Battle of Leuthen, 1757

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Frederick the Great versus Charles of Lorraine: An Austrian army under Charles thinks a Prussian army under Frederick has fled after seeing their superior numbers and position. Where has Frederick actually lead his army and how will Charles counter?

Rossbach will always be more vital to Prussian survival because it took place first but Leuthen is an excellent following act in the early campaigning of the Seven Years War. This pair of battles is more significant in terms of tactics, perhaps the best demonstrations of the oblique advance and eighteenth-century linear fire and movement tactics (Showalter, 1996: 205).
It can be argued that this battle is not a true masterpiece because Frederick suffered more casualties than his small army was able to take. This argument is based too much on the casualty percentage figures and too little on the events of the battle itself. Frederick achieved complete surprise by feinting an attack on one side of the Austrian line, appearing to retreat and then smashing the other side of the Austrian line. While this maneuver was decisive in its effect, the ferocity of the battle after this point, attests to the odds Frederick had to overcome to defeat Charles’ army.
leuthen preview 2 Notes
This was only the third animation I completed and required the most time of any. After animating two relatively simple ancient battles, I aimed to animate something more advanced and Leuthen was it. It was even more difficult because certain effects I now use with ease were still being developed. Looking back at this animation, I am very dissatisfied with the quality and detail of the terrain. Sometimes I also think I animated the wrong Frederick battle because I have received consistent requests to animate Rossbach, the similar but more significant masterpiece.
– Jonathan Webb
Works Consulted
Goodenough, Simon. Tactical Genius in Battle. Oxford: Phodian Press, 1979.
Livesey, Anthony. Great Commanders and Their Battles. New York: Macmillian Publishing, 1987.
Showalter, Dennis E. The Wars of Frederick the Great. London: Longman, 1996.
Austrian artillery:
Austrian cavalry:
Austrian infantry:

Charles of Lorraine:

Frederick the Great:

Map of Europe:

Map of the world:

Prussian artillery:

Prussian cavalry:

Prussian infantry:


Readers Comments (9)

  1. Amazing animated map!

  2. Jonathan Webb May 11, 2010 @ 7:05 pm

    Thank you David!

  3. Frederick the Great’s tactical masterpiece…and you did it great justice (without even deploying “zig”;)!
    Well done, Sir!

  4. Great animation! What other battles have you animated? I wish to see more.. You simply did a pretty good job.

  5. Thank you everyone. Donnis, I can’t even begin the list the battles I’ve animated because there’s over 40 animations from 490 BC to 1944 on this site

  6. Wow wee! This helped me a lot in my reaserch of The Battle Of Leuthen. Thanks! Your truely an awesome animator & writer!

  7. Nicely done.
    I’m going to look for more of these….

    someone needs to use Empire TW and do this….

  8. @cjsiam
    I just did and really awesome when you are outbumbered 😉 . Although you will get high casualties if on an open field unlike in Leuthen where there are hills to cover your approach.

  9. Thanks for the animation and don’t forget the Battle of Rossbach;)

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