The affairs of England, menaced by invasion, were during this time compelling George to draw part of his forces homeward; it was, consequently, only the approach of winter which saved the towns of Flanders from the French. At the same time, the wily Prussian was in arms again, trusting to seize yet more of the Austrian territories, whilst the powerful ally of Maria Theresa was at once pressed by the fault of the Dutch and Austrians in Flanders, and at home by the pretender. George, who, in spite of all remonstrances, had persisted, notwithstanding the domestic danger, in paying his annual visit to Hanover, was earnestly engaged, through lord Harrington, in endeavouring to accomplish a peace betwixt Prussia and Austria. Neither Frederick nor Maria Theresa, however, were in any haste to conclude peace. Frederick hoped to profit by the engagement of England with the French, and Maria Theresa held out with some vague hopes of regaining Silesia through the money of England. But Frederick, on the 3rd of June, gained a decided victory over the prince Charles of Lorraine, throwing himself betwixt the Austrians and the Saxons, whom the English subsidy had brought to their aid. In this battle of Hohen Friedberg the Austrians lost nine thousand men in killed and wounded, and had as many made prisoners. Prince Charles retreated into Bohemia, and was soon followed by Frederick, who fixed his camp at Chlum. Whilst another battle was impending, Maria Theresa, still undaunted, accompanied her husband to the Diet at Frankfort, where she had the satisfaction of seeing him elected emperor of Germany on the 13th of September. From her balcony she was the first to cry "Long live the emperor Francis I.!" which was re-echoed by the acclamations of ten thousand people in the streets. She then hastened to Heidelburg, where she reviewed her army of sixty thousand men, and as she rode by the side of the emperor along the ranks, she raised the enthusiasm of the soldiers by her beauty, her frank demeanour, and by ordering every soldier the gift of a florin. The same month, however, her troops were again defeated by Frederick at Sohr, near the sources of the Elbe. Their defeat this time was owing to their neglect of discipline, and taking to plundering when they should have been fighting. Spite of their being sixty thousand and the troops of Frederick only twenty-eight thousand, Frederick saw his advantage, and snatched a victory from them, to their great amazement. The king of Prussia now offered to make peace, and Maria Theresa rejected his overtures; but another victory over her combined army of Austrians and Saxons, which put Frederick in possession of Dresden, brought her to reason. A peace was concluded at Dresden on Christmas Day, by which Silesia was confirmed to Prussia, and Frederick, on his part, acknowledged the recent election of the emperor Francis. King George had also entered into a secret treaty with Prussia; and Frederick, sending his army into winter quarters in Silesia, returned to Berlin, thence to ponder fresh schemes of aggrandisement.
The campaign in Italy was as successful for the French as that in Flanders. Don Philip and marshal Maillebois, uniting their armies, crossed the Alps. There they were joined by the count de Gages with the Spanish and Neapolitan troops, which had defeated Koblowitz at Velletri. This powerful combined army was further swelled by ten thousand Genoese, who were smarting under the cession of Finale at the treaty of Worms. Admiral Rowley, the English commander in the Mediterranean, did his best to create a diversion in favour of Austria, by bombarding and burning the towns on the Genoese coast, but in vain. The powerful army of Spaniards, French, Neapolitans, and Genoese forced the passage of the Tanaro, and defeated the Austrians and Sardinians, under the king of Sardinia and count Schulemberg, near Bassignano. The Sardinian king retreated to his capital, and Don Philip and his allies entered Milan in triumph, having on the way received the submission of Casal, Asti, Lodi, and other towns. Don Philip already saw himself king of Northern Italy, as his brother, Don Carlos, was of the South. The French were almost everywhere triumphant this year, except on the Rhine, where the prince of Conti, weakened by the draughts made upon him for the army in Flanders, had been compelled to retreat with considerable loss by count Traun. In America, however, a body of four thousand colonists from Boston, aided by a body of marines, and by admiral Warren with ten ships of the line, had invaded and completely conquered the island of cape Breton.