Seven Years´ War, name for the Third Silesian War and the war waged between France and Great Britain in the American colonies at the same time. When Great Britain formed an alliance with Prussia on January 16, 1756, Austria and France also entered into an alliance (Treaty of Versailles of May 1, 1756); by means of this "renversement des alliances" (reversal of alliances) W. A. Kaunitz hoped to reconquer Silesia. When Russia and Sweden also joined the alliance, King Friedrich II of Prussia invaded the Electorate of Saxony on August 19, 1756, whereupon the committees of the Imperial Diet (Reichstag) decided to proceed Prussia. Friedrich forced the Saxons to surrender near Lobositz on October 1, 1756, won against the Austrians near Prague on May 6, 1757, was defeated near Kolín by Count L. Daun on June 18, 1757, and had to leave Bohemia, Lower Silesia and Lusatia (Lausitz). The Russians invaded East Prussia, the Swedish troops invaded Pomerania and an Austrian corps was deployed before Berlin. Friedrich´s victories against France and the Imperial troops near Roßbach (November 5, 1757) and against the Austrians near Leuthen (December 5, 1757), helped him to avert defeat; he invaded Moravia in 1758, but was defeated by the Russians near Zorndorf on August 15, 1758, by the Austrians near Hochkirch on October 14, 1758, and by the Russians near Kunersdorf on August 12, 1759; he won against the Austrians near Liegnitz on August 15, 1760 and near Torgau on November 3, 1760. The death of Czarina Elisabeth II on January 5, 1762 was the turning point in the war: Russia made peace and formed an alliance with Prussia, and Sweden also concluded peace. After France and Great Britain had concluded peace, Maria Theresia agreed upon the peace accord which had been worked out and signed on February 15, 1763 at Hubertusburg Palace (Saxony). Prussia retained Silesia but undertook to consent to the coronation of Joseph II as King of Rome.
Literature: W. Baumgart, Der Ausbruch des Siebenjährigen Krieges, 1972; D. E. Bangert, Die russisch-österreichische militärische Zusammenarbeit im Siebenjährigen Krieg in den Jahren 1758/59, 1971.