Austrian succession war

the Austrian succession war (1740 - 1748) broke out after the accession Maria Theresias , since several German and European princes did not recognize the pragmatic sanction, in Maria Theresias father, emperor Karl VI., the succession to the throne in female line had specified. Approximatelyits as a weakly felt successor raised the following princes of requirements on Austrian hereditary country:

Friedrich II. of Prussia and required for its acknowledgment of the pragmatic sanction the province Schlesien used these requirements and occupied these to 16. December 1740 (Schlesi wars). With this invasion it released the Austrian succession war.

Bavaria, France andSpain 1741 in the contract of Nymphenburg an alliance, late also Prussias, Saxonia, Sweden , Neapel , who joined Kurpfalz and Cologne , closed. England and the Netherlands , the traditional opponents of France were allied with Austria.

In the context of the Austrian succession war also different fellbinational confrontations, like that was OF Jenkins' Ear between England and Spain, the second rebellion of the Jakobiter in Scotland as well as the Swedish-Russian war. Parts of the war were delivered by colonial powers France and England also in North America and India. These partial conflicts are as KingGeorge's was well-known in North America and first Karnataka war in India.

The succession war ended to 18. October 1748 with a peace treaty in Aachen (second Aachener peace). These peace re-established the Vorkriegszustand to a large extent, awarded however Schlesien Prussia and recognized Maria Theresiaon the throne in Vienna on.

Battle with Fontenoy 1745 (painting of Edouard Dětaille)

table of contents


emperors Karl VI.
Maria Theresia

during the Spanish of succession war, which had been released by becoming extinct the Spanish having citizen line, decided emperors Leopold I., the head of the Austrian having citizen line, but, to specify the succession explicitly. To 12. It closed September 1703with his two sons Joseph and Karl a succession pact. This regulated that female family members could only inherit, if all male lines had become extinct in addition and specified the succession among at the time the living having citizens. Thus the salische succession was questioned for the first time.

Leopold died 1705 and its son followed it as an emperor Joseph I. after. When these 1711 also died, it left two unmarried daughters and became of its brother as a Karl VI. beerbt. This put to 19. April 1713 with the pragmatic sanction one of that1703 closed pact deviating succession firmly, which made his own daughter Maria Theresia the heiress, not those of its brother. A further definition of the pragmatic sanction was that habsburgischen hereditary country should be indivisible. While those accepted federal state parliament of the having citizens hereditary country and of Hungary the pragmatic sanction,strove Karl VI for the acknowledgment by other European powers in vain. After the death of the emperor to 20. October 1740 Maria Theresias vomit denied by several powerful European princes and the Austrian succession war fallow out.

Karl Albrecht, the cure prince by Bavaria, as well as Friedrich August, Kurfürst of Saxonia and since the Polish succession war king of Poland, rejected the pragmatic sanction and denied thereby Maria Theresias vomit. Both stressed habsburgischen hereditary country. Karl Albrecht, there it by his nut/mother Maria Antonia of AustriaGrandchild by emperor Leopold I. , and Friedrich August was, there it with the oldest daughter of Joseph I. was married.Friedrich II. from Prussia of the become extinct Piasten Schlesien for Prussia demanded due to an old contract over the follow-up.

war process

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Friedrich II. von Preußen
Friedrich II. of Prussia
emperor Karl VII.

At the 11. December set Friedrich II. Maria Theresia a Ultimatium, in which it demanded Schlesien as price for its acknowledgment of the pragmatic sanction and its support for the choice of its married man Franz from Lorraine to the emperor.Without the answer to be waiting the Prussian army fell to 16. December in Schlesien and occupied it without much Gegenwehr. By the fact Friedrich profited from the fact that under his father, the “soldier king” Friedrich William I., which had been developed Prussian army to one of most modern Europeand contrary to the Austrian army a standing army was that immediately, and not only after long mobilization, was operational. The Austrians, to who after the war against the Turks only few troops were at the disposal, withdrew themselves after Böhmen and Mähren and PrussiaBreslau could occupy unimpaired and winter in Schlesien. Only the fortresses Glogau, Brieg and Neisse were held still by Austrian garrisons.


to 9. March 1741 became the fortress Glogau in a night attack of Prussian troops under Leopold II. of notion Dessau, conquers. Meanwhile a Austrian army among counts Neipperg began to operate against the Prussian lines and around besieged places Neisse and Brieg to frighten. To 10. April came it to the battle with Mollwitz, in which Prussia triumphed. In the consequence remainedthe Austrians defensively, since they did not want to risk their only field army thoughtlessly.

After itself already to 16. February Great Britain, Russia, Saxonia and the Netherlands in Dresden with Maria Theresia to an anti-Prussian coalition had united, allied themselves Prussia now with Francein person of the marshal bark Isle. In the summer also Bavaria and Spain this alliance followed. France expected an attenuation of its ore enemy Austria and Spain strove for lost possessions in Italy.

Great Britain explained now its neutrality, there it not at a conflict alsotwo bourbonischen powers France and Spain and in addition Hanover by Prussia was interested was threatened. In September 1741 Saxonia changed into the anti-Austrian alliance. Reason was an agreement with Karl Albrecht, in which habsburgischen hereditary country were divided and Saxonia Karl Albrecht assured, itto support with the king choice.

The present agreement with Saxonia and the intervention of the Frenchmen arranged Friedrich to 9. October in addition, a secret armistice negotiated with British assistance, the so-called secret convention of small fast village for closing with Maria Theresia. It received after a demonstrative FE storagethe fortress Neisse and Niederschlesien. The Prussian army conquered Olmütz at the 26.Dezember still and referred thereupon winter accomodation.

Karl Albrecht occupied with his Bavarian troops in July Passau and existing building and advanced in November with the help of Saxonian and French troops to upper Austria, without however Viennato threaten. Although Neipperg with its army from Schlesien hurried here, the allied ones could do to 26. November Prague take, where itself Karl Albrecht to 9. December of the böhmischen conditions to the king to crown left.


to 24. January 1742 became Karl Albrechtto the emperor Karl VII. selected and to 12. February crowned by its brother Clemens August, the archbishop of Cologne, also. For nearly 300 years he was the first emperor, who did not originate from the having citizen sex.

The Austrians had meanwhile troops from Italyand Hungary pulled together and to the counter attack had changed over. Count Ludwig Andreas's count Khevenhüller conquered only Linz back and marched on the day of the emperor coronation/culmination Karl Albrechts into Munich. Thereupon Karl Albrecht Friedrich II. asked. around assistance. This conquered Brünn and proceeded on Vienna. AsAustrian troops its retreat threatened, returned it to Böhmen, where it defeated the army of the prince Karl of Lorraine in the battle with Chotusitz. At its conquests to secure Friedrich II. closed. at the 11. June 1742 in Breslau a separate peace with Maria Theresia. PrussiaSchlesien and the county received Glatz, while Maria Theresia could throw the freed troops against the Bavarian-French army.

The French marshal de Broglie, who operated to the Moldau, thereupon back-pushed of the Austrians. In August they besieged without result Prague. The Frenchmen under marshalBark Isle tried to maintain the city, had in December however under difficult conditions after Eger to withdraw itself.

In Italy a new theater opened. Spain tried to extend its territory at expense of Austria von Neapel out. But a Austrian sardinisches army seized the initiative, conquered Modenaand Mirandola and cleaned for central Italy after Neapel, threatened by an English fleet, for neutral had explained itself. In September a further Spanish army advanced coming by France against Nice, had to withdraw itself however before the beginning of winter again after Savoyen.

Although a French-Bavarian army tofor the autumn of the yearly the Austrians Böhmen and Mähren had back conquered, could Bavaria state. England and the Netherlands were since that 13. May on the side Maria Theresias occurred the war, in order to prevent a Erstarken France and Spain on the continent; andfinally Prussia had separated for the time being as an opponent of Austria.


king George II. of Great Britain
Marschall Belle-Isle
marshal bark Isle
king Ludwig XV. from France

in the spring there were two theaters in Germany. In Hanover George II. collected itself under English army, onthe Main moved. France sent its own army to it under marshal Noailles from the Elsass against, which was defeated however in the battle with Dettingen at the 27.Juni. In South Germany those lost Bavaria and their hessian allied ones to 9. May a battle with Sempach at thatVils and had thereupon Bavaria to nearly completely vacate. Both the Frenchmen, and Bavaria yielded behind the Rhine back, where they went into the winter accomodation. The pragmatic army of the king George stored after a short raid over the Rhine finally into Westphalia and thatThe Netherlands, while the Austrian troops were located in Bavaria and at the Rhine.

In Italy the Spaniards advanced again against Modena, suffered however in the battle of Campo Santo at the 8.Februar a defeat. Also the Spanish army in Southern France tried to proceed again in Piemont, hadbut withdraw as in the previous year after Savoyen.


in the spring proceeded 80,000 men a strong French army against Brussels and the English-Netherlands army. It conquered Menin, Ypern, Furnes, and Knock, had thereafter however the majority of theirTroops against Karl of of Lorraine Austrian army sent, which had crossed the Rhine in the Elsass. To a battle it did not come, because Karl of Lorraine hurried in August over after Böhmen back after admits had become that Prussian troops under Friedrich II. again into thatWar had intervened. It seemed favorable however that Saxonia had struck itself in May secretly on of Austria side

Friedrich II. the Erstarken Maria Theresias was afraid and believed that Austria would try after a victory over France to seize again Schlesiens. Therefore it renewed itsAlliance with France and attacked in August in Böhmen. In September Prague was besieged and taken. As Friedrich II. cut off to it Austrian Hussars the supply continued to penetrate. From all sides the Saxonian army presses and finally also by that by the Austrian reserve troops,Army of Karl of Lorraine had itself Friedrich II. withdraw after Schlesien.

Was to be conquered by this discharge Bavaria and Franzosen however succeeded Bavaria back. A French army besieged Freiburg in mash gau, while another attacked the Austrian Swabia. In November collected itselfstill another third army to the Mosel.

In Italy a French-Spanish army penetrated in Piemont and struck the sardinische army to the Stura. Afterwards it took Villafranca, Oneglia and Nice. In the autumn the army had however again after Piemont back. Into central Italy penetratedthe Austrians the Spaniards from Neapel back. But when this gave its neutrality up again had itself the Austrian army into the Toskana to withdraw.


emperors Franz I. Stephan
Moritz Graf von Sachsen
Moritz count of Saxonia

to 8. January 1745 Great Britain, Austria, the Netherlands closedand Saxonia Poland the Warsaw Quadrupel alliance, which was directed against Prussia. Twelve days later, to 20. January 1745, died emperors Karl VII. and so a new emperor choice made necessary. Its son Maximilian III. by Bavaria closed after further military defeats, e.g. in the battle with Pfaff yards the peace of feet with Maria Theresia, in whom it recognized and assured the Austrian Suprematie in the realm, Maria Theresias married man Franz with the emperor choice to support. Thus Prussia was to a large extent isolated.

Friedrich II. in the following campaign planned itself to hold back defensively. It remained inSchlesien, where it struck a Austrian-Saxonian army at the 4.Juni in the battle with Hohenfriedberg crucially. A further success succeeded to it at the 30.November in the battle with Soor. Thus Schlesien was defended and the fighting concentrated on Saxonia, where the Austrian-Saxonian main forces collected themselves.After Leopold of notion Dessau in the battle at boiler village crucially could strike the Austrians and Saxonia at the 15.Dezember there, Dresden fell into Prussian hands. At the 25.Dezember a peace treaty between Prussia, was closed Austria and Saxonia there that already at the 16.August a Prussian peace treaty with England Hanoverhad preceded.

The attention of France depended on separating Bayerns and the evacuation of the cure principality on Flanders. There besieged a French army under Moritz count of Saxonia Tournai. At the 11. May came it to the battle with Fontenoy, in which the “pragmatic one Army " under duke was struck by Cumberland, which had moved close for the relief of the fortress. In the consequence resulted Gent, Brügge and Tournai. Up to the year end fell also Nieuport, Dendermonde, Ath and east end into French hands. With French support landed also onesmall expedition armed force in Scotland, in order to proceed from there out against England. This became as the second rebellion of the Jakobiter admits.

In central Italy itself the Austrian army had after the lost battle with Rimini to behind the Tanaro back-soft. So itself the Spanish-French and the Spanish neapolitanische could Army with Genova combine and Tortona, Piacenza , Parma and Pavia together conquer. The Austrian sardinische army suffered a further defeat with in the battle with Bassignano. Up to the year end the allied Piemont and nearly the whole Lombardei had occupied.


1746England by the Jakobiteraufstand presses troops from the continent to take off had could the French army of the marshal of Saxonia relatively unhindered Brussels, Mecheln, Antwerp, Charleroi and Mons take. During the FE storage of Namur struck the French marshal Moritz of Saxonia the Austrian relief army in that Battle with Huy. It took the fortress and the Austrians again in the battle with Roucoux. For the end of the yearly, the Austrian Netherlands and Luxembourg were in French possession.

In Italy take place however a successful offensive of the Austrian sardinischen army. In the battlesfrom Guastalla, Piacenza and Rottofredo the Austrians triumphed and made themselves gentlemen of the Lombardei, Piemonts and Savoyens. The Spaniards withdrew themselves to Genova and evacuated from there out back to Spain. With the help of the English fleet the Austrians pushed successfully into Provenceand Antibes besieged.

the Frenchmen thought 1747 after the conquest of the Austrian Netherlands now of an attack on the Holland. In the battle with Lauffeldt the marshal of Saxonia could defeat the Austrian-English-Dutch troops at the 2.Juli. After three-month FE storage fellafterwards also mountain OI zoom shot and Dutch Flanders into the hands of the marshal.

In Provence the Austrians and Sardinier had to withdraw themselves in January because of lack of provisions. They went now to the FE storage of Genova. A French army under the marshal bark Isle moved close for the relief of the city,whereupon the Austrians withdrew themselves into the Lombardei. Bark Isle pursued it first, went then however even into the winter accomodation to Nice.

At the 30.November Austria with Russia closed a contract, which planned that in the following year 37,000 Russian soldiers to the assistance Maria Theresias to thatRhine would move.


the Frenchmen besieged Maastricht, while the army of the Englishmen, dutchmen and Austrians did not do anything, in order to frighten the city. The allied ones waited for the arrival of the Russian troops, in order to then proceed together against the marshal of Saxonia.At the 7.Mai Maastricht and a general armistice capitulated were agreed upon. Also in Italy it came to no further fighting. The danger of a Russian intervention accelerated the peace negotiations and ended in such a way the war at the 18.Oktober with the peace of Aachen.

effects of theWar

of the Aachener the pragmatic sanction and the English succession to the throne for Hanover confirmed peace. Prussia got again Schlesien and the county Glatz awarded. Thus Austria lost one of its richest provinces, while Prussia ascended to a European great power. Colonial powers agreed on it the madeTo return conquests. The goal of France of weakening the ore enemy Austria significantly had failed thereby. The sons of the Spanish queen received duchies in Italy and also Austria could with some area gains the loss Schlesiens there compensate.

In Austria important state became after the experiences of the warand army reforms introduced, which improved the Austrian army qualitatively and for the following seven-year-old war (1756-1763) prepared.


  • the Austrian succession war 1740-1748: after the field Acten and other authentic sources/works on in D. War-historical department of the K. and. K. War archives, 9 Bde.,Berlin 1896-1914.
  • The wars Friedrichs of the large one, 13 Bde. /Hrsg. Of the large general staff, Vienna 1890-1914.
  • Browning, Reed: The was OF Austrian Succession, New York 1993. ISBN 0-312-12561-5
  • Duffy, Christopher: Friedrich the large one, Augsburg 1994. ISBN 3-89350-558-X
  • Groehler, Olaf: The wars Friedrichs II., Berlin 1980.
  • Poet, Bernhard of (Hrsg.): Manual of the entire military sciences, 9 Bde., Leipzig 1877-80.

See also: List of wars, Frenchman and Indian wars


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