implemented battle plan. The defeat forced him to retreat from Austrian Bohemia. The following year, Daun defeated Frederick again at the battle of Hochkirch. Although the two battles number among Frederick’s worst defeats, his subsequent victories in the Seven Years War earned him a reputation as one of the greatest strategists and theoreticians in military history. Copperplate engraving by Christian Gottlieb Geyser (1742-1803) after a drawing by Johann David Schubert (1761-1822), c. 1794.