1759 - Swedish campaign in Pomerania

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The campaign lasted from August to November 1759

Introduction

In November 1758, the Russians had proposed to cooperate with the Swedes during the campaign of 1759 to capture Stettin, but their offer had been declined due to the old animosity still existing between these two powers.

At the end of 1758, Lieutenant-General Dohna, the Prussian general in charge of this theatre of operation, planned an offensive against the Swedish forces (about 15,000 men) in Pomerania. His own army consisted of 26 bns and 55 sqns.

In the last days of December 1758, Dohna made several attempts to cross the Trebel and Recknitz rivers.

On the night of December 31 to January 1, 1759, Dohna’s Army marched from Sülze (present-day Bad Sülze) to Ribnitz.

Description of Events

Prussian Winter Offensive

Order of Battle
Detailed order of battle of Bevern’s forces at Stettin in January 1759.

On January 1, 1759

  • Prussians
    • In the morning, Dohna’s artillery opened against the entrenchment protecting the passage at Damgarten which was defended by 250 men. After a bombardment of 30 minutes, the Swedes capitulated. Dohna's vanguard passed the Recknitz River. The road to Stralsund was now open.
  • Swedes
    • Lieutenant-General Lantingshausen assembled his army near Grimmen to offer battle if ever the Prussians entered into Swedish Pomerania. To hide his retreat, he let 1,300 men to occupy Demmin and another 1,400 to hold Anklam.

On January 2

  • Prussians
    • Dohna sent forward Major-General von Diericke at the head of his vanguard from Damgarten to Richtenberg.
    • Dohna’s main body remained idle neat Damgarten.
    • Lieutenant-General von Manteuffel was informed of the successful passage of the Recknitz by Dohna’s Army at Damgarten.
  • Swedes
    • Early in the day, when Lantingshausen was informed of the capitulation of the defenders of Damgarten, he sent small detachments to Steinhagen, Elmenhorst and Richtenberg to protect his line of communication with Stralsund.
  • Engagement of Steinhagen
    • The Prussian vanguard surprised the Swedish defenders of Steinhagen during a heavy snowstorm. After a valiant resistance, the Swedes retired to Seemühl where they took position. Diericke managed to occupy Franzburg and Richtenberg before the arrival of Swedish troops. The latter then took position near Abtshagen.

On January 3

  • Prussians
    • Dohna’s main body set off from Damgarten and marched in the direction of Grimmen where he thought that the Swedish army had taken position. Dohna only reached Tribohm. From there he sent reinforcements to Diericke and instructed him to advance on Grimmen and Hohenwarth.
    • Manteuffel’s Corps forced the passage of the Peene at Stolpe, heading westwards.
  • Swedes
    • Lantingshausen’s Army converged in two columns on Steinhagen, forcing the Prussians to retire to Richtenberg. The Swedes took position near Steinhagen and Elmenhorst, their outposts were very near Diericke’s posts.
    • The detachment posted at Abtshagen received reinforcements.

On January 4

  • Prussians
    • Manteuffel reached the region of Schlatkow and Gützkow.
  • Swedes
    • Lantingshausen and his generals decided to offer battle. If the Prussians did not accept combat, the Swedes would retire to Rügen. They feared that if they remained in their current positions, the Prussians could easily break through their weak defensive outposts along the Peene (in fact they had already done it).
    • Lantingshausen was informed that Prussian troops had appeared in front of Grimmen and driven back the detachment posted at Abtshagen. Since his reconnaissances failed completely, he postponed the planned attack against Richtenberg because he feared a counter-attack on his flank from Abtshagen. Instead, he recaptured Abtshagen.

On January 5

  • Prussians
    • Manteuffel’s vanguard, under Major-General von Platen, reached Greifswald where it effected an unplanned junction with Diericke at the head of Dohna’s vanguard.
    • Lieutenant-Colonel Hauss, who had reoccupied the Usedom Island and encircled Fort Peenemünde after the retreat of Pechlin’s Swedish force, crossed to Wolgast which the Swedes had evacuated.

On January 6

  • Prussians
    • Dohna’s main body reached Grimmen where it effected a junction with Manteuffel’s Corps.
  • Swedes
    • In the evening, Lantingshausen retired unmolested towards Stralsund.

On January 7, Lantingshausen began to transport his troops from Stralsund to the Island of Rügen. The Swedish Army was now deployed between Lake Krümmenhagen (present-day Niepars) and the Baltic.

On January 9, Dohna isolated Stralsund with a defensive line extending from Brandshagen, by Pütte to Parow.

On January 10

  • Prussians
    • Dohna detached Lieutenant-General Wenzel Anton von Kanitz to capture the fortified city of Anklam in a joint Prussian attack to retake some important strongholds on the Prussian border with Swedish Pomerania. The 2 Freigrenadier coys (Freigrenadier Hüllesem and Freigrenadier Wussow) from Stettin (present-day Szczecin/PL) were already observing the place.
    • Dohna also detached Lieutenant-General von Manteuffel’s Corps to Demmin to dislodge Swedish detachments from this place. The place was defended by 1,200 men with only a few light artillery pieces.
  • Swedes
    • Lieutenant-Colonel Count Johan Sparre af Söfdeborg was posted at Anklam with 1,400 men and 36 artillery pieces. He was expecting reinforcement by a party of Green Dragoons (maybe Bohusläns Dragoons) led by Captain Karl Hård. However, the dragoons got surrounded by Prussian troops on the road from Wolgast to Anklam.

On January 11

  • Prussians
    • Kanitz invested Anklam.. He summoned Sparre, threatening to conduct reprisals against Swedish towns in Swedish Pomerania. Sparre refused to surrender, answering that it was too early to start to speak about capitulation.
    • Manteuffel invested Demmin.

On January 13, Kanitz began the bombardment of Anklam.

On January 15

  • Prussians
    • Kanitz’s troops stormed the Schülerberge but Sparre had already withdrawn his cannon from this hill when he had realised that the garrison of Anklam was to weak to defend it.
    • Manteuffel’s four batteries (mainly 12-pdr guns and howitzers obtained from the arsenal of Stettin) opened a concentric fire on the Fortress of Demmin.

By January 17, the Prussian battery on the Nonnenberg had made a gap in the Swedish defences around Demmin. The Prussians then launched an amphibious attack and drove the Swedes out of their outpost on the Meyenkrebs side of the Peene.

On January 18, short of ammunition, Colonel Lillienberg surrendered the town of Demmin. The Swedish troops were allowed to march out of the town with their colours, fifers and drummers before becoming prisoners of war.

By January 21, the Prussians had brought some very heavy guns from Stettin (24-pdrs and heavy 12-pdrs) for the siege of Anklam. Sparre had only two 12-pdrs, four 6-pdrs, two mortars and two howitzers and some lighter 3-pdrs at his disposal.

On January 21, the Prussian artillery opened a continuous bombardment on Anklam. Sparre tried to gain time by negotiations but finally capitulated after a fierce defence against the far superior Prussian artillery. He obtained free passage to Sweden. Three Swedish infantry regiments were taken prisoners.

On January 23, Major-General von Platen left Dohna’s Army with his dragoon regiment (Alt-Platen Dragoons and marched to Eastern Pomerania to join the Prussian Observation Corps operating there.

On January 27, Dohna transferred his headquarters from Greifswald westwards to Rostock so that he could better oversee requisitions of provisions and horses, monetary contributions and recruitment of troops in Mecklenburg. King Frederick II had sent Major-General von Stutterheim to assist Dohna whose health was still shaky.

By the end of January 1759, to the exception of the Rügen Island, of the Fortress of Stralsund and of Fort Peenemünde, the whole of Swedish Pomerania was now occupied by the Prussians. However, Fort Peenemünde on the Prussian island of Usedom could be used as a good defensive position and as a base for the Swedish galleys, but also as a place to ferry troops to the island.

Dohna had established his winter-quarters in Swedish Pomerania, protected by the troops encircling Stralsund. He had confided the blockade of Stralsund to Lieutenant-General von Schorlemmer. Meanwhile, Prussian garrison troops sent from Stettin watched Fort Peenemünde. Dohna could not consider to undertake a formal siege of the Fortress of Stralsund, lacking a sufficient number of heavy siege guns and, above all, ammunition.

Frederick thought that Dohna’s Army would soon be needed elsewhere, to reinforce Prince Heinrich in Saxony, or to come to the relief of the Fortress of Colberg (present-day Kołobrzeg/PL) in Farther Pomerania. In both cases, only a small Prussian force under Lieutenant-General von Manteuffel would remain in Swedish Pomerania. Dohna wanted to use the short period of time available to rest his troops, and to complete and re-equip them.

Operations during Winter-Quarters

During the winter of 1758-59, some Prussian fishing boats and small merchant ships had been converted into military vessels to protect the mouth of the Oder. This small flotilla was based in Stettin.

Winter was particularly mild and the waters near Stralsund did not freeze, allowing the Swedish Army Fleet (galleys and prams) to cruise unhindered.

Early in the morning of February 22, provisions becoming insufficient in Stralsund, a strong detachment of the garrison of Stralsund made a northwestwards sortie to collect provisions. It pushed the Prussian troops guarding this sector back to Mohrdorf. However, the Prussians were able to hold this position until the arrival of reinforcements from the neighbouring posts. Nevertheless, the Swedes had time to load 51 wagons with provisions and to retire into the fortress.

Throughout February, unrest had grown in the Duchy of Mecklenburg, which had been submitted to heavy contributions of provisions, money, horses and men by Prussian troops. There were still troops of the Mecklenburg-Schwerin Army quartered in Schwerin and Dömitz. Given the great need for men for the Prussian army, it was tempting to forcefully enroll these troops in Prussian regiments.

In mid-March, Dohna gave orders to Major-General von Kleist to make himself master of the city of Schwerin. Kleist set off from Rostock with a small detachment.

The Mecklenburger General von Zülow had been careful and had quartered the largest part of the garrison of Schwerin, which counted approx. 800 men, in the island of Kaninchenwerder on Lake Schwerin. There, care had been taken to provide accommodation and provisions to these troops even in the event of a long blockade. Zülow had kept only a small detachment in Schwerin.

On March 14, Dohna re-established his headquarters at Greifswald. He was still sick and asked Frederick for the authorisation to go to sojourn in Berlin to recover.

On March 15, as Kleist’s vanguard appeared in front of the town of Schwerin, Zülow immediately retired to the Island of Kaninchenwerder with the small detachment forming the garrison. The Prussians could not prevent their retreat and the island was out of range of their artillery. Since Zülow had removed all boats from the banks of the lake, Kleist could not make a force landing on the island. Furthermore, the small number of men that he could impressed in Prussian rgts could not justify the losses that would be incurred in an attack.

There was not enough time for the Prussians to consider to blockade and starve the Mecklenburger troops. Indeed, Dohna had to keep all his troops together to react swiftly if the Russians advanced from the Vistula. Therefore, Kleist’s detachment had to withdraw after capturing a number of guns in Schwerin and impressing all servants of the ducal house as recruits for Prussian rgts. On his way, Kleist seized other artillery pieces in Rostock, despite outcries of the local magistrates. In this expedition, the Prussians had totally ignored the little fortress of Dömitz on the Elbe which also belonged to the Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin.

On March 23, Frederick wrote to Dohna to express his dissatisfaction concerning Kleist’s failure to bring back additional troops from Mecklenburg.

Meanwhile, General Lantingshausen had done his best to bring his army in good condition. His greatest difficulty was the constant lack of money. The irregular arrival of the French subsidies put the Swedish government in such financial distress, that Lantingshausen had to use his personal credit to raise funds for the most urgent needs of his army, which had spent the winter of 1758-59 in cramped quarters with insufficient provisions in the Fortress of Stralsund and on the island of Rügen.

At the end of March, the Swedish Lieutenant-General Count Lieven was sent to St. Petersburg, where he pretended to explore possibilities for joint operations in Pomerania. He easily managed to abort negotiations. In fact the Russians and Austrians had already established their plan for the coming campaign, and the Austrians were reluctant to divert part of the Russian troops towards the mouth of the Oder. The Russians promised to lay siege to Stettin as soon as they would have defeated Frederick’s Army.

At the end of March on Frederick’s insistence, Dohna started to make preparations for the capture of Fort Peenemünde. Since Dohna was too sick to command, Frederick temporarily replaced him with Lieutenant-General von Manteuffel who knew this region very well, having been governor of Pomerania.

Manteuffel sent Major-General von Diericke with 4 bns (1 bn of Braunschweig-Bevern Infantry, 1 bn of Kanitz Infantry, and the 2 bns of Gabelentz Fusiliers) and some cavalry by way of Wolgast to the Island of Usedom.

On April 2, Grenadier Battalion Köller and the Pomeranian Converged Grenadier Battalion von Ingersleben arrived at Wolgast from Stettin to support the attack on Fort Peenemünde.

On April 4, Diericke blockaded Fort Peenemünde on the land side. He planned to launch the main attack from the island while a diversionary attack would be made from the coast of Pomerania.

On April 5

  • Prussians
    • Dohna left Greifswald to sojourn in Berlin.

On April 6, heavy artillery (30 guns, 9 howitzers and 11 mortars) arrived from Stettin for the attack on Fort Peenemünde. This heavy artillery destined to the three batteries (two on the island and one on the coast opposite the fort) consisted of:

  • 3 x 24-pdr guns
  • 15 x 12-pdr guns
  • 12 x iron guns
  • 2 x 18-pdr howitzers
  • 7 x 7-pdr howitzers
  • 6 x 50-pdr mortars
  • 5 x 40-pdr mortars

Fort Peenemünde was defended by Captain von Röök with 300 men (form Hälsinge Infantry, Kronobergs Infantry and Österbottens Infantry). Captain Röök had been ordered to hold the poorly designed fort as long as possible, and then to nail the guns, destroy the ammunition and the defensive works, and retire with the garrison to the nearby Island of Ruden under cover of darkness. The Swedish galley fleet, which had left Stralsund at the end of March, had a number of flat-bottomed prams and boats ready to pick up the garrison at night on an agreed signal. The very active Captain Röök had already begun to improve the defensive works of the fort. He was trying to complete these works before the Prussians could open fire. As soon as he saw that the Prussians were working on batteries, he started to bombard them.

On April 8, Major-General von Diericke summoned the garrison of Fort Peenemünde to surrender but Captain Röök refused. The Prussian battery located on a sandy hill on the beach to the northeast of the fort opened against the fortifications. Even though the artillery of the Swedish galley fleet tried to silence the Prussian batteries, the latter managed to destroy all the new defensive works before the end of the day.

By April 9, the Prussian battery located on the Pomeranian coast opposite Fort Peenemünde was ready and opened on the fort. Nevertheless, the Swedish garrison continued its stubborn resistance, even though its artillery pieces were being gradually destroyed. However, the garrison could not hold much longer and Captain Röök decided to evacuate the fort during the following night.

On the night of April 9 to 10, the high tide and the bright moonlight prevented Captain Röök from undertaking the planned evacuation of Fort Peenemünde.

On April 10, a third Prussian battery, located to the southeast of Fort Peenemünde joined in the bombardment. In the afternoon, a few lucky shots blew up in quick succession the defender's two powder magazines. The explosions killed 40 men and set the walls afire. Captain Röök was forced to accept an unconditional surrender.

On the night of April 10 to 11, the 11 officers and 224 men of the garrison of Fort Peenemünde surrendered as prisoners of war. In this siege, the Prussians had lost only a few men. They captured 29 guns and 4 mortars in the fort.

According to Frederick’s orders, Fort Peenemünde was razed as well as the fortifications of Anklam and Demmin. Only the city walls and gates of these two towns were left intact. Indeed, both places were not strong enough to resist for a long time without the protection of a field army. Therefore, their fortifications were worthless for an army which planned to soon leave Swedish Pomerania to march against the Russians. However, these towns could be useful to the Swedes as fortified bridgeheads.

On April 13

  • Prussians
    • Diericke’s detachment rejoined Manteuffel’s Army while the Grenadier Battalion Köller and the Pomeranian Converged Grenadier Battalion von Ingersleben escorted the heavy artillery, the captured material and the prisoners back to Stettin.
    • The small Prussian flotilla was finally launched into the Stettin Lagoon. Four large warships and four smaller armed ships sailed from Stettin to cruise the Baltic Sea in search of Russian and Swedish vessels. Their main task, however, was to interdict the mouths of the Oder to Swedish warships.
Order of Battle
Detailed order of battle of Dohna’s Prussian Army around mid-April 1759.

The Prussians then ended their operations against the Swedes, preparing instead for the coming campaign against the Russians.

By the end of April, nearly 7,000 Swedish soldiers were sick, and horses were in very poor conditions. The Swedish army, now reduced to some 12,000 men, remained in its position behind the Peene. Lantingshausen created 2 bns from his existing troops to garrison Stralsund and Wolgast and to man his galley flotilla.

In May, Russia and Sweden prohibited commerce with Prussia.

By May 1, Manteuffel had advanced up to Greifswald while Kleist had been left behind at Schwerinsburg.

On May 12, Manteuffel lifted the blockade of the Fortress of Stralsund and assembled his army (about 24,000 men) at Greifswald to redirect its attention against the Russian operations against Brandenburg. Indeed, the Russian Army had wintered at Thorn (present-day Toruń/PL) in Inner Poland and was about to advance towards Posen (present-day Poznań/PL) thus threatening Brandenburg and Silesia.

In mid-May, the Swedish infantry quartered on the island of Rügen was gradually transported to Stralsund.

By May 16, Manteuffel’s Army was assembled at Greifswald.

On May 17

On May 19, Manteuffel reached Schwerinsburg.

Even if Frederick asked him to do some incursions in Swedish territory, Kleist considered that his corps was too weak to provoke the enemy prematurely. For many months, the Swedish Army and Kleist's Corps remained on their positions and no noticeable military action took place in this theatre of operation.

At the beginning of June, 18 Russian ships arrived at Stockholm. These ships effected a junction with a Swedish squadron near the island of Gotland. Since no British ship had showed up in the Baltic Sea, the Russo-Swedish squadron gave chase to Prussian merchant ships.

On July 11, the Swedish government instructed Lantingshausen to advance in Prussian Pomerania and Uckermark and to live off these lands, while he would make himself master of the islands of the Oder.

In mid-July, the Swedish cavalry quartered on the island of Rügen was gradually transported to Stralsund, where Lantingshausen assembled a field army of approx. 14,000 men, excluding troops destined to garrison the fortress. However, he had no clear objective: his small force and limited funds did not allow him to lay siege to Stettin.

At the start of August, a Swedish galley flotilla under Major-General Carpelan advanced towards the Stettin Lagoon.

On August 8, the Swedish flotilla forced the defences of Peenemünde and penetrated the western half (Kleines Haff) of the Stettin Lagoon.

During the following days, the Swedish galley flotilla quickly became master of this part of the lagoon.

On August 13, after the disastrous Battle of Kunersdorf where the Prussian Army suffered very heavy losses, the observation corps of Kleist was recalled to reinforce Frederick's Army in Brandenburg. From this moment, Prussian tactic in Pomerania became more defensive relying mostly on ambushes. Above all, Prussian commanders wanted to prevent Swedish forces from making a coordinated attack with the Russians on the strong line of Prussian fortresses: Colberg, Stettin, Schwedt and Cüstrin.

In fact, the sending of a Russian Corps to capture Stettin had become a possibility and the Marquis de Montalembert vainly tried to persuade Saltykov to do so. However, the Austrian court wanted to convince Lantingshausen to undertake a march on Berlin, where Field Marshal Daun would send some troops to cooperate with him.

To please the Austrian court, the Swedish Chancellor Höpken ordered Lantingshausen to advance on Berlin. Montalembert’s representative at the Swedish camp, the Marquis de Caulincourt, also recommended to cooperate with the Austrians. However, Lantingshausen still considered the enterprise as too risky and waited to see what would result from the Prussian defeat at Kunersdorf before taking a final decision. He also had to take into account the Prussian garrison of the Fortress of Stettin, which could easily threaten the flank and rear of his army. Therefore, he would have to divert a large part of his army to secure his line of communication and could only count on some 9,500 men to conduct his offensive. If ever he was defeated or cut from his communication with Stralsund, he could not only lose his army but also the entire Swedish possessions in Pomerania. He would by far have preferred to follow the initial instructions sent to him him on July 11.

Swedish Offensive

In mid-August, General Lantingshausen assembled most of his army in a camp near Loitz. Another large detachment under Major-General Count Hessenstein was encamped neat Ziethen, north of Anklam. Altogether, these forces consisted of 6,000 foot and 4,000 horse. With this concentration of troops, Lantingshausen wanted to draw Kleist’s attention while he would cross the Triebel River unopposed to the northwest of Demmin and turn the Prussian positions. Simultaneously, Lieutenant-General Count Fredrik Axel von Fersen with 4,000 men (including 2,300 men transported aboard the flotilla) would advance from Wolgast and in conjunction with a Swedish galley flotilla (4 galleys, 4 half-galleys, 1 bomb-galliot, 1 special galliot, 1 unarmed hospital ship, several barges, Hector gunboat and Achilles gunboat) make himself master of the islands of Usedom and Wollin at the mouth of the Oder and then to enter in the eastern part of the Stettin Lagoon with the galley flotilla.

On August 15, Frederick sent a message to Kleist, recalling him and his corps to Brandenburg.

On August 16 in the evening, the Swedish galley flotilla reached the Ruden Island.

On August 17

  • Swedes
    • The galley flotilla entered the Peene River. Count Fersen charged Major-General Carpelan to sail up the Peene River with the galley flotilla to disembark his land troops near the town of Usedom. This force would then march by way of Pudagla to secure the Damerow Strait (between Zempin and Koserow) and thus cover the crossing of Fersen’s troops (3 bns, 300 horse, followed by heavy artillery), who were marching from Wolgast along the north coast of the Usedom Island.
    • The 2 prams and 1 gunboat were sent from Ruden to Swinemünde (present-day Świnoujście/PL), near which a squadron of the Swedish fleet under Vice-Admiral Lagerbielke and a few Russian warships under Vice-Admiral Polianski were already cruising.
  • Prussians
    • Kleist received Frederick’s new instructions.

On August 18

  • Swedes
    • Fersen's Corps was ferried across the Peene River from Wolgast to Usedom. He did not meet any opposition when he marched along the north coast of the island. Near Zinnowitz, his corps drove back a few Prussian hussars, who retired towards the Damerow Strait.
  • Prussians
    • A Prussian infantry detachment posted in the town of Usedom retired to Swinemünde, when Major-General Carpelan started to disembark part of the Swedish land troops near Gummlin.
    • Kleist’s Corps set off from its camp at Bartow and marched towards Berlin by way of Prenzlau.

Kleist’s sudden departure made part of Lantingshausen’s plan obsolete.

On August 19, Fersen established a camp near Pudagla.

On August 20

  • Prussians
    • The Prussian flotilla was deployed south of Ostklüne at the sole entry of the Stettin Lagoon, in an area where its depth was a little more than two meters.
  • Swedes
    • The galleys moved upstream the Peene River to enter the Stettin Lagoon. They were received by the fire of the Prussian flotilla.
    • The Swedes disembarked two 24-pdrs and Fersen provided 8 additional heavy guns to support the galleys.
Order of Battle
Detailed order of battle of the Swedish Army on August 21, 1759.

On August 21

  • Swedes
    • Lantingshausen crossed the Peene River, marking the border between Swedish and Prussian Pomerania, and occupied Demmin and Anklam. The bridge at Demmin was repaired.
    • Swedish light troops advanced up to Bartow.
    • A small detachment under Major von Böhnen occupied Ueckermünde, where the Freigrenadier Hüllesem capitulated under condition of free withdrawal.
    • In the Oder islands, Fersen moved his camp to Kamminke, southwest of Swinemünde, and his vanguard appeared in front of Swinemünde.
  • Prussians
    • The Prussian detachment (450 men) on Usedom, under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Prentz, concentrated in the unfortified town of Swinemünde where it entrenched behind a palisade and a few redoubts. This small town, located on the left bank of the Swine River, was unfortified and surrounded by forests, which came close to the western and southern sides of the town. On the western side, there was a palisade. Furthermore, in the summer of 1758, Lieutenant Löffler of the Land Regiment No. 4 had erected additional defensive works. On the left bank of the Swine to the northwest of the town, there was a rectangular earthwork reinforced with fascines, known as the “West Redoubt.” Its guns covered the harbour and the road leading to Swinemünde. More defensive works could be found east of the Swine River, including the so-called “Blockhouse Entrenchment,” near the see, and the entrenchments at Movenhaken, located on a point to the southeast of Swinemünde. The garrison of the town consisted of 1 bn of the Garrison Regiment Puttkamer under Lieutenant-Colonel von Hauss and of a detachment of the Freigrenadier Hüllesem and a few men of the Pomeranian Provincial Hussars. Even though, the Duke of Braunschweig-Bevern had ordered him to defend only the entrenched positions, Hauss, urged by the inhabitants, did not evacuate the town.

On August 22

  • Engagement off Anklam
    • The Swedish artillery deployed at Ostklüne opened a lively fire on the Prussian flotilla, forcing the latter to retire southeastwards to Kuhlerort (now part of Leopoldshagen).
    • From this new positions, the Prussian flotilla could still prevent the Swedish flotilla from entering the Stettin Lagoon.

On August 23, Kleist reached Berlin with his small corps.

Pomerania lay open to the Swedes, who did not hesitate to advance. Even though the state of the Swedish infantry had significantly improved, the cavalry remained a major problem. The lack of a sufficient number of light cavalry seriously impaired the effectiveness of Lantingshausen’s Army. Furthermore, there were not enough horses for the train.

To oppose the Swedes, the Prussians had only the 5,000 men strong garrison of Stettin under the command of the General of Infantry Duke of Braunschweig-Bevern. This garrison mainly consisted of weak “Landbataillon” (militia) which had already contributed their best elements to replenish the ranks of the Prussian field infantry after the disaster at Kunersdorf. The garrison also included a large number of Saxons, Swedish and Russians prisoners, who had all been impressed in the Prussian Army. Outside of Stettin, there were only 2 grenadier battalions (Köller and Ingersleben), the 2 free grenadier companies (HüllesemHüllesem]] and Knesewitz and the 2 sqns of Pomeranian Provincial Hussars. The 2 bns of Garrison Regiment Puttkamer, which were stationed in the Oder Islands, were also subordinated to Bevern. The small Prussian flotilla (4 large galliots, 4 galleys and 4 gunboats) was posted in the Stettiner Haff (Stettin Lagoon) under the command of Captain von Köller of the Landbataillon Sydow. The 2 free grenadier companies Hüllesem and Knesewitz and the 2 sqns of Provincial Hussars were sent towards the mouth of the Ücker River and Pasewalk.

On August 24, Fersen launched an attack on Swinemünde to test its defences.

On August 26

  • Attack on Swinemünde (Oder islands)
    • At 4:00 a.m., Fersen launched an attack against Swinemünde. The Swedish galley flotilla and the artillery opened against the palisade and redoubts of Swinemünde. Soon afterwards, two infantry columns under the command of Major Anrep, assaulted the town: the Drottningens Livregemente, from the south; and the Meijerfelt Grenadiers, from the southwest. They were covered by Åboläns Infantry and Västgöta Horse.
    • The Swedes were soon master of the town, capturing Hauss, 4 officers, 79 men and 4 guns. However, part of the Prussian defenders managed to take refuge in the “West Redoubt”, which Fersen was forced to besiege in forms.
    • The Swedes entered Swinemünde, which soon came under the fire of the Prussian batteries located right bank of the Swine.
    • The Prussian troops, who had retired in the “West Redoubt.”
    • Fersen planted 2 gun batteries (4 and 6 guns respectively), one mortar battery (2 pieces) and one howitzer battery (2 pieces) around the "West Redoubt" of Swinemünde, which resisted for a few days because the Swedish artillery had insufficient ammunition.
  • Swedes
    • The Swedes took the Prussian harbour of Ueckermünde, where they confiscated 15 Prussian coastal vessels.

The loss of Swinemünde had dire consequences for the Prussian flotilla. Until then, it had managed to interdict the Stettin Lagoon to the Swedish galleys. Only smaller Swedish craft could enter the lagoon, by crossing the shallow water at the foot of the Ostklüne battery. However, when Captain von Köller heard of the capitulation of Swinemünde (the report falsely claimed that the Prussian entrenchments on the east bank of the Swine had also been taken), he decided to retreat fearing to be cut from his bases by Swedish galleys entering the lagoon by way of the Swine River.

In the night of August 27 to 28

  • Engagement off Anklam
    • The small Prussian flotilla retired from Kuhlerort and took refuge in the Papenwasser at the mouth of the Oder. When Köller heard that the entrenchment on the eastern bank of the Swine, opposite Swinemünde, where still in Prussian hands, he decided to defend the narrow passage between the Woitziger Haken and the Repziner Haken near Neuwarp, to prevent the Swedish flotilla from entering the Great Lagoon.

During the following days, Fersen made sure that the galleys of the Swedish flotilla were gradually moved into the Stettin Lagoon. He also placed land troops on board.

On August 30

  • Swedes
    • Lantingshausen’s Corps, which had crossed the Peene River, marched by way of Bartow and Spantekow, and reached Putzar.
    • Count Hessenstein had advanced from Anklam on Ducherow.
    • Major Johan Psilanderhjelm occupied Pasewalk with 100 men of the Böhnens Fribataljon, 100 hussars and 80 men of the Hästjägare.
  • Prussians

On August 31, Stülpnagel received intelligence that the Swedish quarters in Pasewalk were badly secured. He decided to attack them by surprise.

On September 1

  • Swedes
    • Near the Stettin Lagoon, the Swedish flotilla anchored to the northwest of Ueckemünde. Headwinds and bad weather induces the Swedish commanders to postpone the decisive engagement against the much weaker Prussian flotilla, despite Fersen’s repeated orders to engage the enemy.
    • At Swinemünde, the Swedish batteries opened on the “West Redoubt.”

In the night of September 1 to 2, Bevern sent a detachment (150 men of the Grenadier Battalion Köller with 2 cannon) from Stettin to reinforce Stülpnagel at Löcknitz.

On September 2

  • Swedes
    • At Swinemünde, Fersen’s artillery began to bombard the “West Redoubt” and the garrison (14 officers, and 420 men under Lieutenant-colonel von Preuss) with 12 guns soon capitulated. Meanwhile, 20 Pomeranian Provincial Hussars and 30 men of the Freigrenadier Hüllesem managed to escape, crossing the Swine River aboard boats and reaching Wollin.
  • Prussians
    • Early in the morning, Stülpnagel’s detachment surprised Psilanderhjelm’s detachment near Pasewalk, cutting its line of retreat. Psilanderhjelm with 80 hussars and Hästjägare swam across the Ücker River to Pasewalk. In this affair, the Swedes lost 2 officers and nearly 200 men, who were taken prisoners, because Psilanderhjelm had neglected to guard the bridge on the Ücker.

On September 3

  • Swedes
    • Lantingshausen reached Ferdinandshof, where he was joined by Hessenstein’s Corps.
    • At Swinemünde, Fersen turned his attention to the “Blockhouse Entrenchment” across the Swine. Swedish prams bombarded it from the sea, with little results. This defensive works, located on the eastern bank of the Swine, continued to resist. Lieutenant-Colonel von Schaffstedt at the head of 1 bn of Garrison Regiment Puttkamer held the island until the Swedish galley flotilla managed to enter the Stettin Lagoon a few days later.

On September 4

  • Swedes
    • Lantingshausen’s Army encamped near Pasewalk on the west bank of the Ücker. Lantingshausen did not intend to advance further until he got a better idea of the general situation. However, to take his revenge for the affair of Pasewalk, he planned an attack on Löcknitz.
    • The Swedish flotilla anchored near the Kuzower Haken of the Island of Usedom.
    • Fersen planned to have troops ferried across the Swine at Kaseburg but the Prussians reacted promptly to this attempt and the enterprise was abandoned.
  • Prussians
    • Stülpnagel retired from Pasewalk to Löcknitz in time.

On September 5, the Swedish flotilla advanced to the Ruchbar-Schaar, a large sandbank to the southwest of Kamminke.

In the night of September 5 to 6, the Swedish Grenadier Battalion Wrangel crossed the Ücker at Torgelow and the Randow at Jägerbrück.

On September 6

  • Surprise Attack on Löcknitz
    • Count Hessenstein with 2 bns, 6 sqns and a few artillery pieces drove back the Prussian outposts in front of Löcknitz, drawing the attention of the garrison.
    • Meanwhile the Swedish Grenadier Battalion Wrangel attacked from the east bank of the Randow.
    • A large part of the Freigrenadier Knesewitz (including Captain Knesewitz) was taken prisoners and its two light cannon were captured. The rest of the free company managed to escape and to join the reinforcements arriving from Stettin.
    • Hessenstein remained at Bergholz, west of Löcknitz, with his detachment.

On September 10, the commander of the Swedish flotilla decided to engage the Prussian flotilla. The flotilla (28 vessels) led by Captain-Lieutenant Carl Ruthensparre, entered the eastern part of the Stettin Lagoon and attacked the Prussian flotilla (12 vessels). During the ensuing Combat of Neuwarp, the Swedes annihilated the small Prussian flotilla. The Swedes were now master of the entire Stettin Lagoon at the mouth of the Oder, thus isolating the Prussian forces defending the island of Wollin.

On September 12

  • Prussians
    • Lieutenant-Colonel von Schaffstedt, who was posted on the Swine on the Island of Wollin with 1 bn of Garrison Regiment Nr. I Puttkammer, decided to retire to the town of Wollin (present-day Wolin). He feared a landing of Swedish troops on the coast of the Island of Wollin, that would cut his line of communication. He evacuated the badly damaged defensive works along the Swine, nailing some of his guns and bringing the rest with him.
    • Bevern sent 300 men of the Landbataillon Watzmer to join Schaffstedt's detachment at Wollin. 150 men of this bn were posted in the town of Cammin (present-day Kamień Pomorski/PL) on the right bank of the Dievenow River (present-day DziwDziwna/PL).
    • The fortifications of Wollin, an old city wall surrounded by bastions, were decrepit. The ditch surrounding these fortifications was partly without water. For these reasons, Lieutenant-Colonel von Schaffstedt had been instructed by Bevern to continue his retreat, cross the Dievenow, and take refuge in the entrenchments near Hagen (present-day Recław/PL), in a good position to interdict the crossing of the Dievenow River to the Swedes.
  • Swedes
    • In the evening, Carpelan landed 4 bns between Plötzin (present-day Płocin/PL) and Soldemin (present-day Sułomino/PL) on the Island of Wollin.

On September 13

  • Swedes
    • The rest of Fersen's Corps was ferried from Swinemünde to the Island of Wollin. Fersen soon concentrated his corps in front of the fortified town of Wollin.
    • Major-General Count Horn advanced towards Prenzlau with a detachment. The Swedes then remained mostly idle and levied heavy contributions in Prussian Pomerania.
  • Prussians

On September 15

  • Swedes
    • At Wollin, Fersen launched 2 bns (Åboläns Infantry and Meijerfelt Grenadiers) against the southwestern Wieker Gate and the northwestern Swiner Gate. The attack was repulsed after an hour and a half with heavy losses to the Swedes.
  • Prussians
    • After repulsing Fersen’s attack, Schaffstedt decided to hold Wollin for as long as he could.

On September 16

  • Capture of Wollin
    • After a preparation of artillery, Fersen launched 5 columns against the walls of Wollin:
    • Meanwhile, a few half-galleys, which had been ordered to advanced up the Divenow River to prevent the retreat of the Prussians across the river, soon became immobilized by shallow waters, and were unable to accomplish their mission.
    • The garrison opposed a stubborn resistance and contained attacks directed against the western side for several hours.
    • The a detachment of the column attacking the bridge on the Divenow found an opening just south of the Bridge Gate and entered Wollin.

The attacks on the Wieker Gate, the Amthaus and the bridge were all successful and, after four hours of combat,the Prussian defenders were forced to surrender.

    • Surprisingly, the Prussian officer commanding in the entrenchments of Hagen, on the opposite bank of the Dievenow, also capitulated.
    • In this action, the Swedes lost 1 officer and 14 privates killed and 7 officers, 4 NCOs and 95 privates wounded while the Prussians lost 1 lieutenant-colonel, 1 major, 9 captains, 19 NCOs and 651 privates taken prisoners and 29 guns captured.
    • The Prussian detachment posted at Cammin retired to Colberg after the capitulation of Wollin.
    • The Swedes immediately plundered and burnt Cammin to retaliate for the capture of a vessel transporting Swedish cavalry which had been stranded nearby in 1757.

Now that the Russian army was no more a threat for Brandenburg, Frederick II instructed Lieutenant-General Manteuffel to return to Pomerania with 4 bns (Frei-Infanterie von Hordt, and 2 bns of convalescents (each of 400 men)) and 10 sqns (Belling Hussars, Meinicke Dragoons.

On September 23, Lieutenant-General von Manteuffel set off from Berlin with his small force.

On September 24

  • Swedes
    • Major-General Horn, who was posted near Prenzlau with the Swedish vanguard, sent a reconnaissance party towards Gramzow. It skirmished with the Belling Hussars and brought back the news that Manteuffel was at Angermünde.
    • Horn retired to Werbelow, to the southwest of Pasewalk. He encamped with his left wing covered by the Ücker River and his front and right wing protected by the marshy bank of a stream.
    • A strong detachment posted at Strasburg also covered the main army which was encamped west of Pasewalk.
    • Major-General Count Hessenstein moved his detachment from Bergholz to a new position east of Pasewalk.
    • Torgelow and Ueckermünde were still occupied by Swedish troops.

On September 25, a force of 1,200 convalescents (in 3 bns), sent from Stettin by the Duke of Bevern, joined Manteuffel’s Corps at Angermünde.

Bevern sent the 2 sqns of Pomeranian Provincial Hussars, the 2 coys of the Pomeranian Converged Frei-Grenadier-Corps and 250 cavalrymen, who had recently recovered, from Stettin under Major von Podewils by way of Löcknitz to the heights on the west bank of the Randow.

On September 29

  • Prussians
    • Near Werbelow, Colonel von Belling drove back a Swedish reconnaissance party.
    • Podewils’ detachment attacked Swedish foraging parties near Roggow and Wetzenow, and took 42 cavalrymen prisoners.

On September 30

  • Swedes
    • The Swedes conducted another forage near Rossow and were attacked by Podewils’ detachment. During their retreat, the Swedes lost approx. 80 men killed, wounded or taken prisoners.
  • Engagement of Werbelow
    • At 6:00 a.m., Belling at the head of his cavalry and Frei-Infanterie von Hordt surprised Horn’s troops in their encampment near Werbelow.
    • When Lantingshausen heard the sound of the guns, he sent his cavalry from Pasewalk towards Werbelow and hurried there himself. His infantry had been instructed to follow.
    • Meanwhile, Belling had occupied the village of Werbelow, but when he saw that he was facing much superior forces, he retired southwards to the heights of Bandelow, which he held for a while against the Swedish troops pursuing him.
    • At this moment, Lantingshausen received a message from Hessenstein, informing him that he was about to be attacked.
  • Swedes
    • Lantingshausen then sent 2 infantry rgts from Pasewalk. Furthermore, 2 infantry rgts and 1 cavalry rgt crossed the Ücker on a bridge near Rechlin to cover his left flank.
    • The Swedes conducted another forage near Rossow and were attacked by Podewils’ detachment.

By October, Manteuffel was at the head of:

On October 1

  • Swedes
    • Fersen quitted the Oder islands with most of his corps, leaving the Volunteers (detachments of 500 men from Skaraborgs Infantry and Västmanlands Infantry) and a battalion of Jönköpings Infantry under Lieutenant-Colonel Baron Pechlin at Swinemünde to raze the defensive works and defend the islands.
    • Only a few vessels remained in the Stettin Lagoon while the rest returned to Stralsund.
    • Fersen then marched to Pasewalk where he made a junction with Lantingshausen's main Swedish army. Part of this force had marched by way of Wolgast and Anklam while the rest had been transported to Ueckermünde aboard the flotilla.

The Swedes had now attained their objectives for the present campaign. Lantingshausen proudly informed General Saltykov of the successes achieved on land and sea and asked him for assistance to undertake the siege of Stettin. However, he expected that Saltykov’s answer would be as vague as his own previous answer had been and that he would then be able to take his winter-quarters.

After the departure of Fersen’s Corps from the Oder islands, the Landbataillon Kleist was ordered by Bevern to reoccupy the entrenchments of Hagen, east of Wollin.

Manteuffel then advanced to the vicinity of Prenzlau, while Belling fixed the enemy with the cavalry. Bevern sent the Grenadier Battalion Köller, the Pomeranian Converged Grenadier Battalion von Ingersleben and the Pomeranian Enrolled Recruit Battalion von Stosch with 10 cannon to Löcknitz to join Podewils' detachment. The Uckermark was now free of Swedish troops and the country east of the Randow ceased to be put under contribution by the Swedes, who had growing difficulties to supply their army in these advanced positions.

On October 4, another of Hessenstein’s foraging parties engaged the Prussians near Roggow.

On October 5, the Prussians retired to the right bank of the Randow. However, they still occupied Löcknitz and the crossing near Jägerbrück. Bevern also posted the Pomeranian Enrolled Recruit Battalion von Stosch with 4 six-pdrs at Ziegenort (unidentified location) to protect the coastline from pillage.

Swedish Retreat

In mid-October, Manteuffel’s Corps arrived at Pasewalk. Manteuffel then prepared an operation against Demmin to threaten the line of communication of the Swedish army. The war chest and the Swedish War Directorate, which administered the occupied Prussian country, were located in Demmin under the Marshal Count Putbus and the Chancellor von Olthoff. The garrison of the small town consisted of 60 men of the Posseska Infantry under Captain von Barnekow. Manteuffel confided this entreprise to Major von Knobelsdorff with the II./Frei-Infanterie Hordt, 20 Belling Hussars and 80 men of the Kurmark Land Hussars under Captain von Wangenheim. Knobelsdorff was instructed to march at night and to hide in the woods during day.

On October 17 in the evening, Knobelsdorff set off from Pasewalk and marched by way of Lichtenberg, southwest of Woldegk, and Penzlin.

On October 20, a foreign ship carrying no colour appeared in the roadstead of Colberg. She sent a launch to check if the place was still in Prussian hands. The inhabitants were astounded to learn that this ship (the Swedish galliot Schildpadde) was manned by 132 Prussian sailors and 27 soldiers, who had been taken prisoners at Neuwarp but had managed to make themselves master of the ship transporting them to Karlskrona.

On October 22

  • Prussian Raid on Demmin
    • At daybreak, once the the southern gate of Demmin had been opened, Knobelsdorff launched a surprise attack on Demmin.
    • The garrison (60 men of Posseska Infantry under the command of Captain Kjell Kristoffer Baron Barnekow and Lieutenant Ehrencrona) threw itself into houses and bravely defended itself for an hour, losing 25 men dead or wounded, and was finally forced to surrender.
    • Even though the war chest was captured, it was found to be almost empty.
    • Knobelsdorff’s march towards Demmin had been spotted and Lantingshausen had already sent a hussar to warn the garrison but this hussar had gotten drunk on his way and had been captured by the Prussians.

On October 23, Knobelsdorff marched from Demmin to destroy Swedish magazines in Schmarsow and Bartow. However, a Swedish detachment under Wrangel and Sprengtporten pursued his detachment. When Knobelsdorff was informed that a Swedish force was approaching by way of Daberkow, he retired towards Malchin to rest his exhausted troops.

On October 25

  • Swedish Raid on Malchin
    • Wrangel and Sprengtporten forced their way across the Peene.
    • At 5:00 p.m., they appeared in front of the Mühlentor, the eastern gate of Malchin, at the head of of 500 foot, a detachment of horse and hussars with 2 guns. The fire of these 2 guns drove the 60 guards of the Mühlentor away.
    • The Swedes tried to break the gate of Malchin by artillery fire and axes. Finally, the brave Second-Lieutenant Fredrik Rydell climbed over the town wall and opened the gate from behind.
    • Knobelsdorff overestimated the size of the Swedish force and started a retreat in all haste, leaving 100 men of Frei-Infanterie von Hordt as a rearguard in a churchyard in an attempt to slow down the Swedish advance.
    • Wrangel and Sprengtporten pushed through the central parts of Malchin, surrounded the defenders of the churchyard and forced them to give up the fight. However, their stubborn resistance had allowed most of the Prussian detachment to escape through another gate to the south.
    • As darkness fell, the Swedish cavalry sent around the town to pursue them was delayed by swampy terrain.
    • In this affair, the Swedes lost Sprengtporten wounded at the left shoulder (he had to go home to Sweden to heal his wound), Second-Lieutenant Anders Illström of Dalarnas Infantry heavily wounded, Lieutenant Vestfelt of Västgöta Cavalry lightly wounded, 8 soldiers killed or wounded.
    • After the engagement, 200 Prussians deserted to Loitz and Tribsees on the Swedish side of the Peene river.
    • Wrangel retired to Demmin with his detachment.
    • Knobelsdorff rejoined Manteuffel’s small corps.

At this point, the Swedish Court authorised Lantingshausen to retire behind the Peene River. His army had exhausted the resources of the occupied country.

On October 30, Lantingshausen’s Army marched in the direction of Anklam, harassed by the Belling Hussars.

On November 1

Order of Battle
Detailed order of battle of the Swedish Army at the beginning of December 1759.

By November 5, all parts of Lantingshausen’s Army had gradually reached the Peene River and taken quarters behind this river and the Trebel. Lantingshausen’s headquarters were at Greifswald. All bridges on the Peene were broken down, and the dams protected with entrenchments.

After the retreat of the Swedes behind the Peene River, the Prussians advanced up to this river and occupied Anklam and Demmin, which were located on the south bank. Manteuffel established his headquarters at Krien. All troops detached by Bevern returned to Stettin.

After their retreat behind the Peene River, the Swedes also evacuated Swinemünde and left a detachment at Pudagla.

By the end of November, the Swedish Army had retired from Demmin, Anklam, Usedom and Wollin and concentrated at Greifswald.

The contingent of Mecklenburg wintered in the island of Rügen.

At the beginning of December, King Frederick feared that the Austrians would send a corps against Berlin. He instructed Manteuffel to detach Major-General von Stutterheim with 4 bns and the Meinicke Dragoons to come to the relief of the capital.

On December 8, Stutterheim’s detachment set off from Pomerania.

On December 14, Stutterheim’s detachment reached Berlin.

At the end of the year, as Berlin was no longer threatened, Stutterheim’s detachment retraced its steps to rejoin Manteuffel’s Corps in Pomerania.

References

  • Grosser Generalstab Kriegsgeschichtliche Abteilung II: Die Kriege Friedrichs des Grossen, Part 3 Der siebenjährige Krieg 1756-1763
    • Vol. 8 Zorndorf und Hochkirch, Berlin, 1910, pp. 346-350
    • Vol. 9 Bergen, Berlin, 1911, pp. 18, 231-239, 244
    • Vol. 10 Kunersdorf, Berlin, 1912, p. 97, 308
    • Vol. 11 Minden und Maxen, Berlin, 1912, pp. 240-263, Anlage 12
  • Jomini, baron de, Traité des grandes opérations militaires, Vol. 3, 2nd ed., Magimel, Paris, 1811, pp. 66-67, 84, 97, 109, 135,
  • O'Hara, Danny, Eighteenth Century Wargaming Resources On-Line
  • Säve, Teofron Sveriges deltagande i Sjuåriga Kriget Åren 1757-1762, Beijers Bokförlagsaktiebolag, Stockholm, 1915
  • Sharman, Alistair, Sweden's Role in the Seven Years War: A Brief Chronology 1756-1761, Seven Years War Association Journal Vol. XII No. 4
  • Wilson, Peter, Swedish Mobilization and Strategy, Seven Years War Association Journal Vol. X No. 1
  • Wilson, Peter, The Campaign in Pomerania 1757-1762, Seven Years War Association Journal Vol. X No. 1

Acknowledgments

Gunnar W. Bergman for additional information on this campaign.