1758 - Prussian invasion of Moravia – Retreat of the Prussian Army
The campaign lasted from March to July 1758
Austrian and Prussian preparations, the initial Prussian operations in Silesia and the recapture of Schweidnitz (present-day Swidnica), the entry of the Prussian Army into Moravia and the preparations for the formal siege of Olmütz (present-day Olomouc) are described in our article 1758 - Prussian invasion of Moravia – Preparations and Arrival.
The manoeuvres of the Prussian covering forces and of the Austrian relief army while Olmütz was under siege are described in our article 1758 - Prussian invasion of Moravia – Siege till the Combat of Domstadl (present-day Domašov nad Bystřicí).
The lifting of the siege
On the night of June 30 to July 1
- Zieten spent the night at Meltsch (present-day Melč) with the bn of the Garrison Regiment Blanckensee.
- Field-Marshal Keith sent Retzow's Corps (7 bns, 15 sqns) towards Giebau (present-day Jívová) to lessen the pressure on Zieten's retiring Corps. However, Retzow could go no further than Dolein (present-day Dolany u Olomouce) where he realised that the Austrians were occupying all passes. He then marched back to Bistrowan (present-day Bystrovany).
- FZM von Marschall, in Olmütz, was the first Austrian commander to realise that the Prussians were retiring.
- When Field-Marshal Daun was informed of the Prussian retreat, he immediately advanced towards Olmütz. His army crossed to the left bank of the March (present-day Morava River) in three columns at Kojetein (present-day Kojetin), Uhritschitz (present-day Uhřičice) and Tobitschau (present-day Tovačov), leaving only a weak force in the positions between Tobitschau, Klenowitz (present-day Klenovice na Hané) and Prödlitz (present-day Brodek u Prostějova).
By July 1
- Early in the morning, when news of the disaster of Domstadtl reached Frederick, he decided to withdraw. Indeed, without ammunition to resume the siege of Olmütz, he could not hope to capture this fortress. The road to Glatz (present-day Kłodzko) through Moravia being blocked by the victorious Austrians, only the road through Bohemia remained open to the Prussian army. Frederick chose to march towards the Austrian magazines at Königgrätz (present-day Hradec Králové). Frederick assembled his generals and staff-officers at his headquarters in Schmirsitz (present-day Smržice) to inform them of his intent to retire towards Bohemia, with Keith marching by Littau (present-day Litovel) and Müglitz (present-day Mohelnice) with the siege corps to effect a junction with Frederick’s Army at Mährisch-Trübau (present-day Moravská Třebová); the entire army would then march towards Königgrätz by Hohenmauth (present-day Vysoké Mýto). Frederick also promoted Lieutenant-Colonel von Mosel to major-general and threatened to cashier any defeatist.
- Zieten reached Troppau (present-day Opava) with the bn of the Garrison Regiment Blanckensee, where he managed to assemble the remnants of 9 bns and part of Schmettau Cuirassiers.
- In the evening, Keith had all his batteries intensifying fire on Olmütz and continued to work at the trenches to deceive the Austrians.
- Loudon sent Colonel Lanjus towards Bärn (present-day Moravský Beroun) and Major von Amelungen with 300 Grenzer light troops and 60 hussars in the direction of Neisse (present-day Nysa). Loudon then marched to Langendorf (present-day Dlouhá Ves).
- In the morning, the Kaiser Franz I Hussars (part of Buccow's Corps) had attacked Zieten Hussars near Kosteletz (present-day Kostelec na Hané) to draw attention to these quarters.
- By noon, Daun’s Army stood on the heights near Roketnitz (present-day Rokytnice) in the neighbourhood of Kokor (present-day Kokory), west of Prerau (present-day Přerov). It deployed in three lines and rested there for a few hours.
- In the afternoon, the vanguard of the Austrian main army reached Groß-Teinitz (present-day Velký Týnec).
- At 4:00 p.m., the Austrian main army resumed its advance towards Groß-Teinitz which it reached in the evening. The outnumbered Prussian corps facing the main army had no choice but to retire to the right bank of the March. Daun had thus established unhindered communication with the Fortress of Olmütz. Frederick could not hope anymore to capture Olmütz without an open battle.
- During its march, the Austrian main army was very effectively covered by Buccow's Corps at Ptin (present-day Ptení); the Marquis de Ville (3 bns of Toscana Infantry along with a few Saxon Cavalry regiments) near Prödlitz; Lieutenant-General von Zeschwitz (with the remaining Saxon Cavalry regiments) near Oplotzan (present-day Oplocany); and the light troops who had formed a thick curtain in front of the Austrian camp to prevent any deserter to give alarm to the nearest Prussian patrols.
- In the evening, the watch fires of the Austrian main army on the heights of Groß-Teinitz, Czechowitz (present-day Cechovice) and Grügau (present-day Grygov) could be seen from Olmütz, provoking much joy among the faithful inhabitants.
The numerous Austrian light corps were in a position to delay Frederick’s march, and if Daun pursued aggressively, the situation of the Prussian army could become very serious.
On the night of July 1 to 2
- Keith skillfully raised the siege of Olmütz under heavy rain. He then marched towards Krönau (present-day Křelov) to the north-west of Olmütz. He had left one 24-pdr gun and 5 iron mortars nailed in the trenches. Retzow was recalled from the eastern bank of the March, crossing the river on a pontoon bridge at Neustift (present-day Nové Sady). He was followed by Major-General von Krockow with the remnants of the vanguard of the convoy. Bridges were then broken up.
- By 2:00 a.m., the siege train had reached Krönau where the bakery, the supply train and the baggage joined it, forming a convoy of about 4,500 wagons.
- Zieten managed to assemble 3,000 foot and 1,200 horse at Troppau.
|Order of Battle|
|Detailed OOB of the Prussian army on July 2.|
On July 2
- By 5:00 a.m., Keith’s entire siege corps was on the march towards Krönau. Upon reaching this village, Keith took the direction of Littau, marching in three columns, with the artillery pieces and vehicles forming the centre column. Prince Franz von Braunschweig led the rearguard. Only a few Austrian detachments were sent out from Olmütz to follow the retreating Prussians. In the afternoon, Keith reached Littau. His main body encamped near Assmeritz (present-day Nasobůrky) while his artillery and vehicles marched across Littau and stopped on both sides of the town under the protection of 7 bns and 5 sqns.
- Around 5:00 a.m., Frederick’s Army (30 bns, 83 sqns) set off from its camp at Schmirsitz. Prince Moritz with the vanguard (10 bns, 30 sqns) effected a junction with Wedell's small detachment (3,5 bns, 10 sqns) at Namiest (present-day Náměšť na Hané), and marched by Laschkau (present-day Laškov) and Punkew (present-day Ponikev), encamping near Birkersdorf (present-day Březinky) at the entrance of the pass at Netztrowa (present-day Nectava) and Gewitsch (present-day Jevíčko). Frederick with the rest of the corps of observation marched to Brezeskow (present-day Březsko) by Przemislowitz (present-day Přemyslovice). The rearguard, under the command of the Prince von Württemberg was only followed by a few Austrian hussars.
- Daun’s main army remained surprisingly idle at Groß-Teinitz.
On July 3
- Celebrations took place in the Austrian camp of Groß-Teinitz. Daun, even though he could have ruined the Prussian army during this retreat, did nothing. Daun was sure that Frederick was retreating towards Silesia and he made his detachments accordingly, contenting himself of sending the corps of Buccow, Loudon, Saint-Ignon and Siskovics to follow the retiring Prussian Army who had already taken a significant advance. The Austrian main army remained in its camp of Groß-Teinitz, detaching only the Grenadier Corps and Carabinier Corps under Lacy who crossed the March River and encamped at Krönau, north-west of Olmütz.
- Buccow’s Corps, which remained on the Prussian left flank during the entire march, reached Groß-Oppatowitz (present-day Velké Opatovice). Buccow threw a few hundreds Grenzer light troops in the Pass of Schönhengst (near present-day Hrebecov).
- Siskovics and Saint-Ignon advanced up to Bladensdorf (present-day Mladoňov).
- Loudon advanced to Hohenstadt (present-day Zábřeh) on the right of the Prussian line of advance where he would remain until July 4.
- De Ville’s Corps reached Prossnitz (present-day Prostějov).
- Lacy’s Corps crossed the March River and encamped at Krönau.
- Keith’s Corps
- In the morning, Lieutenant-General von Retzow arrived at Müglitz, marching by Aussee (present-day Úsov) on the left bank of the March, with part of Keith’s Corps. Retzow was at the head of 13 bns, 2 mineur coys and 11 sqns, accompanying the siege train.
- Keith also sent Major-General von Rebentisch with 4 bns (Grenadier Battalions Unruh, Carlowitz-Rath, Manteuffel and Alt-Billerbeck) and 150 hussars to Müglitz on the western bank of the March River to support Retzow. Keith followed Rebentisch with the rest of his corps. Keith established his camp on the heights near Müglitz with his right wing at Kremetschau (present-day Křemačov), his left extending up to the March River and his front covered by a brook.
- Keith’s rearguard, under Prince Franz von Braunschweig, waited at Littau till the arrival of the last wagons coming from Krönau. This rearguard consisted of 6 bns, the Feldjäger zu Fuß (2 coys) and 10 sqns.
- In the evening, the tail of Keith’s convoy was attacked a party of hussars and peasants between Königlosen (present-day Králová) and Aussee. The Austrians managed to plunder 40 wagons and to capture 200 horses but were finally repulsed by the Feldjäger zu Fuß. The last part of the train reached the camp around midnight.
- Keith was now at the head of 36 bns, 2 Feldjäger zu Fuß coys, 2 mineur coys, and 31 sqns including the former garrison of Littau and the detachment of Major-General von Kreytzen, recalled from Klein-Senitz (present-day Senička).
- Frederick’s main army
- From his positions, Prince Moritz could protect the main body against any entreprise by Buccow.
- Frederick’s Army reached Mährisch-Trübau unmolested.
- Keith’s Corps
It became manifest that the retreat was converging on Leuthomischl (present-day Litomyšl), straight for Bohemia instead of Silesia. However, the Austrian corps detached by Daun to pursue the Prussians totalled only some 24,000 men. They were not large enough to seriously threaten the Prussians.
On July 4
- Saint-Ignon’s Corps, which had set off from Prerau and marched along the March River, reached Liebau (present-day Libina).
- Siskovics marched towards Liebau.
- De Ville reached the neighbourhood of Krakowetz (probably Krakovec).
- GFWM Drašković arrived at Vienna with the news of the relief of Olmütz and of the retreat of the Prussian Army. Upon hearing these news, Maria Theresa promoted Drašković to the rank of FML.
- Daun crossed the March south of Olmütz with the main army and encamped between Drahanowitz (present-day Drahanovice) and Wolschan (present-day Olšany u Prostějova).
- Frederick’s Army
- Prince Moritz marched to Krenau (present-day Křenov) with the vanguard to observe the movements of General Buccow.
- Frederick reconnoitred the road from Mährisch-Trübau to the Pass of Schönhengst with 2 bns and a few hundreds hussars. Some 300 men of Banal-Grenzinfanterieregiment nr. 2 under Major Petkovich, posted in advantageous positions received the advancing troops with a lively fire. Frederick then retired to his camp and decided to take a longer but more convenient road by Glaselsdorf (present-day Sklené) and Zwittau (present-day Svitavy).
- Frederick’s Army rested, awaiting the arrival of Keith’s Corps.
- Keith’s Corps
- At 2:00 a.m., Keith’s wagons set off from Müglitz. Keith had sent Jung Braunschweig Fusiliers (2 bns), Wied Fusiliers (2 bns) and Bayreuth Dragoons (10 sqns) to reinforce Retzow’s escort which now numbered 17 bns and 20 sqns.
- In the afternoon, Keith covered the left flank of Retzow’s column which marched by Langenlutsch (present-day Dlouhá Loučka) to Mährisch-Trübau.
- Frederick’s Army
- In the evening, Keith’s last wagons took the wrong road and were attacked by Loudon's Grenzer light troops near Mürau (present-day Mírov). The Jung Braunschweig Fusiliers managed to drive them back but lost 46 men in the engagement. Overall, the Prussians lost 150 men, a few wagons and 150 horses in this action.
On July 5
- General Buccow was posted at Politschka (present-day Polička) to intercept the Prussian train which had taken a day rest at Mährisch-Trübau.
- Loudon reached Tribnitz (present-day Třebovice).
- Saint-Ignon reached Sichelsdorf (present-day Žichlínek).
- De Ville’s Corps advanced on Troppau.
- Lacy with the Grenadier Corps reached Konitz (present-day Konice).
- Daun was at Wolschan with the main army.
- Frederick’s Army
- In the morning, Prince Moritz reached Leuthomischl where he seized a considerable Austrian magazine. He threw 3 bns into the town and established his camp on the neighbouring heights.
- Frederick detached Lieutenant-general von Forcade (5 bns, 15 sqns) to take possession of the heights near Jansdorf (present-day Janov) and then await the arrival of Keith’s Corps.
- The main body followed marched by Krenau to the south-west of Mährisch-Trübau towards Zwittau. Frederick left 4 bns and the entire cavalry on the heights behind Zwittau; the rest of his infantry was quartered in the town of Zwittau and in the village of Mohren (present-day Javorník).
- Keith’s Corps
- Keith’s Corps rested in its camp near Mährisch-Trübau. Keith fell ill and Fouqué replaced him as commander of this corps. Fouqué then decided, against Keith’s advice to divide the convoy in three part which would each marched on their own day.
- Zieten’s Corps
- Zieten’s Corps retreated from Troppau to Neisse when de Ville’s Corps advanced on Troppau. Zieten would remain at Neisse until July 24.
- Frederick’s Army
On July 6
- Loudon and Saint-Ignon reached Wildenschwerdt (present-day Ústí nad Orlicí).
- Siskovics reached Böhmisch-Triberl (present-day Česká Třebová).
- Lacy reached Konitz with the Grenadierkorps and Reservekorps, one day-march ahead of Daun’s main army.
- Daun ordered de Ville to march by Troppau to Upper Silesia with his corps which consisted of:
- Simbschen Infantry
- Commandeered infantry (3,000 men of the garrison of Olmütz)
- unidentified Grenzer light troops (1,000 men)
- Jung-Modena Dragoons
- Sachsen-Gotha Dragoons
- Prinz Karl Chevauxlegers
- Prinz Albrecht Chevauxlegers
- Graf Brühl Chevauxlegers
- Saxon Karabiniergarde
- Graf Renard Uhlanen
- Graf Rudnicki Uhlanen
- Frederick’s Army
- Prince Moritz remained at Leuthomischl.
- Margrave Karl was left behind at Zwittau with the Prussian main body to wait for Keith’s Corps.
- Frederick marched to Leuthomischl with 6 bns and 3 sqns.
- Keith’s Corps
- Lieutenant-General von Fouqué had now replaced Keith as commander of the Prussian train. To protect the train, the escort was organised into 3 sections:
- 1st section: 12 bns, 13 sqns under Fouqué’s personal command (seconded by Prince Franz von Braunschweig, Kannacher and Krockow)
- 2nd section: 12 bns, 17 sqns under the command of Lieutenant-General Neuwied seconded by Rebentisch, Jung Kreytzen and Schenckendorff
- 3rd section: 2 bns, the 2 coys of Feldjäger zu Fuß, 15 sqns, the 2 coys of Mineurs under the command of Lieutenant-General von Retzow seconded by Goltz and Bornstedt
- vanguard: 2 bns, 2 sqns, half the hussars
- rearguard: 2 bns, 3 sqns, half the hussars
- Fouqué’s 1st section marched unmolested by Uttigsdorf (present-day Útěchov) and Krenau (present-day Křenov) and encamped at Greifendorf (present-day Hradec nad Svitavou) to the south of Zwittau.
- Fouqué’s 3rd section reached Nikel (present-day Mikuleč) after a minor engagement.
- Freibataillon Salenmon occupied the Pass of Schönhengst.
- Lieutenant-General von Fouqué had now replaced Keith as commander of the Prussian train. To protect the train, the escort was organised into 3 sections:
- Frederick’s Army
On July 7
- Daun set off from his camp at Wolschan with the main army and marched by Konitz, Gewitsch, Politschka, Sebranitz (present-day Sebranice u Litomyšle) and Hohenmauth towards Hrochowteinitz (present-day Hrochův Týnec).
- Lacy reached Gewitsch with the Austrian Grenadierkorps and Reservekorps. The Grenadier Corps moved to Krenau.
- Keith’s Corps
- Fouqué’s 1st section reached Zwittau while the bakery proceeded to Leuthomischl. As soon as the wagons had passed the defiles, Forcade abandoned his post on the Heights of Jansdorf and joined Margrave Karl. The united corps then marched towards Leuthomischl. The Pass of Schönhengst was left unguarded.
- Fouqué’s 2nd section, which had set off from Mährisch-Trübau in the morning under the command of Lieutenant-General Count Wied, was attacked by Buccow’s light troops. The II./Prinz Ferdinand Infantry drove the attackers back. However, several wagons whose horses had fallen had to be abandoned. The rest of the section was able to resume its march. This section reached Greifendorf while some of its advanced elements reached Zwittau.
- Retzow, who was supposed to leave Mährisch-Trübau only the next day with the third section of the convoy, set off, threatened by the approaching Austrian corps. As his column came out of Langenlutsch, it was received with artillery fire, and it turned out that the vicinity of Krenau was occupied by Austrian troops. Already, his rearguard had been cut from Langenlutsch. Retzow established a “Wagenburg” near the road, protected by his infantry. A cannonade ensued, lasting for several hours. Wied Fusiliers finally stormed the burning village of Langenlutsch which was evacuated by the Austrians during the evening. Retzow immediately resumed his advance.
- Frederick’s Army
- The rearguards under Forcade and Margrave Karl marched to Leutomischl after fulfilling their mission.
- The vanguard under Prince Moritz tried to capture an Austrian magazine but the Austrian Colonel von Zobel with his detachment (1 hussar rgt and 900 Grenzer light troops) had time to remove most of the provisions to Deutsch-Brod.
- The concentration of all Prussian units at Leuthomischl was almost completed. Part of Keith's Corps still was at Greifendorf and the rearguard at Krenau.
- Keith’s Corps
On July 8
- Daun’s Army reached Krenau.
- Retzow effected a junction with Fouqué’s Corps near Zwittau while Wied advanced up to Gayer (unidentified location).
- All Prussian corps effected a junction at Leuthomischl. From then on, the entire Prussian army went in deliberate long column. Frederick led the way to open the passages.
Prussian retreat through Bohemia
|Map of Prussian retreat from Moravia. It shows the limitations imposed by the terrain and how it channeled the armies through a handful of routes through the mountains.|
Source: Kriege Friedrichs des Grossen, volume III by the German Grosser Generalstab, Courtesy of Tony Flores
Solid blue boxes = Frederick's camps
Shaded blue boxes = Keith's camps
Solid red boxes = Daun's camps
Shaded red boxes = Austrian Grenadier- and Carabinier-Corps
Hollow red boxes = Camps of Loudon, St. Ignon, Buccow and Siskovics
On July 9
- Loudon, who had earlier effected a junction with Saint-Ignon’s Corps, marched by Sichelsdorf and Wildenschwerdt towards Chotzen (present-day Choceň) and took position in the forest along the road followed by the Prussians. He was closely followed by Siskovics’ Corps.
- Daun marched to Politschka with the main army.
- Frederick's Corps marched in two columns towards Kruschau (unidentified location), Hrusova (present-day Hrušová) and Tisowa (present-day Tisová).
- Frederick left Margrave Karl with his rearguard at Leutomischl, instructing him to obtain 4 mortars and 8 24-pdr guns from Fouqué for the planned bombardment of Königgrätz.
- Prince Moritz with the vanguard moved to Tisowa.
- The three columns of Fouqué’s convoy finally arrived at Leutomischl.
On July 10
- The corps of Loudon, Siskovics and Daun held their previous positions.
- Buccow, Esterhazy and Kalnoky reached Königgrätz where they effected a junction with Jahnus’ Corps. Buccow was now at the head of approx. 6,500 men.
- Frederick marched to Neu-Holitz (probably present-day Holice), closely followed by Margrave Karl.
- Keith re-assumed command of his corps which rested at Leutomischl for a day, sending the requested artillery escorted by 4 bns (2 bns of Asseburg, II./Münchow, Grenadier Battalion Pieverlingk), 5 sqns of Bredow Cuirassiers and 100 hussars under the command of Major-General Saldern. The latter marched by Hohenmauth and encamped near Tignitzko (present-day Týnišťko).
- Keith also sent Retzow ahead with 4 bns (2 bns of Bornstedt, 2 bns of Prinz Ferdinand), 1 sqn of Schmettau Cuirassiers and most of the train.
On July 11
- Daun moved to Sebranitz.
- Most other corps remained at their previous positions.
- Retzow’s vanguard marched from Wysoka an der Elbe (present-day Vysoká nad Labem) towards Wostretin (present-day Ostřetín), constantly harassed by hussar parties. Furthermore, Loudon’s artillery, established in the forest northeast of Wostretin and covered by Grenzer light troops, opened on Retzow’s troops as they were descending from the heights of Wysoka. Retzow immediately deployed three batteries to reply. The artillery duel lasted till darkness. Meanwhile, Retzow established a “Wagenburg” on the heights to the southeast of Wostretin. For their part, Loudon and Siskovics deployed their infantry south of Neu-Holitz. Retzow, estimating that the Austrians had been reinforced, decided to halt.
- Frederick’s Army marched from Neu-Holitz in two columns. Frederick reached Lhota (present-day Lhota pod Strání) with the left column while Prince Moritz forced the passage of the Adler River at Swinar (present-day Svinary) with part of his troops after a brief engagement. A pontoon bridge was then rapidly thrown across the river to allow the crossing of the rest of his column. Prince Moritz then advanced with his column to the heights near Pilletitz (present-day Piletice), northeast of Königgrätz. A battery for 24 guns was erected near Malschowitz (present-day Malšovice).
- Keith’s and Margrave Karl’s troops moved into Retzow’s former camp near Tignitzko where, during the evening they could hear the din of a cannonade coming from the direction of Neu-Holitz. Soon afterwards, they received a message informing them that Retzow’s vanguard was under attack. Keith immediately sent Major-General von Bronstedt with 8 bns (Wied Fusiliers (2 bns), Forcade (2 bns), Manteuffel (2 bns), Kalckstein (2 bns)) and 10 hussar sqns (Möhring Hussars (5 sqns), Seydlitz Hussars (5 sqns)) to relieve him.
- Retzow’s troops, which had been joined by Bronstedt’s reinforcements, encamped in the immediate vicinity of the “Wagenburg”. The glimmer of the burning village lit up the night and secured the Prussians against any surprise attack.
- The entire Prussian army had now crossed the Adler.
On the night of July 11 to 12, Buccow retired from Königgrätz and marched towards Chlumetz (present-day Chlumec nad Cidlinou).
On July 12
- Around 3:00 a.m., Retzow set off from his camp, marching by Ober-Reditz (present-day Horní Ředice) and Unter-Reditz (present-day Dolní Ředice) to bypass the Austrian forces posted at Neu-Holitz. At daybreak, another ineffective artillery duel began. The part of the convoy out of range of the Austrian artillery was only harassed by hussars. However, when the convoy turned northwards at Komarow (present-day Komárov) to regain the road leading from Neu-Holitz to Königgrätz, Saint-Ignon suddenly advanced to attack it at the head of a dragoon rgt and of horse grenadiers. They hit the Bredow Cuirassiers who were guarding the flank of the convoy, threw them in disorder and drove them back to Unter-Reditz. The Austrians penetrated into the “Wagenburg” and engaged Möhring Hussars. However, Bredow Cuirassiers who had meanwhile rallied, attacked Saint-Ignon’s flank and rear and pushed him back to Neu-Holitz with considerable loss. During this time, Keith’s Corps had reached Litetin (present-day Litětiny) and deployed for attack. Loudon realised the danger and retired in good order into the forest of Borohadek (present-day Borohrádek). Keith remained in the vicinity of Neu-Holitz while Retzow resumed his advance with the convoy to Draschkow (present-day Dražkov) with a strong escort (Pannewitz (2 bns), I./Münchow Fusiliers, I./Jung-Kreytzen, Baron von Schönaich Cuirassiers (5 sqns) and 300 hussars).
- Daun moved to Hohenmauth and sent the horse grenadiers towards Neu-Holitz.
- Early in the morning, Prince Moritz occupied Königgrätz and started to repair the bridge on the Elbe which had been broken down by the Austrians. However, he did not find much provisions in the place.
- Frederick reached Rokitna (present-day Rokytno).
- Keith reached Neu-Holitz and Ober-Reditz.
On July 13
- Loudon’s Corps marched to Opotschno (present-day Opočno).
- Siskovics’ Corps marched to Tinischt (present-day Týniště nad Orlicí).
- Daun’s main army marched to Hrochowteinitz.
- Frederick rested his army.
- Keith reached the region south of Königgrätz and Retzow entered into town with his convoy.
On July 14
- Buccow retired to Kulm (present-day Chlumec u Chabařovic).
- Loudon’s Corps was posted near Opotschno.
- Colonel Lanjus was near Nachod with a strong party of Grenzer light troops.
- Siskovics and Saint-Ignon occupied Tinischt.
- Frederick assembled his reunified army north of the Adler between Rusek and Swinar, leaving a few bns to guard his headquarters in Königgrätz. Furthermore, the freikorps and Seydlitz Hussars occupied the village of Malschowitz on the south bank of the Adler. The bridges on the Adler were broken down.
- Frederick hoped that Daun would give him the opportunity to engage battle because he wanted to rush northwards to put a stop the the Russian invasion of Brandenburg.
- Frederick also wished to send his heavy artillery and its train to Glatz but Loudon’s Corps, posted near Opotschno, paused a serious threat to any convoy heading from Königgrätz to Glatz.
Frederick then stood in this inexpugnable position, living on the country. The 4,000 baggage-wagons also came in about entire. Loudon had made several attempts to stop the baggage. His main attempt was made at Neu-Holitz, within a march of Königsgratz. However, Keith's quick reaction had prevented another disaster.
On July 16
- Frederick with 7 bns and 15 sqns advanced against Loudon who was threatening the line of communication with Glatz. Frederick tried to trap Loudon’s Corps but the outposts soon notified Loudon who retired to Reichenau (present-day Rychnov nad Kněžnou). A single outpost at Opotschno was caught by surprise by the Prussians. Loudon lost only 120 men during this operation. Prussian troops then occupied Opotschno
- Fouqué set off from Königgrätz with 18 bns (Fouqué Fusiliers (2 bns), Pannewitz (2 bns), Markgraf von Brandenburg Fusiliers (2 bns), Prinz Heinrich von Preußen Fusiliers (2 bns), Prinz Ferdinand (2 bns) Jung Braunschweig Fusiliers (2 bns), Wied Fusiliers (1 bn), Jung-Kreytzen (1 bn), IV./Garrison Regiment Lattorff (1 bn), Grenadier Battalion Naumeister (1 bn), Grenadier Battalion Alt-Billerbeck (1 bn), Grenadier Battalion Carlowitz-Rath (1 bn)) and 25 sqns (Puttkamer Hussars (10 sqns), Herzog von Württemberg Dragoons (5 sqns), Möhring Hussars (5 sqns), Seydlitz Hussars (5 sqns)) and marched to Dobrouschka (present-day Dobruška) to prevent Loudon from retreating to Neustadt (present-day Nové Město nad Metují) near Nachod.
On July 17
- Daun reached Pardubitz (present-day Pardubice) with the main army.
- Frederick sent Major-General von Lattorff from his camp at Königgrätz with 4 grenadier bns (Pieverlingk, Schenckendorff, Nimschöfsky and Manteuffel) and 5 sqns (Jung-Platen Dragoons) to escort the heavy artillery and the sick.
- Fouqué encamped on the heights behind Nachod from where he would escort Lattorff’s convoy to Glatz. Even though Frederick had taken position at Opotschno, Fouqué’s line of communication with the main army was not secured. Indeed Austrian light corps were still threatening the right flank from Jermer (present-day Jaroměř).
On July 18
- Daun moved from Pardubitz to Dobresenitz (present-day Dobřenice), encamping between Wositz (present-day Osice) and Libischan (present-day Libišany). He had finally got into Königsgratz neighbourhood a week after Frederick. Ironically, the Prussians were planted in the inside of those innumerable redoubts and abatis that Daun had built earlier in the year. Daun’s army amounted to 71 fusilier bns, 10 grenadier bns and 126 sqns. Even though he was superior in force (75,000 men against 30,000), he was unable to dislodge Frederick from his positions around Königgratz.
- Buccow’s Corps marched from Chlumetz and effected a junction with the main army. He had left 2 infantry rgts to occupy Pardubitz.
- Jahnus’ Corps (4,000 Grenzer light troops, Morocz Hussars) reached the neighbourhood of Klein-Boken (present-day Malá Bukovina) and Chwalkowitz (present-day Chvalkovice) near Königinhof (present-day Dvůr Králové nad Labem), well posted to harass the Prussian right flank. Furthermore, his Grenzer light troops occupied the crossing of the Elbe at Smirschitz (present-day Smiřice).
- Major-General Count Kálnoky took position on the heights near Chlum with 3 hussar rgts (Kaiser, Kalnoky, Esterhazy).
- Before engaging on the road to Glatz, Fouqué took disposition to protect his movement from any attempt by the Austrian light troops. Accordingly, he deployed Puttkamer at Schwedeldorf (present-day Szalejów) with 4 bns and 7 sqns; Schenckendorff on the heights of Reinerz (present-day Duszniki-Zdrój) with 5 bns and 12 hussar sqns; Kreytzen on the Hummelberg with 4 bns, 1 dragoon sqn and 200 hussars; and 2 grenadier bns occupied Rückers (present-day Szczytna). Fouqué with 4 bns and 5 sqns then awaited at Nachod the arrival of General Lattorff with the artillery train.
On July 19
- Fouqué left Nachod for Glatz with his corps and the artillery train arriving from Königgrätz. Fouqué left Major-General von Lattorff in command at Nachod, reinforcing his detachment with 4 bns (Pannewitz (2 bns), Jung Braunschweig Fusiliers (2 bns)) and 20 sqns (Puttkamer Hussars (10 sqns), Möhring Hussars (5 sqns), Seydlitz Hussars (5 sqns)).
- Prince Moritz, observing the movements of the Austrians from a tower in Königgrätz, noticed Daun’s new camp near Libischan. Frederick was pleased to know that the enemy was so close, still hoping to force a decision with an open battle. He planned to cross the Elbe at Klein-Skalitz and to attack the Grenadier Corps and the Reserve Corps posted on the heights near Chlum (in fact he had been misinformed, only Kálnoky stood on these heights).
On July 21
- Daun manoeuvred to cover his position from any attack from Königgratz. Accordingly, he sent the horse grenadiers to Chlum (present-day Chlum Všestary), Wehla's light troops to Saint-Jean Chapel.
- Kálnoky’s detachment advanced from Chlum to Smirschitz.
- Fouqué, once his mission accomplished, departed from Glatz with 300 wagons loaded with supply.
On July 22
- The main army moved to a new position between Urbanitz (present-day Urbanice) and Chlum (unidentified location) under the cover of the carabiniers deployed on the heights between Stöser (present-day Stěžery) and Urbanitz.
- Fouqué arrived at Nachod and confided the convoy to Lattorff to bring it to Königsgratz. Fouqué then encamped in front of Nachod with 4 bns, 5 dragoon sqns and 20 hussar sqns.
- Prince Moritz urged Frederick to join him at Königgrätz.
Frederick leaves for Brandenburg
On July 23
- Frederick confided command of his corps to Prince Franz von Braunschweig to march it from Opotschno to Librzitz (probably Libřice). Meanwhile, Frederick rode to Königgrätz, escorted by Normann Dragoons. He then crossed the Elbe on the bridge at Königgrätz to reconnoitre the Austrian camp. He realised that Daun was occupying too strong a position and changed his plans. He decided to evacuate Bohemia and to bring assistance to Dohna against the Russian invasion of Brandenburg.
- The convoy arriving from Glatz reached Frederick’s camp. It was accompanied by 1,732 recruits and convalescents.
- By that date, Fouqué occupied Nachod and Reinerz with 14 bns (Fouqué Fusiliers (2 bns), Markgraf von Brandenburg Fusiliers (2 bns), Prinz Heinrich von Preußen Fusiliers (2 bns), Prinz Ferdinand (2 bns), Wied Fusiliers (1 bn), Jung-Kreytzen (1 bn), IV./Garrison Regiment Lattorff (1 bn), Grenadier Battalion Naumeister (1 bn), Grenadier Battalion Alt-Billerbeck (1 bn), Grenadier Battalion Carlowitz-Rath (1 bn)) and Herzog von Württemberg Dragoons (5 sqns).
On July 24
- The main Austrian army encamped at Libischan included 44 infantry rgts which altogether could field 63 bns and 66 grenadier coys, including 17 rgts who could each field 2 bns and 2 grenadier coys.
- Loudon’s Corps reoccupied Opotschno which had been evacuated by the Prussians.
- Zieten set off from Neisse with the largest part of his corps and marched to Glatz. He left Tresckow Infantry, the 400 commandeered men of Garrison Regiment Blanckensee and 200 hussars behind in Neisse. Furthermore, 2 bns of Garrison Regiment Mützschefahl were sent to the Fortress of Cosel (present-day Kędzierzyn-Koźle).
- At Glatz, Zieten’s infantry (Grenadier Battalion Bähr, Grenadier Battalion Kleist, the battalion of recruits of Prinz Ferdinand Infantry and the convalescent of the infantry) and a few hundreds hussars were charged to cover a convoy of flour sent from Breslau (present-day Wrocław ) to Glatz.
- Zieten set off with his remaining cavalry and marched by Reinerz and Nachod to rejoin the main army.
On July 25
- Observing the movements of the Prussian corps, Daun finally sent Wehla forward to attack the suburbs of Königsgrätz. I./Pannewitz Infantry, which occupied the suburbs beyond the Elbe retired to the opposite bank and the bridge of boats was then broken up.
- At noon, Frederick sent Major-General von Rebentisch forward with the bakery, the supplies and the ambulance, escorted by 6 bns (Kalckstein, Jung Braunschweig Fusiliers, Asseburg) and 10 sqns (Werner Hussars). Rebentisch crossed the Mettau and stopped at Dolskow (present-day Dolsko).
- The Prince of Württemberg marched to Tschibus (present-day Číbuz) to observe the Austrian vanguard passing the Elbe at Smirschitz and to cover Rebentisch's march with 1 grenadier bn (Grenadier Battalion Dieringshofen) and 23 sqns 28 sqns (Garde du Corps (3 sqns), Gens d'Armes (5 sqns), Leib-Carabiniers (5 sqns), Normann Dragoons (5 sqns), Czettritz Dragoons (5 sqns), Möhring Hussars (5 sqns)).
- In the evening, Major-General von Lattorff followed Rebentisch with 4 grenadier bns (Pieverlingk, Schenckendorff, Nimschöfsky and Manteuffel) and the baggage and reached Rohenitz (present-day Rohenice).
- I./Pannewitz Infantry was left behind to occupy the suburb of Königgrätz on the west bank of the Elbe.
On the night of July 25 to 26, two bns of Karlstädter-Lykaner Grenzer under the command of Colonel Bela attacked the isolated I./Pannewitz Infantry and drove it out of the western suburb of Königgrätz. Bela captured 3 heavy guns in an entrenchment. In this action, the Prussians lost Major-General von Saldern, killed and 63 men killed or wounded. The Austrians lost 2 men killed and 15 wounded.
On July 26
- Daun sent his horse grenadiers across the Elbe to harass the retiring Prussians while he remained idle in his camp and recalled Siskovics's and Saint-Ignon's detachments.
- FML Lacy rapidly repaired the bridge over the Elbe at Königgrätz and crossed with the Grenadier Corps and the Reserve Corps. By 10:00 a.m., his corps appeared on the heights near Czernilow (present-day Černilov). An ineffective artillery duel ensued with the Prussian rearguard which, by that time, had already reached the heights near Librzitz. Lacy encamped at Czernilow.
- At 3:30 a.m., Frederick’s Army retired from Königgrätz in four columns and marched to Librzitz where the troops of the Prince of Württemberg rejoined the marching column. Major-General von Puttkamer led a rearguard of 7 bns (2 bns each of Prinz von Preußen and Pannewitz; and 1 Freikorps bn each of Salenmon, Le Noble and Rapin) and 15 sqns (10 sqns of Puttkamer Hussars and 5 sqns of Seydlitz Hussars). The army reached Jassena (present-day Jasenná). Two regiments guarded the bridge over the Mettau at Slawietin (present-day Slavětín nad Metují) while Zieten Hussars covered the right flank and the Grenadier Battalion Rohr covered the left flank. Frederick’s Army would remain encamped near Jassena and Königslhota (present-day Králova Lhota u Českého Meziříčí) until July 29.
On July 27
- Frederick sent Retzow with 10 bns (2 bns each of Pannewitz and Forcade; grenadier bns Manteuffel, Schenckendorff, Pieverlingk, Wangenheim and Unruh; and Freibataillon Salenmon) and 15 sqns (5 sqns each of Normann Dragoons, Krockow Dragoons and Möhring Hussars) against Loudon’s Corps which was posted at Opotschno, on the heights of Neustadt. Retzow advanced by Pohor (unidentified location) and Gutenfeld (present-day Dobruška) and Loudon retired southwards without fighting. Retzow encamped near Neustadt.
- Rebentisch marched to Nachod with his convoy where he effected a junction with Fouqué’s Corps. Along the way, Grenadier Battalion Naumeister and troops sent by Fouqué from Nachod fought an engagement against Grenzer light troops sent from Krumolna (present-day Kramolna) by Major-General Jahnus to intercept the convoy. In this engagement the bn lost 2 officers and 50 men. The convoy finally reached Glatz.
On July 28
- Lattorff with an escort of 4 bns led the Prussian supplies across the Mettau and marched towards Nahorzan (present-day Nahořany).
Daun was still idle in his camp west of Königgrätz, ready to march into Lusatia as soon as the Prussians had departed for Silesia. He repaired the partly destroyed fortifications of Königgrätz. He also recalled the corps under Siskovics and Saint-Ignon to the main army; and charged the two corps of Jahnus and Loudon to follow the retreating Prussian army. Both corps were instructed to halt at the frontier. Furthermore, Loudon should return to the main army as soon the Prussians would have evacuated Bohemia; while Jahnus would form a chain of outposts from Nachod to Trautenau (present-day Trutnov).
On July 29, the Prussian artillery train and baggage joined Lattorff at Nahorzan.
On July 30
- Daun, fearing that Frederick intended to reach Trautenau sent Lacy’s Corps across the Elbe to Smirschitz. He then marched the main army to Rodow (present-day Rodov), establishing his headquarters at Horzeniowes (present-day Hořiněves) and his left wing west of Jermer. His new positions were threateningly close to Landeshut (present-day Kamienna Góra) and the line of retreat of the Prussian army. Indeed, Daun was eager to see the Prussians retire through Silesia so that he could himself enter into Lusatia and then effect a junction with the Russian army.
- During the afternoon, the main army then crossed the Mettau on 4 field bridges. Zieten Hussars (10 sqns) along with the Württemberg Dragoons and Czettritz Dragoons and some infantry were placed in the woods near Jassena to cover the crossing. After the crossing, the Prussian army encamped on the height near Jessenitz (present-day Velká Jesenice).
- Retzow marched from Neustadt to Studenitz (probably Studnice) to cover the right flank.
- Frederick had on purpose left only a weak cavalry force on the left bank of the Mettau and hidden 10 bns and 20 sqns in ambush in a forest patch north of Klein-Rohenitz (present-day Roheničky), hoping to induce Loudon to advance from Opotschno and attack his cavalry detachment. However, Loudon did not fall into the trap.
On July 31
- The Austrian carabiniers extended their positions up to the of Monastery of Kukus (present-day Kuks).
- Zieten effected a junction with the main army with the 4 sqns of Schmettau Cuirassiers, 300 hussars and convalescents from the cavalry who had been isolated after the affair of Domstadtl.
By the end of July, from the 44 rgts (a total of 50, 537 foot) of the main Austrian army, only 17 rgts fielded 2 bns and 2 grenadier companies. The other rgts were re-established at full strength during the following month.
|Order of Battle|
|Detailed OOB of Daun's army at Jermer on August 2 (as per Jomini).|
On August 2
- The main army turned left and encamped between Tschaslawek (present-day Čáslavky) and Salnei (unidentified location) near at Jermer.
- Loudon marched from Opotschno to Welsdorff (present-day Vlčkovice)
- Wehla took position at Rostok (present-day Roztoky).
- Most of Frederick's lines of communications were hampered by Daun's light troops. Frederick sent his heavy artillery and pontoons ahead to Wissoka (present-day Vysokov) while supplies and baggage followed at 2:00 p.m., escorted by Lattorff.
On August 3
- At daybreak, the Prussian army marched northwards in 4 columns. Forcade led the rearguard formed with the second infantry column, he progressively retired towards the camp of Skalitz (present-day Česká Skalice).
Once more Frederick hoped that Daun would finally offer battle. In fact, the court in Vienna was enjoining Daun to act vigorously. Indeed Maria Theresa feared that Frederick would first defeat the Russians and then turn back against the Austrian army. She preferred to risk a battle rather than let Frederick advance against her Russian allies.
On August 4
- In the morning, Daun rode by Jermer to reconnoitre the Prussian camp at Skalitz. He considered these positions too strong to be attacked.
- Loudon advanced to Horschitzka (present-day Hořičky) on the right bank of the Aupa near Skalitz with 4,270 men (detachments of Warasdiner-Creutzer Grenzer, Warasdiner-Sankt Georger Grenzer and Slavonisch-Gradiskaner Grenzer) where he surprised Freibataillon Le Noble and the Feldjäger zu Fuß in their outpost and forced them to repass the river. Prince Moritz rapidly came to their support with a few bns of the right wing and Loudon retired to Horschitzka. He then cannonaded with little effect the distant Prussian right wing from heights along the Aupa overlooking the Prussian camp. In this action, the Prussians lost 7 men killed; 1 officer and 15 men wounded and 30 men missing. The Austrians lost 140 men.
- Generals Harsch and de Ville with some 20 to 30,000 men started the blockade of Neisse.
- At 8:00 a.m., Forcade marched with 7 bns (Asseburg (2 bns), Münchow Fusiliers (2 bns), Kalckstein (2 bns), Prinz von Preussen (1 bn)) 5 sqns of Seydlitz Hussars escorting the park to Politz (present-day Police nad Metují), followed at noon by Zieten and Seydlitz with 8 cuirassier regiments. At 5:00 p.m., Frederick retired his right wing from Skalitz towards Landeshut in Silesia. The main body reached Nachod
- Retzow’s Corps occupied Rothkosteletz (present-day Červený Kostelec) to cover the flank of the army during its march.
On August 5
- Loudon advanced from Horschitzka to Eipel (present-day Úpice) from where he detached the Slavonisch-Gradiskaner Grenzer on Rothkosteletz. Loudon then encamped to observe the movements of the Prussian forces.
- Jahnus’ Corps was near Trautenau.
- Colonel von Zedtwitz was at Schatzlar (present-day Žacléř) with 3 Grenzer bns and a few hundreds hussars.
- At daybreak, the Prussian baggage left for Politz escorted by 4 bns and all dragoon units. At 6:00 a.m., the army followed in 2 columns. Each of these columns had a rearguard composed of 4 grenadier battalions, 1 Freibataillon, 100 hussars and 8 x 12-pdrs. The army crossed the defiles of Nachod and encamped at Radesch (present-day Radešov) and Machau (present-day Machov); the first two lines consisting of infantry, the third of dragoons.
- During the retreat of the main body, Fouqué guarded the bridge on the Mettau and the heights on both sides of Nachod. He then joined Goltz and Schenckendorff at Rückers. With his 15 bns and 5 sqns, he then followed the main army by Wünschelburg (present-day Radków) and Braunau (present-day Broumov). On his way, Fouqué was reinforced by the Möhring Hussars and 100 men of the Puttkamer Hussars.
- Retzow advanced from Rothkosteletz to Starkstadt (present-day Stárkov).
On August 6
- Frederick rested his army at Rückers.
- Zieten and the cuirassiers and Forcade with the baggage both moved to Wernersdorf (present-day Vernéřovice).
- Retzow advanced to Niederwekelsdorf (present-day Teplice nad Metuji).
- Fouqué marched to Wallisfurth (present-day Wolany).
On August 7
- Frederick marched to Wernersdorf.
- Zieten marched to Wiese (present-day Vižňov).
- Retzow, who had been reinforced by 8 bns (Prinz von Preussen, Asseburg, Münchow Fusiliers , Kalckstein) and 5 sqns of the Seydlitz Hussars, marched to Grüssau (present-day Krzeszów) by the shortest way. Retzow reached Landeshut the same day.
Frederick was now safe on his own side of the mountains again.
On August 8, Forcade advanced to Braunau.
On August 9
- Frederick encamped at Grüssau to the south of Landeshut with the baggage.
- Retzow moved to Zieder (present-day Czadrów).
- Zieten had remained in the neighbourhood of Ruppersdorf (present-day Ruprechtice) with all the cuirassiers.
- Lieutenant-General von Forcade arrived at Grüssau after marching by Halbstadt (present-day Meziměstí) and Friedland (present-day Mieroszów).
- Frederick was informed that the Russians had now laid siege to Cüstrin. He resolved to march immediately with 14 bns and 38 sqns to the relief of this place.
On August 10
- Frederick (14 bns and 38 sqns) left Grüssau and marched to Landeshut, heading for Frankfurt an der Oder to confront the Russians.
- Fouqué, who was coming from Braunau, effected a junction with Zieten’s Corps near Ruppersdorf.
- Fouqué and Zieten advanced to Halbstadt.
On August 11
- Frederick ceded command of his main army to Margrave Karl with Fouqué as second in command with two corps (about half the late Olmütz Army).
At the end of August, when Margrave Carl realised that the main Austrian effort would be aimed at the invasion of Saxony instead of Silesia, he instantly started from Grüssau with about 25,000 men. He left Fouqué in Grüssau with about 10,000 men to stop the invasion of Silesia by Austrian forces led by Generals Harsch and de Ville. The Austrians were now carting the siege-stock to begin bombardment.
This article is mostly made of abridged and adapted excerpts from the following books which are now in the public domain:
- St.; E. v.: Zum Säcular-GedÇachtniss von 1758 – Der Felzug in Mähren oder die Belagerung und der Entsatz von Olmütz, Frankfurt am Main: Sauerländer's Verlag, 1858, pp. 8-180
- Jomini, Henri, Traité des grandes opérations militaires, 2ème édition, 2ème partie, Magimel, Paris: 1811, pp. 6-7, 66-135
- Grosser Generalstab Kriegsgeschichtliche Abteilung II: Die Kriege Friedrichs des Grossen, Part 3 Der siebenjährige Krieg 1756-1763, Vol. 7 Olmütz und Crefeld, Berlin, 1909, pp. 26, 92, 104-125, Anhang 6
- Carlyle T., History of Friedrich II of Prussia vol. 18
- Anonymous, A Complete History of the Present War, from its Commencement in 1756, to the End of the Campaign, 1760, London, 1761, pp. 260-265
- Archenholz, J. W., The History of the Seven Years War in Germany, translated by F. A. Catty, Francfort, 1843, pp. 148, 156, 171
- Vanicek, Fr.: Specialgeschichte der Militärgrenze aus Originalquellen und Quellenwerken geschöpft, Vol. II, Vienna: Kaiserlich-Königlichen Hof- und Staatsdruckerei, 1875, pp. 444-446
- Gorani, Joseph: Mémoires, Paris: Gallimard, 1944, pp. 82-101
- Schuster, O. and F. Francke: Geschichte der Sächsischen Armee, 2. part, Leipzig 1885
Salisch, M. von: Treue Deserteure – Das kursächsische Militär und der Siebenjährige Krieg, Munich, 2009
Harald Skala for information on the Saxon Army during this period