Silesian Wars

First Silesian WarSilesian WarSecond Silesian WarThird Silesian WarSilesian1740a series of warsannexation of SilesiaAustria's wars with Prussia in the 1740sFirst
The Silesian Wars (Schlesische Kriege) were a series of three wars fought in the mid-18th century between Prussia (under King Frederick the Great) and Austria (under Archduchess Maria Theresa) for control of the Central European region of Silesia (now in western Poland).wikipedia
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Frederick the Great

Frederick II of PrussiaFrederick IIFriedrich II of Prussia
The Silesian Wars (Schlesische Kriege) were a series of three wars fought in the mid-18th century between Prussia (under King Frederick the Great) and Austria (under Archduchess Maria Theresa) for control of the Central European region of Silesia (now in western Poland).
Nonetheless, upon ascending to the Prussian throne he attacked Austria and claimed Silesia during the Silesian Wars, winning military acclaim for himself and Prussia.

First Silesian War

First
The First (1740–1742) and Second (1744–1745) Silesian Wars formed parts of the wider War of the Austrian Succession, in which Prussia acted as one member of a coalition seeking territorial gain at Austria's expense.
It was the first in a series of three Silesian Wars fought between Frederick the Great's Prussia and Maria Theresa's Austria in the mid-1700s, all three of which ended in Prussian control of Silesia.

Third Silesian War

The Third Silesian War (1756–1763) was one theatre of the global Seven Years' War, in which Austria in turn led a coalition of powers aiming to seize Prussian territory.
It was the last in a series of three Silesian Wars fought between Frederick the Great's Prussia and Maria Theresa's Austria in the mid-1700s, all three of which ended in Prussian control of Silesia.

Second Silesian War

Second
The First (1740–1742) and Second (1744–1745) Silesian Wars formed parts of the wider War of the Austrian Succession, in which Prussia acted as one member of a coalition seeking territorial gain at Austria's expense.
It was the second in a series of three Silesian Wars fought between Frederick the Great's Prussia and Maria Theresa's Austria in the mid-18th century, all three of which ended in Prussian control of Silesia.

Austria–Prussia rivalry

German dualismdualismAustria
The conflict over Silesia foreshadowed a wider Austro-Prussian struggle for hegemony over the German-speaking peoples that would later culminate in the Austro-Prussian War of 1866.
Both opponents first met in the Silesian Wars and Seven Years' War during the middle 18th century until the conflict's culmination in the Austro-Prussian War of 1866.

Duchy of Legnica

LegnicaDuke of LegnicaLiegnitz
Brandenburg–Prussia's claims in Silesia were based, in part, on a 1537 inheritance treaty between the Silesian Piast Duke Frederick II of Legnica and the Hohenzollern Prince-Elector Joachim II Hector of Brandenburg, whereby the Silesian Duchies of Liegnitz, Wohlau and Brieg were to pass to the Hohenzollerns of Brandenburg if the Piast dynasty in Silesia should become extinct.
Formed by Bolesław II the Bald, Duke of Lower Silesia at Wrocław, Legnica shared the fate of most of the others Silesian duchies, falling into Bohemian, Austrian and eventually - after the First Silesian War - Prussian spheres of influence.

Silesia

SchlesienŚląskSilesian
The Silesian Wars (Schlesische Kriege) were a series of three wars fought in the mid-18th century between Prussia (under King Frederick the Great) and Austria (under Archduchess Maria Theresa) for control of the Central European region of Silesia (now in western Poland). In the early eighteenth century, Brandenburg–Prussia's ruling House of Hohenzollern held dynastic claims to various of the Silesian duchies within the Habsburg province of Silesia, a populous and prosperous region contiguous with Prussia's core territory of Brandenburg.
Meanwhile, Austrian Silesia, the small portion of Silesia retained by Austria after the Silesian Wars, was mostly awarded to the new Czechoslovakia (becoming known as Czech Silesia), although most of Cieszyn and territory to the east of it went to Poland as Zaolzie.

Prussian Army

Royal Prussian ArmyPrussianArmy
King Frederick judged that his dynasty's claims were credible, and he had inherited from his father a large and well trained Prussian army and a healthy royal treasury.
King Frederick the Great, a formidable battle commander, led the disciplined Prussian troops to victory during the 18th-century Silesian Wars and greatly increased the prestige of the Kingdom of Prussia.

House of Hohenzollern

HohenzollernHohenzollernsHohenzollern dynasty
In the early eighteenth century, Brandenburg–Prussia's ruling House of Hohenzollern held dynastic claims to various of the Silesian duchies within the Habsburg province of Silesia, a populous and prosperous region contiguous with Prussia's core territory of Brandenburg.
Frederick William's successor, Frederick the Great gained Silesia in the Silesian Wars so that Prussia emerged as a great power.

Kingdom of Prussia

PrussiaPrussianPrussian court
The Silesian Wars (Schlesische Kriege) were a series of three wars fought in the mid-18th century between Prussia (under King Frederick the Great) and Austria (under Archduchess Maria Theresa) for control of the Central European region of Silesia (now in western Poland). In the early eighteenth century, Brandenburg–Prussia's ruling House of Hohenzollern held dynastic claims to various of the Silesian duchies within the Habsburg province of Silesia, a populous and prosperous region contiguous with Prussia's core territory of Brandenburg.
Prussian gains in the Silesian Wars led to the formation of the Province of Silesia in 1740.

Świebodzin

SchwiebusCounty of SchwiebusSchwiebus (Świebodzin)
In 1685, when Austria was engaged in the Great Turkish War, Emperor Leopold I gave Great Elector Frederick William immediate control of the Silesian exclave of Schwiebus in return for military support against the Turks and the surrender of the outstanding Hohenzollern claims in Silesia.
After the victory of King Frederick II of Prussia in the First Silesian War (1740–1742), Schwiebus came under Prussian administration.

Duchy of Teschen

Duchy of CieszynTeschenDuke of Teschen
Under British pressure, Austria agreed to cede to Prussia the large majority of Silesia, along with the County of Glatz in Bohemia, while Austria would retain two small portions of the extreme southern end of Silesia, including the Duchy of Teschen and parts of the Duchies of Jägerndorf, Troppau, and Neisse.
While the bulk of Silesia was conquered by the Prussian king Frederick the Great in the Silesian Wars of 1740–1763, Teschen together with the duchies of Troppau (Opava), Krnov and Nysa remained with the Habsburg Monarchy and merged into the Austrian Silesia crown land in 1849.

Treaty of Breslau

Peace of BreslauBreslauannexation
This peace agreement was adopted with the Treaty of Breslau, which ended the First Silesian War on 11 June 1742, and soon after formalised in the Treaty of Berlin.
The Treaty of Breslau was a preliminary peace agreement signed on 11 June 1742 following long negotiations at the Silesian capital Wrocław (Breslau) by emissaries of Archduchess Maria Theresa of Austria and King Frederick II of Prussia ending the First Silesian War.

Brzeg

BriegBrzeg (Brieg)Brieg (Brzeg)
By the end of January 1741, almost the entirety of Silesia was under Prussian control, and the remaining Austrian strongholds of Glogau, Brieg and Neisse were besieged.
Brieg and most of Silesia were annexed by Prussia in 1741 during the First Silesian War.

Margraviate of Brandenburg

BrandenburgElectorate of BrandenburgMarch of Brandenburg
In the early eighteenth century, Brandenburg–Prussia's ruling House of Hohenzollern held dynastic claims to various of the Silesian duchies within the Habsburg province of Silesia, a populous and prosperous region contiguous with Prussia's core territory of Brandenburg.
King Frederick William I of Prussia, the "Soldier-King", modernized the Prussian Army, while his son Frederick the Great achieved glory and infamy with the Silesian Wars and Partitions of Poland.

Treaty of Berlin (1742)

Treaty of BerlinBerlin1742 partition of Silesia
This peace agreement was adopted with the Treaty of Breslau, which ended the First Silesian War on 11 June 1742, and soon after formalised in the Treaty of Berlin.
It was the formal peace treaty that confirmed the preliminary agreement achieved with English mediation by the 11 June Treaty of Breslau, and officially ended the First Silesian War.

Kłodzko

GlatzKladskoKlodzko
In December 1741 Prussian forces advanced into Moravia, occupying the capital at Olmütz, and besieged the fortress at Glatz on the edge of Bohemia.
The Kingdom of Prussia annexed Glatz during the 18th century Silesian Wars, although Austrian influence is still evident in the architecture and culture of the region.

Charles VII, Holy Roman Emperor

Charles VIICharles AlbertEmperor Charles VII
Meanwhile, Prince-Elector Charles Albert of Bavaria and Prince-Elector Frederick Augustus II of Saxony had each married one of Maria Theresa's older cousins from a senior branch of the House of Habsburg, and they used these connections to justify claims to Habsburg territory in the absence of a male heir.
The new campaign of Frederick II of Prussia during the Second Silesian War finally forced the Austrian army to leave Bavaria and to retreat back into Bohemia.

Duchy of Krnov

KrnovDuchy of JägerndorfJägerndorf
In 1603, Hohenzollern Elector Joachim III Frederick of Brandenburg also inherited the Silesian Duchy of Jägerndorf from his cousin, Margrave George Frederick of Brandenburg-Ansbach, and installed his second son, Johann Georg, as duke.
The House of Hohenzollern never withdrew the claims and more than one hundred years later, the Krnov and Racibórz possessions were a pretext for the Prussian king Frederick the Great to start the First Silesian War, ending with the annexation of most of Silesia according to the Treaty of Breslau in 1742.

Duchy of Brzeg

BrzegBriegDuchy of Brieg
Brandenburg–Prussia's claims in Silesia were based, in part, on a 1537 inheritance treaty between the Silesian Piast Duke Frederick II of Legnica and the Hohenzollern Prince-Elector Joachim II Hector of Brandenburg, whereby the Silesian Duchies of Liegnitz, Wohlau and Brieg were to pass to the Hohenzollerns of Brandenburg if the Piast dynasty in Silesia should become extinct.
Several decades later King Frederick II of Prussia used the dispute as a pretext to justify his campaign during the First Silesian War in 1740.

Leopold I, Prince of Anhalt-Dessau

Leopold ILeopold I of Anhalt-DessauLeopold of Anhalt-Dessau
Meanwhile, another Prussian army under Leopold I of Anhalt-Dessau advanced into western Saxony, attacking and destroying the main Saxon army in the Battle of Kesselsdorf on 15 December, after which the Prussians occupied Dresden.
The last great achievement of his military career was commanding the Prussian troops to victory over the Saxons at the Battle of Kesselsdorf in 1745 during the Second Silesian War.

Wars and battles involving Prussia

List of Prussian wars
In the 18th century Prussia began to adopt an independent role in the conflicts of that time; at the latest by the time of the Silesian Wars.

Upper Silesia

OberschlesienUpperGórny Śląsk
In February King Frederick organised a joint advance through Moravia toward Vienna with the Saxons and French, but Prussia's allies were reluctant and uncooperative, and the campaign was abandoned in April, after which the Prussians withdrew into Bohemia and Upper Silesia.
Lower Silesia and most of Upper Silesia were occupied by the Kingdom of Prussia in 1742 during the First Silesian War and annexed by the terms of the Treaty of Breslau.

County of Kladsko

County of GlatzGlatzKladsko
Under British pressure, Austria agreed to cede to Prussia the large majority of Silesia, along with the County of Glatz in Bohemia, while Austria would retain two small portions of the extreme southern end of Silesia, including the Duchy of Teschen and parts of the Duchies of Jägerndorf, Troppau, and Neisse.
When in 1740 King Frederick II of Prussia started the First Silesian War he occupied most of Silesia and also the County of Kladsko, which the king considered to be a vital forward post at the border with the Austrian lands under Empress Maria Theresa.

Duchy of Nysa

NysaDuchy of NeisseDuke of Nysa
Under British pressure, Austria agreed to cede to Prussia the large majority of Silesia, along with the County of Glatz in Bohemia, while Austria would retain two small portions of the extreme southern end of Silesia, including the Duchy of Teschen and parts of the Duchies of Jägerndorf, Troppau, and Neisse.
The episcopate was abandoned by the bishops during the Silesian Wars.