Difference between revisions of "1760 - Austro-Russian campaign in Silesia"
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|style="padding:5px;"|[[1760 - Austro-Russian campaign in Silesia – Austrian OoB early June|Detailed order of battle of the Austrian forces operating in Silesia]] in early June.
|style="padding:5px;"|[[1760 - Austro-Russian campaign in Silesia – Austrian OoB early June|Detailed order of battle of the Austrian forces operating in Silesia]] in early June.
Revision as of 20:34, 13 May 2022
The campaign lasted from March to October 1760
Prelude to the Campaign
|Order of Battle|
|Detailed order of battle of the Prussian forces operating in Silesia in mid-January.|
In mid-January 1760, General of Infantry de la Motte-Fouqué, who commanded the Prussian forces in Silesia, set off from Leobschütz (present-day Głubczyce/PL) with 6 bns and 8 sqns of his corps and took position in the vicinity of Löwenberg (present-day Lwówek Śląski). Major-General von der Goltz assumed command of the 5 bns and 7 sqns left in Upper Silesia. Major-General von Schenckendorf covered the border near Landeshut (present-day Kamienna Góra) and Hirschberg (present-day Jelenia Góra/PL) with 11 bns and 9 sqns.
On January 14, Schmettau’s Corps advanced from Lauban (present-day Luban/PL) and Greiffenberg (present-day Gryfów Śląski/PL) to Görlitz. This corps had been reinforced to 13 bns and 25 sqns with troops sent by Fouqué and Goltz.
In mid-January, the corps of Feldzeugmeister Loudon reached the region of Komotau (present-day Chomutov/CZ). Fredericki II feared that, after the departure of the Hereditary Prince of Brunswick from Saxony with the Allied contingent, Loudon would advance in the direction of Leipzig and Magdeburg. It now seemed that the enemies wanted to use their main forces in Saxony. If ever London's Corps received reinforcements in the vicinity of Komotau, Frederick considered that he might temporarily recall Fouqué's Corps from Silesia to Saxony.
At the beginning of February 1760, FZM Loudon received orders, while he was in Brüx (present-day Most/CZ), to go to Upper Silesia to assume command of Austrian troops in the region. It was part of the Austrian plan, to gather a strong corps there and to make a junction with a Russian division to form an army under Loudon's supreme command.
In mid-February, Loudon went to Prague with the Grün Loudon Grenadiers and an artillery train.
By mid-February, Frederick was convinced that, for the coming campaign, Daun's main army would initially remain in its present positions, while Loudon's Corps (estimated at 20,000 men) would effect a junction with the Reichsarmee and advance through Thuringia towards Leipzig and Halberstadt. Beck would try to make a junction with a Russian corps in the vicinity of Glogau (present-day Głogów/PL) and Count Saltykov would lay siege to Colberg (present-day Kołobrzeg/PL) with his main army. Accordingly, Frederick decided to split his main army in two corps: an Army of Saxony under his own command and an Army of the Oder under Prince Heinrich. The latter would have to cover Glogau and Breslau (present-day Wroclaw/PL), and to inflict a defeat on the Russians before their main army set off from its winter-quarters. However, he was instructed to keep a force near Landeshut and, if necessary, to send troops to the relief of Neisse (present-day Nysa/PL).
At the end of February, Frederick learned that part of Loudon's Corps was marching towards Prague and that the Reichsarmee should advance on Gera. From an intercepted letter, he also learned that the main Austrian reinforcements would be directed towards Upper Silesia. Frederick estimated that he had enough time to redirect the Army of the Oder against the Russians and then send it back to Silesia. He thought that decision would be gained east of the Elbe River, not in Saxony.
Loudon's Raid on the Prussian magazines
On March 5, Loudon arrived at Brünn (present-day Brno/CZ) with his detachment. FML Count Campitelli assumed command of the Austrian corps left at Komotau.
After his arrival in Moravia, Loudon decided to follow a plan proposed by FML Drašković in Vienna in January. This plan called for the capture of the Prussian magazines in Leobschütz and Neustadt (present-day Prudnik/PL). When Drašković had proposed his plan, there were hesitations in Vienna about his capacity to conduct such an operation. Loudon was interested in this plan because he wanted to prevent the Prussians from over-exploiting Upper Silesia, and to seize provisions for his own campaign. Daun too was interested by this plan because such operations could draw some Prussian troops from Lusatia to Upper Silesia.
On March 10, Loudon was in Gross-Herrlitz (present-day Velké Heraltice/CZ), to the northwest of Troppau (present-day Opava/CZ). His troops were assembling along the frontier, taking accommodations between Troppau and Jägerndorf (present-day Krnov/CZ).
On March 13, Fouqué ordered a general muster for March 15.
On March 14 early in the morning, Loudon put an end to the ceasefire previously concluded with the Prussians. Baron von der Goltz, who commanded the Prussian forces in Upper Silesia, had already learned of Loudon's arrival and received reports of Austrian troops moving towards the frontier. Prussian troops were posted in Neustadt (Manteuffel Infantry and 1 sqn of Bayreuth Dragoons), Krappitz (present-day Krapkowice/PL) (III./Garrison Regiment Jung-Sydow), Ratibor (present-day Racibórz/PL) (1 sqn of Werner Hussars), Bauerwitz (present-day Baborów/PL) (1 sqn of Werner Hussars), Deutsch-Rasselwitz (present-day Racławice Śląskie/PL) (1 sqn of Bayreuth Dragoons), Mochau (present-day Mochów/PL) (1 sqn of Bayreuth Dragoons), Leobschütz (Grenadier Battalion Carlowitz and 1 sqn of Werner Hussars) and Ober-Glogau (present-day Głogówek/PL) (II./Mosel Infantry). They had made numerous detachments which were hastily recalled.
Goltz, who had taken quarter in Neustadt, decided to retire to Steinau (present-day Ścinawa Mała/PL) to avoid being cut from Neisse, and to reinforce the garrison of Cosel (present-day Koźle/PL) by transferring the III./Garrison Regiment Jung-Sydow from Krappitz.
In the night of March 14 to 15, Loudon advanced in the direction of Neustadt with the Löwenstein Chevaulegers, the Pálffy Cuirassiers and some grenadier coys. Drašković was supposed to follow him with 5 bns (1 bn of Kolowrat, 1 bn of Hildburghausen, 1 bn of Angern and 2 bns of Leopold Pálffy), while the Kálnoky Hussars and Nádasdy Hussars had been instructed to cut the line of communication of Goltz's detachment with Cosel. Furthermore, 4 regular bn (1bn Kaiser, 1 bn Los Rios, 1 bn Wallis, 1 bn Marschall), 1 Grenzer bn and 100 horse under Major-General von Vogelsang marched on Leobschütz; and 1 Grenzer bn was sent against Ratibor. These troops were much delayed by bad road conditions.
|Order of Battle|
|Detailed order of battle of the Prussian forces operating in Silesia in mid-March.|
On Saturday March 15
- Major-General von Grant marched, according to Goltz's orders, with the Grenadier Battalion Carlowitz and 2 sqns of hussars from Leobschütz towards Ober-Glogau. There this force would replace the II./Mosel Infantry and 2 sqns of Bayreuth Dragoons posted nearby, which would make a junction with Goltz's forces near Steinau. Grant reached Zülz (present-day Biała) unhindered.
- Around 6:00 a.m., Goltz finally marched out of Neustadt under heavy rain with Manteuffel Infantry and 1 sqn of Bayreuth Dragoons. Goltz's party was about 2,000 men in all. Patrols reported the approach of the Austrian troops, but Goltz calmly continued his march towards Steinau.
- Some 150 wagons and carts, transporting most of the content of the magazines of Neustadt, advanced on the road; 100 men under Captain von Zitzewitz formed the rearguard; 100 men under Captain von Blumenthal the vanguard; Manteuffel Infantry and the sqn of Bayreuth Dragoons marched by platoon along the wagons on the east side of the road.
- Engagement near Neustadt
- At daybreak, Loudon's column reached Neustadt as General von der Goltz was personally about to leave the place. Loudon was at the head of this column with his 2 cavalry rgts and 2 hussar sqns.
- Loudon sent the Löwenstein Chevaulegers forward to block the road leading to Steinau, while he followed the Prussian column with the Pálffy Cuirassiers and the grenadiers.
- Near Buchelsdorf (present-day Niemysłowice/PL), the Prussians found the road blocked by the Löwenstein Chevaulegers. At the same time, the two Austrian hussar rgts appeared from the east. Loudon then summoned Goltz to surrender. The latter rejected this summon and prepared to receive the attack. Manteuffel Infantry formed square round its baggage.
- Immediately, the Pálffy Cuirassiers attacked the Prussian rearguard; the hussars, the leading platoons of Manteuffel Infantry; and the Löwenstein Chevaulegers, the vanguard.
- Calmly, the Prussian infantry let the enemy cavalry come closer and then stopped them about ten paces short by an intense musket fire.
- The Austrian cavalry wheeled back and charged again a second and a third time to no avail.
- Manteuffel Infantry then took the road again. Loudon tried again and again, probably six times, to attack the Prussian detachment.
- The Prussian convoy managed to reach cover in the forest between Siebenhuben (present-day Rudziczka k Prudnika/PL) and Steinau without major losses.
- After crossing the forest, Goltz's convoy was once more surrounded. He rejected a new summon with a rudeness that ruled out all further negotiations.
- A new attack of the Löwenstein Chevaulegers was driven back.
- The Prussian convoy finally gained the hill in front of Steinau, where Goltz planned to make a junction with Grant's detachment. He remained there and allowed his troops to rest. The Austrians ceased their pursuit.
- At nightfall, Goltz resumed his march towards Neisse.
- In this action, the Prussians had lost only 35 men killed, 5 officers and 78 men wounded and 80 men missing (they had in fact deserted), 18 wagons and some country carts. The Austrians for their part had lost 300 men killed and 500 wounded
On March 16
- Loudon returned to Neustadt, highly disgruntled at this failure, which he attributed chiefly to the lack of zeal of his subordinates. However, it was more the firmness of Manteuffel Infantry and the Goltz's determination which had saved the small Prussian detachment. Frederick praised Goltz's conduct.
- Early in the morning, Goltz's detachment reached the Fortress of Neisse. Goltz then let his troops cantoned in and around Gross-Neundorf (present-day Złotogłowice/PL).
- Grant's detachment marched northwards to Falkenberg (present-day Niemodlin/PL).
On March 17, Grant's detachment marched by way of Michelau (present-day Michałów/PL), where it crossed the Neisse River, destroying the bridge after its crossing, and reached Grottkau (present-day Grodków/PL).
On March 19
- The Grün Loudon Grenadiers and the Reserve Artillery entered Silesia.
- Goltz's and Grant's detachment effected a junction near Gross-Neundorf. The sqn left at Ratibor had retired to Cosel and, from there, had marched along the right bank of the Oder to Brieg, before making a junction with Goltz's corps.
Loudon returned to Jägerndorf. Te main body of his corps was then quartered in the region and outposts were established along a line extending from Weidenau (present-day Vidnava/CZ), Neustadt, Leobschütz and Ratibor.
When Fouqué learned of Loudon's raid, he sent 2 sqns of Malachowski Hussars from Landeshut to Upper Silesia. He also transferred II./Garrison Regiment Alt-Sydow from Breslau to Münsterberg (present-day Ziębice/PL); IV./Garrison Regiment Mellin, from Schweidnitz (present-day Swidnica/PL) to Frankenstein (present-day Zabkowice Slaskie/PL); and II./Mosel Infantry, to Neisse. These units later joined Goltz's Corps. Fouqué also intended, if Frederick approved, to advance with 12 bns towards the Neisse River and make a junction with Goltz. However, Loudon's retreat made this march unnecessary.
Opening of the Campaign
For the campaign of 1760, Austria and Russia agreed upon a concentration on the Oder. Feldzeugmeister Loudon had for the first time a separate command: the Army of Silesia counting 50,000 men. He would operate jointly with Count Saltykov at the head of 40,000 Russians. Loudon's objective was the conquest of Silesia. For this campaign, because of his former successes, FML Drašković was placed at the head of his own corps, which counted approximately 8,000 men. Meanwhile, Field-Marshal Daun with an army of 100,000 men would fix Frederick II in Saxony and would follow him if ever he marched to the rescue of Silesia.
During this time, Fouqué in his headquarters at Landeshut, was the Prussian general in charge of the Silesian frontier. He commanded some 13,000 men. Fouqué occupied a ring of fortified hills around Landeshut, with lot of well positioned batteries. Furthermore, the Prussians had some 4 or 6,000 men, under Lieutenant-General von der Goltz, guarding the Jagerndorf-Troppau border. Goltz's positions stretched by Neisse far eastward through the hills to Moravia. Finally, Prince Heinrich was at the head of the 40,000 men of the “Army of the Oder” which was waiting to face the Russian Army when it would arrive on this theatre of operation.
At the end of March, FML Campitelli confided command to FML Plunkett at Komotau and left to join Loudon's Corps.
At the beginning of April, Fouqué was informed of the arrival of several Grenzer bns with cavalry near Braunau (present-day Broumov/CZ). Convinced that the Austrians would soon advance by way of Silberberg (present-day Srebrna Góra/PL), he sent the I./Garrison Regiment Mellin, II./Garrison Regiment Mellin and 5 sqns of Bayreuth Dragoonss under Colonel von Bülow to Reichenbach (present-day Dzierżoniów/PL) to observe the passes of Silberberg and Peterswaldau (present-day Pieszyce/PL) and to cover the region against Austrian raiding parties. Furthermore, the IV./Garrison Regiment Lattorf joined Goltz's Corps.
By April 5, Frederick was convinced that the Austrians intended to reinforce Loudon's Corps in Upper Silesia to undertake the siege of Neisse. He decided to remain in Saxony with his own corps and to observe the movements of the enemies before committing his main force.
On April 6, Prince Heinrich assumed command of the Army of the Oder, destined to oppose the Russians. His army would assemble in Sagan (present-day Żagań/PL) on the Silesian border. From this position, he could advance towards Frankfurt/Oder or Pomerania, or he could make a junction with Fouqué's Corps in Upper Silesia. His army consisted of 40 bns and 70 sqns while Fouqué had 21 bns and 13 sqns.
On April 9, Lieutenant von Marklowski at the head of 50 Werner Hussars swam across the Neisse River near Ottmachau (present-day Otmuchów/PL) and, in the evening, surprised an outpost near Weidenau, which was defended by a picquet of the Löwenstein Chevaulegers. The Prussians captured part of the defenders.
In mid-April, when Frederick redirected Prince Heinrich's Army against the Russians, Fouqué was charged with the defence of Silesia. Frederick asked the latter to present him his thoughts on the conduct of operations in Silesia.
On April 18, Fouqué sent Frederick the requested report. Of the troops remaining under his command, there were 4 bns near Löwenberg, 8 bns near Landeshut, and the rest with Lieutenant-General von der Goltz. Fouqué intended to leave the detachment posted at Landeshut there, and to transfer the troops posted at Löwenberg and Goltz's detachment to Canth (present-day Kąty Wrocławskie/PL), between Breslau and Schweidnitz, to cover Breslau.
On April 21, Frederick answered Fouqué, informing him that he did not agree with his plan, which did not fit into his own wider operational plan. If Daun, as Frederick assumed, withdrew to Silesia with his main army, leaving only the Reichsarmee in Saxony, Frederick intended to leave only Hülsen's Corps encamped near Meissen and to march with 33 bns and 70 sqns by way of Lusatia to Naumburg/Queiss (present-day Nowogrodziec/PL) or Sagan. If Fouqué was posted at Canth at this time, he would be isolated, however, if he was posted near Löwenberg, he would be able to make a junction with Frederick's Army at Sagan, and, if necessary, to send reinforcements towards Glogau. Meanwhile, the detachment posted at Landeshut would have to withdraw to Schweidnitz if it was surrounded.
At the end of April, Loudon received orders from Vienna to set off from Bohemia with his corps and march to Lusatia, where a force of 40,000 men would be assembled under his command. Loudon would then make an incursion in Lower Silesia. FML Drašković would be left in Upper Silesia with 9,000 men to cover Moravia and the Fortress of Olmütz (present-day Olomouc/CZ).
On April 29, Drašković's Corps encamped near Kunzendorf (probably Hořejší Kunčice/CZ), south of Neustadt. This corps consisted of:
- Toscana Infantry (3 bns, 6 grenadier coys)
- Kaiser Infantry (1 garrison bn)
- Hildburghausen Infantry (1 garrison bn)
- Wallis Infantry (1 garrison bn)
- Kolowrat Infantry (1 garrison bn)
- Marschall Infantry (1 garrison bn)
- Angern Infantry (1 garrison bn)
- Slavonisch-Gradiskaner Grenzer
- Slavonisch-Peterwardeiner Grenzer
- Karlstädter-Szluiner Grenzer
- German horse (300 picked men)
- Kálnoky Hussars (6 sqns)
- Artillery (16 pieces)
On May 1
- While Loudon was visiting Vienna and Daun's headquarters, his corps under FML Count Campitelli set off from Jägerndorf.
- 5 Grenzer bns left the camp of Hotzenplotz (present-day Osoblaha/CZ) to join Loudon's Army assembling at Königgrätz (present-day Hradec Králové/CZ).
On May 10, Loudon's Corps reached the vicinity of Königgrätz, where it took up temporary quarters. This corps consisted of:
- Los Rios Infantry (1 bn, 2 grenadier coys)
- Marschall Infantry (2 bns, 2 grenadier coys)
- Angern Infantry (2 bns, 2 grenadier coys)
- Leopold Pálffy Infantry (2 bns, 2 grenadier coys)
- Grün Loudon Grenadiers (12 grenadier coys)
- Karlstädter-Lykaner Grenzer
- Karlstädter-Ottochaner Grenzer
- Karlstädter-Oguliner Grenzer
- Pálffy Cuirassiers (5 sqns)
- Anspach Cuirassiers (5 sqns)
- Kolowrat-Krakowski Dragoons (5 sqns)
- Löwenstein Chevauxlegers (10 sqns)
- Nádasdy Hussars (6 sqns)
- Artillery (44 pieces)
Considering that Prince Heinrich was posted at Sagan with his army, the plan to march into Lusatia was abandoned and Loudon was instructed to march through the County of Glatz (present-day Kłodzko/PL), into Silesia.
- When he learned that Loudon's Corps had marched from Upper Silesia to Königgrätz, Fouqué concentrated his forces and recalled the detachment (I./Garrison Regiment Mellin (1 bn), II./Garrison Regiment Alt-Sydow (1 bn), Malachowski Hussars (2 sqns), Werner Hussars (1 sqn), 150 Bayreuth Dragoons under Major-General Grant) posted near Neisse. Grant was instructed to march to Reichenbach, where he would made a junction with Major-General von Zieten, who was was posted there with 3 bns (II./Garrison Regiment Mellin, IV./Garrison Regiment Mellin, IV./Lattorff) and 2 sqns of Werner Hussars. The two detachments would then march to Freiburg (present-day Świebodzice/PL).
- The garrison left in the Fortress of Neisse consisted of 6 bns (Mosel Infantry (2 bns), Garrison Regiment Blanckensee (4 bns)). Before leaving, Grant reorganised the garrison of Neisse, taking Mosel Infantry in his detachment and replacing it by I./Mellin, II,/Alt-Sydow. The 150 Bayreuth Dragoons rejoined their regiment and IV./Lattorff was sent to Glogau.
In the second half of May, some Austrian troops previously posted at Zittau joined Loudon at Königgrätz.
On May 18
- Frederick, who feared an advance of Loudon's Corps on Breslau, instructed Fouqué to cover this place.
- Upon the arrival of Grant's and Zieten's detachments at Freiburg, Grant remained there with II./Garrison Regiment Mellin, IV./Garrison Regiment Mellin and the 2 sqns of Malachowski Hussars.
- Major-General von Zieten marched to Löwenberg with the rest of their forces. Fouqué was now at the head of 11 bns and 8 sqns at Löwenberg:
- Grenadier Battalion Koschenbahr (1 bn)
- Grenadier Battalion Sobeck (1 bn)
- Grenadier Battalion Wobersnow (1 bn)
- Grenadier Battalion Arnim (1 bn) replaced in Glatz by Grenadier Battalion Unruh
- Mosel Infantry (2 bns)
- Fouqué Fusiliers (2 bns)
- Borcke Volunteers (1 bn)
- Below Volunteers (1 bn)
- Freibataillon Le Noble (1 bn)
- Alt-Platen Dragoons (1 sqn)
- Werner Hussars (5 sqns)
- Malachowski Hussars (2 sqns)
- Major-General von Schenckendorff was posted at Landeshut with 8 bns and 7 sqns:
- There was also a detachment of 1 bn (Freibataillon Lüderitz) and 1 sqn of Alt-Platen Dragoons) at Hirschberg.
- Prince Heinrich's Army of the Oder took position in a line of cantonments along the Bober (present-day Bóbr River) and the Oder up to the Baltic Sea, linking his right with Fouqué's positions in the area of Landeshut.
On May 24, Loudon's vanguard marched to Nachod.
On May 25
- Fouqué wrote to Frederick to inform him that he feared an Austrian offensive between Glatz and Landeshut and that, in such a case, he considered retiring to Freiburg or Fürstenstein (present-day Zamek Książ/PL).
- The Vice-Commander of Glatz, Lieutenant-Colonel d'O, informed Fouqué of the advance of Loudon's vanguard. When he received this information, Fouqué decided to retire to Freiburg.
Loudon's Incursion in Silesia
On May 27 and 28, Loudon's troops came out of their quarters and encamped near Rothkosteletz (present-day Červený Kostelec/CZ).
On May 28, Fouqué's Corps set off from Löwenberg and marched by way of Schönau (present-day Świerzawa/PL) and Bolkenhain (present-day Bolkow/PL).
By May 29, Loudon had assembled his corps at Rothkosteletz. In the evening, his vanguard under General von Losy marched by way of Wünschelburg (present-day Radków/PL) to secure the passes near Wartha (present-day Bardo/PL).
On May 29, Loudon quit Rothkosteletz and broke in upon Silesia, a long way to eastward of Fouqué.
In the night of May 29 to 30, Loudon's Corps set off from Rothkosteletz in two columns, covered by detachments posted on the heights near Neuheide (present-day Polanica Górna/PL) and Pischkowitz (present-day Piszkowice/PL). The right column took the road leading to Wünschelburg, where it rested before resuming its march to Wartha. The left column, under Loudon's direct command, took the road leading to Braunau and rested near Neurode (present-day Nowa Ruda/PL), while its vanguard occupied the Pass of Silbersberg (present-day Srebrna Góra/PL).
On May 30
- Fouqué's Corps reached the vicinity of Freiburg where it took up quarters. Braun Fusiliers, III./Garrison Regiment Mellin, Freibataillon Lüderitz and 4 sqns of Alt-Platen Dragoons, arriving from Landeshut and Hirschberg soon joined this corps. Fouqué established his headquarters in Fröhlichsdorf (present-day Cieszów/PL).
- Major-General Grant was sent to Költschen (present-day Kiełczyn/PL) on the Zobtenberg with 4 bns (Grenadier Battalion Arnim, II./Garrison Regiment Mellin, IV./Garrison Regiment Mellin, Freibataillon Lüderitz) and 4 sqns (1 sqn of Alt-Platen Dragoons, 3 sqns of Malachowski Hussars) to learn more about the movements of Loudon's Corps.
- At the request of Lieutenant-General von Tresckow, who commanded in Neisse, Fouqué sent him the II./Mosel Infantry as reinforcement.
On May 31
- At daybreak, Loudon's right column reached Wartha where it crossed the Neisse River and advanced towards Frankenstein.
- In the morning, the left column crossed the Pass of Silberberg.
- In the afternoon, the entire corps encamped near Frankenstein.
- Major-General von Nauendorf advanced to the Castle of Kleutsch (present-day Pałac w Kluczowej/PL) with the Sachsen-Gotha Chevaulegers and the Nádasdy Hussars, occupying Nimptsch (present-day Niemcza/PL) and Reichenbach and sending 100 horse forward to Münsterberg, on the road leading to Neisse, to reconnoitre and to establish communication with Drašković's Corps, which had advanced from Kunzendorf towards Weidenau, occupying Ottmachau. Loudon intended to give his troops some rest while he would secure some provisions.
- FML Baron Wolfersdorff concentrated the troops who had guarded the Moravian border near Deutsch Prausnitz (present-day Německá Brusnice).
- Engagement near Tepliwoda
- The II./Mosel Infantry, marching by way of Ludwigsdorf (unidentified location), reached Nimptsch unmolested. There, Captain von Pfuel, who led the battalion, learned that a corps of 6,000 Austrians had reached Frankenstein and established outposts on the Münsterberg. Nonetheless, he continued on his march to reach Neisse.
- A party of Austrian cavalry spotted the Prussian bn between Tepliwoda (present-day Ciepłowody/PL) and Heinrichau (present-day Henryków/PL). Pfuel formed a square with his battalion and drove back several attacks of the Sachsen-Gotha Chevaulegers and Nádasdy Hussars.
- At nightfall, the Prussian reached the Fortress of Neisse, having suffered only minor losses. For his conduct, Frederick would promote Pfuel to major.
At the end of May, Fouqué marched from Löwenberg with his corps to the vicinity of Freiburg. Meanwhile, the 15 bns and 15 sqns destined to join the army of Prince Heinrich remained in the area of Lauban, Greiffenberg, Löwenberg and Naumburg/Queiss under the command of Lieutenant-General von der Goltz.
|Order of Battle|
|Detailed order of battle of the Austrian forces operating in Silesia in early June.|
In the following days, Loudon learned from FML Beck, who was stationed near Zittau, of Fouqué's march from Löwenberg in the direction of Freiburg.
On June 1, Lieutenant-Colonel d'O informed Fouqué that the main body of Loudon's Corps had reached Wartha and was advancing on Neisse, and that FML Drašković had been charged to command the siege corps, estimated to 5,000 men. Fouqué immediately asked Prince Heinrich for support.
On June 3
- The detachment of Major-General Grant marched from Költschen towards Reichenbach.
- Loudon's outpost near Reichenbach came into contact with Grant's detachment, which was advancing from the Zobtenberg towards Reichenbach. Major-General von Nauendorf was wounded during a skirmish with Prussian hussars. Loudon, who had gone to the heights near Kleutsch, could not ascertain the exact strength of Grant's force which was hidden by dust clouds. However, he learned from deserters that it numbered no more than 4 bns and 8 sqns. Loudon then posted 4 grenadier bns and 1 Grenzer bn on these heights and prepared to take position between Kleutsch and Habendorf (present-day Owiesno/PL) with his army, if the Prussians advanced against him.
In the night of June 3 to 4, Grant's detachment retreated from Reichenbach in the direction of the Zobtenberg.
On June 4 in the afternoon, realising that Breslau and Schweidnitz were directly threatened, Fouqué decided to recall the forces posted at Landeshut and to abandon his positions at Freiburg to precede Loudon at Schweidnitz and Breslau. He immediately marched towards Würben (present-day Wierzbna) near Schweidnitz with his corps.
On June 5
- In the morning, Fouqué reached Würben, where he encamped. There he learned that an Austrian corps had reached Tepliwoda.
- Major-General von Schenckendorff received the order to evacuate his post at Landeshut. He did not even take the time to remove or destroy the considerable magazine there, and left in great haste.
- Schenckendorff's detachment made a junction with Fouqué's Corps at Würben the same day.
- In the evening, Grant reported that Loudon was marching from Frankenstein in two columns towards Reichenbach and Nimptsch and that Drašković was advancing to Frankenstein.
- Wolfersdorffs Corps advanced from Prausnitz to Goldenöls (present-day Zlatá Olešnice/CZ). A detachment of his corps immediately occupied Landeshut. The content of the magazines was transferred to Trautenau (present-day Trutnov/CZ) and Jaromirz (present-day Jaromer/CZ).
- Closely following up Fouqué, Loudon marched in two columns to Nimptsch and Reichenbach.
- Loudon decided to march through the County of Glatz with his army for the planned siege of the Fortress of Glatz, leaving some cavalry in the plains in front of Silberberg to observe the Prussians. He also left detachments to occupy the passes at Silberberg and Wartha.
In the night of June 5 to 6, Loudon moved his reserve away from Silberberg.
On June 6
- Loudon's main body followed his reserve and marched by way of Wartha to Pischkowitz, where it encamped.
- Nauendorf remained near Kleutsch with Sachsen-Gotha Chevaulegers, Löwenstein Chevauxlegers , Nádasdy Hussars, Bethlen Hussars, Grün Loudon Grenadiers (2 bns) and part of the Grenzer light troops.
- The passes of Reichenstein (present-day Złoty Stok/PL), Wartha and Silberberg were occupied and fortified. A chain of outposts now completely isolated the Fortress of Glatz.
- At Pischkowitz, Loudon was informed by General von Wolfersdorff that the Prussians had precipitously evacuated Landeshut, leaving behind a considerable magazine. At the same time, he received a message from Nauendorf, informing him that Fouqué was marching in the direction of Breslau. At first, Loudon considered this march to be a stratagem, intended to lure him out of his position, because he could not see any reason for Fouqué to rush towards Breslau. Consequently, Loudon remained in his camp, but he sent Wolfersdorff to occupy Landeshut, the Zeiskenberg and Fürstenstein near Freiburg with 3 Grenzer bns under the command of Jahnus and Gaisruck. About 600 men were posted on the Buchberg.
- Fouqué set off from Würben and marched to Rommenau (present-day Romnów/PL), north of Canth, to cover Breslau. On his way, Fouqué received the answer of Prince Heinrich to his request for assistance. Not only did the prince put 6 bns from Goltz's detachment at Lauban and Löwenberg at his disposal, which Fouqué was only allowed to use in the most extreme of emergencies, but he also declared his readiness to support him with his entire army if Loudon were to descend from the mountains into the plains. Prince Heinrich considered that Loudon would not take the offensive but would remain in the vicinity of Frankenstein.
- Fouqué established his new camp between the Schweidnitzer Wasser and the Striegauer Wasser. Fouqué also sent the III./Garrison Regiment Mellin to reinforce the garrison of Schweidnitz.
- Grant was sent to Hartlieb (now part of Breslau), south of Breslau, to defend the crossing of the Lohe River.
On June 7
- Loudon invested Glatz.
- Frederick was informed of the evacuation of Landeshut by Fouqué's Corps. He considered this withdrawal too premature.
On June 8, Fouqué detached General von Grant to take position at Nimptsch.
On June 9
- Grant's detachment arrived at Nimptsch.
- Fouqué followed Grant's detachment with his vanguard up to Heidersdorf (present-day Łagiewniki/PL) with 3 grenadier bns, 2 volunteer bns and 8 sqns. On his way, he surprised a hussar outpost at Jordansmühl (present-day Jordanów Śląski/PL) and captured 1 officer and 25 men.
On June 10, Fouqué marched by way of Reichenbach towards Gräditz (present-day Grodziszcze/PL) and Schwengfeld (present-day Makowice/PL).
On June 11
- Loudon wrote to Daun, explaining that he could neither take a proper position with his corps at Landeshut nor prevent the Prussians from advancing by way of Gottesberg (present-day Boguszów/PL) to Friedland (present-day Mieroszów/PL) or through the County of Glatz towards Nachod, but would then have to give up the position of Landeshut and retreat towards Trautenau.
- Accordingly Loudon decided to retire his troops from Landeshut, because he had received news that Schmettau's Corps had set off from the Queiss and marched towards Goldberg (present-day Złotoryja/PL), while Prince Heinrich was also marching towards the same town. Nauendorf also informed Loudon that Fouqué was marching from Breslau towards Schweidnitz. Loudon thought that the Prussians planned to join their forces and to advance against him.
- Loudon recalled Wolfersdorff's Corps and left only the Pálffy Hussars and 3 bns of Grenzer light troops under Major-General Jahnus at Landeshut. Jahnus had been instructed to retire to Starkstadt (present-day Stárkov/PL) if the Prussians advanced on Landeshut.
- To cover Loudon's right flank, Drašković took position in the vicinity of Reichenstein, while Major-General Bethlen remained near Weidenau with the Kálnoky Hussars, a detachment of dragoons and 4 Grenzer bns.
- Field Marshal Daun was of different opinion and considered the occupation of Landeshut as more important than the siege of Glatz and Loudon had to finally yield to his views.
- Frederick was informed that Loudon intended to lay siege to Glatz. Frederick immediately sent orders to Fouqué to recapture Landeshut.
On June 12
- Loudon sent FML Count Gaisruck to Landeshut with Königsegg Infantry, Leopold Pálffy Infantry and the Alt-Modena Cuirassiers with instruction to hold this position.
- Soon afterwards, Loudon learned that the reports of the advance of Prince Heinrich and General von Schmettau had been erroneous, and that the Prince had taken the direction of Frankfurt/Oder instead. This movement greatly improved Loudon's situation. With Prince Heinrich fixed by the Russians, Loudon now insisted to lay siege to Glatz with the approval of Empress Maria Theresa. The heavy artillery immediately set off from Brünn.
- Major-General von Schenckendorff reached Gräditz by way of Schweidnitz, with the main body of Fouqué's Army, which encamped behind the Peile River.
In the night of June 13 to 14, Fouqué marched with 8 bns in two columns to attack the positions of General von Nauendorf in Kleutsch. Fouqué managed to drive back Nauendorf's outposts but the Austrians had time to retire and Fouqué returned to his camp.
On June 15 in the evening, Fouqué received the orders that Frederick had sent him on June 11, instructing him to recapture Landeshut.
On June 16
- Loudon sent FML Baron Wolfersdorff with 5 bns and the Prinz Albert Cuirassiers to Friedland.
- In the evening, Fouqué set off from Gräditz with most of his army, leaving Major-General Zieten behind with the baggage, the artillery train, 8 bns (II./Fouqué Fusiliers, II./Markgraf Friedrich Fusiliers, II./Braun Fusiliers, II./Garrison Regiment Mellin, III./Garrison Regiment Mellin, IV./Garrison Regiment Mellin) and 3 sqns (1 sqn of Alt-Platen Dragoons, 2 sqns of Malachowski Hussars). Zieten would follow on the next day by way of Fürstenstein. Fouqué's Army marched in two columns towards Landeshut: a column of 7 bns (Freibataillon Collignon, Freibataillon Lüderitz, 2 bns of volunteers, Grenadier Battalion Arnim, Grenadier Battalion Wobersnow, I./Mosel Infantry) and 7 sqns (5 sqns of Werner Hussars, 2 sqns Alt-Platen Dragoons) under Fouqué by way of Waldenburg (present-day Wałbrzych/PL) and Gottesberg; the other column of 6 bns (Freibataillon Le Noble, Grenadier Battalion Sobeck, Grenadier Battalion Koschenbahr, I./Fouqué Fusiliers, I./Markgraf Friedrich Fusiliers, I./Braun Fusiliers) and 8 sqns (6 sqns of Malachowski Hussars, 2 sqns of Alt-Platen Dragoons) under Schenckendorff by way of Jakobsdorf (present-day Jakubów/PL), Freiburg and Hartmannsdorf (present-day Jaczków/PL).
- Prince Heinrich assembled the Army of the Oder near Frankfurt-an-der-Oder.
In the night of June 16 to 17
- Wolfersdorff received a request for assistance from Gaisruck and immediately set off from Friedland and marched across difficult terrain towards Landeshut.
On June 17
- Confrontation at Landeshut
- On June 17 around 10:00 a.m., after driving back light troops outposts, Fouqué's columns closed on the positions of the detachment (5 infantry bns, 3 Grenzer bns, Alt-Modena Cuirassiers, Pálffy Hussars) of FML Gaisruck on the Mummelberg and Buchberg, to the southeast of Landeshut, as well as on the Kirchberg, to the south of the town.
- Fouqué learned that reinforcements were expected from Friedland. He decided to attack immediately. His artillery opened fire on the heights occupied by the enemy and Freibataillon Lüderitz and Freibataillon Collignon advanced along the ridge of Forst towards the entrenchments on the Mummelberg.
- Schenckendorff veered towards the Leuschnerberg, northeast of Vogelsdorf, and sent a column under Colonel von Rosen from Hartmannsdorf by way of Kuhbank and then up the Bober valley towards Landeshut.
- The threat to his rear prompted Gaisruck to vacate the occupied heights and to retire to the mountain range southeast of Reichhennersdorf (present-day Przedwojów/PL).
- Fouqué was then able to reoccupy the position of Landeshut without major losses (about 20 men killed or wounded). He asked Zieten to send him a reinforcement of 3 bns.
- Both sides remained under arms for the rest of the day and throughout the night.
- Fouqué's artillery vainly tried to force Gaisruck to evacuate the heights of Reichhennersdorf.
- Wolfersdorff's detachment then joined Gaisruck's forces.
During the night of June 17 to 18, Loudon launched a surprise attack on Glatz but was repulsed, suffering heavy losses. As soon as he was informed of Fouqué's movements, Loudon resolved to attack him at Landeshut. Indeed, he fully realised that he would not be able to lay siege to Glatz with Fouqué's Corps posing a serious threat on his communications. Accordingly, Loudon sent 3 bns and 2 cavalry rgts (Pálffy Cuirassiers, 2 sqns of Erzherzog Joseph Dragoons) to reinforce Gaisruck.
On June 17 in the evening, the Bülow Fusiliers arrived at Landeshut.
In the night of June 17 to 18, the II./Fouqué Fusiliers arrived at Landeshut with the baggage of the corps.
On June 18
- Loudon set off from Pischkowitz at the head of the Reserve Corps (grenadiers and carabiniers) of FML Baron Müffling, and marched by way of Johannesberg (present-day Janovičky/CZ), Waldenburg and Gottesberg.
- Loudon also recalled most of his corps which was besieging Glatz, leaving only a small force of 5,000 men (Salm Infantry, 1 bn of Starhemberg Infantry, 1 grenadier battalion, Karlstädter-Szluiner Grenzer, Anspach Cuirassiers, 3 sqns of Modena Cuirassiers, 3 sqns of Erzherzog Joseph Dragoons and 3 sqns of Althann Dragoons) under FML Drašković to blockade the fortress.
- The Austrian corps stationed at Friedland made a junction with Loudon's Army.
- Fouqué set diligently to repair his works damaged by the Austrians. He paid particular attention to the entrenchments on the Leuschnerberg and Mummelberg located on his left flank, linking both with a continuous line of entrenchments. He was obliged to divide his force (16 bns and 15 sqns for a total of about 12,000 men) into several detachments to occupy the entire position:
- on the Heights of Blasdorf: 4 bns in 2 lines
- on the Heights of Reichhennersdorf: 2 bns and 5 sqns on the plateau
- on the Galgenberg: 3 bns including 1 bn in reserve
- on the Richerberg: 2 bns and 2 sqns
- on the Burgerg: 2 coys
- on the Buchberg: 2 bns and 5 sqns
- on the Mummelberg: 2 bns and 2 sqns
- in Landeshut: 3 coys
- in the suburb of Landeshut: Frei-Infanterie Lüderitz (1 bn)
- According to Frederick's orders, Major-General von Grant marched by way of Breslau with 1 sqn of the Alt-Platen Dragoons to Neisse.
- Fouqué set diligently to repair his works damaged by the Austrians. He paid particular attention to the entrenchments on the Leuschnerberg and Mummelberg located on his left flank, linking both with a continuous line of entrenchments. He was obliged to divide his force (16 bns and 15 sqns for a total of about 12,000 men) into several detachments to occupy the entire position:
On June 19
- Loudon reached Schwarzwaldau. His vanguard drove back General von Malachowski, who was posted there with 300 hussars and 300 men of the Freikorps. The vanguard then made itself master of the heights of Forst and Ziegenrückens, south of Hartmannsdorf. A detachment of 200 men from the Freikorps, which had been sent to occupy these heights was surrounded and almost annihilated.
- Loudon still hesitated before attacking Fouqué's positions. He had been informed that the Prussians were expecting the arrival of heavy artillery from Schweidnitz, that reinforcements sent by Prince Heinrich were on their way, and that Frederick himself would be on the march towards Landeshut.
- The IV./Garrison Regiment Mellin arrived at Landeshut with 6 heavy artillery pieces and a number of ammunition wagons.
- Fouqué was now at the head of 17 bns and 15 sqns with 35 heavy artillery pieces.
- Zieten remained on the Zeiskenberg and in Freiburg with 4 bns and 2 sqns with 5 heavy artillery pieces, to cover the line of communication with Schweidnitz.
- In the evening, a convoy of 160 wagons transporting bread and flour, sent from Schweidnitz, arrived at Landeshut. Fouqué's infantry remained in the defensive works under constant rain during the following night, while his cavalry had saddled up. Fouqué saw the ring of enemy forces tightening around him, but he felt bound by the king's repeated orders to hold his positions.
- Prince Heinrich marched to Landsberg (present-day Gorzow Wielkopolski/PL) on the Warthe (present-day Warta). His main army consisted of 30 bns and 46 sqns while another corps (7 bns and 20 sqns) under Forcade de Biaix had been detached to protect Pomerania, taking position at Dramburg (present-day Drawsko Pomorskie/PL).
- Fouqué informed Frederick of his critical situation, mentioning that he could not endeavour any action against these Austrian corps without exposing Landeshut. Prince Heinrich with about 40,000 men was at 3 days march from Fouqué's Corps but the latter remained unsupported.
On June 20
- Loudon reported to Daun that he was considering to retire to the County of Glatz; while Wolfersdorff would retire to Trautenau and Jahnus to Dittersbach (unidentified location). However, a thorough reconnaissance in the direction of Landeshut gave him assurance of success. He recalled all his available forces: Drašković's Corps was left in front of Glatz and was reinforced by 2 infantry rgts (Baden-Baden, Salm) and 2 cavalry rgts (Anspach Cuirassiers and part of Althann Dragoons) under FML Baron Unruh; Beck, posted near Friedeberg (present-day Mirsk/PL) south of Greiffenberg, was instructed to support Loudon's attack with 2 bns of Warasdiner Grenzers and all his hussars, by blocking the road leading to Schmiedeberg (present-day Kowary/PL).
On June 21
- Major-General von Nauendorf marched from the vicinity of Frankenstein with his light cavalry and took position at Forst and Ziegenrückens, east of Landeshut.
- General Wolfersdorf occupied Nimschefskyberg (unidentified location) and the bridge at Faulebruck (unidentified location), and Jahnus stayed at Reichhennersdorf.
- The assault on Fouqué's entrenchments was planned for June 23, because the main body of Loudon's Army under FML Count Campitelli could not arrived at Schwarzwaldau before that day.
On June 22, the troops arriving from Glatz made a junction with Loudon at Schwarzwaldau. He was now at the head of 42 bns, 40 grenadier coys and 75 sqns.
On Monday June 23 at 1:45 a.m., Loudon, with 31,000 horse and foot, launched an attack on Fouqué's position during the Battle of Landeshut. After a fierce resistance, Fouqué was forced to surrender. Only 1,500 Prussians escaped. All the Prussian camp with artillery and baggage fell into Loudon's hands. The gate of Silesia was now open and Loudon could consider taking Glatz.
When he was informed of the disaster of Landeshut, Zieten quitted the Ziskenberg and retired on Breslau, instructing the Prussian troops who had escaped from the Austrian trap to join him there.
Capture of Glatz by the Austrians
From June 23, after the virtual annihilation of Fouqué's Corps at Landeshut, Loudon could concentrate on his planned Siege of Glatz.
On June 26, Daun, informed of Loudon's success at Landeshut sent General di Stampa from his Grand Army to reinforce the Austrian Army of Silesia. He also instructed Loudon to encamp at Landeshut and to manoeuvre in support of his own army to prevent any movement of Frederick against Silesia, thus delaying any vigorous action against Glatz.
On July 5, Loudon was encamping near Lahn (present-day Wleń) on the Bober (present-day Bóbr river) to intercept communications between Frederick's Army and Breslau (present-day Wrocław). There, he was informed that Daun was at Bautzen and Frederick in full march towards Silesia.
On July 7, Loudon marched to Goldberg.
In the night of July 7 to 8, Loudon marched from Goldberg to Hohkrich (unidentified location) some 8 km from Liegnitz (present-day Legnica), fearing that Frederick could arrive there ahead of him.
On July 8, Daun encamped at Ottendorf (present-day Ocice) and Loudon went there to have a conference with him and they resolved to lay siege to Glatz.
When Frederick abandoned his design of marching into Silesia and moved against Dresden, Loudon ordered the siege artillery from Olmütz to besiege Glatz. His main corps remained at Hohkirch near Liegnitz to cover the siege while he sent 12 bns and 5 sqns under the command of General Harsch to reinforce the blockading force and to put siege to the fortress. Siege works were placed under the responsibility of FZM Ferdinand Amadeus Count Harsch. This led to frictions between Drašković and him.
On July 12, Prince Heinrich began to pass the Warthe.
On July 14, Prince Heinrich encamped at Gleißen (present-day Glisno) and extended his lines to protect the country from Russian raids.
On July 16, the Austrian siege artillery arrived from Olmütz.
By July 17, Saltykov had completely concentrated his army at Posen (present-day Poznań). This Russian Army consisted of 60,000 regulars and 7,000 cossacks.
On July 20, Saltykov sent Tchernichev with his vanguard to Winkowitz (unidentified location).
On the night of July 20 to 21, the Austrians started the Siege of Glatz, opening the first parallel in front of the place. The siege lasted till July 26 when Loudon's forces stormed the fortress. Thus, Glatz, one of the two southern keys of Silesia was now in Austrian hands. Neisse, the other key fortress was still under Prussian control. Loudon then made preparations to march on Breslau which had been left uncovered by Frederick and Prince Heinrich.
Siege of Breslau
On July 26, the day of the surrender of Glatz, Prince Heinrich was still at Gleißen. He planned to keep the Russians from Frankfurt-an-der-Oder and to cover Glogau to prevent a Siege of Breslau. Meanwhile, Count Saltykov was anxious about his depots at Siradin (unidentified location) and Kalisch (present-day Kalisz) and considered how to get it carted out in case of an advance by Prince Heinrich. Saltykov finally decided to besiege Glogau. But Saint Petersburg rather ordered to besiege Breslau. Therefore, on July 26, Saltykov started from Posen in 3 columns with 45,000 men, faster than usual, and marched southward to Moschin (present-day Moszinna). His vanguard under Tchernichev remained at Winkowitz. He planned to rendezvous with Loudon under the walls of Breslau. Saltykov had no siege-artillery. Meanwhile, after the surrender of Glatz, Loudon sent General Drašković towards Breslau to lay siege to the town and ordered General Nauendorf to march from Neumarkt (present-day Środa Śląska) to Lissa (present-day Wrocław-Leśnica). He intended to make his junction with Saltykov's Russian Army at Breslau. The same day, Prince Heinrich finally resolved to abandon his positions at Gleißen and to march towards Glogau. His first march brought him to Starpel (unidentified location). He then instructed the detached corps to follow him and sent Werner to Meseritz (present-day Międzyrzecz).
On July 28, the Russian Army encamped at Dahlow (present-day Dalewo) while its vanguard advanced to Korkow (unidentified location). The same day, Goltz's Prussian Corps marched from Paradies (present-day Gościkowo) to Riedschutz (or Reitseutz, unidentified location, maybe Rzeczyca).
On July 29, Prince Heinrich's entire army was assembled at Padligar (unidentified location) where it stayed for 2 days.
On July 30, Loudon appeared in front of Breslau. The Siege of Breslau lasted from July 30 to August 3. During this period, Loudon repeatedly summoned Tauentzien to surrender the town but the latter refused. However, when the Russian Army unexpectedly halted to rest for a few days and that he realised that his army would face Prince Heinrich's one alone, Loudon resolved to abandon the siege and to retire.
Upon his arrival at Glogau, Prince Heinrich learned that Breslau was being besieged and immediately decided to make forced marches to relieve the town.
On August 3, Prince Heinrich arrived at Parchwitz (present-day Prochowice), forcing an Austrian advanced force of 2,000 men to retire.
On August 4, Loudon repassed the Oder and encamped at Kanth (unidentified location) behind the Schweidnitzwasser. The same day, Saltykov finally marched from Kobylin and encamped at Militsch (present-day Milicz) where he was informed that Loudon had raised the siege of Breslau.
In the night of August 4 to 5, Prince Heinrich marched to Neumarkt and detached Werner with 1 bn and 15 sqns towards Kanth. Werner unexpectedly clashed with the Austrian Corps of General Caramelli at Romolkawitz (unidentified location). During the ensuing engagement, the Austrian lost most of the Erzherzog Joseph Dragoons. Werner then halted at Lissa where he was soon joined by Prince Heinrich.
On August 5, Saltykov marched from Militsch to Kolcharka (unidentified location).
On August 6, Prince Heinrich encamped under the guns of Breslau. The same day, Loudon retired to Sacwitz (unidentified location). Still the same day, Saltykov reached Gossweigeldorf (unidentified location) some 8 km from Breslau. Tchernichev advanced to Leubus (present-day Lubiąż) with the vanguard. Finding no bridge to cross the Oder and receiving no information about Loudon's Army, Tchernichev retired to Auras (present-day Uraz).
On August 7, Loudon continued his retreat, reaching Striegau (present-day Strzegom).
On August 8, Saltykov finally arrived at Hundsfeld (present-day Psie Pole) in the Breslau Country, on the opposite side of the Oder. He found Prince Heinrich advanced guard (5 bns, 15 sqns) entrenched there under the command of General Platen. No Russian was able to get within 8 km of Breslau. Saltykov, not finding any Austrian force in the area, gradually retired.
Prussian Main Army enter Silesia
On Thursday August 7, after a fierce 160 km march from Saxony with some 2,000 heavy wagons, Frederick reached Bunzlau (present-day Bolesławiec) on the Silesian frontier. He was coming to the relief of his endangered Province of Silesia.
On August 8, Frederick's Army rested around Bunzlau. Frederick was aware that Daun held Striegau as an outpost and was personally at Schmottseifen (present-day Pławna Dolna). Frederick thus planned to advance quickly on Jauer (present-day Jawor) and to seize it before Daun had time to react. However, Frederick ignored that Loudon, and also Beck with a smaller detachment, occupied the Heights of Goldberg. He thought that Loudon was besieging Neisse. In fact, Loudon lay ready to the east while Daun and Lacy were on the south and west of his positions. Daun, fearing a junction of the Prussian armies of King Frederick and Prince Heinrich, recalled Loudon who marched to Seichau (present-day Sichów) the same day. Loudon also asked Saltykov to throw a bridge on the Oder at Leubus to allow him to establish communications with Tchernichev and the Russian vanguard.
On August 9, Frederick, with his three columns left Bunzlau at 3:00 a.m. and at 5:00 p.m., after a long march, arrived in sight of the Katzbach Valley, with the little town of Goldberg some km to his right. Jauer was now only 26 km away. But reconnaissance showed that Lacy was strongly positioned on the hills of Goldberg while Daun was visible across the Katzbach (present-day Kaczawa river). Jauer now seemed an impossibility. Frederick's Army still had bread for only eight days and the next Prussian magazines were at Schweidnitz and Breslau. Frederick decided to march on Liegnitz and to cross the Katzbach there, or farther down at Parchwitz (present-day Prochowice). For this purpose, he turned left, reached Kroitsch (present-day Krotoszyce) and encamped there for the night. Daun encamped with his right at Goldberg linked with Brentano's Corps who extended up to Conradsberg (unidentified location); Loudon encamped with his right at Arnoldshof (unidentified location) and his left at Conradsberg; Lacy encamped at Löwenberg. Still the same day, Saltykov marched to Kunzendorf (present-day Golędzinów) near Auras. He then re-established a bridge at Leubus, threw two additional bridges on the Oder near Auras, and detached Plemenikov's Corps on the left bank to prevent any movement of Prince Heinrich to make a junction with the Army of Frederick. When Prince Heinrich heard of these manoeuvres, he sent Goltz, Platen and Thadden to follow Saltykov's rearguard. These 3 Prussian detachments took position behind the Weida river.
On Sunday August 10, Loudon marched to Greibnig (present-day Grzybiany). Daun passed the Wurthende-Neisse and encamped between Wahlstatt (present-day Legnickie Pole) and Hohkirch (unidentified location). He wanted to prevent Frederick from crossing the Katzbach. Meanwhile Loudon covered the area between Jeschkendorf (present-day Jaśkowice Legnickie) and Koischwitz (present-day Koskowice); Nauendorf the heights of Parchwitz; and Beck beyond (unidentified location). At 5:00 a.m., Frederick got on march in 4 columns down the left bank of the Katzbach, straight for Liegnitz. Lacy's light troops harassed the rear of the Prussian Army. Frederick encamped on the heights overlooking Liegnitz. He found that Loudon and Daun were already lining the right bank, three or 6 km upstream and 11 km downstream. Crossing the Katzbach looked plainly impossible to Frederick. Ignoring that Lacy's Corps was posted between Seichau and Goldberg, Frederich then resolved to turn the Austrian left to re-establish his communications with Schweidnitz. Accordingly, at 11:00 p.m., he got on march again.
On August 11 at daybreak, when Frederick arrived in the vicinity of Hohendorf (unidentified location) with his vanguard, he was informed of Lacy's positions at Prausnitz (present-day Prusice) and effectively saw this corps extending from Goldberg on the Katzbach to Niedergrain (unidentified location). This was the only Austrian corps who could now oppose his advance on Jauer. Frederick ordered to his columns to turn right to outflank Lacy's left wing by Goldberg. However, by the time the Prussians reached Goldberg, Lacy had already retired south-eastward to Kolbnitz (unidentified location) near Jauer. Frederick then passed the Katzbach under artillery fire. However, Prussian baggage were lagging 5 hours behind. While Frederick was waiting for his baggage, Daun, Lacy and Loudon had time to block the road to Jauer again. Frederick encamped at Seichau, a village surrounded on all sides by heights on several of which, in the evening, the Austrians took camp. Meanwhile, Major-General Johann Albrecht von Bülow took position on the heights of Prausnitz with 9 bns and 13 sqns to cover the defile in case Frederick would be forced to retreat. Daun was now encamped at Peterwitz (present-day Piotrowice), Lacy at Kolbnitz, Beck at Buschmühle (unidentified location) and Ried at Weinberg (unidentified location) while Loudon replaced Daun on his previous camp on the Neisse.
The same day (August 11), hearing that the Austrians outnumbered Frederick 3 to 1 and were still procrastinating, Saltykov grew very impatient. He threatened Daun to retire into the Trebnitz (present-day Trzebnica) Country. After negotiations, Saltykov consented to wait another day or two. He pushed out a considerable Russian division of 24,000 men, under Tchernichev, towards Auras on the Oder to watch Frederick's movements.
On August 12, fearing for Landeshut, Daun instructed Lacy to march towards this town. Ignoring Lacy's movement and with the road to Schweidnitz blocked, Frederick planned to advance, round by Pömbsen (unidentified location, maybe Pomocne), towards Landeshut. He sent people out reconnoitring the hill-roads. However, at about 8:00 a.m., Frederick heard that Austrians in strength were coming between him and Goldberg to enclose him in this bad position of Seichau. Frederick struck his tents, recalled Bülow and ranked his army ready for a battle. Meanwhile, the reconnaissance reported that the hill-roads were absolutely impassable for baggage. Towards sunset, General Bülow, with the second line (second column of march), was sent out towards Goldberg, to take hold of the passage of the Katzbach. Then from 8:00 p.m. till August 13 at noon, the army recrossed the Katzbach and marched to Liegnitz for the second time. The same day, Prince Heinrich passed the Oder with his entire and encamped north of Breslau with his right at Mahlen (present-day Malin) and his left at Hünern (present-day Psary).
On August 13, Loudon visited Saltykov at his camp and convinced him to reinforce Tchernichev's Corps.
Frederick then remained in Liegnitz till late on August 14. Daun was now in the Jauer region, some 13 km south. Lacy was about Goldberg, some 13 km southwest. Loudon was between Jeschkendorf and Koischwitz, north-eastward, somewhat closer to Frederick with the Katzbach intervening. The 24,000 Russians of Tchernichev were to rear of Loudon, crossing the Oder at Auras.
Battle of Liegnitz
Liegnitz was a square, handsome, brick-built town of about 7,000 people. The Katzbach and the Schwartzwasser joined there, forming the north rim of Liegnitz. Beyond Liegnitz and the Schwartzwasser, north-westward, opposite to the Prussian positions, rose other heights called Pfaffendorf.
On August 14, Saltykov finally crossed the Oder and encamped at Grossbresa (unidentified location) on the road from Auras to Lissa. The same day, Frederick's camp extended from the village of Schimmelwitz (unidentified location), fronting the Katzbach for about 3 km, north-eastward, to his headquarters in Liegnitz suburb. Daun was on his right and rearward, now within 4 to 8 km. Loudon was to his left and frontward, 7 or 8 km away, the Katzbach separating Frederick and him. Lacy lay from Goldberg north-eastward, to within 7 or 8 km rearward. Three Austrian armies totalling 90,000 men (not counting Tchernichev and his 24,000 Russians) watched a Prussian army of 30,000 men. Frederick decided to reach Glogau. He rode with his generals through Liegnitz, across the Schwartzwasser, to the Pfaffendorf Heights where he explained them his plan. They then returned to camp. At the end of the afternoon, an Austrian deserter warned the Prussians that an attack was planned for that night. From about 8:00 p.m., Frederick's Army got on march in several columns while peasants, hussars and drummers were left behind to keep the Prussian camp alive. About the same time, Loudon was also leaving his camp at Jeschkendorf with orders to seize the Heights of Pfaffendorf. He expected to intercept the Prussian baggage. It was about 11:00 p.m. when Daun's Grenzers discovered that Frederick's camp was now empty. The Austrians did not know where Frederick had repositioned his army.
On August 15, in the pre-dawn darkness, Loudon's strong detachment unexpectedly encountered the Prussian army near the towns of Panten (Pątnów Legnicki) and Bienowitz (unidentified location). During the encounter Battle of Liegnitz which ensued, Frederick managed to punch a hole through the net that Daun had drawn up around him. Frederick rested four hours on the battlefield. Meanwhile, the wounded, Austrian as well as Prussian, were placed in the empty meal-wagons. The more slightly wounded were set on horseback, double in possible cases. More than 100 meal-wagons were destroyed, their teams being needed for drawing the 82 captured guns. With the Austrian Main Army still blocking the road from Liegnitz to Breslau and a large Russian Corps at Grossbresa, Frederick had to move swiftly. Accordingly, at about 9:00 a.m. Frederick got on march again, with 6 bns and 30 sqns, marching eastward to Parchwitz where he passed the Katzbach, taking position on the neighbouring heights. Margrave Karl was following up closely with the left wing of Frederick's Army. The right wing under Zieten followed during the evening. The Prussian Army brought with them their 6,000 prisoners, new gun-teams, sick-wagon teams and trophies. Frederick now had only two days' bread left. The Austrian General Nauendorf retired from Parchwitz to Möttig (present-day Motyczyn). Daun should have marched to intercept Frederick without loss of a moment. But he calculated Frederick would probably spend the day on the battlefield. The same day (August 15), Frederick wrote a letter intended to be captured by the Russians. In this letter, he informed Prince Heinrich of his victory and instructed him to make a junction with his own army for a combined attack on the Russian Army. When Tchernichev intercepted the letter, he instantly recrossed the Oder with his 24,000 men at Auras and burnt his bridge.
Junction of the Prussian Armies
Early on August 16, still ignoring the result of his stratagem, Frederick marched in 3 columns from Parchwitz towards Breslau without any interference from the Austrian Army. Frederick marched with the right column consisting of the left wing of the army. This column covered the march on the Austrian side. The centre column, preceded by a strong vanguard, escorted the prisoners and the wounded. The left column, under the command of the Duke of Holstein-Gottorp, consisted mainly of cavalry supported by a few battalions. This column covered the march on the Russian side. Zieten formed the rearguard with the right wing of the army. Later the same morning, Daun sent out Löwenstein's and Beck's Corps towards Neumarkt to make a junction with Tchernichev's Corps. Loudon was supposed to follow closely while Daun would skirt Frederick's Army. However, all these measures came too late. Frederick's vanguard had already chased Nauendorf from Möttig. Prussian hussars encountered scouts belonging to Beck's Corps and drove them back. This Austrian corps then appeared on the Heights of Kummernick (present-day Komorniki) with Daun's Main Army following in several columns some 4 km behind. Frederick was now in a delicate situation with no supply left, a large Austrian Army on his heels and potentially a Russian Army blocking his access to Breslau. He reconnoitered the area around Neumarkt and soon discovered, to his great relief, that the Russians had retired to the opposite bank of the Oder. Frederick established communication with Prince Heinrich at Breslau, encamped his army at Neumarkt and sent General Krockow with the vanguard and the prisoners up to Borne (present-day Zrodla). Daun realising that he had failed to prevent the junction of the two Prussian Army retired to Striegau. The same day, Saltykov left his camp of Obernigk (present-day Oborniki Śląskie) and marched to Peterwitz (present-day Piotrkowice) to get closer to Prince's Heinrich right flank and to have a better communication with the town of Militsch.
On August 17, the Austrian Main Army marched in 3 columns to Konradswaldau (present-day Mroviny). It took position at Hohenposeritz (present-day Posarzysko) with the Carabiniers Corps on the Pitschenberg and Löwenstein's Corps on the Heights of Würben. Loudon replaced the main army at Striegau and Lacy went to Kratzkau (present-day Kraskow), Brentano on the Zoptenberg, Beck at Buckau (unidentified location) and Ried at Arnsdorf (present-day Milikowice).
On August 18, Saltykov took post behind bogs and bushy grounds near Militsch.
On August 19, Prince Heinrich followed up the Russian Army and encamped near Trebnitz. The same day, Frederick quitted Neumarkt passed the Schweidnitz River and encamped at Hermannsdorf (present-day Jerzmanowo), his headquarters at the Castle of Hermannsdorf, within 11 km of Breslau. He rested his army there for two weeks. A bridge was thrown on the Oder at Auras to establish communication with the Army of Prince Heinrich.
On August 24, Saltykov marched westward to Trachenberg (present-day Żmigród), slowly progressing towards Glogau.
On August 27, believing that Saltykov was retreating to Poland, Frederick recalled Prince Heinrich, leaving only Goltz with 12,000 men (17 bns, 33 sqns) to watch the Russian Army. Prince Heinrich having health problem was then replaced by Forcade. Goltz marched to Sophiental (unidentified location) to cover Glogau. During his march, his rearguard was attacked by cossacks near Gimmel (present-day Gmina Jemielno) who dispersed it and took several hundreds prisoners.
On August 28, Saltykov marched further west to Herrnstadt (present-day Wasosz). Goltz passed the Oder at Köben (present-day Chobienia) and encamped near Glogau. For his part, Daun intended to besiege Schweidnitz, the necessary artillery being prepared at Glatz under the direction of M. de Gribeauval.
On August 29, Forcade crossed the Oder with 24 bns and 38 sqns at Pannewitz (unidentified location) and joined Frederick's Army.
Frederick relieves Schweidnitz
Together with Forcade, Frederick now had 50,000 men (60 bns, 116 sqns). Frederick reorganised his army as follows:
- vanguard: 10 grenadier bns
- 1st line: 15 bns and 48 sqns
- 2nd line: 16 bns and 50 sqns
- Reserve: 9 bns and 18 sqns
N.B.: each brigade had a battery of 10 pieces, exceptionally the vanguard had a battery of 10 pieces of horse artillery.
Daun, Lacy and Loudon still hung about in the Breslau-Parchwitz region and seemed to be aiming at Schweidnitz. They put in place a powerful chain of army-posts, isolating Schweidnitz and uniting Daun and Loudon.
On August 30, Frederick marched in 4 columns, his vanguard reinforced with 45 sqns of the second line. He advanced towards the highway from Breslau to Schweidnitz. As his vanguard approached Albertsdorf (unidentified location), Frederick realised that the Austrians were completely blocking the way. He gave orders to his columns to turn left in the direction of Grunau (unidentified location) and Knigwitz (unidentified location) where they encamped: the infantry in two lines and the cavalry forming the third. Frederick ordered to pitch tents. However, at 7:00 p.m., he marched again. By 10:00 p.m., his vanguard occupied the heights of Langenseifersdorf (unidentified location).
On August 31 at daybreak, the main body of Frederick's Army reached the Heights of Langenseifersdorf. The same day, Daun retired to the Heights of Bogendorf behind Schweidnitz. Frederick then marched to Költschen (present-day Kiełczyn), sending his vanguard to Endersdorf (present-day Jędrzejowice). He had managed to break through the Austrian army-posts and to get Schweidnitz under his protective hand again. Daun soon abandoned his plan to lay siege to Schweidnitz and concentrated his attention on the protection of the Bohemian frontier.
On September 1, Frederick marched to Pulzen (unidentified location).
For about five weeks, Frederick followed the Austrians up with continual changes of position, wrestling this way with Daun, Lacy and Loudon in the hill-country between Schweidnitz and Glatz. Daun, had his back on Glatz, Frederick on Schweidnitz. Daun was now lacking provisions which were far away in Bohemia and the roads grew daily more insecure.
On September 11, after endless prevarications about various joint plans of operation, Fermor, who had temporarily replaced Saltykov at the head of the Russian Army, finally made his mind for the plan proposed by Montalembert, the French ambassador, calling for a concentration at Frankfurt-an-der-Oder and then a rapid advance on Berlin with a strong corps. Accordingly, the Russian Army left Herrnstadt and marched to Guhrau (present-day Góra Śląska). The same day, ignoring this design, Frederick tried to turn Daun's left to reach Landeshut, marching to Bolkenhain. This forced all Austrian corps to take new positions with Loudon at Alt Reichenau (Stare Bogaczowice), blocking his way. Frederick encamped on the heights near Alt Reichenau. The Austrians and Prussians then remained in these positions until September 16.
On September 13, Fermor quitted Guhrau and marched towards Carolath (actuel Siedlisko).
On September 17, Frederick left the neighbourhood of Alt Reichenau and made a new attempt to turn the Austrian positions, this time on their right wing. He marched by Hohenfriedberg (present-day Dobromierz) but Daun sent d'Ayasassa to occupy the Heights of Kunzendorf (present-day Mokrzeszów), preventing once more Frederick's designs. Despite some brief engagements, Frederick had to abandon his plan and marched to Hohengiesdorf (probably present-day Grochotów) thus threatening Daun's communications with Glatz.
From September 18, Frederick and Daun sat looking into one another's faces.
On September 19, while Daun and Frederick confronted each other around Schweidnitz, Fermor reached Carolath. He was now only 43 km from Frankfurt-an-der-Oder and 130 km from Berlin.
When Daun was informed of Fermor's final decision, he resolved to send Lacy with 15,000 to march across Lusatia and to make a junction with the Russian Army.
On September 24, Frederick shot out a detachment of 4,000 men towards Neisse. Daun thought that the detachment was making for Moravia. He thus pushed a small detachment into Moravia.
On September 29, Daun pushed off another bigger detachment of 15,000 men under Lacy. Once out of sight of Frederick, Lacy whirled, at a rapid pace, into the opposite direction. Its real destination being Berlin.
It took a while before Frederick realized that Berlin was under attack. However, when he heard about it, he sent orders to Wied, now commanding Goltz's Corps, to throw 6 bns into Breslau to reinforce the garrison and to join him at Schweidnitz with all his cavalry.
On October 7 at 3:00 a.m., Frederick left Silesia in a hurry to relieve Berlin. He assembled his army near Schweidnitz and encamped at Bunzelwitz (present-day Bolesławice), pushing his vanguard (10 grenadier bns and 25 sqns under Zieten) to Striegau. Daun left Loudon behind in Silesia and marched towards Saxony.
On October 8, Frederick reached Brochelshof (unidentified location) while Daun marched to Lauterbach (present-day Jastrowiec) and Loudon remained in the area of Kunzendorf (present-day Mokrzeszów).
On October 9, Frederick marched to Konradsdorf (present-day Konradowka) near Haynau (present-day Chojnow). The same day, Daun marched to Schönewald (unidentified location) and Wiesenthal (present-day Bystrzyca) in front of Lahn (present-day Wleń).
On October 10, Frederick marched to Primkenau (present-day Przemków). The same day, Daun passed the Bober River, and reached Neulande (unidentified location) near Löwenberg.
On October 11, Frederick marched to Sagan while Daun sojourned at Neulande.
On October 12, Daun marched to Longau (unidentified location) on the Queiss.
On October 13, Frederick reached Sommerfeld (present-day Lubsko). The same day, Daun marched to Penzig (present-day Piensk) behind the Neisse.
On October 14, Frederick planned to advance against the Russian Main Army to cut the retreat of the advanced corps occupying Berlin. However, when he learned that the Austro-Russians had evacuated the city, he rather marched to Guben (present-day Gubin) on the border of Brandenburg. The same day, Daun marched to Ullersdorf in Saxony.
The armies of Daun and Frederick then penetrated into Saxony (for details of their manoeuvres, see 1760 - Austrian campaign in Saxony).
On October 19, Frederick detached Goltz with 16 bns and 38 sqns from Lübben in Brandenburg to relieve Kosel (present-day Koźle) in Silesia which was threatened by Loudon.
From October 21 to 27, Loudon tried hard on Kosel, storming twice very fiercely.
On October 25, Goltz arrived in the region of Glogau with 20,000 men. Loudon, informed of his approach, bombarded Kosel.
On October 30, Loudon lifted the siege of Kosel and retired into Glatz County.
In mid November, Loudon evacuated Silesia and took his winter-quarters.
This article is essentially a compilation of texts from the following books which are now in the public domain:
- Grosser Generalstab Kriegsgeschichtliche Abteilung II: Die Kriege Friedrichs des Grossen, Part 3 Der siebenjährige Krieg 1756-1763
- Vol. 11 Minden und Maxen, Berlin, 1912, pp. 238-239, 241
- Vol. 12 Landeshut und Liegnitz, Berlin, 1913, pp. 45-50, 53-57, 82-99
- Anonymous: A Complete History of the Present War, from its Commencement in 1756, to the End of the Campaign, 1760, London, 1761, pp. 511-513, 516-521, 543
- Jomini, baron de: Traité des grandes opérations militaires, Vol. 3, 2nd ed., Magimel, Paris, 1811, pp. 222-223, 245-250, 255-256, 271-281, 286-295, 302-308, 311-323, 339-342, 366
- Vanicek, Fr.: Specialgeschichte der Militärgrenze aus Originalquellen und Quellenwerken geschöpft, Vol. II, Vienna: Kaiserlich-Königlichen Hof- und Staatsdruckerei, 1875, pp. 481-486
- Wengen, F. von: Geschichte des k. k. österreichischen 13. Dragoner-Regimentes Prinz Eugen von Savoyen, Brandeis 1879
- Carlyle, T.: History of Friedrich II of Prussia, vol. 20
Müller, Fritz: 1998 Frederick the Great Battlefield Tour, Seven Years War Association Journal Vol. X No. 3