1758 - Russian invasion of Brandenburg

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Hierarchical Path: Seven Years War (Main Page) >> Campaigns >> 1758 - Russian invasion of Brandenburg

The campaign lasted from July to October 1758

Introduction

For the campaign of 1758, the Russians had assembled a very powerful army consisting of 20 cavalry regiments, 32 infantry regiments, 4 grenadier regiments, 14,000 Cossacks and 2,000 Kalmyks, 70 howitzers, 6 mortars and 166 guns of various calibres. Furthermore, Empress Elizabeth Petrovna ordered the creation of an Observation Corps of 5 brigades of 4 battalions each. The effective strength of this Russian army was about 70,000 men.

Order of Battle
Detailed order of battle of Dohna’s Prussian Army around mid-May 1758.

Detailed order of battle of Bevern’s Prussian Army around mid-May 1758.

From January to June, the Russian army progressively proceeded to the invasion of East Prussia and then advanced into neutral Poland in a position allowing it to invade Eastern Pomerania, Brandenburg, or Silesia. Fermor, the commander-in-chief of the Russian army, finally decided to invade Brandenburg.

By mid-May, the Prussians had two forces operating in Pomerania: Dohna’s Army (approx. 18,600 men) in Western Pomerania and Bevern’s troops (approx. 8,500 men) posted at Stettin (present-day Szczecin).

Description

On July 1

  • Russians
    • The main army arrived at Posen (present-day Poznań) on the Warthe (present-day Warta). With Posen, Fermor had a good place of arms and good locations for his magazines during his operations in Brandenburg.
    • General Rumyantsev was posted at Schneidemühl (present-day Pila) with his corps.

The Russians advance towards Brandenburg

On July 3, a Prussian corps under the command of Dohna, coming from Stralsund, arrived at Bentzin.

On July 5, Resanov took position at Marienwerder (present-day Kwidzyn) to cover the magazines and to guard the passage of the Vistula.

On July 6

  • Prussians
    • Major-General von Platen was still near Köslin (present-day Koszalin). When the latter heard that the Swedes were recruiting on the territory of Danzig (present-day Gdansk), he sent First-Lieutenant du Fay with 60 hussars into this region. Du Fay managed to capture a Swedish officer along with his recruiting party and 50 recruits.
    • Dohna’s Army 20 bns and 35 sqns encamped at Schwedt where Dohna halted for a few days to organize supply and to build a bridge on the Oder for his cavalry and artillery. Ignoring where the Russians intended to attack, Dohna decided to send detachments under Kanitz and Ruesch in the general direction of Landsberg (present-day Gorzów Wielkopolski) on the Warthe.
    • Dohna was informed that Fermor’s army (estimated at 30,000 men) was assembling at Posen; that a corps of approx. 9,000 Russians had already crossed the Netze (present-day Noteć River) at Schneidemühl and that the Observation Corps (estimated at 8,000 men) had set off from Thorn (present-day Toruń). He wrote to Prince Heinrich asking him for cavalry reinforcements.

Rumyantsev’s Division was soon reinforced with the horse grenadier sqns and dragoon sqns and with 500 Horvat Hussars who had recently rejoined the main army at Posen.

On July 7

  • Prussians
    • Dohna sent his vanguard (Grenadier Battalion Lossow, Grenadier Battalion Petersdorff, Below Infantry, Rautter Infantry and 1,000 horse) under Lieutenant-General von Kanitz from Schwedt towards Cüstrin (present-day Kostrzyn nad Odrą) and ordered Platen to effect the junction with his army in the direction of Stargard and Soldin (present-day Mysliborz).
    • Platen, as ordered by Dohna, marched from Köslin by Belgard (present-day Bialogard), Schivelbein (present-day Świdwin), Labes (present-day Lobez) and Daber (present-day Dobra) to rejoin the main army. He sent 200 dragoons and 140 hussars forward to Schwedt.

On July 8

  • Russians
    • A courier sent by Field Marshal Daun from Moravia informed Fermor of the destruction of a Prussian convoy in the Combat of Domstadl and of the raising of the Siege of Olmütz. Fermor should now expect Frederick’s intervention in Brandenburg. Accordingly, he instructed Browne to hasten his march with the Observation Corps, sending him additional horses for his artillery and train. Browne replied that his corps could not reach Posen before the end of July. For his part, Fermor, judging that there were now insufficient fodder for his horses in the area of Posen, decided to march with the main army towards Frankfurt an der Oder by Meseritz (present-day Miedzyrzecz).
    • Rumyantsev sent Major-General Demiku with a strong cavalry detachment (approx. 2,000 men) from Wronke (present-day Wronki) to capture the small Fortress of Driesen (present-day Drezdenko). The occupation of this fortress was important for the Russians because it was the only place in the region where they could easily pass the Netze. Furthermore, Driesen offered a good base for operations in this region.

In the night of July 8 to 9, Dohna was informed that the Swedes had sent strong detachments towards the Peene. He asked himself if he could induce the Swedes to offer battle before the arrival of the Russians on the Oder.

On July 9

  • Russians
    • Rumyantsev received 2 additional unicorns.
  • Prussians
    • Major von Dittmannsdorff arrived at Landsberg with his garrison battalion to load supplies stored in the magazines on carriages and ships to transfer them to Cüstrin.

When the magistrates of Cüstrin heard of the presence of Russian light cavalry at Liebenau (present-day Lubrza), Meseritz, Königswalde (present-day Lubniewice) and Schwerin (present-day Skwierzyna), they turned to Colonel Count Hordt to obtain his support. Hordt sent 1 bn of Frei-Infanterie von Hordt with one 3-pdr gun under Lieutenant-Colonel von Goltz to Zielenzig (present-day Sulecin), along with a number of Land Hussars and Knobelsdorff’s hussar detachment. Hordt had thus deprived himself of almost half of his forces, including his best hussars, while he was facing Rumyantsev’s strong cavalry division.

In the afternoon of July 10, Demiku’s detachment appeared to the south of Driesen and vainly summoned Hordt to surrender. Demiku then bombarded Driesen with his light pieces. An intermittent artillery duel lasted until the next morning causing very little losses.

On July 11

  • Russians
    • In the morning, the attempt of the Russian to cross the Netze near the fortress to encircle Driesen failed because of the depth of the water and the fire of the garrison. Demiku considered that he could not storm the fortress with his small detachment and retired to Zirke (present-day Sieraków). He did not try to cross the Netze farther from Driesen.
  • Prussians
    • Dohna’s Army marched from Schwedt to Angermünde.
    • In Bohemia, Frederick’s column, which was retreating from Moravia, reached the region of Königgrätz (present-day Hradec Králové/CZ) where it would remain until July 25. Daun was facing him in an advantageous position and believed that Frederick would continue his march towards Silesia.
Prussian and Russian manoeuvres in Brandenburg in July and August 1758.
 
Source: Kriege Friedrichs des Grossen, volume III by the German Grosser Generalstab
 
Courtesy: Tony Flores

On July 12

  • Russians
    • Fermor set off from Posen with with his 1st and 2nd divisions and marched to Starzyny.
    • Major Karabanov reported that he had made an incursion into Silesia with 250 Don Cossacks and retreated in front of a superior Prussian force (600 foot and 150 hussars), losing 13 men killed and 1 wounded. Reinforcements were sent to Karabanov.
  • Prussians
    • Dohna’s Army encamped at Eberswalde.
    • Kanitz was encamped near Seelow and Platen near Massow (present-day Maszewo).

On July 13

  • Austrians
    • Empress Maria Theresa approved Daun’s plan proposing to penetrate into Lusatia by Zittau instead of following Frederick’s Army in Silesia. Daun would leave an Austrian corps on the Silesian frontier and advance in the general direction of Frankfurt an der Oder. FML de Ville was already operating in Silesia with an Austrian corps (approx. 11,000 men). If ever Frederick chose to advance in Lusatia, Daun planned to follow him to catch the Prussians between the Russian and Austrian armies.
  • Russians
    • The main army had a resting day.
    • Dissatisfied with the results obtained by Demiku, Rumyantsev sent a strong new detachment (6 horse grenadier sqns, 3 dragoon sqns, 2 unicorns accompanied by Cossacks and hussars) under Brigadier Yeropkin by Zirke towards Driesen. Yeropkin’s light troops under Colonel Krasnotshokov reached Hammer (present-day Karwin near Drezdenko).
  • Prussians
    • Hordt was informed by reliable spies that the Russians would advance on Driesen the next day with a considerable force and resume the bombardment of the fortress. They would also send cavalry across the Netze through the fords at Trebitsch (present-day Trzebicz) and Bellitz (maybe Stare Bielice) to cut the line of retreat of the garrison. Considering the weak defensive works of the fortress and the insufficiency of provisions, artillery pieces (only 3 battalion guns) and ammunition, Hordt decided to evacuate the small fortress and to retreat to Friedeberg (present-day Strzelce Krajenskie).
    • Informed of the situation at Driesen, Dohna detached Major-General von Ruesch from his vanguard with Grenadier Battalion Lossow, Grenadier Battalion Petersdorff and 600 horse towards Landsberg. The rest of Kanitz’s vanguard (Below Infantry, Rautter Infantry, 400 horse) should follow on July 15 to cover the retreat of Hordt and Ruesch.
    • Platen rested his troops near Massow.

On July 14

  • Prussians
    • At daybreak, Hordt set off from Driesen.
    • Platen’s Corps marched from Massow to Stargard where he learned of the evacuation of Driesen and of Hordt’s retreat to Friedeberg. Platen decided to march to Friedeberg, but instead of rushing to the aid of Hordt, who was seriously threatened and for the time being entirely on his own, he remained at Stargard even though he had only covered 19 km that day and his cavalry could still march farther.
    • General Ruesch set off from Seelow and marched towards Landsberg.
  • Russians
    • Fermor reached Jankowice with the main army and encamped in two lines with the town in front of his left flank.
    • In the afternoon, Yeropkin arrived at Hammer with his regular cavalry. There he was informed of the retreat of the garrison of Driesen and of its exact strength. He immediately sent his light cavalry to pursue the Prussian garrison. In the evening, he entered into Driesen where he was soon joined by another detachment of Cossacks and hussars under Colonel Goritsh. This detachment had crossed the Netze above Driesen and reconnoitred along the Drage (present-day Drawa River).
    • Late in the evening, Goritsh launched a raid against Friedeberg. Yeropkin learned from incoming deserters that the reinforcements expected by Hordt were still far away.

On July 15

  • Engagement
    • At daybreak, Hordt sent his hussars and 1 coy of Frei-Infanterie von Hordt under Captain von Chambaud to reconnoitre in the direction of Driesen. They were suddenly surrounded by Cossacks east of Hohenkarzig and captured. However, one hussar managed to escape and galloped in the direction of Friedeberg.
    • Around 6h00 a.m., the hussar arrived at Friedeberg and informed Hordt of the engagement at Hohenkarzig (present-day Gardzko). However, he did not know the final outcome of this engagement. Hordt immediately posted detachments at the outskirts of Friedeberg to cover the town against attacks from the Cossacks. He then took position with the rest of his detachment (some 1,000 men) on a height about 1 km east of of Friedeberg, hoping that Chambaud’s party would soon rejoin them.
    • Hordt positions were immediately encircled by Russian light troops who cut his line of retreat towards Landsberg. Hordt was convinced that regular Russian troops closely followed the light troops. Accordingly, he remained in his positions on the height.
    • Around noon, Yeropkin arrived in front of Hordt’s positions with his horse grenadiers, dragoons and artillery pieces. As these new troops deployed for attack, the Austrians forming part of Frei-Infanterie von Hordt started to desert to the Russians.
    • Hodt formed his remaining troops in square and started his retreat. With difficulty, he managed to ward off the repeated attacks of the Cossacks and hussars. However, Yeropkin did not support his light troops with his regular cavalry and his artillery pieces. This saved Hordt’s detachment from total annihilation. Hordt could also thank his brave Land companies for their stubbornness, because most of Frei-Infanterie von Hordt deserted to the Russians during the combat.
    • As darkness fell, the Russians abandoned the pursuit.
    • The Russians assembled at Friedeberg and plundered the town. They then retired to Driesen.
  • Russians
    • The main army advanced to Bythin (present-day Bytyń) where it encamped with the village behind its left flank.
  • Prussians
    • Dohna’s main body was at Eberswalde.
    • Platen advanced from Stargard to Dölitz (present-day Dolice).
    • In the evening, Ruesch arrived at Landsberg with his detachment.

During the night of July 15 to 16, Hordt’s exhausted detachment finally met the troops of General Ruesch, a few km northeast of Landsberg. Altogether, they took refuge in Landsberg. In the engagements of Hohenkarzig and Friedeberg, Hordt had lost in killed and wounded 66 men of the Land militia, 17 invalids, 29 Land hussars and 75 men of Frei-Infanterie von Hordt. Furthermore, more than 700 men of Frei-Infanterie von Hordt had deserted to the enemy. In addition, 1 officer was killed, 2 wounded and 7 captured. Overall, he had lost some 900 men. The Russians suffered only minor losses.

On July 16

  • Prussians
    • Dohna’s Army marched from Eberswalde to Wriezen. Dohna was informed of Hordt’s defeat at Friedeberg. He renewed his request to Prince Heinrich for reinforcements.
    • Platen reached Bernstein (present-day Pełczyce).
    • Ruesch waited at Landsberg for the arrival of Kanitz’s vanguard while the invalids and the Land Hussars were sent back to Cüstrin.

On July 18, Fermor’s Army reached Pinne (present-day Pniewy) and encamped there, building five flèches in front of the camp. Part of Rumyantsev’s light troops effected a junction with the army at Pinne and were used to make forward reconnaissances. In this town, Fermor was informed of the capture of Driesen and of the combat near Friedeberg. He decided to throw a strong garrison (a few hundreds men with 5 artillery pieces) into Driesen and to use it as a base for his operations.

On July 19

  • Russians
    • Major Engelhard brought 740 Prussian prisoners and deserters (including 400 men who had deserted from Frei-Infanterie von Hordt) at the Russian headquarters.
  • Prussians
    • Dohna’s Army encamped at Gusow, west of Cüstrin.

On July 20

  • Russians
    • Lieutenant-General Rumyantsev was instructed to supply the garrison of Driesen from the magazine at Wronke and to send Brigadier Yeropkin's detachment across the Netze River. Yeropkin took position on the Berda River and reconnoitred the area.
  • Prussians
    • Belling’s detachment (3 sqns of Belling Hussars and 1 sqn of Szekely Hussars), arriving from Saxony, reached Crossen (present-day Krosno Odrzańskie).
    • At Gusow Dohna was informed that the Russians were planning to advance upon Frankfurt an der Oder.

On July 21

  • Russians
    • The main army marched to Linde (present-day Linia) and encamped in front of the village.
    • Brigadier Stoyanov was detached to Meseritz with the Serbskiy Hussars to reinforce a Russian detachment of dragoons and Cossacks under Maslov, covering the magazine that was forming there.
    • Orders were sent to Browne to hasten the march of the Observation Corps from Posen to Paradies Kloster (present-day Gościkowo) and to collect supply for one month on the frontiers of Brandenburg.
    • In Silesia, Lieutenant-Colonel Tockeli’s detachment (2 hussar sqns, 400 Cossacks), who had been sent by Fermor to reinforce Karabanov when he had been informed of the engagement of Zaborowo, effected a junction with Karabanov’s detachment. Together, these detachments advanced on Guhrau (present-day Góra) where they skirmished with Burgsdorff’s detachment for an hour before retiring.
  • Prussians
    • Dohna learned that the Russian vanguard had reached Meseritz, closely followed by the army. He immediately sent Major-General von Malachowski towards Frankfurt an der Oder with 600 men of Malachowski Hussars to effect a junction with Belling and to observe the Russians and put a stop to their depredations.

On July 22

  • Engagement
    • There was an engagement between Prussian and Russian hussars north of Schwerin.
  • Russians
    • The Observation Corps arrived at Posen.
  • Prussians
    • Belling informed Dohna that he had been ordered by Prince Heinrich to observe an Austrian detachment operating in the region of Sommerfeld (present-day Lubsko) and Sorau (present-day Żary) and would not be able to effect a junction with Malachowski’s detachment.

On July 23

  • Russians
    • The main army marched to Betsche (present-day Pszczew) where it encamped.
    • Fermor ordered Rumyantsev to send all his hussars to Schwerin to reconnoitre towards Meseritz and along the frontier of Brandenburg.

On July 24

  • Russians
    • Fermor held a council of war at his headquarters which was also attended by General Browne. The Conference in St. Petersburg had advised Fermor to send the Observation Corps, reinforced by 8,000 men of the main army, against Glogau (present-day Glogow). After the capture of Glogau, this force should penetrate farther into Silesia. Fermor had received intelligence that Dohna’s Army and Kanitz’s and Platen’s detachments were now assembled near Cüstrin and Landsberg. It was also known that Frederick was marching towards Königgrätz with a column of his army while Keith advanced towards Silesia with another. Furthermore, a reinforcement of 4,000 men sent by Prince Heinrich should join Dohna’s Army in a few days. Finally, Hamilton had informed Fermor that he would advance only up to Anklam with his Swedish army. The War council expected Dohna’s and Frederick’s forces to effect a junction of the left bank of the Oder to prevent the Russians from crossing the river. If the Prussians did not manage to effect this junction in time, the Russian generals expected that they would let the Russians cross the river, then cut them off from their line of retreat and attack them from two sides. In such a situation the war council estimated that it was inadvisable to split the Russian army (36,000 foot in the main army and 12,000 foot in the Observation Corps) in two distinct operational forces. The Austrian military envoy agreed with this view of the situation. The war council finally concluded that the entire army should march towards Frankfurt an der Oder. Upon arrival, the army would entrench itself in strong positions, summoned the city to surrender and, if necessary, bombard it. Future operations after the capture of Frankfurt an der Oder were not yet clearly defined. Saint-André, the Austrian envoy, urged Fermor to cross the Oder at Frankfurt and to take position on the left bank. However, Fermor wanted to have the agreement of his government before undertaking such an action. Nevertheless, he promised to keep an eye on Berlin with strong forces. Fermor did not know if he would have sufficient provisions to feed his army during the month of August. He had already lost a great number of horses because of lack of provisions.
    • In Silesia, the force under Lieutenant-Colonel Tockeli and Major Karabanov surprised the suburbs of Glogau and alarmed the garrison.
  • Prussians
    • Dohna recalled Kanitz from Landsberg with the vanguard, leaving only Grenadier Battalion Lossow, Grenadier Battalion Nesse and 500 cavalrymen under Major-General von Below at Cüstrin to observe the Russian army.
    • Dohna marched to the heights of Lebus, on the left bank of the Oder a few km north of Frankfurt an der Oder, where he encamped. He was not yet sure about the real intentions of the Russians and still hoped that, after a brief demonstration on the frontier of Mark, they would turn their attention towards Saxony or Silesia. While at Lebus, Dohna received new instructions from Frederick who also informed him that he had ordered 15 Prussian sqns then serving with Ferdinand of Brunswick in Western Germany to join Dohna’s Army. He had also ordered to send 10 bns (in fact only 9 bns because Grenadier Battalion Arnim remained at Glatz (present-day Klodzko)) from Silesia under Major-General von Kurssell and Major-General von Diericke to reinforce Dohna’s Army. Frederick accompanied his instructions with a schema depicting how to engage battle against the Russians which, he assumed, Dohna would defeat.
    • Frederick had also written to Prince Heinrich to instruct him to effect a junction with Dohna’s Army for the planned battle.

On July 25 and 26, the Russian army marched towards Meseritz where Fermor wanted to wait for the arrival of the Observation Corps.

On July 26

  • Russians
    • The Russians erected 7 redoubts to protect their camp at Meseritz.
    • Rumyantsev’s Cavalry Division set off from Wronke.

On July 27

  • Russians
    • Fermor was informed of the departure of Kanitz’s detachment from Landsberg and of its march through Cüstrin towards Frankfurt an der Oder. Fermor threw 500 cavalrymen and 200 foot with 4 artillery pieces into Landsberg.
  • Prussians

On July 28

  • Russians
    • Rumyantsev’s Cavalry Division reached Schwerin. Fermor then recalled most of the light cavalry to the main army.
    • The Observation Corps reached Tirschtiegel (present-day Trzciel). However, its wagons and its artillery could not follow the troops as they advanced on sandy tracks under a pouring rain.
    • Fermor received a letter from the Austrian Chancellor Kaunitz at his headquarters near Meseritz, inviting the Russian commander to collaborate with Daun and suggesting to involve the Swedes in the general plan of operation.
  • Prussians
    • Kanitz made a junction with Dohna at the camp near Lebus. Dohna's Corps was further reinforced by 7 bns from Zieten's Corps stationed in Silesia and by 10 sqns from the Prussian Army of Saxony.

On July 29, Kurssell and Diericke reached Crossen with their 7 bns.

On July 30

  • Russians
    • Fermor held a council of war to discuss in depth the Austrian proposal. Fermor informed his generals that a corps of 12,000 men was on its way to reinforce Dohna’s Army posted near Frankfurt an der Oder, bringing his army to a strength of 36,000 men (in fact only 23,600 men). Thus Dohna would be strong enough to make the passage of the Oder very difficult. In fact, because of his supply problems, Fermor did not consider to cross the Oder and advance into the poor region of Mark. Fermor even thought that the army should not continue its march towards Frankfurt an der Oder because his provisions could not last beyond August 12. Furthermore, the horses of the artillery and train urgently needed rest and better feed while the provisions of the region were already exhausted. Fermor mentioned that it was necessary to leave the region and to march towards Silesia or Pomerania. He thought that Pomerania and the nearby Neumark offered better possibility to build magazine for his army. Furthermore, the capture of Colberg (present-day Kołobrzeg) would allow to transport supplies by sea; and its new position would allow the Russian army to support the Swedes. The council of war finally decided to follow Fermor’s advice and to march to the region of Schwedt, Cüstrin and Landsberg. Outposts would secure the vicinity of Cüstrin, Stettin and Schwedt. Magazines would be established in Soldin and Stargard with the assistance of local authorities and Colberg would be taken to open the sea route for supplies. Wagons would transport supplies from Colberg and Marienwerder by Stargard to the army. Even Danzig would be compelled to deliver provisions in case of emergency. In the fodder rich Eastern Pomerania, the exhausted horses would soon recover, so that the Russian army could confidently resume operations at the end of August or at the beginning of September. Accordingly:
      • on August 1, Rumyantsev’s Cavalry Division would advance from Schwerin to Sonnenburg (present-day Slonsk) where it would wait for the arrival of the Observation Corps in the vicinity
      • on August 2, Fermor’s main army would set off from Meseritz and advance towards Sonnenburg, screened by light troops; then it would take the direction of Landsberg
      • on August 6, the Observation Corps would set off from Paradies but would not march directly to effect a junction with Rumyantsev’s Division, initially advancing towards Sternberg (present-day Torzym) to confuse the Prussians
  • Prussians
    • To stop Fermor's advance, Dohna ordered Major-General Malachowski to cross the Oder at Frankfurt and to advance to Reppen (present-day Rzepin) with the remnants of Frei-Infanterie von Hordt and all available hussars. Malachowski posted his infantry at Reppen and the main body of hussars at Drossen (present-day Osno Lubuskie), and detached an outpost of 100 hussars to Sternberg.

On July 31

  • Russians
    • The Russians were busy baking bread and biscuits.
    • General Browne detached a body of light troops to collect some 2,000 horses on the frontiers of Brandenburg and Silesia.
    • The Moldavskiy Hussars and 3 pulks of Cossacks were sent to General Browne to be used in outposts.
  • Prussians
    • Dohna marched from Lebus with his army and encamped near Frankfurt an der Oder, on the west bank of the Oder. He decided to sent II./Rautter Infantry to reinforce the Prussian garrison of Stettin.

At the end of July, Prince Heinrich ordered Belling to return to Leipzig with his detachment. Dohna was then forced to send additional hussars to reinforce Malachowski at Lagow. Meanwhile, with the Russians advancing through Poland, Frederick retreated from Königgrätz towards Landeshut (present-day Kamienna Gora) in case the Russians would advance on Berlin or break into Silesia.

The decisions of Fermor’s War Council and its reasons were communicated to the Conference, to Daun and to Kaunitz. The Conference in St. Petersburg agreed with these but emphasized that it was imperative to weaken Dohna's Army as much as possible to support the operations of the Austrians.

For his part Lieutenant-General Count Hamilton did nothing to ease the junction of his Swedish army with the Russians.

At the beginning of August, Tockeli and Karabanov evacuated Silesia and rejoined the Observation Corps.

On August 1

  • Russians
    • Quartermaster-General Stoffeln was sent forward from Meseritz with a large body of light troops and 300 dragoons to dislodge the Prussians from Lagow and Zielenzig.
  • Prussians
    • The Prussians were driven out of Sternberg which was occupied by Russian light troops.
    • Kurssell Fusiliers, which had been left behind at Glogau, marched towards Crossen.

On August 2

  • Russians
    • Stoffeln took possession of Lagow. He left a garrison in Lagow before resuming his advance to Zielenzig. The 200 Prussian hussars posted at Zielenzig evacuated the village before Stoffeln’s arrival. Stoffeln pursued them up to Reppen before returning to Zielenzig where he learned from the inhabitants that a force of approx. 5,500 Prussian infantry and light cavalry was posted at Kunersdorf (probably Kosobudz or Kunowice).
    • Fermor quit his camp at Meseritz and encamped near Königswalde in Brandenburg. Fermor's Army then consisted of 28 rgts of infantry with some light troops.
    • Rumyantsev’s entire Cavalry Division marched from Schwerin to Hammer where Fermor, informed of the presence of a Prussian force at Kunersdorf, ordered it to halt.
  • Prussians
    • Manteuffel reinforced the Prussian detachment at Reppen with Schorlemmer Dragoons (5 sqns) and Plettenberg Dragoons (5 sqns) under Lieutenant-General Marschall. He also marched towards Reppen at the head of 3 bns.
    • Kurssell and Diericke also arrived at Reppen with their 7 bns.


On August 3

  • Russians
    • Rumyantsev detached a party of light troops from his corps towards Köslin to reconnoitre the garrison of Colberg.
    • Fermor sent Brigadier Stoyanov with with 1,000 hussars, 100 grenadiers and 300 Cossacks by Sternberg and Reppen to reconnoitre in the direction of Kunersdorf on the right bank of the Oder. **Fermor also sent 200 Cossacks under Colonel Bulatzell towards Drossen and Sonnenburg. They then formed a chain of outposts from Zielenzig, Sternberg and Lagow up to Paradies to mask the movement of his army.
    • Prince Karl of Saxony and his retinue arrived at the Russian headquarters to participate in the ongoing campaign.
  • Prussians
    • Manteuffel and his 3 bns arrived at Reppen.
    • 7 bns under Major-Generals Kurssell and Dierecke arrived in the Prussian camp. They were part of the Prussian units which had previously been stationed in the area of Landeshut and Glatz in Silesia. Frederick had detached this corps to the neighbourhood of Glogau when he had heard of the advance of the Russians towards Brandenburg. When the corps was ordered to join Dohna's Army, only the Grenadier Battalion Burgsdorff was left behind at Glogau.

On the night of August 3, a Prussian force, consisting of 1 grenadier bn and 600 hussars and dragoons, and 3 guns under the command of Ruesch, marched from Cüstrin towards Landsberg.

On August 4

  • Russians
    • Fermor led his army to the north bank of the Warthe.
    • Major-General Dietz's Infantry Brigade along with 500 light cavalry moved forward by Hammer towards Landsberg followed by the heavy baggage.
    • Lieutenant-Colonel Ashikov was also ordered to transport all available provisions from Posen to Landsberg.
  • Prussians
    • Ruesch, learning that the Russian detachment defending Landsberg was stronger than he had anticipated, retired to Soldin.

In the night of August 4 to 5, Dohna sent Major-General Malachowski at the head of 10 hussar sqns (Malachowski Hussars (5 sqns), Ruesch Hussars (5 sqns)), 300 dragoons; and 3 bns (I./Bülow Fusiliers, I./Alt-Kreytzen Fusiliers, I./Sers Fusiliers) under Major-General Dierecke from Reppen, hoping to surprise Stoyanov's detachment at Sternberg. Meanwhile, Stoyanov endeavoured a similar attempt on the Prussian camp at Reppen. The two vanguards clashed at Bottschow (present-day Boczów). After a brief skirmish, Malachowski retired to Reppen and Stoyanov retired on the main army.

On August 5

  • Russians
    • Dietz's force reached Hammer and reported that the Prussian General Ruesch had taken position in the woods to the north-west of Landsberg where he seemed to be waiting for reinforcements.
    • General Browne being sick, Lieutenant-General Tchernishev assumed command of the Observation Corps which reached Paradies, three days later than anticipated, heavy rain having delayed the train. To help this struggling corps, Fermor sent 1 hussar rgt and 3 Cossack rgts in a raid on the borders of Silesia and Brandenburg to bring back 1,500 horses to replace the exhausted artillery and train horses of the Observation Corps. This raid further delayed the planned operations.
    • Fermor held a council of war where it was decided to speed up movement. The cavalry division should advance from Hammer towards Königswalde to cover the main army and mask its movements; while the Observation Corps would return in two columns by Schwerin and Birnbaum (present-day Międzychód) to Driesen and then march by Friedeberg to Landsberg where it would effect a junction with the main army. Fermor had already taken disposition to establish a magazine in Landsberg where supply collected in the region would be assembled.

Browne had warned Fermor of the importance of seizing Colberg immediately, as Russian troops arriving in Eastern Pomerania would soon suffer from a shortage of food that would not put a stop to all further operations, but would also force the Russians into an inglorious retreat. Browne suggested to detach 500 grenadiers and 4 artillery pieces from Resanov’s Corps stationed on the Vistula, to transport these troops aboard wagons and to storm Colberg which had only a small garrison.

On August 6

  • Russians
    • General Dietz reached Landsberg.
    • The Observation Corps marched from Paradies through Birnbaum to Schwerin on the Warthe River where it encamped.
    • Colonel Dalke at Posen was instructed to transfer the sick to Landsberg.
    • Colonel Bulatzell returned from his reconnaissance in the area of Sonnenburg, without meeting any Prussian unit.
    • Rumyantsev's Cavalry Division arrived at the camp of Königswalde.
  • Prussians
    • Lieutenant-General Marschall remitted his command at Reppen to Manteuffel.
    • Dohna's main corps encamped to the right of Frankfurt an der Oder.

On August 7

  • Russians
    • The main army (21 rgts of infantry) marched to the village of Altensorge (present-day Glinik). All light cavalry and 1 infantry brigade were sent forward to support the cavalry division at Königswalde.
    • Rumyantsev's Cavalry remained at Königswalde.
    • Major-General Dietz reported that he had crossed the Warthe at Landsberg with his brigade, the park of artillery and the heavy baggage. He also reported that Ruesch’s detachment had returned to Cüstrin.
  • Prussians
    • The Prinz von Preußen Cuirassiers and the Markgraf Friedrich Cuirassiers under Major-General von Zieten, which had been sent as reinforcement from Saxony by Prince Heinrich upon Frederick’s insistence, arrived at the camp near Frankfurt.
    • Kurssell Fusiliers effected a junction with the main body of Dohna’s Army near Frankfurt on the left bank of the Oder.
    • 33 new artillery pieces (14 x 12-pdr guns and 19 x howitzers), sent from Berlin, arrived at Frankfurt an der Oder.

After the arrival of reinforcements from Silesia, Dohna assembled a strong vanguard under Lieutenant-General von Manteuffel at Reppen

...while Frei-Infanterie von Hordt took position at Drossen.

On August 8

  • Russians
    • The main army marched to Landsberg and encamped along the Warthe while the baggage of the 2nd Division and of the cavalry were moved across the river.
    • Rumyantsev sent out 3 small detachments to Drossen, Sternberg and Sonnenburg to reconnoitre the Prussian positions.

On August 9

  • Russians
    • Rumyantsev's detachments returned, informing him that the Prussians were still occupying Reppen.
    • Rumyantsev’s Cavalry Division set off from Königswalde and marched to Altensorge.
    • The 1st Brigade of the 1st Russian Division crossed the Warthe to cover the baggage and to support Dietz.
  • Prussians
    • Dohna learned that the Russians had unexpectedly retired from Königswalde. He sent a strong detachment under Malachowski and Diericke from Reppen to reconnoitre. In the evening this detachment reached Drossen.
Order of Battle
Detailed order of battle of Frederick’s Prussian Army on August 10, 1758.

On August 10

  • Russians
    • The 1st Division crossed the Warthe at Landsberg.
    • Rumyantsev's Cavalry marched from Altensorge to Landsberg. Rumyantsev left part of his cavalry on the south bank of the Warthe and resumed his march to cover the advance of the Observation Corps.
    • Major-General Stoffeln with the Chuguevski Cossacks and some hussars took possession of Soldin.
    • Colonel Bilau was sent to reinforce Stoffeln with 500 grenadiers and dragoons. Stoffeln then sent reconnaissance parties towards Cüstrin, Stettin and Schwedt.
  • Tchernishev was instructed to march from Schwerin to Landsberg with his Observation Corps.
  • Prussians
    • Dohna was still uncertain if Fermor would concentrate his efforts on Cüstrin or Stettin.
    • Frederick II left Grüssau (present-day Krzeszów) in Silesia with 14 bns and 38 sqns and marched to Landeshut, heading for Frankfurt an der Oder to come to the rescue of Dohna. He marched for 10 days through Liegnitz (present-day Legnica) and the Hohenfriedberg Country, straight for Frankfurt, with his best speed.
    • Before leaving, Frederick had appointed Prince Heinrich as guardian of the heir to the throne.

On August 11

  • Russians
    • Fermor’s 2nd Division passed the Warthe. Both divisions encamped on the heights north-west of Landsberg.
    • Stoffeln's reconnaissance parties reported a Prussian outpost of 2 sqns of dragoons between Soldin and Cüstrin.
    • The Observation Corps marched from Paradies in a single column, contrary to orders. It had previously sent forward several detachments (including Karabanov’s detachment which had returned from Silesia) at Zielenzig, Sternberg, Schwiebus (present-day Świebodzin) and Züllichau (present-day Sulechów) to cover its march.
  • Prussians
    • Lieutenant-General von Manteuffel advanced from Reppen to Drossen with the rest of his vanguard.
    • In Silesia Frederick marched from Landeshut to Rohnstock (present-day Roztoka) where he assembled his small army.

Between August 12 and 16, Fermor finally took dispositions for the capture of Colberg. He ordered Resanov to advance on Colberg from the Vistula with part of his corps (Sibyrskiy Infantry, Nevskiy Infantry, Belozerskiy Infantry, 30 field pieces, 30 hussars and 300 Cossacks). The fleet would also participate in the enterprise.

On August 12

  • Russians
    • Fermor marched to Friedrichsberg (probably present-day Motylewo near Bogdaniec) with the 1st Division (17 infantry rgts, 2 dragoon rgts and 1 hussar rgt). The Russians were informed that Stargard was defended by Major Grumbkau with 1 infantry bn and some hussars; that Colberg was well supplied with guns and ammunition and garrisoned by 3 bns; and that the garrison of Stettin consisted of 10,000 men, mainly militia, and a few sqns of the recently raised Pomeranian Provincial Hussars von Natzmer.
  • Prussians
    • Frederick's Corps marched from Rohnstock to Liegnitz.
    • In the evening, Malachowski and Diericke, forming Manteuffel’s vanguard, advanced from Drossen towards Zielenzig with some hussars, 6 dragoon sqns and 3 bns.

On August 13

  • Russians
    • The 1st Division reached Gross-Cammin (present-day Kamień Wielki). In the afternoon, Fermor, escorted by a few hundreds Cossacks and 2 hussar rgts reconnoitred the vicinity of Cüstrin. In the suburbs, the Cossacks engaged Prussian hussars, threw them back and reached the bridges leading to Cüstrin over the arm of the Warthe but the fire of the artillery of the fortress stopped them. In the suburbs, Fermor learned from a reliable source that there were about 2,000 men in the fortress, and that Frederick was expected shortly with a sizable force. In the evening, the reconnaissance party returned to Gross-Cammin.
    • Stoffeln reported that one of his reconnaissance party had advanced close to Schwedt and seen that the bridge over the Oder had been destroyed.
    • Another party reported that 500 Prussian militia were stationed in Colberg while 50 hussars and 40 Bosniaks were posted at Köslin.
    • Rumyantsev was ordered to march from Landsberg through Soldin to Stargard with the cavalry.
    • Resanov was instructed to march from Marienwerder to Stolp (present-day Słupsk).
  • Prussians
    • In the morning, Malachowski and Diericke reached Zielenzig which had already been evacuated by the Russians.
    • In the afternoon, Manteuffel arrived at Zielenzig with the rest of the vanguard. Malachowski immediately marched towards Königswalde near Landsberg with 600 hussars and Grenadier Battalion Burgsdorff, engaging and routing a party of Cossacks on his way. But additional Russian light troops finally forced Malachowski to retreat to Zielenzig.
    • Dohna sent Colonel Schack von Wittenau with 4 bns to reinforce Cüstrin.
    • Frederick's Corps marched from Liegnitz to Groß Heinzendorf (present-day Jędrzychów).

Meanwhile, Fermor had reorganized his army, distributing the former cavalry division among other divisions and creating a 3rd Division which he placed under the command of Rumyantsev. Fermor also made preparations for the establishment of magazines in Pomerania and Neumark. He also sent reconnaissance parties towards Stettin, Schwedt and Cüstrin.

Asseburg Infantry on fast march from Moravia to Cüstrin in August 1758 - Source: Carl Röchling, 1895

On August 14

  • Russians
    • The 1st Division remained at Gross-Cammin to bake bread while the 2nd Division joined this corps in its camp. It was decided to invest the Fortress of Cüstrin from the east bank of the Warthe while Stoffeln with a strong detachment would make himself master of the suburbs.
    • The Observation Corps reached Schwerin. It was charged to cover the Warthe between Cüstrin and Birnbaum to prevent an advance of the Prussian from the south.
    • Rumyantsev’s Division was charged to cover Stettin and to occupy Eastern Pomerania. He marched from Landsberg by Soldin and Pyritz (present-day Pyrzyce) towards Stargard to control the Oder between Stettin and Schwedt. He also had to establish magazines in Stargard and Soldin. Once at Stargard, he had been instructed to establish communication with Lieutenant-General Resanov’s force. Rumyantsev would reinforce Resanov with 2 infantry rgts and some field artillery; and Resanov would advance on Colberg in an attempt to take the place by surprise.
  • Prussians
    • In the afternoon, when Dohna was informed that advanced parties of the Russian Army had been seen in front of Cüstrin, he detached Lieutenant-General Schorlemmer with 4 bns (Grenadier Battalion Burgsdorff, Grenadier Battalion Petersdorff, Kurssell Fusiliers) and 10 sqns (5 sqns of Alt-Platen Dragoons and 5 sqns of Schorlemmer Dragoons) and 130 hussars to observe them. Schorlemmer arrived at Cüstrin in the evening. He had been instructed to take position between the Fortress and the “Kurzen Vorstadt” and to fortify the Weinberg. However, for the night, his dragoons encamped west of the “Langen Vorstadt”. Meanwhile, his infantry and hussars took post in the low grounds on the eastern side of the fortress.
    • Manteuffel's Corps was ordered to rejoin the main army at Frankfurt. Accordingly, he quit Zielenzig and retired to Reppen.
    • Frederick's Corps took a day rest at Groß Heinzendorf.

In the following days, Fermor received reports that Dohna’s Army still stood near Frankfurt an der Oder; that Schwedt was occupied only by a small infantry detachment; and that 1 bn and a few hussars were occupying Stargard. In Stettin, there was o force of 10,000 Prussian foot, mainly militia with a few sqns of Land Hussars. Another reconnaissance party reported that Colberg was occupied by only 500 militia but had a good artillery.

Siege of Cüstrin

Order of Battle
Detailed order of battle of Rumyantsev’s Russian Corps on August 15, 1758.

On August 15

  • Russians
    • At 3:00 a.m., General-Quartermaster von Stoffeln set off from the Russian camp at Gross-Cammin. (present-day Kamień Wielki) with 20 grenadier coys (in two converged rgts), Chuguev Cossacks, 4 unicorns, 2 Shuvalov howitzers and 10 guns.
    • At 4:00 a.m., the rest of the Russian army set off from Gross-Cammin. in two columns and marched by Wilkersdorf (present-day Krześniczka), Tamsel (present-day Dąbroszyn) and Warnick (present-day Warniki).
    • The main body of Fermor’s Army had encamped between Alt-Drewitz (present-day Drzewice) and Warnick, across the Drewitz Heath.
    • Fermor began the Siege of Cüstrin, burning most of the town during this first day.
    • Rumyantsev’s Corps (8 infantry rgts, 15 regular sqns, 5 hussar sqns, 900 Cossacks and 11 field pieces for a total of 10,800 men) reached Soldin and a cavalry detachment was sent towards Stargard to establish a magazine. The Prussian garrison of Stargard (Land Militia Battalion Grumbkow and a few Landhusaren) evacuated the place
  • Prussians
    • Dohna received a report from Schorlemmer about the situation at Cüstrin. He finally decided to rush to the assistance of the fortress, to deny the passage of the Oder to the Russians and to engage them in battle.
    • Manteuffel was retiring upon Frankfurt according to the orders that he had previously received.
    • Major-General von Below assumed command of the Prussian troops (Freibataillon du Verger, and 440 men of the Land-Battalion I Heiderstädt) left behind at Frankfurt an der Oder to guard the heavy baggage, the bakery, the war chest and the commissariat. He had been instructed to hold the place at all cost.
    • Frederick's Corps marched from Groß Heinzendorf to Dalkau (present-day Dalków).

In the night of August 15 to 16, Dohna set off from Frankfurt and marched towards Cüstrin.

On August 16

  • Russians
    • The bombardment of Cüstrin continued. However, Fermor wrote to the empress to inform her that, because of the lack of siege artillery pieces, a former attack against Cüstrin was not feasible.
    • Fermor intended to lure Dohna to cross the Oder at Cüstrin or below so that he could attack and defeat him. Fermor wanted to defend the Oder but he did not even consider attacking the left bank with his whole army.
    • The Observation Corps marched from Schwerin to Landsberg and replaced the garrison of Landsberg, Friedeberg and Driesen who rejoined the main army.
  • Prussians
    • In the morning, Dohna encamped at Reitwein where he was joined by Manteuffel's detachment.
    • Frederick's Corps marched from Dalkau to Deutsch-Wartenberg (present-day Otyń).

On August 17

  • Russians
    • Informed that the bridge on the Oder at Schwedt was still intact and that the town was occupied only by 1 coy with 4 artillery pieces, Rumyantsev dispatched 1 bn with a few field pieces and 90 Cossacks towards Schwedt to fortify a position in front of the bridge on the east bank of the Oder. A Cossack detachment sent forward to Freienwalde would then bring all carts and wagons back to the east bank.
  • Prussians
    • Dohna took position between Manschnow and Gorgast. A bridge was thrown on the river to establish communication with Cüstrin and its garrison was reinforced with 3 bns.
    • Dohna was informed that a large Cossack detachment had swum across the Oder near Kienitz the previous night and captured a large quantity of cattle and horses in the country; intercepted boats loaded with flour; and brought everything back to their army. In the afternoon, Dohna learned that another party of a few thousands Cossacks had crossed the Oder near Schwedt.
    • In the evening, Dohna finally sent Lieutenant-General von Schorlemmer with 10 dragoon sqns and a number of hussars towards Schwedt.
    • Around midnight, Dohna was informed that the Russians were building a bridge of boats near Alt-Schaumburg (present-day Szumiłowo), even though he thought that this was just a diversion, Dohna reinforced the garrison defending the nearby dam to 7 bns under Lieutenant-General von Manteuffel. He also kept the rest of his army in readiness to support Manteuffel.
    • Frederick's Corps marched from Deutsch-Wartenberg to Plothe (present-day Płoty).
  • Engagement
    • A 600 men strong Russian detachment drove back the few Prussian troops (120 men from a Landkompagnie and Landhussars belonging to the garrison of Stettin) guarding the bridge at Schwedt. However, the Prussian hussars managed to set the decking of the bridge afire. The Prussian detachment retired to Gartz unmolested, occupied the town and re-established the bridge with the help of the inhabitants.

On August 18

  • Russians
    • Fermor, informed of the departure of a strong Prussian detachment (Schorlemmer’s) in the direction of Schwedt, immediately sent a messenger to Rumyantsev. With Schwedt threatened by Schorlemmer’s detachment, Fermor decided to send Quartermaster-General von Stoffeln with some troops to reinforce the small Russian force holding the place.
    • The siege of Cüstrin continued. Fermor could not raise the blockade of Cüstrin because, if he marched away from Cüstrin, he would give Count Dohna the opportunity to pass the Oder and follow him. Therefore, he resolved to resume the blockade but to look for a suitable battlefield in the neighbourhood and to begin to fortify positions there.
    • Rumyantsev’s Corps arrived at Pyritz. However, Rumyantsev was ordered to rapidly effect a junction with the Observation Corps at Landsberg. Rumyantsev was informed that 2,000 Prussians had set off from Stettin on August 16 and were marching against him. Despite Fermor's denial, he still feared an attack, a fear which determined his actions in the following days.
  • Prussians
    • The commandant of Berlin notified Dohna that he had no other pontoons for his army, the 45 remaining pontoons having been recently sent to Prince Heinrich. He suggested to secretly send, through the Finow Canal, barges and timbers necessary for a bridge over the Oder. Furthermore, Grenadier Battalion Lossow assembled 50 barges at Lebus to use them, if necessary, to establish a bridge near Cüstrin. Finally, 1 bn of Frei-Infanterie von Hordt occupied Kienitz to defend it against Russian light troops.
    • Frederick's Corps marched from Plothe to Crossen.

In the night of August 18 to 19, Lieutenant-General Schorlemmer, learned of the capture of Schwedt as he arrived at Wriezen. He immediately set out to drive the Russians out of the town. However, Dohna considered the action of unsupported cavalry against a place occupied by infantry and artillery as hopeless and ordered Schorlemmer to return to the army.

On August 19

  • Russians
    • Rumyantsev marched to Damnitz (present-day Dębica), north of Pyritz.
  • Prussians
    • Dohna reported to Frederick that the Russians had made the bridge at Drossen unusable.
    • Frederick's Corps marched from Crossen to Ziebingen (present-day Cybinka) where the whole corps encamped except Asseburg Infantry which remained in the village to protect the headquarters.

On Sunday August 20

  • Russians
    • Fermor received additional information about Frederick’s march. Realizing that the latter was not advancing towards Landsberg, he ordered General Browne to rejoin the main army with his Observation Corps.
    • Stoffeln arrived at Schwedt with the Russian reinforcements (1 bn, 1 grenadier coy, the Chuguev Cossacks and 1 sqn of Slaviano-Serbian Hussars).
    • Fermor dispatched the Sankt-Peterburgskiy Horse Grenadiers towards Schwedt. Meanwhile, he sent orders to Rumyantsev, encamped at Damnitz, to advance on Schwedt with his entire division, countermanding the previous order to send 2 infantry rgt to Colberg.
  • Prussians
    • Cüstrin continued to resist.
    • Frederick’s Army (15,000 strong) reached the City of Frankfurt an der Oder and the king took lodgings in the house of a clergyman widow. His infantry cantoned in the town while the cavalry encamped in front of the Lebus Gate. Frederick was eager to engage the Russians as soon as possible. At Frankfurt, Frederick was observed to go often out of doors to listen to the noise of the Russian guns firing upon some 32 km away.


Frederick comes to the rescue

Frederick visits the ruins of Cüstrin in August 1758 - Source: Carl Röchling, 1895

On August 21

  • Russians
    • With the approach of Frederick’s Army, Fermor attached much importance to Schwedt where he thought that Dohna or Frederick would try to cross the river there. Furthermore, Fermor feared that the garrison of Stettin could also advance on Schwedt. He wondered if he should not march to Schwedt with his army.
    • Fermor received a report from Cossack parties reconnoitring on the west bank of the Oder, stating that several Prussian detachments were on the move downstream and that a Prussian camp had been discovered opposite Alt-Schaumburg. This report only comforted Fermor in his opinion that Schwedt was seriously threatened.
    • The heavy train arrived from Landsberg at the Russian camp near Cüstrin. Supply columns also arrived from Posen and Marienwerder. Furthermore, transports were collected in the vicinity of Cüstrin. The besieging army was now sufficiently provided with food for a while.
    • Rumyantsev advanced only to Bahn (present-day Banie). He attached less importance than Fermor to an eventual crossing at Schwedt. Instead, he feared that the Prussian garrison of Stettin could seize the large Russian magazines at Stargard and Soldin, and preferred to keep his division in the area of Pyritz and to send some reinforcements to the garrison of Schwedt.
    • Prussians
    • Early in the morning, leaving his corps behind at Frankfurt for a rest day, Frederick visited General Dohna at his camp at Gorgast, just outside Cüstrin. Dohna had been keeping a watch on the Russians, although unable to interfere with their proceedings. The king had a profound contempt for the Russians, in spite of the warning of Keith, who had served with them, that they were far better soldiers than they appeared to be; and he anticipated a very easy victory over them.
    • Frederick reconnoitred along the Oder and was soon convinced that an attempt to cross the river at Cüstrin would fail. He rather decided to cross at Alt-Güstebiese (present-day Gozdowice) while making demonstrations near Cüstrin to mislead the Russians. He sent Lieutenant-General von Kanitz to Wriezen with 4 bns (Prinz Moritz Infantry, Dohna Infantry) and the pontoons to retrieve the bridging material assembled there and to transport it to Alt-Güstebiese.
    • Lieutenant-General Schorlemmer made a halt in the area of Eberswalde.
    • In the evening, Dohna sent Frei-Infanterie von Hordt to Wriezen to oppose any Russian light troops in the area. Colonel Count Hordt left only 200 men near Kienitz and Neuendorf, and sent a detachment to Freienwalde and the Finow Canal to retrieve vehicles received from Berlin and to bring them to Zellin (present-day Czelin).
    • In the evening, Frederick’s Corps set off from Frankfurt.
Order of Battle
Detailed order of battle of Dohna’s Prussian Army on August 22, 1758.

On Tuesday, August 22

  • Russians
    • After much delays, Resanov’s detachment finally set off from Marienwerder and marched towards Colberg.
    • Rumyantsev received Fermor’s renewed orders to advance towards Schwedt.
    • Asked for his opinion, the Austrian military representative Baron St. André estimated that it was pointless to continue the ineffective bombardment against the strong walls of the Fortress of Cüstrin which only caused useless losses. He considered unnecessary to keep the Russian army immobile in front of Cüstrin while Rumyantsev’s and Browne’s corps were too far away. For these reasons, he suggested that all forces, to the exception of some troops left behind to secure communication, should march to Schwedt to effect a junction with the Swedish army and to meet the Prussians on the western bank of the Oder.
  • Prussians
    • At 5:00 a.m., Frederick's own corps joined forces with Dohna's at Manschnow. His cavalry encamped while his infantry took up quarters in the surrounding villages.
    • Prince Moritz arrived with his corps which had left Landeshut in Silesia on August 11 and marched by Liegnitz, Crossen and Ziebingen.
    • The Prussian Army at the camp of Gorgast now counted 37,000 men. Frederick had no doubt that he would be able to beat the Russian army positioned around Cüstrin.
    • Early in the morning, Frederick sent Manteuffel with the vanguard closer to the Oder in front of Schaumburg. Manteuffel’s artillery opened a lively fire against the redoubt near Alt-Schaumburg, the village of Alt-Schaumburg, the bridge and the island to induce the Russians to believe that his attempt to cross the Oder would take place in this area. Frederick then reconnoitred the Russian positions from the banks of the Oder.
    • Schorlemmer’s detachment rejoined the main Prussian army. Major-General von Platen was immediately sent towards Kienitz with 5 sqns of Schorlemmer Dragoons to support Frei-Infanterie von Hordt against a swarm of Cossacks who had crossed the Oder near Zellin. However, when he arrived at Kienitz, the Cossacks had already retired.
    • At 7:00 p.m., Frederick assembled his lieutenant-generals in his headquarters at Gorgast to instruct them of his dispositions for the march towards Güstebiese and for the passage of the Oder.
    • In the evening, Kanitz set off from Wriezen with 65 barges and all pontoons and marched to Alt-Güstebiese.
    • At 10:00 p.m., Frederick set his army on the move along the Oder, leaving only Wied Fusiliers behind to reinforce the garrison of Cüstrin. Lieutenant-General von Manteuffel led the 8 bns of the vanguard which were accompanied by all hussars. The vanguard advanced by Friedrichsaue and Ortwig to Alt-Güstebiese. It was followed by the right column consisting of the infantry of the first line and probably by the heavy artillery; and, some distance to the left, by the left column, consisting of the infantry of the second line.

During the night of August 22 to 23

  • Prussians
    • Around 3:00 a.m., the Prussian cuirassiers and dragoons broke camp and marched from Manschnow towards the designated crossing place. On their way, they joined Platen’s detachment coming from Kienitz.
  • Russians
    • Fermor broke his bridge near Alt-Schaumburg and put the pontoons in security. He also sent Colonel Chomutov with 500 Cossacks to reconnoitre the Oder downstream from Cüstrin.

On August 23

  • Prussians
    • At daybreak, Frederick’s Army was near Güstebiese where Kanitz joined it with the bridging equipment and the pontoons. No Russian troops could be seen in the village or on the heights behind it.
    • Around 7:00 a.m., both Prussian columns reached the banks of the Oder opposite Alt-Güstebiese.
    • Colonel Count Hordt posted at Wriezen had received orders from Frederick to march towards Güstebiese. Hordt immediately sent counter-orders to the guide leading the bridging equipment recently received from Berlin to turn back and recalled all detachments, leaving only 400 men in Wriezen to cover the newly established field hospital and magazine. He then rapidly marched towards Alt-Güstebiese with the rest of Frei-Infanterie von Hordt.
    • At 8:15 a.m., the construction of the bridge began and lasted three hours. Meanwhile, with barges, boats and vessels contributed by countrymen, part of the infantry of the vanguard along with Zieten Hussars passed the Oder and took position on a height on the opposite bank.
    • As soon as the bridge was completed, Frederick crossed first with Grenadier Battalion 1/23 Wedell and deployed them on the heights. Then came a squadron of Zieten Hussars.
    • At noon, the main army began to cross the river with Ruesch Hussars and Malachowski Hussars in the van, followed by the infantry, the train of artillery, the cuirassiers and dragoons. Meanwhile a second bridge was being erected. The Prussian Army completed the crossing of the Oder and resumed its march.
    • In the evening, the Prussian army encamped with its right wing at Zellin and its left wing at Klossow (present-day Klosow). In this position, the Prussians were between the Russian main army and Rumyantsev’s Division.
    • Prussian hussars brought in a dozen or two of Cossacks and Frederick had his first sight of Russian soldiery, by no means a favourable one.
    • All baggage was left on the left bank of the Oder and Frei-Infanterie von Hordt was assigned to the guard of the bridge.
  • Russians
    • Colonel Chomutov informed Fermor that the inhabitants had reported the preparation for the construction of a bridge near Alt-Güstebiese. Fermor ordered Chomutov to march to Alt-Güstebiese and to hinder the construction of that bridge; but his messenger could not go through the patrols of Prussian hussars. When he saw that the situation was serious, Fermor sent a courier to Rumyantsev, to inform him of the latest events, to recommend him the utmost caution, and to order him to be ready for any contingency.
    • When Fermor learned that Frederick had crossed the Oder and cut his line of communication with Rumyantsev's cavalry corps (12,000 men) camped downstream at Schwedt; he gave order to General Browne, who was just arriving from Landsberg with the Observation Corps to hasten and to make a junction with his own corps. Fermor also detached hussars to reconnoitre the Prussian positions. Fermor followed the advice of St. André and Prince Karl and decided to retreat to better positions at Gross-Cammin. with unhindered communication with Landsberg. He also made the necessary arrangements to raise the siege of Cüstrin and to put his army in readiness. In the meantime, the courier dispatched to Rumyantsev had returned, unable to get through the swarming Prussian hussars.
    • Fermor wrote to Daun to inform him that he would advanced on Schwedt with his army, leaving a corps of light troops to blockade Cüstrin. Then, as soon as the Austrian army would get close to the Oder, he would effect a junction with Daun by the right bank of the Oder and Crossen or by the left bank from Schwedt.
    • in the afternoon, Fermor’s Army received a reinforcement of 3 rgts of Don Cossacks (a total of 1,500 men) which were part of Yefremov’s Cossack Corps arriving from Russia. The rest of the corps gradually arrived during the next days.
    • Rumyantsev set off from Bahn and advanced to Hohen-Kränig (present-day Krajnik Górny) where he encamped, leaving only small forces to protect Stargard and Soldin.

Battle of Zorndorf

On August 24

  • Russians
    • Before dawn, Fermor changed his mind because he believed that Frederick would rather advance by Clewitz (present-day Chlewice) and Neumühl (present-day Namyślin) on Zorndorf (present-day Sarbinowo), or would cross the Mietzel (present-day Myśla River) at Darrmietzel (present-day Dargomyśl) or Neudamm (present-day Dębno). He finally decided to take positions between Quartschen (present-day Chwarszczany), Zicher (present-day Cychry) and Zorndorf.
    • Before daybreak, Fermor then lifted the Siege of Cüstrin, the entire Russian train, including light baggage set off towards Tamsel, escorted by 5,000 men with 300 hussars and Cossacks and a few artillery pieces; to form a “Wagenburg” on the height north-east of Klein-Cammin (present-day Kamien Maly) to protect the baggage.
    • At daybreak, the Observation Corps set off from Vietz (present-day Witnica) to effect a junction with the main army.
    • After the departure of the train, the main army broke camp and marched westwards in the direction of Zorndorf, with its left flank covered by hussars and all Cossacks.
    • Around 9:00 a.m., the main army encamped in two lines on the ridge between the so-called Galgen-Grund and Zabern-Grund, facing west between Quartschen and Zorndorf with it right covered by the Mietzel River and its left anchored on the woods of Drewitz (present-day Drzewice).
    • At 2:00 p.m., Browne made a junction with Fermor's Army and deployed the Observation Corps, which had marched by Wilkersdorf, en potence in two lines on the right wing of the main army, , facing the Mietzel and extending its left wing up to the Galgen-Grund. His corps consisted of 1 grenadier "legion", 4 infantry "legions", 8 infantry regiments, 3 pulks of Cossacks, 5 sqns of hussars, 9 sqns of horse grenadiers and 6 sqns of cuirassiers.
    • Light troops secured the camp of the Russian army. Between 4:00 and 5:00 p.m., these light troops skirmished with Prussian hussars north of Zicher and near Darrmietzel.
    • Fermor recalled light baggage and the necessary provisions from the “Wagenburg” at Klein-Cammin to the army. Troops set up tents and each man received provisions for ten days.
    • Fermor expected the Prussian attack in the area of Kutzdorf (present-day Gudzisz) but when he realised that Frederick's Army was deployed beyond its right flank, he redeployed his own army while Browne's Corps moved closer to Wilkersdorf.
    • The Conference sent orders to Admiral Michovkov to sail to the vicinity of Colberg on the coasts of Eastern Pomerania with his squadron and to act according to Fermor’s instructions. However, these orders were not executed.
  • Prussians
    • Frederick’s Army rested during the morning.
    • At 1:00 p.m. the vanguard started its march.
    • Around 2:00 p.m., after resting his army for half a day, Frederick marched in two columns southwards. The first column advanced along the Furstenfeld Woods while the second marched by the paper-mill of Neudamm covered by the Mietzel.
    • The Prussian hussars drove the Russian light cavalry beyond Darrmietzel.
    • Around 7:00 p.m., Frederick’s Army encamped facing south between Darrmietzel and the paper-mill of Neudamm. The bridge over the Mietzel near the paper-mill of Neudamm was neither occupied nor destroyed by the Russians. Seizing the opportunity, Frederick sent the entire vanguard, all hussars, two dragoon rgts and a few heavy pieces to the south bank of the Mietzel to establish a bridgehead in the forest. Through this forest, across the marshy lowlands, part of a Russian camp was visible as well as some cavalry. Frederick established his headquarters in the paper-mill of Neudamm. A second bridge was erected alongside the already existing one. Grenadier Battalion 1/23 Wedell along with Forcade Infantry occupied Darrmietzel.

During the night, Fermor reorganised his positions once more, moving his best regiments from his first line to his second, since it was this line which was now facing the Prussians. He disposed his army in a large square on the Heights of Quartschen. The cavalry and the baggage were placed inside this hollow square. Only Cossacks were left outside the square.

On August 25

  • Engagement
    • At 3:30 a.m., the Prussian Army started its march. The infantry crossed the Mietzel on the mill bridge and the cavalry on the bridge of Kerstenbrügge (present-day Mostno). Baggage and pack horses were escorted to Neudamm. After the crossing of the river, the Prussian Army broke the bridges and resumed its advance in 3 columns: the infantry formed the first and second lines and the cavalry the third. It marched towards Batzlow (present-day Bogusław) and turned right as it debouched from the woods. The bloody Battle of Zorndorf was ferociously contested between both armies and ended in a stalemate: the Prussian Army occupied the battlefield but the Russian Army was encamped nearby.
  • Russians
    • Resanov’s detachment reached Langenau near Danzig, on its way to Colberg. In the following days it resumed its march by Oliva (present-day Oliwa), Schmechau (present-day Wejherowo) and Lanz (present-day Łęczyce) towards Lauenburg (present-day Lębork), avoiding Danzig. But it was already too late to take advantage of the situation.

On the night of August 25 to 26

  • Prussians
    • Colonel Hordt broke the bridges on the Oder at Alt-Güstebiese.
  • Russians
    • Fermor wrote to Dohna to propose a truce for three days to bury the dead and take care of the wounded. Frederick instructed Dohna to answer that he was master of the battlefield and that he could care for the wounded and dead of both armies.
    • Informed of the battle of Zorndorf, Rumyantsev retired, after setting fire to the bridge near Schwedt. He also recalled Berg’s Brigade.

On August 26

  • Prussians
    • At daybreak, Frederick reconnoitred the Russian positions, escorted by his cavalry. He suddenly came under the fire of the Russian artillery. He soon realised that the terrain favoured the Russians and abandoned his design for an attack.
    • Frederick deployed his army (including the rallied bns of Manteuffel’s and Kanitz’s corps) on the heights between Quartschen and the Hapfuhl. Everything then came to a standstill until 11:00 a.m.
    • The cavalry of the left wing tried to move closer to the Russian positions but was contained by the Russian artillery.
    • In the afternoon, Frederick ordered the baggage, then at Neudamm, to join the army. Around 3:00 p.m., the Prussian baggage arrived with some ammunition. However, the Prussians still lacked ammunition and the cavalry was too exhausted to launch another attack.
    • In the evening, the Prussians pitched tents on the battle field behind their positions. The Prussian cavalry of the left wing moved behind its infantry between the Langen-Grund and Zicher, leaving only two rgts on the left wing.
    • Frederick ordered Colonel von Hordt, who covered the bridges at Alt-Güstebiese with Frei-Infanterie von Hordt, to break these bridges (in fact Hordt had already broken them the previous night) and to establish new ones near Kienitz, planning to use them to bring additional ammunition to supply his army. Meanwhile, the commandant of Cüstrin was instructed to bring all ammunition available in the fortress to the eastern suburb.
    • A Prussian detachment sent from Gartz re-occupied Schwedt and Major von Kleist advanced on Stargard at the head of II./Rautter Infantry and 80 Land hussars.
    • Major-General von Below with the Landbataillon I Heiderstädt, the Freibataillon du Verger and a small detachment of Zieten Hussars were in Frankfurt an der Oder to protect the Prussian magazines, the heavy baggage and the field bakery.
  • Russians
    • At daybreak, the Russians reorganised their lines with their right towards Zorndorf and their left behind the small Valley of Quartschen. The cavalry of the left wing advanced in the direction of Quartschen in an attempt to recover what was left of the light baggage. The Russian cavalry drove back the Ruesch Hussars, who were covering the Prussian right wing, the latter took refuge with their infantry whose fire repulsed the Russians.
    • The Russian artillery opened fire on the Prussian troops and soon the Prussian artillery replied. The long cannonade proved to be quite ineffective.
    • Around 11:00 a.m., the Russians retired closer to the woods.
    • Late in the evening, the three last Cossack rgts of Yefremov’s Corps, coming from Russia, arrived at the “Wagenburg” near Klein-Cammin and started to harass the Prussian positions.
    • The Ryazanskiy Horse Grenadiers evacuated Stargard.
    • Rumyantsev’s Division reached Bahn where Berg’s Brigade rejoined it in the evening.
  • Austrians
    • The Austrian light troops, who had reached the region of Frankfurt an der Oder, took the direction of Fürstenwalde.

The Russians now had a free line of communication with their “Wagenburg”. Furthermore, as the Prussians received new ammunition, the situation of Fermor’s Army became more serious. Fermor had not other choice than to march to Klein-Cammin.

During the very dark night of August 26 to 27, under heavy rain

  • Russians
    • Around midnight, Fermor’s artillery opened on the Prussian camp to create a diversion. The Prussians took their arms and their artillery replied. During this artillery duel, Fermor formed a square with his infantry with a vanguard and a rearguard.
    • At 2:00 a.m., Cossacks attacked the Prussian advanced posts to screen the movement of the main army.
    • Around 2:30 a.m., Fermor marched in the direction of the Wagenburg at Klein-Cammin. The light baggage, on the far right, tried to reach the road leading from Tamsel to Klein-Cammin. For most of the march, the artillery had to be pulled by soldiers (more than 850 artillery horses had been lost during the battle), moving along the farthest side of the Russian square. The wounded were transported aboard wagons or carried with girths by the Cossacks. The mass of the light cavalry covered the flank on the side of the Prussians.

On August 27

  • Engagement
    • At daybreak, the Prussians could see the Russians to the south of Wilkersdorf advancing towards the “Wagenburg” at Klein-Cammin. They were out of reach of the Prussian infantry but were still within range of the cavalry. Frederick ordered his cavalry to pursue them and the rest of his army to march and to support the cavalry. The Prussian cavalry tried to catch up with the retreating Russians but was harassed by the Cossacks and stopped by the fire of the artillery of the Russian rearguard established on the heights to the south-east of Wilkersdorf.
  • Russians
    • At 9:00 a.m., the Russian army reached the heights between Gross-Cammin and Klein-Cammin and encamped in a square formation well protected by the surrounding terrain. The west side of the square extended from Klein-Cammin to Gross-Cammin; the north side, from Gross-Cammin to the depression between this village and the Blumberg (present-day Mościce). The east side was covered by difficult terrain. The cavalry took position on and along the slopes of the Warthe. The Russians immediately started to entrench their camp and to establish batteries in small redoubts.
    • In the morning, Yefremov reinforced Fermor’s Army with some 1,400 Cossacks. Throughout the day, additional detachments of hussars and Cossacks gradually left the “Wagenburg” to harass the Prussian left wing.
    • The light troops of Brigadier Stojanov and General Yefremov secured the new Russian positions and occupied Gross-Cammin.
    • Fermor sent orders to Rumyantsev to retire to Landsberg.
    • Fermor sent orders to Resanov to rejoin the main army with his 3 rgts, unless he had already captured Kolberg. Resanov was to march by Bütow (present-day Bytów) and Driesen to Klein-Cammin. However, Resanov was still at Oliva in the region of Danzig and he would finally receive Fermor’s orders when he would reach Stolp.
    • Rumyantsev’s Division reached Damnitz. Rumyantsev was convinced that Fermor would retire northeastwards to Soldin and he wanted to protect the magazines in Stargard from any enterprises from the Prussian garrison of Stettin.
    • The Russians would remain unmolested at Klein-Cammin for four days.
  • Prussians
    • Frederick realised that an attack on the Russian camp would prove to be very costly. Accordingly, his army encamped to the west of the Spring-Grund with its right extending to the Warthebruch. Frederick’s headquarters were established at Tamsel to the west of the Wagenburg.
    • Frederick also sent a vanguard (7 bns, 10 dragoon sqns, Ruesch Hussars and Malachowski Hussars) under Prince Moritz to take position on the heights east of the Herren-Grund. Moritz quickly established light entrenchments on these heights and threw hussars into Wilkersdorf.
    • Frederick instructed Hordt to establish the new bridges near Schaumburg instead of Kienitz.
    • Major-General von Bredow was sent with 2 cuirassier rgts towards Batzlow to clear up the battlefield and to drive out the marauding Cossacks. They were covered by 4 bns under Major-General Gablenz who had been sent to Neudamm to protect the village, which was full of wounded and prisoners, against the Russian light cavalry of Fermor.
    • Frederick sent the rest of the Zieten Hussars to reinforce Below’s detachment in Frankfurt an der Oder.
    • Towards evening, Wied Fusiliers, who had been left behind in Cüstrin, escorted a supply of bread and ammunition to the Prussian army. Meanwhile, Zieten Hussars were detached to Lower Lusatia to prevent the incursions of Austrian light troops under Loudon.
    • Frederick was then informed that Daun had reached Görlitz with the main Austrian army on August 20 and that Loudon had, on August 25, reached Guben and Peitz in Lower Lusatia with a strong corps of light troops.

On August 28

  • Prussians
  • Russians
    • The main Russian army remained mostly inactive. Fermor was very busy reorganising his army. He wrote to Chancellor Vorontsov mentioning that he had only 20,000 men (in fact 25,000 men) fit for service after the terrible Battle of Zorndorf and ammunition were lacking, especially for his artillery. In the army, many blamed him for the defeat. Fermor estimated that he could not remain in his fortified camp near Klein-Cammin much longer because his starving horses and his army would then be unable to march. Fermor considered that he should retire to Landsberg, because he could not move away from the Warthe, the only navigable river in the Russian area of operation, if he wanted to get his army properly supplied. He also estimated that he could not remain at Landsberg very long because the surrounding land had already been devastated by his light troops and deserted by its inhabitants.
    • Fermor reiterated his orders to Rumyantsev to retire to Landsberg.
    • Rumyantsev received Fermor’s initial orders while he was advancing on Stargard.

On August 29

  • Prussians
    • Frederick was poorly informed of the situation of the Russian army because the reconnaissances conducted by the his cavalry were severely impaired by the Cossacks. At any rate, he expected the imminent junction of Rumyantsev’s Division with Fermor’s Army and that Fermor, emboldened by these reinforcements could consider a new advance against the Prussians.
  • Russians
    • Fermor sent instructions to Rumyantsev to redirect his march towards Klein-Cammin to effect a junction with his army.
    • Rumyantsev, obeying to Fermor’s initial orders marched towards Landsberg, reaching Berlinchen (present-day Barlinek).

The same day, the Prussians and the Russians both celebrated victory…

On August 30

  • Prussians
    • Frederick sent 8 bns to reinforce his vanguard in case of a Russian attack.
    • Frederick was informed that the Russians had assembled a convoy with provisions for four weeks near Landsberg. He detached 3 bns (Grenadier Battalion Lossow, Bülow Fusiliers) with 6 howitzers and 100 hussars under Adjutant-Captain von Wendessen to march through the forest to the north-east of Blumberg to attack and burn this convoy.
  • Russians
    • Fermor expected a new Prussian attack.

On August 31

  • Prussians
    • Wendessen’s enterprise failed because of his slow and over-cautious approach and because he was unwilling to attack when he got near Landsberg and saw that strong Russian detachments were posted in and around the town.
    • Rumors spread that Rumyantsev had actually effected a junction with Fermor's Army, and that an attack by the Russians was imminent. In the afternoon, when Frederick observed major movements in the Russian camp, he ordered his army to join the vanguard.
  • Russians
    • In the morning, Fermor sent his baggage towards Landsberg.
    • The Russian army should set off for Landsberg the next day, but when Fermor saw that the Prussians were joining their vanguard and extending their positions up to Wilkersdorf, he ordered to prepare for departure during the evening. His army marched in a single column by Blumberg through the forest in the direction of Tornow (present-day Tarnówek).

In the night of August 31 to September 1, Rumyantsev’s Division reached Marwitz (present-day Marwice).

At the end of August, Frederick still had no clear view of the movements of the Austrian armies. Nevertheless, he realised that the situation of Prince Heinrich in Saxony would soon become untenable with his small army (less than 20,000 men) to face some 80,000 Austrians. Prince Heinrich not only had to oppose the Reichsarmee but also Daun, who was advancing from Görlitz in the direction of the Elbe. Frederick wanted to come to the assistance of his brother but with the Russian army still at Klein-Cammin, he did not dare to leave Dohna to face Fermor alone. He intended to leave for Saxony as soon as Fermor would retire towards Landsberg. He hoped that supply problems would prevent the Russians from undertaking any new offensive.

Operations come to a standstill

On September 1

  • Engagement
    • In the morning, the Prussians finally realised that the Russians had retreated. Frederick gave orders to his army to follow but Demiku’s rearguard deployed between Blumberg and Mossin (present-day Mosina) in a very broken country and his artillery opened on the advancing Prussian hussars. Prince Moritz arrived with the infantry of the Prussian vanguard and his artillery answered to Demiku’s. The Russian rearguard then resumed its retreat and the Prussians capture a large number of sick, some straggling baggage wagons and 3 artillery pieces.
  • Prussians
    • The Prussian main body halted south of Blumberg and encamped while the vanguard took position to the east of the town. In front of the Prussian positions, Grenadier Battalion Kleist, Grenadier Battalion Kremzow and the hussars secured the road leading to Demiku’s positions through ponds and marshes. The cuirassier rgts had been left behind at the camp of Tamsel.
  • Russians
    • At daybreak, Fermor’s Army reached Tornow. Fermor then waited for the arrival of his rearguard which had been left behind at Klein-Cammin under Demiku. As soon as Demiku reached Tornow, Fermor resumed his march, arriving at Landsberg in the evening.

On September 2

On September 3

  • Prussians
    • Dohna sent Manteuffel’s troops to the road leading to Soldin to harass the Russians who were trying to transfer provisions from their magazines in Soldin to their new camp near Landsberg. However, Manteuffel, constantly harassed by the Russian light cavalry, could not accomplish his mission.
    • The II./Rautter Infantry escorted a Prussian convoy of provisions and forage from Stettin to Blumberg.
    • Freiregiment Hordt was sent back by Frederick to join Dohna’s Army.
  • Russians
    • At Landsberg, Fermor, who had lost several generals and high ranking officers captured or wounded, was forced to reorganize his army in two divisions and an observation corps.

On September 4

  • Prussians
    • At daybreak Manteuffel was attacked by a detachment of Cossacks and hussars which were repulsed.
    • Dohna detached 1 bn and 100 dragoons to Soldin to seize forage that the Russians had left there.
  • Russians
    • Fermor learned from deserters and prisoners of Frederick’s departure with a considerable corps.

On September 5

  • Russians
    • Fermor detached 1,000 Cossacks and 2 hussar sqns in the direction of Frankfurt and Crossen to prepare for an eventual junction with the Austrians on the Oder, to secure the country south of the Warthe and to divert the attention of the Prussians. Furthermore, 1 horse grenadier rgt went to Zilenzig to support this light cavalry. His light cavalry detachment soon found that there were no Prussian troops in the region of Frankfurt an der Oder.

On September 6

  • Russians
    • The most severely wounded Russian soldiers were sent off to Marienwerder.
    • A detachment of Russian light cavalry renewed the attack on Manteuffel's vanguard and was repulsed once more.
  • Prussians
    • Manteuffel resolved to take a new position on a height between Liebenow (present-day Lubno) and Ratzdorf (present-day Racław).
    • Dohna marched to the heights between Liebenow and Stennewitz (present-day Stanowice).
Prussian and Russian manoeuvres in Brandenburg in September 1758.
 
Source: Kriege Friedrichs des Grossen, volume III by the German Grosser Generalstab
 
Courtesy: Tony Flores

On September 8

  • Prussians
    • Freiregiment Hordt, 200 dragoons and 100 hussars arrived at Frankfurt an der Oder to defend the region.
  • Russians
    • Fermor received information about Daun’s operations since August 26, from which he finally got an idea of the overall situation. He learned that Daun had sent General Loudon forward when Frederick had marched to effect a junction with Dohna's Army; in the vain hope that Frederick would divide his forces thus reducing the pressure on the Russians. Daun himself with the main body of his army could not catch up with Frederick and rather advanced by Görlitz towards the Oder, hindered by the small Prussian army (27,000 men) posted between Liegnitz and Schweidnitz (present-day Świdnica) this protecting his line of communication. Daun intended to take the direction of Saxony, reach the Elbe, effect a junction with the Reichsarmee of the Prince of Zweibrücken, and then attack the Prussian army of Prince Heinrich, trying to drive him out of Saxony and draw Frederick’s attention away from the Russians. Fermor considered that such a convoluted and indirect plan could not assist him in the near future. Nor did he expect any support from Hamilton’s Swedish Army.
    • Fermor held a council of war where it was decided to remain on the defensive in the advantageous positions near Landsberg until positive news would be received of an advance of the Austrians or Swedes (at about this time, the Swedes, stationed at Strasburg and Prenzlau, seemed to be preparing to march).

On September 9, Resanov reached Bütow with his 3 rgts.

On September 10, some thousands Cossacks attacked Manteuffel's outposts and managed to penetrate up to the chain of camp guards before being stopped by Prussian hussars. The Cossacks retired around 9:00 a.m.

On September 11

  • Russians
    • Fermor held a new council of war where the former decision to remain near Landsberg was confirmed. This would allow the Russian army to receive reinforcements, weapons, ammunition and provisions sent from the Vistula. Indeed, Resanov had already been ordered to rejoin the main army and Brigadier Numers, who now commanded in East Prussia, had been instructed to keep his force in readiness to join the main army as soon as the force (the third bns of several rgts) assembled at Riga would arrive in East Prussia. Fermor also expected new instructions sent from St. Petersburg.
    • Rumyantsev's Corps made a junction with the main army at Landsberg and encamped on the left bank of the Warthe. Rumyantsev's Corps consisted of:
    • With the arrival of Rumyantsev, the Russian Army now counted about 38,000 men.
  • Prussians
    • In the afternoon, Manteuffel received intelligence that a Russian corps would attack him the following day. Accordingly, at 9:00 p.m., Manteuffel retired to Blumberg where he joined Dohna's main force.

St. André, the Austrian envoy, and Prince Karl of Saxony both expected Fermor to march to Soldin as soon as his army would be reorganized and resupplied, to cut the line of communication between Dohna’s Army and Stettin. From this position, the Russian army would have the rich Pomerania behind it and would prevent the Prussians from advancing on the Vistula because their line of communication with Cüstrin would be dangerously exposed. Above all, Driesen would have to remain strongly occupied. From Soldin, it was easy to rapidly reach Schwedt from where it was possible to collaborate with other allies. St. André and Prince Karl believed that Dohna’s Army could not be stronger than Fermor’s. Nevertheless they failed to convince Fermor to undertake such operations. Fermor considered that his army was unable to sustain a new engagement and did not wish to suffer additional losses.

On the night of September 11 to 12, hearing that Fermor intended to attack Manteuffel, Dohna marched back to his previous camp at Blumberg. Soldin was evacuated and only a few passages through the ponds and marshes between Vietz and Kerstenbrügge remained occupied. The Russians followed with small Cossack detachments.

On September 12

  • Russians
    • A Russian corps advanced on Ratzdorf but returned to Landsberg when it realised that Manteuffel had already retired from this position.
  • Prussians
    • Dohna was informed that the Swedes had set off from Prenzlau on September 9 and marched to Lychen to advance on Berlin by Neu-Ruppin or Zehdenick. The threat to the capital, the residence of the royal family and the location of weapon and powder factories, put Dohna in a difficult situation. He had to decide by himself if he should march to the relief of Berlin or stay in his current positions, facing the Russians.

On September 13, 2 Prussian bns were detached to Soldin to escort a convoy of provisions and the heavy baggage of the army arriving from Stettin to Blumberg.

On September 14

  • Prussians
    • The Prussian convoy reached Blumberg.
  • Russians
    • Fermor rearranged his positions around Landsberg.

On September 15

  • Prussians
    • Dohna retreated from Blumberg to Cüstrin where he passed the Oder. He then encamped near Manschnow. He had made this movement to get closer to the Swedish Army who seemed to threaten Berlin.
    • During the evening, Dohna received orders from Frederick instructing him to send Plettenberg Dragoons to Berlin where they would join Wedel who was advancing against the Swedes. For his part, Dohna was instructed to observe the Russian army.
  • Russians
    • Fermor immediately sent a detachment of Cossacks and grenadiers under Colonel Buccow to Soldin to collect forage and provisions.

On September 16, according to orders, the Plettenberg Dragoons were detached to Berlin while Dohna occupied his former position at Blumberg, establishing outposts in the passes in the Mossin Wood and near Vietz.

On September 18

  • Russians
    • Fermor held a council of war where it was decided to make movement to resupply the his army.
  • Prussians
    • Dohna sent Manteuffel at the head of 3 bns and the Malachowski Hussars to dislodge Buccow's Russians from Soldin.

During the night of September 18 to 19, Manteuffel marched through Neudamm to Soldin. After reconnoitring the Russian positions there, he abandoned his project and returned to Blumberg, leaving 2 bns and Malachowski Hussars at Neudamm on his way back.

On September 19, the Russian vanguard marched to Marwitz.

On September 20, Fermor set off from his camp at Landsberg with the Russian main army, leaving a small garrison. He marched to the village of Kartzig (present-day Karsko). The first line of the right wing consisted of 5 cuirassier rgts and 3 legions of the Observation Corps; the second of 3 horse grenadier rgts, 2 dragoon rgts and 2 legions. The first line of the left wing counted 16 infantry rgts; the second 12 infantry rgts. The hussars and Cossacks covered the rear of the camp. Artillery, grouped in 3 batteries, covered the front of the army.

On September 21, the Russian main army marched to Dicko (unidentified location).

On September 22, the Russian Main Army marched to Pyritz where it encamped with its right flank extending to the road leading to Stargard.

On September 24, the Russian Major-General Dietz marched to Passkrug (unidentified location) with his brigade.

On September 25

  • Russians
    • Major-General Palmbach's Brigade was detached to Passkrug while Dietz took possession of Stargard, seizing lots of provisions.
  • Prussians
    • Dohna was finally informed of the march of the Russian Army from Landsberg which had been successfully screened by 1,000 grenadiers and 400 Cossacks left behind at Landsberg. Immediately, Dohna ordered Major-General Wobersnow to cut off the Russian detachment left at Landsberg. At 4:00 p.m., Wobersnow advanced from Blumberg with Lehwaldt Infantry (2 bns), Rautter Infantry (only 1 bn), Schorlemmer Dragoons (10 sqns) and 200 hussars.

On September 26

  • Prussians
    • Around 2:00 a.m., Wobersnow arrived at the village of Schönefeld (unidentified location), 2 km from Landsberg. He intended to simultaneously attack the two gates on this side of the Warthe River and to send Frei-Infanterie von Hordt (which had returned after escorting Frederick up to Lubben (unidentified location)) on the other side of the Warthe. At daybreak, Wobersnow appeared in front of Landsberg. All went according to Wobersnow's plan. The Russians, seeing the two gates blocked by the Prussians, attempted to retire towards Poland. The Prussians immediately entered into Landsberg and followed up the retiring Russians. However, Hordt had not yet reached his assigned position and the Russians retired, burning the bridge over the Warthe after passing it. After the capture of Landsberg, the battalion of Rautter Infantry was stationed there while Hordt occupied the suburb on the other side of the Warthe.
    • Around midnight, Wobersnow's Corps marched to rejoin Dohna's Army.
  • Russians
    • The main army marched to Prilow (unidentified location).

On September 27

  • Prussians
    • The Prussian Army marched to Neudamm where it was joined by Wobersnow's Corps during the afternoon.
    • The Prussian vanguard under Manteuffel advanced up to Wustewitz (present-day Ostrowiec).
  • Russians
    • During the evening the Russian detachment who had escaped from Landsberg joined the Russian main army.

On September 28, Palmbach's Brigade began its march to Colberg to undertake the siege of that fortress.

On September 29, Dohna's Army arrived at Soldin.

On September 30, the Russian main army marched to Stargard, leaving Rumyantsev's Corps at Passkrug.

On October 2, the Prussian Army marched to Lippehne (present-day Lipiany) while its vanguard under Manteuffel advanced on Pyritz where the Russians had left a small garrison.

On October 3

  • Engagement
    • In the morning, Manteuffel reached Pyritz and surprised the Russian garrison, capturing 46 prisoners. The rest of the Russian garrison managed to retire to Passkrug where its artillery covered its retreat and stopped the pursuing Prussian troops.
  • Prussians
    • Dohna's Army reached Pyritz where it encamped.
    • Manteuffel took position on the height near Grossrisch (unidentified location) .
    • Hordt was detached to Kolbatz (present-day Kołbacz) with his unit to cover the line of communication with Stettin.

Siege of Colberg

On October 3, a Russian Corps (about 15,000 men) under the command of Palmbach laid Siege to Colberg which was defended by a small garrison of 2 Invalid bns (some 700 men) under the command of Major Heyden.

The siege lasted till November 1 when Palmbach retired to join the Russian main army retreating towards Poland.

Russians slowly retire

From October 4, daily skirmishes took place between Fermor's troops and Prussian light troops.

On October 5

  • Engagement
    • A small Prussian detachment was surprised at Berlinchen (probably Barlinek), the Russians capturing a cornet and 20 hussars.
  • Russians
    • Major-General Lubomirski was detached to Passkrug with 4,000 infantry and some light troops to strengthen the defence of the pass.

On October 8

  • Russians
    • Fermor sent Colonel Yakoblev with 2 rgts and 2 howitzers to reinforce Palmbach at Colberg.
    • Part of the heavy baggage of the Russian main army was sent to Kallies (present-day Kalisz Pomorski).

On October 12, the Russians captured 6 hussars and 60 men of Frei-Infanterie von Hordt.

On October 15, 2 Russian rgts of Resanov's Corps joined Fermor while the Russians abandoned the pass of Passkrug.

On October 16, the Russian main army marched to Zachan (present-day Suchan). Prussian light troops attacked the Russian rearguards but were repulsed.

On October 18, the Russian main army marched to Reetz (present-day Recz). Artillery was deployed in batteries and flèches to cover the camp.

On October 21, the Russian main army marched to Springfeld (unidentified location).

On October 22

  • Russians
    • The main army marched to Dramburg (present-day Drawsko Pomorskie).
  • Prussians
    • The vanguard under Manteuffel marched to Stargrad.

On October 23

  • Prussians
    • Dohna followed with his army to Stargard, detaching Kleist with Kreytzen Fusiliers and 200 hussars back to Landsberg to check an incursion of the Cossacks.
    • Hordt was detached with Frei-Infanterie von Hordt and 300 hussars to Dolitz (unidentified location) on the road that the Russian army had taken.

On October 24

On October 25, Dohna detached Wobersnow with 5 bns (Moritz 2 bns, Kanitz 2 bns and Grenadier Battalion 2/Gar.2 Nesse 1 bn) and 9 sqns (Alt-Platen Dragoons 5 sqns and 400 hussars) towards Colberg. They marched from Stargard to Massow.

On October 29, Fermor, ignoring the exact situation at Colberg, sent Martuinov with a reinforcement of 5 infantry regiments.

On October 30, Colonel Irrman of the Russian engineers reconnoitred the neighbourhood of Labes. The same day, Fermor was informed of the raising of the Siege of Colberg.

On October 31, Fermor ordered Martuinov to return to the army with his corps.

On November 1, Fermor sent off the prisoners.

On November 2, a courier arrived in the Russian camp from St. Petersburg with the order for the army to go into winter-quarters.

On November 3, the Russian main army retired to Poland and encamped at Tempelburg (present-day Czaplinek). Palmbach's Corps rejoined the army in this camp.

On November 8, the Russian army began its march to its winter-quarters. It moved in 3 columns. Fermor personally commanded the first column which marched to Hochstadt (unidentified location).

On November 9, Fermor's column marched to Crone (unidentified location).

On November 10, Fermor's column marched to Schneidemühl.

Order of Battle
Detailed order of battle of the Russian Army in its winter-quarters in November 1758.

On November 13, the Russian army divided up into small detachments, each marching to its assigned winter-quarters.

On November 22, the Russian garrison retired out of Driesen into Poland. Brandenburg and Pomerania were now free of any Russian troops.

References

This article is mostly made of abridged and adapted excerpts from the following books which are now in the public domain:

  • Grosser Generalstab Kriegsgeschichtliche Abteilung II: Die Kriege Friedrichs des Grossen, Part 3 Der siebenjährige Krieg 1756-1763
    • Vol. 7 Olmütz und Crefeld, Berlin, 1909, p. 199
    • Vol. 8 Zorndorf und Hochkirch, Berlin, 1910, pp. 31-54, 64-104, 161-183
  • Tielke, J. G.: An Account of some of the most Remarkable Events of the War between the Prussians, Austrians and Russians from 1756 to 1763, Vol. 2, Walter, London, 1788, pp. 87-260
  • Jomini, Henri: Traité des grandes opérations militaires, 2ème édition, 2ème partie, Magimel, Paris: 1811, pp. 140-167, 232, 252-253, 262-264
  • 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. 317-318

Other sources

Duffy, Christopher: various articles on the Russian army, Seven Years War Association Journal Vol. X No. 2

Acknowledgements

Alessandro Colaiacomo for the excerpts of his article on the battle of Zorndorf describing the various manoeuvres which took place between the arrival of Frederick and the battle