Lobositz to Leuthen

Horace St Paul and the Seven Years War, 1756-1757

Date Published :
January 2022
Publisher :
Helion and Company
Editor :
Neil Cogswell
Series :
From Reason To Revolution
Illustration :
232 maps, plans, charts, diagrams
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Hardback
ISBN : 9781911096672
Pages : 536
Dimensions : 9.5 X 6.75 inches
Stock Status : Available
Binding. : Paperback
ISBN : 9781914059643
Pages : 714
Dimensions : 9 X 6 inches
Stock Status : Available


In 1751, at the age of 22 and then a law student, Horace St Paul had, as he described it, “a difference” with an older man over the favor of a lady. This “difference” resulted in the death of the older man in an impromptu duel to which there were no witnesses. The investigating coroner directed that St Paul should stand trial for willful murder. With no confidence in the outcome, St Paul fled to France where such affairs of were looked on in a different light. He declined to return home to England to stand trial and was outlawed. St Paul was a handsome young man who was possessed of considerable social graces and received a liberal allowance from his father. From France, he moved to Brussels, where he was accepted at the Court of Prince Charles of Lorraine, Governor-General of the Austrian Netherlands and brother-in-law of Maria Theresa, the Empress Queen. In 1756 Frederic II of Prussia invaded Saxony thereby precipitating a general war in Europe. Prince Charles of Lorraine confidently expected to be appointed to the chief command of the Austrian army, once it was fully mobilized. The Prince thought sufficiently well of St Paul to offer him a post at his side as aide-de-camp and sent him to join Marshal Browne, then commanding in Bohemia, as a volunteer to learn something of soldiering. St Paul joined Marshal Browne shortly before the Austrain army advanced to attempt to relieve the Saxons, then besieged at Pirna. Having no regimental duties St Paul kept a journal of the day to day operations of the Austrians, thereby learning his new trade. He was present at the first major action of the war at Lobositz. The following year, now in the suite of Prince Charles of Lorraine, St Paul was present at the great battle outside Prague and was subsequently besieged in that city. He was also in a position to gather eyewitness accounts of other actions – notably that at Kolin – as he accompanied the victorious Austrian forces on their advance from Bohemia into Silesia while the King of Prussia was away seeking to prevent the armies of France and the Empire from re-conquering Saxony. Once in Silesia the Austrian army besieged and stormed the great fortress of Schweidnitz and then crushed the remains of the Prussian army ouside Breslau and captured that Capital city. Nike, the capricious Goddess of Victory, had crowned the triumphant Austrians. Nemesis, the Goddess of Retribution, had other ideas. One month after his stunning victory over the French and Empire forces at Rossbach, King Frederic of Prussia hurled his outnumbered and weary troops against the Austrians at Leuthen just outside Breslau. The Journal of St Paul is a day by day account. He is not shy to write “Nothing happened”, also when the action is hottest he can be understandably brief. As a man learning his trade, he often records details of almost arcane significance. As his original editor George Grey Butler noted: “This is not history, but it is the stuff from which history is written.” Accompanying the text are a detailed Gazeteer and Lists of Persons and Regiments indicated in the text as well as 232 plates of maps and plans on which the reader can follow the operations described. This is a landmark work in the history of the Seven Years War. A continuation of this Journal, describing the Campaigns from 1758 to 1760, is in preparation.

About The Author

After completing his education with the Royal Marines, Neil Cogswell joined the Research Department of ICI plc for whom he worked for more than thirty years making contributions in the fields of Polymer Rheology and Thermoplastic Composite Materials. Following retirement, Neil had the opportunity to indulge his interest in history – especially the military history of the 18th century. His translation of the campaign journals of Horace St Paul – published in two volumes by hellion in 2017 – was supplemented by having the privilege of visiting the battlefields and other relevant sites in Austria, Germany, Poland and Czechoslovakia in the company of historian Christopher Duffy. Neil has also collaborated in the preparation of an English-language edition of the monumental study by Artur Brabant of the Army of the Empire in the Seven Years War for LTR-Verlag.


"Unlike the Hundred Years War, the Seven Years War took approximately seven years; this incredible account of the years 1758 to 1760 introduces a number of minor characters who you won't find in general histories of the war, but who nevertheless played a major part in the conflict involving Britain, France and Spain, and Frederick the Great of Prussia's engagements with France, Austria, Russia and Sweden."

- Books Monthly

“Given the scarcity of accessible first hand source material in English, and the extent to which accounts are interwoven, this is the best Seven Years War buy of the decade so far from a wargames perspective.”

- Miniature Wargames, April 2017

“This incredible account of the years 1758 to 1760 introduces a number of minor characters who you won't find in general histories of the war, but who nevertheless played a major part in the conflict.”

- Books Monthly, April 2017

“One of the most interesting features of this book is the contrast between the armies of this period and those of the Revolutionary Wars, only 35 years in the future...The result is a valuable picture of the nature of warfare in this pivotal conflict.”

- Historyofwar.org

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