1762 - Siege of Schweidnitz

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Hierarchical Path: Seven Years War (Main Page) >> Sieges >> 1762 - Siege of Schweidnitz

The siege lasted from August to October 1762

Introduction

After the storming of Schweidnitz, on October 1 1760, the Austrian troops had reinforced the fortifications and erected additional works to make another surprise attack impossible.

Map

Plate V - Map of the fortress of Schweidnitz in 1762.
Source: Tielke, J.G.: Beytrage zur Kriegs-Kunst und Heschichte des Krieges von 1756 bis 1763, Vol. 4, Freyberg, 1781

Description of Events

This article rapidly becoming quite large has been split into five distinct articles:

  1. Preparations (July 21 to August 7, 1762) describing the state of the fortrees and the arrival of the Prussian army and its initial deployment.
  2. Siege till the battle of Reichenbach (August 8 to 16, 1762) describing the initial siege operations and the battle of Reichenbach.
  3. From the battle of Reichenbach till the beginning of mining operations (August 17 to 22, 1762) describing the continuation of the siege after the Prussian victory at Reichenbach, the Prussian unsuccessful attempts to storm the place and the decision to rely on mining operations to conquer the fortress.
  4. First phase of the mining operarions (August 23 to September 22, 1762) describing the initial mining operations till the direct intervention of Frederick II.
  5. Second phase of the mining operarions (September 23 to October 11, 1762) describing the mining operations from the arrival Frederick II to the capitulation and occupation of the fortress.

Outcome

The Austrian entire loss was 3,552 killed and wounded and some 9,000 men taken prisoners, that of the Prussians 3,033 men. Guasco died in Königsberg before the peace came.

The capture of Schweidnitz was the last operation of the Seven Years' War.

Order of Battle

Austrian Order of Battle

Commander-in-chief: Field-Marshal-Lieutenant Guasco

N.B.: this order of battle gives an overview of the deployment of Guasco's force on a given day, but we do not know the precise date.

The Austrian garrison consisted of converged battalions amalgamating companies from various regiments:

Prussian Order of Battle

Order of battle during the siege

Commander-in-chief: Frederick II

Prussian units besieging Schweidnitz under the command of Lieutenant-general von Tauentzien

N.B.: three regiments had one of their battalions detached in the garrison of Breslau:

Prussian units defending the contravallation entrenchments

Order of battle on October 14 1762

work in progress, some units are still missing

Besides the Bevern's corps and the units sent to reinforce it, there were several Prussian corps surrounding Schweidnitz. Here follows their order of battle on August 14.

References

The article is mainly a condensed translation of:

    • Tielke, J.G.: Beytrage zur Kriegs-Kunst und Heschichte des Krieges von 1756 bis 1763, Vol. 4, Freyberg, 1781, pp. 151-359

A few paragraphs are excerpts from the following books which are now in the public domain:

  • Carlyle T.: History of Friedrich II of Prussia vol. 20
  • Jomini, Henri: Traité des grandes opérations militaires, 2ème édition, 4ème partie, Magimel, Paris: 1811, pp. 215-224
  • Pajol, Charles P. V.: Les Guerres sous Louis XV, vol. V, Paris, 1891, pp. 301-304

Other sources

Archenholz, J. W. von, Geschichte des Siebenjahrigen Krieges in Deutschland, Berlin: 1828

Duffy, Christopher, Fire and Stone: The Science of Fortress Warfare (1660-1860), David & Charles, London: 1975

Fiedler, Siegfried, Geschichte der Grenadiere Friedrichs des Grossen, München 1981

Grosser Generalstab, Die Kriege Friedrichs des Grossen, Hiller, Berlin, 1830-1913

Jany, K., Geschichte des Koniglische Preussische Armee, t. 2, Berlin 18??

Plan der Festung Schweidnitz nebst der Kayserl. Konigl. Attaque A(nn)o 1757 - Collection of Krzysztof Czarnecki

Tempelhoff, G. F., Geschichte des Siebenjahrige Krieges in Deutschland, t. VI, Berlin 1801, pp. 140-155

Acknowledgments

Carlo Bessolo for the initial version of this article

Krzysztof Czarnecki for the Austrian order of battle

Tomasz Karpi?ski (student at the Institute of History, University of Adam Mickiewicz in Pozna?, Poland) for the Prussian order of battle on October 14