Rossbach


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Rossbach

(rôs`bäkh), village, Saxony-Anhalt, E central Germany. At Rossbach on Nov. 5, 1757, Frederick II of Prussia defeated the imperial army and the French under Soubise in the Seven Years War. One of Frederick's most brilliant victories, it was followed by another at Leuthen one month later.

Rossbach

 

a village in the German Democratic Republic (Halle District), where, on Nov. 5, 1757, a battle was fought between the Prussian and Franco-Austrian forces during the Seven Years’ War of 1756–63.

The Franco-Austrian forces, with 43,000 men commanded by Marshal C. de Rohan, prince of Soubise, and Prince Hild-burghausen, had taken favorable positions on the heights near Mucheln, west of Leipzig. The Prussian Army of Frederick II, with 22,000 men, crossed the Saale River and concentrated northeast of Bedra, and on November 4 they moved to more suitable positions between Rossbach and Bedra. The allies took the maneuver for a retreat and decided to cut the Prussian Army off from the Saale River crossings. On November 5 the allied forces moved out slowly in march formation without security to envelop the left flank of the Prussians. In a rapid march, Frederick II moved to meet the enemy and attacked them by surprise from the front and flank with the cavalry of General F. W. von Seydlitz. The allied forces, which were operating in confusion, were routed piecemeal and fled toward Erfurt and Eisenach. Allied losses were more than 7,000 men (primarily prisoners) and 67 guns; the Prussians lost more than 500 men.

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