Battle of Minden

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Battle of Minden
Part of: Seven Years War
Colored Print Battle of Minden 1785.jpeg
date August 1, 1759
place near Minden
output Allied victory
Parties to the conflict

Great Britain kingdomKingdom of Great Britain Great Britain Kurhannover Braunschweig-Wolfenbüttel Hessen-Kassel Prussia Schaumburg-Lippe
Electorate of Braunschweig-LüneburgElectorate of Braunschweig-Lüneburg 
Armoiries de La Falloise.svg
Flag of Hesse.svg
Prussia KingdomKingdom of Prussia 
Flag of the Principality of Schaumburg-Lippe.svg

France Kingdom 1792France France Saxony
Electorate of SaxonyElectorate of Saxony 


Ferdinand of Braunschweig

Marquis de Contades

Troop strength
107 cannons
86 cannons

618 killed
2179 wounded

4278 fallen
3963 prisoners
22 cannons

The Battle of Minden on August 1, 1759 was a military confrontation during the Seven Years' War (1756-1763) at the gates of the fortress of Minden in the Prussian administrative unit Minden-Ravensberg that of 1719 on the territory of today to 1807 North Rhine-Westphalia was . The troops of a coalition from Great Britain , Prussia , Braunschweig-Lüneburg (Kurhannover) and Hessen-Kassel, under the command of Duke Ferdinand von Braunschweig-Wolfenbüttel, met a Franco - Saxon army under the Maréchal de France de Contades . The battle ended after a few hours with a decisive victory for the Allied units and the withdrawal of the French armies. In doing so, the Duke of Brunswick prevented the threatened conquest of the Electorate of Hanover by the French and thus contributed significantly to the successful outcome of the war for Great Britain.


The Treaty of Aachen on October 18, 1748 put an end to the eight-year War of the Austrian Succession (1740–1748). He ended the fighting between Great Britain and France in the North American and Indian colonies . The former Habsburg province of Silesia , controversial in Europe , was awarded to Prussia . But the fundamental contradictions persisted and the situation came to a head again from 1755. Great Britain and France clashed again in the Ohio River valley , and at the instigation of the Austrian State Chancellor Count Kaunitz (1711–1794) the Habsburg Monarchy ( Austria ) united with its Roman-German Emperor , France and Russia against Prussia.

In May 1756 the war broke out between France and Great Britain, followed in August 1756 by the outbreak of the Central European War with the Prussian invasion of Electoral Saxony . Great Britain and Prussia had been allies since the Westminster Convention (January 16, 1756). This treaty provided for the island state to support the economically weak Prussia with subsidies , while this in return guaranteed the military protection of the Electorate of Hanover. Hanover was the home country of the British King George II (1683-1760), who was also elector of Hanover in personal union . It was primarily this circumstance that embroiled Prussia in a war against France. The French strategy for the war against Great Britain was namely to occupy the electorate and later to be able to exchange it for colonial acquisitions as a bargaining chip during peace negotiations.

The West German theater of war during the Seven Years' War

To protect its West German possessions and Hanover, Prussia and its allies from the Electorate of Hanover, the Landgraviate of Hesse-Kassel , the Principality of Braunschweig-Wolfenbüttel and smaller principalities set up an observation army under the Commander-in-Chief Duke of Cumberland (1721–1765), the son of the British King , on. However, this was defeated by the French troops in the Battle of Hastenbeck (July 26, 1757). The Duke of Cumberland then concluded the Convention of Zeven Monastery on September 10 , and the French occupied the entire Electorate of Hanover.

However, the convention was not recognized by the UK government. At the personal request of the British King, the Prussian general Duke Ferdinand von Braunschweig-Wolfenbüttel (1721–1792) was entrusted with the supreme command of the Allied troops. This attacked the French troops in their winter quarters in the winter of 1757/58 and threw them back to the Rhine . In spring 1758 he crossed the river himself and defeated the French in the battle of Krefeld (June 23, 1758). Although he had to retreat in the further course of the campaign , but after the arrival of about 10,000 British soldiers he managed to hold on. The French troops under the Maréchal Marquis de Contades (1704–1793) moved into winter quarters on the Rhine and above all on the Main around the Frankfurt fortress .

For 1759, Maréchal de Contades, reinforced by troops from the Electorate of Saxony , planned to take the initiative again to reoccupy the Electorate of Hanover.

Operations in the 1759 campaign

Marquis de Contades (1704-1793)

In the spring of 1759, both sides tried to replenish their troops. By mid-March, the Allied forces had a total of 72,000 men who were able to operate from Münster and Lippstadt . Opposite them stood the French Rhine Army under the Marquis de Contades with 66,000 men and the Main Army under the Duc de Broglie (1718-1804) with 31,000 men. Duke Ferdinand von Braunschweig decided to take the initiative early on in order to forestall a French offensive. On March 23, 1759 he launched an attack against the Duc de Broglie's main army. But in the Battle of Bergen on April 13, 1759, he suffered a defeat and had to withdraw.

The Marquis de Contades set about taking advantage of this success and now began to push back the Allies. At the beginning of May 1759 it crossed the Rhine near Wesel , while the Allied army took up positions on the Hamm, Haltern, Dülmen and Coesfeld lines. Maréchal de Contades bypassed this position, however, by joining the army of the Duc de Broglie and advancing from the Main to Hesse. De Contades' army was soon in front of Korbach (June 10) and de Broglie's army in front of Kassel. The French advanced over the city ​​mountains towards Bielefeld , while another French corps under the Marquis d'Armentières (1711–1774) besieged and conquered Münster. The Duke of Braunschweig had to withdraw from their numerically superior power and gathered his associations on July 8 near Osnabrück . Meanwhile, the French Main Army was approaching the Prussian fortress of Minden on the Weser . The brother of the commander in charge of this army, the Comte de Broglie, carried out a coup d'état with 1,500 infantrymen and 1,200 cavalrymen on the fortress, which he was able to capture and plunder thanks to the betrayal of a local peasant on July 10, 1759.

Duke Ferdinand of Braunschweig (1721–1792)

After Minden had been taken, the French armies stood at the border of Hanover. They had pushed back the Allied troops and captured their magazines in Münster and Lippstadt. The Marquis de Contades now decided to stop at Minden for the time being and to expand the fortress into his base of operations for the next offensive against Hanover. He positioned his main army southwest of Minden behind the Bastau and de Broglie's army on the right bank of the Weser. The Duke Ferdinand of Braunschweig was now showing signs of depression and had to be urged by King Friedrich II of Prussia (1712–1786) and his private secretary and secret chief of staff, Philipp von Westphalen (1724–1792), to counterattack. In fact, he tried from mid-July to lure the Marquis de Contades out of his position and put him into battle before he could attract further reinforcements.

After a few minor skirmishes had occurred at the end of July and the Duke of Braunschweig had already pushed General Georg August von Wangenheim's (1706–1780) 's corps as "bait" to Todtenhausen , the Marquis de Contades still did not react. Wangenheim holed up in his position and waited. The Allied Commander-in-Chief sent a corps under the command of Hereditary Prince Karl Wilhelm Ferdinand (Braunschweig-Wolfenbüttel) (1735-1806) with 10,000 men against the rear French lines. When these troops attacked outposts of the French armies near Lübbecke on July 28, de Contades finally had to do something. He sent the Duc de Brissac (1698–1780) to employ the Hereditary Prince until the reinforcements had come. Nevertheless, he was aware that this threat to his supply lines could make it necessary to take action against the Allied army earlier.

In the south, the battlefield was bounded by the steeply sloping Wiehengebirge , which had to be crossed by two roads, and the Bastau , which flows parallel to it and flows into the Weser at Minden. At that time it could only be crossed on bridges, but on the northern bank the large peat bog stretched almost to the city limits, so that there was little solid ground there. To the north of the moor there was a plain that sloped east towards the Weser. There the right edge of the river valley raised the left. The area was divided into two parts by the villages of Todtenhausen, Kutenhausen, Stemmer and Holzhausen. The southern one was rather confusing due to numerous ditches and hedges, but towards the moor it became more open at Hartum and Hahlen. In the north, the Ösper was another natural obstacle, albeit one that was much easier to cross towards the Bastau. Duke Ferdinand von Braunschweig knew the area very well, as he had only besieged the French-occupied Minden last year and captured it on March 14, 1758.

Course of the battle

Overview of the battlefield and the deployment around half past six in the morning

With Duke Ferdinand of Braunschweig the impression arose during the course of July 31 that the enemy was preparing to march off, either to attack or to perform another maneuver. To be prepared for this, he gave orders that cavalry and artillery should be ready to march at one o'clock in the morning. The infantry, however, should only leave on special orders. The Duke believed that the enemy would first attack the Wangenheim Corps , which was standing in front of Todtenhausen. In this case he planned to fall into the flank of the French army from the Hahlen-Stemmer line. At the same time, the Hereditary Prince Karl Wilhelm Ferdinand von Braunschweig and his detachment were to attack the French troops under the Duc de Brissac and take the bridge at Gohfeld , in order to cut off the French army from Paderborn .

After learning that the Detachement de Brissacs had encountered the Corps of the Hereditary Prince near Bünde on July 31 , Maréchal de Contades convened a council of war at 6 p.m. that evening , in which he informed his officers that he intended to to attack the enemy by surprise the next day. The army was to get ready to march at 10 p.m. and cross the Bastau during the night and then take up positions between Hahlen and Malbergen. Contrary to the tactical customs of the time, the cavalry should not stand on the wings, but in the middle of the formation, since the terrain there seemed more favorable for their use. The Corps Broglie received the order to cross the Weser and attack the Allied Corps Wangenheim in the morning together with the Nicolay division . Then it was to take action against the flank of the main Allied army, while it would be bound by the main army in the front.

Duke Ferdinand von Braunschweig commanded a total of 43 battalions and 61 squadrons with around 40,000 soldiers and 107 heavy artillery. The Marquis de Contades, on the other hand, had 82 battalions, 85 squadrons and 86 guns with a total of 55,000 men.


On the night of July 31st to August 1st, 1759, the French troops moved into their assigned positions. The Broglie corps crossed the Weser in the dark and moved through Minden to its starting position between Malbergen and the river. Since a violent storm broke out at the same time, these movements were not noticed by the Allies. Around four in the morning the Duc de Broglie's troops were in their positions. When the outposts of the Wangenheim corps noticed the advance, they gave the alarm, but initially only four battalions were ready for defense, and the artillery had not yet arrived. At five o'clock Broglie's artillery opened fire on the positions of the Wangenheim Corps. Instead of proceeding now, the Duc de Broglie hesitated, since Nicolay's division and the main army were not yet ready to support him on his left flank. This gave the Allies enough time to take up their defensive positions. Their artillery later proved superior and inflicted considerable losses on the French troops in the first meeting.

At the headquarters of Duke Ferdinand von Braunschweig in Hille , two defectors from the Picardie regiment did not find out about the enemy's approach until three thirty . The Duke thereupon ordered the troops to march out immediately, following the instructions he had given the day before. The Prince of Anhalt , who commanded the outposts, received an English light battery for his reinforcement and was given the task of occupying Hahlen. The French Champagne Brigade had already entered there by five o'clock . Together with the right adjoining Brigades du Roy , Condé and Aquitaine , consisting of a total of 16 battalions, it formed the first meeting under Lieutenant général Comte de Guerchy. Behind him marched the second meeting of two Saxon brigades, which consisted of 15 battalions, under Prince Xaver of Saxony (1730-1806). The place quickly went up in flames in the fighting for Hahlen that soon began.

Attack by the von Spörcken division

Map for the attack of the von Spörcken division and the first French cavalry attack
General von Spörcken (1698–1776)

The first thing to arrive at around six in the morning was the right wing column under General Friedrich von Spörcken (1698–1776) near the mill. It consisted of six English battalions and the two battalions of the Hanoverian Guard Regiment under Colonel von Goldacker. While the first meeting of the division (Brigade Waldegrave) was being formed, an order from the Duke of Braunschweig arrived: "When the time comes, the advance should be carried out with drumbeats." It is unclear whether the order was simply misunderstood, because suddenly the brigade advanced. The Duke then stopped them again. At the same time the second meeting of the division rallied, and the eight battalions stood under cover of a spruce forest. It is unclear whether Duke Ferdinand gave the order to attack or whether misunderstandings played a role again. In any case, the von Spörcken division began its advance against the French center again, although the other Allied troops, like the French, had not yet finished their advance. The Hardenberg battalion from the neighboring column joined this approach, so that now a total of nine battalions took up the attack.

The troops advancing in line had six battalions in the first and three in the second meeting. The regimental pieces didn’t catch up so quickly through the forest and stayed behind. The formations now had to overcome about 1,500 paces of open terrain and quickly got caught in the crossfire of the two French batteries, which had driven up with a total of 16 guns near Malbergen and north of Hahlen. The first heavy losses occurred. Meanwhile General von Spörcken had the nine guns of the English light artillery brigade deployed in order to hold down the French artillery.

“We advanced more than a quarter of a mile through a furious fire from a hellish battery of 18 pounders, which was first in front of our front, but then with our advance worked into our flank and finally our back. One could imagine that such a cannonade would render the regiments incapable of withstanding the thrust of fresh troops which had long been deployed on the field of their choice, but firmness and determination overcome almost all difficulties. "

- Lt. Hugh Montgomery (12th Regiment)

The French center consisted of 63 squadrons of cavalry (approx. 7,000 men) under the Duc de Fitzjames (1712–1787), which was formed in three meetings. When he observed the advance of the opposing division, he ordered 11 squadrons of his first meeting to attack. It is unclear why he deployed barely half of the squadrons at the meeting, but the rest were probably not yet fully deployed. Under Lieutenant General Duc de Castries (1727–1800) the attack took place, which brought the Anglo-Hanoverian battalions within 10 meters. Then they opened fire and went over to the counterattack with the bayonet , whereupon the riders had to retreat hastily and with heavy losses. In the meantime, the Duc de Fitzjames had also provided the Royal Etrangèrs (8 squadrons) and Bourgogne (6 squadrons) brigades for the second meeting and had them repeat the attack. But these were also repulsed with heavy losses.

French countermeasures

Map for the French counterattack against the Spörcken division
The "Lancashire Fusiliers" fighting the French Guards Cavalry; Etching by Richard Caton Woodville junior (1901)

Lieutenant général Comte de Guerchy (1715-1767), who commanded the first meeting of the French left wing, was preparing an attack in the direction of Hahlen when he noticed the advance of the division of Spörcken. He decided not to take action against Hahlen and instead stop the Anglo-Hanoverian troops on his flank. He turned the two Brigades Condé and Aquitaine from his first meeting with a total of 8 battalions to the right and let Spörcken's troops attack them. He had to pull out the three battalions of his second meeting in order to repel this attack, but even these could not be able to sustain the counterattack.

Spörcken's division now threatened to be surrounded. Duke Ferdinand von Braunschweig recognized this danger and immediately initiated measures to support von Spörcken. He ordered the five battalions of Major General von Scheele , which no longer found a place in the Allied order of battle, to the right flank of the von Spörcken division. However, since their development would take time, a cavalry attack by the English cavalry under Lord George Sackville (1716–1785) should throw back the two French brigades. But Sackville, whose troops had not yet arrived on the battlefield, could not be persuaded to proceed. For example, von Spörcken's troops initially only received support from the heavy Hanoverian artillery brigade under Major von Haase, which had meanwhile been driven up near the Hahlener mill.

At this critical moment, Maréchal de Contades decided to use the center's last cavalry meeting to completely crush the von Spörcken division, which was already under heavy artillery fire and was now also being attacked by two infantry brigades. This meeting consisted of the regiments Gens d'armes and Carabiniers with a total of 18 squadrons (about 2000 men), which traditionally represented the most elitist units of the French nobility, under Géneral Marquis de Poyanne. The riders attacked von Spörcken's first meeting in the front, but also included their flank and back. The third member of the Anglo-Hanoverian meeting had to turn around to defend itself against the widespread attack. The attack by the Gens d'armes and the Carabiniers was reported a few years later in a French report as follows:

“The enemy infantry's fire started in the center of their formation and then progressed to their wings, and when we were only 15 paces away the horses tried to evade by throwing themselves left and right. The force of this tremendous pressure became enormous. The men were no longer able to control their horses, and the crowd accumulated so deep that eight to ten men at most in each squadron remained in the saddle. These were carried away immediately, and even if some managed to break into the opposing ranks, they were still too few to have any effect there. Few of the men were killed by enemy fire, but many suffered bruises and broken or dislocated limbs, and others were suffocated or trampled under the horses' hooves after falling from the saddle. "

- M. Mottin de la Balme

Despite the great losses, the attack put the Spörckens battalions in dire straits. The battalions of the Hanoverian Guard and that of the English 23rd Regiment were even breached. But when this wavered, help arrived in the form of the largely Hessian division of Wutginau (1698–1776). Two battalions of this division, namely from the Hanoverian regiment Wangenheim and the Hessian regiment Garde , now directed their fire on the flank of the Gens d'armes and thus repulsed them. The French cavalry lost more than half of their population.

The Condé and Aquitaine brigades suffered great losses from the Allied artillery during their advance against von Spörcken. When the cavalry attack failed, fleeing riders disordered the formation of the units and tore them away with them. In order to prevent the collapse of the wing, Prince Xaver von Sachsen, who commanded the second Saxon meeting, directed three battalions of the Kurprinzessin and Gotha regiments against the flank of the von Spörcken division, which was advancing again. The other Saxon battalions joined to the left of them facing northwest, so that the line could be stabilized again here.

Fight at Malbergen

Contemporary engraving of the battle with a description

In the meantime the division of General von Wutginau and the division of General von Imhoff (1702–1768) (Hesse and Brunswick) south of Holzhausen ended their deployment in the center of the Allies . South of Stemmer, the cavalry gathered under the Duke of Holstein-Gottorp (1719–1763). The heavy Hanoverian artillery brigade under Colonel Braun drove up between them, holding their fire in the mass of French cavalry which the Duc de Fitzjames tried in vain to collect south of Malbergen. Against the new Allied formations, the Marquis de Contades deployed the Colonel Général cavalry brigade under Lieutenant général Bogué, but their attack was rejected.

The Duke Ferdinand von Braunschweig again sent an order to Lord Sackville to prepare his cavalry to attack the wide gap which the previous battles had left in the center of the French front. In this way he hoped to be able to destroy the entire French army. But Lord Sackville hesitated. On that day, two aide-de-camps arrived at his place, who brought him orders from the Duke of Braunschweig. Sackville said that their instructions contradicted each other and in no way corresponded to the battle plan drawn up the day before. Finally he rode to the Commander-in-Chief himself to inquire. The latter informed him that the plan had changed and asked him to follow the new orders. Lord Sackville returned to his cavalry at Hartum. Lord Granby (1721-1770), one of his subordinates, was just about to lead the cavalry to attack. However, Sackville held him back and began calmly and very slowly to align the squadrons and lead them towards the battlefield. He later reported on the actions of his cavalry:

“[I] kept finding the greatest difficulty in keeping the intervals or the appearance of a line, paying close attention to its movement, and stopping at the first sign of irregularity. To attack with power and speed, you have to move forward without hurry and confusion. "

- Lord Sackville

By the time Lord Sackville's twenty-four squadrons finally arrived on the battlefield, the battle was over. The lack of these bandages was often of concern that day.

Lord George Sackville (1716–1785)

Meanwhile, Maréchal de Contades arrived at Malbergen and ordered the two infantry brigades of the first meeting, Touraine and Rouergue (8 battalions) under Lieutenant General Beaupréau, to take action against the Allied line. The last du Roy cavalry brigade was also deployed to provide support . But this attack hit the two numerically far superior divisions von Wutginau and von Imhoff, which at first fended off this advance without great effort and then set out to counterattack. The Hessian regiments Toll , Gilsa , Prince Wilhelm and Grenadiers tried for their part to capture Malbergen, which was defended by the French Grenadier Regiments Rogaux and de France and a battery of eight guns. The French repulsed several attacks. The Hanoverian Leib Cavalry Regiment also launched an attack on the opposing battery with great losses. But only then did two Hessian battalions succeed in storming the battery with the bayonet , whereby five guns were captured.

When the defeated French battalions flooded back, they were overtaken by the 19 squadrons of the Allied cavalry under the Duke of Holstein-Gottorp. Many French were captured and nine other guns captured. In order to prevent the total collapse, the Brigade du Roy rode a counter-attack, which achieved local success. But then this brigade was thrown back too. Only two French brigades at the second meeting, Auvergne and Anhalt , were still available to the Marquis de Contades in the center. They moved into a catchment position in Neuland, where they finally stopped the Allied cavalry. The Duc de Broglie also sent part of his cavalry (10 squadrons) from the right wing to help. This soon became involved in violent fighting with the cavalry of the Wangenheim Corps (16 squadrons), which had previously stood between Stemmer and Kutenhausen and had now joined the attack.

French retreat

Prince Xavier of Saxony (1730–1806)

While the French center suffered a defeat, Prince Xaver of Saxony and his Saxon battalions even pushed the von Spörckens back somewhat. The latter now received the support of the battalions of the Hessian Guard and Wangenheim , which had already helped to repel the French cavalry attack. In addition, the five battalions of the von Scheele division appeared in the north and began to encircle the Saxon and French lines. The Allied artillery also acted with strong fire against the Saxons, so that they gave up their resistance. Hahlen was evacuated and the entire French left wing withdrew to Bastau. The Allies had no cavalry available to pursue, in order to exploit their success; again the absence of the 24 squadrons under Lord Sackville made itself felt.

When Maréchal de Contades overlooked this development around nine in the morning, he ordered the general withdrawal of the army. The job of covering the dismantling fell on the Duc de Broglie, whose corps was still in good order. Broglie had previously spoken to Contades at Malbergen when he was instructing Général Beaupréau to attack him in vain. He had reported that he could not attack in the direction of Todtenhausen because of the difficult terrain. The Commander-in-Chief had then ordered him to remain in his position. On the right wing of the French army, between Corps Broglie and Wangenheim there was only mutual shelling with artillery. Count Friedrich Wilhelm zu Schaumburg-Lippe (1724–1777), who used the Allied artillery particularly effectively, stood out here. Now Broglie's troops and Nicolay's division withdrew in an orderly fashion, stopping repeatedly to repel attacks by the Wangenheim corps, which were pushing after them. The main army fled across the Bastau and burned the bridges behind them. The Broglie Corps occupied Minden until eleven o'clock.

When the Marquis de Contades tried to gather his troops, he received the news that the Duc de Brissac's detachment, which was supposed to protect the lines of communication, had also been attacked and defeated (→ battle near Gohfeld ). This prevented the French army from retreating via Paderborn, so de Contades had to decide to go back to the right of the Weser. He walked across the river from 10 p.m., and one of the two ship bridges collapsed. The transition wasn't over until the next morning. In the city of Minden, overcrowded with wounded soldiers, only a small crew of about 300 men remained under Brigadier Dagien.

Consequences of the battle

Duke Ferdinand von Braunschweig in the robe of the Order of the Garter, into which he was accepted in recognition of his victory at Minden; Portrait of Johann Georg Ziesenis the Younger (1716–1776)

The following day, General Dagien surrendered to the Allied army and surrendered Minden. In total, the French lost 479 officers and 7762 men in the battle. Of these, 127 officers and 4,151 men were killed. The others were wounded and then mostly captured. In addition, 22 guns had been captured by the Allies. In contrast, the Allies lost 151 officers and 2,646 men, of whom 28 officers and 590 men were killed and the others wounded. 1411 men alone, i.e. more than half of the dead or wounded soldiers, were lost to the six British battalions that had been at the center of the battle as part of the von Spörcken division.

The French army made a detour via Einbeck , Göttingen and Münden to Kassel , where they arrived on August 12th. From here the Maréchal de Contades hoped to be able to replenish his army and finally attack again. The Allied army initially did not follow the French. She camped out at Minden for the whole of August 2nd, sang a Te Deum and held bonfires. However, Duke Ferdinand von Braunschweig failed to pursue the defeated opponent in order to take advantage of the victory. Soon after the victory he received requests for help from Friedrich II, who was seriously put on the defensive after his defeat in the battle of Kunersdorf on August 12, 1759. In addition, Münster had to be recaptured so that the French could not use it as a base for another attack on Hanover the following year. The fortress of Münster only surrendered on November 22nd. So the duke hardly had the opportunity to operate against the French base near Frankfurt / Main. In November the Marquis de Contades was replaced as Commander in Chief by the Duc de Broglie. This too failed to achieve further success after he had tried again to take the initiative, but failed in the battle near Fulda on November 30, 1759. So in January 1760 the armies went to winter quarters between Frankfurt / Main and Neuwied .

Contemporary caricature of Lord Sackville as a dog with a collar labeled Minden in front of a memorial for the successful General James Wolfe

In 1759, Duke Ferdinand von Braunschweig received a one-time donation of £ 20,000 from George II and was accepted into the Order of the Garter. Against Lord Sackville the duke urged the dismissal. In fact, he was recalled on September 10th. In the spring of 1760 a court martial was initiated against him, which ended with his discharge from the army. The verdict stated that he was "unable to serve His Majesty in any military function that exist" .

In the next three years there were still operations in the western theater of war, but the threat to the Principality of Hanover never again became as acute as in the summer of 1759. This had an impact on the peace offers and the subsequent negotiations that took place on November 25, 1759 from Great Britain and Prussia to France and Austria. France was open to the offers because after the heavy defeats it had suffered against Great Britain in 1759 (→ Battle of the Plains of Abraham , Sea Battle in the Bay of Quiberon ), it was financially at the end of its tether. But in Great Britain too, the national debt had led to a serious financial crisis as early as 1758. But Austria and Russia refused to make a peace agreement, as they expected a victory over Prussia in 1760 after their last successes (→ battles near Kay , Kunersdorf , Maxen ). In the later negotiations on the Peace of Paris (1763) it turned out to be disadvantageous for the French negotiating position that it had not been possible to permanently occupy the Electorate of Hanover. The French diplomats had no bargaining chip that they could exchange for the lost colonies in India and North America. The victory of the Duke of Braunschweig near Minden contributed not least to this.


The monument to the Battle of Minden in Todtenhausen, erected in 1859
Reenactment on the occasion of the celebrations for the 250th anniversary

After the official letter of thanks from the English king was received by the Allied army on August 14, 1759, numerous other officers received donations of money for their services in the battle in addition to the commander-in-chief. The nine standards captured by the Hanoverian troops were hung up in the garrison church in Hanover . A memorial plaque was also placed there. In the Napoleonic Wars after 1803 these standards were stolen by French troops and brought back to France.

To mark the 100th anniversary of the battle, a memorial was unveiled on August 1, 1859, based on designs by the Minden master builder Wilhelm Moelle. It has the appearance of a Gothic tower with four corner pinnacles. Since Minden was a Prussian city, the inscription first paid attention to the Prussian troops: "The memory of the victory achieved by the united troops of Prussia, England, Hanover, Hessen-Cassel, Braunschweig and Schaumburg-Lippe [...] ..." was on one side in addition, the portrait of Frederick II was attached, although he was not present in the battle. Today the memorial can be found on the road from Minden to Petershagen . It is opposite the Baier's restaurant (previously: Lohrmann restaurant ). Every August 1st, wreaths are laid there by the British garrison, representatives of the "Minden Regiments", the German Armed Forces and representatives from the city and district. A room in the Minden Museum is dedicated to documenting the battle.

The anniversary of the battle was celebrated especially in the British armed forces. Even today, on the so-called Minden Day, every regiment involved at the time brings the other “Minden Greetings” and the “Minden March” is played in the morning. All relatives attach red and yellow roses to their hats . Traditionally, the sergeants also bring the soldiers tea in bed in the morning. Even the Royal Navy remembered the battle and had a ship of the line named HMS Minden on June 23, 1810 .

The oratorio “Hanover wins, the Franzmann lies” (TWV 13:20), written by Georg Philipp Telemann (1681–1767) on the occasion of the battle in 1759 , was performed by the NDR Radiophilharmonie on December 5, 2008 , after it was performed by Reinhard Goebel had been rediscovered.

Web links

Commons : Battle of Minden  - Collection of images, videos and audio files


  • Great General Staff / War History Department (ed.): The Seven Years' War 1756–1763 , Vol. 11: Minden and Maxen , Verlag Ernst Siegfried Mittler & Sohn, Berlin 1912 (= The Wars of Frederick the Great , Part 3).
  • City / district of Minden: The Battle of Minden - Memory book for the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Minden on August 1, 1759 , JCC Bruns publisher, Minden 1959.
  • Friedrich Carl Bath: The battle of Minden 1759 in the view of English combatants. Messages from the Mindener Geschichtsverein, year 48 (1976), pp. 104–114.
  • Charles Winslow Elliott: The Men That Fought at Minden , in: The Journal of the American Military Institute 3 (1939), Vol. 2, pp. 80-103.
  • Leopold Kulke: The battle near Minden 1759 and its consequences from a French point of view , messages from the Mindener Geschichtsverein, year 43 (1971), pp. 75-89.
  • B. von Linsingen-Gestorff: From Hanover's military past , Verlag Arnold Weichelt, Hanover 1880.
  • Frédéric Magnin: Mottin de la Balme, cavalier des deux mondes et de la liberté , L'Harmattan publishing house, Paris 2005. ISBN 2-7475-9080-1 .
  • Frank McLynn: 1759 - The Year Britain became Master of the World , Atlantic Monthly Press, London 2004. ISBN 0-224-06245-X .
  • Walther Mediger: Duke Ferdinand von Braunschweig-Lüneburg and the Allied Army in the Seven Years' War (1757–1762). Prepared and completed for publication by Thomas Klingebiel. Hahnsche Buchhandlung Hannover, Hannover 2011.
  • Bernhard von Poten (Ed.): Concise Dictionary of Military Sciences , Vol. 7, Verlag von Velhagen & Klasing, Leipzig / Bielefeld 1879.
  • Martin Steffen (Hrsg.): The battle near Minden - world politics and local history , Verlag JCC Bruns, Minden 2008. ISBN 978-3-00-026211-1 .
  • Friedrich Vormbaum: The battle near Minden and the battle near Gohfeld. J. C. C. Bruns, Minden 1925.
  • Philipp von Westphalen: History of the campaigns of the Duke Ferdinand of Braunschweig-Lüneburg. Vol. 3, publishing house of the royal and secret Ober-Hofbuchdruckerei, Berlin 1871.
  • Stefan Brüdermann : Count Wilhelm and the Schaumburg-Lipper in the battle of Minden , in: Schaumburgische Mitteilungen 1 (2017), pp. 110-133.


  1. The officer and military writer Johann Wilhelm von Archenholz (1741–1812) later described this measure as a “nonsensical arrangement” , which “put all the principles of tactics out of sight” and pointed out that such a list was made as early as 1704 in the battle of Höchstädt had led to the defeat of a French army; Cf. Johann Wilhelm von Archenholz: History of the Seven Years War in Germany , Leipzig 1791, p. 268
  2. These were the battalions of the 12th (later Suffolk Regiment ), 37th (later Royal Hampshire Regiment ), 23rd (later Royal Welsh Fusiliers ), 20th (later Lancashire Fusiliers ), 51st (later King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry ) , 25th (later King's Own Scottish Borderers ) Regiment.
  3. The Brigade du Roy at the same meeting was held back by the Marquis de Contades in order to support the attack by two infantry brigades near Malbergen, see below.
  4. The Hardenberg battalion of the von Scheele division had joined the von Spörckens attack. But since von Spörcken's battalions had advanced diagonally, they took the place of von Scheele's troops to deploy. The latter then had to queue up in the second meeting until they received the order to sit on von Spörcken's right flank.
  5. Général Beaupréau, who had already been captured, was freed again, but later had to be left behind on the retreat in Einbeck, where he was captured again on August 8, 1759.

Individual evidence

  1. a b c War History Department: The Seven Years War , Vol. 11, Berlin 1912, p. 24 f.
  2. a b c War History Department: The Seven Years War , Vol. 11, Berlin 1912, p. 42
  3. A summary can be found in: Olaf Groehler: Die Kriege Friedrichs II. , Berlin (East), pp. 63–73
  4. See the overview in: Seven Years War , in: Bernhard von Poten (Hrsg.): Short dictionary of the entire military sciences , Vol. 8, Leipzig / Bielefeld 1880, pp. 416-418 and 421f
  5. Seven Years' War , in: Bernhard von Poten (Ed.): Short dictionary of the entire military sciences , vol. 8, Leipzig / Bielefeld 1880, p. 424 f.
  6. ^ Frank McLynn: 1759 - The Year Britain became Master of the World , London 2004, p. 268
  7. ^ Charles Winslow Elliott: The Men That Fought at Minden , in: The Journal of the American Military Institute 3 (1939), Vol. 2, pp. 82 f.
  8. ^ Frank McLynn: 1759 - The Year Britain became Master of the World , London 2004, p. 269 f.
  9. Kaehler: Minden , in: Bernhard von Poten (Ed.): Short dictionary of the entire military sciences , Vol. 7, Bielefeld / Leipzig 1879, p. 20
  10. ^ Department of War History: The Seven Years War , Vol. 11, Berlin 1912, p. 26
  11. ^ Department of War History: The Seven Years' War , Vol. 11, Berlin 1912, p. 27
  12. ^ Department of War History: The Seven Years War , Vol. 11, Berlin 1912, p. 29
  13. ^ Department of War History: The Seven Years' War , Vol. 11, Berlin 1912, pp. 30–32
  14. Quoted from: The tradition of the battle near Minden in the English army , in: Stadt / Landkreis Minden: The battle near Minden - memory book for the 200th anniversary of the battle near Minden on August 1, 1959 , Minden 1959, p. 34
  15. a b Department of War History: The Seven Years' War , Vol. 11, Berlin 1912, p. 32
  16. The tradition of the Battle of Minden in the English Army , in: Stadt / Landkreis Minden: The Battle of Minden - Memory book for the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Minden on August 1, 1959 , Minden 1959, p. 35
  17. Quoted from: Frank McLynn: 1759 - The Year Britain became Master of the World , London 2004, p. 275
  18. ^ Department of War History: The Seven Years War , Vol. 11, Berlin 1912, pp. 33f.
  19. ^ Department of War History: The Seven Years' War , Vol. 11, Berlin 1912, p. 34
  20. a b War History Department: The Seven Years War. Vol. 11, Berlin 1912, p. 35.
  21. ^ Frank McLynn: 1759 - The Year Britain became Master of the World. London 2004, p. 276 f.
  22. M. Mottin de la Balme: Elements de tactique pour la cavallerie , Paris 1776, p. 105
  23. B. von Linsingen-Gestorff: From Hanover's military past , Hanover 1880, p. 100
  24. ^ Department of War History: The Seven Years War , Vol. 11, Berlin 1912, p. 36
  25. B. von Linsingen-Gestorff: From Hanover's military past , Hanover 1880, p. 101
  26. ^ Frank McLynn: 1759 - The Year Britain became Master of the World , London 2004, p. 277 f.
  27. Quoted from: Christopher Duffy: The Military Experience in the Age of Reason , London 1998, p. 224
  28. ^ A b Department of War History: The Seven Years War , Vol. 11, Berlin 1912, p. 37
  29. B. von Linsingen-Gestorff: From Hanover's military past , Hanover 1880, p. 101
  30. ^ Department of War History: The Seven Years War , Vol. 11, Berlin 1912, p. 37 f.
  31. ^ Frank McLynn: 1759 - The Year Britain became Master of the World , London 2004, p. 277
  32. ^ Department of War History: The Seven Years War , Vol. 11, Berlin 1912, p. 38 f.
  33. Otto-Kurt Laag: Count Wilhelm as Grand Master of Artillery , in: Stadt / Landkreis Minden: The Battle of Minden - Memory book for the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Minden on August 1, 1959 , Minden 1959, p. 89 f.
  34. ^ Department of War History: The Seven Years' War , Vol. 11, Berlin 1912, p. 39 f.
  35. See: Kurt Bobbert: The "Action bey Coofeldt" - The Gohfeld Battle on August 1, 1759 and its history , in: Amtsheimatverein Löhne (Hrsg.): Contributions to the local history of the office of Löhne , Löhne 1980.
  36. ^ Department of War History: The Seven Years' War , Vol. 11, Berlin 1912, p. 41 f.
  37. ^ Frank McLynn: 1759 - The Year Britain became Master of the World , London 2004, p. 281
  38. See the brief outline in: Seven Years War , in: Bernhard von Poten (Hrsg.): Hand Wortbuch der Complete Militarywissenschaften , Vol. 8, Leipzig / Bielefeld 1880, pp. 425–427
  39. ^ Frank McLynn: 1759 - The Year Britain became Master of the World , London 2004, pp. 279-283
  40. ^ Olaf Groehler : The Wars of Friedrich II. , Berlin (East) 1981, p. 133
  41. B. von Linsingen-Gestorff: From Hanover's military past , Hanover 1880, p. 105
  42. Hans Cramer: The monument on the pilgrimage pond , in: Stadt / Landkreis Minden: The Battle of Minden - Memory book for the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Minden on August 1, 1759 , Minden 1959, p. 30
  43. Battle of Minden, English page. Retrieved January 5, 2009 .
  44. The tradition of the Battle of Minden in the English army , in: Stadt / Landkreis Minden: The Battle of Minden - Memory book for the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Minden on August 1, 1759 , Minden 1959, pp. 37-39
  45. Hanover wins, the Franzmann lies ( Memento from February 15, 2012 in the Internet Archive ). For the musical text and libretto see: Répertoire International des Sources Musicales: Hannover wins the Franzmann lies (TVW 13:20).
This article was added to the list of excellent articles on July 23, 2009 in this version .

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