1762-01-02- Combat of Neu Kalen
Prelude to the combat
By January 1 1762, during the last winter operations in Pomerania, the Main Swedish Corps was stationed in Dargun under the command of General Augustin Ehrensvärd. When the latter saw the smoke from burning houses in Malchin, he immediately sent a relief force to rescue Sprengtporten's Corps posted in this town and threatened by Prince Eugen of Württemberg's Prussian Corps. Ehrensvärd personally commanded this relief force; while Lieutenant-Colonel Karl Constantin de Carnall led his vanguard (2,000 foot and 600 horse) which consisted of:
- Infantry (5 bns for a total of about 2,000 foot)
- Cavalry (about 200 men)
- Smålands Horse (100 horse)1
- unidentified hussar unit (100 men) attached to Carnall's vanguard after Ehrensvärd's arrival in Dargun
Belling's small Prussian force did not take part in the Siege of Malchin, but on Prince Eugen von Württemberg's request, Belling retraced his steps from Verchen. On its way, his hussar regiment was reinforced by Lieutenant-Colonel von Schwerin's Brigade. Two battalions (Grenadier Battalion 19/25 Woldeck and Grenadier Battalion 13/16 Kalckstein2) of this brigade were left behind at the bridge of Pisede near Malchin. Belling had 3 bns3 and 10 sqns of hussars4.
In the night of January 1 to 2, Swedish hussars were sent forward to reconnoitre the terrain between Dargun and Neu Kalen. The vanguard was ordered to take possession of Neu Kalen where it was then supposed to wait for the main body. Ehrensvärd also sent a courier to Sprengporten to inform him that reinforcements were on their way and would soon arrive.
Neu Kalen was a small town located at the end of the Peene Valley. On its northern side, the town was surrounded by the Peenearm (present-day Peenekanal); on its eastern and south-eastern sides, by swamps along the shore of the Kummerower Lake; about 1,700 meters to the south of the town a range of hills extended up to the forest covering the small road leading to Malchin. Between Neu Kalen and Malchin the area was well suited for a combat.
Description of Events
On January 2, to prevent the Swedish relief force from reaching Malchin, Belling took his corps and marched on Neu Kalen. However, Carnall arrived at Neu Kalen ahead of him and deployed his infantry south of the town in two columns. Part of Belling Hussars were able to put fire to the town but were forced to retreat by Swedish hussars led by Moritz Diek.
Belling took position on the hill were he planted his field artillery consisting of two 12-pdrs and one howitzer.
Immediately after that, de Carnall launched an assault. The Prussian infantry was deployed in one line on the top of the hills, south of Neu Kalen.
When the Swedish infantry arrived at some 850 meters from the Prussian line, it started to deploy from columns to lines. The five battalions then advanced slowly uphill. Soon a firefight broke out. During this engagement, the Österbotten Battalion and Aminoff’s II./Dals Infantry were pushed back in disorder.
The Swedes finally managed to break the Prussian line when the Wetterhoff Finnish Grenadiers Battalion marched against the Prussian left flank across the wood. On the Prussian left wing, the Swedes were thus able to drive back the Prussians.
The Prussian infantry retired, leaving behind its two 12-pdrs guns mostly because all horses had been shot down. Ehrensvärd ordered the Smålands Horse and hussars to pursue the retreating Prussians. However, the forest and the snow made it almost impossible.
The second Swedish infantry line didn't take part in the engagement.
Belling retreated by Pisede and then to Wendischagen, after that he crossed the Peene and made a junction with the Prussian Corps of Prince von Würtemberg. In this combat, Belling lost about 170 men and 180 prisoners (Kessel gives about 200 men, Sawo - 300).
For his part, de Carnall lost Ensign Planman, who had distinguished himself at Klempenow, killed; and Captain Aminoff, Lieutenant Armfelt from Dals Infantry, Lieutenant Gyldenstolpe from Älvsborgs Infantry, Lieutenant Segercrantz, Lieutenant Hierpewere, Ensign Pall and 3 NCOs from Österbottens Infantry, Ensign Fock from Wetterhoff Finnish Grenadiers Battalion wounded. Furthermore, 36 privates were killed and 126 wounded (Kessel specifies 1 officer and 30 men dead, 2 officers and 100 wounded).
Order of Battle
Prussian Order of Battle
Commander-in-Chief: Colonel Wilhelm Sebastian von Belling
Vanguard and hidden right wing:
- HR8 Belling Hussars (10 sqns)
- IR47 Grabow Fusiliers (2 bns) (totalling between 700 and 800 men5)
- II./Frei-Infanterie Hordt (1 bn)
- Artillery (unknown number of pieces6
- 2 x 12-pndr guns
- 1 x 7-pdr howitzer
- 4 to 6 x regimental guns
Swedish Order ofBattle
Commander of the vanguard: Lieutenant-Colonel Karl Constantin de Carnall
- first line (from right to left):
- Wetterhoff Finnish Grenadiers Battalion (1 bn) under Captain Wetterhoff
- II./Dals Infantry (1 bn) under Captain Karl Fredrick Aminoff
- I./Österbottens Infantry (1 bn) under Baron Karl Otto d'Albedyhll
- I./Dals Infantry (1 bn) under Major von Hertz
- Älvsborgs Infantry (1 bn) under Captain Baron Hugo Hermana von Saltza
- second line
1. Sawo gives no more than 100 horse in Carnall's Corps, Sulicki gives 600 horse
2. Since 1762 both grenadier battalions were vereinig (converged) into a single battalion vide Gierhats, Die Kampfhandlungen p. 67
3. in his book, T. Sawo also counts one grenadier battalion (Woldeck or Kalckstein) and Courbière Freibatalion
4. maybe Dragoon Regiment No. 7
5. Gaudi estimates the strength of Grabow regiment to a total 300 men for the two battalions
6. T. Sawo gives 12 cannons; Belling's journal gives, 5 including 12-pdr guns and 7-pdr howizer
Main sources Gaudi, F. W.:: Journal vom Siebenjährigen Kriege, hrsg von J. Zeichmann, bearb. von M. Löffelholz, Buchholz-Sprotze 1999, vol. X, p. 195-196.
Kessel E.: Das Ende des Siebenjährigen Krieges 1760-1763, Hrgb. von T. Linder, vol. 1, Padeborn – München – Wien – Zürich 2007, p. 412-414.
Säve, Teofron: Sveriges deltagande i Sjuåriga Kriget Åren 1757-1762, Beijers Bokförlagsaktiebolag, Stockholm, 1915, p. 525-530.
Sulicki K. M.: Der Siebenjährigen Kriegin in Pommern und in den benachbarten Marken. Studie des Detaschmentes und des kleinen Krieges, Berlin 1867, p. 665-668.
Tagebuch des Husarenregiments von Belling [in:] „Sammlung ungedruckter Nachrichten, so Geschichte der Feldzüge der Preussen von 1740 bis 1779 erläutern“, Hrsg. von G. Naumann, Dresden 1783, vol.. 3; p. 360.
D.* v: Geschichte des preußisch schwedischen Krieges in Pommern, der Mark und Mecklenburg 1757- 1762: Zugleich als Beitrag zur Geschichte des Siebenjährigen Krieges. Nach gleichzeitigen preußischen und schwedischen, Berlin 1858, p. 169-170.
Gieraths G.: Die Kampfhandlungen der Brandenburgische-preussischen Armee, Berlin 1964.
Jany K.: Geschichte der Königlisch Preussischen Armee bis zum Jahre 1807, vol. 2, Berlin 1929.
Tomasz Karpiński from Gniezno/Poznań for the initial version of this article