1757 - Austrian invasion of Silesia
The campaign lasted from June to December 1757
- 1 Description
- 1.1 The Prussians try to hold Northern Bohemia
- 1.2 Prince of Prussia retreats in front of superior forces
- 1.3 The Prussians retreat to Lusatia
- 1.4 Frederick tries to stop the Austrians on the Silesian border
- 1.5 Frederick leaves for Saxony giving command to Bevern
- 1.6 Combat of Moys and Prussian retreat on Breslau
- 1.7 Siege of Schweidnitz
- 1.8 Battle of Breslau
- 1.9 Prince Charles advances against Frederick
- 1.10 Battle of Leuthen
- 1.11 Siege of Breslau
- 1.12 Austrian army leaves Silesia
- 2 References
The Prussians try to hold Northern Bohemia
After Daun's victory at Kolin on June 18 1757, Daun and Prince Charles did not make their junction at Sworez (present-day Skvorec) near Prague before Sunday June 26. Furthermore, they made no attempt against the retreating Prussian armies, excepted sending out Loudon with of 4 grenadier coys, 2,000 Grenzer light troops (Karlstädter-Ottochaner, Karlstädter-Oguliner and Banal-Grenzinfanterieregiment nr. 2) and 600 men of Hadik Hussars on the Paskopol Highway (present-day Paškopole, a pass between the hills of Milešovka and Kletečná).
On June ??, Loudon's Corps attacked a Prussian detachment of 2,000 men near Schischitz (present-day Žiželice/CZ). This detachment was trying to effect a junction with Keith at Welwarn (present-day Velvary). Loudon took 15 officers and 246 troopers as prisoner of war, several Prussians were killed and wounded.
On June 24
On June 27, Loudon's Corps attacked a Prussian convoy of 100 wagons escorted by 200 recruits between Lobositz (present-day Lovosice) and Wellemin (present-day Velemín). The wagons of the convoy were quickly formed in a wagenburg. One of these wagons transported General Manstein who had been wounded at Kolin. Manstein bravely defended himself, refusing to surrender, and was killed during the fight. The rest of the defenders finally surrendered as prisoners of war (Colonel Kleist and the Marquise de Varenne, along with 8 other officers and 146 privates). Loudon also captured all their equipages including the military chest of Keith's Army.
On June 28
- Prince Moritz reached Jung-Bunzlau (present-day Mladá Boleslav), some 50 km north of Alt-Lissa, at the confluence of the Iser and Elbe rivers. He inquired to Frederick to know if he should retreat to Zittau in Southern Saxony because of the numerous Austrian light troops harassing his camp. However, Frederick preferred to "eat the country" first and to lie outside of Silesia and Lusatia, as well as of Saxony. Upon receipt of this request, Frederick immediately recalled Moritz and appointed the Prince of Prussia to go and take command.
- Grenzer light troops started to harass Moritz's positions.
- Loudon went to Kostambloth (present-day Kostomlaty pod Milešovkou) and then towards the hills forming the border with Lusatia. He deployed his corps near Kulm (present-day Chlumec u Chabařovic).
On June 29
- A Prussian bread convoy of 44 wagons escorted by 200 men under Major von Pomiana from Knobloch Infantry was attacked on its way from Leitmeriz (present-day Litomerice) to the Paskopol. In the action, the Prussians lost 1 men killed, 9 wounded and 2 wagons.
- Daun's Army marched to a camp between Mochow (present-day Mochov) and Wostrow (maybe Ostrov). Headquarters were established at Czelakowitz (present-day Čelákovice). General of Cavalry Franz Count Nádasdy led the vanguard which was preceded by Loudon's small corps. This vanguard reached Benatek (present-day Benátky nad Jizerou). Four bridges were thrown over the Elbe.
- Beck with 3,000 Grenzer light troops marched towards Jung-Bunzlau.
|Order of Battle|
|Order of battle of the Austrian Army in Bohemia on June 30|
On June 30
- All sick and wounded who were still with Moritz's Army were sent towards Görlitz by Hirschberg (present-day Doksy) , Böhmisch-Leipa (present-day Ceska Lipa), Georgenthal (present-day Jiřetín pod Jedlovou) and Löbau; escorted by 5 bns (Grenadier Battalion Plötz, Grenadier Battalion Möllendorff, Kurssell Fusiliers, II./Kalckreuth Fusiliers) and 5 sqns (I./Werner Hussars) under Major-General Rebentisch. Once the convoy arrived at Görlitz, leaving Grenadier Battalion Plötz and 50 hussars to guard the place, Rebentisch's detachment went to Zittau.
- Frederick sent Grenadier Battalion Kleist and 50 hussars to Wellemin to secure communications between Leitmeritz (present-day Litoměřice) and the Paskopol Highway.
- The two Prussian armies could make their junction in three or even in two marches.
- The main Austrian army (77 bns, 165 sqns with 140 heavy pieces, for a total of 57,392 foot and 15,525 horse) effected a junction at Czelakowitz. The right was at Mochow and the left on the high road from Brandeis (present-day Brandýs nad Labem). Headquarters remained at Czelakowitz. There were now five bridges over the Elbe: 2 at Littal (present-day Litol) and 3 at Tauschim (probably Lázně Toušeň).
- Nádasdy pushed forward Beck's Corps (3,000 Grenzer light troops) up to Korka (unidentified location).
- G.d.C. Bretlach rejoined the army with 42 sqns who had been previously sent to Moravia to recover.
At the end of June, Loudon attacked a Prussian detachment near Welwarn, took 160 as prisoner of war and captured one bridge-train.
On July 1
- At 4:00 a.m., the army of Prince Charles and Daun marched in four columns from Czelakowitz and crossed the Elbe upon five bridges at Czelakowitz (present-day Celakovice) south-east of Alt-Bunzlau (also known as Brandeis, present-day Brandýs nad Labem-Stará Boleslav) with an army of some 70,000 men. The Austrian army then encamped at Alt-Lissa, facing north-west.
- Nádasdy passed the Iser at Alt-Benatek and took position at Stranow (present-day Zámek Stránov). He was now within an hour's march of the camp of the Prince of Prussia at Jung-Bunzlau.
- Loudon wrote to Prince Charles from Mileschau (present day Milešov) informing him that he intended to surprise Aussig (present-day Ústí´nad Labem) but had been betrayed by a farmer. He then returned to the hills and sent a detachment to Tetschen (present-day Děčín) which captured 15 transport ships and killed part of their escort. Loudon received intelligence, that 5 Prussian grenadier bns were encamped on the Paskopol and 1 other bn with 100 hussars and 3 guns at Wellemin.
To Frederick's surprise, the Austrians had finally chosen to move upon the Prince of Prussia.
|There were now two Prussian armies in Bohemia separated by the Elbe and by a hilly and forested country. On the left bank of the Elbe stood Frederick's Army (45 bns, 86 sqns for a total of 34,000 men including 11,000 horse); on the right bank, the army of the Prince of Prussia (48 bns, 75 sqns for a total of 33,800 men including 7,800 horse).
The army of the Prince of Prussia, encamped on the right bank of the Elbe, was now in a delicate position. Supplies in the magazine of Jung-Bunzlau were almost exhausted and the prince was still without news from Lieutenant-General von Brandes who was supposed to arrive from Zittau with new supplies. During this time, his army had to be supplied from Leitmeritz. However, its lines of communications with Frederick's Army as well as with Zittau where both seriously threatened by Austrian light troops who not only intercepted his messengers (Prussian hussars had to be paid a bonus and to disguised themselves with Austrian uniforms to successfully carry messages between the two Prussian armies) but began to harass its flanks in a country perfectly suited to their type of warfare.
On July 2
- Winterfeldt at the head of 4 grenadier bns and 700 hussars set off from the camp of the Prince of Prussia at Jung-Bunzlau and reconnoitred in the direction of Neuschloß (present-day Nové Hrady) near Böhmisch-Leipa. He met only small detachments of Austrian light troops and spent the night at Zolldorf (unidentified location).
- Lieutenant-General von Brandes finally reached Zittau but Prince Moritz forbade him to continue his march, fearing that he would be intercepted by Austrian light troops before reaching the army of the Prince of Prussia. Brandes sent the recruits destined to Meyerinck Infantry and Goltz Infantry along with the detachment of Seydlitz Hussars by Dresden to join Frederick's Army.
- To add to Frederick's sorrow, the news of his mother's death reached him. Queen Sophie Dorothée had died at Berlin on June 28, in her 71st year.
- Some 600 hussars and 1 bn of Carl Lothringen Infantry arriving from Hungary, reached the camp of the Austrian main army. **Nádasdy soon left his light troops vanguard give chase to the retreating Prussians and concentrated his attention on the movements of Frederick's Corps. This vanguard, under the command of Colonel Loudon, consisted of 4 grenadier coys, 2,000 Grenzer light troops (Karlstädter-Lykaner Grenzer, Karlstädter-Ottochaner Grenzer, Karlstädter-Oguliner Grenzer and Banal-Grenzinfanterieregiment nr. 2) and 600 men of Nádasdy Hussars.
Meanwhile, Frederick continued four weeks at Leitmeritz with his army parted this way, waiting to find out which theatre of operation would first require his intervention.
Prince of Prussia retreats in front of superior forces
On July 3
- Informed that part of the Austrian army was advancing on his positions, the Prince of Prussia and his generals, considering that they could not hold the position of Jung-Bunzlau, set off from their camp with their army. The heavy artillery and baggage, escorted by 4 bns and 5 sqns under Lieutenant-General Count Schmettau, reached Hirschberg. The army followed in two columns, covered by a rearguard of 4 grenadier bns, Frei-Infanterie le Noble, the Feldjäger zu Fuß and 15 sqns under Zieten. After an arduous march, it finally reached Hirschberg late in the evening.
- Winterfeldt effected a junction with the army of the Prince of Prussia at Hirschberg.
- Several grenadier bns (Kahlden, Wangenheim, Waldow and Nimschöfsky) were so depleted that they had to be combined in a temporary battalion under H. von Carlowitz from Grenadier Battalion Kahlden.
|Order of Battle|
|Order of march of the army of the Prince of Prussia in Bohemia on July 3|
- The Right Wing of the Reserve Corps, under G.d.I. Count Anton von Colloredo, set off from Alt-Lissa and marched to Alt-Benatek.
- The timely destruction of the bridge on the Iser prevented Morocz's Corps from crossing to the right bank to harass the retiring army of the Prince of Prussia.
- Nádasdy's Corps, already posted on the right bank closely followed the army of the Prince of Prussia
- In the afternoon, Loudon with 1,000 Grenzer light troops (Karlstädter-Lykaner Grenzer, Karlstädter-Ottochaner Grenzer, Karlstädter-Oguliner Grenzer and Banal-Grenzinfanterieregiment nr. 2) attacked Grenadier Battalion Kleist between Lobositz and Wellemin. This grenadier bn had been sent by Keith to clear the Paskopol. Loudon took position at Lobositz to prevent an intervention of the Prussians encamped at Leitmeritz. Some 300 men of Banal-Grenzinfanterieregiment nr. 2 under Lieutenant-Colonel Gerlichich took position to the north of Wellemin to stop any reinforcements coming from the Paskopol. Grenadier Battalion Kleist, attacked on three sides, formed a square on a small knoll. It soon exhausted its ammunition and the Grenzer light troops managed to penetrate one side of the square. They were driven back at the point of the bayonet but quickly came back with a gun. Meanwhile, Major von Seel with 100 men from Zieten Hussars was arriving from the Paskopol and 200 men from Meinicke Dragoons from the camp of Leitmeritz. Loudon's light troops retired into the woods. In this action, Grenadier Battalion Kleist lost 2 officers and 19 men killed, and 5 officers and 186 men wounded. In the evening, II./Alt-Braunschweig Infantry reinforced Wellemin; for his part, Loudon lost 1 captain and 10 men killed, and 4 officers and 66 men wounded.
On July 4
- The army of the Prince of Prussia marched in two columns around the Herrnser pond (present-day Lake Mácha) and encamped to the north of it with its right wing anchored on the road leading to Böhmisch-Leipa. Grenadier Battalion Gemmingen occupied Neuschloß. In the evening the Prince of Prussia received a message from Lieutenant-General von Brandes informing him that he had reached Zittau but had been forbidden to proceed further. The Prince of Prussia ordered him to advance to bring him some supplies.
- Major-General Rebentisch with II./Kalckreuth Fusiliers) and (I./Werner Hussars) was charged to escort Brandes' convoy from Zittau. Grenadier Battalion Plötz was left in Görlitz and Kurssell Fusiliers in Zittau.
- Meinicke Dragoons were transferred from Leitmeritz to Wellemin.
- At 4:00 a.m., the main Austrian army set off from Neu-Lissa in six columns, passed the Iser at Neu-Benatek and encamped on both banks of the Iser, thus threatening communications of the army of the Prince of Prussia with Zittau. The right of the camp extended to a stream near Struka (unidentified location) and the left was anchored on a wood near the Iser behind the town of Alt-Benatek.
- The Reserve encamped between Sedletz (present-day Sedlec) and Benatek.
- Colloredo with part of the Reserve acting as avant-garde marched to Jung-Bunzlau
- Prince Charles sent a reinforcement of 5 bns. 10 grenadier coys and 14 sqns (1 cuirassier rgt and 1 dragoon rgt) of the Reserve to Nádasdy.
- Prince Charles also sent 200 men of Hadik Hussars to reinforce Loudon.
- Loudon occupied the region between Graupen (present-day Krupka) and Zinnwald (present-day Cínovec) and sent 150 Grenzer light troops and 20 hussars to Tetschen and Herengretschen (present day Hřensko).
- At 10:00 p.m., Nádasdy's Corps, now consisting of 4 hussar rgts, 4 Grenzer bns, 5 German bns, 10 grenadier coys and 14 German sqns (including the 3 Saxon Chevauxlegers rgts), marched to Mscheno (present-day Mšeno).
On July 5
- Grenadier Battalion Alt-Billerbeck was sent towards Gabel (present-day Jablonné v Podještědí) to secure this important position until Brandes' arrival.
- Another supply convoy destined to the army of the Prince of Prussia set off from Leitmeritz.
- A bakery was established at Böhmisch-Leipa and Brandes Fusiliers and II./Werner Hussars were sent there to guard the bakery.
- The main Austrian army marched upstream in 8 columns along the Iser and encamped between Kosmanos (present-day Kosmonosy) and Lhota.
- Colloredo's avant-garde passed the Iser at Jung-Bunzlau and took position opposite Kosmanos to cover the headquarters.
Frederick considered that the new position of the army of the Prince of Prussia at Hirschberg now allowed the two Prussian armies to easily support each other. He also advised the prince that a retreat towards Silesia was no more executable and that Lusatia remained the only possible direction. He thought that both Prussian armies could live of the land in Bohemia till mid-August. Finally, he suggested to select an appropriate position at Gabel, Grottau (present-day Hrádek nad Nisou) or Reichenberg (present-day Liberec) to cover Lusatia which could not be covered from Zittau.
On July 6
- At Winterfeldt's suggestion, the Prince of Prussia decided to retreat to Böhmisch-Leipa from where communication with Frederick's Army was still possible although more difficult. This new position also covered Lusatia. The same day, the sick and the bread wagons, escorted by Grenadier Battalion Kahlenberg and Grenadier Battalion Lubath, were sent to Böhmisch-Leipa. The Prince of Prussia also sent two reconnaissance parties towards Niemes (present-day Mimoň) and Gabel. In the evening, Lieutenant-Colonel von Warnery reported that Nádasdy had probably marched towards Gabel or Reichenberg.
- Grenadier Battalion Alt-Billerbeck and II./Werner Hussars reached Gabel where they found no enemy.
- The main Austrian army rested at Kosmanos.
- At 4 p.m., Count Nikolaus Esterházy set off from Kosmanos with 6 infantry rgts (d'Arberg, Alt-Colloredo (Anton), Mainz, Wied, Sachsen-Gotha and grenadiers), 1,000 commandeered horse and a pontoon-train and marched to Münchengrätz (present-day Mnichovo Hradište). This vanguard threw four bridges across the Iser and passed the river.
- Nádasdy's Corps reached Zebus (present-day Chcebuz) closer to Frederick's camp at Leitmeritz to prevent a sudden advance across the Elbe.
On July 7
- Early in the day, Winterfeldt with 4 bns (Grenadier Battalion Unruh, Grenadier Battalion Ostenreich, 1 bn of Schultze Infantry and 1 bn of Kreytzen Fusiliers) and 10 sqns (5 sqns of Herzog von Württemberg Dragoons, 5 sqns of Puttkamer Hussars) marched to Böhmisch-Leipa to effect a junction with Brandes' convoy. There, Winterfeldt's detachment was joined by Grenadier Battalion Lubath, already posted at Böhmisch-Leipa. However, it turned out that the situation was less threatening than it first appeared. Winterfeldt halted for the night in Zwickau (present-day Cvikov).
- The army of the Prince of Prussia marched in three columns to a new camp to the north of Böhmisch-Leipa behind the Polzen River, with its right at Nieder-Liebich (present-day Dolní Libchava) which was occupied by Frei-Infanterie le Noble, and its left at Pießnig (present-day Písečná). Grenadier Battalion Gemmingen and the Feldjäger zu Fuß occupied Böhmisch-Leipa. Wartenberg Hussars and Puttkamer Hussars screened the positions to the south of the Polzen. The position was not more than 50 km north-eastward from the king's and was about the same distance south-westward from Zittau where the magazines were. From Zittau as far as the little town of Gabel (present-day Jablonné v Podještědí), halfway of Böhmisch Leipa, there was a broad highway: the Great Kaiser-Strasse. However, from Gabel to Böhmisch Leipa there were only country roads. The prince had secured the small towns, especially Gabel, on these country roads with proper garrison parties. The pressure of the Austrian army on the prince's position steadily increased.
- The head of the convoy of Lieutenant-General von Brandes finally reached Gabel. However, the Austrians had already reached the region so the convoy could not advance further than Georgenthal without a stronger escort.
- Grenadier Battalion Finck of Frederick's Army occupied the Castle of Lobositz and Trnowan (present-day Trnovany). The growing number of Austrian light troops roaming on the right bank of the Elbe convinced Frederick to send Itzenplitz Infantry, Kannacher Infantry and Grenadier Battalion Jung Billerbeck with twelve 12-pdr guns to reinforce these positions. Finally Prince Heinrich was posted on the right bank of the Elbe to the east of Leitmeritz at the head of 9 bns and 15 sqns.
In the last days, the advance of the main Austrian army had been covered by Morocz at Weisswasser (present-day Bělá pod Bezdězem) and Hühnerwasser (present-day Kuřívody/Ralsko) while Nádasdy marched from Mscheno to the Elbe by Zebus. Nádasdy had also detached FML Count Hadik from Mscheno with 2,500 Grenzer light troops and 1,500 hussars by Dauba (present-day Dubá) towards Böhmisch-Leipa.
On July 8
- The Prince of Prussia still ignored if Daun's and Prince Charles' armies had finally effected a junction. Reports about the march of an Austrian corps towards Silesia were still vague (Major-General von Kreytzen had reported a force of some 3,000 men in the region of Landeshut). The Prince of Prussia took the occasion to ask Frederick for instructions to know whether he should cover Silesia or maintain his army in Bohemia and cover Zittau. He feared to engage his army train in the narrow mountain roads leading to Lusatia. However, Frederick did not consider that the Prince of Prussia was in a difficult situation. He even advised him to advance again to Neuschloß, hoping to remain in Bohemia for another seven weeks.
- His presence at Zwickau now irrelevant, Winterfeldt returned by Reichstadt (present-day Zákupy) to his camp at Böhmisch-Leipa, leaving Grenadier Battalion Lubath and Grenadier Battalion Ostenreich at Reichstadt to secure communications with Gabel which was defended by II./Werner Hussars and Grenadier Battalion Alt-Billerbeck.
- Informed of the presence of a strong Austrian force at Wegstädtl (present-day Štětí) near Zebus, Prince Heinrich sent Grenadier Battalion Jung Billerbeck and 300 men from Szekely Hussars to Zahorzan (present-day Zahořany, Křešice).
- The main Austrian army passed the Iser at Podol (present-day Podoli), Laukow (present-day Loukov), Hubal (present-day Hubálov) and Mohelnitz (present-day Mohelnice nad Jizerou) near Münchengrätz and advanced in four columns along the right bank to Swijan (present-day Svijany).
- Prince Charles ordered Morocz to march to Niemes by Hühnerwasser to attack the lines of communication of the Prussians with Zittau while Hadik was instructed to advance at Neuschloß.
- Nádasdy was now at Hirschberg.
|Situation in Silesia|
|When Nádasdy had set off from Moravia at the beginning of May during the Prussian invasion of Bohemia, he had left Colonel Simbschen with Simbschen Infantry and the two Saxon Uhlan rgts (Graf Renard Uhlanen and Graf Rudnicki Uhlanen) to guard the frontier of Upper-Silesia. With his small detachment Simbschen had launched raids and foraged in Prussian territory, seizing a military chest destined to Prussian troops and hindering recruitment.
Major-General von Kreytzen commanded the Prussian fortresses in Silesia, overall he could count on only 150 hussars to secure the border. He transferred 2 bns of Garnison-Regiment Mützschefahl from Landeshut (present-day Kamenia Gora) to Schweidnitz (present-day Świdnica). In mid-June, after the Battle of Kolin, the Austrians detached Colonel von Jahnus towards Liebau (present-day Lubawka) in Silesia at the head of 2,500 light troops. On his way, he met no resistance.
On July 9
- Grenadier Battalion Möllendorff arrived from Zittau to reinforce the garrison of Gabel.
- In the evening, the Brandes' convoy (15 wagons transporting money and 550 transporting flour) along with 2,322 Silesian recruits, II./Kalckreuth Fusiliers and I./Werner Hussars arrived at the camp of the Prince of Prussia. With this amount of flour the army had provisions for four weeks. With recruits, the Kreytzen Fusiliers were re-established at 2 bns. The rest of the flour, 66 ammunition-wagons and the baggage of the Silesian recruits had been left behind at Zittau.
- Austrian light troops were deployed in a cordon from Melnik (present-day Mělník) to Auscha (present-day Úštěk):
- Baboczay's detachment (3,000 hussars and Grenzer light troops) was at Neuschloß;
- Morocz's Corps was at Niemes;
- Nádasdy's Corps (approx. 11,000 men) was at Wegstädtl.
- The main Austrian army rested at Swijan.
- Austrian light troops were deployed in a cordon from Melnik (present-day Mělník) to Auscha (present-day Úštěk):
On July 10
- Frederick sent a reinforcement of 4 bns (Asseburg Infantry and Forcade Infantry) and 10 sqns (Leibregiment zu Pferde, Katte Dragoons) to Prince Heinrich to extend his front further to the left. Heinrich was now at the head of 13 bns and 25 sqns.
- I./Prinz Friedrich Fusiliers were replaced by I./Goltz Infantry at Leitmeritz and rejoined the army at its camp.
- The Prussian garrison of Gabel began to strengthen the place, surrounding it with wolf-pits, fortifying the monastery and the church, and covering the gates with palisades.
- The main Austrian army rested once more day at Swijan.
- Most of Nádasdy's Corps remained at Wegstädtl but detachments were sent as far as Auscha.
- A corps under Colonel Baron Jahnus, which had been detached towards Silesia a few days earlier, occupied unopposed the town of Landeshut which had been abandoned the same day by a small Prussian corps under Kreytzen, charged with the protection of the nearby mountain passes giving access to the vital Fortress of Schweidnitz. Jahnus used Landeshut as a base to send parties towards Waldenburg (present-day Wałbrzych) and Hirschberg (present-day Jelenia Gora, not to be confused by Hirschberg in Bohemia) and to harass the garrison of Schweidnitz. Encountering no opposition, these parties became bolder and advanced up to Freiburg (present-day Swiebodzice), Volkenhain (unidentified location) and Striegau (present-day Strzegom). Jahnus issued a decree proclaiming that the inhabitants of Silesia had no longer to comply to the orders of the Prussian authorities and to supply recruits for the Prussian Army.
- Loudon sent a detachment of Nádasdy Hussars under Captain Grafenstein against Tetschen. This detachment surprised four vessels loaded with provisions, escorted by 50 men, and sank them, killing or capturing the escort (some sources give 15 vessels, but this seems a little exaggerated).
On July 11
- The Prince of Prussia asked for precise orders from Frederick to know if he should advance to Neuschloß or retire to Gabel.
- Using the now empty wagons of Brandes' convoy, the Prince of Prussia sent his sick and wounded to Zittau, escorted by Grenadier Battalion Kremzow and II./Markgraf Heinrich Fusiliers. Both battalions then remained in Zittau.
- At 5:00 a.m., the main Austrian army retraced its step to Münchengrätz. Roads were so bad that some regiments did not reach the camp before 2:00 a.m. Prince Charles and Daun were informed that the Prussian supply convoy led by Brandes had reached Böhmisch-Leipa and that Morocz had been unable to intercept it because of Prussian troops posted at Reichstadt.
On July 12
- Frederick was informed that Morocz's Corps (approx. 5,500 men) was posted at Niemes.
- Austrian hussars launched raids on Kratzau (present-day Chrastava) and on the line of communication between Gabel and Zittau.
- Nádasdy was at Wegstädtl.
- Hadik was at Neuchloß
- Kheul had been sent towards Silesia with 15,000 men.
In the night of July 12 to 13, Frederick sent orders to the Prince of Prussia to send a detachment to reinforce the defence of Tetschen.
On July 13
- At noon, the Prince of Prussia detached Winterfeldt at the head of 7 bns (Grenadier Battalion Burgsdorff, Grenadier Battalion Unruh, Lestwitz Infantry, 1 bn of Schultze Infantry, 1 bn Wied Fusiliers and 1 bn Manteuffel Infantry) and 20 sqns (Stechow Dragoons, Herzog von Württemberg Dragoons, 5 sqns Wartenberg Hussars and 5 sqns Puttkamer Hussars) towards Tetschen. However, the roads in the Polzen Valley were impracticable for artillery and Winterfeldt had to march by Böhmisch-Kamnitz (present-day Česká Kamenice). At 10:00 p.m., Winterfeldt finally reached Wolfersdorf (present-day Volfartice). Many wagons and carriages had been broken during the march on the rocky paths of the mountains bordering the Elbe.
- The main Austrian army marched in six columns encamped between Wolshen (present-day Olšina, near Mnichovo Hradiště) and Hühnerwasser and sent a vanguard (12 grenadier coys, 1,500 commandeered foot, 500 horse and 28 cannon) under Maquire by Wartenberg (present-day Stráž pod Ralskem) in the direction of Gabel. Arenberg followed with the right wing of the Reserve Corps and advanced to Schwabitz (present-day Svébořice, Ralsko) to cover Maquire.
- Prince Charles and Daun personally reconnoitred the surroundings of Niemes. After this reconnaissance they held a council of war at Hühnerwasser to discuss the new orders just received from the empress, instructing them to invade Lusatia as soon as possible.
- Loudon's light troops retired from Tetschen.
- Nádasdy's Corps advanced to Gastorf and encamped between this village and Zahorzan. It established contact at Zahorzan with part of Frederick's troops posted on the right bank of the Elbe. Its light troops then started to harass the Prussian camp. From Zahorzan, Nádasdy detached Major-General Count Pálffy with 600 Grenzer light troops and 200 hussars who moved around the Prussian camp at Triebsch (present-day Třebušín) and harassed transport vessels on the Elbe in the region of Aussig and Tetschen. Thanks to these swarms of light troops, the Austrian High Command had found out about the retreat of the Prince of Prussia to Böhmisch-Leipa.
- In the evening, Count von Wied was detached with several grenadier coys, 4 bns and several heavy guns to reinforce Beck's and Morocz's Corps and to blockade the Castle of Reichstadt.
In the night of July 13 to 14
- The Prince of Prussia sent Captain von Gersdorff with 100 hussars from Böhmisch-Leipa to reconnoitre the surroundings of Niemes. He brought back prisoners who said that the main Austrian army was expected shortly, that Beck would advance on Reichstadt and that Maquire would advance from Wartenberg.
- FML Count Wied marched with the left wing of the Reserve Corps by Niemes to Voitsdorf (present-day Bohatice) to cover Morocz's and Beck's corps who were close to Böhmisch-Leipa.
On Thursday July 14
- At daybreak, Major-General von Puttkamer left the camp of the Prince of Prussia at Böhmisch-Leipa with empty wagons, escorted by I./Kalckreuth Fusiliers, II./Alt-Württemberg Fusiliers and 50 hussars, to bring back from Zittau a provision of flour for ten days. The convoy had not yet reached Reichstadt when it began to be harassed by cavalry and hussars belonging to Beck's Corps. Furthermore, strong Grenzer parties advanced from Götzdorf (unidentified location) on Reichstadt and Dobern (present-day Dobranov) as the convoy approached. Puttkamer formed a Wagenburg with his convoy while the escort advanced against the Grenzer light troops. Soon Major von Lubath at the head of 200 grenadiers and 2 guns came out of Reichstadt to support Puttkamer who, by a lively artillery fire managed to keep the Grenzer light troops away from his wagons. Meanwhile, Grenadier Battalion Lubath and Grenadier Battalion Ostenreich repulsed an assault on the Castle of Reichstadt. In this affair, the Prussians lost 26 men and 6 horses. Beck's Corps took refuge on the height of Voitsdorf already occupied by part of the Austrian Reserve Corps. Hearing the firefight from Böhmisch-Leipa, the Prince of Prussia had immediately sent reinforcements towards Reichstadt. They consisted of 3 bns (Grenadier Battalion Carlowitz, 1 bn of Münchow Fusiliers and 1 bn of Hülsen Infantry) and 5 sqns (Normann Dragoons) under Lieutenant-General von Lestwitz. However, Puttkamer had resumed his march and Lestwitz followed him up to Brims (present-day Brniště) before returning to Böhmisch-Leipa.
- At Gabel, a little walled town surrounded by heights, Major von Belling, expecting an attack, had sent out 5 sqns of Werner Hussars under Major von Owstien, hoping that they could reach Böhmisch-Leipa by secondary roads. Belling kept only one sqn with him at Gabel along with Grenadier Battalion Alt-Billerbeck and Grenadier Battalion Möllendorff who together barely formed a single bn. Gabel could be reached only from north and south and was well defended against a sudden attack.
- Around noon, Maquire appeared on the heights to the north and east of Gabel and planted his artillery. At 1:00 p.m., Puttkamer, arriving from Brims, bumped into Maquire's troops. Puttkamer's guns immediately opened against them but they were no match for the Austrian artillery established on the surrounding heights. Puttkamer soon realized that he could not save his convoy and decided to abandon the wagons and to seek refuge in Gabel with the escort. He then assumed command, replacing Belling. He decided to resist, hoping that a relief force would be sent from Böhmisch-Leipa as soon as Major von Owstien would have informed the Prince of Prussia of the situation. Even before Puttkamer's arrival, Belling had already rejected Maquire's summon to surrender the town. As soon as Puttkamer's troops were inside, the Prussians manned the walls and gates. An Austrian battery established to south-east of Gabel started to bombard the place while another fired on the southern gate and a few cannons opened on the northern gate. At dusk, Maquire launched an unsuccessful assault where he lost 200 men.
- Winterfeldt's advance became more and more difficult till he reached Gersdorf (present-day Kerhartice) where he decided to turn back. His detachment took some rest at Wolfersdorf before marching towards the camp of the Prince of Prussia at Böhmisch-Leipa where it arrived late in the evening.
- The main Austrian army marched in four columns to Niemes where it encamped to the east of the town in four lines during the evening.
- A couple of advanced parties under Beck and Maquire hovered on the Prince of Prussia's flank in the direction of Zittau, while Nádasdy was pushing on to rear.
- After the combat of Reichstadt, Beck's Corps took refuge on the height of Voitsdorf already occupied by part of the Austrian Reserve Corps.
- In the evening, Maquire was reinforced by Arenberg who brought with him 12 additional heavy guns.
The Prussians retreat to Lusatia
On July 15
- The Prince of Prussia at Böhmisch-Leipa summoned a council of war to determine if he should join the king at Leitmeritz or relieve Puttkamer at Gabel with his 25,000 men or retreat to Zittau leaving Puttkamer to his fate. Winterfeldt proposed to march on Gabel and the prince agreed to do so. However, departure was postponed to bake a three-days provision of bread for the army. The sound of guns coming from Gabel could not be heard any more. However, by noon, artillery fire resumed. In the afternoon, the Prince of Prussia received confirmation that Puttkamer's detachment was still in Gabel. In the evening, the prince decided to send Major-General von Rebentisch with 3 bns and 10 sqns to reinforce Puttkamer.
- In the evening, Puttkamer at Gabel had to surrender with his wagons, ensigns, kettledrums. The high road to Zittau was now open to the Austrians.
- The Austrian main army reached Hühnerwasser. The first line advanced beyond the Polzen in the area to the north of Niemes.
- In the morning, Arenberg reinforced Maquire's troops posted to the south of Gabel.
- The Austrians attacked Gabel. Puttkamer defended the place, expecting relief within a few hours (see Siege of Gabel).
Around mid-July, I./Rohr Fusiliers marched from Berggießhübel to Dresden.
On July 16
- Rebentisch's detachment set off from Böhmisch-Leipa. He encountered Austrian troops, probably Hadik's Corps, and did not dare to go further than Wellnitz (present-day Velenice). The Prince of Prussia then sent 3 additional bns under Major-General Manteuffel to reinforce Rebentisch. They were then informed that Gabel had already capitulated and their united detachments returned unmolested to the camp at Böhmisch-Leipa.
- With Gabel taken, the Prince of Prussia had now only the roads through Rumburg (present-day Rumburk), or even farther to the wast, opened to him to retire towards Lusatia. The prince, fearing that he could not take unopposed the good direct road by Georgenthal to Rumburg, decided to make a detour by Böhmisch-Kamnitz and Kreibitz (present-day Chřibská), despite Winterfeldt's terrible experience of the previous days.
In the night of July 16 to 17
- Lieutenant-General Count Schmettau force marched from the camp near Böhmisch-Leipa with a vanguard of 9 bns (Grenadier Battalion Burgsdorff, Grenadier Battalion Carlowitz, Lestwitz Infantry, 1 bn of Schultze Infantry, 1 bn Münchow Fusiliers, 1 bn Wied Fusiliers, II./Kreytzen Fusiliers), 10 sqns (Normann Dragoons, 5 sqns Werner Hussars) and 6 heavy pieces (four 12-pdr guns, two mortars) to reach as soon as possible the Eckartsberg Heights to the north of Zittau. Next came pontoons, provisions and baggage escorted by 3 bns and (Grenadier Battalion Kahlenberg, I,/Manstein Fusiliers, II./Wietersheim Fusiliers) 5 sqns of Wartenberg Hussars under Major-General von Wietersheim.
- The two grenadier bns still posted in Reichstadt rejoined the army of the Prince of Prussia. Immediately, Grenzer light troops advanced from Götzdorf and occupied Reichstadt.
- After the capture of Gabel, Morocz occupied Krombach (present-day Krompach) and Kratzau and sent patrols forward up to Grottau, Grafenstein (present-day Grabštejn) and Ullersdorf (present-day Oldřichov v Hájích).
On July 17
- In the evening, the main body (24 bns, 35 sqns) of the army of the Prince of Prussia set off from Böhmisch-Leipa and retreated by a circuitous road. Zieten formed the rearguard with 5 grenadier bns (Gemmingen, Lubath, Ostenreich, Manteuffel, Unruh), Frei-Infanterie le Noble, the Feldjäger zu Fuß and 25 sqns (Stechow Dragoons, 10 sqns of Puttkamer Hussars, 5 sqns of Wartenberg Hussars and 5 sqns of Werner Hussars). The difficult roads in the hills with their jolts and precipitous windings slowed the advance of the Prince of Prussia who encamped at Ober-Liebich. Meanwhile, Schmettau encamped to the north of Böhmisch-Kamnitz.
- Maquire marched to Petersdorf (unidentified location) while Arenberg remained at Gabel.
- Nádasdy remained at Gastorf (present-day Hoštka).
On July 17, the Austrian main army, under Prince Charles and Daun, reached Niemes, not above 6,5 km from the eastern outpost of the Prince of Prussia. Maquire marched to Eichgraben (unidentified location), 5 km south of Zittau. Meanwhile, Kheul advanced in two columns to Gabel with the second line of the right wing of main Austrian army.
Since the fall of Gabel, Colonel von Diericke from Sers Fusiliers, who commanded at Zittau, was daily expecting an Austrian attack. The garrison consisted of 6 weak bns (Grenadier Battalion Bähr, Grenadier Battalion Kremzow, Kurssell Fusiliers, II./Markgraf Heinrich Fusiliers, I./Sers Fusiliers). Diericke posted his light guns at the best positions and cleared their line of fire. Zittau was a very important Prussian magazine which, including 900 four-horse wagons kept inside the town, could supply 40,000 men for a period of three weeks.
On July 18
- Early in the morning, Lieutenant-General von Winterfeldt set off from Ober-Liebich with 6 bns and 10 sqns. Throughout the day, the advance of the main body of the Prince of Prussia through Wolfersdorf and Gersdorf was hampered by wagons and vehicles of the bakery. It barely managed to reach the camp to the north of Böhmisch-Kamnitz. Zieten's rearguard remained to the south of the town to block Hadik's advance. Meanwhile, Winterfeldt reached Kunnersdorf (present-day Kunratice) where part of the wagons transporting baggage were still struggling to advance. For his part, Schmettau managed to come out of the mountains unmolested and to reach Schönborn (unidentified location) where he encamped around 6:00 p.m. He had left 1 bn of Wied Fusiliers at the pond of Bernsdorf (probably Velký Rybník) under the command of Major von Böhm to cover the advance of Wietersheim's wagons.
- During his march, the Prince of Prussia sent several messages to Frederick, describing his situation. However, most of these messages were intercepted by Austrian hussars and the few who got through were not taken seriously by Frederick.
- In the evening, the Prince of Prussia was informed that 2,000 Grenzer light troops and 200 hussars were advancing from Steinschönau (present-day Kamenický Šenov) on Böhmisch-Kamnitz and had already reached the neighbourhood of Hasel (present-day Líska). The prince immediately detached Frei-Infanterie le Noble and the Feldjäger zu Fuß from the rearguard to take position in the woods near Hasel and on the Kaltenberg to protect the lagging wagons. Wietersheim precipitously formed his wagons in a Wagenburg near Kreibitz. In fact, FML Morocz rather advanced towards Zwickau.
- Prinz Moritz Infantry was detached from Frederick's Army at Leitmeritz to march towards Stettin (present-day Szczecin in Poland) to reinforce the Prussian corps defending Pomerania against the Swedes. It was joined on the way at Torgau by Flemming Fusiliers (a former Saxon rgt) who had previously been posted at Wittenberg.
- Maquire's Corps arrived in front of Zittau and Maquire immediately summoned the place who refused to surrender.
- Some Austrian troops had occupied the pass and defile near Böhmisch-Kamnitz and awaited the approaching Prussians.
- FZM Kheul, commanding a corps of the Austrian right wing and Arenberg's vanguard posted at Gabel, received orders to march on Zittau. Major-General Lucchesi should follow with another corps. The Austrians wanted to reach Zittau before the Prince of Prussia, but their reacted too slowly.
In the night of July 18 to 19
- In the night of July 18 to 19, a Prussian column tried to break through at Ober Kamnitz and Hasel with its train and pontoons. However, it was opposed by 1,000 Warasdiner and Slavonische Grenzers and 300 hussars led by Colonel Emerich Count Esterházy. In the very dark night, the Prussians lit lanterns and torches, thus offering a good target to the Grenzers. FML Lewin Baron von Beck, advancing from Reichstadt, had taken position on the heights near Hasel with 1,000 Warasdiner and Slavonier and 300 hussars. Beck then launched an attack with his Grenzers on three sides of the Prussian column. Frei-Infanterie le Noble and the Feldjäger zu Fuß counter-attacked in flank from the Kaltenberg while the escort of the convoy maintained a lively fire. Finally, Lieutenant-Colonel Gablentz with I./Kreytzen Fusiliers advanced from the road. Several Saxon and Bohemian conductors fled with their wagons who overturned or collided, blocking the narrow road. Overall, the Prussians had lost 9 filed ovens (parts were missing from 14 others), 139 wagons, 72 carts and 706 horses.
- Morocz's vanguard (500 men of the Baranyay Hussars, 600 Grenzers and 2 pieces), posted at Zwickau, was led by Colonel Ferdinand Franz von Ujházy. This vanguard attacked the head of Wietersheim's column on both flanks at Kreibitz and engaged a Prussian detachment (600 hussars, 1 grenadier battalion and 2 pieces). The Prussian hussars soon routed, leaving the grenadiers to their fate. However, these grenadiers bravely held their ground and drove back Ujházy. Platoons of Wied Fusiliers managed to protect this part of the convoy. As Morocz's main body appeared, the Prussian grenadiers were forced to retire. In this action, they lost 26 men and their 2 pieces. In his report to the headquarters, Morocz praised his Grenzers whose courage had been at par with the Prussian grenadiers. After the combat, Major von Böhm with 340 men from Wied Fusiliers marched towards Löbau, engaging the Austrians once more near Schönborn.
On July 19
- Heavy fighting continued around Kaltenberg. Initially, the Slavonische Grenzers were stopped by the fire of the Prussian grenadiers who were supported by four guns. The Warasdiner Grenzers, supported by 180 dismounted hussars, then came to the rescue and drove back the Prussian grenadiers. The Grenzers then attacked the column of wagons, hamstringing some horses, destroying a few wagons and capturing 8 pieces (6 of which had been made unusable), several wagons and 500 horses. They then tried to bring back their booty to Falckenau (present-day Falknov) but bad roads and the arrival of Prussian reinforcements prevented them to do so. However, they managed to bring back the 500 captured horses to the Austrian camp. In this action, the Prussians lost all baggage, several wagons, ammunition and all their pontoons. They also lost 261 men taken prisoners and 43 deserters. The number of men killed or wounded is not known. For their part, the Austrians lost 72 men killed and 94 wounded. FML Beck's favourite horse was killed under him.
- The army of the Prince of Prussia could not advance before Winterfeldt's detachment had cleared the road near Hasel from the broken wagons. Finally, at 4:00 p.m., the army set off from the area of Böhmisch-Kamnitz.
- Schmettau's detachment (9 bns, 10 sqns) arrived near Zittau from Rumburg. When Schmettau saw the large Austrian force already posted around Zittau, he did not dare to take position on the Eckartsberg as initially planned but rather took refuge in Zittau with his troops and the heavy artillery that he escorted.
- Late in the evening, Winterfeldt and Lestwitz finally reached the heights north of Kreibitz. After these attacks, the Prince of Prussia did not dare to resume his march during the night. His army had no more bread and more than 1,500 soldiers deserted.
- At Leitmeritz in Bohemia, Frederick assembled the baggage and provisions of his army.
- At 5:00 p.m. near the Kaltenbach, FML Andreas von Hadik and colonels Ried and Kleefeld, at the head of 4 bns (among which elements of the Slavonisch-Gradiskaner Grenzer and Karlstädter-Szluiner Grenzer) and 8 pieces, who had taken positions on the heights of the Kaltenberg (present-day Studený), attacked from south the II./Jung-Braunschweig who closed the march in Winterfeldt's column. The Austrians attacked the Prussian column, capturing 46 wagons with baggage, ammunition and 184 horses. The Prince of Prussia sent 3 bns under Lieutenant-General Lestwitz to help Winterfeldt to drive back the attackers. The Markgraf Heinrich Fusiliers launched a counter-attack. The Karlstädter-Szluiner Grenzer and Slavonisch-Gradiskaner Grenzer, led by Colonel Wenzel Baron Hnogek von Kleefeld, drove back the attack. In this action, the Prussians lost 486 men killed, 264 wounded, 135 taken prisoners and 423 deserters. For their part, the Austrians lost 164 men killed and 214 wounded (including Colonel Ried).
- In the afternoon, Kheul's, Arenberg's and Maquire's corps effected a junction near Zittau. FZM Kheul assumed command of the Austrian forces blockading Zittau. He cut off the place from water supply and started to surround it. Maquire posted his troops on both sides of Olbersdorf. Arenberg prepared to cross the Neisse and to take position on the Eckartsberg.
- Maquire's guns opened on Zittau and the newly arrived heavy guns answered with a strong fire.
- Kheul moved Maquire's and Arenberg's troops to the right bank of the Neisse, guarding the bridge at Klein-Schönau (present-day Sieniawka).
- Lucchese at the head of the first line of the right wing of the main Austrian army marched from Niemes to Gabel.
On July 20
- Winterfeldt marched to Neudörfel (unidentified location) where he put his men to work to clear a path through the broken wagons. Only after he had been replaced by 5 bns under Major-General Kleist at Neudörfel did Winterfeldt send Lestwitz' 3 bns by Schönlinde to Rumburg to cover the dam west of Bernsdorf ponds. At 11:00 p.m., Winterfeldt finally reached Rumburg. He let 5 bns who had lost their tents in the town and encamped the rest on the heights south of Rumburg.
- In the afternoon, the main body of the Prince of Prussia marched with cavalry and infantry brigades alternating in the order of march. Wietersheim made it halfway between Schönlinde (present-day Krásná Lípa) and Rumburg with the artillery train and formed a Wagenburg. Zieten with the rearguard burnt the broken wagons and all supplies who could not be transported. The main body encamped south of Schönlinde while Zieten remained north of the Bernsdorf ponds, Frei-Infanterie le Noble and the Feldjäger zu Fuß guarding the dam.
- Schmettau sent his 10 sqns under the command of Major-General von Seydlitz to Seifhennersdorf because there was insufficient forage in Zittau to feed horses. Schmettau also ordered to unload several ammunition wagon and reload them with bread destined to the army of the Prince of Prussia.
- Görlitz was evacuated.
- In the afternoon, the provision-wagons, the bakery and the artillery train of Frederick's Army set off from Leitmeritz and marched towards Aussig, escorted by Grenadier Battalion Wedel and I./Markgraf Karl Infantry. All the flour that could not be transported was thrown into the Elbe and the bridges were burned. In the evening, baggage followed, escorted by 2 bns (II./Markgraf Karl Infantry, [[Meyerinck Infantry|I./Meyerinck Infantry) and 13 sqns (Garde du Corps, Gens d'Armes, Prinz von Preußen Cuirassiers) under Lieutenant-General von Kyau and reached Hlinnay (present-day Hlinná).
- Lucchese's Corps arrived at the camp between Klein-Schönau and Grottau near Zittau.
- Daun and Prince Charles personally went to Zittau. Prince Charles sent Kheul's cavalry across the Neisse to the Eckartsberg to observe the place.
- The entire left wing of the main Austrian army marched to Gabel. Meanwhile, Lucchese set off from Gabel and marched in the direction of Zittau.
- Morocz advanced towards Rumburg by Krombach
- Beck with 2,000 Grenzer light troops and 500 hussars marched from Falckenau to Tollenstein (present-day Rozhled), leaving a garrison (100 Grenzers and 100 hussars) in Georgenthal and advancing part of his troops to Neudörfel. Only 200 men were left on the Kaltenberg to observe the movements of the Prussians.
In the night of July 20 to 21, most of Grenadier Battalion Kahlenberg (a former Saxon unit) deserted. Only 200 men remained with the Prussians. Prince Heinrich doubled his cavalry outposts to prevent desertion.
On July 21
- Winterfeldt let his exhausted troops rest at Rumburg. The Prince of Prussia sent him the rearguard as reinforcement.
- The Prince of Prussia, still encamped at Schönlinde, received messages from Schmettau and Winterfeldt informing him of the situation at Zittau which was surrounded by a force estimated at approx. 15,000 men. Around noon, the Prince of Prussia set off from Schönlinde and marched in two columns by Schönborn to Seifhennersdorf. Winterfeldt reinforced Seydlitz's rearguard with the Herzog von Württemberg Dragoons and sent it to Warnsdorf (present-day Varnsdorf) to cover Morocz's and Beck's movements in the area of Groß-Schönau since a large number of Austrian hussar detachments continuously harassed his avant-garde while he was taking position on the heights north of Seifhennersdorf with his infantry and 5 sqns of Werner Hussars to cover the march of the main body. Once the main body of the Prince of Prussia had reached Seifhennersdorf, Winterfeldt marched to Spitzkunnersdorf where he established his camp on the south slope of the Steinberg where he made a junction with Seydlitz's forces. The Werner Hussars, who secured the front of the camp, captured 30 Austrian hussars. The main body of the army encamped on the north-west slope of the Steinberg, the infantry in the first line and the cavalry in the second; with its left wing at Unter-Leutersdorf and its right extending towards Seifhennersforf, facing Groß-Schönau and Morocz's Corps.
- In Bohemia, at 4:00 a.m., Prince Heinrich's Corps, belonging to Frederick's Army, passed to the left bank of the Elbe and marched to Leitmeritz. The bridge was then set afire. Some Grenzer light troops vainly tried to extinguish this fire. With his entire army, Frederick then marched to Sullowitz (present-day Sulejovice) on the Elbe.
- At Zittau, Colonel Walter von Waldenau of the Austrian artillery unsuccessfully summoned Lieutenant-General Schmettau, commanding the place, to capitulate.
- The left wing of the main Austrian army arrived from Gabel. The entire army encamped behind the Neisse from Türchau (present-day Turoszów) by Ober-Ullersdorf (probably near Oldřichov v Hájích), where headquarters of Prince Charles were established, up to Grottau, Daun's headquarters. FML Count Wied had been left at Gabel with 7 bns of the Reserve, Pálffy Cuirassiers and Porporati Dragoons. FML Count Nicolaus Esterházy with 3 bns (Nikolaus Esterházy and Mainz), Batthyányi Dragoons and the Saxon Karabiniergarde occupied a pass midway between the main army and Gabel. These detachments should secure the line of supply and the line of communication with Nádasdy if Frederick ever decided to advance from Leitmeritz against the rear of the Austrian positions.
- Morocz advanced to Olbersdorf.
- Nádasdy's Corps reached Gastorf. In the afternoon, Nádasdy let 9 sqns of Kaiser Hussars and Dessewffy Hussars under FML Count Kálnoky swim across the Elbe. They drove back the Prussian cavalry outposts and reached Leitmeritz which was still covered by Frederick's left wing cavalry.
In the night of July 21 to 22, the Prince of Prussia received a message from Schmettau informing his that the situation in Zittau was rapidly deteriorating: most of the main Austrian army had now reached the place and was encamped behind the Neisse. A summon to surrender by Prince Charles had been rejected.
In the situation of the army of the Prince of Prussia was now critical. Since two days, it lacked the most basic provisions and the Austrians had taken position between it and the Prussian magazines at Zittau. During the retreat, some 2,500 men had deserted.
On Friday July 22
- The Prince of Prussia left Seifhennersdorf at 9:00 a.m. and marched in two columns. At 11:00 a.m., Winterfeldt came into sight of Zittau with the advance guard. When they saw Winterfeldt's force appear on the plain of Herwigsdorf, the Austrians immediately took possession of the heights of the Eckartsberg commanding Zittau and blocking the prince's line of supply from this place.
- To avoid marching through the difficult terrain in the area of Herwigsdorf with the Austrians so close, the Prince of Prussia turned left at Nieder-Odernitz towards the Huthberg (unidentified location). He then assembled his generals to determine how they should proceed to bring bread from Zittau to the army. Winterfeldt suggested to take position east of Herwigsdorf with the right wing extending towards Zittau to face the low ground between Ober-Seifersdorf and the Eckartsberg. However, other generals argued that additional Austrian troops might be massed behind the Eckartsberg. Finally, the Prince of Prussia decided to march his army to the north-west of Herwigsdorf and to encamp with his right wing at the Landberg and his left at the Huthberg. That night, the troops of the Prince of Prussia did not pitch tents but lay upon their arms.
- Lieutenant-General von Winterfeldt with the 9 bns of the avant-garde and 25 sqns (Normann Dragoons, Puttkamer Hussars, Werner Hussars) then undertook a task considered as too dangerous for the entire army. He tried to establish communication with Schmettau's troops in Zittau and to bring a convoy of bread to the army. As Winterfeldt's cavalry advanced, the Austrians retreated partly through Ober-Seifersdorf, partly near Pethau on the right bank of the Mandau. The Austrian troops posted on the Eckartsberg took arms and their guns opened, quite ineffectually, on Winterfeldt's infantry advancing on Herwigsdorf. Schmettau then came out of Zittau with 8 bns and a provision of bread for 36 hours. Winterfeldt's and Schmettau's troops then took position on the right wing. Furthermore, Herwigsdorf received a garrison of 6 bns. Zittau was now occupied by only 5 depleted bns (2 bns of Kurssell Fusiliers, 2 bns of Sers Fusiliers and the grenadiers of Markgraf von Brandenburg Fusiliers) under Colonel von Diericke. Its artillery was left outside the town because it could not be effectively planted on the walls.
- In Bohemia, Frederick's Army resumed its retreat. Frei-Infanterie von Mayr, Frei-Infanterie von Kalben, Zieten Hussars and Seydlitz Hussars occupied the heights to the west of the Paskopol to cover the marching columns. Indeed, Loudon was posted at Mileschau and intended to harass the Prussians as they passed the mountains. The first column (the infantry right wing) marched on the Paskopol and passed the Biela midway to Hlinnay. Grumbkow formed the rearguard with his 4 bns. He was soon joined by the free corps and the hussars who had covered the march. The rearguard was also joined by Grenadier Battalion Kleist and II./Alt-Braunschweig Infantry, who had previously been posted at Wellemin, and by 5 sqns of Szekely Hussars. Meanwhile, the second column (the infantry left wing) advanced east of Wellemin towards Hlinnay. Its rearguard consisted of Frei-Infanterie de Angelelli and 5 sqns of Szekely Hussars, Furthermore, Meinicke Dragoons arriving from Wellemin, joined the rearguard. A third column (cavalry) advanced north of the Loboschberg. Its rearguard consisted of Grenadier Battalion Finck and the Leib-Carabiniers. For the night,18 bns and 28 sqns encamped at Lochtschitz (unidentified location) where Frederick established his headquarters while 30 bns and 60 sqns under FM Keith remained on the heights on the left bank of the Biela, north of Hlinnay.
- Frederick ordered Keith to reinforce the garrison of Aussig, consisting only of I./Darmstadt Infantry and 1 coy of II./Wylich Fusiliers where his bakery would be established. Keith sent Grenadier Battalion Ramin and Grenadier Battalion Wedel to Aussig. Meanwhile, I./Markgraf Karl Infantry, who had escorted the provision-wagons, rejoined the King's Army.
- In the morning, the two lines of the Austrian right wing passed the Neisse and took position between the Schanzberg and the Eckartsberg. Troops left behind at the Pass and Gabel were recalled to the army. Indeed, Nádasdy had reported that Frederick's Army at Leitmeritz was making preparations for a retreat towards Saxony and the line of communication of the main Austrian army with Bohemia was not threatened any more.
- The Austrian main army was now encamped impregnable on both sides of the Neisse River with its left extending to Grottau and its right to the wood of Reichenau (present-day Bogatynia). A large force was also posted on the Eckartsberg, and hussar parties roamed the vicinities of Ober-Seifersdorf, Herwigsdorf and Hornitz, observing the movements of the Prussians.
- The Austrian artillery, which was not yet fully deployed, opened a quite ineffective bombardment of the town. In the afternoon, batteries were established batteries in front of Zittau. In the evening, these batteries (32 heavy guns and 10 howitzers) opened on Zittau to destroy the Prussian magazines. With his weak garrison (5 bns) Colonel von Diericke was unable to prevent the Austrians from taking position in the suburbs and in the churchyard.
- Some 100 hussars were sent to occupy Görlitz which had been abandoned by the Prussians.
- In Bohemia, Kálnoky's detachment recrossed the Elbe.
The arrangement of Frederick's Army in two distinct camps already reflected his future intentions. The troops in the camp of Lochtschitz would effect a junction with the remnants of the army of the Prince of Prussia while Keith with the troops encamped on the Biela and 30 heavy guns should remain in Bohemia as long as forage would be available. Prince Heinrich and Prince Ferdinand of Brunswick accompanied Frederick.
In the night of July 22 to 23, the bombardment of Zittau was interrupted.
On Saturday July 23, it rained heavily
- At 9:00 a.m., the Prince of Prussia had ordered his army to strike tents. The closest Prussian magazines were at Bautzen, guarded by Grenadier Battalion Plötz, 100 men of Grenadier Battalion Kahlenberg and 114 hussars from 3 different rgts. These magazines were quite small but Goltz had been ordered to send sufficient flour for six days from Pirna and Dresden to Bautzen.
- In Bohemia, Frederick's infantry rested at Lochtschitz while baggage, and 42 heavy guns, escorted by Grenadier Battalion Bülow, Markgraf Carl Infantry and 4 sqns of Zieten Hussars under the command of Major-General von Bülow marched to Nollendorf (present-day Nakléřov). Around noon, Lieutenant-General von Kyau followed with 18 sqns (Garde du Corps, Gens d'Armes, Markgraf Friedrich Cuirassiers and Katte Dragoons). Austrian hussars emerged from the woods north of Kulm but were driven back by the Prussian cavalry.
- At about 11:00 a.m., from his fully established batteries (12 x 6- or 3-pdr guns, 6 x 12-pdr howitzers, 6 x 6-pdr howitzers, 4 x 3-pdr howitzers) on the Eckartsberg (mainly in the churchyard of the"Zur Lieben Frau"), Colonel Waldenau fired red-hot balls upon Zittau. By noon, half the town was in flames. The Prince of Prussia then sent a detachment (Major-General Rebentisch with 3 bns) to get some food from the magazine at Zittau, but it arrived too late and came back empty handed. Colonel von Diericke, commanding what was left of the garrison, was withdrawing to join the Prussian army when he was ordered to defend Zittau to the last man. Accordingly, he re-entered the town. Prince Charles summoned the place once more. Diericke asked for more time to consult the Prince of Prussia and sent him an adjutant. After waiting for an hour, the Austrians resumed the bombardment of the place. Bombardment ceased around 5:00 p.m. But the town was now completely afire. It was impossible for the homeless inhabitants to remain in the streets, so they tried to take refuge in the already damaged Frauentor. Those who tried to flee from the burning town were intercepted by patrols of Austrian cuirassiers, dragoons and hussars who robbed them of their belongings. Prussian soldiers also started to desert. Major-General Ludwig Baron von Buttler at the head of 1,000 converged grenadiers was preparing to storm the town but this became unnecessary. Finally, around 4:00 p.m., Colonel Diericke learned that most of Grenadier Battalion Bähr (a former Saxon unit) had mutinied and surrendered. Soon afterwards, he hoisted the white flag and capitulated with his garrison. Colonel Diericke, Major-General Kleist, 10 officers and 240 men of I./Markgraf von Brandenburg Fusiliers and Sers Fusiliers (which lost five colours) became prisoners of war (several soldiers had however managed to escape before the capitulation). By sunset, Zittau was but a cinder-heap, its 10,000 inhabitants homeless. However, the magazines were not yet hurt. The Austrians then sent 2 infantry regiments (Carl Lothringen and Harsch) under Major-General Buttler to bring the blaze under control. Nevertheless, fire still raged all night and destroyed two third of the houses.
- Nádasdy's Corps was at Levin.
N.B.: According to an article published in the "Erlanger Zeitung" (August 13, 1757), on July 23 between 11:00 a.m. and 5 p.m., the Austrian artillery fired around 4,000 cannonballs or shells on the town. Overall , 547 small houses and 104 patrician houses burned down, both churches were destroyed as well as all towers. Furthermore, the town hall with its entire archives was razed. From the inhabitants, 90 died in the cellars, 50 more in the streets. After this disaster, people from all countries of the monarchy contributed money to rebuild the town. Maria Theresa granted 30,000 fl. for the same purpose.
With Zittau gone, the doors of Saxony and Silesia were wide open. Daun had only to choose.
On Sunday July 24
- At dusk, the Prince of Prussia sent forward his artillery train and his baggage towards Löbau, escorted by 7 bns and Wartenberg Hussars. At 10:00 p.m., Winterfeldt marched with 9 bns, 20 sqns soon followed by the main body. Campfire had been left burning and guards standing.
- Wied Fusiliers (only 1 weak bn) was posted at Löbau to cover the junction of the two Prussian armies.
- In Saxony, Frederick marched to Nollendorf with the main body in two columns with Frei-Infanterie de Angelelli and 6 sqns of Zieten Hussars acting as rearguard. The same day, Bülow reached Cotta with baggage and Kyau, Rottwerndorf.
- In Bohemia, Tetschen was evacuated by its Prussian garrison (7 coys of Wylich Fusiliers) who marched to Nollendorf where it reinforced Asseburg's forces (Grenadier Battalion Bornstädt, II./Darmstadt Infantry and Pannewitz Infantry) while II./Goltz Infantry was at Berggießhübel and II./Prinz Friedrich Fusiliers, at Gottleuba.
- The Austrians sent detachments from 15 regiments, (each of 1 officer and 40 men) into Zittau to extinguish fires and maintain order. They managed to save large quantities of flour and powder.
- Nádasdy moved his camp to Wegstädtl.
In the night of July 24 to 25, the army of the Prince of Prussia, who had no bread ration left, stroke its tents at 2:00 a.m. and marched in a single column towards the nearest Prussian magazines at Bautzen. Its rearguard (12 bns, 15 sqns) could not leave the Huthberg before daylight.
On July 25
- At noon, the army of the Prince of Prussia reached Löbau unmolested and encamped behind the Löbauer Wasser with its left wing anchored on the town.
- In Saxony, Frederick's Corps marched to a camp at Gießhübel (present-day Bad Gottleuba-Berggießhübel) near Goes. General-Adjutant von Krokow arrived at this camp to report on the situation of the army of the Prince of Prussia since its arrival in the neighbourhoods of Zittau. The boat-bridges were moved from Pirna closer to Dresden.
- Frederick ordered Marshal Keith to rejoin him in Lusatia with his corps (about 25,000 men), leaving a strong detachment of 10,000 men (15 bns, 20 sqns) under Prince Moritz at Cotta on the left bank of the Elbe to cover Dresden against any incursion by Loudon or the Reichsarmee.
- In Silesia, Kreytzen sent 200 men from Garnison-Regiment Mützschefahl and a few hussars under Major von Heyking to occupy Striegau.
- The Austrian headquarters were moved from Ullersdorf to Klein-Schönau.
- The Austrians sent only small detachment of hussars and Grenzer light troops in pursuit of the army of the Prince of Prussia but they were easily stopped by Frei-Infanterie le Noble.
On July 26
- The army of the Prince of Prussia rested in its camp at Löbau. A two-days ration of bread arrived from Bautzen.
- In the afternoon, Winterfeldt took possession of the heights of Hochkirch to cover the march of the army of the Prince of Prussia to Bautzen.
- In Saxony, Frederick moved his headquarters to Pirna. Oldenburg Fusiliers marched from Dresden and joined the army in this camp. There, Frederick was informed of the retreat of the Prince of Prussia to Bautzen. Baggage were sent to Dresden. The I.Leibgarde Bataillon was sent to Torgau.
In the night of July 26 to 27
- Lieutenant-General von Schultze reached Bautzen with the remaining baggage and artillery train of the army of the Prince of Prussia.
- In Silesia, Major Heyking's detachment fiercely engaged Austrian troops who were driven back on Freiberg (more probably Freiburg, present-day Świebodzice). The 2 bns of Garnison-Regiment Mützschefahl, who were preparing to come to its support, saw that there were no needs any more. However, the Austrians reoccupied Striegau with some 450 men as soon as the Prussians evacuated it.
- In Silesia, Jahnus received reinforcements.
On July ??, Jahnus let his hussars roam the Silesian countryside while he advanced to Hohenfriedeberg (present-day Dobromierz) with the main body of his corps.
On July 27
- The army of the Prince of Prussia marched to Bautzen in two columns and encamped in three lines east of Bautzen with the Spree at its back. On reaching this town, the prince was warned that his brother would be there in a day or two. During his retreat, the prince had lost more than 8,000 men, his entire train, all his pontoons and some artillery pieces. The regiments Prinz Moritz Infantry, Braunschweig-Bevern Infantry and Manstein Infantry, who had suffered so much at Kolin, were detached under Major-General Manteuffel to reinforce the Prussian forces defending Pomerania against the Swedes.
- In Bohemia, with Drašković threatening Aussig. Keith had already reinforced the garrison, commanded by Major-General von Grabow, with I./Asseburg Infantry, I./Forcade Infantry and eight 12-pdr guns. In the evening, the Prussian bakery escorted by Grenadier Battalion Wedel and I./Asseburg, set off from Aussig for Nollendorf from where it was later escorted to Pirna by Wylich Fusiliers.
- Emperor Franz sent a letter to his brother, Prince Charles, to express his disappointment that the Prussian garrison had been allowed to escape from Zittau with some provisions for the main Prussian army.
- Part of Beck's Corps (1,000 Grenzer light troops and 50 hussars) occupied Görlitz while parties advanced to Wurschen by Weißenberg. Beck took post at Herrnhut with the rest of his corps. Meanwhile, Morocz advanced to Bernstadt auf dem Eigen by Hirschfelde; Hadik remained on the left flank of the army of the Prince of Prussia; and Major-General de Ville took part north of the read leading from Löbau to Bautzen with 1,000 horse.
- Nádasdy's Corps was at Tetschen on the right bank of the Elbe and an advanced party occupied Schandau (present-day Bad Schandau).
- In Bohemia, Major-General Count Drašković from Nádasdy's Corps received the order to take Burg Schreckenstein (present-day Střekov near Ústí nad Labem) then occupied by the Prussians. The castle was perched on a rock near Aussig (present-day Ústí nad Labem). Colonel Loudon sent part of his troops to reinforce Drašković who, at the head of 500 Banal-Grenzer and 200 hussars stormed the castle. After a feeble resistance of the garrison (2 coys of Wylich Fusiliers, a former Saxon unit), Drašković captured the commander, 7 officers, 260 men and 2 cannon. Loudon's troops then occupied the country between Kraupen (present-day Krupka) and Zinnwald (present-day Cinovec).
Frederick tries to stop the Austrians on the Silesian border
|Order of Battle|
|Order of battle of the Austrian Army in Lusatia on July 28|
On July 28
- Winterfeldt retired from Hochkirch and effected a junction with the army of the Prince of Prussia at Bautzen.
- Frederick's Army passed the Elbe on pontoon-bridges at Pirna and marched in two columns by Lohmen to Groß-Harthau. Austrian light troops were seen at Neustadt and Stolpen.
- FM Keith sent his heavy artillery and baggage to Nollendorf, escorted by 2 bns of Kleist Infantry, 15 sqns (Leibregiment zu Pferde, Leib-Carabiniers, Prinz von Preußen Cuirassiers) and 100 men from Szekely Hussars under Major-General Baron Schönaich. A Grenzer detachment (Karlstädter-Lykaner Grenzer under Loudon and Banal-Grenzinfanterieregiment nr. 2 under Major Poticky) attacked Schönaich's column at Arbesau (present-day Varvažov), capturing one 12-pdr gun, 11 ammunition-wagons, and some 40 baggage and supply wagons. Major-General von Asseburg sent 2 bns to the help of the convoy but they arrived too late.
On July 29
- Frederick's Army (15 bns, 28 sqns) passed the Spree midway from Bautzen and effected a junction with the army of the Prince of Prussia. At 10:00 a.m., Frederick arrived. The Prince of Prussia and all his generals, except Goltz and Winterfeldt, were there at his arrival. Frederick did not greet the Prince of Prussia who had no choice but to follow the king. Frederick expressed to Winterfeldt his dissatisfaction of the behaviour of the Prince of Prussia and of his generals, stating that they would all deserve to be court-martialed and executed but that he could not forget that the Prince of Prussia was his own brother. Winterfeldt then had to transmit this message to the Prince of Prussia and his generals. The Prince of Prussia immediately stepped out of the circle of his generals and, without exchanging a word with Frederick, rode to Bautzen. He then wrote a letter to the king in which he announced his decision to leave the army because he could not stay longer after losing his honour and reputation. Frederick also dismissed Schmettau. Frederick's troops then took quarters in the suburbs of Bautzen. The combined Prussian corps now amounted to some 45,000 men.
- At 4:00 a.m., Keith's Corps set off in two columns, each led by cavalry units. First came an avant-garde of 3 bns (Grenadier Battalion Finck, Grenadier Battalion Schenckendorff and Frei-Infanterie von Mayr) and 10 sqns of Seydlitz Hussars under Major-General von Itzenplitz. The rearguard, under Major-General Retzow, consisted of Grenadier Battalion Hacke, Grenadier Battalion Jung Billerbeck, Frei-Infanterie von Kalben and Szekely Hussars. Major-General von Grabow marched to the south of Arbesau with the right column. During the retreat from Aussig, the Prussians were harassed by Drašković and lost additional wagons. Around Arbesau and Kulm, the Prussian columns came under fire of light troops hidden in the bushes and woods while the flank of the western column became the target of guns posted on the heights north of Kulm. Keith sent Kannacher Infantry and Frei-Infanterie von Mayr to drive the enemy back. In this action, the Prussians lost 84 men killed or wounded. Keith encamped on the height of Nollendorf. He then sent his heavy artillery and baggage to Schönwald (present-day Krásný Les, Petrovice).
- De Ville's Corps, who had been betrayed by a spy, narrowly escaped encirclement near Löbau.
- Nádasdy's Corps reached Kreibitz between Kamnitz and Rumburg.
- The first division of a corps of 8,000 Grenzer light troops arriving from Hungary reached the camp of the main army. Most of them were destined fro Silesia.
After the junction with Keith, Frederick intended to advance against the Austrians and to lock the doors of Silesia and Saxony again.
|Order of Battle|
|Order of battle of Frederick's Army in Lusatia on July 30|
On July 30
- Frederick sent Zieten with a detachment (Werner Hussars, the Feldjäger zu Fuß and Prinz von Preußen Infantry) to reconnoitre the area of Hochkirch and Weißenberg. They found only small Austrian detachments around Hochkirch. However, some 2,500 light troops belonging to Beck's Corps had taken position at Weißenberg. At 8:00 p.m., Frederick advanced towards Weißenberg with part of his army (20 bns, 58 sqns) to better observe the Austrian positions, driving back Beck's light troops who retired to Bernstadt auf dem Eigen. The Duke of Bevern had assumed command of the part of the army (40 bns, 45 sqns) left at Bautzen.
- At Bautzen, three former Saxon units (Wietersheim Fusiliers, Grenadier Battalion Bähr and Grenadier Battalion Kahlenberg), then totalling 1,256 men, were disbanded and their troops incorporated into old Prussian regiments. Frederick's Army in Lusatia now counted 60 bns and 103 sqns.
- Keith's heavy artillery and baggage were sent from Schönwald to Cotta. His corps soon followed unmolested. According to Frederick's orders, Keith sent 15 bns, 20 sqns and 17 heavy guns at Berggießhübel and Cotta under Prince Moritz and marched to Goes with 10 bns, 40 sqns and eight 12-pdr guns on his way to effect a junction with Frederick's Army.
- Nádasdy's Corps marched to Rumburg. It was now within a day's march of the main army.
In the night of July 30 and 31, Frederick continued his march. Beck retired to Reichenbach.
On July 31
- At daybreak, Frederick's Corps reached Weißenberg. Prinz Ferdinand Infantry occupied the town while the rest of the corps encamped south of the Löbauer Wasser. Frei-Infanterie le Noble along with Zieten Hussars and Wartenberg Hussars were posted at Nostitz to secure the front of the camp while Frei-Infanterie de Angelelli along with Puttkamer Hussars and Werner Hussars were posted at Maltitz on the left flank. The Stromberg was occupied by the Feldjäger zu Fuß and 200 foot. Austrian troops were sent downstream along the Neisse to Priebus (present-day Przewóz) and Muskau (unidentified location). Frederick then sent Colonel von Warnery with 5 sqns of Wartenberg Hussars to re-established communication with Brandenburg.
- Keith's Corps reached Pirna.
On August 1
On August 2
- The second division (2,000 men) of a corps of 8,000 Grenzer light troops arriving from Hungary reached the camp of the main army. Half this division was sent to reinforce Loudon's Corps.
In the night of August 2 to 3 in Silesia, Kreytzen attacked Striegau. His initial attack was driven back.
On August 3
- In Silesia, the Austrian garrison of Striegau (part of Warasdiner-Creutzer Grenzer under Major Bauer) capitulated, obtaining free withdrawal under the condition that it would not operate against the Prussians for 48 hours. Kreytzen threw I./Garnison-Regiment Quadt into the place and returned to Schweidnitz with the rest of his force.
- In Silesia, Jahnus resolved to withdraw to Landeshut.
On August 4
- Keith established his camp behind the Schwarzwasser near Roth-Naußlitz along the road leading from Dresden to Bautzen to protect the line of communication between Frederick's Army and Dresden.
- Grenadier Battalion Schenckendorff and 100 hussars escorted a convoy of 800 wagons transporting sick and wounded from Bautzen to Gehda (unidentified location).
- Austrian light troops were roaming between Bautzen and Dresden and all convoys had to be strongly escorted.
The Prussian army operating in Lusatia was now organised in three corps in an area of 30 km extending from Weißenberg by Bautzen to the neighbourhoods of Bischofswerda. The entire army could be assembled within a day to march against the main Austrian army. Frederick wanted to launch an offensive as soon as a nine-days bread supply would be ready, but his bakery did not have enough flour to produce such a quantity of bread. He urged Retzow and Goltz to resupply the army as soon as possible.
In the night of August 4 to 5, another Prussian convoy of a few hundreds wagons left Roth-Naußlitz for Dresden, escorted by Grenadier Battalion Hacke, Pannewitz Infantry and 100 hussars under Major-General von Oldenburg. In Dresden, these wagons were then loaded with flour.
On August 6
- During a reconnaissance towards Reichenbach, a Prussian detachment under Colonel von Werner took 36 prisoners.
- The third division (1,500 men) of a corps of 8,000 Grenzer light troops arriving from Hungary reached the camp of the main army.
On August 7
- A grand celebration took place at the main camp in honour of the French victory at Hastenbeck (July 26).
- A detachment of two hussar rgts and 2,000 Grenzer light troops posted at Stolpen sent patrols as far as the wood near Radeberg where they captured several provision wagons going from Dresden to the Prussian army.
|Order of Battle|
|Order of battle of Bevern's Corps in Lusatia on August 8|
On August 8
- Frederick was informed that a strong Austrian corps was advancing on Löbau. He ordered Bevern to move his corps from Bautzen closer to Weißenberg to ease a junction with his own corps. Frederick then led a reconnaissance in force (Grenadier Battalion Kleist, Grenadier Battalion Anhalt, III,/Garde, Frei-Infanterie le Noble, the Feldjäger zu Fuß, Katte Dragoons, Zieten Hussars, Puttkamer Hussars and Werner Hussars) towards Löbau, encountering only small outposts of hussars and Grenzer light troops. However, Frederick was unable to confirm the presence of the main Austrian army. Meanwhile, Bevern marched in two columns to Wurschen with 30 bns and 45 sqns, leaving Major-General Rebentisch at Bautzen with 10 bns and 8 sqns with instructions to entrench his positions.
- Major-General von Meier with Bayreuth Dragoons and III./Anhalt Infantry set off from Keith's camp to join Oldenburg's supply convoy expected at Roth-Naußlitz. Meier left III./Anhalt at Bischofswerda and resumed his advance with Bayreuth Dragoons towards Schmiedefeld. In this wooded country, his column was attacked on both flanks by more than 1,000 hussars under Major-General Count Pálffy who drove it back to Harthau. III./Anhalt rushed to Harthau to support the dragoons. With a few cannon shots, it stopped the advance of the Austrian hussars. In this action, the dragoons lost 2 officers wounded (Captain von Massow, Lieutenant von Normann) 3 officers captured (Colonel von Düring, Lieutenants von Kospoth and von Frankenberg) and 10 men killed, 44 wounded and 57 taken prisoners. When Keith heard the sound of the guns towards Roth-Naußlitz, he immediately sent I./Asseburg Infantry and Meinicke Dragoons to support Meier. Major-General von Oldenburg was informed in time of this combat and redirected his convoy by Radeberg and Pulsnitz.
On August 9, the recently arrived third division (1,500 men) of Grenzer light troops was sent to reinforce Colonel Jahnus in Silesia.
On August 10, the Austrians were forced to post additional pickets around their camps to prevent desertion which was becoming serious.
On August 11
- Oldenburg's convoy finally reached Roth-Naußlitz.
On August 12
- Oldenburg's convoy arrived at Bautzen.
- His mission accomplished, Keith marched from Roth-Naußlitz to Bautzen.
- In Silesia, Kreytzen, at the instigation of Minister von Schlabredorff, finally decided to launch a serious offensive against Jahnus' Corps. He had previously recalled Grenadier Battalion Kreytzen from Cosel. In the evening, he marched in two columns to Hartmannsdorf with 6 bns (Grenadier Battalion Kreytzen, Grenadier Battalion Diezelsky, II./Sers Fusiliers, I./Garnison-Regiment Quadt, I./Garnison-Regiment Mützschefahl and II./Garnison-Regiment Mützschefahl) totalling more than 3,000 men and with 70 hussars. Kreytzen knew that Jahnus, expecting an attack, had assembled his troops at Landeshut.
- Lieutenant-Colonel Buttler set off from the camp of the main army with 600 Grenzer light troops and 150 horse and marched for Silesia.
Thanks to their numerous light troops (Beck's Corps at Schöps, Morocz's at Löbau, Hadik's at Gross Postwitz), the Austrian commanders were kept well informed of all movements of the Prussians. Furthermore, Nádasdy occupied Schandau and had sent FML Count Kálnoky with 5 bns and 3 hussar rgts to take position at Stolpen to operate against the line of communication between Dresden and Bischofswerda. With the main body of his corps, Nádasdy advanced towards Rumburg by Böhmisch-Kamnitz and Kreibitz.
On August 13
- In Silesia, Kreytzen's Corps attacked the Austrians in the Combat of Landeshut but was repulsed. After this victory, the Austrians were free to continue their raids in Silesia almost unopposed.
- The Commissary-General of the Army, Baron Netolitzky started to requisition 5,000 vehicles in Bohemia.
On August 14
- Keith's Corps marched to Hochkirch. Rebentisch remained at Bautzen with 8 sqns of Seydlitz Hussars. The 2 other sqns of Seydlitz Hussars were in Dresden. Finally, Warnery, who had been sent to Lower-Lusatia with 5 sqns, rejoined Bevern's Corps. Now that the bread convoy had reached Bautzen, Frederick was ready to launch his offensive.
- In Silesia, after his victory, Jahnus sent a detachment towards Freiburg and launched new raids in the Silesian countryside.
- Nádasdy's Corps advanced from Rumburg and encamped between Herwigsdorf and Zittau. He planned to advance by Ostritz downstream along the Neisse to threaten Frederick's communications with Silesia.
- Beck's Corps was posted between Löbau and Görlitz.
- Morocz's detachment (1 hussar rgt, 1 Grenzer bn) was at Löbau.
- Hadik's Corps was at Groß Postwitz. Hadik reported that a spy he had in Bautzen had informed him that Frederick intended to attack the main Austrian army in the next few days.
- Lieutenant-General Kalnoky was posted at Neustadt near Stolpen with Kálnoky Hussars, 3 sqns Kaiser Hussars and 3 Grenzer bns
- On the left, General Schroger commanded Nádasdy Hussars and 3 Grenzer bns.
|Order of Battle|
|Order of battle of the Prussian Army in Lusatia on August 15|
On August 15
- Frederick's Corps suddenly marched in two columns from Weißenberg. His avant-garde consisted of 30 sqns (Katte Dragoons, Zieten Hussars, Werner Hussars and 5 sqns of Puttkamer Hussars), Frei-Infanterie le Noble, Frei-Infanterie de Angelelli and the Feldjäger zu Fuß. It marched between Löbau and Reichenbach to Bernstadt, harassed by Austrian light troops along the way, and encamped north of Bernstadt. Angelelli and Le Noble Freikorps along with the Feldjägers took position in the wood to secure the right flank. The hussars were sent forward at Pliesnitz (unidentified location).
- Bevern's Corps marched from Wurschen towards Herwigsdorf. While on the march, north of Spittel, Puttkamer Hussars drove back a strong hussar party.
- Keith's Corps marched from Hochkirch and effected a junction with Bevern's Corps and Keith took command of these united corps which now formed the main body of the Prussian army. All bread wagons accompanied this army and the passage of the Löbauer Wasser caused important delays. The army encamped west of Herwigsdorf which was occupied by 5 grenadier bns. However, the last bns reached the camp only during the night.
- Reacting to Hadik's recent report, Prince Charles and Daun sent their baggage to Grottau. Furthermore, when the march of a Prussian corps to Bernstadt was confirmed, they held a council of war. However, with a corps at Bernstadt and another one at Herwigsdorf, they could not yet figure the exact direction of the attack. They finally decided to leave their own army in its present camp but to prepare a new camp facing Bernstadt as an alternative position.
- Around noon, Nádasdy's Corps marched towards Ostritz. One of his detachment occupied Ostritz but the town was immediately retaken by the Prussians who captured Nádasdy's personal baggage. Nádasdy's Corps had to return to its previous camp between Herwigsdorf and Zittau.
- Colonel Mitrowsky was sent from Peterswalde (present-day Petrovice) with Hadik Hussars, 1 bn of Karlstädter-Oguliner Grenzer, 3 coys of Karlstädter-Ottochaner Grenzer and 2 sqns of Karlstädter Grenz-Hussars to observe Moritz's Corps
- For his part, Hadik was still posted at Groß Postwitz with 6 sqns of Baranyay Hussars, 5 sqns of Jazygier-Kumanier Hussars, 2 bns of Karlstädter-Szluiner Grenzer and 2 bns of Slavonisch-Gradiskaner Grenzer.
Altogether, Frederick had now about 51,000 men. By these manoeuvres, Frederick had re-established communication with Silesia.
On August 16
- At 6:00 a.m., Keith's Army set off from Herwigsdorf in two columns. The right column under the Duke of Bevern marched to Bernstadt, followed by the pontoons, the heavy artillery and the baggage. The left column under Winterfeldt took the direction of Bernstadt by Kemnitz. Around 11:00 a.m., the heads of the two columns were approaching Bernstadt. Frederick then ordered his own corps to strike tents. He then advanced at the head of 13 bns (grenadier bn Diringshofen, Anhalt, Kleist and Grenadier Garde, Garde, Prinz Ferdinand Infantry, Itzenplitz Infantry, Freikorps Angelelli, Le Noble and Kalben), the Feldjäger zu Fuß and 40 sqns (Katte Dragoons, Württemberg Dragoons, Zieten Hussars, Werner Hussars, Puttkamer Hussars) by Dittersbach (unidentified location) and Burkersdorf (unidentified location). Meanwhile the rest of his corps effected a junction with Keith's Army. Overall, Frederick and Keith were at the head of 60½ bns (35,600 foot), 133 sqns (15,000 cavalrymen and hussars) for a total of 50,600 men with 72 heavy pieces. The right column of the main army passed the Pliesnitz at Kunnersdorf (unidentified location) and took the direction of Wittgendorf by Neuendorf (unidentified location) and Schönbrunn. The left column followed Frederick's avant-garde. The hussars of the avant-garde engaged Austrian hussars near Burkersdorf and drove them back. They then engaged 200 Austrian cuirassiers north of Wittgendorf, capturing 22.
- Shortly after 3:00 p.m., Frederick reconnoitred Austrian positions from the heights west of Dittelsdorf while his army advanced in three divisions. His right wing was in the Wittgendorf wood, his centre at Dittelsdorf and his left at Hirschfelde on the Neisse. Frederick saw that the Austrians were strengthening their forces on the Schanzberg and establishing heavy artillery there and on the plateau between Wittgendorf and Radgendorf (unidentified location). He considered the Schanzberg as unassailable and decided to make himself master of the churchyard of Wittgendorf and to occupy it with infantry. While the Austrians were, with some confusion reorganising their positions, despite the late hour, Frederick would have been able to take advantage of the situation if his main body had been in its assigned position. However, his avant-garde had taken a too great advance while the main body was delayed by the hilly and wooded terrain. By the time Frederick's avant-garde established contact with the Austrians, the main body was still near Dittersbach. Frederick gave orders to speed up the march of the main body and sent the bns of the avant-garde into the woods west of Dittelsdorf. He also ordered Frei-Infanterie le Noble to attack the churchyard of Wittgendorf. Which was defended by Grenzer light troops. Rapidly 400 commandeered troops where sent from the heights on both sides of Wittgendorf to reinforce the defenders. Frederick then sent I./Prinz Ferdinand Infantry to support Le Noble. Austrian batteries opened on these two advancing bns and on the rest of the infantry of the avant-garde who had deployed at the edge of the woods. The attack on Wittgendorf was finally repulsed.
- Around 6:00 p.m., the heads of the columns of the main Prussian army finally arrived. Frederick deployed the infantry in two lines between the Buchberg and Hirschfelde, the cavalry forming a third line. Frei-Infanterie von Kalben and the Feldjäger zu Fuß occupied the Buchberg; Grenadier Battalion Manteuffel, Hirschfelde, with 200 men deployed between Hirschfelde and the Neisse. Flankguards were posted between the two infantry lines: 5 bns on the right wing and 4 bns on the left. Hussars secured the front of the Prussian positions. Frei-Infanterie de Angelelli and Frei-Infanterie le Noble guarded the baggage. Frederick established his headquarters in Dittelsdorf. The army encamped upon their arms without tents.
- In the evening, Frederick sent adjutants Krusemarck and Gaudi to reconnoitre the area around Wittgendorf towards Drausendorf. They spotted only two bns deployed there but a strong battery was being erected on a hill near Dittelsdorf. Frederick consulted with Bevern, Winterfeldt and Lestwitz, who knew the region, and decided to attack on the next day. However, Prince Heinrich made representations on the difficulty of an attack on such a strong position. He was of the opinion that, even in case of victory, losses would be so heavy that Frederick would not be able to hold the field against the Austrians.
- The advanced elements of the Austrian army were completely surprised by Frederick's manoeuvres. Beck was chased into Ostritz.
- In the morning, reacting to Frederick's unexpected manoeuvre, Prince Charles redeployed his army in a very strong position on both sides of the Wittgenbach in front of the Eckartsberg. His right wing extended up to the Neisse through Radgendorf while his left wing was anchored upon the high ground of Oberseifersdorf. His whole line, amply supported by artillery, presented a concave front to his Prussian opponents. It faced the hollow around the Eckersbach and the villages of Ober-Seifersdorf and Eckartsberg and had the village of Wittgendorf to its rear. The Austrian right wing was anchored on the woody Schanzberg, north-west from Wittgendorf. When the Prussians were seen approaching, the Austrians stroke their tents and took up arms. Prince Charles also threw parties of Grenzer light troops and 400 infantry into the village of Wittgendorf. Other Grenzer light troops were scattered into the surrounding woods. The Austrian Reserve corps stood on the opposite bank of the Neisse along with Nádasdy's Corps. These two corps were deployed with their left to the Neisse and their right protected by the thick woods of Reichenau.
- While the main Austrian army was taking new positions on each side of Wittgendorf, other Austrian troops appeared on the other bank of the Neisse, south of Gießmannsdorf (unidentified location). It was the Reserve (16 bns, 4 cavalry rgts and 2,400 Grenzer light troops) under the Duke of Arenberg sent to secure the right flank of the main army. Prince Charles sent 5 additional cavalry rgts to reinforce Arenberg. Meanwhile, Nádasdy marched from Herwigsdorf, behind the right wing of first line, to Drausendorf.
The two armies only separated by the Wittgendorf hollow then cannonaded each other till sunset.
On August 17
- At daybreak, Frederick rode to reconnoitre the Austrian right wing. Beck and Morocz had advanced from Löbau south of Groß-Hennersdorf against the right flank of Frederick's Army. Frederick realised that the Austrian position was impregnable. He decided to send a strong corps mostly composed of cavalry to the right bank of the Neisse. This corps would then advance on Reibersdorf (present-day Rybarzowice) on the Austrian right flank and threaten the line of communication of the Austrian army with Gabel. Frederick charged Winterfeldt of this mission, giving him 15 bns (grenadier bns Schenckendorff, Benckendorff, Kahlden, Unruh, Manteuffel, Anhalt and Diringshofen; Pannewitz Infantry, Manteuffel Infantry, Lestwitz Infantry and Tresckow Infantry), 50 sqns (Normann Dragoons, Württemberg Dragoons, Bayreuth Dragoons, Zieten Hussars, Puttkamer Hussars and Werner Hussars) and 14 heavy pieces. The broken bridge at Hirschfelde was re-established and two pontoon-bridges thrown across the Neisse below Hirschfelde.
- At 9:00 a.m., Winterfeldt passed the Neisse at Hirschfelde. Arenberg's and Nádasdy's artilleries opened on Winterfeldt's columns. Winterfeldt planted his heavy artillery in a position north-west of Hirschfelde to answer. He left Grenadier Battalion Schenckendorff and Grenadier Battalion Kahlden to cover the artillery (soon reinforced by Grenadier Battalion Hacke and Grenadier Battalion Kleist sent by Frederick as reinforcements) and advanced with the rest of his corps east of Rohnau (present-day Trzciniec), planning to turn the Austrian right flank by Seitendorf (unidentified location) and Reichenau. However, a strong corps of Austrian infantry (estimated at 20,000 by Winterfeldt) guarded the passage of the stream in these quarters.
- Meanwhile, Frederick had replaced the bns of his second line, which had been assigned to Winterfeldt's Corps, with 20 sqns taken from his third line. He also established batteries of heavy artillery in front of his first line. Around noon, heavy rain broke out and, during the afternoon, Frederick let his men pitch tents. Winterfeldt encamped east of Rohnau which was occupied by 2 grenadier bns.
- Seeing the Prussians throwing bridges over the Neisse, Prince Charles sent Nádasdy's Corps to reinforce Arenberg's Reserve on the right bank of the Neisse, allowing him to extend his right towards Reichenau. The Austrians were deployed behind the marshy Kipperbach.
- In the evening, an Austrian detachment occupied Reichenau.
In the night of August 17 to 18, the Austrians broke down four of the ten remaining bridges on the Neisse.
On August 18, both armies remained face to face. Frederick detached Major-General von Grumbkow with 5 bns (1 bn of Fouqué Fusiliers, 2 bns of Kreytzen Fusiliers and 2 bns of Kurssell Fusiliers), 10 sqns (Prinz von Schönaich-Carolath Cuirassiers and 5 sqns of Wartenberg Hussars) and 12 heavy pieces to Görlitz, marching by Otstritz, to re-establish communication with Silesia.
In the night of August 18 to 19, parties of Grenzer light troops harassed the right flank of the cavalry camp and Frederick sent Frei-Infanterie le Noble and Frei-Infanterie de Angelelli to cover the camp.
On August 19, both armies remained face to face once more.
- Frederick's Army was running short of bread. He had his two pontoon-bridges on the Neisse removed.
- Grumbkow took position at Görlitz which had been evacuated by the Austrians.
- The Marquis de Clerici with 6 bns crossed the Neisse and deployed in the gap between the Reserve Corps and O'Donnell's cavalry.
In the night of August 19 to 20, Frederick sent his pontoons and his baggage forward to Schlegel, escorted by 3 bns (Grenadier Battalion Nimschöfsky, I./Anhalt, II./Anhalt) and 10 sqns (Stechow Dragoons and Blanckensee Dragoons) under Major-General von Wietersheim.
|Order of Battle|
|Order of battle of Prussian corps operating in Lusatia and Saxony on August 20|
On August 20
- At 5:00 a.m., Frederick's Army stroke its tents and retired to the heights south-west of Schlegel. It then marched in two columns under the protection of Prince Heinrich's rearguard consisting of 7 bns (Prinz von Preußen Infantry, Kannacher Infantry, Freikorps Le Noble, Angelelli and Kalben), the Feldjäger zu Fuß, 10 sqns (Katte Dragoons, Meinicke Dragoons) and 200 hussars. At Burkersdorf, the Freikorps of the rearguard engaged pursuing light troops, losing some 30 men in the fight. Frederick reached Bernstadt with the left column and established his headquarters there. His troops encamped behind the Pliesnitz. Furthermore, 3 grenadier bns and the hussars remained on the right bank to cover the camp. Frei-Infanterie Angelelli, Frei-Infanterie Le Noble and the Feldjägers occupied the forest on the right flank; and Frei-Infanterie Kalben occupied Kemnitz. Bevern passed the Pliesnitz with the right column at Alt-Bernsdorf (more probably Berzdorf) and Schönau and encamped behind the stream. The right wing was 2 km away from the left wing. 2 bns occupied the Huthberg on the right bank; 1 bn was posted at Tauchritz (unidentified location) to maintain communication with Winterfeldt's Corps who had retired from Rohnau downstream along the Neisse at Radmeritz (present-day Radomierzyce, Poland) behind the Wittich.
- Morocz's and Beck's Corps advanced to Dittersbach and Neundorf on the left bank of the Neisse.
- Nádasdy's Corps reached Königshain (present-day Działoszyn) on the right bank, with FML Count Kálnoky's detachment being sent forward to Seidenberg (present-day Zawidów, Poland).
- Hadik Hussars, who were posted at Groß-Postwitz, unsuccessfully harassed a convoy of flour on the left bank of the Spree near Königsbrück. This convoy, escorted by Colonel von Brösigte with 4 bns (I./Alt-Württemberg Fusiliers, I./Sers Fusiliers, I./Jung-Braunschweig Fusiliers, I./Wied Fusiliers) and 200 hussars from Rebentisch's Corps, was advancing from Dresden to Bautzen.
- The main Austrian army remained in its entrenched camp on the heights north of Zittau.
Frederick had failed to obtain an open battle who would have allowed him to relaunch a new offensive in Bohemia. Pressure was increasing in Saxony and Hanover and he had to reconsider his entire plan of operations.
From August 20 to 24, realising that the Austrians would not move from their entrenched positions near Zittau, Frederick arranged his army to watch them and to guard Silesia. Bevern and Winterfeldt would take command in his absence.
On August 21, Prince Charles detached General Schroger with 2 Grenzer bns and 1 hussar rgt towards Silesia.
By August 23, Morocz with 2 hussar rgts and Beck's Corps were posted near Grosshennersdorf. Petazzi has taken position in the woods in front of Bernstadt with 2,000 men of the Karlstädter-Lykaner Grenzer.
On August 24, a Prussian detachment on its way to Silesia surprised Buttler's detachment near Greiffenberg (present-day Gryfów Śląski).
Frederick leaves for Saxony giving command to Bevern
On August 25, Frederick left Bernstadt for Saxony with a sizeable force (15 bns, 23 sqns). Bevern with 36,000 men (25,000 foot, 11,000 horse) remained in Lusatia, near Görlitz. Meanwhile, Prince Charles was still lying quiet near Zittau with an Austrian army estimated to about 95,000 men. Maria Theresa and the Hofkriegsrath at length despatched Chancellor Kaunitz to stir up Prince Charles to action.
On August 26, Nádasdy's Corps (5 bns, 10 grenadier coys, 5 hussar rgts and 2,500 Grenzer light troops) advanced to Seidenberg and was replaced at Königshain by Arenberg's Corps (7 bns, 12 grenadier coys and 2 cavalry rgts.
Bevern lay with his main body in camps at Bernstadt and Schönau, near Görlitz, where it received its supplies from Dresden. Bevern had left a garrison of 10 bns and some squadrons under Prince Francis of Brunswick at Bautzen to protect his bakery and his line of communication with Dresden. Bevern himself had to confront the Austrians in the Görlitz Country. Winterfeldt was still on the opposite side of the Neisse with his line extending from Radmeritz to Buhra (unidentified location).
On August 27, Nádasdy's Corps was encamped with its left in front of Wiese (unidentified location) and its right behind Seidenberg. His front was covered by Petazzi's light troops.
On August 29, Morocz at the head of 300 hussars harassed a convoy near Reichenbach.
On August 31, Bevern left his camp at Bernstadt and Schönau and moved to Landeskrone. Meanwhile, Winterfeldt broke his camp at Radmeritz and moved beyond the Neisse to Moys (present-day Zgorzelec) where bridges were thrown across the river to keep up communication between the two armies.
Görlitz is located on the left bank of the Neisse with fine hilly country all round. Bevern had a strong camp leaning on the heights with Görlitz in its lap. Winterfeldt with 10,000 men (15 bns, 45 sqns) was beyond Görlitz, on the right bank of the Neisse, united to Bevern by bridges. Winterfeldt line lay with his back to Görlitz with brooks and fencible places flanking him nearby the little hamlet of Moys. Some short distance beyond Moys, Winterfeldt had 2,000 of his grenadiers planted on the top of a hill called the Moysberg, a fine outpost with proper batteries atop and with hussar squadrons and hussar pickets sprinkled about. It is this Moysberg that Prince Charles chose to attack.
On September 3, the expected Prussian convoy arrived at Bautzen from Dresden with the necessary supplies, especially much needed flour.
On September 5, Prince Francis of Brunswick left Bautzen and escorted the supply convoy to Görlitz. Meanwhile, Prince Charles sent a detachment towards Bautzen to intercept the convoy but this detachment lost its time in the attack of a castle defended by Frei-Infanterie de Chossignon. At length, this freikorps surrendered but the Austrians had lost any chance of capturing the Prussian convoy.
On Tuesday September 6, Prince Charles sent Nádasdy to the right bank of the Neisse, forward upon Moys. Nádasdy, with his 15,000 men, was ordered to seize the Moysberg, defended by only 2,000 Prussian grenadiers, at dawn on September 7. Meanwhile, Daun advanced with the main body on the left bank of the Neisse from Zittau towards Görlitz to be within reach.
Blue = Prussian Corps
Combat of Moys and Prussian retreat on Breslau
On September 7, Nádasdy won the Combat of Moys. Winterfeldt, probably the best Prussian general, was killed in the action.
From September 7 to 9, Bevern's bakery was busy baking bread. However, the quantity of flour received was insufficient and the Prussian army had to move closer to other magazines.
|Marschall's Cavalry at Lauban|
On September 10, Bevern left Görlitz for Silesia. He crossed the Neisse in presence of the enemy without loss. Meanwhile, Lieutenant-Colonel Mathesen at the head of a battalion of Slavonisch-Brooder Grenzer entered in the suburb of Görlitz to harass Bevern's rearguard but was soon driven back by Frei-Infanterie von Kalben. Colonel Brentano immediately came to Mathesen's support with 500 men of the Warasdiner-Sankt Georger Grenzer. Together, they launched a new assault and manage to drive the Prussians out of Görlitz, capturing a 25-pdr piece, 3 ammunition wagons, some baggage wagons and 60 oxen. Prince Charles and Daun followed up leaving only a rearguard of some 12,000 men consisting of light troops under Hadik and Morocz between Stolpen and Dresden in Saxony and another force (11 bns and 6 cavalry rgts) under Marschall at Lauban (present-day Luban) to protect Lusatia. Prince Charles and Daun were constantly on the heels of Bevern, march after march.
On September 11, Bevern passed the Queiss. The same day, Prince Charles and Daun passed the Neisse on four bridges.
On September 12, Bevern reached Bunzlau (present-day Boleslawiec) where he passed the Bober. The same day, Prince Charles and Daun reached Lauban.
On September 19, Bevern reached Liegnitz (present-day Legnica) country. The same day, Prince Charles was at Jauer (present-day Jawor). Bevern remained a few days in Liegnitz to bake bread for the army and to consume the great magazines of forage. Meanwhile, he made detachments (some 15,000 men) to put Schweidnitz, Glogau (present-day Glogow), Breslau (present-day Wroclaw) and Glatz (present-day Klodzko) in the best state of defence. Two bns were sent to Glogau and there were now in Schweidnitz 11 bns and 10 hussar sqns. However, only 2 weak battalions garrisoned Breslau.
Taking advantage of these delays, Prince Charles managed to bar Bevern from Schweidnitz, the chief stronghold of Silesia, and from Breslau, the chief city.
Towards the end of September, Frederick's advance towards the Franco-Imperial Army in Saxony and Bevern's slow retreat towards Breslau (present-day Wrocław) in Silesia had opened a wide gap in the Prussian lines. The Austrian high command resolved to take advantage of the situation and to launch a raid on Berlin. The forces destined to this expedition were placed under the command of Count Andreas Hadik. FZM Marschall, who was posted with his corps at Lauban, detached 1,200 foot and 800 horse (under Colonel Count Gourcy of Prinz Savoyen Dragoons) from his corps and from the garrison of Zittau to join Hadik's Corps.
On September 25, the first part of Marschall's detachment (600 foot and 800 horse) set off from Lauban and marched to the assigned rendezvous at Elsterwerda.
On September 26, the Austrians attacked Bevern's positions at Barschdorf (unidentified location), forcing him to retire. Bevern now made a beautiful manoeuvre, striking out leftwards and crossing the Oder. This gave the impression that he was making for Glogau. However, he turned to right, when across, and got to Breslau from the east side of the Oder. Nevertheless, this brilliant manoeuvre left Schweidnitz isolated behind the Austrian lines, allowing Prince Charles to besiege it.
On September 30, FZM Marschall marched to Görlitz with his entire corps to cover Hadik's raid.
On October 1, Bevern resolved to entrench his army (30,000 men) on the southern side of Breslau. He had the marshy Lohe in front and the broad Oder to rear, with Breslau and its supply to his right.
On October 24, FZM Marschall's Corps (now approx. 15,000 men) took position at Bautzen where it remained for several weeks.
Siege of Schweidnitz
On October 26, Nádasdy with 20,000 men (including the Bavarian and Württemberger contingents and the Saxon Chevauxlegers) began the siege of the Fortress of Schweidnitz which contained one of the most important Prussian magazine in Silesia. Meanwhile, Prince Charles covered the approach with 60,000 men to prevent any intervention by Bevern.
Even though Frederick was still very busy in Saxony, he made instant arrangement for Silesia. Prince Heinrich was ordered to maintain the Saale and guard Saxony. Similarly, Marshal Keith was ordered to cross the Erzgebirge through Marienberg and Passberg with a small corps and to advance into Bohemia to draw the attention of the Austrians to that side.
On November 12, a few days after his victory at Rossbach, Frederick took 13,600 men (19 bns, 28 sqns) of his own army and marched from Leipzig. He passed by Torgau, Muhlberg and Grossenhain.
On November 18, Frederick was only 8 km from Bautzen where the Austrian corps of FZM Marschall was posted.
On November 19, Marschall retired to Löbau and later on to Zittau.
Frederick resumed his advance through Bautzen and Weissenberg. He then crossed the Queiss and the Bober as fast as he could to relieve Schweidnitz. Meanwhile, Keith got into Bohemia through the defiles of Passberg and marched towards Prague seizing an important magazine at Leitmeritz.
Hadik's Corps who was also posted in Lusatia to hinder Frederick's advance retired before him; and Marschall's Corps was sent to Bohemia to drive back Keith. However, his corps arrived too late.
On November 14, Seers, governor of Schweidnitz, capitulated.
On November 18 at Grossenhain, Frederick learned that Schweidnitz had capitulated on November 14.
On November 19 in the evening, Nádasdy joined Prince Charles bringing the united Austrian army to 80,000 men. Nádasdy's Corps deployed on the right wing between Bethlern (present-day Bielany) and Oppenau (present-day Oporow). Prince Charles could now concentrate his attention on Bevern's force entrenched at Breslau.
To prevent the Austrians, who were now far superior in numbers, to take possession of the suburbs of Ohlau (present-day Olawa) near Breslau and to turn his left flank, Bevern planted several redoubts before these suburbs. Zieten's Corps (7 bns, all the dragoons and 2 hussar rgts) then advanced between Gräbschen (present-day Grabiszyn) and Gabitz (present-day Gajowicka), to oppose a front to Nádasdy.
On November 21 from Bautzen, Frederick sent a letter to Bevern instructing him to avoid battle with the Austrians.
Battle of Breslau
On November 22, the Austrian army attacked Bevern's entrenchments at Breslau. The Austrians won the Battle of Breslau after a whole day of heavy fighting. Bevern was obliged to abandon Breslau at its fate and he retreated under the cover of night, leaving General Lestwitz with 8 bns to defend the city.
On November 24 at daybreak, while visiting the advanced posts of his army, Bevern was captured by a party of Grenzer light troops. Once Bevern captured, General Kyau took command of the Prussian army. Kyau left Breslau to its fate and made towards Glogau. In the evening, General Lestwitz, the Prussian commandant in Breslau, accepted the terms offered for the surrender of Breslau. The garrison was allowed free withdrawal but massively deserted. The same day, the Austrian army received a reinforcement of 10,000 men.
Prince Charles advances against Frederick
On November 23, Frederick was at Görlitz, the tenth day of his march, when he heard of the Battle at Breslau.
On November 24, at Naumburg on the Queiss (present-day Nowogrodziec), Frederick received full details of the Battle of Breslau and learned that Bevern had been defeated. However, he still ignored that Bevern had been captured. Frederick then force marched towards Breslau with the firm intention of preventing the fall of Breslau, Prince Charles had thrown a garrison into Liegnitz on Friedrich's road while he himself lay encamped in front of Breslau. Prince Charles commanded a force of some 80,000 men.
On November 25, Frederick sent two letters destined to Bevern to stress the importance of holding at all cost in Breslau and forbidding to surrender the city...
On November 27, Kyau marched by Stroppen (present-day Strupina) and reached Hünern (present-day Psary) where he received Frederick's letter sent two days before.
On November 28, Kyau arrived at Guhrau (present-day Góra) where he received Frederick's orders that he shall be put in arrest and that Zieten shall take command in his place. Frederick also ordered Zieten to bring his army round by Glogau and to rendezvous with him at Parchwitz (present-day Prochowice) on December 2. Frederick then passed north of Liegnitz, merely ignoring its Austrian garrison, and arrived at Parchwitz on November 28, taking an Austrian detachment by surprise, killing 50 of them and capturing 150 men. Frederick rested his weary troops there, waiting for Zieten to join him.
On December 2, as planned, Zieten after crossing the Oder at Glogau, arrived at Parchwitz with the remnants of Bevern's army (some 15,000 men). Frederick was now at the head of an army of about 28,600 men, a very small army in comparison with the Austrian army which counted more than 80,000 men...
On December 3, Prince Charles further reinforced the garrison of Liegnitz while Frederick rested his troops.
In the night of December 3, Frederick assembled his generals and addressed a memorable speech to them. Meanwhile, the Austrians had held a council of war and decided to come out of their defences and to meet Frederick in a pitched fight. Daun had objected to this aggressive stance but to no avail.
Sunday December 4 at 4:00 a.m., Frederick marched from Parchwitz straight towards the Austrian camp. The vanguard consisted of 10 bns with 800 volunteers from the whole army at their head, all the Feldjäger zu Fuß, all the freikorps, all the hussar regiments (to the exception of Werner Hussars), the dragoon regiments of Czettritz, Normann and Jung-Krockow, and a battery of 10 heavy 12-pdrs. The army followed in four columns by the right flank. The first column consisted of the cavalry of the right wing of the first and second line. The second column was composed of the infantry of the right wing of the first and second line. Their rearguard was formed of the 3 bns (Grenadiers 29/31 Östenreich, VI. Standing Grenadier Battalion and I./Prinz Ferdinand Infantry) which covered the baggage. The third column consisted of the infantry of the left wing of the first and second line. The fourth column was formed of the cavalry of the left wing of the first and second line. Werner Hussars had the rearguard. The heavy artillery were divided into two brigades and moved behind the second and third columns. Frederick himself was in the vanguard, he planned to establish his quarters at Neumarkt (present-day Sroda Slaska), a little town about 22 km from Parchwitz.
Early in the afternoon, while Frederick was only a few km from Neumarkt, he learned that there were 1,000 grenzers and hussars in this town, with the Austrian bakery at work there and engineer people marking out an Austrian camp. Therefore, before entering Neumarkt, Frederick sent a regiment to ride quietly round it on both sides and to seize a height he knew of. Once this height had been seized by his troops, Frederick burst the barrier of Neumarkt with the hussars, volunteers and freikorps of the vanguard, and dashed in upon the 1,000 light troops, flinging them out in extreme hurry. The light troops then found the height occupied and their retreat cut off. Of the 1,000 light troops, 569 were taken prisoners and 120 slain. Better still, the Austrian bakery in Neumarkt delivered 80,000 bread-rations, Prince Charles had exposed his bakery too far ahead of his army.
Meanwhile, fearing that Frederick would move on Striegau to cut his line of communication with Bohemia, Prince Charles had come across the Weistritz River (more commonly called Schweidnitz Water), leaving all his heavy guns at Breslau, and lay encamped that night in a long line perpendicular to Frederick's march, some 16 km ahead of him. Prince Charles had now learned with surprise how his bakery had been snapped up by the Prussians.
Battle of Leuthen
On December 5, through wonderful manoeuvring, the small Prussian army (28,600 men) of Frederick managed to defeat the much larger Austrian army (70,000 men) during the famous Battle of Leuthen (present-day Lutynia).
On December 6, Frederick ordered a day of rest but advanced a few troops towards Pilsnitz (present-day Pilczyce), Neukirch (present-day Zerniki) and Gross-Mochbern (present-day Mochobor Wielki). The Austrians had fled across the Lohe River and were endeavouring to assemble in the neighbourhood of Breslau where Prince Charles and Daun had deployed in the Lohe entrenchments between Gräbschen and Schmiedefeld (present-day Kuzniki). However, most of their army was dispersed into woods, office-houses, farm-villages and over a wide space of country. As the day rose, troops began to dribble in. At 3:00 p.m., Prince Charles marched with some 33,000 men in two columns towards Kothensirben (unidentified location), heading for Schweidnitz, with the vanguard under Nádasdy and the rearguard under Serbelloni. A garrison of some 17,000 men under Sprecher was left to defend Breslau.
On December 7, the Prussian army moved in two columns by their right and crossed the Weistritz River (Schweidnitz Water). General Buccow was posted with the Austrian rearguard between Klein-Mochbern (present-day Muchobor Maly ) and Höfchen (present-day Dworek). When the Prussian hussars approached, the Austrian rearguard retired. The same day, the Austrian main army under Prince Charles continued its retreat up to Mantre near Poehrau (unidentified location) where it crossed the Lohe.
Siege of Breslau
On December 7, Frederick sent Zieten with 3 grenadier bns, 3 musketeer bns, 4 hussar sqns, 5 dragoon sqns and 2 freikorps bns in pursuit of the Austrian army. Zieten pursued the Austrians until December 9, capturing more than 2,000 prisoners and 3,000 wagons. Meanwhile, Frederick laid siege to Breslau defended by Sprecher with 17,000 men. On December 21, the Austrian garrison deposited arms after a vigorous defence.
Austrian army leaves Silesia
As mentioned above, on December 6, Prince Charles and Daun, leaving a garrison in Breslau, had begun their retreat towards Schweidnitz with the rest of their army.
On December 8, Prince Charles and Daun reached Langen-Seifersdorf (unidentified location).
On December 9, the Austrian main army marched to Bogendorf (present-day Witoszówka) near Schweidnitz and encamped there. A detachment of 2,500 men was then sent to reinforce the garrison of Liegnitz (1,000 men). During the following days, Schweidnitz was garrisoned and supplied to sustain a siege. In the first days of their retreat, the Austrians had been chased by Zieten who took 2,000 prisoners and innumerable baggage and wagons. The retreat was conducted under adverse weather: heavy rains, deep mud, with cutting snow-blasts.
On December 14, Prince Charles and Daun took their quarters between Freiberg (unidentified location) and Reichenau. They then continued to Landshut and down the mountains, home to Königgrätz (present-day Hradec Králové).
On December 16, a Prussian detachment under Driesen appeared in the neighbourhood of Liegnitz.
On December 17, the Austrian reinforcements (2,500 men) sent to Liegnitz finally arrived at destination, bringing the garrison to a strength of 3,500 men. This garrison was under the command of Major Baron von Bülow.
On December 23, Frederick detached Prince Moritz of Anhalt-Dessau with a large corps (about 10,000 men) of infantry and cavalry, and a considerable train of artillery to dislodge the Austrian garrison of Liegnitz.
On December 24, Frederick accompanied by his brother, Prince Ferdinand, left for Schweidnitz.
At Christmas, the Austrian army had finally reached Königgrätz, it then counted only 37,000 rank and file (9,000 foot and 28,000 horse and grenzers), 22,000 of whom were gone to hospital. A large number of men had deserted during the retreat. The same day, Prince Moritz of Anhalt-Dessau arrived in front of Liegnitz. Including Driesen's detachment, he had about 16,000 men under his command. The Katz River was frozen, making it quite easy to launch an assault on the town. The prince summoned Bülow who refused to surrender unless he and his garrison were allowed to freely retire to Bohemia.
On December 26, the Austrian garrison of Liegnitz, seeing no hope, consented to withdraw.
On December 27 at noon, the Austrian garrison left the town with the honour of war, drum beating, colours flying and with 6 guns; and retired to Bohemia where it reached Königgrätz after a march of 9 days. Large supplies of provisions fell into the hands of the Prussians together with a number of guns and a great quantity of ammunition.
However, the Prussians could not besiege Schweidnitz till spring. Except Schweidnitz, Austria had now no foot of ground in Silesia.
This article incorporates texts from the following books which are now in the public domain:
- Anonymous: A Complete History of the Present War, from its Commencement in 1756, to the End of the Campaign, 1760, London, 1761, pp. 223-226, 236-240
- Archenholz, J. W.: The History of the Seven Years War in Germany, translated by F. A. Catty, Francfort, 1843, pp. 70-71
- Carlyle, T.: History of Friedrich II of Prussia vol. 18
- Donnersmarck, Victor Amadaeus Henckel von: Militaerischer Nachlass, Karl Zabeler, 1858
- Gorani, Joseph: Mémoires, Paris: Gallimard, 1944, pp. 64-82
- Relation de la bataille de Leuthen, Vienna, January 1758, pp. 472-477
- Relation de la bataille de Lissa, Berlin, January 1758, pp. 477-483
- Grosser Generalstab Kriegsgeschichtliche Abteilung II: Die Kriege Friedrichs des Grossen, Part 3 Der siebenjährige Krieg 1756-1763, Vol. 3 Kolin, Berlin, 1901, pp. 115-196, Anhang 30, 38, 39 43
- Kyaw, Rudolf v.: Chronik des adeligen und freiherrlichen Geschlechtes von Kyaw, Leipzig, 1870 pp. 385-399
- Tempelhoff, Fr., History of the Seven Years' War Vol. I pp. 121-147 & 176-188 & 190-, as translated by Colin Lindsay, Cadell, London, 1793
- Vanicek, Fr.: Specialgeschichte der Militärgrenze aus Originalquellen und Quellenwerken geschöpft, Vol. II, Vienna: Kaiserlich-Königlichen Hof- und Staatsdruckerei, 1875, pp. 427-433
Cogswell, Neil, Journal of Horace St. Paul 1757: The Advance to Nismes, Seven Years War Association Journal Vol. XI No. 3 and Vol. XII No. 2
Fuller J. F. C., The Decisive Battles of the Western World, Granada Publishing Ltd, 1970, pp. 571-576
Salisch, M. von: Treue Deserteure – Das kursächsische Militär und der Siebenjährige Krieg, Munich, 2009
Schuster, O. and F. Francke: Geschichte der Sächsischen Armee, 2. part, Leipzig 1885
Skala, Harald: Rückzug des preussischen Heeres nach der Schlacht bei Kolin 1757, der Fall von Gabel und Zittau
Harald Skala for information on the Saxon cavalry during this period