The Campaigns of 1758.

With the newly launched Italian expedition going badly, Spain could ill afford to still be at war with Britain. Were the Royal Navy to reappear in the Mediterranean in strength then Spanish communications with their beach-head in Tuscany would likely be severed.
After the Treaty of Vienna, the Austrians were no longer a presence blocking Spanish ambitions in Italy, but they had been replaced by the Russians, and the Empress Elizabeth, unlike Maria Theresa didn't have an ongoing war with Prussia to distract her. In addition to this problem, the Spanish possessions in the new world looked increasingly vulnerable to the Anglo-Dutch alliance. Thus, early in 1758 Spanish diplomats began making overtures in London regarding a separate peace with Britain. The British, dismayed at the recent turn of events in India, were receptive, and on February 28th 1758 the Treaty of Greenwich brought hostilities between Britain and Spain to a close. Spain agreed to return Minorca to the British, and in return was now free to try and reclaim Guatemala from the Dutch, and to focus on the struggle for Italy.


Northern Europe:
As the Spring days lengthened in Vienna, and the conflict entered its third year the strategic situation facing the Habsburg Empress Maria Theresa had simplified considerably.
She now stood without allies among the major powers. Sweden, if that kingdom could still be considered a major power, had dropped out of the war in 1756. Far more serious, in 1757 her Bourbon allies had deserted. Spain's ill-fated opportunism in Italy had forced Louis XV to chose between Madrid and Vienna, and with little hope of prevailing against Britain and Holland without Spanish support he had chosen the former. This left Austria with only Maximilian Joseph, Elector of Bavaria, and Frederick Augustus, Elector of Saxony (the latter recently relieved of his other title, King of Poland, by the Russo-Prussian partition of that state in 1757) still fighting for her cause.
On the positive side there was only one major power still actively in arms against Austria. By signing a separate peace with Vienna, the Czarina Elizabeth had secured Russia's grip on its newly acquired possessions in Northern Italy, and left her fellow Empress with only Prussia to face.
True, Prussia was a formidable foe even on her own, but the Prussian armies arrayed against Austria had remained relatively supine throughout 1757. Schwerin had directed Prussia's part in the dismemberment of Poland, but Frederick, with the main army had been content to sit across the Elbe from Torgau threatening Saxony but declining to actually launch an attack.
This inactivity on the part of the Prussian monarch had allowed Daun to invade and conquer Hesse (a potential ally of Prussia's) and this conquest left Daun's army well situated to launch an attack into the Prussian province of Mecklenburg, garrisoned by the smallest of the Prussian field armies, under Keith.
To Maria Theresa and her ministers in Vienna, this was an attractive option. It would put Austrian troops on Prussian soil for the first time in a year and a half, and it stood an excellent chance of pre-empting any Prussian invasion of Saxony or Bohemia and instead diverting Frederick to try and retake Mecklenburg. This, in turn, would allow Browne's army to march into Hungary and finally restore the loyalty of the rebellious population there while the Prussian King was busy away to the North.
Daun, aged fifty-two in the Spring of 1757, had served well in the War of Austrian Succession, but always as a subordinate. The Army of The West was his first independent command and, though he was a proven administrator having been chiefly responsible for reforming and modernizing the Austrian army in the years before the outbreak of the latest hostilities, he was untested as an army commander in the field. With that in mind, Maria Theresa ordered that Daun ride to Bohemia and assume command of the army there which, after receiving further reinforcements from Bavaria, would remain on the defensive. In exchange, the more experienced Browne would take over in charge of the Army in Hesse, and lead the invasion of Mecklenburg.
This exchange of commanders, however, coupled with Browne's understandable caution regarding coming to grips with the Prussian army again after Gollerwitz meant that the Austrian offensive did not begin until June, by which time Frederick had already seized the strategic initiative.
Elsewhere in the theater, General Saltykov was appointed to replace Apraxin in overall command of the Russian forces in what had, until lately, been Poland, and Frederick possibly wishing to distract Zinnsburger's veteran army marching back to Austria from Italy, launched his Swiss mercenary army into southern Germany. The Swiss attempt to capture Wurttemburg collapsed at the first hurdle when their siege of Regensburg proved a decisive failure. The Swiss failed to make any headway against the city's walls, and by the end of April they had retreated back across the border.

Southern Europe:
Freed of the threat from the Royal Navy, Spain quickly moved to reinforce their army in Tuscany. Contingents were sailed from Catalonia, and Majorca both landing at Livorno in April. The Duc de Gallardo, who had relieved Panos after the debacle at Gabbiadano, now had an army that seemed like it might have a chance at defending Tuscany against the Russians in Venetia.
However, the Russians too landed reinforcements in Italy. Two separate fleets docked in Venetia in April, disembarking enough Russian troops to retain Russian numerical superiority in the theater.
This was promptly used to invade the Papacy. Apraxin's army moved over the Apennines in May and marched on Rome. The "Eternal City" surrendered without a fight on May 16th, and the "evacuation" of all manner of priceless treasures to the Winter Palace in Saint Petersburg promptly began.
Delighted with the continued expansion of her Italian possessions, the Empress Elizabeth attempted to entice the strongest remaining Italian state, Piedmont, into her orbit by means of a royal marriage. The problem was that she was childless, and none of the minor princes or princess available at the Russian court seemed to Charles Emmanuel III Duke of Savoy and King of Sardinia appropriate to the dignity and status of his house, and he instead concluded the Convention of Turin with his old ally Austria on May 25th 1758, no doubt influenced both by the Russian occupation of Rome, and substantial Austrian financial largesse. In the war of Austrian Succession, the Piedmontese had fought with distinction alongside Austria against France and Spain. Now Austria had been ejected from Italy, and it was the Piedmontese with their large and battle-tested army that would continue the struggle against Spain who remained both at war with Austria and determined to become the inheritor of the latter's former Italian territories.

Outside Europe:
The Treaty of Greenwich convinced Louis XV both of the utter unreliability of his Bourbon cousins in Spain, and the necessity of bringing the war with the British to an end. There was simply no way France, whose economy was reeling from the loss of revenue from the new world, could prevail alone in a struggle with Britain, and Holland. Using his conquests in India as a bargaining chip Louis was able to secure peace with the former in April. The French would recognize the British conquest of Canada, and evacuate India in return for peace.
This boded ill for the Dutch, who now found themselves still at war with both Bourbon powers, and without British help. The fleet of their Danish allies was quickly recalled from the Indian Ocean, arriving in the middle passage off Brazil in May, but there was nothing that could be done about the Spanish reconquest of Guatemala the same month. Spanish armies from Mexico and, under Alvarez, from Venezuela descended upon Guatemala, and the Dutch had no choice but to evacuate their troops. The Spanish flag flew once again over Puerto Barrios on May 22nd.
Now at peace with all European powers, Britain was at liberty to turn her attention to the conquest of native peoples further afield. The objective of the British government was to secure control of all of North America east of the Mississippi. To that end the Duke of Cumberland invaded the Ohio valley in April, and a second British and Provincial army, under the newly-promoted Lt. Gen. Wolfe, simultaneously launched a second expedition, this one into the lands of Cherokee. Both were successful at establishing forts, and trading posts and conquering all native resistance. Regrouping in June, Wolfe began preparing to move further north and west to conquer the region know to the French as the "Pays d'Haut".


Northern Europe:
On June 1st Frederick the Great finally launched his long-anticipated invasion of Saxony. Frederick Augustus' army was not only outclassed, but outnumbered 2 to 1. The Saxon Elector resigned himself to the inevitable, evacuated Dresden, and withdrew his army and his court to Austrian territory, burning bridges, crops, and anything else that might be of value to the invaders as he went. Entering the smoking ruins of Dresden on June 8th, Frederick received news that Browne had finally launched the invasion of Mecklenburg. Field Marshal Keith, a canny Scottish Jacobite commanding the Prussian army there quickly realized how outnumbered he was and fell back to Pomerania. On June 29th Rostock surrendered, and the Austrians assumed control of a Prussian province for the first time in the war.

Outside Europe:
On July 4th, Wolfe's army set out from the newly built base at Fort George and headed into the lands of the Pays d'Haut. The local tribes, long allies of France, rallied under the command of a French officer, and minor noble, the Chevalier Fronsac, and on July 24th engaged Wolfe's army at a small, cultivated clearing in the shadow of a hill known locally as Eagle Mountain.




1st Brigade (Colonel Washington)
1 Regiment of Highlanders
Virginia Provincials
2 Regiments of Foot

2nd Brigade (Brigadier General Houghton)
Pennsylvania Provincials
Massachusetts Provincials
2 Regiments of Foot

5 Warbands

Clashes between scouts over the preceding few days had alerted Wolfe that battle might be imminent, and when his army arrived at the edge of the clearing below Eagle Mountain on the early morning of July 24th he was informed of the presence of a large force of natives in the woods on the far side of the patch of maize fields to his front. Wolfe deployed his first brigade, under the Virginian Washington, to his front and the second, under Houghton, fifty yards to Washington's rear. Once deployed, Wolfe, riding alongside the deeply cautious Houghton in order to keep him moving, ordered his men forward out into the open where their discipline, and firepower could be most effective.
Initial deployments.

Across the clearing, Fronsac, after many years on the frontier was well aware of the limitations of his outnumbered braves against European troops on open ground, and as soon as he saw the British emerging from the woods he ordered his men to sweep to the left through the forest along the slopes of Eagle Mountain to descend on the British from the flank and rear.
Wolfe's men emerging into the clearing.

Suspecting this move, Wolfe began to wheel his lines to the right, but many units were still entangled in the woods and the maneuver was slow. The leading Indian units charged downhill and crashed into the right end of Houghton's brigade, crumbling it. A counterattack, led by the Highland regiment sent the Indians scurrying back into the trees, and soon a general Indian retreat could be discerned as the the warbands began falling back over the hill. Wolfe's men struggled to wheel about and at least face the withdrawing Indians even if they were reluctant to pursue them into the forest, but Fronsac was not withdrawing.
Fronsac's braves moving through the forest to gain the British flank.

The Frenchman rallied his men in the safety of the north side of the hill, and led them to the right to attack the other end of the British line, overlapping the left flank of Washington's brigade. The charge, out into the open fields was risky, and the braves suffered badly from the British musketry but they had turned the redcoats' flank. Two more regiments broke, before the Indian charge ran out of steam, and once again the tribesmen fell back into the forest.
The feigned Indian withdrawal.

Shaken, Wolfe's army held its ground, while the Indians, exhausted, lurked in the tree line, sniping at them. This continued until dusk when the British, unnerved by the days events, the war cries still echoing from unseen throats, and the approach of darkness, suddenly broke.
Fronsac lacked any cavalry with which to pursue and his men were exhausted, having incurred some 240 casualties. Wolfe's army streamed away to the east, not stopping before reaching Fort George on August 8th, his losses some three times as high as that of his opponent.

Southern Europe:
Leaving Livorno on July 2nd, Gallardo led the newly reinforced Spanish Army of Italy up the coast and over the border into Piedmont. Investing the port of Genoa on the 11th, Gallardo turned north heading for Milan and on the 18th ran into the main Piedmontese army at Tortona.


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