Kesselsdorf 1745

Decision in the Fight for Silesia

Alexander Querengässer

An account of Leopold of Anhalt-Dessau's victory over a Saxon army and its Austrian allies, which brought an end to the Second Silesian War.
Date Published :
April 2023
Publisher :
Helion and Company
Series :
From Reason to Revolution
Illustration :
8pp color plates, c 20 b/w images, c 4 maps
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Paperback
ISBN : 9781804511886
Pages : 224
Dimensions : 9.8 X 7.1 inches
Stock Status : Not Yet Published. Available for Pre-Order


When one thinks of the wars of the eighteenth century, one thinks of the significant clashes of great military powers: the War of the Spanish Succession and the Battles of Hochstädt and Malplaquet, the Great Northern War and the Battles of Narva and Poltava, the War of the Austrian Succession and Fontenoy, the Seven Years War with Roßbach, Leuthen and Zorndorf, or the American War of Independence with Saratoga and Yorktown. All of these engagements appear again and again in the lists of the great battles of world history, and there are reasons why they deserve a place in them. Yet none of them brought an end to the war in which they were fought. Not so the Battle of Kesselsdorf, which is largely forgotten today and will probably never find its way into an anthology of world-historically significant battles yet surely deserves such a place. For the immediate consequence of the victory of the Prussian army under Leopold of Anhalt-Dessau over a Saxon army on the heights near Kesselsdorf was the peace agreement at Dresden. In it, Austria once again renounced its claims to the province of Silesia, which had been lost to Prussia in the First Silesian War. In addition, Prussia rose to the rank of the great European powers and became the regional hegemon in northern Germany, while ambitious Electoral Saxony lost considerable political importance in the Empire and in Europe.

This shift in the power structure between Prussia and Saxony was sealed with the Peace of Dresden. In the collective memory, however, this event is eclipsed by the occupation of the Electorate in the Seven Years War and by the death in 1763 of Frederick Augustus II, his most important confidant Heinrich Graf von Brühl, and the break-up of the Saxon-Polish Union. These events caused the memory of Kesselsdorf to fade in Saxony, while in Prussia it was not greatly cultivated either, since it was a victory not of Frederick the Great but of a man who had made his career under Frederick's little-loved father and whose relationship with the king was often cool. These circumstances led to Kesselsdorf not being given much space in either Prussian or Saxon military history. The aim of this book is therefore not only to reconstruct the course of the battle, but also to establish its significance in history.

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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