1761-10-21 - Engagement of Zarnglaff

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Hierarchical Path: Seven Years War (Main Page) >> Battles >> 1761-10-21 - Engagement of Zarnglaff

Russian victory

Prelude to the Battle

In October 1761, during the Siege of Colberg, Eugen von Württemberg resolved to make another attempt to resupply his army by sending out Platen with a strong force (8 bns, 42 sqns).

On October 17, Platen set off from Prettmin (present-day Przećmin).

On October 18, Platen reached Gollnow (present-day Goleniów).

On October 19, Platen encamped at Schwanteshagen (present-day Świętoszewo).

On October 20, Dolgoruki crossed the Persante River and encamped at Garrin (present-day Charzyno). The same day, Platen detached hussars in the direction of Kantreck (present-day Łoźnica), Dischenhagen (aka Fischehagen, present-day Dzisna) and Luttmanshagen (present-day Budzieszewice) to resupply horses and soldiers. It rained the entire day. Patrols of Ruesch Hussars spotted a cossack outpost at Zarnglaff (present-day Czarnogłowy).

On October 21, Lieutenant-colonel Courbière was sent towards Gülzow (present-day Golczewo) with 1 freibattalion, 1 grenadier battalion and 600-700 hussars. Courbière was instructed to collect supply in the surrounding country and to reconnoitre the Russian positions.

Courbière's detachment passed the Wołczenica River in Francken Mühle (unidentified location) and reached Zarnglaff. Meanwhile, Berg's Russian Corps marched from Plathe (present-day Płoty) to Naugard (present-day Nowogard). Berg's cossacks spotted Courbière's detachment and informed Berg of the presence of a small Prussian detachment. Berg resolved to attack them.

Map

Map of the engagement of Zarnglaff on October 20 1761.
 
Source: Tomasz Karpiński
 
Legend
Light blue - Prussian troop at the beginning of the engagement
Dark blue - Prussian hussars breaking through the Russian encirclement
Blue triangle - Prussian artillery
Red triangle - Russian artillery
Red - Russian cavalry

Description of Events

Initial manoeuvres

On October 21, Berg marched northwards from Naugard. He came into contact with Courbière's detachment near Zarnglaff.

Berg's main body manoeuvred to cut off the road between Courbière's and Platen's Corps. Other Russian detachments surrounded Courbière's positions from west and north.

Courbière engaged these small detachments of Russian hussars and cossacks and defeated them, taking Lieutenant-colonel Fukur as prisoner of war. Because of the rain and of the bad news recently received, Platen sent his adjutant, Lieutenant von Schmettau to Courbière, demanding immediate return. However, the messenger arrived too late.

After destroying Fukur's detachment, Courbière deployed his troops on a hill between Zarnglaff and Baumgarten as follows: his infantry in the centre with artillery in front of the line, some cavalry covering both flanks and the rest of his cavalry sent to neighbouring settlements for resupply.

The engagement

When the Russian cavalry advanced close enough, the Prussian hussars charged them. About 450 of them under the command Major Johann Christhop von Lockstadt were able to break through the Russian cavalry and to escape. The rest were overwhelmed. Then, the victorious Russians broke the isolated infantry formed in square.

Courbière was forced to surrender. The engagement had lasted only 30 minutes. Prussian guns had fired only 15 times. The Prussian infantry could not make use of their muskets because of the heavy rain (it had been raining for 48 hours).

Outcome

The Prussians lost 21 officers including Lieutenant-colonel Courbière, Major Johann Heinrich von Enthier of Ruesch Hussars, Kipski commander of the detachment of Bosniaken and about 1,000 men (including 25 Bosniaken, some cavalry and artillery crew) taken prisoners and 5 artillery pieces.

As soon as Platen had heard the first fire, he had sent V. "Standing" Grenadier Battalion (G-V/G-X Hachenberg) and Plettenberg Dragoons to the rescue but it was too late.

Order of Battle

Prussian Order of Battle

Commander-in-chief: Lieutenant-general Courbière

* see: E. Kessel, Das Ende des Siebenjährigen Krieges 1760-1763, op. cit., p. 367, footnotes 143
** see his biography in Sammlung ungedruckter Nachrichten, so die Geschichte der Feldzüge der Preußen von 1740 bis 1779, erläutern, p. 8

Russian Order of Battle

Commander-in-chief: Major-general Gustav Berg

The most probable order of battle is:

  • Converged grenadiers (3 bns for a total of 9 coys or around 1,500 men) under J. Renenkampf
  • Cavalry (3,000 men)

N.B.: some sources mention 5,000 to 6,000 horse (see: Geschichte des siebenjährigen Krieges, op. cit., p. 540)

References

Cartography

Raspe, Plan der Affairen bey Gollnow und Sargelow zwischen den Russis(chen) und Preussisch(en) Truppen im Monath October An(no) 1761, copperplate, Nürnberg XVIII century.

Bibliography

Anthing, J. F.: History of the Campaigns of Count Alexander Suworow-Rymnikski, field-marshal-general in the service of His Imperial Majesty, the Emperor of all the Russias: with a preliminary sketch of his private life and character, London 1799

Massenbach, Christian Karl August Ludwig von: Berichtigungen der Kolberger Kampagne im Jahr 1761 in Militärische Monatsschrift, Bd. IV, Berlin 1786

Gaudi, F. W.: Journal vom Siebenjährigen Kriege, Hrsg von J. Zeichmann, bearb. von M. Löffelholz, Buchholz-Sprotze 1999

Gieraths, G.: Die Kampfhandlungen der Brandenburgische-preussischen Armee, Berlin 1964

Grosser Generalstab: [ http://books.google.com/books?id=JxcLAAAAIAAJ Geschichte des siebenjahrigen Krieges in einer Reihe von Vorlesungen, Prussian Army Grosser Generalstab, t. 5, part. 2], Berlin 1837

Jany, K.: Geschichte der Königlisch Preussischen Armee bis zum Jahre 1807, vol. 2, Berlin 1929

Kessel, E.: Das Ende des Siebenjährigen Krieges 1760-1763, Hrgb. von T. Linder, t. 1, Padeborn – München – Wien – Zürich 2007

Maslowskij, D.: Russkaia armija w siemieletnjuju wojnu, t. III, Moscow 1891

Schuster J. C., Beyträge zur neuern Staats-Und Krieges-Geschichte, Danzig 1762, vol. 13 and 14

Sulicki, K. M.: Der Siebenjährigen Kriegin in Pommern und in den benachbarten Marken. Studie des Detaschmentes und des kleinen Krieges, Berlin 1867

Suvorov, A. W.: Authobiography

Tagenbuch der Unternehmungen des Generallieutenants Dubislav Friedrich von Platen, sowohl in Pohlen als Pommern,vom 9 Aug(ust) 1761.,an, bis zum 14. Nov(ember) 1761 in Sammlung ungedruckter Nachrichten, so Geschichte der Feldzüge der Preussen von 1740 bis 1779 erläutern, Hrsg. von Gottlob Naumann, Dresden 1783, t. 3

Tempelhoff, G. F.: Geschichte des siebenjahrige Krieges in Deutschland, vol. 5, Berlin 1794

Tielcke, J. G.: Beyträge zur Kriegskunst und Geschichte des Kriegs von 1756 bis 1763, t. 5, Freyburg

1761 g. oktiabria 15 – Relacia A. B Buturlina imperatrice Elizawete o uspesznych diejstwijach russkich wojsk w Pomeranij osenju 1761 g. in: Rumiancew P. A. Documenty, under red. Fortunatova P. K., vol. 1, Moscow, 1953

Acknowledgments

Tomasz Karpiński from Gniezno/Poznań for the initial versions of this article