1760 - French campaign in West Germany – French offensive in Hesse

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Hierarchical Path: Seven Years War (Main Page) >> Campaigns >> French campaign in western Germany >> French offensive in Hesse

The campaign lasted from May to December 1760. This article describes the third phase of the campaign from July 11 to September 21, 1760.


The general situation at the beginning of the year, the last operations before taking winter-quarters and the sporadic operations while in winter-quarters are described in our article French campaign in western Germany – Winter operations (January 1 to April 28, 1760).

The French manoeuvres to make a junction of their two armies and the combat of Korbach are described in our article French campaign in western Germany – Campaign till the Combat of Corbach (April 29 to July 10, 1760).

French offensive in Hesse

On July 11, Spörcken's Corps was encamped at Mengeringhausen and Twiste; with its light troops at Arolsen.

On July 12

On July 13

Broglie had managed to gain the initiative and he had quite easily made himself master of the lines of the Ohm River. However, he had left enough time to the Allies to entrench their camp and to recall Spörcken's Corps. Now he considered that their positions were too strong to be stormed. Once more the two armies remained motionless and face to face, the French at Korbach, the Allies at Sachsenhausen. Ferdinand's total force was 66,000 men only, while that of the French numbered 130,000; yet such was the difference in the quality of the two armies that the Duc de Broglie dared not act except with extreme caution. His principal object was to envelope Ferdinand's right and cut him off from Westphalia at the line of the Diemel. Ferdinand too planned to threaten the communication of the French with Marburg.

On July 14

  • French
    • Saint-Germain took position between Gembeck and Vasbeck with the Left Reserve to turn the Allied right wing. His position was linked with Broglie's main army by the corps of the Lieutenant-General Marquis de Saint-Pern (Gardes brigades along with the Grenadiers de France and the Grenadiers Royaux) deployed between Mühlhausen and Berndorf. Furthermore, the Carabiniers and the Royal Suédois Brigade occupied a position between Berndorf and the main army.
    • A party (Anhalt Infanterie (3 bns), Royal Bavière Infanterie (3 bns), Bercheny Hussards and some light troops) under General Glaubitz set off from Marburg for Ziegenhain, intending to disturb the communications of the Allies.
  • Allies

On the night of July 14 to 15

  • Allies
    • Having intelligence that Glaubitz's detachment was on its way to Ziegenhain, Ferdinand detached the Hereditary Prince of Brunswick, who had barely recovered from his wound, to take command of 6 bns (Behr (1 bn), Marschalk (1 bn), Mansbach (2 bns) and Hessian 2. Garde (2 bns)) which were lying at Fritzlar to attack Glaubitz whose forces had encamped at Vasbeck for the night. The prince was also instructed to threaten Ziegenhain and to launch a raid against Marburg, where the bakery of the French army was located.

On July 15

  • French
    • Broglie had entrusted the protection of his line of communication to Lieutenant-General Comte Stainville, who had been transferred from the Austrian to the French service. Stainville was at the head of Glaubitz Brigade, 2 dragoon rgts and the Légion Royale. He advanced towards Wildungen to drive Estorff's detachment away from the Eder River.
    • Stainville instructed Glaubitz to take position at Jesberg, halfway between Marburg and Fritzlar. However, Glaubitz decided to make a detour by way of Emsdorf to receive a bread convoy from Marburg.
  • Allies
    • In the morning, the Hereditary Prince marched rapidly southward. On his way, he was joined at Zwesten (present-day Bad Zwesten) by Luckner Hussars and by the 15th Eliot's Light Horse (under Major Erskine), which had just arrived from Great Britain.
    • On reaching the vicinity of Ziegenhain, the Hereditary Prince found that Glaubitz was encamped farther to the west, near the village of Emsdorf. His troops being exhausted by a long march, the Hereditary Prince halted for the night at Treysa where he was joined by Colonel Freytag with a brigade of Hanoverian Jägers arriving from Nieder-Aula.
    • Ferdinand tried to counter the encirclement threatening his right wing by extending his front northwards. Spörcken (approx. 10,000 men) would advance from Landau to Volkmarsen on the Twiste River and take position between this village and Lütersheim, while his light troops under Major von Bülow would occupy Cülte.
    • Lieutenant-General von Wangenheim marched to Freienhagen with 13 bns and 10 sqns (approx. 5,000 men).
    • The Allied garrison (250 men) of the Castle of Dillenburg surrendered as prisoners of war after the castle had been set afire by bombs.

In the night of July 15 to 16, Broglie, still planning to threaten the right flank of the Allies, sent a detachment, which drove back an Allied outpost near Stadtberg.

On July 16

  • Engagement of Emsdorf
    • The Hereditary Prince advanced from Treysa and surprised Glaubitz brigade in the Engagement of Emsdorf. He conducted the operation with such skill that the brigade was surrounded and forced to surrender (General Glaubiz, 180 officers and 2,500 soldiers). Only 262 men on 900 of the Bercheny Hussards were still available for service.
  • Allies (after the engagement of Emsdorf)
    • The Hereditary Prince sent the Volontaires de Prusse and the Hessian Jägerkorps to the vicinity of Frankenau. After a brief engagement, where Major von Trümbach was severely wounded, they took refuge in the forest.
  • French
    • Broglie sent a detachment under M. de Vair to attack an Allied detachment posted in a wood near Höringhausen, in order to get closer to the Allied camp. After driving the Allied detachment out of the wood, M. de Vair immediately erected two redoubts at the point of the wood.
    • Responding to Ferdinand's manoeuvre, Broglie moved Saint-Germain's Left Reserve to the plateau previously occupied by only 2 of his brigades.
    • The French main army was still immobilized at Korbach, awaiting the establishment of a large magazine at Brilon which could take up to 26 days. To put this period to profit, Broglie decided to prepare for the siege of Ziegenhain from where the Allies could threaten his communication with Frankfurt.

In the night of July 16 to 17, Luckner Hussars and 250 jägers reached the vicinity of Marburg but Luckner realised that he could not attack the garrison and retired towards Kirchhain.

On July 17

  • French
    • Saint-Germain's Corps deployed with its left near the escarpment of Arolsen (present-day Bad Arolsen) and its left near a hunting lodge, Saint-Germain establishing his headquarters at Canstein.
    • The light troops of Saint-Germain's Left Reserve where then pushed forward to Mengeringhausen (present-day an urban district of Bad Arolsen), on the road from Wolfhagen to Marsberg, with detachment at Helsen (present-day an urban district of Bad Arolsen) and Kappel (probably Capl appearing in an old map of Waldeck, south of Arolsen, in present-day maps there is a "Kappelgraben", a little creek or a drainage ditch near a homestead that might be related to this location), and even on the road to Kassel.
    • Broglie sent M. de Stainville forward to clean the region between the Eder and the Schwalm from Allied light troops. When he was informed of the defeat of Glaubitz, Broglie redirected Stainville to reinforce Marburg.
    • Prince Xavier closely followed Stainville, was instructed to advance on Frankenau, Gemünden/Wohra and Kirchhain by Asel and Bringhausen.
    • In the evening Stainville reached Wetter.
  • Allies
    • Three corps were encamped between Landau and Volkmarsen.
    • French light troops attacked the picquets of Granby's headquarters. The 20th Kingsley's Foot and the 25th Edinburgh Regiment of Foot (aka Home's Foot) immediately joined the picquets and repulsed the French light troops.
    • In the evening, the Hereditary Prince at the head of his cavalry of arrived in the vicinity of Marburg.

On July 18

  • French
    • At 7:00 a.m., Prince Xavier finally reached Frankenau after a very difficult march. He then reached Gemünden/Wohra in an attempt to intercept the corps of the Hereditary Prince. However, he soon realised that the Allies were too far ahead to be intercepted, and decided to turn back.
    • Broglie inspected the camp of the Grenadiers de France and the Royal-Suédois and Castellas brigades. He ordered the establishment of advanced posts on the heights of Niedermarsberg and Obermarsberg which were reinforced by Royal Cavalerie. He also inspected the Left Reserve and reconnoitred up to Arolsen.
  • Allies
    • In the morning, the Hereditary Prince was joined by his infantry, but despite his success at Emsdorf, he was unable to accomplish his raid against Marburg because Stainville's Corps was already on the march towards this place. His detachment retired towards Treysa. From there, it retired by way of Fritzlar towards Bergheim. The Hereditary Prince then ceded command of this corps (approx. 3,700 men) to the Prince of Anhalt and personally rejoined the main army.
    • The Allies evacuated Paderborn where a party of French soon entered.
    • Arriving from Ireland, the 4th Regiment of Horse (aka “The Black Horse”) under Colonel Honeywood joined the Allied army.

On July 19

  • French
    • Prince Xavier marched to Rosenthal where he received instructions to collaborate with Stainville to drive the Allied light troops from between the Eder and Schwalm rivers. Prince Xavier then marched to Wildungen (present-day Bad Wildungen).
  • Allies
    • The Hereditary Prince rejoined the Allied Main Army.

On July 1?, Wangenheim detached 5,500 men (8 bns and 6 sqns) under Major-General von Oheimb from his camp near Freienhagen to Landau.

On July 20

  • French
    • Saint-Germain's Left Reserve advanced towards Mengeringhausen, while Saint-Pern's troops, which were encamped between Berndorf and Mühlhausen, advanced on Ober-Waroldern.
    • The Chevalier de Muy took command of the Left Reserve because Saint-Germain had resigned from his command after his continuous disputes with Broglie. MM. de Voyer and de Luc, who had previously seconded Saint-Germain were also removed from command.

On July 21

  • French
    • Prince Xavier's Right Reserve reached Ellershausen, south-west of Frankenau.
    • Light troops under Lieutenant-Colonel d'Origny, which had been roaming as far as Paderborn, engaged and annihilated part of Scheither Light Troops, belonging to Fersen's detachment, near Salzkotten.
  • Allies
    • Wangenheim followed Oheimb's detachment with the rest of his corps and took position near Volkhardinghausen.
    • Kielmansegg (approx. 6,000 men) was posted near Nieder-Waroldern, to the south-west of Wangenheim's positions.
    • After all these detachments, Ferdinand's main army still numbered some 35,000 men.

On July 22

  • Allies
    • The Hereditary Prince recaptured the Castle of Dillenburg, taking the garrison prisoners.
    • Allied jägers and hussars harassed French convoys. Near Giessen, Captain Bülow at the head of a party of Hanoverian Jägers captured a convoy of 300 wagons transporting provisions and ammunition.

On July 23

  • French
    • Prince Xavier's Right Reserve marched from Ellershausen against Wildungen and made a junction with Stainville's Corps, forcing Luckner, who was still posted south of the Eder River near Auraff, to precipitously recross the Eder. The French then formed on the Heights of Bergheim.
    • At Wasbeck, Broglie took personal command of a force consisting of Belzunce, Diesbach and Orléans brigades; Beaufremont Dragons and Apchon Dragons; and the Volontaires de Flandre and Volontaires de Vair.
  • Allies
    • The hospitals were respectively moved from Münden to Minden, and from Kassel to Münden.

The two armies were facing each other. On the French side, Prince Xavier's Corps took position at Frankenberg threatening Kassel; Stainville's Corps at Marburg; the main army extended to the left up to the Diemel. M. de Muy at Mengeringhausen, occupying the Defile of Stadtberg. On the Allied side, the army was distributed in several divisions from the Eder on the left to Warburg and along the Diemel on the right with the main concentration near Sachsenhausen.

In the night of July 23 to 24, Ferdinand sent all superfluous wagons and carts towards Kassel, as he had previously done with his bakery.

On July 24

  • French
    • With the intent to force Ferdinand out of his advantageous positions, Broglie subdivided his army into 3 corps:
      • 15,000 men under Prince Xavier were detached towards Hersfeld and Fulda on the left of the Allied army
      • a considerable corps under the Comte de Broglie (not to be confused with the commander-in-chief: the Duc de Broglie) and the Comte de Vair against the Allied right to cut off Spörcken's Corps from the Allied Main Army
      • the French main army under the Duc de Broglie advancing towards Paderborn with the real intention of seizing the defiles of Münden
    • The French occupied Fritzlar. Broglie's main body advanced on Wetterburg while M. de Closen reached Landau and the Chevalier de Muy with the Left Reserve seized Volkmarsen.
    • Broglie decided to attack Spörcken's Corps at Volkmarsen. He instructed General Comte Chabo, who was posted with his detachment at Kohlgrund on the French extreme left wing, to cross the Twiste River at Welda and to attack Spörcken's right flank. Meanwhile, de Muy with the Left Reserve should advance by way of Schmillinghausen to Cülte; and the Maréchal de camp Comte de Broglie (the maréchal's brother) should march with 2 infantry brigades, 1 cavalry brigade, 2 dragoon rgts and some light troops by way of Arolsen against the front and left flank of Spörcken's Corps. During this time, the rest of Broglie's Army would make demonstrations against Ferdinand's main army and the other Allied corps.
    • As planned, the French main army advanced along its entire front, and cannonaded the Allied positions. Clausen advanced against Landau with a detachment to fix Kielmansegg's, Wangenheim's and Oheimb's corps. Meanwhile, Chabo had crossed the Twiste River at Welda and, covered by the forest, had turned Spörcken's right flank. Chabo seized the Kugels-Berg, east of Volkmarsen and de Muy drove the Légion Britannique out of Cülte after a stubborn resistance, and occupied Volkmarsen. The Comte de Broglie overwhelmed the Allied outposts near Wetterburg.
  • Allies
    • Spörcken managed to hold his position until evening, even though the French brought up several artillery pieces. However, there was little hope of a successful outcome on the next day, and if Spörcken's Corps was defeated, the right flank of the Allies could be completely encircled. Furthermore, the left flank was also threatened. Accordingly, Ferdinand decided to retreat.
    • Ferdinand sent a reinforcement (6 bns, 4 sqns) to the Prince of Anhalt, who was still posted near Königshagen. He then placed this corps once more under the command of the Hereditary Prince.
    • Luckner's detachment recrossed to the south bank of the Eder near Fritzlar. Luckner took post there with the Luckner Hussars, the Ruesch Hussars, the Volontaires de Prusse, the Hanoverian Jägers, the Hessian Jägerkorps and Stockhausen Freikorps. From this position in the flank of the French army, he could keep Ferdinand informed about all movements of the French on that wing.

During the night of July 24 to 25

  • Allies
    • Spörcken retired on Wolfhagen to avoid encirclement. He was harassed by the French corps under the Comte de Broglie.
    • Ferdinand detached the Hereditary Prince to reinforce Spörcken's Corps.
    • Spörcken's Corps spent the night under arms near a narrow defile between Fischbach (probably present-day Viesebeck) and Wolfhagen, then Spörcken sent his cavalry in a wide turning movement of about 20 km around a hill. His infantry then passed the defile but before the Allied cavalry could join it, the rearguard (Post Infantry (1 bn), Estorff Infantry (1 bn) and 400 picquets) was attacked by French horse and foot. The Allied rearguard managed to gain a rising ground where it held for 2.5 hours until the arrival of Spörcken's cavalry (7 Hanoverian sqns and 2 Hessian sqns under Breitenbach). This cavalry attacked the French in flank and put them into confusion. During this action, the French lost about 1,000 men, the Comte de Vair was killed and the Comte de Belzunce and M. de Comeyras wounded. The Allied lost 200 men.
    • At 4:00 a.m., Ferdinand was forced by the superiority of the French Army to retire in six columns from Sachsenhausen to Wolfhagen.

On July 25

  • French
    • At daybreak, Broglie's Corps followed up the retiring Allied army and harassed its rearguard.
    • At 10:00 a.m., Broglie reached the heights of Sachsenhausen with his vanguard and established his army on the Heights of Freienhagen while de Muy's Corps took position north of Viesebeck between Volkmarsen and Marburg. He then occupied the Heights of Lütersheim before taking position at Landau.
    • Prince Xavier sent light troops to the north bank of the Eder as soon as he was informed of the retreat of the corps of the Hereditary Prince.
    • M. de Chabo crossed the Erpe and took position on the heights in front of Ehringen.
  • Allies
    • Spörcken retired towards Wolfhagen, closely followed by Chabo, de Muy and the Comte de Broglie. Early in the morning near Viesebeck, General von Wangenheim, at the head of the Hessian Toll Infantry and a Hanoverian bn, came to the assistance of Spörcken's rearguard, surprising the leading French troops and capturing 300 prisoners.
    • In the morning, Ferdinand's Army encamped between Wolfhagen and Altenstädt.
    • The corps of the Hereditary Prince took position between Altenstädt and Naumburg.
    • Oheimb's and Wangenheim's corps encamped near Elmarshausen, to the north-east of Wolfhagen.
    • Kielmansegg continued his march towards Kassel with 7 bns (Laffert, Halberstadt, Schulenburg, Dreves, Bock and the 2 bns of Prinz Carl), 6 sqns ( Grothaus, Hodenberg, Heise) and 9 heavy artillery pieces to occupy the entrenched camp on the Kratzenberg, west of Kassel. He encamped there facing southwards and occupied the heights of Weissenstein on his right flank.
    • Kassel was already garrisoned by 2 Hanoverian converged grenadier bns, the Hessian Grenadier Battalion Buttlar and the Hessian Garrison Battalion Kutzleben under Major-General von Zastrow.
    • Ferdinand's new positions near Wolfhagen were exposed to encirclement on both flanks, and the narrow paths through the Habichtswald lay close behind it.

Battle of Warburg and capture of Kassel

Map of the surroundings of Warburg.
Source: Kriege Friedrichs des Grossen, volume 12 by the German Grosser Generalstab

On July 26

  • French
    • Broglie chased Allied troops from the plain of Wolfhagen. De Muy arrived soon after and took position at Istha while the Comte de Broglie (not to be confused with the duc) took position in front of Wenigenhasungen.
  • Allies
    • Ferdinand resumed his retreat northwards. The corps of the Hereditary Prince (now reinforced to 21 bns, 16 sqns and some light troops) covered the retreat. For a long time, this corps disputed the village of Ippinghausen and neighbouring Weidelsberg to Broglie's vanguard. Meanwhile, Ferdinand's main army marched in six columns across the forested mountains west of Kassel.
    • In the evening, the main army encamped between Hohenkirchen and Frommershausen a few km north of Kassel. Spörcken's Corps took position on the right wing near Immenhausen; Wangenheim's Corps on the left wing near Cassel. The Hereditary Prince retired up to Obervellmar. Forward detachments posted at Wilhelmsthal and Heckershausen, blocked the access through the forests ahead of the front. Major-General von Bischhausen occupied Weissenstein with a detachment (2nd Garde, Mansbach Infantry and 200 foot from the Hessian Jägerkorps) to maintain communication with Kielmansegg's Corps near Kassel.
    • Luckner slowly retired to Nieder-Zwehren, south of Kassel, with the Luckner Hussars and some jägers.

If Broglie now pressed energetically, he could drive the Allies back eastwards behind the Fulda, make himself master of Hesse and, at the same time, cut off their line of communication with Westphalia.

Voices from the Past
On July 26, 1760, the Allies retire from Istha

On July 27

  • French
    • Broglie's main army moved to a new encampment between Istha and Valhorn.
    • Prince Xavier's Right Reserve was at Zierenberg and advanced up to Breitenbach and Naumburg.
    • De Muy's Left Reserve marched to Volkmarsen.
    • Stainville's Corps was instructed to encircle Ziegenhain (present-day Schwalmstadt) with his dragoon rgts and the Légion Royale.
    • Broglie's manoeuvres indicated that he expected Duke Ferdinand to retire towards the Diemel River. Broglie wanted to prevent him from crossing this river and thus cut the Allies from Paderborn and Lippstadt.
    • Around 5:00 p.m., Broglie went to the heights of Dörnberg to observe Ferdinand's new camp north of Kassel. He could see that the Allies were striking their tents and marching in the direction of Westuffeln, probably on their way to Warburg or Liebenau. Broglie sent orders to de Muy to march from Volkmarsen to Stadtberg to prevent the Allies from crossing of the Diemel River. Meanwhile, the Chasseurs de Fischer were sent to Warburg.
  • Allies
    • Ferdinand decided to abandon his dangerous positions near Kassel, fearing that the French could easily cut him from his magazines and fortresses in Westphalia. His army retired further north to Immenhausen while the Hereditary Prince was at Obervellmar.
    • In the evening, Ferdinand's Army encamped near Calden, while Wangenheim took position at Mönchehof. A detachment of 300 foot and 50 horse was also sent to occupy the Castle of Trendelburg.
    • Kielmansegg was posted under Kassel; Luckner near Zwehren; and Spörcken remained at Westuffeln.
    • During the retreat of the last days, the Allied rearguard had been incessantly and severely engaged.

On July 28

  • French
    • in the morning, Broglie sent the Lieutenant-General Marquis de Saint-Pern with the 12 bns of the Grenadiers de France and Grenadiers Royaux and the Volontaires de Flandre to Volkmarsen.
    • Broglie also detached the Maréchal de Camp de la Morlière with the Alsace and Vaubécourt infantry brigades to occupy the passages over the Diemel River at Warburg, Liebenau and the Castle of Trendelburg.
    • The Chevalier de Muy, who had already reached Essentho, received new orders to march towards Warburg on the north bank of the Diemel.
    • Prince Xavier marched on Kassel.
  • Allies
    • Major von Bülow occupied the crossing over the Diemel at Liebenau with the Légion Britannique, the Hesse-Kassel Hussars and a brigade of Hanoverian Jägers.
    • It became evident to Ferdinand that either Kassel or Westphalia had to be abandoned, he detached a force under General Kielmansegg to strengthen the garrison of Kassel and resolved to attack de Muy.

In the night of July 28 to 29, de Muy set off from Essentho and marched in the direction of Warburg.

On July 29

  • French
    • De Muy crossed the Diemel at Stadtberg at the head of the Left Reserve. In the evening, he reached Warburg and established his camp between this town and Ossendorf, facing north-eastwards. Morlière's detachment remained on the south bank of the Diemel. From these positions de Muy was cutting off communication of the Allies with Westphalia.
  • Allies
    • Bülow's detachment bumped into the Chasseurs de Fischer, who were marching towards Warburg.
    • When Ferdinand was informed that de Muy had crossed the Diemel at Stadtberg and was marching towards Warburg, he decided to send Spörcken's Corps forward.
    • At 4:00 p.m. Spörcken marched from Kalle to Liebenau. Spörcken's Corps (14 bns including 3 bns from Scheither's detachment, 14 sqns and 22 field artillery pieces) then crossed the Diemel between Liebenau and Trendelburg. In the evening, Spörcken's Corps reached Körbecke, a few km east of de Muy's camp.
    • In the evening, the Hereditary Prince followed with his corps (including 2 British Grenadiers bns, 2 Highlanders bns, the 2 sqns of the 2nd (The Queen's) Regiment of Dragoon Guards under Mostyn and the 2 sqns of the 1st (Royal) Dragoons aka Conway ).

In the night of July 29 to 30, Major-General von Scheither was sent to support Bülow's detachment with 3 Hessian grenadier bns and 4 heavy artillery pieces. He took position on the heights along the south bank of the Diemel near Liebenau.

On July 30

  • French
    • The French Main Army, moving towards Kassel, was encamped: his right in front of the village of Ehlen, his left towards Kaplenberg (unidentified location) and Zierenberg. The grenadiers, the Gendarmerie, the Gardes Brigade, 3 infantry brigades and the Prince de Robecq's Corps advanced on the village of Dörnberg. The grenadier and Robecq's Corps then attacked the village of Weimar, driving an Allied detachment out.
    • Prince Xavier made himself master of the Allied outpost at Weissenstein. He had sent a column by way of Nieder-Zwehren and another across the forested hills towards the cascade of Winterkasten. Bischhausen's detachment retired and joined the corps of the Prince of Anhalt.
    • De Muy's Corps was left dangerously isolated at Warburg. The Chasseurs de Fischer were posted in the town of Warburg.
    • De Muy informed Broglie that an Allied corps (15,000 men) was encamped on the left bank of the Diemel, between Liebenau and Körbecke. Broglie then sent grenadiers and chasseurs bns to occupy the villages of Weimar and Fürstenwald and to observe the Allied army.
  • Allies
    • Near Kassel, Kielmansegg, using his artillery posted in the entrenched camp on the Kratzenberg, drove back French light troops. Luckner moved closer to Wehlheiden.
    • Ferdinand's main army remained under arms all day.
    • In the morning, the Hereditary Prince joined Spörcken's Corps with 10 bns, 8 sqns and 4 field artillery pieces. Spörcken was not formally subordinated to the Hereditary Prince, but in reality the latter exercised the decisive influence. Soon after his arrival, the Hereditary Prince rode to the Desenberg. He knew the region well because he had had his winter-quarters in Warburg during the previous winter. From the Desenberg, he reconnoitred the positions of the French and decided to attack them. He discussed this with Spörcken and informed Ferdinand of his intentions. Ferdinand answered the same day, giving him his authorisation. After another detailed reconnaissance in the afternoon, the plan of attack was determined. As soon as Ferdinand was informed of Broglie's fault, he prepared his own army.
    • The combined force (24 bns and 22 sqns) of Spörcken and of the Hereditary Prince encamped between Liebenau and Körbecke with their left on the Diemel River, facing west, thus securing a passage on the river.
    • The Prince of Anhalt (13 bns, 8 sqns, 6 field artillery pieces) replaced the Hereditary Prince in his former positions near Obervellmar, supported by Bischhausen's detachment at Weissenstein.
    • In the evening, Kielmansegg received orders from Ferdinand to retire to Münden, to avoid exposing Kassel to an attack by the French. Kielmansegg was also instructed to bring with him the provisions stored in the magazines of Kassel. Duke Ferdinand had decided to evacuate Hesse.
    • At 11:00 p.m., Ferdinand's main army marched off in 6 columns to Liebenau to pass the Diemel and thus support the Hereditary Prince.

On July 31

  • Battle of Warburg
    • The combined forces of the Hereditary and Ferdinand fell on the isolated corps of de Muy and defeated it in the Battle of Warburg.
    • In the evening, de Muy retreated to the heights behind Volkmarsen where his troops lay all night on their arms.
    • In the evening, Granby passed the Diemel with 10 British bns and 12 sqns and encamped on the heights before Welda.
  • French
    • In the morning, Prince Xavier marched with his corps in several columns by way of Wahlershausen and Kirchditmold towards Kassel and the Allied entrenched camp on the Kratzenberg.
    • At 10:00 a.m., Broglie was informed that that Ferdinand's Army had marched during the night, but he did not know which direction it had taken. Therefore, he immediately gave orders to Saint-Pern, who was posted near Volkmarsen with the Grenadier Corps (Grenadiers de France, the Grenadiers Royaux and 8 artillery pieces), to march to the support of de Muy's isolated corps. Furthermore, Lieutenant-General Comte Guerchy was instructed to advance on Warburg with 3 infantry brigades to reinforce de Muy. Broglie then marched to the ford at Wolfhagen. However, both corps were unable to reach Warburg in time.
    • At 11:00 a.m., Prince Xavier attacked the redoubts and entrenchments defending the Allied camp at Kassel. Around noon, the Saxons along with La Marck Brigade drove Kielmansegg's Corps out of its defensive positions. The Volontaires du Hainaut, Volontaires d'Austrasie and the dragoons then pursued Kielmansegg.
    • In the evening, Prince Xavier occupied Kassel, where the he captured large supplies and a field hospital. Hesse was thus laid at the mercy of the French.
    • Broglie also pushed a strong detachment of cavalry under the Prince de Condé across the Fulda River near Wolfsanger to cut the line of retreat of Kielmansegg's Corps, while another part of the French cavalry crossed the river downstream of Cassel and followed Kielmansegg's retreating corps up to Sandershausen.
    • At 7:00 p.m., Broglie entered Kassel, where he received a message sent by de Muy around 10:00 a.m., informing him that he was being attacked by an Allied force estimated at 40,000 men.
  • Allies (after the Battle of Warburg)
    • Soon after their victory at Warburg, the Allies learned that General Count Kielmansegg had evacuated Kassel.
    • Kielmansegg retired up to Münden. He sent detachments of light troops towards Bursfelde and Witzenhausen. His corps had suffered very little losses.

After the Battle of Warburg, Duke Ferdinand concentrated his army in the vicinity of Warburg on the heights between Ossendorf and the Desenberg. Small detachments occupied the various passages on the Diemel River from Warburg to Trendelburg. Ferdinand then took up a position along the Diemel from Trendelburg to Stadtberg, so as to seal up every passage over the river.

Manoeuvres and counter-manoeuvres

The first half of August was marked by continuous rain.

On August 1

  • French
    • At 3:00 a.m., Broglie received a second message from de Muy, informing him of the defeat suffered at Warburg, of his retreat across the Diemel River and of his new deployment near Volkmarsen.
    • Fearing for Korbach, Broglie marched with his main army in five columns from Zierenberg to to Wettesingen, encamping on the heights between Ober-Meiser and Breuna, facing the Diemel River. The headquarters were established at Ober-Listingen.
    • Prince Xavier crossed the Fulda at Kassel and marched on Münden, establishing his camp at Lutterberg.
    • In the afternoon, Prince Xavier sent 2 detachments to make themselves masters of Münden.
    • De Muy marched to Wolfhagen.
  • Allies
    • When Granby realised that he was now facing Broglie's main army, he decided to retire to the north bank of the Diemel River.
    • Ferdinand instructed Kielmansegg to retire to Beverungen on the west bank of the Weser River.
    • Kielmansegg evacuated Münden as Prince Xavier was reaching Lutterberg.

On August 2

  • French
    • Broglie sent a corps (grenadiers, chasseurs, Carabiniers, 5 cavalry brigades from the left wing, 12 pieces, Turpin Hussards, Volontaires du Dauphiné, Volontaires Étrangers de Clermont Prince) under the command of the Prince de Condé to dislodge the Légion Britannique from the woods on the left of his army. Saint-Pern covered Condé on the left and Guerchy (3 brigades) was in support. The Légion Britannique abandoned the woods without opposing resistance.
    • Broglie sent orders to de Muy to detach Castries towards Korbach to escort a bread convoy.
    • Prince Xavier marched from his encampment at Lutterberg at the head of the grenadiers and chasseurs of his corps and made himself master of the town of Münden by a coup de main, taking the 350 men of the garrison prisoners of war. The Volontaires d'Austrasie entered the place through a door while other troops scaled the walls.
    • Prince Xavier sent Vogüé towards Göttingen and sent light troops on the Werra.
  • Allies
    • Kielmansegg marched towards Göttingen.
    • At Welda, Granby struck his tents and his corps lay all night on their arms.

Meanwhile, on the Lower Rhine, M. de Castellas had been left in command of the Fortress of Wesel. He used M. de Cambefort to launch raids on the right bank of the Rhine to disrupt communications of the towns of Münster and Bentheim with East Frisia and the Netherlands. Cambrefort often had to fight Scheither's Corps.

On August 3

  • French
    • The Navarre and Auvergne brigades were placed to the right and left of the cavalry of the main army.
    • Chabo's Corps, reinforced with cavalry, was sent to Rhoden.
    • Prince Xavier passed the defiles of Münden and encamped at Mielenhausen.
    • On the Lower Rhine, M. de Cambefort, who had been detached from the garrison of Wesel, made himself master of the town of Bentheim which was garrisoned by only 45 men.
  • Allies
    • In the morning, Granby recrossed the Diemel River and joined the main army at Warburg.
    • On the right wing, Major-General von Breidenbach secured the road to Westphalia and the magazines at Paderborn with 4 bns, 4 sqns, a few heavy artillery pieces and about 4,000 light troops, who were posted near Wrexen, Westheim and Stadtberg.
    • Kielmansegg’s Division (11 bns, 10 sqns), which had marched by way of Uslar, reached Beverungen on the west bank of the Weser, to observe the movements of the French in the area of Münden, in conjunction with a detachment under Major-General Luckner, posted on the east bank at Güntersen, some 13 km west of Göttingen.
    • Luckner’s Corps consisted of:

After taking these dispositions, Ferdinand considered that the French could not cross the Diemel in a frontal attack. However, Broglie had no such intentions, he only planned to make some demonstrations against the wings of the Allied army. His real objective was to invade Hanover and thereby forced the Allies out of their strong positions. Once this accomplished, he planned to cross the Diemel unopposed and to redirect his attention against Westphalia.

On August 4

  • French
    • Broglie, informed that an Allied force was in Stadtberg (present-day Marsberg on the Diemel river), detached Vaubécourt and Alsace brigades under M. de Wurmser to reinforce Castries who was redirected on Stadtberg. Furthermore, Broglie instructed de Muy to march on Stadtberg with his corps. The 2 infantry brigades sent as reinforcements joined Castries near Stadtberg.
    • The French drove Breidenbach’s detachment out of Stadtberg and Westheim, thus securing two important crossings into Westphalia.
    • Meanwhile, Broglie marched with the main army from Ehrsten and Zierenberg to Oberelsungen where he would remain until August 22.
    • Prince Xavier marched to Dransfled near Göttingen with his corps (15 bns, 10 grenadier coys, 12 sqns and a large number of light troops including 14 dragoon and hussar sqns). He established advanced posts at Northeim and Einbeck. In the following days, he moved closer to Göttingen where he would remain until August 11, to better cover his line of supply from Münden
  • Allies
    • Major-General Luckner retired to Beverungen by way of Hardegsen

On August 5

  • French
    • De Muy marched from Volkmarsen towards Stadtberg with his corps and, at 6:00 a.m., made a junction with Castries who had been sent forward with 6,000 men. De Muy took his quarters on the Heights of Erlinghausen where he would remain until August 21.
    • Fischer chased an Allied detachment from its advanced post at Westheim.
    • The headquarters of the main army were at Oberlistingen, it encamped upon the heights along the Diemel opposite the Allied positions which extended from Scherfeld (probably present-day Scherfede) on the right to Übelngönne on the left.
  • Allies
    • An Allied detachment had taken position on a nearby height, the French sent 2 bns of grenadiers and chasseurs against it, forcing it to retire on Essentho where it joined the Légion Britannique. This Allied corps then retired to Dalheim Abbey.
    • Ferdinand was forced to send additional troops under Lieutenant-General Wutginau to reinforce Breidenbach near Holtheim, to cover his right wing. Detachments guarded the crossings at Dalheim, Scherfede and Wrexen.
    • Major von Bülow was posted near Meerhof and Essentho with the Légion Britannique to face Lieutenant-General de Muy. Overall, Wutginau was at the head of 15 bns, 20 sqns, 10 heavy artillery pieces and 4,000 light troops, including the Légion Britannique.
    • General Kielmansegg was still posted near Beverungen on the Weser.

Thus, the Allied Main Army was encamped near Warburg; while the French had de Muy at Erlinghausen near Stadtberg and Castries at Wolfhagen to cover the convoys. Both armies then spent most of August observing each other. Broglie first tried to operate on his left and to threaten the communications of the Allies with Lippstadt, laying siege to Ziegenhain.

On August 6

  • French
    • M. de Stainville laid siege to Ziegenhain (present-day Schwalmstadt).
    • Fearing for his communication with Marburg, Broglie sent 600 men of the Chasseurs de Fischer to Bredlar and Madfeld, replacing them at Westheim with Turpin Hussards. Furthermore, the Grenadiers de France and the Grenadiers Royaux were posted at Rhoden between the main army and de Muy's Corps.
    • The Volontaires de Saint-Victor were scouting the banks of the Weser between the Diemel and the Fulda.
  • Allies
    • Ferdinand reinforced the garrison of Münster.
    • Luckner retired from Harste to Moringen.
    • The Hereditary Prince at the head of about 19,000 men encamped behind the village of Meerhof. His light troops then forced the French detachment occupying Essentho to retire on Stadtberg.

On 7 August, Luckner marched from Nienover, 11 km east of Beverungen, to occupied the road leading to Hanover by way of Northeim.

On August 8

On August 9, the French Volontaires de Wandersmesch, who were defending the bridge of Salzderhelden on the Leine, abandoned their post and retired to Northeim.

Voices from the Past
On August 10, 1762, two Hessian hussars were buried at Gottsbüren

On August 10

  • Allies
    • A French party of 500 horse and foot drove part of Luckner's Hussars out of Northeim. However, Allied jägers reinforced Luckner's Hussars and together they forced one of the gates of Northeim and stormed the place. In this action, the French lost 150 men killed; and 11 officers, 300 foot and 30 dragoons taken prisoners and conducted to Hameln. Luckner was able to transfer the content of the magazine in Northeim to Einbeck.
    • The Hessian Colonel von Donop with 8 bns and 10 sqns of the Allied left wing attacked and dislodged the Volontaires de Saint-Victor (2,000 men), who had been detached into the woods of Sababurg to protect Broglie's line of communication with Prince Xavier. The French lost 500 men killed, wounded or taken prisoners; and 3 guns.
    • Kielmansegg had now been reinforced and was threatening Prince Xavier's positions.
  • French
    • The Volontaires de Saint-Victor took refuge into Münden.
    • Prince Xavier then retreated from Esebeck to Mielenhausen with his corps, evacuating Göttingen.

On August 11

  • French
    • The Allied garrison of the Castle of Ziegenhain (700 men) surrendered to M. de Stainville as prisoners of war. In the town the French took possession of a large flour magazine.
    • The Volontaires de Wandersmesch surrendered to an Allied detachment.

In the night of August 11 to 12, Prince Xavier's Corps marched to Imbsen where it was reinforced with 2 infantry brigades sent by Broglie. French light troops retired on Varlosen and Oberscheden.

On August 12

  • Allies
    • Lieutenant-General Wangenheim assumed command of the division posted near Beverungen, replacing Kielmansegg.
  • French
    • Saint-Victor reached Imbsen.

On August 15

  • Allies
    • After having crossed the Weser, Wangenheim’s Division reached Uslar, keeping constant contact with Luckner’s detachment
  • French
    • Broglie drove back the Allied advanced posts.

On August 19 (???) on the Lower Rhine, an Allied force appeared in front of Bentheim and laid siege to the castle.

On August 20, both armies were still deployed along each bank of the Diemel

  • French
    • Broglie ordered the Corps of de Muy to Volkmarsen to support Prince Xavier.
    • A large body of French tried to pass the Weser near Buschfelde (probably Bodenfelde) to support Prince Xavier but it was stopped by Wangenheim near Uslar.

On August 21

  • French
    • De Muy's Corps marched eastwards from Erlinghausen to Volkmarsen and Niederelsungen to get closer to the left wing of the main army, leaving a detachment at Stadtberg and in the outposts of Meerhoff and Ossendorf.
    • French light troops attacked Scheither's Corps but were repulsed.
    • Prince Xavier advanced to Meesen (unidentified location) with the right wing reserve, the light troops of his right wing entering into Göttingen.
  • Allies

On the night of August 21 to 22

  • French
    • Broglie broke his camp and marched in seven columns by his right with the main army. He encamped with his right at Mariendorff, his left at Hohenkirchen and the Fulda in his rear.
    • Saint-Victor took post at Udenhausen with his vanguard reinforced with Turpin Hussards.
    • The Prince de Robecq's Corps took post at Grebenstein, Bercheny Hussards at Elsen; and the Chasseurs de Fischer at Dörnberg.

On August 22

  • Allies
    • Ferdinand sent Lieutenant-General von Breidenbach with 4 bns and 4 sqns from Wrexen to follow the French up to Breuna.
    • Ferdinand sent the Hereditary Prince with 12 bns and 10 sqns from Warburg
    • The Hereditary Prince crossed the Diemel and advanced on Broglie's left flank, his vanguard reaching Zierenberg. His light troops engaged a French detachment (Royal Dragons, Thianges Dragons and part of the Chasseurs de Fischer) under M. de Travers, which had been left at Oberelsungen to observe the Allies' movements. The Allied light troops were soon supported by the Hereditary Prince at the head of the 2nd North British Dragoons (Scot Greys) and the 6th Inniskilling Dragoons and the British grenadiers. The French were finally driven back with considerable loss and took refuge into Zierenberg.
    • 2 bns of the Légion Britannique were sent to cover the town of Osnabrück.
    • The French garrison (3 officers and 85 men) of the Castle of Bentheim, under the command of M. de Rheinhardt, surrendered to Major de Wense as prisoners of war.
  • French
    • Broglie ordered de Muy to march from Stadtberg and take position closer to the main army.
    • De Muy's Corps arrived in the woods of Wilhelmstadt, his right behind the village of Mönchehof, his left at Vellmar and his headquarters at Heckershausen. His light troops occupied the Castle of Sababurg, Udenhausen, Grebenstein, Calden and Dörnberg.
    • Lieutenant-General Comte Stainville evacuated Corbach and marched with his corps to Frankenberg, located 25 km to the south, to cover the line of communication of the main army with Frankfurt.
  • Engagement at Ober-Elsungen
    • The vanguard of the Hereditary Prince caught up with de Muy’s rearguard near Ober-Elsungen and drove it back towards Weimar, where de Muy’s main body was already encamped.
    • The main body of the Hereditary Prince reached Breuna where the vanguard rejoined it.

On August 23

  • French
    • Broglie was informed that the Allies were still holding their positions at Warburg and that the Hereditary Prince had established posts up to Zierenberg.
    • The main army arrived at Immenhausen
  • Allies
    • Duke Ferdinand suspected that Broglie had retired to Kassel to be able to reinforce Prince Xavier, who was posted near Münden, for an offensive in Hanover. However, by doing so, Broglie would weaken his main army even more, and Ferdinand intended to take advantage of this favourable circumstance to attack him at Kassel. But if he met difficulties with this attack, he considered to cross the Weiser and attack Prince Xavier in the Einbeck area as he advanced towards Hanover.
    • For these reasons, Ferdinand led his army downstream along the Diemel and took position between Liebenau and Trendelburg. He encamped at Bühne near Borgentreich
    • Ferdinand also instructed Wutginau and Breidenbach to rejoin the main army with their detachments. Only small detachments under Colonel von Fersen and Lieutenant-General von Hardenberg were left near Haaren and Warburg.
    • Major-General von Zastrow marched from the left wing with 3 bns and 4 sqns towards Beverungen.

On August 24

  • French
    • In the evening, Broglie sent 4 infantry brigades, 3 cavalry brigades and 12 artillery pieces under the Prince de Croy to reinforce Prince Xavier. Broglie estimated that these reinforcements would allow Prince Xavier to advance directly against the camp of Uslar.
    • Learning that Ferdinand was establishing his headquarters at Bühne, Broglie sent a detachment of infantry and cavalry to the Castle of Sababurg to support the detachments of M. de Closen and M. de Saint-Victor.

On August 25

  • French
    • The Royal-Suédois Brigade replaced the detachment sent the previous day to the Castle of Sababurg.
    • In the morning, the Prince de Croy arrived at Imbsen.
    • A French detachment entered into Göttingen, the Hanoverian garrison being forced to retire.
    • Prince Xavier made preparations for a night attack on the camp of Uslar. However, intense rain forced him to postpone his project.
  • Allies
    • Zastrow’s detachment marched from Beverungen to Uslar to make a junction with the corps of Lieutenant-General Wangenheim.
    • The Hereditary Prince encamped at Breuna on the opposite bank of the Diemel. His light troops scoured the country as far as Winterstasten (unidentified location) near Kassel.
    • 3 bns of the British Guards (one from each regiment), arriving from Great Britain under the command of General Caesar, joined the Allied Army at Bühne where Ferdinand had his headquarters.

On August 26

  • French
    • Considering that the Hereditary Prince was threatening Kassel, Broglie gave up the plan of crossing the Weser with most of his army and carrying out a diversion towards Hanover. So besides sending reinforcements to Prince Xavier, Broglie remained idle in his camp on both side of Hohenkirchen and observed the movements of the Allies. His army still consisted of 137 bns and 159 sqns but detachments, illnesses, desertions and other losses had reduced the strength of individual companies to only 20 to 40 men under arms. In his cavalry, entire squadrons were unfit for duty due to glanders. Overall, his army numbered some 80,000 men, including 8,500 light troops.
    • The French artillery stationed at Münden marched to Kassel while the artillery previously stationed in Kassel advanced to Ziegenhain.
    • Prince Xavier's Reserve marched through Göttingen, raising a contribution of 30,000 crowns. Prince Xavier then left a strong garrison in the town and marched to Esebeck where he encamped with 17,000 me. Xavier’s line of communication with the main army was covered by some 2,000 light troops, who had reoccupied Sababurg in the Reinhards woods. Other light troops secured the front and wings of the main French army
    • M. de Vogüé drove an Allied detachment out of Adelebsen to cover Prince Xavier's left flank.
    • The Prince de Croy remained at Ellershausen to cover the débouchés of Münden in front of Wangenheim and Luckner's troops.
  • Allies
    • After the arrival of the British reinforcements on the Diemel River, Ferdinand’s Army numbered some 73,000 men in much better conditions than their French opponents.
    • Luckner’s Corps observed the movements of Prince Xavier’s Corps, while Allied light troops roamed the Reinhards woods.

After a few days, considering that the line of communication between his main army and Wangenheim’s Corps was threatened, Ferdinand sent a reinforcement of 3 bns to Wangenheim. Major-General von Zastrow was now at the head of 6 bns (Hanoverian Grenadier Battalion Quernheim (1 bn), Hanoverian Grenadier Battalion Mecklenburg (1 bn), Hessian Prinz Carl Infantry (2 bns), Hessian Grenadier (1 bn), 4th Garrison Regiment Kutzleben (1 bn)) and 4 sqns (2 Hanoverian horse rgts). Ferdinand instructed Zastrow to guard a bridgehead established by the Count zu Lippe on the Weser.

During these manoeuvres, the French had evacuated Zierenberg.

On August 28, the Bercheny Hussards were sent to Giessen to assume foot service.

On August 29, an Allied detachment marched towards Granby's headquarters at Burgholz.

On August 30

  • French
    • The Prince de Condé at the head of a strong corps (Volontaires Étrangers de Clermont Prince, Volontaires du Dauphiné, grenadiers and chasseurs of the army) attacked Zierenberg. Upon Broglie's instructions, de Muy also advanced 2 dragoon rgts in the plain of Dörnberg; 4 infantry brigades and 3 cavalry brigades between Dörnberg and Weimar (the cavalry to the right and the infantry to the left); 1 infantry brigade and 1 cavalry brigade to the village of Mönchehof; and 1 infantry brigade to the village of Weimar. However, the attack was cancelled when the Allies retired from Zierenberg to the camp of the Hereditary Prince at Breuna.
    • The Prince de Condé immediately threw the Volontaires Étrangers de Clermont Prince and the Volontaires du Dauphiné into Zierenberg and posted Turpin Hussards at Bodenhausen.
    • Fischer sent a detachment to Burghasungen.

On the night of August 30 to 31, the Hereditary Prince, who was threatened with a joint attack by de Muy and Stainville turning his two wings, retired from Breuna and encamped near Warburg, leaving his light troops at Welda on the other side of the Diemel to observe the French troops at Stadtberg.

Order of Battle
Detailed order of battle of the Allied army at the end of August 1760

On August 31, Broglie wrote to the Court to ask for reinforcements.

Ferdinand was now placed in an awkward dilemma. He had sent a few troops to Beverungen on the Weser to check Prince Xavier's advanced parties; but this detachment, though it had done its work well, was not strong enough to make head against an invasion in real force. Moreover Einbeck was disagreeably near to the border of his brother's dominions of Brunswick, which he would fain have saved from invasion if he could. Yet he could not move to the east bank of the Weser without uncovering Lippstadt, the one fortress which enabled him to prevent the perfect concert of the French armies of the Rhine and Main. In fact the situation was one of extreme trial and embarrassment.

On September 2

  • French
    • Troops belonging to the corps of the Prince de Condé engaged detachments of Gilsa’s Division near Hofgeismar. Meanwhile, two other detachment belonging to the corps of the Prince de Condé once more engaged detachments of Gilsa’s Division near Karlsdorf.

On September 5

  • Allies
    • Ferdinand still had his headquarters at Bühne; the Hereditary Prince was still deployed between Warburg and Stadtberg; Granby's Reserve was at Burgholz; and Wangenheim was posted at Uslar.
    • Early in the morning, informed that a French corps (20,000 men) planned to make a grand forage in the neighbourhood of Geismar (probably Hofgeismar), Ferdinand crossed the Diemel and prevented them from doing this forage.
    • The Hereditary Prince marched from Warburg to Malsburg (castle ruin on the Malsberg) without being detected. Seeing the negligence of the French in these quarters, Ferdinand resolved to attack the Volontaires Étrangers de Clermont Prince (max. 600 horse and 600 foot) and Volontaires du Dauphiné (max. 600 horse and 600 foot) totalling 1,900 men stationed at Zierenberg. He ordered 5 bns and 150 Highlanders under the command of Captain McLeod, and 8 dragoon sqns to be ready to march at 8:00 p.m..
  • French
    • Broglie was still encamped at Immenhausen while Prince Xavier's Corps (42 bns, 42 sqns and some light troops) was encamped at Esebeck.

During the night of September 5 to 6

  • Raid on Zierenberg
    • An Allied detachment under the Hereditary Prince passed the Diemel near Warburg. Maxwell's Grenadiers, the Highlander detachment and the 20th Kingsley's Foot formed the head of the Allied column. These were followed by 2 grenadier bns and Block Infantry. Then came Bock Dragoons (4 sqns), the 2nd North British Dragoons (Scot Greys) (2 sqns) and the 6th Inniskilling Dragoons (2 sqns).
    • This Allied detachment made a junction with Bülow's light troops at the village of Witzen (unidentified location), about 5 km on the other side of the Diemel.
    • The plan called for Bülow to turn the town of Zierenberg and to take post between this town and Dierenberg (probably the village of Dörnberg or the height of Dörenberg). The Allied force was guided by townsmen as well as deserters who manage to avoid outposts.
    • The 2nd North British Dragoons (Scot Greys) and 6th Inniskilling Dragoons were posted at the entrance of a large wood, near Malsburg. Two grenadier battalions along with Block Infantry and Bock Dragoons were posted between Malsburg and Zierenberg. At a mill about 3 km from Zierenberg, in sight of the French outposts, Maxwell's Grenadiers took one road, the 20th Kingsley's Foot and the Highlanders another. Less than 1 km from Zierenberg they were challenged by French dragoons in advanced posts. The Allied column resumed its march in silence.
    • At about 2:00 a.m. on September 6, the Allied column was detected when it had almost reached the town. The grenadiers, who had been ordered to advance with unloaded muskets, ran towards the town, pushed back the picquets, killed the detachment of Volontaires du Dauphiné guarding the Warburg Gate, rushed into the town and drove everything before them. Meanwhile, two other gates were masked by Allied dragoons and 2 Hessian battalions.
    • The columns of British grenadiers advanced in great order with their bayonet fixed without firing a shot by the two streets leading to the churchyard, the only open space in the whole town. The Allies surprised several French soldiers before they had time to come out of the houses and assembled in the churchyard. Upon reaching the churchyard, the Allies drove back the few French troops who had managed to assemble there. Meanwhile, the 2 dragoon regiments masking the other gates made an attempt against the Duremberg Gate but were repulsed by 400 French grenadiers. These dragoons made another unsuccessful attempt against another gate before managing to enter the town through a breach.
    • At 3:00 a.m., the Hereditary Prince, fearing the arrival of reinforcements from the nearby French main army, ordered retreat.
    • In this action, General Griffin was wounded, Lord George Lenox had his horse wounded under him. Overall, the Allied lost about 10 men and captured 428 prisoners (including Brigadier de Nortman commanding the French force and the brigadier of the Volontaires du Dauphiné, Colonel de Comeyras of Volontaires Étrangers de Clermont Prince, his entire staff of 9 officers, 25 other officers, 231 privates of the Volontaires du Dauphiné and 161 privates of the Volontaires Étrangers de Clermont Prince) and 4 guns. The French losses were important.
    • A French detachment was sent to observe the retreat of the Hereditary Prince, recapturing 2 guns.
    • By 8:00 a.m., the victorious Allied column was back to Warburg.
    • M. de Vadreuil, colonel of the Volontaires du Dauphiné, who still had 400 foot and 200 horse, restored order in Zierenberg.

On September 6, Prince Xavier reoccupied Göttingen and Northeim and encamped at Einbeck.

Order of Battle
Detailed order of battle of the Allied army on September 7, 1760

On September 9

  • Allies
    • After having marched from Haaren by way of Meerhof, Colonel von Fersen reached Frankenberg, 25 km north of Marburg, with his detachment

In the night of September 9 to 10

On September 10

  • Allies
    • Early in the morning, Bülow’s detachment reached Marburg after a forced march. It entered that town, driving the French into the castle, capturing 8 officers and 70 men, and destroying the ovens of the French field bakery.
    • While he attacked the well-defended castle, Bülow sent small detachments forward to Grünberg, Butzbach and Friedberg.
    • Learning of the approach of a French corps under the command of M. de Stainville, Bülow retired.
  • French
    • Informed that an Allied corps was marching on Marburg, Broglie reacted quickly. He personally went to Martinhagen, where the Comte de Stainville was with his reserve, and ordered him to march immediately come to the relief of Marburg with a corps of approx. 8,500 men (Auvergne (4 bns), Bouillon (2 bns), Vierzet (2 bns, Horion (2 bns) Royal Suédois (3 bns), Royal Deux-Ponts (3 bns), [[Légion Royale (including 2 sqns), grenadiers, chasseurs, the Du Roi Dragons Brigade (8 sqns) and some heavy artillery).

On September 11

  • Allies
    • Early in the morning, Captain von Hattorf with his 100 Hanoverian Jäger zu Pferde, belonging to Bülow’s detachment, captured 80 men of Cavalerie Liégeoise who were garrisoning Butzbach, along with 2 standards and a convoy of provisions near Grünberg and Hungen, destroying about 250 wagons.
    • Bülow reached Frankenberg with his detachment, and made a junction with Fersen’s detachment.

On September 12

  • Allies
    • Bülow’s and Fersen’s detachments were posted near Löhlbach and Frankenau, ready to advance on Waldeck. The prisoners and the booty had already been sent towards Corbach. Fersen assumed overall command.
    • Early in the morning, skirmishes took place between Fersen’s and Stainville’s advanced elements south of Waldeck, and Fersen decided to retreat by way of Sachsenberg and Medebach.
    • An Allied detachment under Captain von Engels, which had been sent from Paderborn to support Fersen’s detachment, came to contact with some of Stainville's troops near Harbshausen, 10 km south-east of Corbach, and were driven back to Arolsen, from where they would rejoin the army by way of Scherfede.
  • French
    • Fearing for his communications, Prince Xavier retired to Witzenhausen while the Prince de Croy retired on Münden.
    • Stainville’s Corps, looking for Bülow’s detachment, reached Freienhagen.
    • Stainville learned of Fersen's intentions through prisoners and soon set off towards Sachsenberg to cut Fersen’s line of retreat.

On the night of September 12 to 13, Broglie, having exhausted the surrounding countryside, decamped from Immenhausen and began his movement to new positions on the heights west of Kassel, between the fortress and the Habichts Forest, to supply his troops from the main magazines located in Kassel.

On September 13

  • Engagement between Rhadern and Münden/Ork
    • At daybreak, Stainville’s Corps reached the heights of Rhadern, which overlooked the road leading from Sachsenberg to Medebach. Stainville deployed his troops in well covered positions. He reinforced his left with Bouillon Infanterie (2 bns) posted in the Castle of Lichtenfels, and waited for Fersen’s detachments.
    • Both forces were separated by a wood and a small stream flowing into the Eder.
    • During the approach, Colonel von Fersen realised that the heights near Rhadern were occupied by the French, although he was unable to determine their strength.
    • Combat began around 10:00 a.m. M. de Scey at the head of Du Roi Brigade and M. de Melfort with the Légion Royale advanced. The Allies occupied positions on a steep hill. Nevertheless Auvergne Infanterie stormed these positions on the double.
    • In an attempt to open the way for the following troops, Fersen fearlessly attacked the dragoons of the Légion Royal at the head with his 3 sqns, but his small force was scattered and he was made prisoner, seriously wounded.
    • Meanwhile, Fersen's leading battalions had also come up, but Stainville's grenadiers and chasseurs of the brigades along with the dragoons of Légion Royale advanced against the front and flank of the two small detachments. These detachments were unable to deploy and were pushed to the south-west.
    • Du Roi, Auvergne, Bouillon and Royal-Pologne infantry brigades pursued the Allies up to the village of Neukirchen near Sachsenberg. Bülow was forced to abandon some guns to pass the defiles.
    • In this action M. de Stainville took 400 prisoners and 8 artillery pieces and considerable baggage. *French
    • Broglie now intended to force Wangenheim to retire.
    • Major-General Chabo had taken position near Breitenbach with his detachment to secure the left flank of the main army.
    • De Muy took position to his left at Wallerhausen (unidentified location).
    • Prince Xavier, who had marched from Esebeck, took position on the heights of Deiderode with 25 bns and 24 sqns.
    • The Prince de Croy with 18 bns and a few heavy artillery pieces took position between Hedemünden and Spiekershausen to guard the crossings on the Werra and the Fulda and thus cover the line of communication of Xavier’s Corps with the main army.
    • The French Gendarmerie was posted at Lichtenau between the Fulda and the Werra.
  • Allies
    • Around 6:00 p.m., Fersen’s troops managed to make front on the heights north of Hallenberg. Since the French did not press forward, Major von Bülow had time to rally these troops.
    • Bülow then continued his march by way of Hallenberg to Winterberg. However, Stainville skilfully followed the detachments, which was marching in the valley, along the heights on the right flank and suddenly opened a lively artillery fire, causing heavy losses.
    • Bülow’s own detachment managed to fight its way through the turmoil during the artillery attack. However, the remnants of Fersen’s detachment regrouped with much difficulty, and late during the night Colonel von Ditfurth managed to bring it back to Berleburg.

On September 14

  • French
    • The main army quitted Immenhausen and encamped to the right of Kassel, occupying a very strong camp with its right to the city and its left to the Village of Weissenstein.
    • Prince Xavier marched once more towards Göttingen, occupying positions between Friedland and Witzenhausen.
    • Stainville did not dare to pursue Bülow’s detachment further, because the corps of the Hereditary Prince and Breisenbach had advanced from Breuna to Landau, thus threatening his line of retreat. Stainville retired to Berleburg near Frankenberg.
  • Allies
    • The Allied reserve under Granby passed the Diemel and encamped near Hofgeismar.
    • Ferdinand moved Gilsa’s detachment from Trendelburg to Beckerhagen; and Zastrow’s detachment from Herstelle to Beckerhagen. As they approached, the French light troops evacuated the Reinhards woods.
    • After Prince Xavier’s retreat, Wangenheim advanced from Uslar to Löwenhagen, sending forward up to Gimte and Blume on the Weser and Werra rivers. A pontoon bridge was also established on the Weser at Baake.
    • Bülow’s own detachment marched by way of Brilon towards Stadtberg.
    • The corps of the Hereditary Prince and Breidenbach returned to Warburg.

On September 15

  • Allies
    • Wangenheim encamped at Dransfeld, drove a detachment of Prince Xavier's Corps from the defiles of Scheden and launched an unsuccessful attack on the post of Münden.
    • Ditfurth’s detachment undertook a long turning march westwards by way of Meschede towards Lippstadt.
  • French
    • Stainville retired to Allendorf.
    • Prince Xavier's Corps encamped near Kassel, maintaining its controls on the débouchés of Hohemünden.

On September 17

  • French
    • M. de Chabot manoeuvred on Wolfhagen on the Allied right flank.
    • By this date, the French army (137 bns, 159 sqns) was deployed as follows:
    • In the evening, Broglie detached 8 grenadier and chasseur bns under M. de Rougé, along with the Grenadiers de France under Saint-Pern and the Reserve under the Marquis de Poyanne to support Prince Xavier.
  • Allies
    • Colonel von Ditfurth finally reached Lippstadt with the remnants of Fersen’s and Bülow’s detachments. He left his infantry in the fortress and sent the cavalry to join the main army on the Diemel.

On September 18

On September 19

  • French
  • Combat of Löwenhagen
    • Wangenheim (4 bns and 6 sqns) redirected his right from Dransfeld to Bühren and his left at the débouché of the defiles of Löwenhagen. Meanwhile, Ferdinand had thrown a bridge at Hameln to establish communication with Wangenheim.
    • Around 10:00 a.m., Prince Xavier’s Corps marched in four column under Broglie’s direct lead from its camp near Deiderode towards Dransfeld.
    • Around 1:00 p.m., Luckner erroneously reported to Wangenheim that the French were idle in their positions and had only moved some troops towards Witzenhausen, 9 km south of Deiderode on the Werra River.
    • Around 3:00 p.m., Prince Xavier’s Corps reached Dransfeld after a difficult march. From there, Broglie marched on Löwenhagen with 32 bns and 18 sqns, sending forward the two outer columns, which consisted of cavalry, against Wangenheim’s flanks to pin them down, while he himself advanced against the front of the camp with the third column, which contained the bulk of his infantry. The fourth column remained behind in the narrow passages of the hilly and forested terrain, but had also sent its dragoons ahead against the Allied right flank.
    • Wangenheim, who was encamped in a single line between Ellershausen and Löwenhagen, was completely taken by surprise by the attack. When he was informed of the approach of the French soon after 3:00 p.m., his troops were still calmly encamped.
    • Wangenheim rode to reconnoitre the vicinity of his camp and saw that the French were already very close. He quickly made arrangements for a rapid retreat to evade the overwhelming superiority of the French, which he estimated at 40,000 men. His cavalry rode towards Hemeln and his artillery and baggage retired on the bridge near Baake, while his infantry took position along the edge of the forest close to the Weser, to cover their retreat. Halberstadt Infantry was sent back to Uslar.
    • The two French cavalry columns arrived too late to prevent the Allied cavalry from entering the woods near Ellershausen, covered by the Allied infantry.
    • Prince Xavier's column then advanced against the woods near Ellershausen. M. de Vaux entered the wood at the head of the grenadiers and chasseurs of the Castellas and La Marck brigades while 3 bns of Grenadiers Royaux, under Major-General de Kleingemberg advanced on the wood by the right. Meanwhile, Broglie advanced 2 artillery brigades.
    • The Allied infantry took cover in the wood, behind its artillery. Followed an artillery duel.
    • Upon arrival, Diesbach Brigade supported the grenadiers.
    • At 7:00 p.m., the grenadiers, along with the Saxon bns, frontally attacked the Allied positions.
    • At 8:00 p.m., thanks to the difficult terrain, Wangenheim’s Corps managed to escape the impending danger, although the French pushed hard.
    • Fortunately for Wangenheim, Broglie's cavalry made only slow progress in the woods; and his infantry was held back until nightfall.
    • When the Prince de Croy heard of the fighting, he sent a detachment under Lieutenant-Colonel de la Borde, who took possession of the bridge of Hameln but he was soon forced to abandon it.
    • In this affair, Wangenheim lost 150 men killed, wounded or taken prisoners and 4 guns. The French lost about 300 men.
    • Prince Xavier then returned to Friedland, 14 km south of Göttingen while Broglie repassed the Werra.

In the night of September 19 to 20

  • Crossing of the Weser
    • Wangenheim’s infantry managed to cross to the left bank of the Weser on the bridge near Baake, while his cavalry forded the river.
    • The French now boldly advanced and repeatedly attacked the bridge under a heavy artillery fire.
    • When the ammunition finally began to run out, Wangenheim found himself forced to have the anchor pole cut through, so that the bridge was torn apart and floated away. As a result, a small detachment of Freytag Jägers, who were still on the right bank, was taken prisoners.
    • Wangenheim had managed to save his corps but he had lost at Löwenhagen and Baake, 4 officers, 182 men, 32 horses, 4 cannon, 11 ammunition wagons and his bridging equipment.

On September 20

  • French
    • Broglie returned to the camp of Deiderode with the corps of Prince Xavier. He then immediately left for Kassel with the reinforcements which he had sent to Prince Xavier on September 17, leaving him the other reinforcements sent in the previous days. He also instructed M. de Robecq to march to Göttingen.
    • Broglie’s plan had failed to lure Ferdinand out of his positions on the Diemel. Broglie now planned to surround Göttingen with earthen walls to transform it into a permanent base for his army. He also decided to assemble troops quartered in Flanders and to reinforce them with a few regiments under the command of M. de Castries to make movement by Wesel on the Allied rear.


The other phases of the campaign are described in the following articles:

  • Allied offensive on the Lower Rhine (September 22 to October 22, 1760) describing the Allied attempt against Wesel, the French manoeuvres to relieve the fortress, the battle of Clostercamp and the Allied retreat.
  • End of the campaign (October 22 to December 31, 1760) describing the Allied defensive measures, the French maoeuvres and the Allied attempt against Göttingen.


This series of articles is a compilation of texts from the following books which are now in the public domain:

  • Anonymous: A Complete History of the Present War, from its Commencement in 1756, to the End of the Campaign, 1760, London, 1761, pp. 521-528, 531-534
  • Fortescue, J. W.: A History of the British Army, Vol. II, MacMillan, London, 1899, pp. 501-519
  • Grosser Generalstab Kriegsgeschichtliche Abteilung II: Die Kriege Friedrichs des Grossen, Part 3 Der siebenjährige Krieg 1756-1763
    • Vol. 12 Landeshut und Liegnitz, Berlin, 1913, pp. 248-270
    • Vol. 13 Torgau, Berlin, 1914, pp. 306-318
  • Hotham (probably): The operations of the Allied Amy under the command of his Serene Highness Prince Ferdinand Duke of Brunswic and Luneberg beginning in the year 1757 and ending in the year 1762, London: T. Jefferies, 1764, pp. 137-184
  • Jomini, baron de: Traité des grandes opérations militaires, Vol. 3, 2nd ed., Magimel, Paris, 1811, pp. 221-240
  • Pajol, Charles P. V.: Les Guerres sous Louis XV, vol. V, Paris, 1891, pp. 2-114