Silesian Wars
1740-42 and 44-45

Prussia in 1740 was a small kdm. But king Frederick William I had drilled the army to a perfection previously unknown. And his successor, Frederick the Great had developed the professional standing-army concept to full maturity.

The first War 1740-42
On 16 December 1740 the Prussian army crossed the frontier into Silesia. While the Austrians had to wait for drafts to complete the field forces, Prussian regiments took the field at once, and thus Frederick was able to overrun Silesia almost unopposed.

On their new territory, the organized Prussian army was soon able to hold all Silesia. In one step, Prussia had doubled its population and made huge gains in its industrial productivity.

The second War 1744-46
The Second Silesian War began in 1744. Frederick of Prussia concluded an alliance with Louis XV of France. France declared war direct upon Austria. France prepared to invade the Austrian Netherlands. At the same time Frederick crossed the Austrian frontier.

The attention and resources of Maria Theresa's Austria were fully occupied, and the Prussians were almost unopposed. One column passed through Saxony while another advanced from Silesia.

An Austrian contingent joined the Saxons, a move was made in the direction of Berlin from Saxony and from Bohemia. The danger was very great. Frederick hurried up his forces from Silesia and marched as rapidly as possible on Dresden. The Saxons and their allies were completely routed after a hard struggle, and Maria Theresa at last gave way.

In the Peace of Dresden Frederick recognized the imperial election, and retained Silesia at the Peace of Breslau.