1759 - Austrian campaign in Upper Silesia and Lusatia

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Hierarchical Path: Seven Years War (Main Page) >> Campaigns >> 1759 - Austrian campaign in Upper Silesia and Lusatia

The campaign lasted from March to September 1759

Introduction

For the first half of 1759, the confrontation between the Austrian and Prussian armies was centred around Lusatia with related operations in the neighbouring regions of Silesia, Bohemia and Saxony. Then in August the main theatres of operation shifted to Brandenburg and Saxony. These related campaigns are covered in two other articles:

However, the multiple manoeuvrings which took place in the aforementioned regions until July are, for the moment, all grouped within the current article.

Description

At the opening of the campaign of 1759, Prussian armies were deployed as follows:

  • Frederick II's Army in Silesia (54 bns, 88 sqns)
  • Fouquet's Corps in Upper-Silesia (18 bns, 20 sqns)
  • Prince Henri's Corps in Saxony (43 bns, 60 sqns)
  • Dohna's Corps in Pomerania (26 bns, 55 sqns)

For their part, the Austrian armies were deployed as follows:

  • de Ville's Corps in Moravia (26 bns, 32 sqns (including the Saxon cavalry) and 3,500 Grenzers consisting of: Karlstädter-Lykaner, Karlstädter-Ottochaner and Karlstädter Grenz-Hussars)
  • Loudon's Corps at Trautenau (present-day Trutnov) in Bohemia between the Elbe and Silesia (10 bns, 20 sqns, 5,917 Grenzers)
  • Beck's Corps near Politz (present-day Police nad Metují) in Bohemia (10 bns, 15 sqns, 5,900 Grenzers)
  • Wehla's detachment near Gabel (present-day Jablonné v Podještědí) in Bohemia (2,031 Grenzers)
  • Harsch's Corps near Náchod in Bohemia (16 bns, 25 sqns, 3,300 Grenzers)
  • Daun's Army at Gitschin (present-day Jičín) in Bohemia (47 bns, 60 sqns)
  • Gemmingen's Corps at Postelberg (present-day Postoloprty) on the Eger on the frontier between Saxony and Bohemia (9 bns, 39 sqns, 3,154 Grenzers)

Another Austrian Corps of 15,000 men (including 6,546 Grenzers from Banal-Grenzinfanterieregiment nr. 1, Karlstädter-Lykaner, Karlstädter-Oguliner, Karlstädter-Szluiner, and 1,454 men from the Karlstädter Grenz-Hussars) under Hadik had already joined the Reichsarmee cantoned in Franconia near the Saxon border with another division on the Werra near Hesse. Globally these Austro-Imperial forces amounted to about 45,000 men.

At the end of February, Frederick sent parties against the Russian magazines on the Warthe (present-day Warta river) and at Posen (present-day Poznań). These parties successfully destroyed some magazines.

On March 24, Daun arrived at his cantonments of Jermer (present-day Jaroměř), expecting a Prussian invasion. He had been ordered by the Kriegshofrath (Court War Council) to take no offensive actions until the arrival of the Russian Army would draw away part of Frederick's Army. Meanwhile, Beck, commanding the Austrian advanced posts in Upper Lusatia and Bohemia, had been informed that the Diringshofen Grenadier Battalion occupied an isolated post at Greiffenberg (present-day Gryfów Śląski). He resolved to capture this post.

In the night of March 25 to 26, Beck marched on Greiffenberg. Diringshofen received intelligence of his advance but decided to make a stand. Once surrounded, he tried to escape by forming a square but, after a strong resistance, was forced to surrender with 500 men.

In mid April, Frederick sent Fouquet in a raid in Moravia to destroy Austrian magazines. Simultaneously, Frederick sent Prince Henri in a raid inside Bohemia. Daun, considering him as the vanguard of a new invasion, despatched Beck's Corps to cover Prague and the main depot of his army. Prince Henri destroyed large depots belonging to the Reichsarmee but then retired towards Saxony.

In April, Frederick II took a strong position near Landeshut (present-day Kamienna Góra), the main pass between Silesia and Bohemia. He remained there till the first days of July, almost three months, watching Daun.

On April 17, de Ville concentrated his corps near Heidenplitsch (present-day Bílčice/CZ) and established his camp between Troppau (present-day Opava/CZ) and Jägerndorf (present-day Krnov/CZ).

On April 30, Frederick sent a strong column to Deutch-Kanitz (unidentified location) to dislodge de Ville from his positions.

On May 1, de Ville retired to Hermannstadt (present-day Heřmanovice). The Prussian column, continuing its advance, attacked and captured 6 officers and 271 men from the Karlstädter-Lykaner Grenzer and Karlstädter-Ottochaner Grenzer at Arnoldsdorf (present-day Gmina Głuchołazy) and then returned to Landeshut.

At the beginning of May, Frederick decided to send the Prussian Army of Saxony against the Reichsarmee to put it out of action for a certain time so that he could redirect his Army of Saxony against the Russians. Accordingly, Prince Henri made an incursion in Franconia where he operated until the beginning of June.

On May 6, a Prussian force attacked and drove back Graf Renard Uhlanen at Hennersdorf (present-day Dolní Branná). However Major-general Renard was soon supported by Karlstädter-Lykaner Grenzer, Karlstädter-Ottochaner Grenzer and Karlstädter Grenz-Hussars forcing the Prussians to retire.

In mid May, Frederick resolved to destroy a second time the Russian magazine at Posen to delay the advance of the Russian Army. He charged General Wobersnow of this mission with 6 bns and 15 sqns. Wobersnow departed from Silesia.

On May 18, Wobersnow arrived at Guhrau (present-day Góra) where he received new orders instructing him to abandon his mission on Posen and to redirect his march towards Naumburg on the Bober (present-day Nowogrod Bobrzanski). Frederick had revised his orders when he had been informed that an Austrian Corps of 10,000 men was threatening the Neumark Country and Berlin itself. Indeed, taking advantage of the gaping hole created in the Prussian position by Prince Henri advance into Franconia, Daun had sent Wehla towards Berlin at the head of 4,000 men. To support this manoeuvre, the Austrian General Gemmingen marched on Chemnitz and Zwickau.

Wehla advanced up to Spremberg but, fearing to be cut from his base, he finally retired towards Bohemia by Hoyerswerda.

On May 21, Loudon's Corps moved closer to observe the position of Frederick's Main Army. The Prussian detachments at Naumburg were immediately recalled. Fouquet's Corps cantoned between Kamenz and Frankenstein while Frederick's army encamped near Jonsdorf. Meanwhile, Daun was threatening Glatz (present-day Klodzko), hoping to force Frederick to abandon his strong position. Frederick reinforced some advanced posts, Bulow's Corps at Tonhausen (unidentified location) being increased to 8 bns and 6 sqns and supported by Fouquet's Corps at Reichenbach (present-day Dzierżoniów).

On May 23, Wobersnow returned to Guhrau and made a junction with 17 sqns and 1 Freibatallion under the command of Seydlitz and Czettritz.

During this time, the Austrian Main Army under the command of Daun was encamped at Schurz (present-day Žireč). Loudon, Beck and Harsch still occupied the same positions.

At the beginning of June, Prince Henri's forces were deployed between Dresden and Zwickau. For its part, the Reichsarmee encamped at Forcheim with its vanguard at Wustenstein. Hadik, leaving 2 hussar regiments with the Reichsarmee, marched with his Austrian troops to make a junction with Daun in Bohemia.

On June 1, part of de Ville's Corps (including the Saxon cavalry) took position at Johannisthal (present-day Janoušov/CZ).

On June 2, the Reichsarmee quitted its camp at Forcheim.

On June 5, Prince Henri detached Hülsen with 10 bns and 20 sqns to reinforce Dohna's Army which was facing the Russians. Finck with 4 bns and 5 sqns then moved towards Dresden to observe the Austrian Army operating in Lusatia.

On June 7, Frederick reconnoitred de Ville's positions and drove back his outpost at Jestiten-Meierhof near Lampersdorf (present-day Lampertice). An Austrian reinforcement of hussars and grenzers was despatched from Grünsdorf (unidentified location) and Frederick retired.

On June 20, FML Beck sent forward a detachment of 200 hussars and 50 grenzers under Major-general Nauendorf to attack Friedland (probably Frýdlant v Čechách).

On June 23, the Reichsarmee occupied a new camp at Hofheim (Hofheim in Unterfranken) on the road from Haßfurt to Königshofen (present-day Bad Königshofen im Grabfeld) while its light troops took the direction of the Werra towards Meiningen and Salzungen and other detachments formed a chain of posts from Saalfeld by Schleitz up to Hof.

The Austrian Court then gave orders to Daun to advance from Schurz to the Queiss River to get closer to the Russian Army.

At the end of June, Prince Henri was near Bautzen to look at the Austrian detachments under Hadik and Loudon. Frederick also sent Finck with 10,000 men to patrol to westward and to guard Berlin.

On June 28, the Austrian Main Army marched from Schurz in 2 columns. The first. consisting of the first line of infantry, the heavy field artillery and the 2 lines of cavalry of the right wing, marched on Horzitz (probably Hořice). The second column, consisting of the second line of infantry and of the 2 lines of cavalry of the left wing, took the road of Neudorf (maybe Skala). The same day, Loudon and Beck kept their positions with their light troops while their regular troops marched to Pless (unidentified location) and Schurz where they joined about 1,000 grenzers and hussars under the command of General Harsch to cover the Bohemian border. Meanwhile, regular regiments who were previously under the command of Harsch at Neustadt (unidentified location), marched to Pless to join the Austrian Main Army. Harsch was now at the head of 15 line regiments and 3,000 grenzers (Slavonisch-Gradiskaner and Slavonisch-Brooder). Hadik and Gemmingen were ordered to pass the Elbe with their divisions and to march towards Upper Lusatia to cover the left flank of the Austrian Main Army against the enterprises of Prince Henri. The same day, Frederick was informed of activities in the positions of Beck and Loudon. Frederick immediately marched to Wernersdorf (probably Vernéřovice‎) with 8 grenadier bns and 15 sqns to reconnoitre the surroundings. No noticeable manoeuvre was detected and Frederick returned to camp at the beginning of the afternoon, leaving some hussars at Friedland (present-day Mieroszów) to observe the Austrians.

On June 29 in the morning, Prussian reconnaissance parties detected that the Austrians had retired from their advanced posts at Liebau (present-day Lubawka) and Schatzlar (present-day Žacléř). Frederick took 4 bns, 9 sqns along with the cavalry piquets and marched to Schatzlar whose castle was still occupied by 100 grenzers. These grenzers were routed and 2 hussars and 19 grenzers taken prisoners. The prisoners informed Frederick that Daun had quitted the day before and Loudon at daybreak. However, the prisoners were unable to indicate the direction they had taken. In fact Loudon was marching with 1 dragoon rgt, 8 hussar sqns and 6,000 grenzers from Trautenau to Hennersdorf near Hohenelbe (present-day Vrchlabí) and Beck with 8 hussar sqns and 6,500 grenzers from Braunau (present-day Broumov) to Eipel (present-day Úpice) to cover the march of the main army. Leaving 4 bns at Schatzlar under the command of Rebentisch, Frederick returned to his camp with the 9 sqns. He still ignored Daun's destination whose main army encamped in 3 divisions at Gitschin, Lomnitz (present-day Lomnice nad Popelkou) and Horzitz.

On June 30 at 3:00 a.m., according to Frederick's order, General Wedel marched to Schatzlar with 8 bns and 14 sqns where he was joined by Rebentisch's 4 bns. He then marched southwards on Trautenau (present-day Trutnov). Frederick also detached Seydlitz with 8 bns and 15 sqns on Hirschberg (present-day Jelenia Gora) and Lahn (present-day Wlen) to observe and attack an Austrian Corps who was following the foothills of the Riesengebirge towards the Queiss River and the Prussian right flank. Furthermore, Frederick also instructed Bülow who still was at Thonhausen to join him with 8 bns, leaving 1 bn and 6 sqns at Barzdorf (maybe Bartoszowek). Bülow joined the main army during the evening. The same day, the Austrian Main Army remained in its positions while Loudon took position at Hochstadt (present-day Vysoké nad Jizerou).

On July 1, the Austrian Main Army moved to Turnau (present-day Turnov), Bredl (unidentified location) and Gitschin. Meanwhile, Loudon marched to Böhmish Gablenz (maybe Jablonec nad Jizerou) and Beck to Hennersdorf. The same day, Frederick was finally informed of Daun's movement.

On July 2, two columns of the Austrian Army joined at Reichenberg (present-day Liberec) while the third marched to Turnau. The same day, Loudon marched to Busch-Ullersdorf (present-day Oldřichova) and Beck to Hochstadt.

On July 3, the Austrian Main Army remained in its positions at Reichenberg awaiting the artillery train to catch up in these mountainous countries. The third column joined the rest of the Austrian Main Army. The same day, Frederick was still encamped near Landeshut, Wedel at Trautenau, Fouquet at Ullersdorf (present-day Orłowice), Prince Henri near Dresden and Seydlitz was marching to Lahn.

On July 4, the Austrian Main Army remained at Reichenberg while Loudon's Corps was at Gerhardsdorf (unidentified location); Hadik's at Töpplitz (present-day Teplice); Beck at Hochstadt; Harsch and de Ville near Konigsdorf (unidentified location); the Reichsarmee at Hofheim in Franconia; Gemmingen, marching from Aussig (present-day Ústí nad Labem) to Gabel; Wehla marching into Saxony from Gabel to Zittau and sending 60 hussars forward to occupy Bernstadt auf dem Eigen and 408 grenzers and 90 Grenz-hussars to occupy Hirschfelde. The latter two detachments pushed up to Bautzen and Görlitz.

On July 5, Frederick retired to Lahn an der Bober (present-day Wleń), reaching Hirschberg with his vanguard. Meanwhile, Fouquet attacked, from his positions at Frankenstein (present-day Ząbkowice Śląskie), the Karlstädter-Ottochaner Grenzer (1,300 men under Lieutenant-colonel Kalinić) posted at Mährisch Weisswasser (present-day Bílá Voda u Šilperka). The grenzers initially retired into a wood but they soon counter-attacked with such impetuosity that the Prussians retired. The same day, Daun marched to Friedland (present-day Frýdlant) while his reserve remained at Reichenberg. Meanwhile, the Reichsarmee left its camp of Hofheim and marched towards Auerstädt.

On July 6, Frederick marched to Waltersdorf (present-day Nielestno) with his vanguard while his main army left the area of Landeshut and marched in 2 columns to Hirschberg and Seifersdorf (present-day Pogorzała). The same day, the Austrian carabiniers marched to Marklissa (present-day Lesna) in Görlitz Country in Lusatia while Daun's Main Army marched to Görlitz and the Reserve to Friedland.

On July 7, Fouquet replaced the Prussian Main Army at Landeshut. The same day, the Austrian Reserve joined the main army at Görlitz.

On July 8, the Austrian Corps of Gemmingen marched to Ullersdorf (more probably Busch-Ullersdorf) while Wehla marched to Ostritz and Beck to Neustadt.

On July 9, the Prussian Main Army passed the Bober and cantoned between Spiller (unidentified location) and Jonsdorf.

On July 10, the Prussian Main Army marched and encamped at Schmottseifen (present-day Pławna Dolna) near Liebental (present-day Lubomierz) opposite and eastward of Daun. Meanwhile Prince Henri assembled his army near Dresden. The same day, Loudon marched to Lichtenau (present-day Zareba) to cover the Austrian left flank while Beck replaced him at Gerhardsdorf.

On July 12, Daun was informed that Saltykov's Russian Army was still on the Warthe (present-day Warta River), awaiting reinforcements before operating against Dohna. Daun then resolved to merge Hadik's, Gemmingen's and Loudon's Corps (about 35,000 men) and to send this new corps towards Brandenburg along the Spree and the Neiss to draw Prince Henri away from Saxony. This project called for a simultaneous advance of the Reichsarmee on Erfurt and Leipzig and for the junction of de Ville's and Harsch's Corps against the Prussian Corps of Fouquet (20 bns, 3 freikorps, 20 sqns) at Landeshut or other places of Upper Silesia. The same day, Frederick detached the Duke of Württemberg to Goriseifen (unidentified location) with 6,000 men to patrol on the eastern side of Hadik's and Loudon's detachments.

On July 13, the Austrian Corps of de Ville and Harsch made a junction at Trautenau. Their combined forces totalled 33 bns, 51 sqns, a division of light troops under Colonel Knežević (2,000 men of the Karlstädter Grenzer and 500 hussars) and another division of light troops under Jahnus (2,410 men of the Slavonisch-Brooder Grenzer, 3,744 men of the Slavonisch-Gradiskaner Grenzer and 490 men of the Pálffy Hussars). The same day, the battalion of Slavonisch-Brooder Grenzer of Major Friedrich Count Dönhoff attacked a detachment of 300 Prussian light troops from Frei-Infanterie le Noble, Frei-Infanterie de Angelelli and Frei-Infanterie von Lüderitz at Friedland, capturing Lüderitz along with 7 officers and 38 men. Still the same day, Prince Henri marched towards Dresden in Saxony while Finck marched to Bischofswerda.

On July 15, Loudon marched to Lauban (present-day Lubań). Hadik, leaving a small corps under Brentano at Aussig in Bohemia, marched to Leitmeritz (present-day Litoměřice).

On July 16, the battalion of Slavonisch-Brooder Grenzer of Major Dönhoff along with a few men of the Pálffy Hussars attacked a convoy transporting supply from Schweidnitz to Landeshut.

On July 17, Finck's detachment marched to Marienstern and the Duke of Württemberg to Bunzlau (present-day Bolesławiec). The same day, the Prussian Corps of Fouquet was at Reichenersdorf (unidentified location). Still the same day, the combined corps of Harsch and de Ville, now under de Ville's command, marched to Schomberg (present-day Chełmsko Śląskie).

On July 18, the Austrian Reserve marched towards Lauban to replace Loudon's Corps there. The same day, the Prussian detachment of Ramin (6 bns) marched to Lindenau (probably Lipniki) where it engaged Jahnus before moving back to its camp.

On July 20, Prince Henri was informed of Hadik's manoeuvres and, leaving a detachment under Knobloch at Bischofswerda in Saxony, marched northwards to Kamenz. Meanwhile, the Duke of Württemberg marched northwards too, from Buntzlau to Sagan (present-day Zagan). The same day, de Ville's Corps marched to Konradswalde in an attempt to turn Fouquet's positions and to cut his communications with Schweidnitz (present-day Swidnica). Meanwhile, an Austrian detachment under Wolfersdorf was at Guldenölse (unidentified location).

On July 21, the Duke of Württemberg retired to Bunzlau while Frederick remained at Schmottseifen. Meanwhile Fouquet, in face of Harsch's advance to Schönberg, had retired to Grüsau. However, Jahnus, covering the Austrian left flank, had already taken a very advantageous position on the height behind Grüsau and Fouquet did not dare to attack him and after a brief cannonade, he resume his retreat to his fortified positions on various hills round Landeshut. Meanwhile, Schenkendorf retired to Ullersdorf during this movement one of his Freikorps was attacked in the valley of Ullersdorf by Lieutenant-colonel Dimić von Papilla at the head of grenadier company of Slavonisch-Gradiskaner Grenzer, the grenzers losing 10 men killed and 17 wounded in the skirmish while inflicting heavy losses to the Prussians. At Landeshut, redoubts, curtains and communications make his position inexpugnable and his camp was adequately supplied. These preparations allowed Fouquet to remain in his positions at Landeshut despite de Ville's manoeuvres, thus protecting the passes of Silesia. The same day, Loudon marched to Radmeritz (present-day Radomierzyce) on the Neiss and the Austrian Reserve to Lauban. Daun remained at Marklissa with the Austrian Main Army. Meanwhile the Reichsarmee was advancing on Saxony through Gotha.

On July 22, Frederick marched to Bautzen. The same day, de Ville, leaving 6,000 men under Wolfersdorff at Guldenölse to cover his depots at Trautenau, marched to make a junction with Gemmingen and encamped at Kunzendorf (present-day Mokrzeszów) in the direction of Schweidnitz. An engagement took place near Freiburg (present-day Świebodzice) between the Austrian vanguard and 200 men of the garrison of Schweidnitz. The small Prussian detachment formed a square and tried to retire through the Austrian cavalry. The Prussians resisted for 8 hours before being broken. Still the same day, the Austrian carabiniers marched to Gerhardsdorf.

On July 23, Prince Henri marched to Bautzen and the Duke of Württemberg to Freywalde (unidentified location) while a Prussian detachment under Lentulus took position at Goriseifen. The same day, in Upper Silesia, a Prussian detachment under Golz (7 bns, 8 sqns) marched to Friedland while Krockow (3 bns) made a junction with Fouquet's Corps at Landeshut.

To do: from here the reconciliation with modern locations is not yet done

On July 24, Frederick got the news of the Prussian defeat at the Battle of Paltzig in front of a Russian Army advancing toward Brandenburg. The same day, to the exception of Daun's Corps which remained at Marklissa, most Austrian corps were on the move: Loudon marched to Rothenburg, Macquire to Krewitz and Hadik to Lauban. The intentions of the Austrian detachments now became clearer to Frederick who saw that they were trying to make a junction with Saltykov's Russian Army at Crossen (present-day Krosno Odrzańskie). The main obstacle on their way was Wedell's Army posted in front of Crossen. The same day in Upper Silesia, de Ville also launched an unsuccessful attempt against Fouquet's positions at Landeshut and Fouquet marched to Gottesberg (present-day Boguszów-Gorce) to occupy the defiles and cut the line of communication of the Austrians with Bohemia.

On July 25, the Duke of Württemberg retired to Burau while Frederick remained at Schmottseifen. Meanwhile, Prince Henri (20 bns, 35 sqns) marched to Königswartha and Finck (12 bns, 10 sqns) remained at Bautzen. In Upper Silesia, Fouquet marched to Konradswalde.

On July 26, informed of the Prussian defeat at Paltzig, Prince Henri marched northwards to Weisswasser. The same day, the combined Austrian Corps under Hadik reached Lehnau while Macquire marched to Bischofswerda and Wehla occupied Stolpen. Loudon remained at Rothenburg.

On July 27, Prince Henri reached Muska while Finck retired to Kamenz. The same day, Hadik left Lehnau, marching towards Priebus (present-day Przewoz). Still the same day, in Upper Silesia, de Ville, fearing for his line of communication, resolved to force a passage on the road from Alt Lässig to Friedland. He sent Jahnus Light Corps (1 grenadier bn, 2 line rgts, the Slavonisch-Gradiskaner Grenzer, the Slavonisch-Brooder Grenzer, 1 hussar rgt and 2 sqns) forward to cover his movements. Fouquet, supported by Golz's detachment (3 bns) took positions on the heights of Vogelgesang and Todtenhubels to cut de Ville's retreat. De Ville launched an attack on Fouquet's positions. The Prussian Frei-Infanterie von Lüderitz along with Carlowitz Grenadiers and Thile Infantry distinguished themselves during this attack, repulsing Jahnus' assault. De Ville made a new attempt with Drašković grenadier bns and was driven back once more. De Ville then redirected his attention on Golz's positions at Friedland.

On July 28, Prince Henri reached Sorau (present-day Żary) while Frederick marched towards Sagan. The same day, the Russian Main Army reached Crossen about 100 km north-by-east from Sagan. Now, Frederick had no choice but to rush to Brandenburg to reinforce Wedel. This meant that only a small Prussian force would now stand in front of Daun's Army. Meanwhile Prince Henri, Eugen of Wurtemberg and several other detachments were ordered to make their junctions with Frederick's main force at Sagan. The same day in Upper Silesia, de Ville detached Jahnus towards Friedland against Golz. Jahnus was supposed to be supported by Wolfersdorf but the manoeuvre failed.

During the night of July 28 to 29 in Upper Silesia, de Ville was forced to retire towards Bohemia through a long detour by the bad roads of Wustengiersdorf and Johannesberg. Fouquet made an unsuccessful attempt against de Ville's reaguard (5 grenadier bns under Dombasle) at Gottesberg. To do so, Fouquet sent a detachment (8 bns, 4 sqns) under Ramin on Waldenburg while he advanced with his own force by Konradswalde on Gottesberg. Nevertheless, Dombasle made an orderly retreat.

On July 29, the Duke of Württemberg joined Prince Henri and other minor detachments at Sagan. Meanwhile, the Austrian Corps of Hadik and Loudon made a junction at Priebus. The same day, de Ville, resuming his retreat, reached Braunau in Bohemia.

During the night of July 29 to 30, Frederick arrived at Sagan with his own corps.

On July 30, Hadik was at Triebel (present-day Trzebiel), Loudon near Sommerfeld (present-day Lubsko). Daun marched to Lauban with the left wing of the main army while Buccow was left behind at Marklissa with the right wing. The same day, Frederick resolved to join Wedel with the Corps of the Duke of Württemberg and Prince Henri; and to offer battle to the Russians. Meanwhile, Finck marched to Hoyerswerda. The same day in Upper Silesia, Fouquet's forces returned to their camp of Konradswalde. Still the same day, the Austrian Corps of Jahnus reappeared in front of Friedland, which he occupied, while Wolfersdorff took position at Konigsheim with 9 bns and 5 sqns. During the night, Fouquet advanced on Wolfersdorff positions only to realize that the latter had already retired to Bersdorf.

On July 31, the Prussian Main Army first marched on Naumburg on the Bober (present-day Nowogrod Bobrzansky) before redirecting its steps towards Sommerfeld. Meanwhile, Prince Henri personally went to Schmottseifen in Silesia to take command. The same day, Beck marched from Lichtenau to Naumburg on the Queiss (present-day Nowogrodziec) to cut communication between the Prussian Army at Schmottseifen and the one which was now marching from Sagan. The same day, in Upper Silesia, Wolfersdorff retired on Trautenau, leaving a small rearguard of 200 Jung-Modena Dragoons behind. The Prussian troops then returned to the camp of Landeshut.

During the following days, Frederick vainly tried to prevent the junction of Loudon's Corps, which included 5,000 grenzers (part of Karlstädter-Lykaner, Slavonisch-Peterwardeiner, Karlstädter-Ottochaner and Karlstädter-Oguliner), with the Russian Main Army. He then move to counter the Russian invasion of Brandenburg.

N.B.: since Loudon was moving to join the Russian army in Brandenburg, the details of his operations from August 1 are described in the article dedicated to the Russian campaign in Brandenburg.

On August 1, Frederick sent orders to Finck to join him at Mulrose. This was the opportunity the Austro-Imperials were waiting for to proceed to the invasion of Saxony now left almost unprotected.

On August 4, Daun was informed of the defeat of the Prussians at Palzig. He sent an officer to Saltykov to coordinate future movements.

On August 6, Daun and Buccow were respectively occupying the same positions at Lauban and Marklissa since July 30 while Beck had moved to Priebus, Macquire to Hoyerswerda, Wehla to Sagan and d'Ayassasse had replaced Beck's Corps at Naumburg on the Queiss with 3 grenadier bns and 6 sqns.

On August 10, de Ville (12 bns, 25 sqns) marched to make a junction with the Austrian Main Army at Marklissa, leaving command to Harsch (the Saxon cavalry remained with Harsch). Meanwhile, Macquire received orders to move with 12,000 men from Hoyerswerda to Görlitz. Indeed, Daun had already sent Wehla's and Brentano's detachments into Saxony. They had entered from the north-east side, posted themselves in strong points looking towards Dresden and awaited the results of the ongoing Reichsarmee invasion of Saxony. Macquire would also take command of the Wehla's and Brentano's detachments and become Austrian commander in chief in these parts.

N.B.: since Brentano, Wehla and Macquire were moving to join the Reichsarmee in Saxony, the details of their operations from August 10 are described in the article dedicated to the Austro-Imperial invasion of Saxony.

On August 11, the Austrian Main Army, under the command of Daun, marched from Lauban towards Görlitz while d'Ayassasse took position at Lichtenau near Lauban. In the evening, Daun reached Rothenburg.

On August 12, Frederick fought and lost the battle of Kunersdorf against the Russians. In fact, the defeat was crushing.

On August 13, Daun reached Priebus, some 65 km north of Görlitz, about 100 west of Glogau and 130 south of Frankfurt. There, Daun received a courier of Loudon informing him of the Russian victory at Kunersdorf. Meanwhile Beck encamped at Sorau and occupied Christianstadt (present-day Krzystkowice) on his way to the frontiers of Silesia.

On August 14, Prince Henri was still at Schmottseifen with his corps. The same day, Daun marched to Triebel closer to his Russian allies. Buccow was at Lauban with 20 bns and 30 sqns. The Austrian Reserve was at Rothenburg under the command of d'Aynse. De Ville was at Marklissa with 12 bns and 25 sqns to cover the communications between Lusatia and Bohemia. Beck still was in the area of Naumburg on the Queiss with his light troops (800 hussars, 400 horse, 1,400 men of the Banal-Grenzinfanterieregiment nr. 1 and Slavonisch-Peterwardeiner Grenzer) and Harsch in Upper-Silesia. Daun had now two possible objectives: the reconquest of Silesia defended by Prince Henri or the capture of Dresden. His success heavily depended on the ability of Saltykov to keep Frederick busy.

On August 15, Prince Henri sent Zieten forward with his vanguard to observe Daun's movements.

When Saltykov realised that the Austrians were letting his army do all the fighting, he informed Daun that his troops had now done enough and that the Austrians should pursue Frederick's Army to finish what he had begun. Meanwhile, Saltykov intended to march to Guben (present-day Gubin), closer to the Oder and to his magazine at Posen.

On August 17, Beck passed the Bober and advanced on Grünberg which he captured, taking 15 officers and 498 men prisoners.

On August 18, Prince Henri, who had lost his line of communication with Frederick, was finally informed of the defeat of Kunersdorf. He immediately endeavoured to open communication with Frederick. To do so, he resolved to walk through Upper-Lusatia, behind Daun's lines, to cut him from his magazines and to make a junction with Frederick's Army in Saxony. Accordingly, Prince Henri recalled 7 bns and 3 sqns from Landeshut to reinforce his own army. He then left General Stutterheim at Lowenberg under the command of Fouquet whose corps remained at Landeshut.

On August 22, Saltykov and Daun met at Guben. Saltykov had expended all his ammunition. His supply of bread was also quite precarious. Accordingly, he insisted that it was now the turn of the Austrians to act. However, Daun managed to persuade Saltykov to move southward to support the invasion of Saxony and Silesia by the Austrian army. In exchange, he took the engagement to supply the Russian Army from the long chain of magazines that he had established at Guben, Görlitz, Bautzen, Zittau and Friedland. Daun thus undertook the cartage of meal for Saltykov as well as for himself.

On August 25, Beck occupied Sagan.

On August 27, Prince Henri marched with 30 bns and 58 sqns towards Lusatia. The same day, Gersdorff Hussars skirmished with Beck's light troops. General Beck evacuated Sprotau which was soon occupied by the advancing Prussians.

On August 28, Zieten arrived at Sagan with the vanguard. His troops camped in and around the town. The bridge of Sagan which had been broken by the Austrians during their retreat, was repaired. The same day, the Russian Main Army finally quitted Lossow and marched towards Saxony.

On August 29, Prince Henri reached Sagan while Zieten marched to Sorau, capturing 84 hussars and 3 officers on his march. Meanwhile, General Bülow occupied Naumburg with 6 bns and 5 sqns. Daun, fearing for his communication with the Russian Army, ordered General Buccow to leave Lauban and to join him at Triebel. He also ordered the Marquis d'Aynse to march to Priebus. However, when Zieten appeared at Sorau, Daun retired behind the Neiss River without waiting for these reinforcements, joining Buccow at Moska. By doing so, Daun had left the magazine at Guben unprotected but Zieten did not seize this opportunity.

On August 30, Daun resolved to attack Zieten. Daun's plan called for an advance of Beck's Corps from Wiesen to the defile of Buschmuhle on the road to Sagan behind the Prussian lines, for Esterhazy's Corps to march from Sommerfeld against the Prussian right flank and for Daun himself to attack frontally with the Austrian Main Army. Meanwhile, the Russian Army had marched to Lieberose on his way to Saxony.

On September 2, Zieten was posted in the little town of Sorau while Daun was secretly marching on him in three converging columns. However, Daun hesitated and turned back his own divisions and returned to his camp at Triebel. Most units of Beck's Column were delayed and, after a small engagement at Sorau, Zieten had enough time to escape the trap and to join Prince Henri at Sagan. Beck took position at Wolfsdorf to cover the Austrian Main Army. In Upper Silesia, the Austrian Corps of Harsch was still at Trautenau while Prussian forces were deployed as follows: Goltz at Landeshut and Stutterheim at Schmottseifen to observe de Ville's Corps at Marklissa.

On September 3 or 4, Prince Henri quitted Sagan and moved southward for a stroke at the Austrian magazines in Bohemia and Lusatia.

On September 5, Daun heard of the capture of Dresden by the Reichsaemee assisted by Macquire. From Triebel, he sent these news to Saltykov at Lieberose. Daun then quitted his camp at Sorau and marched to Spremberg to cover his conquests in Saxony.

On September 6, de Ville marched to Lauban to cover the magazines at Görlitz; leaving Lieutenant-colonel Garičié with 700 Grenzers and some hussars in Friedland to guards the passes leading into Bohemia, and sending 2 battalions and some cavalry to Naumburg.

On September 7, Prince Henri reached Löwenberg (present-day Lwówek Śląski) where he joined Stutterheim's Corps. Zieten was detached on Marklissa with 11 bns and 25 sqns to chase de Ville from Lauban and to threaten the nearby Austrian magazines.

On September 8, Prince Henri pushed Zieten and Stutterheim forward into the Zittau Country, first of all upon Friedland.

On September 9, Stutterheim summoned Friedland which capitulated. He got the magazine there and took Garičié and his 700 Grenzers prisoners. The same day, Prince Henri marched to Lauban, where he encamped, while de Ville retired from this town towards Görlitz. Beck retired from the area of Rothwasser and joined de Ville at Görlitz. Saint-Ignon and Vogelsang also joined de Ville with their respective detachments.

On September 10, Stutterheim hastened on to Zittau. He could not captured the town but heard that a supply convoy had just left the place since one day and was heading for Bohemia. Stutterheim immediately pursued the convoy.

On September 11, Stutterheim caught with the supply convoy. Meanwhile, Daun had left Triebel Country moving towards Bohemia to protect his magazines from Prussian raids. He carted away the important Görlitz magazine to Bautzen and took position there. He then sent a detachment under O'Donnell.

On September 12, the Army of Prince Henri, in presence of O'Donnell, encamped at Görlitz, watching Daun's movements, while Zieten occupied Landscrone and Stutterheim took position between Radmeritz and Seitlenberg to cover the left wing of the army. The Austrian Corps of Beck and de Ville retired on Bautzen. Beck then sent most of his cavalry with 400 Warsdiner Grenzers towards Zittau which they reached at 11:00 p.m..

On September 13, Daun encamped at Teichnitz near Bautzen. He ordered Hadik to send Wehla towards Hoyerswerda and Palfy to Spremberg to keep open his line of communication with the Russian Army. The same day, Beck advanced on Friedland. When Saltykov heard that Daun had retired from his camp at Sorau, he threatened to retire to Crossen (Krosno Odrzańskie). The French envoy, the Marquis de Montalembert, made every effort to persuade him to undertake the siege of Glogau instead of the planned retreat. To do so, Saltykov required reinforcements from Daun.

On September 15, Daun sent a detachment of 10,000 men under the command of Campitelli from Bautzen to reinforce the Russian Army. Campitelli marched by Muska and joined Saltykov who, the same day, had marched to Guben. Indeed, on September 15 and 16, the Russians began to move eastward from Frankfurt an der Oder.

On September 21, Frederick, who had hoped that the Russians were retreating to Poland, realised that they were making for Silesia and Glogau by a wide sweep northward. Frederick then marched on Sagan, the key of the real road to Glogau, with all his cavalry closely followed by the infantry. The entire Prussian Army then encamped with its left on the Galgenberg and its right at Elkendorf. From this position, Frederick was able to make a junction with Prince Henri (there were but 80 km from Sagan to Görlitz) and to relieve Glogau while separating Saltykov's Army from Daun's. The same day, Daun was informed that Frederick was marching towards Glogau and resolved to seize this opportunity to act against Prince Henri to drive him out of Upper Lusatia, back to Silesia. Daun sent O'Donell forward to Reichenbach with the horse grenadiers.

N.B.: an entire article is devoted to the Russian operations in Silesia in 1759.

On September 23 in the morning, Daun marched to join O'Donell and encamped near Reichenbach. The same morning, Prince Henri sent 6 bns under the command of General Queiss to reinforce Frederick. At 6:00 p.m., Zieten advanced on Görlitz. Daun then reconnoitred Zieten's positions on the Landskrone near the town and decided to attack him. However, at 8:00 p.m., Prince Henri silently left his camp and marched in 2 columns towards Görlitz. He had left only a few light troops to keep up the watch-fires and sentry-cries to deceive Daun. Meanwhile, he went northward down the Neisse Valley, about 30 km, to Rothenburg. He then bivouacked for only three hours.

On Monday September 24, Daun came marching up to storm the Landskrone. Discovering that the Prussians had vanished, Daun kept his men under arms while his scouts searched for Prince Henri. Meanwhile, at noon, the latter had reached Rothenburg where he halted for a few hours. He then resumed his march to Klitten, a march of 29 km from Rothenburg, and bivouacked again for three hours.

On September 25, Prince Henri brought his army to Hoyerswerda, 32 km farther west, where he tried to surprise Wehla's Austrian Light Division (3,460 men) which was posted there since the capture of Dresden. Wehla's Division consisted of:

On Tuesday September 25, Wehla posted Grenzer regiments and pieces of artillery behind the Elster River. Prince Henri halted his vanguards in the woods and sent strong cavalry detachments on Wehla's flanks. General Lentulus, forming the Prussian vanguard, then came streaming out of the woods and cannonaded Wehla both in front and rear. Meanwhile, the Prussian cavalry passed the river, formed by squadrons, charged and broke the Austrian Corps The Austrians lost 600 men killed and 1,785 men were taken prisoners including Wehla. The same day, Daun advanced on Görlitz to reconnoitre the movements of Prince Henri. When Daun discovered that Prince Henri had take the route to Hoyerswerda, he immediately returned to Bautzen to cover Dresden.

On September 27, Prince Henri was informed that the Reichsarmee along with Hadik's Corps had probably attacked Finck at Meissen, repulsing him. He detached General Bülow with 4 bns to reinforce Finck and prepared his corps to march to his relief.

The main theatre of operation of the Austrian Army then shifted from Lusatia to Saxony.

N.B.: an entire article is devoted to the Austro-Imperial operations in Saxony in 1759.

After the departure of the main armies from Lusatia and Upper Silesia, the Austrian General Beck covered the region of Zittau with 13 bns and 30 sqns. The Prussian General Goltz observed this Austrian Corps with a small detachment of 4 bns and 4 sqns. Meanwhile the Austrian Corps of Harsch and Janus covered Bohemia in the areas of Trautenau and Schatzlar in front of Fouquet stationed at Landeshut with 13 bns and 6 sqns.

At the end of October, after the departure of the Russian Army from Lower Silesia, Frederick detached Generals Gablenz and Schmettau with 9 bns and 20 sqns to Drachenberg to observe Loudon's manoeuvres. Meanwhile, Prussian General Meyer replaced Fouquet's troops at Hirschberg and Landeshut with 5 bns and 10 sqns. Meanwhile, Frederick suffering from sickness was transported to Glogau.

On November 9, Fouquet retired to Cosel and manoeuvred to harass Loudon's Corps.

Around end of November, Daun asked to send the Saxon cavalry to Saxony. One column (Prinz Albrecht Chevauxlegers and the Karabiniergarde) marched from Trautenau by Schlukenau (present day Šluknov/CZ) and Neustadt; the other (Herzog von Kurland Chevauxlegers and Graf Brühl Chevauxlegers) by Reichenberg (present day Liberec/CZ) and Zittau. Graf Rudnicki Uhlanen came from Brünn (present day Brno/CZ) while Schiebel Uhlanen had arrived earlier.

On November 30, Fouquet camped at Ratibor. The same day, Loudon arrived at Teschen by Cracovie, Bielitz and Plessen. He made a junction with Drašković who had been sent forward to Troppau by Harsch.

Loudon then asked for an armistice which was accepted by Fouquet. Schmettau's Corps then marched to Lusatia and cantoned near Görlitz.

References

This article is essentially a compilation of texts from the following books which are now in the public domain:

  • Anonymous, A Complete History of the Present War, from its Commencement in 1756, to the End of the Campaign, 1760, London, 1761, pp. 370-372
  • Carlyle T., History of Friedrich II of Prussia vol. 19
  • Jomini, baron de, Traité des grandes opérations militaires, Vol. 3, 2nd ed., Magimel, Paris, 1811, pp. 66, 68-69, 77-96, 149-163, 194
  • Gorani, Joseph: Mémoires, Paris: Gallimard, 1944, pp. 118-123
  • Schuster, O. and F. Francke: Geschichte der Sächsischen Armee, 2. part, Leipzig 1885
  • Vanicek, Fr.: Specialgeschichte der Militärgrenze aus Originalquellen und Quellenwerken geschöpft, Vol. II, Vienna: Kaiserlich-Königlichen Hof- und Staatsdruckerei, 1875, pp. 450-471

Other sources

Salisch, M. von: Treue Deserteure – Das kursächsische Militär und der Siebenjährige Krieg, Munich, 2009

Acknowledgement

Harald Skala for information on the Saxon cavalry during this period