The Seven Years' War (in Germany sometimes called the Third Silesian War) lasted between 1754–1763 (nine years) and involved all of the major European powers of the period. The war pitted Prussia and Britain and a coalition of smaller German states against an alliance consisting of Austria, France, Russia, Sweden, and Saxony. Russia temporarily changed sides in the later stages of the war.
Portugal (on the side of Great Britain) and Spain (on the side of France) were drawn into the conflict later, and a force from the neutral Netherlands was attacked in India. Because of its global nature, it has been described as the "first World War". It resulted in some 900,000 to 1,400,000 deaths and significant changes in the balance of power and territories of several of the participants.