A. D. Francis
Diplomatic and General History
An edited version of the article published in 1981 by A. D. Francis, with the kind permission of the Journal of the Society for Army Historical Research.
The Seven Years' War (1756-63) was the last major conflict before the French Revolution to involve all the great powers of Europe. France, Austria, Saxony, Sweden, and Russia were aligned on one side against Prussia, Hanover and Britain on the other. The war arose out of the attempt of the Austrian Habsburgs to win back the rich province of Silesia, which had been wrested from them by Frederick II (the Great) of Prussia during the War of the Austrian Succession (1740-48). However, in effect, the Seven Years' War was a worldwide nine years' war fought between France and Great Britain, as each sought to control North America (the French and Indian War, 1754-63) and India. The Campaign in Portugal is almost forgotten. It began when Portugal invoked the centuries old Treaty of Windsor, seeking British assistance to oppose a likely Spanish invasion.
One of the British commanders was Wilhelm, Count of Schaumburg-Lippe-Bückeburg, grandson of George I (illustrated).
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