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Commemorative Reproduction of the Battlefield at Hohenfriedberg/Silesia on June 4, 1745 (18th Century)
After occupying the coveted province of Silesia in the First Silesian War (1740-42), Frederick II (“the Great”) of Prussia withdrew from the anti-Austrian coalition and concluded a peace with the Habsburg Empire. But in 1744, when Austrian military and political successes on other fronts threatened Prussian gains, Frederick marched into Bohemia, triggering the Second Silesian War (1744-45). He took Prague in September 1744, and won three additional battles in 1745, forcing Austria to conclude the Peace of Dresden. The treaty acknowledged Austria's loss of Silesia but secured Prussian recognition of Maria Theresa’s husband, Francis I (r. 1745-65), as Holy Roman Emperor. This commemorative reproduction celebrates the Battle of Hohenfriedberg, the first Prussian victory against Austrian and Saxon troops in the Second Silesian War. It is considered one of Frederick's greatest victories. The Hohenfriedberg March, allegedly written by Frederick in honor of the Prussian victory, is one of the best known German military marches. Hand-colored engraving by an unknown artist.