1757 - Austrian invasion of Silesia – The Austrians invade Silesia

From Project Seven Years War
Jump to: navigation, search

Hierarchical Path: Seven Years War (Main Page) >> Campaigns >> 1757 - Austrian invasion of Silesia >> The Austrians invade Silesia

The campaign lasted from June to December 1757

Introduction

The manoeuvres of the Prussians in Northern Bohemia as they tried to hold their ground against the Austrians are described in our article The Prussians try to hold Northern Bohemia (June 24 to July 14, 1757).

The retreat of Prince Wilhelm's Army to Lusatia, the capture of Gabel by the Austrians, Frederick's retreat to Lusatia and the Battle of Landeshut are described in our article The Prussians retreat to Lusatia (July 15 to August 24, 1757).

Description

Frederick leaves for Saxony giving command to Bevern

Frederick II bidding his farewell to Winterfeldt before leaving for Saxony - Source: Menzel

On August 25

On his way, Frederick was reinforced by 4 bns and 5 sqns who had been escorting a convoy between Bautzen and Bernstadt:

Order of Battle
Order of battle of the Prussian Army left in Lusatia and Silesia on August 25 after the departure of Frederick II for Saxony

Order of battle of the main Austrian army on August 31

On August 26,

  • Austrians
    • Nádasdy's Corps (5 bns, 10 grenadier coys, 5 hussar rgts and 2,500 Grenzer light troops) advanced to Seidenberg (present-day Zawidów/PL) and was replaced at Königshain (present-day Działoszyn/PL) by Arenberg's Corps (7 bns, 12 grenadier coys and 2 cavalry rgts.
    • Kálnoky seized Rudelsdorf (present-day Wrociszów Górny/PL) and Trattlau (present-day Kostrzyna/PL).
    • Beck and Morocz went to Dittersbach and Neundorf.
    • Hadik took position at Gross-Postwitz to threaten Bevern's communications with Bautzen.

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 28

  • Prussians
    • Frederick reached Harthau.
    • Moritz, still encamped near Groß-Sedlitz, received orders from Frederick instructing him to retire to Dresden where he would effect a junction with his own a corps.
    • Kleist's detachment marched by Meissen.

On August 29

  • Austrians
    • Morocz at the head of 300 hussars harassed a convoy near Reichenbach.
  • Prussians
    • Frederick arrived at Dresden at the head of 16 bns and 23 sqns. There, his corps effected a junction with Prinz Moritz's Corps.
    • Kleist's detachment rejoined Frederick's Army at Dresden.
    • Around noon, some of Winterfeldt's troops, who were foraging near Radmeritz, engaged hussars and Grenzer light troops belonging to Nádasdy's Corps. The Austrians drove them back into the Lomnitz Woods and fired on Winterfeldt's camp. Grenadier Battalion Manteuffel, supported by II./Pannewitz Infantry and II./Manteuffel Infantry easily repulsed the Austrian light troops.

Despite their huge numerical superiority, Charles of Lorraine and FM Daun were still hesitating to make a move against the Prussians, waiting to see Frederick's plans. They feared to lose their line of communications with Bohemia, from where their supplies came from, if they advanced further in Lusatia or Silesia. Meanwhile, the Court in Vienna was very dissatisfied with the conduct of the war.

From August 30, Frederick's movements and actions are documented in our article on the Franco-Imperial invasion of Saxony.

On August 30

  • Prussians
    • In the evening, Bevern sent his baggage towards Görlitz by Berzdorf and Kunnerwitz.
    • In Silesia, Grumbkow's Corps (5 bns, 10 sqns, 12 heavy guns) encamped in front of the Striegauer Gate of Schweidnitz.

On August 31

  • Prussians
    • At daybreak, Bevern's Army set off in two columns from its camps at Bernstadt and Schönau and marched towards Görlitz by Berzdorf and Kunnerwitz. Its rearguard consisted of 8 bns, the Feldjäger zu Fuß and 10 hussar sqns under Lieutenant-General von Brandes. It covered the left side of Bevern's columns, marching by Gersdorf and Pfaffendorf and taking position on the Landeskrone. Bevern's Army encamped between the Weissen Schöps and the Neisse near Görlitz. Bevern established his headquarters in the southern suburb of Görlitz. The Feldjäger zu Fuß were posted at Rauschwalde and Freibataillon Kalben at Schlauroth. Puttkamer Hussars encamped between these two villages and the Landskrone. Grenadier Battalion Nimschöfsky was posted on the north-western slope of the Landskrone and Grenadier Battalion Burgsdorff and Grenadier Battalion Ostenreich on the eastern slope. Freibataillon Angelelli occupied Klein-Biesnitz and Freibataillon le Noble, Gross-Biesnitz.
    • Görlitz was still occupied by Grenadier Battalion Kahlden and Grenadier Battalion Schenckendorff who had been sent there on August 22.
    • Winterfeldt (15 bns, 45 sqns for a total of 10,000 men) broke his camp at Radmeritz and moved in three columns towards Görlitz along the right bank (east side) of the Neisse, marching by Kuhna (present-day Kunów/PL), Holzmühle (unidentified location) and Moys (present-day Zgorzelec). Winterfeldt's camp on the right bank of the Neisse with its back to Görlitz. It had its right wing at Nieder-Moys and its left wing reached the road leading from Görlitz to Lauban (present-day Luban/PL). The Jäckelsberg, some 2,000 paces from the right wing of the camp, was occupied by Grenadier Battalion Benckendorff and Grenadier Battalion Dieringshofen, a fine outpost with proper batteries atop. Ober-Moys was occupied by Grenadier Battalion Manteuffel. Zieten Hussars were posted to the north-west of the Jäckelsberg.
    • To establish communication between Bevern's Army and Winterfledt's Corps, two pontoon-bridges were established to the north of Görlitz in addition to the existing bridge in Görlitz. Furthermore a trestle-bridge and a pontoon-bridge were established to the south of Görlitz.
    • Grumbkow detached the 2 bns of Kurssell Fusiliers to escort a convoy of flour sent from Glogau (present-day Glogow/PL). He also detached 200 hussars to the County of Glatz (present-day Kłodzko/PL). He then remained in Schweidnitz, considering that he was not strong enough to oppose Austrian incursions in Silesia.
  • Austrians
    • During the night, Morocz's and Beck's light troops advanced between Schönau and the Neisse to observe the Prussians retreating along the left bank of the Neisse.

At the end of August, the Württemberger Contingent, raised with French subsidies, reached Linz on its way to effect a junction with the Austrian army. It then awaited for its horses at Linz.

At the end of August in Silesia, Major-General von Kreytzen gave orders to 2 field bns (I./Jung-Bevern Fusiliers, Grenadier Battalion Diezelsky), 4 garrison bns (3 bns of Garnison-Regiment Mützschefahl and I./Garnison-Regiment Quadt), and 100 hussars to enter into Schweidnitz where there were already an artillery coy and some recruits.

On September 1

  • Prussians
    • Bevern inspected his new camp. He found his positions too spread-out and suggested to Winterfeldt to move his corps more the the north. Winterfeldt preferred to maintain his present positions, reinforcing the Jäckelsberg with 2 heavy pieces and 4 battalion guns. He also instructed Grenadier Battalion Kleist and Grenadier Battalion Anhalt to immediately climb the Jäckelsberg if ever alarm was given.
  • Austrians
    • At daybreak, FML Sprecher took position on the heights near Schönau with 20 grenadier coys, 4 guns, 3.000 foot and 500 horse to support Morocz's and Beck's light troops.
    • From Seidenberg Nádasdy was in a position to cover Friedland (present-day Mirsk/PL) and the convoys of forage coming from Silesia.
    • The Reserve Corps and Arenberg's Corps marched to Radmeritz where they encamped to support Nádasdy.
  • The main army was supposed to march but the order was countermanded due to heavy rain.

On September 2

  • Austrians
    • At 5:00 a.m., despite continuous rain, the main army set off from Klein-Schönau and marched in six columns to a new camp at Ostritz. It encamped with its left on the wood between Bernstadt and Dittersbach and its right at Leuba close to the Neisse.
    • The Reserve Corps took position on the right bank of the Neisse opposite Leuba with its right extending towards Niede (present-day Niedów/PL).
    • Prince Charles considered that Bevern's Army was entrenched in a too strong position to be directly attacked. He rather decided to encircle the Prussians on both wings with his light troops, to make any communication with Dresden and Bautzen or with Silesia very difficult, hoping to force them to retreat.

On September 3

  • Prussians
    • The expected Prussian convoy arrived at Bautzen from Dresden, on its way to Görlitz, with the necessary supplies, especially much needed flour.
  • Austrians
    • Nádasdy was encamped at Schonberg (present-day Sulików/PL).
    • Sprecher's Grenadier Corps encamped between the right flank of the main army and Leuba.

On September 4, the newly raised Freibataillon Chossignon arrived at Bautzen and occupied the castle.

On September 5

  • Prussians
    • Prince Franz von Braunschweig left Bautzen and escorted a supply convoy to Görlitz.
  • Austrians
    • Prince Charles sent a Hadik towards Bautzen to intercept the convoy but this detachment lost its time in the attack of a castle defended by Freibataillon Chossignon.

On Tuesday September 6

  • Austrians
    • Hadik bombarded the Castle of Bautzen and cut off its water supply. Deprived of any provision, Chossignon asked for free withdrawal. However, Hadik refused this request and Chossignon surrendered as prisoner of war along with 9 officers and 265 men. Bevern had now lost communication with Dresden.
    • At noon, Prince Charles at the head of the main Austrian army advanced and encamped between Tauchritz and Friedersdorf. He established his headquarters in Schönau. The army had its right on the Neisse and its left on the other side of the heights of Jauernick. Furthermore, 6 grenadier coys with 6 guns were posted in front of Jauernick; 6 grenadier coys under Sprecher, occupy the gap between the right wing and Tauchritz.
    • The Reserve Corps advanced along the right bank of the Neisse and encamped in two lines between Radmeritz and Lomnitz (present-day Łomnica/PL).
    • Major-General von Beck and FML Baron Sprecher and Morocz occupied Deutsch Ossig with their Grenzer light troops and 22 grenadier coys. Morocz occupied Deutsch Paulsdorf.
    • Prince Charles and Daun then resolved to launch an attack on Winterfeldt isolated positions. The task was confided to Nádasdy, with the capture of the Jäckelsberg (defended by 2,000 Prussian grenadiers) as objective. Besides his own corps, Nádasdy would be supported by the Reserve. They should all be in their assigned positions by daybreak on September 7. Preparations remained strictly secret.
    • In the evening, Nádasdy's Corps took position at Schönbrunn (present-day Studniska Dolne and Studniska Górne/PL). On September 7 around 1:30 a.m., the Duke of Arenberg followed with the Reserve Corps.
  • Prussians
    • Bevern did not move from his positions around Görlitz.
    • One of Winterfeldt's foraging parties skirmished against Kálnoky Hussars near Hermsdorf (present-day Jerzmanki/PL). The Prussian army prepared for combat and cavalry parties were sent to reconnoitre towards Jauernigk (unidentified location).
Detail of a map illustrating movements in Lusatia in September and October
Source: Kriege Friedrichs des Grossen by the German Grosser Generalstab
Courtesy: Tony Flores
Detail of a map illustrating movements in Silesia in September and October
Source: Kriege Friedrichs des Grossen by the German Grosser Generalstab
Courtesy: Tony Flores
Legend:

Blue = Prussian Corps
Red = Austrian Corps

  • N. = Nádasdy's Light Troops
  • K. = Kálnoky's Light Troops
  • B. = Beck's Light Troops
  • M. = Morocz's Light Troops

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. The same day, Prince Franz von Braunschweig arrived at Görlitz with the convoy of flour sent from Dresden.

September 8

  • Austrians
    • After spending the night on the battlefield, the Austrian troops who taken part in the Combat of Moys returned to their old camp.
    • Drašković was left to guard the Jäckelsberg with Grenzer light troops, some hussars and 3 guns.
  • Prussians
    • In the morning, the Duke of Bevern saw that the Austrians had evacuated the surrounding of Moys to the exception of Drašković's Corps. He sent a reinforcement of 5 bns (1 bn of Prinz Heinrich von Preußen Fusiliers, 1 bn of Wied Fusiliers, 1 bn of Jung Braunschweig Fusiliers and 2 bns of Brandes Fusiliers) to Fouqué. However, Bevern soon abandoned any design to recapture the Jäckelsberg and ordered his army to be in combat readiness, expecting an attack from the main Austrian army.
    • Bevern's bakery was busy baking bread. However, the quantity of flour received was insufficient and the Prussian army would soon be forced to move closer to other magazines.

On September 9

  • Prussians
    • The Duke of Bevern sent his baggage and his field-bakery forward by Kohlfurt (present-day Węgliniec/PL) and Klitschdorf (present-day Kliczków/PL) to Kittlitztreben (present-day Trzebień/PL), escorted by Major-General von Rebentisch with 4 bns (2 bns Hautcharmoy Infantry, 1 bn Markgraf von Brandenburg Fusiliers and 1 bn I./Sers Fusiliers) and 8 sqns of Seydlitz Hussars.
    • Bevern also recalled the 5 bns that he had sent as reinforcements to reinforce Fouqué on the previous day.

In the night of September 9 to 10, the pontoon bridge upstream from Görlitz was removed and re-established to the north of the town near the trestle bridge. Bevern's Army set off from its camp near Görlitz and moved around the town to pass the Neisse. In darkness and in the heavy rain, the guides at the head of columns lost their way. Finally, around 4:00 a.m., the crossing of the Neisse began.

On September 10

  • Prussians
    • At daybreak, Beck's Grenzer light troops posted near Leschwitz spotted the Prussian army crossing the Neisse and opened fire on its columns. Prince Franz von Braunschweig soon drove them back at the head of Freibataillon Kalben and 1 bn of Jung Braunschweig Fusiliers. Nevertheless, Beck's light troops captured 1 mortar, 3 ammunition wagon and several baggage wagons. The three Prussian columns then resumed their march towards Silesia, by Hennersdorf (present-day Jędrzychowice/PL), Sohra (present-day Żarki Średnie/PL) and Hohkirch (unidentified location) where they effected a junction with Fouqué's Corps. The army then encamped between Nieder-Langenau (present-day Dłużyna Dolna/PL) and Schützenhain (present-day Strzelno/PL) with the Bielaubach to its front.
    • The convoy of flour sent by Minister von Schlabrendorff from Silesia to supply Bevern's Army was instructed to halt at Bunzlau (present-day Bolesławiec/PL) where it would remain under the protection of Kurssell Fusiliers belonging to Grumkow's Corps. Furthermore, Golz had assembled provisions of bread and forage in the vicinities of Bunzlau.
  • Austrians
    • Lieutenant-Colonel Mathesen at the head of 1 bn of Slavonisch-Brooder Grenzer entered in the suburb of Görlitz to harass Bevern's rearguard but was soon driven back by Freibataillon 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 the retiring Prussians, leaving only a rearguard of some 12,000 men consisting of light troops under Hadik and Morocz between Stolpen and Dresden in Saxony. Prince Charles and Daun were constantly on the heels of Bevern, march after march.

On September 11

  • Prussians
    • Bevern passed the Queiss and encamped at Naumburg am Queiss (present-day Nowogrodziec/PL).
    • Rebentisch reached Kittlitztreben after two long marches.
  • Austrians
    • Prince Charles and Daun passed the Neisse with the main Austrian army on four bridges at Radmeritz and marched to Schonberg.
    • Nádasdy's Corps advanced to Lauban.
    • The Reserve Corps encamped at Pfaffendorf (present-day Rudzica/PL).
    • Sprecher's Grenadier Corps took position on the Jäckelsberg.

In the night of September 11 to 12, Nádasdy's Corps reached Löwenberg (present-day Lwówek Śląski), sending parties up to Goldberg (present-day Zlotoryja/PL) and Hannau (unidentified location).

Order of Battle
Detailed order of battle of the Prussian army in the camp of Bunzlau and list of units garrisoning the fortresses of Silesia

On September 12

  • Prussians
    • Bevern reached Bunzlau where he passed the Bober. His army encamped on the heights to the north-east of Bunzlau.
    • The temporarily combined grenadier bns of Dieringshofen-Anhalt and Unruh-Benckendorff who had suffered heavy casualties in the combat of Moys were charged to garrison Bunzlau.
    • Zieten remained at Tillendorf (part of present-day Bolesławiec/PL) of both banks of the Bober with 5 grenadier bns (the grenadier bns of both flanks to the exception of Schenckendorff), 1 Freikorps, the Feldjäger zu Fuß and all hussars to cover the army against raids from Austrian light troops.
  • Austrians
    • Austrian light troops followed the retreating Prussian army, keeping Prince Charles and Daun informed of its movements.
    • At 7:00 a.m., Prince Charles and Daun set off for Lauban with the main army marching in three columns.
    • The Reserve Corps and the Grenadier Corps crossed the Queiss.
    • A hospital was established at Görlitz, supervised by a lieutenant-colonel commanding a detachment of 200 orderlies.

At Bunzlau, Prussian troops remained without bread for two days until field-bakeries were reinstalled.

Marschall's Corps at Lauban
Infantry (11 bns for a total of 6,597 men)

Cavalry (29 sqns + 1 carabinier coy for a total of 2,928 men)

Artillery and pioneers (333 men)

On September 13

  • Austrians
    • The main army passed the Queiss at Lauban.
    • A force of 15,000 men (11 bns and 6 cavalry rgts) under FZM Baron Marschall was left behind at Lauban to protect Lusatia another corps of 7,000 men under Hadik at Görlitz to cover Lusatia and Bohemia against a possible offensive of Frederick II. After these detachments the main Austrian army still counted 76 bns, 75 grenadier coys and 132 sqns, excluding hussars and Grenzer light troops.
    • The Reserve Corps and the Grenadier Corps marched to Löwenberg to support Nádasdy.
    • Major-General von Beck advanced from Naumburg am Queiss and Birkenbrück (present-day Brzeźnik/PL) with 700 Grenzer light troops and 100 hussars towards the village of Rothlacher (unidentified location) to reconnoitre Zieten's positions at Tillendorf. When Zieten was informed of their advance, he sent Freibataillon le Noble and Freibataillon Kalben towards Birkenbrück while he himself took position in the Rothlacher Wood with a few hundreds hussars. The Prussians gave chase to Beck's detachment which was driven back to Birkenbrück. Beck barely escaped capture and lost 3 officers and 100 men.
  • Prussians
    • Bevern informed the king that he intended to sojourn in Bunzlau until bread had been baked with the flour that he was awaiting from Glogau; and that he would then take position between Schweidnitz and Liegnitz (present-day Legnica/PL).

On September 14

  • Austrians
    • At 6:00 a.m., the main army set off in three columns and marched to Löwenberg.
    • Nádasdy, informed that the Prussian army was at Bunzlau, advanced south-eastwards from Giersdorf (present-day Gierałtowiec/PL) and took position at Goldberg.
  • The Reserve Corps crossed the Bober.
  • Prussians

On September 15

  • Austrians
    • In the morning Prince Charles reconnoitred Nádasdy's positions.
    • Kálnoky occupied Mittlau (present-day Iwiny/PL) and the stone bridge of Alt-Warthau (present-day Warta Bolesławiecka/PL).
    • The Reserve Corps, followed by light troops, reached Braunau (present-day Brunów/PL) and Ludwigsdorf (present-day Chmielno/PL).
    • Sprecher's Grenadier Corps advanced to support Nádasdy and to cut communications between Bunzlau and Schweidnitz.
    • Orders arrived from Vienna to undertake the siege of Schweidnitz.
    • Colonel von Simbschen was posted at Neustadt (present-day Prudnik/PL), pushing his raids always deeper in Upper-Silesia.
  • Prussians

In mid-September, the 200 hussars that Grumbkow had detached to the County of Glatz rejoined his corps at Schweidnitz. Now that the main Austrian army had entered into Silesia, Jahnus advanced to Striegau (present-day Strzegom/PL) and Bolkenhain (present-day Bolków/PL). Now, only the immediate vicinities of Schweidnitz escaped his incursions. Meanwhile, the presence of strong Austrian garrisons occupying the frontier posts of Politz (present-day Police nad Metují/CZ) and Braunau (present-day Broumov/CZ) confirmed the rumours of an important concentration of troops in eastern Bohemia destined to the siege of Schweidnitz.

On September 16

  • Austrians
    • At 7:00 a.m., the main army set off in three columns and marched to Goldberg.
    • The Reserve Corps, Marschall's Corps and Nádasdy's Corps remained in their old positions.

On September 17

  • Austrians
    • At noon, the main army marched in three columns and encamped near Hohendorf (unidentified location) to the south-west of Liegnitz. Its right was anchored on the village of Kroitsch (present-day Krotoszyce/PL) and its left towards Goldberg.
    • Sprecher's Grenadier Corps covered the left flank of the main army during this march.
    • The Reserve Corps marched from Braunau and encamped near Pilgramsdorf (present-day Pielgrzymka/PL).
    • Nádasdy's Corps remained in its positions near Bunzlau.
    • The light troops were posted in a wide arc around the Prussian positions at Bunzlau.
  • Prussians
    • The Duke of Bevern, who had for several days been unable to get clear intelligence about the movements of the Austrian main army, was informed that it was encamped at Hohendorf.
    • Bevern's Army finally received a distribution of bread.

On September 18

  • Austrians
    • The main army suddenly turned south and marched to a camp between Hermannsdorf (unidentified location) and Alt-Jauer (present-day Stary Jawor/PL) to the west of the Wüthenden Neisse to ease the junction with the Austrian Corps already operating in the region of Landeshut. The magazines and field bakery were moved to this camp.
    • All light troops held their position around Bunzlau.
  • Prussians


Map of the Prussian camp near Liegnitz, September 19-27
Source: Kriege Friedrichs des Grossen, volume III by the German Grosser Generalstab

On September 19

  • Austrians
    • Prince Charles was at Jauer (present-day Jawor) where the main army celebrated the Russian victory at Gross-Jägersdorf.
    • The Bavarian Contingent (6,000 men), under French subsidies but destined to serve with the Austrian army, arrived at Landeshut.
  • Prussians
    • Bevern reached Liegnitz country. His army encamped near Liegnitz with its right wing anchored on the Katzbach (present-day Kaczawa River) and its left wing in the suburbs of Liegnitz. An outpost was established at Koischwitz (present-day Koskowice); 6 grenadier bns were posted to the north-east of Barschdorf (present-day Bartoszów/PL); infantry occupied the villages of Neu-Mühle, Rudolphsbach, Prinkendorf (all part of present-day Legnica/PL), the defensive work at Neuhof on the Katzbach, and the village of Gross-Beckern (part of present-day Legnica/PL). Furthermore, 2 sqns of Seydlitz Hussars encamped to the west of Neu-Mühle (6 other sqns of this rgt had been assigned to various fortresses in Lower Silesia); Zieten Hussars were at Prinkendorf and Werner Hussars to the north of Barschdorf. Ingerleben's detachment came out of Liegnitz and re-occupied its place in the order of battle. The Weidelache and its numerous tributaries flowed in front of the cleverly chosen Prussian positions, creating a considerable obstacle. To the south-west of Barschdorf, the right wing was covered by several brooks with marshy meadows, all in the fields of fire of the Prussian artillery.

On September 20

  • Austrians
    • At noon, the main army marched in three columns to Herzogswaldau (present-day Niedaszów/PL).
    • Sprecher's Grenadier Corps encamped behind the windmill at Bersdorf (present-day Targoszyn/PL) in front of the right wing of the main army.
    • The Reserve Corps encamped en potence in front of Jauer to link with Nádasdy's Corps who extended the line up to Alt-Jauer.
  • Prussians
    • Bevern rearranged his positions at Liegnitz, anchoring his left wing on Gross-Beckern while 2 bns were thrown into the village to secure it. Bevern had initially planned to remain at Liegnitz only for a short period while he reorganised his supply, intending to move his camp to the vicinities of the Würche pond to simultaneously cover Breslau and Schweidnitz. However, he realised that he should remain a few days in Liegnitz to bake bread for the army and to consume the great magazines of forage.
    • Bevern sent 1 bn of Markgraf von Brandenburg Fusiliers to Neumarkt (present-day Środa Śląska/PL), vainly hoping that it could still reach Schweidnitz.
    • Colonel von Werner was detached from the main army towards Neumarkt and Schweidnitz with Freibataillon Kalben (1 bn), Werner Hussars (10 sqns) and commandeered dragoons (2 sqns).

Taking advantage of these delays, Prince Charles managed to bar Bevern from Schweidnitz, the chief stronghold of Silesia, and from Breslau, the chief city.

On September 21

  • Austrians
    • Prince Charles wanted to take position on the heights near Striegau to cover the planned siege of Schweidnitz. However, an intercepted message from Rebentisch made it clear that Bevern intended to march towards Breslau rather than Schweidnitz.
  • Prussians
    • Bevern sent Grenadier Battalion Nimschöfsky to occupy Neumarkt and thus cover the road leading to Breslau.
    • II./Kurssel Fusiliers arrived at Schweidnitz, returning from Breslau. I./Sers Fusiliers was immediately sent to reinforce Brieg.
    • Major-General von Rebentisch, who was already in Breslau, was ordered to reinforce the garrison of Schweidnitz with Hautcharmoy Infantry and II./Sers Fusiliers. However, the Austrians were immediately informed of Rebentisch's intentions.

On September 22

On September 23

  • Austrians
    • At noon, Nádasdy's Corps marched to Striegau where Jahnus' Corps was already encamped.
    • Another corps under FZM Baron Kheul would follow him in the next days. Furthermore, the Bavarian and Württemberger contingents should effect a junction with Nádasdy's Corps and undertake the siege of Schweidnitz. The siege artillery was on its way from Jung-Bunzlau (present-day Mladá Boleslav/CZ) and Königgrätz (present-day Hradec Králové).
  • Prussians

In Vienna, the siege and capture of Schweidnitz alone was not considered a satisfying result for such a huge army and Emperor Franz was urging his brother, Prince Charles, to attack the Prussians.

Around that time, Frederick's advance towards the Franco-Imperial Army in Saxony and Bevern's slow retreat towards Breslau 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 24

  • Austrians
    • Prince Charles set off from Alt-Jauer and encamped between Wahlstatt (present-day Legnickie Pole/PL) and Kunzendorf (present-day Polanka/PL), while the Reserve Corps marched to Tschirschkau (unidentified location). On the right wing, Sprecher advanced to Rosenig (present-day Rogoźnik near Ruja) with the Grenadier Corps, threatening the Prussian line of communication with Breslau.
  • Prussians
    • Early in the day, fearing an attack on Breslau, Bevern sent generals von Brandes and von Kleist with 3 bns (Grenadier Battalion Burgsdorff, Grenadier Battalion Ostenreich, Grenadier Battalion Plötz) and 10 sqns (5 sqns of Bayreuth Dragoons and 5 sqns of Normann Dragoons) to Neumarkt to observe the movements of Nádasdy's Corps.
    • Bevern sent a strong hussar party towards the pond of Würche. Around noon, it spotted the Austrians entering into a camp between Tentschel (present-day Taczalin/PL) and Wahlstatt; Grenzer light troops and hussars posted at Hochkirch (unidentified location), Neudorf (present-day Nowa Wieś Legnicka/PL), Oyas (present-day Gniewomierz/PL) and Rosenig; and the Austrian Reserve Corps arriving at Rosenau (present-day Raczkowa/PL).
    • Bevern's Army stroke tents and deployed in order of battle. When he saw that the Austrians were encamping, Bevern ordered his troops (now reduced to 34½ bns and 82 sqns after his numerous detachments)) to pitch tents once more, even if he already knew that his line of communication with Breslau was broken. Bevern also decided to abandon his very exposed outpost at Neumarkt and ordered Lieutenant-General von Brandes to evacuate Neumarkt with his detachment and to reinforce the garrison of Breslau.

On September 25

  • Austrians
    • Prince Charles and Daun were surprised to discover that Bevern had remained in his positions at Liegnitz instead of retiring towards Breslau. In the afternoon, Prince Charles moved his army to a new camp extending from Greibnig (present-day Grzybiany/PL), by the Burgberg and the Sauberg to Oyas. The Reserve Corps, reinforced by O'Donell Cuirassiers and Kalckreuth Cuirassiers, took position on the heights near Neudorf.
    • The first part of Marschall's detachment (600 foot and 800 horse) set off from Lauban and marched to the assigned rendezvous at Elsterwerda for the planned raid on Berlin.
  • Prussians
    • Brandes' detachment marched from Neumarkt to Breslau.
    • The Duke of Bevern still had 34½ bns and 82 sqns with him at Liegnitz. He detached Major-General Prince Karl von Bevern with Prinz Heinrich von Preußen Fusiliers and Jung Braunschweig Fusiliers to Barschdorf where they took position in the gardens of the village west of the Weidelache and at the bridge of the Mühlgraben east of the village. A battery was established to the north of Barschdorf. The 3 infantry rgts of the first line of the left wing were ordered to support these outposts. Finally, entrenchments and batteries were established in front of the left wing. On the right wing, Grenadier Battalion Kleist and Grenadier Battalion Hacke formed a flank guard along the Katzbach while Freibataillon le Noble occupied Prinkendorf. As a result of the rising of the Weidelache and its tributaries, the meadows between Oyas, Kaltenhaus (present-day Ziemnice/PL) and the Katzbach were only passable on the roads and the water courses passable only on the existing bridges.
    • In the evening, the administrators at Glogau were instructed to collect all boats, vehicles, planks in the surroundings of the fortress before September 28.

The same day (September 25), the Grenadier Corps led by Sprecher attacked Koischwitz. Sprecher established his artillery on the heights west of Greibnitz and Klemmerwitz (present-day Kłębanowice/PL). He then ordered Major-General Lacy with 5 grenadier coys to advance from the heights west of Klemmerwitz against Koischwitz. In the afternoon, the Duke of Bevern reinforced his outpost at Barschdorf with Tresckow Infantry and Manteuffel Infantry. At 5:00 p.m., Sprecher's artillery opened on Koischwitz and on the hussar camp located north of the village. The Prussian batteries near Barschdorf immediately retaliated. However, due to distance, this artillery duel proved to be quite ineffective. The Duke of Bevern gave orders to the Feldjäger zu Fuß, Freibataillon Angelelli and to Puttkamer Hussars, both posted at Koischwitz to march to Barschdorf. The Austrians occupied Koischwitz. Prince Charles and Daun then waited for Bevern's reaction.

In the morning of September 26, the Austrians started to erect batteries to the west of Kaltenhaus, near Koischwitz and on the Kirchberg near Oyas. At 3:00 p.m., 22 Austrian heavy pieces opened on Barschdorf. The Prussian battery as well as the regimental guns at Barschdorf, and the Prussian battery at Gross-Beckern replied. Colonel von Dieskau directed the Prussian artillery and reinforced the left wing with additional heavy pieces. Meanwhile, Prince Karl von Bevern reinforced the garrison of Barschdorf with 6 bns, deploying 4 bns north and 2 bns south of the village. Their 12 guns reinforced the Prussian artillery already deployed there. An Austrian battery near Koischwitz was silenced while the battery on the Kirchberg had to be moved farther east. Barschdorf was aflame but Prussian troops held their positions. At darkness, the artillery duel ceased. Austrian and Prussian troops returned to their camps. In this cannonade, the Prussian lost 4 officers and 165 men.

By September 26, part of Nádasdy's Corps was posted at Hoch-Giersdorf (present-day Modliszów/PL), Striegau and Hohenposeritz (present-day Pożarzysko/PL) to observe the Fortress of Schweidnitz.

In the night of September 26 to 27

  • Prussians
    • Bevern evacuated Liegnitz and marched in two columns along the right bank of the Oder towards Breslau. Baggage and heavy artillery were placed between these two columns. The rearguard under Zieten consisted of the 8 bns and 22 hussar sqns still posted at Gross-Beckern, Barschdorf and Prinkendorf. The garrison of Liegnitz joined the middle column formed by baggage. The march proceeded by Schönborn (present-day Miłogostowice/PL) and Buchwäldchen (present-day Buczynka/PL) to a camp near Gugelwitz (present-day Gogołowice/PL).
  • Austrians
    • Light troops followed the Prussian rearguard, catching up with it east of Schönborn but ceased their advance after some combat.

On September 27

  • Prussians
    • Based on his reconnaissances, the Duke of Bevern decided to cross the Oder at Dieban (present-day Dziewin/PL).
  • Austrians
    • The Austrian occupied Liegnitz with 2,000 men and immediately started to strengthen fortifications.
    • Nádasdy's Corps (now including 6,000 Bavarians) marched to Ingamsdorf (present-day Imbramowice/PL) near Schweidnitz.

On September 28

  • Prussians
  • Austrians
    • Light troops followed Bevern's Army at a considerable distance. They were encamped in the woods to the north-east of Buchwäldchen, roaming the country by Dittersbach (unidentified location) and Zedlitz (unidentified location) up to Steinau (present-day Ścinawa/PL). Austrian hussars were also seen near Leubus (present-day Lubiąż/PL).
    • At 7:00 a.m., the main army marched in four columns to a new camp between Wangten (present-day Wągrodno/PL) and Kummernick (present-day Komorniki/PL) .
    • The Grenadier Corps advanced to Parchwitz (present-day Prochowice/PL) and blocked the passage of the Katzbach there.
    • Nádasdy's Corps marched to Zobten (present-day Sobotka/PL).

In the night of September 28 to 29, Bevern's Army, leaving campfires burning, passed the Oder at Dieban. Bevern's beautiful manoeuvre gave the impression that he was making for Glogau.

On September 29

  • Prussians
    • Around noon, Bevern's Army encamped between Mondschütz (present-day Mojęcice/PL) and Neudorf (unidentified location).
  • Austrians
    • Prince Charles, informed that Bevern had passed the Oder at Dieban, advanced eastwards with the main army in three columns from Wangten to Kamöse (present-day Chomiąża/PL).
    • The Reserve Corps encamped between Rosenig and Royn (present-day Ruja/PL).

On September 30

  • Prussians
    • Bevern's Army passed the Weide near Protsch an der Weide (present-day Pracze Widawskie/PL) on a bridge of boats and, after a march of 35 km, encamped at Pohlanowitz (present-day Polanowice/PL).
  • Austrians
    • Prince Charles held a council of war. The Reserve Corps marched to Lampersdorf (present-day Juszczyn/PL). In the evening, Prince Charles wrote to Empress Maria Theresa to inform her that there were few hopes to capture Breslau.
    • Morocz's Light Corps advanced to Lissa.
    • FZM Marschall marched to Görlitz with his entire corps (approx. 10,000 men) to cover Hadik's raid on Berlin.

In the night of September 30 to October 1, the Duke of Bevern went to Breslau and ordered Lieutenant-General Brandes to take position on the Lohe with his troops (Grenadier Battalion Manteuffel, Grenadier Battalion Burgsdorff, Grenadier Battalion Ostenreich, Grenadier Battalion Plötz, 5 sqns of Bayreuth Dragoons and 5 sqns of Normann Dragoons).

On October 1

  • Austrians
    • The Austrian main army marched 25 km and encamped in four lines between Lissa, Saarawenze (probably Żurawiniec/PL), Nippern (present-day Mrozów/PL) and Frobelwitz (present-day Wróblowice/PL).
    • The Reserve Corps passed the Weistritz. To the west of the Lohe, the Austrians found the villages of Gross-Mochbern (present-day Muchobór Wielki/PL), Neukirch (present-day Zerniki/PL) and Gross-Masselwitz (present-day Maslice Wielki/PL) occupied by Prussian troops and could see more important concentrations towards Cosel (unidentified location) and Pöpelwitz (present-day Popowice/PL).
    • Nádasdy's Corps camped at Schonfeld (unidentified location) closer to Schweidnitz.
    • Jahnus' Corps remained at Reichenbach (present-day Dzierzoniow/PL).
  • Prussians
    • In the afternoon, Bevern's Army (30,000 men) passed the Oder, marched through Breslau and encamped east of the Lohe, between Cosel and Klein-Mochbern (present-day Muchobor Maly/PL). Infantry occupied the villages of Cosel, Pilsnitz (present-day Pilczyce/PL), Schmiedefeld (present-day Kuzniki/PL), Maria-Höfchen (present-day Nowy Dwor/PL), Klein-Mochbern and Gräbschen (present-day Grabiszyn/PL). Major-General von Wietersheim guarded the bridges on the “Old Oder” with Brandes Fusiliers and I./Kalckreuth Fusiliers. The garrison of Breslau consisted of 3 bns and 1 sqn. Bevern's positions had the marshy Lohe in front and the broad Oder to rear, with Breslau and its supply to their right.
    • Prussian cavalry patrols drove back Austrian light troops to the east of the Weistritz.

On October 2, still hoping that only part of Bevern's Army had already passed the Oder, Prince Charles decided to advance towards Breslau.

In the night of October 2 to 3, the Austrians threw three bridges on the Weistritz. The Prussian outposts retired behind the Lohe. Observing the area from a tower of the Castle of Lissa, Prince Charles realised that he was facing Bevern's entire army. The Austrian army encamped between Strachwitz (present-day Strachowice/PL) and Gross-Masselwitz with light troops covering its front and wings.

On October 3

  • Prussians
    • The Duke of Bevern was considering to resume his retreat across the Oder but he received very clear orders from Frederick to cover Breslau. Bevern immediately began to build entrenchments along the Lohe. All bridges upstream of Klettendorf (present-day Klecina/PL) were broken and the fords made impracticable.
    • The Duke of Bevern was now at the head of 40½ bns and 102 sqns. His western wing consisted of 20 bns in first line and 40 sqns in second line. The right flank was covered by 4 grenadier bns and the left flank by 7 bns and 30 dragoon sqns under Zieten between Klein-Mochbern and the suburb of Nicolai. On the left wing, there was also Freibataillon Angelelli in Hartlieb (present-day Partynice/PL), Freibataillon le Noble in Gräbschen, Zieten Hussars, west of Klein-Mochbern and Puttkamer Hussars south of Gräbschen. The temporarily combined Grenadier Battalion Unruh-Benckendorff was posted in Cosel; Seydlitz Hussars, west of Cosel, Freibataillon Kalben in Pilsnitz; Manteuffel Infantry and Prinz Heinrich von Preußen Fusiliers in Schmiedefeld and Maria-Höfchen; and the headquarters were established in Pöpelwitz.
    • The old walls of Breslau had been surrounded by an earthwork and the moat had been deepened.
    • The positions of Zieten's Corps extended over 3,000 paces behind entrenchments. Openings in the line allowed defenders to launch attacks. Three rows of wolf-pits were also dug in front of the entrenchments.
    • The activities of Austrian light troops on his right flank led Bevern to establish the so called “Grenadier Redoubt” south of Pilsnitz and a battery east of Cosel.
    • A few heavy guns were transferred from the walls of Breslau to the defensive fieldworks.

On October 3 and 4, the Prussians tried to make themselves masters of Klein-Masselwitz (present-day Maślice Małe/PL), occupied by Grenzer light troops. However, the latter had entrenched themselves in the village. Furthermore, FML Count Puebla had taken position nearby with 5 bns and 2 cavalry rgts to support the light troops in Klein-Masselwitz. The Prussian attack was repulsed, the Prussians losing Captain von Vila from Freibataillon Angelelli and 20 men while the Austrians lost 75 men.

The two armies would remain face to face on each side of the Lohe for two months. The watercourse formed an impassable obstacle for all arms. The lower course of the Lohe, from the village of Lohe to its mouth in the Oder, was marshy and passable only by bridges. Pilsnitz was the only location where the banks were not marshy but they were steep.

On October 4

  • Austrians
    • Sprecher's Grenadier Corps along with 1,000 horse encamped behind the Schweidnitz Wasser with their right at Rathen (unidentified location).

On October 7, Colonel von Werner arrived at Breslau after escorting a convoy to Schweidnitz. He took position at Herdain (present-day Gaj/PL) with Werner Hussars to strengthen the left flank while the 200 dragoons rejoined their respective regiments.

On October 8

  • Austrians
    • Sprecher's Grenadier Corps marched to the right of the army and occupy positions between the Strachwitz and Gross-Mochbern.
    • In preparation for the siege of Schweidnitz, 6 artillery coys were sent from the main army to join those coming from Bohemia.

In the night of October 8 to 9, the Austrians threw a bridge (24 pontoons) across the Oder at Kolonie Sandberg (present-day Nowa Karczma/PL).

On October 10

  • Austrians
    • Detachments of hussars and Grenzer light troops passed to the right bank of the Oder on the recently completed bridge near Kolonie Sandberg.
  • Prussians
    • The Duke of Bevern, who had already posted a hussar detachment near Rosenthal (present-day Rozanka/PL) between the Oder and the Weide, sent Colonel von Krockow with 3 bns (1,000 commandeered foot in 2 bns and Freibataillon le Noble) and 14 sqns (400 commandeered dragoons in 4 sqns and Puttkamer Hussars) to Protsch and Hünern (present-day Psary/PL) to maintain communications with Glogau. Zieten Hussars were transferred to Gräbschen.
    • The Prussian commander at Glogau repulsed incursions against Lüben (present-day Lubin/PL) and Steinau.

On October 11, the Württemberger Contingent (5,500 men fit for service) finally effected a junction with Nádasdy's Corps in front of Schweidnitz. On its way, the soldiers of this contingent, who were reluctant to serve against Prussia, mutinied twice.

On October 12

  • Austrians
    • Beck threw a bridge across the Weide and sent light troops forward to Wohlau (present-day Wołów/PL) and Auras (present-day Uraz/PL).

On October 14,

  • Austrians
    • Daun represented that an attack on the Prussian positions in front of Breslau was too risky and should only be undertaken by express order of the Empress. Prince Charles then decided to make preparations for the siege of Schweidnitz.
    • Nádasdy's Corps encamped near Birkholz (present-day Gruszów/PL) and then, with Krottendorf's reinforcements, the Bavarian Contingent and the Württemberger Contingent, Nádasdy encircled Schweidnitz.

By October 16, Bevern was considering to launch a counter-attack across the Lohe towards Neukirch and Hermannsdorf.

On October 17, Prince Charles decided to send the Duke of Arenberg with 10,000 men to reinforce Nádasdy's Corps in front of Schweidnitz in the next days. Once deducted Arenberg's Corps, the main Austrian army still counted 56 bns, 66 grenadier coys and 125 sqns.

In the meantime the march, which Frederick had undertaken to intercept Hadik's advance on Berlin, made Prince Charles and Daun very worried. FZM Baron Marschall, who was at Görlitz with 10,000 men, received orders to march to Bautzen because the French desperately wanted support for the Franco-Imperial army operating in Saxony. Accordingly, Prince Charles had renounced his initial plan to send Marschall to Sagan (present-day Zagan/PL) to hinder Bevern's communications.

On October 18, 700 convalescents, returning from the hospitals, arrived at the Austrian camp in front of Breslau.

On October 19, as planned, 7 bns (Erzherzog Carl, Neipperg, Leopold Daun, Moltke, Arenberg, Botta and Thürheim) and 8 composite bns (1 bn of Kaiser/Pallavicini/Lothringen, 1 bn of Wallis/Harrach/Kheul, 1 bn of Waldeck/Würzburg/Jung-Wolfenbüttel, 1 bn of Hildburghausen/Kollowrat/Puebla, 1 bn of Gaisruck/Deutschmeister/Alt-Colloredo, 1 bn of Harsch/Browne/Mercy, 1 bn of Bethlen/Nikolaus Esterhazy/Joseph Esterhazy, and 1 bn of Wield/Alt-Wolfenbüttel/Durlach] ) were detached from the main Austrian army to join the forces assembling for the siege of Schweidnitz. The contingent forming the composite bns consisted of 250 men with officers in proportion. Furthermore, 6 grenadiers coys (1 from each of Kaiser, Lothringen, Jung-Wolfenbüttel, Harrach, Erzherzog Carl and Moltke) joined this detachment.

On October 22, the 1,000 commandeered horse attached to Sprecher's Grenadier Corps were replaced by 8 carabinier coys and 6 horse grenadier coys.

On October 24

  • Austrians
    • The Austrians made themselves masters of Klettendorf. Freibataillon Angelelli evacuated Hartlieb and retired to Kleinburg (present-day Borek/PL). Grenzer light troops and hussars immediately occupied Hartlieb.
    • Nádasdy finally received the awaited siege artillery and was joined by Arenberg's Corps. Nádasdy was now at the head of 48 bns, 32 grenadier coys, 32 sqns and 10,000 Grenzer light troops for a total of approx. 43,000 men. He had detached Bayreuth Infantry (2 bns) to reinforce Jahnus near Glatz.
    • 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

  • Austrians
    • Nádasdy with 43,000 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.
    • Prince Charles' and Daun's worries began to dissipate, as Marschall's reports gradually revealed Frederick's true intentions.
  • Prussians
    • Frederick's Army was at Grochwitz. Frederick informed Bevern that he intended to wait there for the arrival of Moritz's Corps from Berlin and then to march on Görlitz, hoping to engage and defeat Marschall's Corps or to drive it back to Bohemia.
    • Even though Frederick was still very busy in Saxony, he also made additional arrangements 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 (unidentified location) with a small corps and to advance into Bohemia to draw the attention of the Austrians to that side.

On October 28

  • Austrians
    • Now that it was clear that Frederick had redirected his attention against Soubise's Franco-Imperial army. Prince Charles instructed Marschall to stick to his initial mission which was to prevent Prussian incursions in Lusatia and to observe their movements in the region of Dresden. Accordingly, Marschall remained at Bautzen and allowed Hadik to march from Hoyerswerda to Grossenhain.
  • Prussians
    • Bevern received a new letter from Frederick, informing him that he had decided to march against the Franco-Imperial army and had abandoned his plan to attack Marschall; and instructing Bevern to avoid battle until he could return to Silesia.
    • Captain von Pannwitz of Werner Hussars with 50 cavalrymen managed to lure the garrison of Strehlen (1 officer and 40 dragoons) out of the village and to capture it.

On October 29 at daybreak, Colonel von Werner with 300 foot, Freibataillon Angelelli and 300 hussars surprised the Grenzer light troops and the Dessewffy Hussars occupying Hartlieb. Werner drove them back and made himself master of the bridge that the Austrians had re-established on the Lohe. He also caught the defenders of the village of Klettendorf unprepared and put them to flight. The Austrians lost 2 officers and 100 men wounded and captured; the Prussians 5 men killed and 22 wounded. At noon, the Duke of Bevern ordered to evacuate Hartlieb and Klettendorf. The Austrians re-occupied Hartlieb and erected entrenchments.

The Austrians established a chain of outposts from Wiltschau (present-day Wilczkow/PL), by Schönfeld (unidentified location) to Bohrau (present-day Borów/PL) to establish communication with Kálnoky's Corps posted at Langseifersdorf (present-day Jaźwina /PL) south of the Zobtenberg (present-day Mount Ślęża/PL). Nádasdy also occupied Strehlen (present-day Strzelin/PL) and Nimptsch (present-day Niemcza/PL). Civil authorities complained about the burning of properties to the south of Breslau. Soon, it became impossible to send supplies to the Prussian camp.

On October 31, large quilts were distributed to the soldiers of the main Austrian army - one to each tent. Furthermore, hooded cloaks were issued to sentries.

By November 4, the Austrians were steadily improving the fortifications of Leignitz to place that region in a state of defence and to secure the winter-quarters in that region.

In the night of November 9 to 10, Major von Owstien with 300 hussars (from Werner Hussars and Zieten Hussars) and 200 dragoons attacked a detachment of 100 horse near Wiltschau and took them all prisoners.

The Austrians then abandoned their outposts on the Upper Lohe.

Bevern was informed that Schweidnitz was hard pressed. He decided to take the offensive on November 12.

On November 10, Porporati Dragoons and Batthyányi Dragoons were detached from the Reserve Corps and sent to reinforce Nádasdy in front of Schweidnitz.

In the morning of November 11, Beverm was informed of Frederick's victory at Rossbach.

In the night of November 11 to 12, there was a heavy rainstorm. Bevern vainly hoped that bad weather would delay the Austrian attack on Schweidnitz and might even force them to abandon their camp in front of Breslau.

On November 12

  • Austrians
    • The remainder of the Reserve Corps (4 bns as well as several hundred cavalrymen and hussars), under the command of Count Nikolaus Esterházy, marched to take up cantonments at Canth (present-day Kąty Wrocławskie/PL), midway between the two armies. From there, Esterházy established small cavalry outposts across the Weistritz.
  • Prussians
    • In Saxony, 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.
    • In the evening, a messenger arrived to Bevern's camp with Frederick's long expected instructions. The king was confident that Bevern's attack could be successful as long as the main Austrian army was still weakened by the detachments made for the siege of Schweidnitz.

On November 13

  • Prussians
    • Sers, governor of Schweidnitz, capitulated.
    • Bevern could not launch the planned attack because, with unceasing rain, terrain was too soaked to allow for artillery movements. Instead, the army held a Te Deum to celebrate Frederick's victory at Rossbach. Bevern then assembled his generals to read them Frederick's letter, and despite some objections informed them that he had decided to offer battle on the next day. Bevern's anxiety about the fate of Schweidnitz was increasing. In fact, he had not received any news from the fortress since October 12.
    • At noon, two scouts mistakenly informed Bevern that an attack of the Austrians against Schweidnitz had been repulsed on the previous night and that there were rumours that the Austrians were considering to raise the siege. Furthermore, Colonel Angelelli reported that the Austrians were throwing many bridges on the Weistritz.
    • At 9:00 p.m., Bevern was informed that Schweidnitz had fallen. Nevertheless, he still planned to offer battle.

On November 14

  • Prussians
    • Shortly after midnight, as Bevern was taking measures to attack the Austrians, two deserters informed him that a corps was on the march from Schweidnitz to reinforce the main Austrian army while Nádasdy was advancing on Brieg. The Duke of Bevern immediately rode to Zieten's quarters at Klein-Mochbern where he held a conference with Zieten, Prince Karl von Bevern, Prince Friedrich Eugen von Württemberg and Major-General von der Golz. Zieten was initially of the opinion that it would be better to attack than to “let themselves being cannonaded.” However generals were of the opinion that there were no more reason to offer battle now that Schweidnitz had fallen. Colonel von Werner at the head of the Werner Hussars was sent to reconnoitre towards Schweidnitz.
    • Bevern sent a message to Frederick to inform him of the fall of Schweidnitz.

On November 15, Prince Charles and Daun received a letter from Maria Theresa, ordering them to seize a place on the Oder immediately after the capture of Schweidnitz.

On November 17, Bevern, fearing an attack of Nádasdy's Corps against Brieg, sent Wied Fusiliers to reinforce this fortress.

On November 18

  • Austrians
    • Nádasdy's Corps (including heavy artillery and siege train) joined the main army in front of Breslau, encamping between Bettlern (present-day Bielany Wrocławskie/PL) and Opperau (present-day Oporow/PL). Meanwhile, Arenberg's Corps rejoined the main army. With Nádasdy arrival, the Austrian army counted 96 bns, 93 grenadier coys, 141 sqns for a total of approx. 72,000 men. In addition to these figures there were approx. 11,000 light troops.
  • Prussians
    • Bevern's main concern was to secure his left flank threatened by Nádasdy's Corps.
    • Bevern sent 1 bn of Garnison Regiment Lattorf from Breslau. Furthermore, I./Sers Fusiliers was transferred from Brieg to Neisse. Finally, Grenadier Battalion Dieringshofen, which was on its way from Glogau to Breslau with recruits and convalescents, was ordered to return to Glogau.
    • In Lusatia, Frederick was only 8 km from Bautzen where the Austrian corps of FZM Marschall was posted. Frederick then learned that Schweidnitz had capitulated on November 14.

On November 19

  • Austrians
    • Nádasdy's Corps deployed on the right wing between Bettlern and Oppenau. Prince Charles could now concentrate his attention on Bevern's force entrenched at Breslau.
    • Marschall retired to Löbau and later on to Zittau.
  • Prussians
    • 1 bn of Tresckow Infantry occupied the Monastery of the Brothers Hospitallers in the suburb of Ohlau (present-day Olawa) near Breslau.

Frederick resumed his advance through Bautzen and Weissenberg. He then crossed the Queiss and the Bober as fast as he could to relieve Breslau. Meanwhile, Keith got into Bohemia through the defiles of Passberg and marched towards Prague seizing an important magazine at Leitmeritz (present-day Litoměřice/CZ).

Hadik's Corps (approx. 1,500 Grenzer light troops and 700 hussars), 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 20

  • Prussians
    • Early in the day, Zieten's Corps (7 bns, all the dragoons and 2 hussar rgts) was ordered to evacuate its positions east of Klein-Mochbern and to take new ones between Gräbschen and the south end of Gabitz (present-day Gajowicka). Furthermore, an entrenchment had to be built to the south-west of Gräbschen and two defensive works near the windmills of Gabitz.
    • Schultze Infantry was transferred from the centre of the Prussian positions to Gräbschen. Entrenchments were erected near Siebenhuben, Neudorf and Lehmgruben (three unidentified villages). Finally a battery was erected on the right bank of the Lohe east of the bridge of Pilsnitz.
  • Austrians
    • Prince Charles, Daun and Nádasdy reconnoitred the Prussian left wing, observing Zieten's movement to his new positions and the disposition of the new entrenchments.

In the night of November 20 to 21, the Austrians began to work on three batteries north of Gross-Mochbern to support the passage of the Lohe.

On November 21

  • Austrians
    • The main army moved to a new camp to deceive the Prussians.
    • Sprecher's Grenadier and Carabinier Corps with the Reserve Artillery covered the batteries east of Gross-Mochbern.
    • Kálnoky took position in the area of Strehlen to cover the main army against any threat coming from Brieg, Neisse and Glatz.
    • Nádasdy prepared four bridges to be thrown across the Lohe between Hartlieb and the Kreuz Mill.
    • In the evening, Nádasdy occupied position on the right bank of the Lohe with a few hussar rgts and part of his Grenzer light troops. The latter attacked Krietern (present-day Krzyki/PL) supported by several grenadier coys. The 50 men of Freibataillon Angelelli occupying the village retired to Kleinburg. A timid attempt of the Austrians against Kleinburg was repulsed.
  • Prussians
    • Major-General von Wietersheim, who was stationed near the bridge on the Old Oder, was ordered to leave only a covering force there and to form a reserve with his 3 bns (2 bns Brandes Fusiliers, 1 bn Kalckreuth Fusiliers) behind the grenadier bns of the Prussian right wing.
    • Colonel von Krockow was ordered to send back 300 commandeered foot and the largest part of the commandeered cuirassiers from his positions on the right bank of the Oder.
    • From Bautzen, Frederick sent a letter to Bevern instructing him to avoid battle with the Austrians.

In the night of November 21 to 22, additional Austrian batteries were established east of Gross-Mochbern near Neukirch and opposite Pilsnitz.

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.

In the night of November 22 to 23

  • Austrians
    • The Austrian army remained under arms on the battlefield in front of Breslau.
  • Prussians
    • Bevern's Army orderly retired through Breslau to the right bank of the Oder, the cavalry at the head of the column, followed by the infantry of the main body and then by Zieten's Corps. Bevern's Army then encamped between Leipe (unidentified location), Protsch, Lilienthal (unidentified location) and Rosenthal.
    • The garrison of Breslau (3 bns and 1 sqn of the Warnery Hussars) was completed with Schultze Infantry, Lestwitz Infantry, Brandes Fusiliers and 1bn of Kalckreuth Fusiliers. This brought the garrison up to 10 bns under Lieutenant-General Hans Friedrich von Katte.
    • The Duke of Bevern initially remained in Breslau to arrange the most necessary measures. Katte considered that the garrison was not strong enough to effectively defend the fortress but Bevern reminded him of the proximity of the army. In Breslau, Bevern received a letter from Frederick, written at Königsbrück on November 18, where he reproached him his inactivity during the siege and the loss of Schweidnitz. Then an erroneous report from Krockow informed Bevern that Esterházy had crossed the Oder at the head of 12,000 men at Kolonie Sandberg.

On November 23

  • Austrians
    • When Prince Charles was informed of the retreat of Bevern's Army across the Oder, he entrusted the siege of Breslau to Nádasdy. The latter posted his light troops in the suburbs of the place.
    • The main army encamped in the former Prussian camp between Gräbschen and Cosel.
    • Nádasdy's Corps and the Reserve Corps took position on the heights between Lehmgruben and Gabitz.
    • Beck recrossed to the right bank of the Oder at Kolonie Sandberg to observe the Prussian camp.
    • Nádasdy summoned Katte to surrender Breslau. The latter replied that he had orders to hold Breslau up to the last man. The Austrians then established batteries in the suburbs.

Continuation

The last phase of the campaign is described in the following articles:

  • The return of the King (November 24 to December 31, 1757) describing Frederick's precipitous return to Silesia, the Battle of Leuthen, the recapture of Breslau by the Prussians and the retreat of the Austrians to Bohemia.

References

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
    • Vol. 4 Groß-Jägersdorf und Breslau, Berlin, 1902, pp. 117-216, Appendix 15a
    • Vol. 6 Leuthen, Berlin, 1904, Anhang 1
  • 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

Other sources:

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

Acknowledgement

Harald Skala for information on the Saxon cavalry during this period