The Bavarian War of Succession, 1778-79

The Bavarian War of Succession, 1778-79

Prussian Military Power in Decline

Alexander Querengässer

The War of the Bavarian Succession (1778-1779) was the last confrontation between the Prussia of Frederick the Great and the Austrians, in which the Prussian king was unable to force his enemies to battle. This is the first modern study of this conflict.
Date Published :
May 2023
Publisher :
Helion and Company
Series :
From Reason to Revolution
Illustration :
8pp color plates, c 10 b/w images, c 5 maps
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Paperback
ISBN : 9781804511879
Pages : 140
Dimensions : 9.8 X 7.1 inches
Stock Status : Not Yet Published. Available for Pre-Order


Due to its successes against Austria in the first two Silesian Wars and the Seven Years War, the Prussian army is considered to have been Europe’s best in the middle of the eighteenth century. Yet half a century later the once-mighty forces of Frederick the Great were crushed on the fields of Jena and Auerstädt. The short War of the Bavarian Succession (1778-1779), the last war of Frederick the Great is often considered as a first stage in the rapid decline of Prussia’s Ancien Régime forces.

However, this study takes a fresh view on this conflict. It gives a critical analysis of the strength and limitations of Frederick’s War machine, before offering a narrative of this forgotten war, which, because of its lack of battles, was scoffed by contemporaries as a ‘potato war’, as soldiers struggled more to find food than to fight the enemy. While the war definitely revealed weaknesses within the Prussian military regime, it was not necessary for Frederick to win battles and campaigns as long as he was able to achieve his political goals.

This fresh study will change our view of Prussian military effectiveness in the eighteenth century.

About The Author

Alexander Querengässer studied history and archaeology at the University of Leipzig and later read for his PhD at the University of Potsdam with a work about the Saxon Army in the Great Northern War. He now works as a freelance historian and has published a number of books, dealing with military history from late medieval time to the 20th century. He also is the editor of the series “BeiträgezurGeschichte des Militärs in Sachsen”.

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