1757-06-18 - Battle of Kolin

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Hierarchical Path: Seven Years War (Main Page) >> Battles >> 1757-06-18 - Battle of Kolin

Austrian Victory

Prelude to the Battle

By mid June 1757, Field-Marshal Daun had assembled a relief force of some 60,000 men in the area of Czaslau (present-day Čáslav) in Bohemia. He then received orders from Vienna to force Frederick II to abandon the Siege of Prague and to put a stop to the Prussian invasion of Bohemia. Accordingly, Daun advanced visibly towards Prague. Bevern, who had been detached with a Prussian Corps to observe his movements, was forced to fall back in front of him.

On June 17 at sunset, fearing that the new position of the Prussians could allow them to turn his right flank, Daun hustled his right wing back out and wheeled his whole right wing and centre 90 degrees round, so as to reach out towards Kolin, and lie on the north slope of the Kamhajek Berg. He also placed his left wing en potence round the western end of Kamhajek, its southern extremity at Swojschitz (present-day Svojsice), its northern at Hradenin. Daun's right wing was now far to the east at Krzeczhorz (present-day Krechor), well beyond Chozenitz (present-day Chocenice), where his centre and most of his horse now came to stand. Nádasdy's Corps was moved from the left wing towards the rear and took post upon the heights to the right of Krzeczhorz.

This corps arrived there at daybreak on June 18 and deployed with the hussars and 3 cavalry divisions on its right while its left consisted of a unit of 1,000 Kommandierten line cavalry (converged elite troops) and of the 3 Saxon regiments of Chevaux Légers: Prinz Albrecht, Graf Brühl and Prinz Karl.

Infantry and Grenzer light troops occupied the oak-wood and the village of Krzeczhorz.


Reconstruction of the map of the Battle of Kolin.
Courtesy: Christian Rogge
Map of the Battle of Kolin on June 18 1757 - Final Prussian attacks.
Source: Kriege Friedrichs des Grossen, volume III by the German Grosser Generalstab
Copyright Tony Flores

The country downstream from Kolin between the mouth of the Peklo brook on the Elbe and the Berzvarka running northwards in the direction of (present-day Plaňany) and flowing into the Bejrovka some 600 m. to the south of that town, was hilly, gradually flattening to the north-east towards the Elbe. In the middle, between a Radowesnitz (present-day Radovesnice) – Boschitz (present-day Bošice) line and the flats along the Elbe ran the “Kaiserstrasse” highway from Planjan to Kolin. To the south of the highway the heights of Krzeczhorz and Przerovsky (unidentified location) dominated the landscape. The villages of Krzeczhorz, Chozenitz and Brzistwi (present-day Břisvi) were all walled and counted between 20 and 30 houses each. Most or all of these villages were on little brooks. Over times, these little brooks had hollowed out small dells in the sloping ground, making a great military obstacle. Furthermore, the valley of the Beczvarka was filled with many ponds and, downstream from Radowesnitz, the steep banks of Peklo brook made troop movements difficult. However, the upper course of the Peklo brook, from Gross Loschan (present-day Lošany), was an insignificant obstacle.

Village of Chozenitz viewed from the Northwest near Brzezan with the Krzeczhorz Hill in the background
Krzeczhorz Hill viewed from the North and to East of Chozenitz. This is the view that Tresckow's Prussian infantry would have faced in attacking uphill. The grade of the slope here to the crest at the top is 6%
West slope of Krzeczhorz Hill viewed from the West in the saddle between the peaks of Krzeczhorz and Przerovsky Hill where the climax of the battle occurred
Photo and legend contributed by Tony Flores, Copyright Tony Flores

One km behind Krzeczhorz, was a thin little oak-wood that would play an important role in the result of this battle. The little village of Radowesnitz, one km farther to the south of the oak-wood was beyond the extremity of Daun's position, low down on a marshy little brook which oozed through lakes and swamps towards Kolin, in the northerly direction.

The country consisted of knolls and slopes, with intervening swamps. It rose higher on the Planjan side. Only the top of the Kamhajek Berg on the west and the now so called "Friedrichsberg" on the east deserved the name of hill. Friedrichsberg was on the north side of the highway, one km northeast of Slatislunz (unidentified location). It is a conical height of perhaps 45 m, rising rather suddenly from the still-sloping ground, checking the slope there.

Description of Events

At daybreak on June 18, a thick fog prevented Frederick from observing the positions of the Austrian army. Planjan was still occupied by Grenzer light troops and a few hussar outposts could be seen on the heights on each side of the Beczvarka near Zabanos (present-day Žabonosy). Furthermore a few Austrian cavalry detachments were posted to the east of Planjan.

At 5:00 a.m., Frederick ordered Lieutenant-General von Tresckow with 5 bns (Grenadier bns Finck, Waldow and Nimschöfsky, and 2 bns of Wied Fusiliers) and 20 hussar sqns (10 sqns Wartenberg Hussars, 5 sqns Szekely Hussars, 5 sqns Seydlitz Hussars) to take possession of the heights to the north of Planjan and then to drive the Grenzer light troops out of the village. A few gunshots were enough to drive the Grenzers out of Planjan. They then joined the Austrian main army beyond the Beczvarka.

Around 6:00 a.m., Tresckow made himself master of the heights dominating Planjan. Meanwhile, the Prussian army set off from its camp, marching by its left. At the beginning of the march, Zieten's Reserve consisted of 35 sqns (Stechow Dragoons, Zieten Hussars, Werner Hussars and Puttkamer Hussars) and 4 bns (Münchow Fusiliers, Schultze Infantry).

Zieten's Reserve walked through Planjan and advanced on the “Kaiserstrasse” highway towards Kolin, followed by the first line. Tthe second line moved around Planjan and marched to the north of the “Kaiserstrasse,” soon joined by Tresckow's detachment. Prince Franz von Braunschweig set off from Kaurzim (present-day Kouřim) with the rearguard to join the army. Only Grenadier Battalion Manteuffel was left behind to guard the baggage.

The Austrian Baboczay Hussar Brigade could be seen on the “Kaiserstrasse” to the north of Blinka. Zieten deployed the hussars of his vanguard to attack Baboczay but the latter retired towards Kolin and joined Nádasdy's Cavalry (the mass of hussars with 1,000 picked horse under Major-General Count Starhemberg) to the north of Brzistwi deployed in two lines on both sides of the “Kaiserstrasse”.

As soon as the fog had lifted, Frederick unsuccessfully tried to have a look at the Austrian positions from the church tower in Planjan.

The advance continued for about 7 km farther, with the Prussians seeing nothing but retiring Grenzer troops. Frederick himself was with Zieten in the vanguard. They reached the "Zur goldenen Sonne" inn at Slatisluntz near Novomiesto (unidentified location). There, mounting to the top-story, they discovered Daun's position against the Kamhajek. Indeed, Daun was deployed in three lines on the high ground about 2 km south of the Planjan-Kolin Highway, over the crests of the Kamhajek Berg. From the highway, nothing was visible of the Austrian positions. Daun's line extended nearly 8 km, from east to west. His left wing extended from Planjan eastward. His right wing was pretty parallel to the highway and pointed rather southward of Kolin, reaching the small hamlet of Krzeczhorz 3 km from Kolin. In front of his centre was a village called Chozenitz. To right or to left of Chozenitz were six other villages, every one of them well beset with Austrian batteries, infantry and parties of Grenzers.

Frederick called halt for over three hours until the rearguard came up from Kaurzim. This rearguard (right flank guard in the order of battle) consisting of the grenadier battalions of Kahlden, Möllendorff and Wangenheim was then sent forward to the left wing.

To cover the rest of the Prussian army, Zieten, now reinforced with Tresckow's hussars, was at the head of 80 sqns. He deployed to the west of Braditz (unidentified location). Nádasdy's cavalry corps was drawn in 2 lines across the highway near Krzeczhorz. Zieten advanced on Nádasdy's Corps and forced it to move back to the north of Krzeczhorz, thus clearing the road and the Krzeczhorz neighbourhood.

Prussian initial advance up the Kaiserstrasse before the battle.
Source: Kriege Friedrichs des Grossen, volume III by the German Grosser Generalstab
Copyright Tony Flores

About noon, Frederick called his generals to give them their various orders. He considered Daun's positions impregnable on their left wing as well as in front. However, the Austrian right wing and rear on the Krzeczhorz did not look as strong as the rest of Daun's positions. Therefore, Frederick planned to march parallel along the Austrian front in due order of battle until it would become possible to bend round and plunge in upon the Austrian right flank. The van, consisting of Zieten's Reserve Cavalry and Hülsen's infantry (7 bns of the reserve and left flank guard in the order of battle) with 6 heavy guns, would face to right at the proper moment and thus become the left wing of the Prussian line. It would then attack Krzeczhorz. Meanwhile the other divisions would similarly advance to the same position, face to right and attack in regular succession. These successive waves of attack would thus continuously support Hülsen's advance on the Austrian right flank. During this time, the Prussian right wing would refuse itself and form a Reserve while the cavalry would form behind the left wing to support Zieten. The battle plan was typical of the "oblique order of attack."

While the Prussian army rested, Daun realised that all danger for his left flank had disappeared. Accordingly, he transferred the Reserve of FZM Count Colloredo to the south slope of the Height of Przerovsky. At noon, Colloredo's Reserve took position behind the second line of the Austrian infantry right wing.

At about 1:00 p.m. of this sunny day, Frederick gave the order to march. The Prussian army advanced steadily eastward in 3 columns which would become the first and second lines, and reserve. One column marched along the highway, the second at due distance leftward on the green ground, no hedge or other obstacle obstructing them. Daun's batteries and Grenzer troops, to the south of the highway, fired at them in passing, with no effect.

As the Prussians resumed their march, it became urgent for Daun to better protect his right flank. Nádasdy gave orders to General Nostitz, who commanded the Saxon cavalry, to extend his position as well as the one of the Kommandierten cavalry as far left as possible, to close the gap between the oak-wood behind Krzeczhorz and the main army. But the distance was too great and a deep ravine that could not be defended by cavalry traversed it. Lieutenant-Colonel Benkendorf requested to Nostitz that infantry reinforce this section of the line of battle. Nádasdy was in turn informed of this problem and requested reinforcements from Daun, who ordered Colloredo's Reserve supported by Wied's Infantry Division to take a new position on the eastern slope of the Height of Krzeczhorz between the oak-wood and the Height of Przerovsky, in the gap between the main army and Nádasdy's Corps as requested. Furthermore, Sincère's Division, initially deployed on the left wing was ordered to join Wied's Division in these quarters. Daun also ordered that a battery of 12 guns be deployed to the southwest of Krzeczhorz

These infantry corps deployed en potence to protect the right flank of the main army while the Saxon cavalry moved closer. This redeployment created a considerable interval between the Saxon cavalry and the Kommandierten cavalry.

During part of the battle, Frederick stood on the Friedrichsberg, which commanded some view of the Krzeczhorz Heights and of part of the Austrian positions.

Zieten led the first Prussian column along the “Kaiserstrasse” with his 50 hussar sqns deployed on each side of the highway, followed by Hülsen's 3 grenadier bns, 6 heavy guns and 4 additional bns, with Stechow Dragoons (5 sqns) closing the march. Then came the first line of the army: 20 cuirassier sqns under Lieutenant-General Penavaire, 14 bns, and then the 11 sqns of the left wing under Major-General Baron Schönaich. To the left, parallel to the head of the infantry of this first column, marched 3 more grenadier bns to cover the flank. The second column marched to the left of the first (along the north side of the “Kaiserstrasse”): Normann's Dragoon Brigade (10 sqns) followed by 8 bns (extended to occupy the same space as the infantry of the first column) with Meinicke Dragoons (5 sqns) closing the march. Finally, a third column of 15 sqns under Major-General von Krosigk formed the reserve of the Prussian left wing.

Prussian initial attacks and Austrian counter-moves.
Source: Kriege Friedrichs des Grossen, volume III by the German Grosser Generalstab
Copyright Tony Flores

At about 2:00 p.m., Hülsen had reached the level of Krzeczhorz. He halted and faced to right with his three grenadier battalions (Finck, Waldow and Nimschöfsky) in the first line; Schultze Infantry and Münchow Fusiliers in the second; and Stechow Dragoons in the third. His 6 heavy guns were placed on the right wing of his first line. His guns immediately opened on the Grenzer light troops defending the village of Krzeczhorz and the old earthworks erected by the Swedes in a previous war. Meanwhile, Zieten formed his cavalry to cover Hülsen's left flank. All this time, Nádasdy's Cavalry remained idle.

Hülsen made a determined advance upon Krzeczhorz while the Austrian artillery opened fire. Despite of the violent defensive fire, Hülsen seized Krzeczhorz. Hülsen then rearranged his lines for the assault on the oak-wood.

View from the Swedish earthworks to the Kaiserstrasse some one km away. The grade of the slope between the earthworks and the highway is 6%
Side profile of the Swedish earthworks from the West with humans for scale
Krzeczhorz Church viewed from the North (it was held by up to one Grenzer battalion to anchor their right flank
Photo and legend contributed by Tony Flores, Copyright Tony Flores

During Hülsen's attack, Zieten had assembled his cavalry corps, Normann Dragoon Brigade and Krosigk's Reserve. He was now at the head of 80 sqns, facing Nádasdy's motionless hussars. Zieten charged them and, after a contested fight, drove them back into the hollow of Radowesnitz.

Meanwhile on the Prussian right wing, a few km westward, Manstein's troops were continuously harassed by Grenzer musketry fire during their advance along the highway. Manstein ordered II./Bornstedt Infantry to face right and attack these Grenzer light troops, who fled at once but then came back with reinforcements. These skirmishes fatally delayed Bornstedt and proved ruinous, because they blocked the way for those following them, as other units successively advanced to support Manstein. Now, the whole right wing from Bornstedt Infantry westward was engaged in fighting against the Austrians precisely at a place that Frederick had considered too strong a position to be attacked frontally.

At 4:00 p.m., the Prussian victory appeared almost certain. However, at this moment, Zieten's cavalry which had pursued part of Nádasdy's units towards Radowesnitz was hit in their flank with artillery and musket fire from batteries and Grenzer parties that Daun had placed in the oak-wood.

Meanwhile, additional Austrian reinforcements reached the area around Krzeczhorz: Sincère's Division, who had marched from the left wing, and G.d.C. Serbelloni's cavalry (Serbelloni Cuirassiers, Infant von Portugal Cuirassiers, Schmerzing Cuirassiers and Ligne Dragoons).

Hülsen, now advancing towards the little oak-wood beyond Krzeczhorz, was surprised to discover a strong Austrian cavalry and infantry force deployed behind it. Seeing this, and considering that no new battalion had yet arrived to support him, Hülsen paused. To avoid being outflanked, he was obliged to extend his line by incorporating the 4 battalions of his second line into the first one. He then merely cannonaded from a distance, until new battalions could arrive.

Frederick ordered the 3 grenadier bns covering his left flank to advance and support Hülsen.

At about the same time, Prince Moritz von Dessau was advancing at the head of the centre, intending to wheel right towards the hill once he would reach the level of Krzeczhorz. However, Frederick dashed from Friedrichsberg and ordered Prince Moritz to face to right immediately and attack in support of Hülsen. Moritz considered that it was too soon to launch the attack because he was still facing very strong Austrian positions. Moritz was of the opinion that he should resume his advance until he came to the level of Krzeczhorz. However, Frederick insisted and Moritz finally obeyed. There was now no Prussian reserve force anywhere to be employed in an emergency.

Frederick then withdrew to Friedrichsberg. When he saw that Moritz was advancing directly on the Austrian positions in front of him, he realized that his orders had not been clear enough. Frederick had wanted Moritz to face and advance obliquely towards Krzeczhorz. In haste, Frederick sent new orders to Moritz. When he received these new orders, Moritz immediately steered half-left but he now arrived above Krzeczhorz, striking the Austrian line frontally to the west of Krzeczhorz, without linking with Hülsen.

Manstein's unplanned attack and Moritz misinterpretation of Frederick's orders totally compromised the initial plan. With his right and centre thus engaged, Frederick had no units available to reinforce Hülsen to the east of Krzeczhorz as planned. Therefore, Hülsen was left unsupported, only receiving inadequate reinforcements. Nevertheless, he managed to take the oak-wood but soon lost it again. He was unable to do more than hold his ground in and about Krzeczhorz.

The entire Prussian line was now engaged across several km.

Serbelloni then tried to advance northwestwards with his regiments posted to the south of the oak-wood against Hülsen's left flank and rear. Lieutenant-General Penavaire could have supported Hülsen's attack. His intervention at this moment could have completed the Prussian victory but he needed Frederick's express order to do so. From his position Penavaire could not see the course of the combats taking place near Chozenitz on the “Kaiserstrasse.” He probably thought that he could achieve greater surprise against Serbelloni's Cavalry if he moved around Brzistwi by the west than if he moved through the interstices of the Austrian infantry standing before him. Accordingly, he chose the indirect approach around Brzistwi. However, while following the sunken road around Brzistwi, his cuirassiers met an major obstacle. After crossing this obstacle, they were greeted by a heavy artillery fire from the Heights of Przerovsky. So some of the regiments did not reach their assigned positions while others arrived at their destination quite disorganised. Nevertheless, Penavaire's Cavalry managed to drive Serbelloni's first line into his second, thus disorganising the latter. Serbelloni was wounded in this action.

During the pursuit, Penavaire's left flank came under the fire of the Austrian troops posted at the outskirts of the oak-wood. The leading squadrons stopped short and turned. As they retired they intermingled with the squadrons, who were just coming out of the sunken road and deploying, thus disorganising them. Finally, Penavaire's entire cavalry fled towards the “Kaiserstrasse” even though they were not pursued.

The issue of the battle remained uncertain until 7:00 or 8:00 p.m. Daun feared that, if the Austrians were pushed back down the Kamhajek Berg into the impassable swamps, he would have to surrender at discretion. Accordingly, he ordered a retreat southward to Suchdol (present-day Suchdol u Kutné Hory) where he had magazines. Daun's aide-de-camp was galloping everywhere with that important order and generals were preparing for retreat. Hülsen even saw an Austrian general on the right wing taking his guns out of battery and under way rearwards. But Daun's aide-de-camp could not find Nostitz, the Saxon cavalry commander in that quarter. He rather found a Saxon Lieutenant-Colonel Benkendorf and asked him to transmit the order to General Nostitz. Benkendorf considered the order premature and persuaded Nostitz to attack instead. He even argued that the retreating guns were merely shifting their battery. He then organised a new assault on Hülsen.

Frederick then decided to send support to Penavaire's cuirassiers and ordered his Cavalry Reserve (Krosigk Brigade) to advance from Kutlirz (unidentified location). That brigade rapidly rode towards the focal point of the battle. Rochow Cuirassiers led by Colonel von Seydlitz was at the head of the brigade when it arrived to the north of Krzeczhorz. Without waiting for the arrival of Prinz von Preußen Cuirassiers, the brigade commander deployed Normann Dragoons to the left of Rochow Cuirassiers. The two regiments advanced between Brzistwi and the old Swedish earthworks and straight ahead through the retiring Penavaire's Cavalry to bring support to Hülsen's battalions threatened by Wied's Division.

General Hülsen now seeing some regiment advancing, set his troops again in motion, advanced upon the oak-wood and chased out the Austrian infantry and light troops occupying it. However, an Austrian counter-attack drove back the left of Hülsen's Corps. The ensuing firefight lasted for nearly two hours. When he received a reinforcement of 2 battalions, Hülsen advanced once more, broke the Austrian Corps left wing and was on the verge of capturing another battery. Some regiments of Tresckow's Division (including Braunschweig-Bevern, Hülsen and Prinz Heinrich von Preußen) had now come in support of Hülsen in the same area.

These infantry reinforcements combined with the intervention of the Prussian Cavalry Reserve began to tell. Normann Dragoons then attacked the Austrians occupying the oak-wood. The Austrian Salm Infantry and Los Rios Infantry now quit their line in great disorder; Platz Infantry was cut to pieces, losing 5 colours. During the combat, Major-General von Krosigk was killed when he fell from his horse. The Hungarian Haller Infantry, deployed in second line, vainly tried to stop the Prussian dragoons who then engaged in cavalry combat with the Saxon Karabiniergarde and routed them, capturing a standard.

At this very moment, hoping to support their wavering infantry, the Saxon Chevaux-légers along with Ligne Dragoons and the Kommandierten cavalry fell on the right flank of the exposed Prussian corps. The assault on Tresckow's and Hülsen's position was furious and finally proved irresistible to the Prussian Cavalry Reserve which was hurled back, could not be rallied and fled, throwing confusion among Hülsen's infantry.

Meanwhile, Frederick had vainly tried to send the now rallied Penavaire's Cavalry to support his Cavalry Reserve. Penavaire's Cavalry had barely reached Brzistwi when it came under artillery fire and routed, stopping only when it reached the “Kaiserstrasse”. A similar attempt led by Prince Moritz at the head of the Prinz von Preußen Cuirassiers also failed.

Once Wied's infantry division had rallied, the Austrian cavalry attacked again. In turn, Hülsen's infantry was broken but it instantly formed squares and fiercely stood on the defensive. Hülsen was driven away and forced to retreat downhill. Lieutenant-General Tresckow was wounded. After a short fight, the Austrians captured 14 Prussian battalions along with all their guns.

Prussian retreat.
Source: Kriege Friedrichs des Grossen, volume III by the German Grosser Generalstab
Copyright Tony Flores
Frederick at the Battle of Kolin - Source: Carl Röchling, 1895

This sad example spread westwards like a powder-train, till all the Prussian Army was in full retreat northward, towards Nimburg (present-day Nymburk). Meanwhile, Manstein's infantry was pushed back in disorder towards Chozenitz. Only the 8 bns forming the extreme right wing of the Prussian army had not been engaged yet, but they had been under artillery fire till they reached the north side of the burning village of Brzezan (present-day Břežany).

Frederick ordered once more Penavaire to advance to offer some support to the remnants of his left wing. Penavaire's Cavalry failed once more to reach Hülsen's Infantry and retired to the “Kaiserstrasse”.

Frederick made vehement effort to rally his troops, but to no purpose. Seeing the battle irretrievably lost, Frederick called Bevern and Moritz to him and gave them charge of the retreat, ordering them to cross the Elbe at Nimburg. Frederick then himself rode off, escorted by his Garde-du-Corps.

I.Leibgarde at the Battle of Kolin (June 18, 1757). - Source: Richard Knötel

Daun gave no chase anywhere. On his extreme left he had, perhaps as preparation for chasing, ordered out General Stampach and the cavalry from the centre with guns, infantry and appliances, to clear away the wrecks of Manstein and what still stood to right of him on the Planjan Highway. But Stampach was stopped by the I./Leibgarde Battalion and 2 others. In front of such resistance, Stampach finally withdrew. Meanwhile, Daun strictly prohibited his infantry to stir from their position.

Zieten with all his squadrons and Hülsen with most of his battalions marched away as rear-guard. Daun thus allowed the Prussian cavalry, which had beaten Nádasdy, to stand quiet on the field till 10:00 p.m. Daun did not send any light cavalry in chase of the infantry. He stood all night under arms and next day returned to his old camp.

To celebrate the victory, a bonfire was made, using ammunition, on the Austrian right wing. The exploding ammunition wounded some of Daun's escorts.


Frederick after the Battle of Kolin - Source: Carl Röchling, 1895

The Austrian force in the field this day was 54,000 men. Their losses in killed, wounded and missing were some 8,114 men (46 officers and 956 men killed; 296 officers and 5176 men wounded; and 18 officers and 1,622 men missing). The Saxon cavalry alone lost 53 men dead and 116 wounded; 177 horses dead and 85 wounded. The Prussians, who began with 33,000 men, lost 13,776 men (329 infantry officers, 11,978 foot, 52 cavalry officers, 1,398 troopers); of whom 5,380 were prisoners (including all the wounded). Their baggage was not meddled with but they lost 45 guns and 22 colours.

On the Austrian side, FML Baron Lützow had been killed; FM Count Daun, Count Serbelloni, Baron Wöllwarth, Baron Wulffen and Schröger, wounded. On the Prussian side, Major-General von Krosigk had been killed; generals von Zieten, von Ingersleben, von Manstein, von Hülsen, wounded; and generals von Tresckow and von Pannwitz, wounded and taken prisoners.

Kolin was Frederick's first defeat in battle. It forced him to raise the siege of Prague, to abandon Bohemia and to retire to Saxony. For the description of the Prussian retreat, see 1757 - Prussian invasion of Bohemia.

After this battle, the Saxon Major-General von Nostitz sent his adjutant, Lieutenant Freund, to Friedrich August II in Warsaw with the message about this great victory. The King of Poland promoted Major-General von Nostitz to lieutenant-general; Colonel von Gösnitz to major-general; Lieutenant-Colonel von Benkendorff to colonel; and Captain Kraft to Major.

Order of Battle

Austrian Order of Battle

Commander-in-chief: Count Leopold Josef Daun

Summary: 46 line bns with 84 battalion guns, 9 Grenzer bns with 9 battalion guns, 43 grenadier coys, 158 sqns, 60 heavy guns for a total of approximately 54,000 men.

First Line Second Line Reserve
Extreme Right Wing

Nádasdy's Division

Morocz's Division

Hadik's Division

Right Wing Cavalry under Count Serbelloni assisted by Benedikt Daun
O'Donell's Division  
Centre under Baron Marschall assisted by von Colloredo
Andlau's Division

Puebla's Division

Starhemberg's Division

Sincère's Division

Reserve under Count Colloredo

Wied's Division

Lützow's Division

Left Wing Cavalry under Count von Stampach assisted by Kolowrat
Wöllwarth's Division  
Left Flank Guard

Beck's Brigade



Three batteries of heavy Artillery

Prussian Order of Battle

Commander-in-chief: King Frederick II of Prussia

Summary: 32 bns, 116 sqns, 62 regimental guns, 28 heavy guns, for a total of approximately 33,000 men.

N.B.: units are listed from right to left but since the Prussian army was advancing by its left, the left wing was at the head of the columns.

First Line Second Line Reserve under
G.d.C. Von Zieten
Cavalry Right Wing under Lieutenant-General von Penavaire
Major-General Baron Schönaich Major-General von Meinicke Major-General von Katte
Infantry Centre under General of Infantry Moritz Prince von Anhalt-Dessau
Right Wing Infantry under Lieutenant-General Duke von Braunschweig-Bevern
Flank Guard

Major-General von Manstein

Major-General von Puttkamer Major-General von Hülsen
Left Wing Infantry under Lieutenant-General von Tresckow
Major-General von Pannwitz

Major-General Prince Franz von Braunschweig

Flank Guard

Major-General von Ingersleben  
Cavalry Left Wing under Lieutenant-General von Penavaire
Major-General von Krockow

Major-General von Krosigk

Major-General von Normann Major-General von Katte


Two batteries of heavy Artillery

  • 3 mortars
  • 4 howitzers
  • 21 x 12-pdr guns

Regimental artillery

  • 12 x 6-pdr guns
  • 50 x 3-pdr guns

Note: Grenadier Battalion Manteuffel is excluded from the order of battle because, on June 17, it had been left behind at Kaurzim (present-day Kouřim) to guard the baggage of the army.


This article incorporates texts from the following books, which are now in the public domain:

  • Carlyle, T.: History of Friedrich II of Prussia, vol. 18
  • Grosser Generalstab Kriegsgeschichtliche Abteilung II: Die Kriege Friedrichs des Grossen, Part 3 Der siebenjährige Krieg 1756-1763
    • Vol. 3 Kolin, pp. 65-88, Anhang 16, Anlage 3, 4
  • Tempelhoff, Fr.: History of the Seven Years' War, Vol. pp. 85-116, as translated by Colin Lindsay, Cadell, London, 1793
  • Vanicek, Fr.: Specialgeschichte der Militärgrenze aus Originalquellen und Quellenwerken geschöpft, Vol. II, Vienna: Kaiserlich-Königlichen Hof- und Staatsdruckerei, 1875, pp. 422-425

Other sources

Hoen, Maximilian Ritter von: Die Schlacht bei Kolin am 18. Juni 1757, Streffleurs Militärische Zeitschrift 1, vol. 1 (1911): 11-46, vol. 3: 369-404, vol. 4: 581-612, vol. 5: 773-796, vol. 6: 939-958.

Nelke, R.: Preussen

Purky, Jim: Following In The Footsteps of Alte Fritz, Seven Years War Association Journal Vol. VIII No. 1

Rogge, Christian: Bataille de Collin, le 18 juin 1757, Frankfurt

Skala, H.: Österreichische Militärgeschichte

Salisch, M. von: Treue Deserteure – Das kursächsische Militär und der Siebenjährige Krieg, Munich, 2009

Schuster, O. and F. Francke: Geschichte der Sächsischen Armee, 2. part, Leipzig 1885


Harald Skala for information on the Saxon Army during this period

Dr. Sascha Möbius for suggesting additional books for the present section