1758 - Siege of Cosel
The Fortress of Cosel (present-day Kędzierzyn-Koźle), one of the medium sized fortresses in Silesia, occupied an important position on the left bank of the Oder where the smaller Klodnitz River (present-day Kłodnica) flowed into it.
At the beginning of 1758, the fortress served mainly as a big, protected supply magazine. Its proximity to the Oder made it a good starting point to transport provisions towards Moravia during the Prussian invasion.
On June 21, a supply convoy of 818 wagons left Neisse (present-day Nysa) and Cosel for Moravia where the Prussian army had undertaken the siege of Olmütz. This convoy was escorted by 8 bns (2,000 recruits and convalescents) and 1,100 cavalry under the command of Colonel Friedrich von Mosel. The first and second battalions of the Garrison Regiment V von Mützschefahl also formed part of this escort while the third and fourth battalions of this regiment were attached to the garrison of Cosel. The 2 battalions accompanying the convoy later took part in the ambush at Domstadl.
At this time, Christoph Fredrich von Lattorf was the commander of the fortress of Cosel which was defended by some 50 guns and a garrison of about 1,500 men (see detailed order of battle below).
On July 25, an Austrian detachment of 3 grenzer bns (1,500 men) and a few hundreds hussars under Lieutenant-Colonel Kalinerk appeared in front of Cosel.
On July 31, this detachment blockaded Cosel from Pogorzelec on the right bank of the Oder.
On August 6, a Prussian detachment (800 infantry, 100 hussars and 4 guns) crossed the bridge and assaulted the Austrian positions. In this action, the Austrians lost 50 men killed and 30 wounded but this did not put an end to the blockade.
On August 19, the cavalry corps of the Marquis de Ville reinforced the Austrian force, allowing it to extend the blockade to the side of Reinschdorf (present-day Reńska Wieś).
On August 24 and 27, the Austrians launched assaults which were both repulsed by the Prussian artillery.
On September 1, the Prussians burnt the bridge of Kobelwitz (present-day Kobylice).
On September 2 and 6, the Austrians unsuccessfully tried to storm the Prussian positions.
On September 13, buildings in Kobelwitz were burned.
On September 24, the mill of Kukla was put afire.
From September 25 to 27, the Austrian artillery opened a heavy fire on the Fortress of Cosel.
On September 26, the Austrians tried once more to storm the main wall without success.
On September 28, Lattorf launched counter-attacks.
On November 9, hearing of Frederick II approach, the Austrians resolved to accelerate the siege.
On November 11, General de Ville arrived near Cosel with a reinforcement of 3,000 men for the Austrian besiegers and made another attempt to capture the fortress by surprise.
On November 14, a Prussian relief force led by Major-General Carl Christoph Baron von der Goltz and Major-General Paul von Werner ("Standing" Grenadier Battalion V von Rath, IR42 Markgraf von Brandenburg Fusiliers, 400 dragoons and 5 sqns of HR6 Werner Hussars) arrived at Reinschdorf. It had been sent by Lieutenant-General de La Motte Fouqué to relieve the fortress. Fouqué followed this detachment with the main body of his corps, marching to Ober-Glogau (present-day Glogowek). Goltz, whose troops marched without knapsacks, tents and pack-horses, reached Cosel at 1:00 p.m, after having crossed swamps and bushes. Goltz attacked the Austrians. Meanwhile, Lattorf made a sally from the fortress. The Austrians were thus attacked from both sides and soon broke and run, leaving 130 men on the field, 50 men taken prisoners and 18 wagons. The Austrians retired in the direction of Ratibor (present-day Raciborz). Goltz and Werner pursued them. "Standing" Grenadier Battalion V von Rath and 50 men from HR6 Werner Hussars remained in Cosel to reinforce the garrison.
On December 22, Lattorf received the “Order of the Black Eagle” for his conduct during the siege.
Orders of battle
no detail available yet
In 1758, the fortress of Cosel was garrisoned as follows:
- Garrison Artillery (1 coy of about 130 men)
- Mineurs (1 detachment)
- Hussars (1 unidentified detachment of about 100 men)
- Artillery (unknown quantity) N.B. in 1746 the artillery of the fortress consisted of
- 7 iron guns
- 2 x 10-pdr iron howitzers
- 1 x 30-pdr mortar
- 17 x 12-pdr bronze guns
- 8 x 6-pdr bonze guns
- 14 x other bronze guns
- 4 x 10-pdr bronze howitzers
- I./Garrison Regiment VI von Lattorf (1 bn) composed mainly of Silesian soldiers, it suffered heavily from desertion
- II./Garrison Regiment VI von Lattorf (1 bn) composed mainly of Silesian soldiers, it suffered heavily from desertion
- III./Garrison Regiment V von Mützschefahl (1 bn)
- IV./Garrison Regiment V von Mützschefahl (1 bn)
Generalstab Kriegsgeschichtliche Abteilung II: Die Kriege Friedrichs des Grossen, Part 3 Der siebenjährige Krieg 1756-1763, Vol. 8 Zorndorf und Hochkirch, Berlin, 1910, pp. 332-333
Tomasz Karpiński from Gniezno/Poznań for the initial version of this article.