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1757 Berlin raid
Part of the Seven Years' War
Date16 October 1757
LocationBerlin, Prussia
Result Prussian ransom payment of 250,000 thalers to the Holy Roman Empire
 Holy Roman Empire  Kingdom of Prussia
Commanders and leaders
Holy Roman Empire Hungary Count Hadik Kingdom of Prussia General Rotzow
5,100-strong raiding party (including troops assigned to guard supply bases) 5,521-strong Berlin garrison

The 1757 Berlin raid took place during the Seven Years' War. Cavalrymen of the Holy Roman Empire attacked and briefly occupied Berlin, the capital of Prussia.


After the War of the Austrian Succession, traditional European alliances fell apart and were replaced by an Anglo-Prussian pact and a Franco-Austrian alliance.[1] Known as the Diplomatic Revolution, these events caused the Seven Years' War. Frederick II, King of Prussia and bitter rival of the Holy Roman Empress Maria Theresa of Austria, invaded Silesia in 1756 but suffered his first defeat at Kolin on June 18.[2] In the aftermath of the battle, however, Frederick neglected to protect the approach to his capital, Berlin.


Austrian commanders noticed this flaw, and Prince Charles of Lorraine, commander of Austrian troops facing Frederick's main army, dispatched Hungarian cavalry officer Count András Hadik and a force of about 5,100 men, mostly Croat or Hungarian hussars,[1][3] to capture the city. However, to guard his main base at Elsterwerda, Hadik left behind enough troops that his raiding party was outnumbered by the unsuspecting Berlin garrison.[citation needed]

On October 16, Hadik and his raiding force arrived outside of Berlin. Although the Prussian defenders were surprised, they refused Hadik's surrender demands. Hadik promptly attacked the city gates,[1] entering the city. The city's military governor, General Rotzow, believed that his forces were outnumbered and spirited the Royal Family to Spandau, while Hadik demanded that the city council pay a ransom of 225,000 thalers and a dozen pairs of gloves for the Empress.[3] The ransom was paid, but Hadik left the city hurriedly when he realized that a significant Prussian force under the Prince of Anhalt-Dessau was marching toward Berlin in an attempt to intercept him.[citation needed]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "Chapter VII: A Daring Raid on Berlin". Retrieved 18 September 2010. 
  2. "Battle of Kolin, 18 June 1757 (Now Czech Republic)". Archived from the original on 18 September 2010. Retrieved 18 September 2010. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 Rossbach and Leuthen 1757: Prussia's Eagle Resurgent. Osprey Publishing. 2002. 

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