Combined Arms

Combined Arms

Victory on the battlefield while ensure the successful deployment and the combined action of infantry, cavalry and artillery.

Army encountered on the battlefield first campaign in 1757, had a completely different tradition. The Prussian army, inherited a legacy of Frederick II in 1740, there were 83 000 people. Its structure was determined more by Frederick I — the grandfather of the king, and developed by his father — Frederick William I. The Prussian army was schooled to perfection. Frederick William I treated her as his own toy soldiers and never expose them to the dangers of war. The situation changed dramatically when the throne occupied Frederick II. During the five years he spent two Silesian War. Although the first (1740-1742) ended in his favor, the battle of Molvitse (10 April 1741) just was not kept in a draw. The Prussian cavalry was badly battered and left the battlefield. Frederick himself, believing that the battle was lost, left his army, and was later forced to admit that only thanks to the steadfastness of its infantry was able to win the battle. Similarly, an example of an unsuccessful action of cavalry and infantry courage and discipline and the battle was in the Shotuzitse May 17, 1742.

In the interwar period, Friedrich introduced a new regulation for the infantry, cavalry and artillery. Second Silesian War (1744-1745) showed that dramatically improved action his cavalry and artillery. Now the Prussian army was one of the most advanced and powerful in Europe, and Frederick was fully confident in himself and his soldiers.

The Austrian army

Experience the Austrian army of Maria Theresa was quite different. After the War of the Spanish Succession (1701-1714) the Austrian army has conducted several campaigns at its southern borders against the Ottoman Empire. Under the banner of Prince Eugene of Savoy the Austrians at the Battle of Petervardeyne (5 August 1716) defeated the Turks In 1717 Prince Eugene attacked the Turks in the fog and defeated them at the Battle of Belgrade (August 16). However, these successes of the Austrian army failed to repeat during the next war with the Ottoman Empire in 1736-1739, respectively. By the time peace was concluded, the Austrians were sidelined in Belgrade, and the Ottoman Empire regained all the territories lost to Austria in 1718.

Before the First Silesian War army morale was low, but ordinary soldiers were not worse than in any other army, which confirmed the severe battle with the Prussians in Silesia. In 1748 he established a military commission at the Prince Charles of Lorraine, which is the beginning of reforms aimed at increasing the number of troops, improving education and strengthening discipline. It was founded a military school in Wiener Neustadt, where he began training of professional officers. It is this new, more self-confident army acted against the Prussians in 1756.

Saxon army

In the middle of the XVIII century Saxon army is going through hard times. During the Silesian wars, the Saxons fought bravely, but any success they had not been achieved. The last time they experienced humiliation at Kesseldorfe (15 December 1745), when the Prussian army Leopold of Anhalt-Dessau in just a few hours 25,000th defeated the Saxon army and its Austrian allies. Saxony had hoped to remain neutral in a new conflict, but this naive approach has led to a complete disaster, when much of the Saxon army surrendered to the Prussians in Pirna in 1756.

Then Friedrich including most of the Saxon soldiers in the Prussian army, where they are constantly deserted. By the end of 1757 in the Prussian army was only three Saxon infantry regiments and one battalion Grenadier. Part of the Saxon soldiers went to the west, where it was reorganized Prince Xaver and joined the French army. These Saxon battalions have become the main force during the war against the Allies in the West Prussia. The Saxon troops, who managed to escape from Pirna and join the Austrians, consisted of four cavalry units. They fought bravely when Colin and largely contributed to the success of the Austrian cavalry.

European army in the XVIII century, the composition of all European armies were similar. They consisted of three main types of troops: infantry, cavalry and artillery. Most any of the armies were infantrymen, predominantly were part mushketernye or fuzilernye shelves. Prussian regiments are usually divided into two battalions and employs approximately 1,700 people. The Austrian army regiment consisted of three battalions numbering about 2,100 people. The Austrian army was not the Guards regiments, but there were grenadier battalions, which are usually half-parts composed of grenadier companies and mushketernyh fuzilernyh regiments. The use of light infantry — rangers and Croatian Pandurs — was an innovation. The most dangerous opponent was the Austrian Croats scored on wild eastern borders of the empire.

Life was harsh grunts. The fighting took place only from time to time, and so they were either on the march or to produce their own food, or, if time permits, participated in the training. During encampments diet usually it is not enough, but on the march, the situation was even worse. Due to bad weather conditions and diseases army suffered almost as many casualties as well as during the fighting.


The next largest (and much more attractive) native troops were cavalry, considered heir to the traditions of medieval chivalry. There are three categories of cavalry: heavy (guardsmen), medium (dragoons) and light (hussars, light dragoons and Chevau-Léger). The regiment consisted of four squadrons usually (though often their number increased to 10). On average squadron up to 80 soldiers. The heavy cavalry was the main striking force of the army. Cuirassiers rode the big powerful horse and had to be carried out in a fight break enemy lines. Dragoons trained as a riding infantry, but often they are used and how heavy cavalry. The most famous were light cavalry hussars. Their tasks include exploration and operations in the enemy rear.


Artillery was third in number, but very important part of any army. During the battle, the artillery operated in batteries for 6-10 guns. Caliber guns determined by the weight of the projectile produced by it. The most common field gun was 6-pound cannon. The most powerful gun — up to 24 pounds — often used during sieges. Guns were heavy, and they are not able to quickly move from place to place. Therefore deployed on artillery positions are vulnerable to enemy counter-battery fire, his light troops and cavalry.

Battle formation

Army has traditionally consisted of first-line, second line and reserve. Typically, the infantry was placed in the center, where there was and artillery, and the cavalry was on the flanks. The linear design allows infantry regiment most effective use of their firepower. The procedure can vary, but usually the front rank gave a volley, then retreat to recharge the gun and give a chance to shoot the second rank. Well-trained troops, such tactics could produce 3-5 minute bursts. A prudent commander always has reserves, which, if necessary, could have the first line. Cavalry on the battlefield had to battle with the cavalry of the enemy. However, if she was able to get around the infantry from the flank, it could dispel the Marines before they have time to regroup, to counter the threat. Artillery support was the main defensive positions or attack and inflict the maximum possible loss. These tasks are performed artillery, firing cannon balls — round iron balls.

Also it could be used by shrapnel, which contains many small bullets. Range of shells ranged from 400 to 800 meters.

Another important point affecting the outcome of the battle is the terrain. The commander had to make sure to choose a terrain that would allow him to deploy his forces properly and meet the requirements of each of the armed forces. Among the many factors that should be taken into account include, for example, hills and forests, which are difficult to overcome the enemy, and therefore provide shelter for troops and allows to secure the flank.

Frederick II King of Prussia (1712-1786) was a controversial man. He was known as the «philosopher prince» and a friend of Voltaire, but at the same time as the stern commander with the simplest tastes. Brought up at the court of Frederick initially showed no interest in military affairs. He was a clever and subtle man who loved reading and playing the flute. However, a few months after the accession to the throne in 1740, Frederick plunged Europe into war. He took advantage of the fact that shortly before it became Empress Maria Theresa, the struggle for Silesia. Silesian War, during which Prussians won a victory at Molvitse (1741), Shotuzitse (1742), Gogenfrid-Berg (1745) and COOP (1745), laid the beginning of the military domination of Germany over Austria. A talented and intelligent statesman, a brilliant military leader and organizer of the Prussian army, Frederick, however, often during the war was ready to drop doubt the moral order, if they interfere with the implementation of its plans. When Podevils, Minister of State Frederick questioned the ethics of his actions during the war with Austria, Friedrich said simply: «If someone has the advantage, then perhaps he can not use it?».

Command and control

Battle of the middle of the XVIII century were very formalized, which places the responsibility for success squarely on the shoulders of the team. Slender infantry formation in positions like chess pieces on the board, forming a square, line or column — depending on the situation. Outcome of the battle often decides the crushing blow cavalry or timely conduct flanking maneuvers. Therefore, when Colin Austrians initially had an important advantage, since controlled the commanding heights — Przherovsky hill. From Field Marshal von Daun and his staff could clearly see all the action as the Prussian, as the Austrian troops, and time to give the order to the infantry was rebuilt in the square, or to the battle joined the cavalry. Friedrich, whose position was much worse, had to settle for confusing reports about the actions of the troops, and that he could see on the battlefield.

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