1761-09-17 - Combat of Kosabroma
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Prelude to the battle
|Did you know that...|
|German sources, Marshall von Sulicki among others, name this engagement after the estate of Kosabroma (in fact Brohm-Cosa), located to the south of Friedland in the vicinity of the village of Brohm and of the Brohmer Stausee lake, in Mecklenburg-Strelitz. The village of Brohm was probably ruled by the owner of this estate which seems to have been previously destroyed during the Thirty Years' War.
Gebhardt Leberecht von Blücher, the later Prussian hero at the battle of Waterloo, once lived in that estate.
Acknowledgement: Gunnar W. Bergman for this interesting precision
By mid September 1761, after the capture of Platen by the Russians, the small Prussian corps under the command of Stutterheim had been ordered to leave Western Pomerania and to take position at Stettin. On September 15, according to his orders, Stutterheim marched towards Stettin. This left only Belling's Corps to defend Western Pomerania against the Swedes.
By this date, the Swedes had, at Wollin and in Pomerania, a total of 13,791 men (including 3,098 cavalry with 2,988 horses, and 1,152 artillerymen counting Nylands Infantry who served with the artillery). The departure of Stutterheim offered to Ehrensvärd the opportunity to retake the initiative and to launch another offensive against Belling's small force. The Swedish army concentrated in 2 columns, one under Lybecker (commanding in the area east of Demmin up to the town of Tribsees), the other under Sprengtporten, and advanced on Belling's corps in a pincer movement.
On September 17, Belling concentrated most of his units and decided to stop Lybecker's column first.
Description of Events
On September 17, when Lybecker's column emerged from the woods at Kosabroma (present-day Brohm-Cosa) near Brohm, Belling Hussars charged and broke their cavalry. The routing Swedish cavalry ran over the big square formed by the Swedish infantry and the entire force took refuge into the woods, pursued by the Prussians. The Swedes deployed artillery and light troops at the edge of the woods. Belling set up his artillery on the nearby hills and sent his infantry in two lines to assault the woods.
Erik Lybecker established his line of defence around the village of Brohm. To avoid that the Prussians would take his detachment in the back, Lybecker had put Captain Johan von Böhnen's Fribataljon in the wood to the right of the village and the I. German Grenadiers under Lieutenant-colonel Count Johan August von Meijerfelt on the right wing of his lines.
The Prussian first line consisted of 3 coys of Frei-Infanterie von Hordt under Captain Arnbauld, 1 coy of Provincial-Frei-Grenadier-Corps von Hüllessem and 1 coy of Kenewitz Freikorps. The second line consisted of the 1st bn of Frei-Infanterie von Hordt and of the I./Belling Hussars. Meanwhile, the II./ Belling Hussars, led by Major Zülow, made a wide flanking movement to turn Lybecker's position.
The first line of Prussian infantry entered the woods and attacked Böhnens Fribataljon who had to slowly pull back deeper into the wood under heavy fire. The second Prussian line entered into the woods too to take part into the fight. Part of Frei-Infanterie von Hordt penetrated deep inside the wood thus reaching a position behind the right wing of Lybecker's forces. Lybecker then sent Meijerfelt's I. German Grenadiers along with Dalarnas Infantry to counter attack the advancing Frei-Infanterie von Hordt both in its flank and rear. The Prussians fell into disroder and retired.
Combat ended with darkness which saved the Prussians from the Swedish cavalry.
Prussians losses are unknown. The Swedes lost 2 officers and 30 men taken prisoners.
Having failed to defeat Lybecker's column, Belling then departed, leaving Goltz at Kosabroma with 2 coys and 2 sqns to delay its advance.
Order of Battle
Prussian Order of Battle
Commander-in-Chief: Colonel Wilhelm Sebastian von Belling
- First line
- Frei-Infanterie von Hordt (3 coys) under Captain Arnbauld
- Provincial-Frei-Grenadier-Corps von Hüllessem (1 coy)
- Kenewitz Freikompanie (1 coy)
- Second line
- I./Frei-Infanterie Hordt (1 bn)
- I./Belling Hussars (1 bn)
- Flanking force
- II./ Belling Hussars (1 bn)
Swedish Order of Battle
N.B.: Sulicki might have overestimated the Swedish forces present at Kosabroma. His own estimate is 7 infantry battalions and 2 cavalry regiments. Hereafter we give a revised order of battle elaborated by Gunnar W. Bergman
Commander-in-chief: Major-general Erich Baron Lybecker
- Lieutenant-colonel Count Johan August von Meijerfelt's detachment
- I. German Grenadiers (1 bn of 400 men)
- Dalarnas Infantry (1 bn of 600 men)
- in the woods on the right wing
- Böhnens Fribataljon (1 bn of about 600 men)
- rest of Lybecker's force
- Österbottens Infantry (1 bn of 900 men)
- Upplands Liv Regiment (6 sqns for a total of some 810 men)
- Smålands Horse (3 sqns for a total of some 405 men)
Kessel E., Das Ende des Siebenjährigen Krieges 1760-1763, Hrgb. von T. Linder, t. 1, Padeborn – München – Wien – Zürich 2007.
Säve, Teofron Sveriges deltagande i Sjuåriga Kriget Åren 1757-1762, Stockholm 1915, p. 490
Sharman A., Sweden's Role in the Seven Years War: 1761, Seven Years War Association Journal, Vol. XII, 2002.
Sulicki K. M., Der Siebenjährigen Kriegin in Pommern und in den benachbarten Marken. Studie des Detaschmentes und des kleinen Krieges, Berlin 1867.
Jany K., Geschichte der Königlisch Preussischen Armee bis zum Jahre 1807, t. 2, Berlin 1929.
Gieraths G., Die Kampfhandlungen der Brandenburgische-preussischen Armee, Berlin 1964.
Geschichte des siebenjährigen Krieges in einer Reihe von Vorlesungen, Prussia Armee Grosser Generalstab, t. 5, cz. 2 , Berlin 1837.
Straehle A., Lexicon der Schlachten, Treffen, Gefecht, Scharmutzel, Recontres, Belagerung, Neuwied 1853.
Tomasz Karpiński from Gniezno/Poznań for the initial version of this article and Gunnar W. Bergman for the revised order of battle