What is called matriarchy is simply moral anarchy, in which the mother alone remains fixed because all the fathers are fugitive and irresponsible. — G. K. Chesterton

Seven Years War

1756-1763
Prussia, Britain, Hanover — versus — Austria, France, Russia

European Theater — 1756-1762      Naval Theater — 1758-1761     
North American Theater — 1752-1763      Asian Theater — 1756-1763     

sevenyears
WOLFE LANDING AT THE FOOT OF THE HEIGHTS OF ABRAHAM
The Seven Years War is probably more famous for the decisive gains for Britain in its colonial theater, than for its primary European war, between Austria and Prussia. Like the War of the Austrian Succession fifteen years before, the Seven Years War pitted Frederick the Great of Prussia against his nemesis, Maria Theresa of Austria. This time, however, Austria had made alliances with France and Russia, so Prussia was surrounded by enemies. Britain, along with Hanover, entered on the side of Prussia, but even so, Prussia was at a great disadvantage going against all three of the largest and most populous countries of Europe.

Britain on the other hand, whose primary contention was with France, gained a commanding control of the seas and decisively prevailed over France in both North America and on the Indian Subcontinent. Back on the continent, although Frederick the Great managed to maintain Prussian integrity, as the years went on he found it more and more difficult to replace lost men, as all three of his enemies had enormous reserves of manpower. Still he managed to eke out victories, until Russia unexpectedly made peace with Prussia and brought the war to a close. The net result of the Seven Year War in Europe was that Prussia was confirmed in its claim to Silesia, and was established as the preeminent German state north of Austria. It spite of his losses, the Seven Years War confirmed the military genius of Frederick the Great since he managed to maintain his military integrity against nearly impossible odds.

European theater : 1756-1762

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FREDERICK ADDRESSING HIS GENERALS
In the European theater, the first few years went well for Prussia. Although Frederick II was threatened on three fronts, he cleverly moved his army and supplies around in such a way as to meet all dangers. By 1759 however, he was very hard pressed on all sides and met some serious defeats. In spite of all, he held his kingdom together and managed to stave off destruction until by a stroke of pure luck, his enemy Elizabeth of Russia died, and he was able to make peace with her successor, Peter III. With his Eastern front secure, he was able to stave off a few final assault in the west. By the end of the war, he had managed to hold on to his claim to Silesia, the main territory of dispute with Austria.



DateBattle Summary
1756  
Battle of Lowositz (Austrians vs. Prussians ) Prussians victory
Fought October 1, 1756, between 24,000 Prussians, under Frederick the Great, and a somewhat superior force of Austrians, under Marshal Brown. Brown was marching to relieve the Saxons penned up in Pirna, when he was attacked by the Prussians, who, after hard fighting, forced him to retire. Each side lost about 3,000, but the victory was of great importance to Frederick, as it led to the surrender at Pirna of 17,000 Saxons and 80 guns.
  
1757  
Battle of Prague (Austrians vs. Prussians ) Prussians victory
Fought May 6, 1757, between 70,000 Austrians, under Charles of Lorraine, and 60,000 Prussians, under Frederick the Great. The Austrians occupied a very strong position on the Moldau, which was attacked and carried by Frederick, Charles being driven back into Prague with a loss of 8,000 killed and wounded and 9,000 prisoners. Marshal Braun was among the killed. The Prussians lost 13,000, including Marshal Schwerin.
  
1757  
Battle of Kolin (Austrians vs. Prussians ) Austrians victory
Fought June 18, 1757, between 34,000 Prussians, under Frederick the Great, and 54,000 Austrians, under Marshal Daun, Daun occupied the heights between Kolin and Chotzewitz, where he was attacked by Frederick, who had nearly succeeded in turning his right flank when the Prussian right broke and fled. The Prussian cavalry charged gallantly six times, but could make no impression on the Austrian defense, and Frederick was beaten back with a loss of 14,000 men and 43 guns. The Austrians lost 9,000.
  
1757  
Battle of Hastenbech (French vs. Prussians ) French victory
Fought July 26, 1757, between 50,000 Hanoverians and others, under the Duke of Cumberland, and 80,000 French, under Marshal d'Estrees. The Duke, who had taken post on the Weser, to protect Hanover, was overpowered by d'Estrees, and driven back to Slade, on the Elbe, with a loss of several hundred men. This defeat was followed by the signature of the Convention of Closter-Seven.
  
1757  
Battle of Gross-Jagersdorf (Austrians vs. Prussians ) Russians victory
Fought August 30, 1757, between 28,000 Prussians, under Marshal Lehwaldt, and a largely superior force of Russians, under General Apraxine. The Prussians were defeated, but Apraxine failed to follow up his victory, and recrossed the frontier.
  
1757  
Battle of Rosbach (Austrians vs. Prussians ) Prussians victory
Fought November 5, 1757, between 80,000 French and Austrians, under Marshal Soubise, and 30,000 Prussians, under Frederick the Great. Frederick, who occupied the heights of Rosbach, was attacked by the allies. The Prussian cavalry, however, under Seidlitz, charged down upon the Austrians, and threw them into disorder, and the infantry falling upon the broken columns utterly routed them, with a loss of 4,000 killed and wounded, 7,000 prisoners, including 11 generals and 63 guns. The Prussians lost 3,000 only.
  
1757  
Battle of Breslau (Austrians vs. Prussians ) Austrians victory
Fought November 22, 1757, between 90,000 Austrians under Prince Charles of Lorraine, and 25,000 Prussians under the Prince of Bevern. The Prussians, who were encamped under the walls of Breslau, were driven into the city with a loss of 5,000 killed and wounded, 3,600 prisoners, including the Prince of Bevern, and 80 guns. They evacuated the city at once, leaving a garrison of 6,000, which surrendered two days later. The Austrians lost 8,000 killed and wounded.
  
1757  
Battle of Leuthen (Austrians vs. Prussians ) Prussians victory
Fought December 5, 1757, between 33,000 Prussians, under Frederick the Great, and 90,000 Austrians, under Prince Charles of Lorraine and Count Daun. Frederick made a feigned attack on the Austrian right wing, and then under cover of the ground withdrew the major part of his force, and strongly attacked the Austrian left, which was driven back and finally overthrown by a charge of cavalry. The Austrians lost 7,000 killed and wounded, 20,000 prisoners, including three generals, and 134 guns. The Prussians lost 5,000 killed and wounded. In consequence of this victory, Breslau surrendered to Frederick, with over 18,000 troops, on December l0.
  
1758  
Battle of Crefeld (French vs. Prussians ) Hanovearians victory
Fought June 23, 1758, between 32,000 Hanoverians, Hessians and Brunswickers under Prince Ferdinand of Brunswick, and about 50,000 French under the Comte de Clermont. The French were totally defeated, with heavy loss.
  
1758  
Battle of Zorndorf (Austrians vs. Prussians ) Prussians victory
Fought August 25, 1758, between the Prussians, 25,000 strong, under Frederick the Great, and a Russian army, under Fermor, which was besieging Custria. Frederick attacked the Russian entrenchments, and drove them out, with a loss of 19,000 forcing them to relinquish the siege. The Prussians lost about 11,000.
  
1758  
Battle of Hochkirchen (Austrians vs. Prussians ) Austrians victory
Fought October 14, 1758, between the Prussians, under Frederick the Great, and the Austrians, under Count Daun. Frederick, who was encamped on the heights of Hochkirchen, was surprised in the early morning by the Austrians, who broke into his camp and seized his artillery. He succeeded, however, in forming up his troops, and descending into the plain, made good his retreat to Bautzen. The Prussians lost 9,000 men, including the Prince of Brunswick and Marshal Keith, all their tents and baggage, and tot guns. The Austrians lost 8,000 killed and wounded.
  
1758  
Siege of Olmütz (Austrians vs. Prussians ) Austrians victory
This place was besieged by Frederick the Great, May, 1758. Having insufficient troops to completely invest the place, Frederick’s task was a difficult one, and Marshal Daun was able to keep communications open, and supply the town with provisions. After a siege of seven weeks, the Austrians captured a convoy of 4,000 wagons, under the escort of Landon, destined for the Prussian army, and Frederick was forced by this loss to raise the siege, and retire.
  
1759  
Battle of Bergen (French vs. Prussians ) French victory
Fought April 13, 1759, between the French under the Duc de Broglie, and the Hanoverians, about 40,000 strong, under Ferdinand of Brunswick. The French gained a signal victory, and retained possession of Bergen, the recapture of which was the object of Ferdinand's advance.
  
1759  
Battle of Warburg (French vs. Prussians ) Prussians victory
Fought July 31, 1759, between the French, 35,000 strong, under the Chevalier de May, and a largely superior force of Prussians and British, under Prince Ferdinand. The French were in danger of their flanks being turned, and after a brief engagement, retired, having lost 1,500 killed and wounded and 1,500 prisoners.
  
1759  
Battle of Minden (French vs. Prussians ) Prussians victory
Fought August 1, 1759, between the French, 64,000 strong, under the Marquis de Contades, and the Hanoverians, British and Prussians, 54,000 strong, under Ferdinand of Brunswick. Ferdinand detached a force of 10,000 men to threaten de Contades' rear, and then, attacking strongly, broke the first line of the French. But for the failure of the allies' cavalry to advance, the French would have been routed. As it was, they were able to rally, and effect an orderly retreat, though with a loss of 7,086 killed, wounded and prisoners, 43 guns and 17 standards. The allies lost 2,762, fully a half of this number being in the ranks of the six English regiments present, who bore the brunt of the battle.
  
1759  
Battle of Kunersdorf (Austrians vs. Prussians ) Austrians, Russians victory
Fought August 12, 1759, between 40,000 Prussians, under Frederick the Great, and 80,000 Austrians and Russians, under Generals Landon and Soltykoff. Frederick first attacked the Russians in flank, driving them out of their entrenchments, and capturing 180 guns. Then, against the advice of Seidlitz, he attacked the Austrian position on the left of the allies, and, though deserted by the Russians, the Austrians held their ground, and, bringing all their artillery to bear on the Prussians at close quarters, totally routed them, with a loss of 20,000 men. The allies lost 24,000.
  
1759  
Battle of Campen (French vs. Prussians ) French victory
Fought October 18, 1759, between the Prussians under the Prince of Brunswick, and the French under General de Castries, when the Prussians were defeated with a loss of 1,600 men.
  
1759  
Battle of Maxen (Austrians vs. Prussians ) Austrians victory
Fought November 21, 1759, between the Austrians, under Marshal Daun, and the Prussians, under General Finck. Daun surrounded Finck's position, and after comparatively little fighting compelled him to surrender with over 15,000 men, including 17 generals. Seventeen guns were captured. The casualties on both sides were very small.
  
1760  
Battle of Lignitz (Austrians vs. Prussians ) Prussians victory
Fought August 15, 1760. Frederick the Great with 30,000 Prussians was posted near Lignitz, and expecting to be attacked by the Austrians, 90,000 strong, under Count Daun, commenced a retreat towards Parchwitz, and took up a position which, according to Daun's plan was to have been occupied by Landon's corps. Landon, quite unconscious of the presence of the Prussians, marched into the middle of Frederick's lines, and was utterly routed, with a loss of 4,000 killed and wounded, 6,000 prisoners and 82 guns.
  
1760  
Battle of Torgau (French vs. Prussians ) Prussians victory
Fought November 3, 1760, between the Prussians, under Frederick the Great, and the Austrians, under Count Daun. The Austrians, besides being numerically superior, occupied a strong position at Torgau. Frederick divided his forces, and while one portion, under Ziethen, attacked in front, he himself led the rest of his army round the position, and fell upon the Austrian rear. Both attacks were repulsed, but during the night, Ziethen, finding the heights badly guarded, gained them, and seized the batteries, turning a defeat into a signal victory. The Austrians lost 20,000, the Prussians, 13,000, and the victory gave Frederick possession of the whole of Saxony.
  
1761  
Battle of Kirch-Denkern (naval ) Prussians victory
Fought July 16, 1761, between the Prussians, under Prince Ferdinand, and the French, under Soubise and the Due de Broglie. The French attacked the strong Prussian position in and around Kirch-Denkern, and after severe fighting were repulsed with a loss of 4,000 killed and wounded.
  


Commander
Short Biography
Frederick the Great Great Prussian military leader in the War of the Austrian Succession and Seven Years War.
Maria Theresa Head of Hapsburg Dynasty. Ruled over much of Eastern Europe. Opposed Frederick the Great.
Catherine the Great German Princess who was proclaimed Empress after the murder of her husband Peter III. Favored modernization and progressive policies.


Story Links
Book Links
Francis I  in  The History of Germany  by  Henrietta Elizabeth Marshall


Naval theater : 1758-1761

sevenyears
BATTLE OF QUIBERON BAY
Britain entered the war on the side of Prussia with the primary intention of contending with France, one of the major allies of Austria. The three fronts of primary interest to Britain were North America, the Asian subcontinent, and the European-based navel fleet of France. Britain fought naval battles with France, mostly under Admiral Edward Hawke, and prevailed in all of them. These victories severely limited France's ability to defend its colonial holdings overseas.



DateBattle Summary
1758  
Battle of lle d' Aix (naval ) British victory
Fought March 4, 1758, when a British squadron of seven sail, under Sir Edward Hawke, attacked a French squadron of five ships of the line and six frigates, convoying forty transports, and drove them ashore on the Ile d'Aix. This delayed the French expedition to North America, and facilitated the capture of Cape Breton.
  
1759  
Battle of Belle Isle (naval ) British victory
Fought November 20, 1759, between a British fleet of 27 ships of the line and 6 frigates under Sir Edward Hawke, and a French fleet of 20 ships of the line and 6 frigates under Admiral de Conflans. The French were completely defeated, losing 6 ships and a large number of men. The British lost 2 ships ashore, and 58 killed and 251 wounded.
  
1759  
Battle of Quiberon Bay (naval ) British victory
Fought November 20, 1759, between the British fleet, 23 sail of the line and to frigates, under Hawke, and 21 French line-of-battleships and 3 frigates, under Conflans. The action was fought in a heavy gale on a lee shore, and resulted in the French being driven to take refuge in Quiberon Bay, with a loss of 2 ships sunk and 2 captured. Notwithstanding the gale, Hawke followed up his advantage, and standing in, succeeded in capturing or destroying all but four of the ships which had taken refuge in the bay, though in so doing he lost two of his own ships, which were driven ashore and wrecked. The British lost in the action only 1 officer and 270 men killed and wounded.
  
1759  
Siege of Minorca (naval ) French victory
This place, garrisoned by 2, 800 British troops, under General Blakeney, was invested by the French, under the Due de Richelieu, May, 1756. On May 20, a British squadron of 15 line-of-battleships and 3 sloops, under Admiral Byng, attacked Richelieu's blockading squadron of 12 sail of the line and 5 frigates, with the object of throwing succours into the place. The attack, however, was conducted with so little resolution and resource, that Byng failed in his object, and allowed the French ships to escape him. Blakeney was shortly afterwards forced to surrender, and Byng was tried by court-martial, condemned and shot.
  
1761  
Battle of Belle Isle (Defense of Cumae ) British victory
On June 7, 1761, the island was captured by 8,000 British troops under General Hodgson, convoyed by the fleet under Admiral Keppel. After a first repulse, the troops made good their landing, and the garrison of Palais, the principal town, at once capitulated.
  
1762  
Siege of Havana (Seven Years War ) British victory
In June, 1762, the Earl of Clanwilliam, with 11,000 British troops, supported by a squadron, under Admiral Pococke, laid siege to Havana. Moro Castle, the key of the defenses, was taken by storm, and after a siege of two months and eight days the city was captured.
  


Commander
Short Biography
Lord Edward Hawke Hero of the naval Battle of Quiberon during the Seven Years War.
George Pocock British Naval commander during the Seven Years War. Won victories off the Coast of India.


Story Links
Book Links
Second Struggle  in  The Hanoverians  by  C. J. B. Gaskoin
Great Lord Hawke  in  The Struggle for Sea Power  by  M. B. Synge


North American theater : 1752-1763

sevenyears
SLIPPING AND STUMBLING, THE MEN WENT ON
Even before the Seven Years War broke out in Europe, there was a territorial dispute between France and England, that was the occasion of the initial battles in North America, referred to as the French Indian Wars, in which the American hero George Washington figured prominently. The French built a fort in Pennsylvania territory claimed by the British, and Washington was sent as a messenger to try to negotiate a peaceful solution, but several minor battles ensued. Britain then sent General Braddock to lead an expedition to capture a French fort in the contested region, which ended in disaster. Another event that occurred early in the war, was the forced migration of over 6000 Arcadians, who refused to take an oath of loyalty to Britain, out of Nova Scotia. Over all, however, the early war went badly for the British, not just in America, where several important forts were lost, but also in Europe.

By mid 1757 however, William Pitt assumed the position of Secretary of State (in spite of several disagreements with the King), and from that point on, the tide turned. He appointed young, energetic and ambitious generals, in place of senior, but ineffective ones. These new generals included James Wolfe, who masterminded the British Conquest of Quebec, and Amherst, who lead the American effort to a series of critical victories which resulted in the complete withdrawal of the French government from all of its territories in America. By 1760, only three years after Pitt took control of war affairs, all of North America east of the Mississippi was in British hands.



DateBattle Summary
1752  
Battle of Great Meadows (Seven Years War ) French victory
Fought July 3, 1752, between 350 Virginians, under Washington, and 700 French, under Coulon de Villiers. The Virginians occupied a square log enclosure, known as Fort Necessity, where they resisted the French attack for nine hours, till lack of ammunition forced Washington to surrender. The Virginians lost 60 killed and wounded; the French considerably less.
  
1754  
Battle of Youghiogany (Seven Years War ) Colonists victory
A skirmish of no importance in itself, but notable as being "the shot fired in America which gave the signal that set Europe in a blaze", and was in a sense the cause of the Seven Years' War. On May 27, 1754, Washington, with 40 Virginians, surprised a small French detachment, under Coulon de Jumonville, despatched probably as a reconnaissance by Contrecoeur from Fort Duquesne. The detachment, with one exception, was killed or captured.
  
1755  
Siege of Beausejour (Seven Years War ) Colonists victory
This fort in Nova Scotia, held by a garrison of 460 men under Duchambon de Vergor, was invested June 4, 1755, by 2,000 Massachusetts volunteers and a small force of regulars under Colonel Monckton. On the 14th the besiegers opened fire, and on the 16th the garrison surrendered.
  
1755  
Battle of Monongahela (Seven Years War ) French victory
Fought July 9, 1755, between 900 French and Indians, under Contrecoeur, and about 1,400 British and Virginians, under Braddock. The English were attacked shortly after crossing the river, and though the officers and the Virginians fought gallantly, the troops, ignorant of Indian warfare, gave way to panic, and after three hours' fighting, were driven across the Monongahela, with a loss of 877 killed and wounded. Of 86 officers, 63 fell, including Braddock, who was mortally wounded. The French lost 16 only; their Indian allies somewhat more heavily.
  
1755  
Battle of Lake George (Seven Years War ) Colonists victory
Fought September 8, 1755, between 1,500 French and Indians, under Baron Dieskau, and 2,500 New England militia, under Colonel William Johnson. A small force sent by Johnson to the relief of Fort Lyman was ambushed by the French and driven back to camp, but Dieskau pursuing, was repulsed in his attack upon the camp, with a loss of about 400. Dieskau himself was wounded and captured. The loss of the New England men during the day was 216 killed and 96 wounded, most of whom fell in the ambush.
  
1756  
Siege of Oswego (Seven Years War ) French victory
This place, held by a garrison of 1,400 Provincial troops, under Colonel Mercer, was besieged by the French, under Montcalm, August 11, 1756. After a bombardment of 3 days in the course of which Mercer was killed, the place surrendered. The losses on both sides were very small.
  
1757  
Siege of Fort William Henry (Seven Years War ) French victory
This fort, held by 2,200 British and Colonial troops under Colonel Monro, was besieged, August 4, 1757, by Montcalm, with 6,000 French and Canadians and 1,600 Indians. Montcalm's batteries opened on the 6th, and on the 9th, having lost 300 killed and wounded, and nearly all his guns being disabled, Monro surrendered. He was to be permitted to retire unmolested to Fort Edward, but the French were unable to control their Indian allies, who attacked the unarmed column as it retired. Before order was restored, some 50 had been killed, and 400 carried off prisoners by the Indians.
  
1758  
Battle of Louisburg (Seven Years War ) British victory
Louisburg, having been restored to the French, was invested June 3, 1758, by a force of 11,600 British troops, under General Amherst, and a fleet of of 41 ships of war, under Admiral Boscawen. It was defended by 3,800 French regulars, besides Indians and armed citizens, under the Chevalier de Drucour, while in the harbour were 12 ships of war, with crews numbering 3,000 men. Owing to heavy weather no siege guns were landed till the 18th, but by July 20 a practicable breach had been effected, whereupon the garrison surrendered. During the siege the defenders lost 1,200 men killed or died of disease, while the prisoners numbered 5,637, and 239 guns and mortars were taken. Wolfe, who commanded a brigade, specially distinguished himself.
  
1758  
Battle of Trout Brook (Seven Years War ) British victory
A small skirmish, in which the advance guard of Abercromby's army, marching on Ticonderoga, fell in with a French scouting column, 350 strong, under Langy, July 6, 1758. The French lost 150 killed and wounded and 148 prisoners, and the affair would be without importance but for the fact that Lord Howe, who was the brain of Abercromby's staff, was killed in the fight. His death was followed by the disaster of Ticonderoga, and as Parkman says (Montcalm and Wolfe, chap. xx.): "The death of one man was the ruin of fifteen thousand."
  
1758  
Battle of Ticonderoga (Seven Years War ) French victory
Fought July 8, 1758, between Montcalm, with 3,600 French and Canadians, and the British, 15,000 strong, including 6,000 regulars, under General James Abercromby. Montcalm was strongly intrenched on a ridge in front of Fort Ticonderoga, his position being furthered strengthened by an abatis. Abercromby made no attempt to turn the position, but without waiting for his guns, ordered the regulars to take the lines by storm. Notwithstanding the gallantry of the troops, who advanced six times to the assault, the position proved impregnable, and Abercromby was forced to withdraw, with a loss of 1,944 killed and wounded, the French losing 377 only. The 42nd Regiment (Black Watch) showed conspicuous bravery, losing half the rank and file, and 25 officers killed and wounded. On July 22, 1759, a British force of 11,000 men under General Amherst, arrived before Ticonderoga, which was held by about 3,500 French and Canadians, under Bourlamaquc.
On the 23rd, Bourlemaque withdrew to the Isle-aux-Noix, on Lake Champlain, leaving only 400 men, under Hébécourt, with instructions to hold Amherst before the place as long as possible. On the 26th, however, Hébécourt set fire to the magazine and retired.
  
1758  
Siege of Fort Frontenac (Seven Years War ) British victory
This place, held by about 110 French troops, under Noyan, was captured by Colonel Bradstreet with 3,000 Colonials, August 27, 1758. The capture was of extreme importance, as it robbed the French of the control of Lake Ontario, and severed their communications with their posts on the Ohio.
  
1758  
Battle of Grant's Hill (Seven Years War ) French victory
Fought September 14, 1758, when Major Grant, with 800 Highlanders, and Provincials, attacked a body of Indians in the French service near Fort Duquesne. He was repulsed, and in turn attacked by the garrison of the Fort, 3,000 strong, under M. de Ligneris. Grant was totally defeated, losing 293 in killed, wounded and prisoners, and was himself captured.
  
1759  
Battle of Montmorenci (Seven Years War ) French victory
Fought July 31, 1759, during the siege of Quebec, when Wolfe, with 5,000 men, attacked the entrenched camp of the French, which was defended by 12,000 men under Montcalm. As the British were landing, 13 companies of grenadiers advanced to the attack without waiting for the main body. They were repulsed with heavy loss, which so weakened Wolfe that he decided not to press the attack further, The British loss amounted to 443, almost the whole of which fell upon the grenadiers. The French losses were very small.
  
1759  
Battle of Plains of Abraham (Seven Years War ) British victory
Fought September 13, 1759, when Wolfe, who was lying on shipboard in the St. Lawrence above Quebec, with 4,000 troops, effected a landing secretly in the night of the 12th to the 13th, and took up unperceived a strong position on the Plains of Abraham. Next morning he was attacked by Montcalm, with about equal numbers, but notwithstanding the most desperate efforts, the French were unable to carry the position, and were driven back into Quebec with a loss of about 1,500. Both Wolfe and Montcalm fell mortally wounded. The British loss amounted to 664 killed and wounded. The French immediately afterwards evacuated Quebec.
  
1759  
Siege of Niagara (Seven Years War ) British victory
This fort was besieged in June, 1759, by 2,500 British, with 900 Indians, under General Prideaux, the garrison consisting of 600 French, under Captain Pouchot. Prideaux was killed by the premature explosion of a shell, and Sir William Johnson succeeded to the command. On July 24, when the garrison were almost in extremis, an attempt to relieve the fort was made by 1,300 French and Indians, under Ligneris, but he was repulsed by Johnson with considerable loss, at La Belle Famille, and Pouchot at once surrendered.
  
1759  
Siege of Quebec (Seven Years War ) British victory
This city was besieged June, 1759, by 9,000 British troops, under General Wolfe, assisted by a fleet of 22 ships of war, under Admiral Holmes. The place was defended by about 16,000 French, under Montcalm. Wolfe was too weak numerically for an investment, and his object was to draw Montcalm into an engagement. On July 31 he was defeated in an attack on Montcalm's lines outside the city, but on September 13, having landed above Quebec, he met and defeated the French, who evacuated the place on the 17th. After defeating General Murray, April 27, 1760, the Chevalier de Levis laid siege to Quebec, with about 8,000 French and Canadians. The garrison consisted of no more than 2,500 effectives, but owing to the superiority of their artillery, Levis was unable to make any impression on the defenses. On May 15 a small British squadron anchored off the city, and on the following day attacked and destroyed the French ships carrying de Levis' supplies and reserve of ammunition, whereupon he hastily raised the siege, leaving behind him 40 siege guns and all his sick and wounded.
  
1760  
Battle of Ste Foy (Seven Years War ) French victory
Fought April 27, 1760, between 3,000 British troops, under General Murray, and 8,000 French, under the Chevalier de Levis, who was approaching from Montreal, with the object of recapturing Quebec. Murray marched out to attack Levis, but was defeated and driven back into Quebec with a loss of over a third of his force. The French lost about 800.
  
1760  
Battle of Montreal (Seven Years War ) British victory
This city was surrendered to the British, under General Amherst, by Vaudreuil, Governor-General of Canada, September 8, 1760. One of the conditions of the surrender was that the whole of the French army in Canada and its dependencies must lay down their arms. Canada thus became a part of the British dominions.
  
1761  
Battle of Belle Isle (Defense of Cumae ) British victory
On June 7, 1761, the island was captured by 8,000 British troops under General Hodgson, convoyed by the fleet under Admiral Keppel. After a first repulse, the troops made good their landing, and the garrison of Palais, the principal town, at once capitulated.
  


Commander
Short Biography
George Washington Leader of the Continental Army of the U.S. during the Revolutionary War, and first President.
General Braddock Led a disastrous campaign to Fort Duquesne (Ohio) during the French and Indian Wars.
Robert Rogers Leader of a band of mountain men who did great service for Britain during the French and Indian War.
General Montcalm Military leader of New France during the Seven Year War; died at Battle of Quebec.
John Stark 'Hero of Bennington' during the American Revolution. Fought with Rogers' Rangers during French Indian War.
Israel Putnam Outspoken and adventure-loving soldier. Participated in both French-Indian and Revolutionary Wars.
General Wolfe Defeated the French at the Battle of Quebec, giving Canada to Britain. Died during battle.
James Abercromby Commander-in-chief of British forces during French and Indian Wars. Relieved after disastrous expedition to Fort Ticonderoga.
Jeffery Amherst Commander-in-chief of British forces during French and Indian Wars. Captured Louisbourg and Montreal.


Story Links
Book Links
Old French War  in  Indian History for Young Folks  by  Francis S. Drake
Story of a Captive  in  Indian History for Young Folks  by  Francis S. Drake
Roger's Rangers  in  Indian History for Young Folks  by  Francis S. Drake
Indians and Major Putnam  in  America First—100 Stories from Our History  by  Lawton B. Evans
How A Terrible Disaster Befell the British Army  in  This Country of Ours  by  H. E. Marshall
End of French Rule in America  in  This Country of Ours  by  H. E. Marshall
War of the Boundary Line  in  Our Empire Story  by  H. E. Marshall
Perils of the Wilderness  in  Historical Tales, Vol I: American  by  Charles Morris
Some Adventures of Major Putnam  in  Historical Tales, Vol I: American  by  Charles Morris
Gallant Defense  in  Historical Tales, Vol I: American  by  Charles Morris
French and Indian War  in  American History Stories, Volume I  by  Mara L. Pratt
George Washington Stands Fast  in  Boys' Book of Border Battles  by  Edwin L. Sabin
On Braddock's Bloody Field  in  Boys' Book of Border Battles  by  Edwin L. Sabin
George Washington, Soldier and Patriot  in  The Struggle for Sea Power  by  M. B. Synge


Story Links
Book Links
Quebec  in  Stories from English History, Part Third  by  Alfred J. Church
William Pitt  in  Famous Men of Modern Times  by  John H. Haaren
Winning the British Empire  in  The Story of England  by  Samuel B. Harding
Loss of New France  in  Canada: Peeps at History  by  Beatrice Home
Taking of Quebec  in  The Story of France  by  Mary Macgregor
Pathy of Glory  in  Our Empire Story  by  H. E. Marshall
George II—The Story of How Canada Was Won  in  Our Island Story  by  H. E. Marshall
William Pitt  in  Great Englishmen  by  M. B. Synge
How Pitt Saved England  in  The Struggle for Sea Power  by  M. B. Synge
Fall of Quebec  in  The Struggle for Sea Power  by  M. B. Synge
Quebec  in  The Boy's Book of Battles  by  Eric Wood


Asian theater, a.k.a Third Carnatic War : 1756-1763

sevenyears
CLIVE ON THE ROOF, WATCHING THE BATTLE OF PLASSEY
The next phase of the Carnatic Wars occurred near Calcutta in Bengal, far to the north of Madras and Pondicherry. Bengal was the wealthiest and most powerful of the Indian coastal states and its Nawab, Surajah Dowlah, permitted various European trading stations in his territory, but he disliked the British and sought to drive them out. He therefore attacked their post with an overwhelming force and put the survivors to death in a gruesome manner. By this time Clive had returned to Madras, and he was put in charge of the infantry sent to demand restitution. After winning several battles in the region, Surajah Dowlah submitted to British demands, but meanwhile Clive had made arrangements with Mir Jafar, one of the Nawab's generals, to help the English overthrow him. Depending on Jafar's promise, Clive lead a small Indian force against an overwhelmingly superior force at Plassey and gained a signal victory. Surajah Dowlah was deposed and Mir Jafar, who was largely under British control, assumed control of the government. The first concern of the Eastern India Company, as always, was money, so they demanded and received an enormous tribute from Jafar which greatly enriched the company, but caused untold strife within Bengal.

By this time the Seven Years War had broken out between France and England, and fighting resumed in the Carnatic region. Battles fought in 1759-1760 throughout the south resulted in more victories for the British. The decisive battle was probably at Wandiwash and the great hero of the wars in the Carnatic region this period was Eyre Coote, who became the most influential British commander in India after Clive. While the fighting still raged in the south, the Dutch in Bengal formed a conspiracy with Mir Jafar to try to dislodge the English from Bengal. Clive took part in these battles along the Hoogly river, and was again victorious. As a result of this rebellion the British forced Mir Jafar to abdicate in favor of his son-in-law Mir Cossim. For several years after the installation of Mir Cossim, India was at peace, but eventually Mir Cossim also tired of the British trading company's demands, and led a rebellion in Bengal to try to throw them off. The British however, were by this time too powerful to be overthrown, and these battles, which occurred in 1763-64, only served to entrench Britain's dominance in the region even further.



DateBattle Summary
1756  
Siege of Calcutta (Third ) Nawab Bengal victory
Siege was laid to the city June 16, 1756, by Sarabjah Daulah, Nawab of Bengal, with a large force. The garrison, consisting of 514 regulars and militia, and 1,000 matchlock men, under Captain Minchin, was quite inadequate to man the defenses, and it was decided to abandon the city, remove all non-combatants to the ships, and only defend the fort. The Governor, Mr. Drake, was among those who left the place, and he was accompanied by Captain Minchin, who deserted his post, as did many of the militiamen, with the result that only 190 remained for the defense of the fort. An assault was repulsed, with a loss to the defenders of 95 killed and wounded, but on the l0th the little garrison surrendered. The survivors were thrust into a small room, known as the Black Hole, and used as a soldiers' prison, and out of 146 only 23 survived the horrors of the night.
  
1757  
Siege of Chandernagore (Third ) British victory
This place was besieged March 14, 1757, by Clive, with 2,000 Company's troops, and defended by 600 Frenchmen and 300 Sepoys. On the 19th three British ships under Admiral Watson arrived, and on the 24th a joint attack by sea and land resulted in the capture of the place.
  
1757  
Battle of Plassey (Third ) British victory
Fought 1757, between the British, 3,000 strong, with 8 guns, under Clive, and the army of Surabjah Daulah, Nawab of Bengal, aided by a small force of Frenchmen. Clive was encamped in a grove of mango-trees, where he was attacked by the Nawab. He beat off the attack, and then stormed the Nawab's lines, totally routing his army, which fled in panic, with a loss of about 500. The British lost 72 only.
  
1758  
Siege of Fort St. David (Third ) French victory
This fortress was besieged, May 14, 1758, by a French force under Lally Tollendal, and defended by a garrison of 800 British and 1,600 native troops. The defense was not energetically conducted, and, on the arrival in the roads of a French fleet under Comte d'Aché, the garrison surrendered, June 2.
  
1758  
Battle of Fort St. David (Third ) drawn battle victory
A naval action was fought off this place, April 29, 1758, between 7 British ships under Admiral Pococke, and a squadron of 9 French vessels under Comte d'Aché. After a short and indecisive engagement, the French sheered off, but the British were too severely damaged in the rigging to give chase. The French lost one ship, driven ashore.
  
1758  
Siege of Tanjore (Third ) Tanjore victory
This place was besieged, August, 1758, by the French, under Lally-Tollendal, and was defended by a garrison, under Monacji. After five days' bombardment, the walls were still insufficiently breached, and owing to lack of ammunition, Lally determined to retire. Hearing this, Monacji made a sortie, and nearly succeeded in surprising the French camp. He was with difficulty beaten off, and the French withdrew, with the loss of all their siege guns and heavy baggage.
  
1758  
Battle of Carrical (Third ) British victory
An action was fought off this place August 2, 1758, between a British squadron under Admiral Pococke, and the French under Comte d'Ache. After a severe engagement, the French fleet drew off, but the English pursuit, owing to damaged rigging, was ineffectual, and d'Ache reached Pondicherry without the loss of a ship.
  
1758  
Battle of Rajahmundry (Third ) British victory
Fought December 9, 1758, between 2,500 British troops, under Colonel Forde, in conjunction with about 5,000 native levies, and the French, 6,500 strong, under Conflans. The native troops did little on either side, but Forde's 500 Europeans routed Conflans' Frenchmen, and the latter fled with considerable loss.
  
1758  
Siege of Madras (Third ) British victory
On December 16, 1758, Madras was invested by Lally-Tollendal with 2,000 European and 4,000 native troops. The garrison consisted of 4,000 men, more than half of whom were Sepoys, under Colonel Lawrence. After a bombardment lasting from January 2, 1759, to February 16, Lally-Tollendal was on the point of ordering an assault, when the arrival of the British fleet caused him to raise the siege and retire. The garrison lost during the siege 1,341 killed and wounded. The French losses amounted to 700 Europeans, besides Sepoys.
  
1759  
Siege of Masulipatam (Third ) British victory
This fortress, held by a French garrison, under Conflans, was besieged by the British, about 2,500 strong, under Colonel Forde, in March, 1759. After a fortnight's bombardment the place was taken by storm, the resistance being very feeble, and Conflans surrendered with his whole force, which considerably outnumbered the assailants. One hundred and twenty guns were taken in the fortress.
  
1759  
Battle of the Hooghly (Third ) British victory
Fought November 24, 1759, between three British ships, under Commodore Wilson, and a Dutch squadron of seven sail. After two hours' fighting, the Dutch were completely defeated, and all their ships captured. Meanwhile a force of 700 Europeans and 800 Sepoys landed from the Dutch fleet, was defeated with heavy loss by 330 British troops and 800 Sepoys, under Colonel Forde.
  
1759  
Battle of the Hooghly (Third ) British victory
Fought November 24, 1759, between three British ships, under Commodore Wilson, and a Dutch squadron of seven sail. After two hours' fighting, the Dutch were completely defeated, and all their ships captured. Meanwhile a force of 700 Europeans and 800 Sepoys landed from the Dutch fleet, was defeated with heavy loss by 330 British troops and 800 Sepoys, under Colonel Forde.
  
1759  
Battle of Trincomalee (Third ) drawn battle victory
Fought August 10, 1759, between a British squadron of 12 sail, under Admiral Pococke, and a French fleet of 14 sail, under the Comte d'Ache. After an engagement lasting two hours, the French were worsted, but sailing better than the British, as usual at this period, eluded pursuit and lost no ships.
  
1760  
Battle of Trivadi (Third ) French-Mysore victory
Fought 1760, between 5,000 Mysoris, under Hyder Ali, and a British force of 230 European and 2,700 native troops, under Major Moore, Notwithstanding his inferior numbers, Moore attempted to prevent the junction of Hyder Ali with the French, and was totally defeated.
  
1760  
Battle of Pondicherry (Third ) British victory
In August, 1760, Colonel Coote, with about 8,000 British and native troops, invested this place, which was held by a French garrison, 3,000 strong, under Lally-Tollendal. Coote was almost immediately superseded by Colonel Monson, but the latter having been wounded, Coote resumed the command. Fire was not opened from the breaching batteries till December 8th, and on the 31st a terrific hurricane wrecked all the land batteries, and drove ashore six ships of the blockading squadron. On January 10, 1761, however, fire was reopened, and the town surrendered on the 15th.
  
1763  
Battle of Morshedabad (Third ) British victory
Fought July 24, 1763, between the troops of Mir Cossim, the deposed Nawab of Bengal, and a British force of 750 Europeans and a large body of native troops, under Major Adams. The British stormed Cossim's entrenchments, driving out his army in confusion, and followed up their victory by the occupation of Morshedabad, without further opposition.
  
1763  
Battle of Gherain (Third ) British victory
Fought August 2, 1763, between the army of Mir Cossim, the deposed Nawab of Bengal, and the British under Major Adams. A severe engagement, lasting four hours, ended in a signal victory for the British.
  
1763  
Battle of Oondwa Nullah (Third ) British victory
Fought September, 1763, when 3,000 British and native troops, under Major Adams, carried by storm the entrenchments and the fort held by Mir Cossim's army of 60,000 men with 100 guns. Mir Cossim fled and his army was entirely dispersed.
  
1764  
Battle of Buxar (Third ) British victory
Fought October 23, 1764, between 7,000 British troops and sepoys under Major Monro, and the army of Oude, 40,000 strong, under Surabjah Daulah, who was accompanied by the Great Mogul, Shah Allum. The British gained a signal victory, Surabjah Daulah abandoning his camp with a loss of 4,000 men and 130 guns. The British lost 847 killed and wounded.
  


Commander
Short Biography
Robert Clive British soldier, who rose to be a hero in the Carnatic Wars and delivered Bengal to Britain at the Battle of Plassey.
Mir Jafar Succeed to the position of Nawab of Bengal after Clive won the Battle of Plassey.
Eyre Coote After Clive, greatest of British generals during early years of British Rule in India. Fought at Porto Novo.
Compte Lally French general from an Irish Jacobite family who was falsely accused of treason and executed, so that the French might have a scapegoat.
Siraj Ud Daulah Last independent Nawab of Bengal. Lost his kingdom to Clive at Plassey.
Surabjah Dowlah Prince who allied himself with Mir Cossim, but was overthrown by the British in the Bengal Wars.
Colonel Forde Put down the French incursions in the third Carnatic War.
Hyder Ali Muslim Ruler of the Kingdom of Mysore in Southern India. Allied with the French against the British.
Mir Cossim Son-in-law of Mir Jafar, who was raised to the Nawabship by the British, but rebelled against them.
George Pocock British Naval commander during the Seven Years War. Won victories off the Coast of India.


Story Links
Book Links
Plassey  in  Stories from English History, Part Third  by  Alfred J. Church
From the Black Hole to Plassey  in  India: Peeps at History  by  Beatrice Home
Black Hole of Calcutta  in  The Story of Lord Clive  by  John Lang
Battle of Plassey  in  The Story of Lord Clive  by  John Lang
Black Hole  in  Our Empire Story  by  H. E. Marshall
Battle of Plassey  in  Our Empire Story  by  H. E. Marshall
The Story of the Black Hole of Calcutta  in  Our Island Story  by  H. E. Marshall
How Bengal was Won  in  India  by  Victor Surridge
Black Hole of Calcutta  in  The Struggle for Sea Power  by  M. B. Synge
Plassey  in  The Boy's Book of Battles  by  Eric Wood


Book Links
Story of Lord Clive  by  John Lang

Image Links


Battle of Quiberon Bay, November 20, 1759
 in The Hanoverians

The British attack on Quebec, September 12, 1759
 in The Hanoverians

At Braddock's defeat
 in Story of the Thirteen Colonies

Battle of Quebec
 in Story of the Thirteen Colonies

Frederick addressing his generals
 in Famous Men of Modern Times

Wolfe landing at the foot of the Heights of Abraham
 in Canada: Peeps at History
General James Wolfe Landing at Louisburg
General James Wolfe Landing at Louisburg
 in Back Matter

The Death of Wolfe
 in This Country of Ours

Slipping and stumbling, the men went on.
 in Our Empire Story

Washington in the French and Indian War
 in True Stories of Our Presidents

Braddock's defeat
 in True Stories of Our Presidents

After the battle of Kollin.
 in  Frederick the Great

Frederick stood on the bloody field like one dazed.
 in  Frederick the Great

Frederick at the watch fires before the battle of Liegnitz.
 in  Frederick the Great

The Death of General Wolfe at Quebec.
 in The Boy's Book of Battles