1758 - Prussian invasion of Moravia – Siege till the Combat of Domstadl
The campaign lasted from March to July 1758
Austrian and Prussian preparations, the initial Prussian operations in Silesia and the recapture of Schweidnitz, the entry of the Prussian Army into Moravia and the preparations for the formal siege of Olmütz (present-day Olomouc) are described in our article 1758 - Prussian invasion of Moravia – Preparations and Arrival.
Siege of Olmütz
The Prussian camp formed a large arc out of cannon range at about 7.5 km from the walls of Olmütz on the right bank of the March River (present-day Morava River). On such a wide front, Prussian infantry units had to be spread thin and individual squadrons had to be used to fill the gaps between these units. Both wings were anchored to the March River: the right wing with the village of Nimlau (present-day Nemilany) to its rear and Neustift (present-day Nové Sady) to its front; the left wing with Krönau (present-day Křelov) to its rear and Hreptschein (present-day Řepčín) to its front. The village of Nerentein (maybe Neředín) occupied the centre of these positions. The VI./Garrison Regiment Lattorf and 2 mineur coys were posted at the headquarters established in Schnoblin. The artillery park had been formed near Schnoblin. A big artillery detachment and part of the wagons had been posted in Krönau. The bakery of Frederick's Corps was at Drzowitz (present-day Držovice) along with 250 provision wagons; while the bakery of Moritz's Corps was at Littau (present-day Litovel) along with 450 provision wagons. Fredrick's military hospital was established at Horka (present-day Horka nad Moravou); Moritz's at Littau. The entire camp was protected by circumvallation and contravallation works; while Krönau and Horka were further protected by entrenchments. Only the bridge of Chomottau (present-day Chomoutov) now gave access to the left bank of the March River from the Prussian camp, the bridge of Nimlau having been destroyed. This remaining bridge was protected by an entrenchment to the south of Neustift. Thus, the Prussian blockade was quite complete on the right bank of the March River but very incomplete on the left bank were only a small detachment under Major-General Karl Friedrich von Meyer was posted.
N.B.: from this point the actions involving the Austrian garrison of Olmütz and Keith's Siege Corps are described in a separate article: siege of Olmütz while actions involving Prussian covering forces and Austrian relief corps continue to be described in the current article.
On May 21, from his positions near Konitz (present-day Konice), Loudon could easily threaten Moritz's Corps posted at Littau by a rapid advance through Namiest (present-day Náměšť na Hané) and the Laschkau (present-day Laškov) Woods. Frederick's bakery, located at Drzowitz, depended upon a steady supply of flour from Littau. The proximity of Loudon's Corps encouraged desertions and made Prussian reconnaissance almost impossible. For these reasons, Frederick resolved to attack Loudon, who was too far away from the Austrian Main Army to receive efficient support, and to drive him away from his present positions.
In the night of May 21 to 22, Frederick marched in 3 columns out of his camp at Prossznitz. The first column (1 bn, 500 dragoons and 500 hussars) under the Prince of Württemberg took position near Blumenau (present-day Plumlov) to screen the Marquis de Ville's positions. The second column (1 bn and 500 dragoons) under Zieten march against Loudon's right flank by Kosteletz, Starzechowitz (present-day Stařechovice), Czech (present-day Čechy pod Kosířem) and Przemislowitz (present-day Přemyslovice). Finally, the third column (4 bns) under Major-generals Geist and Puttkamer marched from Czech along the Lachkau Woods directly on Namiest to attract Loudon's attention and give the opportunity to the second column to outflank his positions and cut his line of retreat towards Konitz. Furthermore, Fürst Moritz received orders to send Prince Karl von Bevern (3 bns, 50 hussars) against Loudon's left flank at Willimau (Vilémov u Litovle) and Namiest and to turn this flank. However, Loudon was soon informed by his outposts of the advance of Bevern from Littau and of Frederick's 3 columns. Loudon and his troops knew perfectly the footpaths leading through this mountainous and densely wooded area and, suffering only insignificant losses, they managed to retire in the hills behind Konitz. The Prussians unsuccessfully tried to pursue them and finally returned to their camps, harassed by Loudon at the head of 2 hussar rgts while a grenadier battalion belonging to Loudon's force intercepted a Prussian detachment and took some prisoners. In this action, the Austrians lost 3 officers and 30 grenzers while the Prussians lost 4 officers and 48 men taken prisoners.
On May 23, Daun resolved to move closer to Olmütz. However, having much respect for Frederick's military genius, he did not dare to risk everything in an open battle. Furthermore, Daun knew that Olmütz was well supplied and well defended; and that his light troops could seriously hinder all foraging and requisitioning by the Prussian Army. For these reasons, Daun decided to establish himself in a strong camp near Gewitsch (present-day Jevíčko still 48 km to west of Olmütz). During his first day of march, he went from Leuthomischl (present-day Litomyšl) to Zwittau (present-day Svitavy).
On May 24, Daun marched from Zwittau to Gewitsch where he assembled 35 bns and 80 sqns. Daun was still hanging by the mountains and his magazines. The right wing of this new camp was anchored on the town of Gewitsch and the left wing extended up to Kornitz (present-day Chornice). The heights between Jarmeritz (present-day Jaroměřice u Jevíčka) and Biskupitz (present-day Biskupice) were occupied by the Grenadier Corps and the Carabinier Corps. The Reserve formed the right flank between Oppatowitz (present-day Velké Opatovice) and Gewitsch. A small stream with marshy banks covered the front of Daun's positions and a few ponds protected his left flank. Overall, he was at the head of 80,000 men. In fact, FZM Harsch had also left Nikl (present-day Mikuleč) and established his corps (12 bns, 12 grenadier coys, 2 carabinier coys and 8 sqns) in a camp on the Heights of Allerheiligen near Müglitz (present-day Mohelnice) where he replaced Jahnus who advanced to Loschitz (present-day Loštice) with his light troops. Jahnus' manoeuvre forced Prince Moritz to retire his outposts at Rzimnitz (present-day Řimice) and Neuschloss (present-day Nové Zámky) and to move them closer to his camp at Assmeritz (present-day Nasobůrky). For his part, de Ville advanced to Wischau (present-day Vyškov) and posted Esterhazy at Ptin (present-day Ptení) with a detachment of light troops to protect his line of communication with the Austrian Main Army. The vanguard of the main army, under the Prince von Löwenstein, was posted at Konitz to support Loudon. Finally, Lanius, covered by Harsch, maintained his positions at Friedland (present-day Břidličná) and Lobnig (present-day Lobník), threatening the communications between Troppau (present-day Opava) and Giebau (present-day Jívová) and the area to the rear and flank of the positions by the Prussian Corps of Margrave Karl and Meyer. Thus the Prussian covering corps were surrounded by a cloud of light troops, making it difficult to assume mutual support. The Prussians were on constant alert and combat readiness and were soon exhausted. Furthermore, they had to depend entirely on their magazines, being cut from the surrounding country. Meyer's Corps, one of the smallest of the Prussian army, had a particularly difficult mission to fulfil: the blockade of Olmütz on the left bank of the March River, and the support of the units defending the bridges.
Daun then lay in impregnable positions at Gewitsch, some 25 km from Frederick's position. He pushed out Loudon and the light cavalry on the Troppau Road.
On May 25, the Prussians received flour from Neustadt (present-day Prudnik) in Silesia. Meanwhile, to stop Loudon's depredations and to cover the line of communication with Prince Moritz at Assmeritz, Frederick detached Major-general von Wedel to the hills near Hrad (probably Skalky), between Namiest and Laschkau, in front of Luderschow (present-day Ludéřov) and Kiniczek (present-day Kníničky). Wedel had with him:
- III. "Standing" Grenadier Battalion (1 bn) detached from Schmirsitz (present-day Smržice)
- Grenadier Battalion 12//39 Pieverlingk (1 bn) detached from Mährisch Neustadt (present-day Uničov)
- Münchow Fusiliers (1 bn) detached from Assmeritz
- Frei-Infanterie le Noble (about 100 men) detached from Sternberg (present-day Šternberk)
- Frei-Infanterie Salenmon (about 100 men) detached from Sternberg
- Puttkamer Hussars (10 sqns) detached from Schmirsitz
The same day, Colonel von Lanius attacked a convoy and its escort (2 bns, 2 guns, 60 dragoons and a few hussars) returning to Silesia near Heidenpiltsch (present-day Bílčice), capturing 314 empty wagons.
On May 26, Grenadier Battalion 15/18 Kleist returned to Troppau.
On June 8, Grenadier Battalion 15/18 Kleist reinforced Meyer's Corps posted on the left bank of the March River.
On June 10, Major-general Meyer sent Grenadier Battalion 33/42 Nimschöfsky to occupy the Sauberg near Dolein (present-day Dolany u Olomouce); and deployed a detachment of Markgraf Friedrich von Bayreuth Dragoons from Chomottau to Giebau. II. "Standing" Grenadier Battalion, belonging to Margrave Karl's Corps occupied Sternberg while Frei-Infanterie le Noble and Frei-Infanterie de Salenmon advanced from Sternberg to Bärn (present-day Moravský Beroun). However, Le Noble was soon instructed to march back to Sternberg with the two Freikorps. On his way, he was attacked by Colonel Lanius' detachment (500 foot and 120 hussars) near Siebenhöfen (present-day Sedm Dvorů). In this action, the Prussian had Le Noble wounded; 100 officers and men killed; 4 officers and 378 men taken prisoners, more than 150 deserters and 3 guns captured. The Austrians lost 7 men killed and 13 wounded. The same day, Major-general von Puttkamer arrived at the Prussian camp at the head of an important convoy of provisions escorted by 3,000 convalescents and by Frei-Infanterie von Rapin. The latter Freikorp was sent to replace Grenadier Battalion 15/18 Kleist in Meyer's Corps at Holitz (present-day Holice u Olomouce) and the grenadier battalion was sent back to Troppau. When Daun heard of the arrival of the provision convoy, he was much displeased by Harsch's failure to intercept it. He immediately transferred the responsibility to watch convoys arriving from Silesia from Harsch to Loudon.
On June 11, Jahnus intercepted a Prussian convoy between Hof (present-day Dvorce) and Bärn, capturing 300 wagons, killing 400 men and taking 300 men prisoners.
By June 13, the Marquis de Ville detached GFWM Saint-Ignon to attack Meyer's positions. Saint-Ignon marched from Wischau to Kremsier (present-day Kroměříž). His corps consisted of:
- Württemberg Dragoons
- Saxon Prinz Karl Chevauxlegers
- Löwenstein Dragoons
- Dessewffy Hussars
- Saxon Graf Rudnicki Uhlanen
- Karlstädter-Lykaner Grenzer (1,000 men) under Colonel von Vela
On June 15, Saint-Ignon's Corps took position at Prerau (present-day Přerov), intending to attack the Prussian positions defended by Meyer around Groß Wisternitz (present-day Velká Bystřice) and Holitz. Meanwhile, Daun recalled Harsch, then posted at Mügliz, and instructed him to make a junction with the main army.
In the night of June 15 to 16, Daun sent Lieutenant-Colonel Jakob Robert Count Nugent-Westmeath of Sincère Infantry to get more information on the situation at Olmütz.
On June 16, Daun set off from his camp of Gewitsch in the greatest silence and marched in 5 columns to Protiwanow (present-day Protivanov). Harsch marched from Müglitz towards Konitz, his movements being rapidly spotted by outposts of Prince Moritz (posted at Assmeritz) and Margrave Karl (posted at Mährisch Neustadt). Meanwhile, Saint-Ignon received the order to attack Meyer while part of the Austrian garrison of Olmütz would launch a diversionary attack. By 10:00 pm, Saint-Ignon had deployed his corps near Majetein (present-day Majetin) in preparation for the attack. The Württemberg Dragoons and Prinz Karl Chevauxlegers would attack Holitz; while the Löwenstein Dragoons, Dessewffy Hussars and Graf Rudnicki Uhlanen would attack Bistrowan (present-day Bystrovany) and Groß Wisternitz. However, Field-marshal Keith had news of the preparations of the Austrians and immediately informed Meyer. By then, Meyer's Corps was deployed as follows:
- Markgraf Friedrich von Bayreuth Dragoons (8 sqns) near Bistrowan and Groß Wisternitz
- Seydlitz Hussars (2 sqns) near Bistrowan and Groß Wisternitz
- Grenadier Battalion 33/42 Nimschöfsky (1 bn) in Drosdein (present-day Droždín)
- Frei-Infanterie von Rapin (1 bn) in and around Holitz
- Markgraf Friedrich von Bayreuth Dragoons (2 sqns) in and around Holitz
- Feldjäger zu Fuß von Aweyde (2 coys) in an unspecified location
In the night of June 16 to 17, Meyer's troops remained under arms. Meyer also recalled Grenadier Battalion 33/42 Nimschöfsky from Drosdein to occupy Groß Wisternitz. The same night the corps of Prince Moritz and Margrave Karl remained under arms in case Harsch would attack them.
On June 17 at 4:30 a.m., seeing no enemy and receiving no message from his patrol, Meyer assumed that Keith's warning was unfounded. Accordingly, he kept only a small patrol in front of his positions and sent Grenadier Battalion 33/42 Nimschöfsky back to Drosdein. His cavalry unsaddled and went foraging. These dispositions had barely been taken when Löwenstein Dragoons, Dessewffy Hussars and Graf Rudnicki Uhlanen suddenly appeared in front of Groß Wisternitz and launched their attack, rapidly seizing the camp of the Markgraf Friedrich von Bayreuth Dragoons, killing, wounding or taking prisoners a large number of dragoons and forcing the rest to precipitously retire towards Drosdein. The Austrians set the Prussian camp of Groß Wisternitz afire. By chance the 2 squadrons of Seydlitz Hussars had not yet unsaddled and were able to retire without losing a single man, managing to take a few prisoners. Meanwhile, the Grenadier Battalion 33/42 Nimschöfsky had reassembled and hurriedly marched to the support of the Prussian cavalry. With the help of a few artillery pieces, they stopped the advance of the Austrian cavalry and drove it back beyond the camp of Groß Wisternitz up to Groß Teinitz (present-day Velký Týnec).
At the same time, the Württemberg Dragoons and Prinz Karl Chevauxlegers attacked Holitz, only defended by Frei-Infanterie von Rapin and 2 squadrons of Markgraf Friedrich von Bayreuth Dragoons. However, the Prussians managed to retire towards the March River by the dams and the Austrians could only capture 1 officer and 30 men left behind to defend the cemetery.
During this time, Meyer had received orders from Keith to retire to Holitz. Grenadier Battalion 33/42 Nimschöfsky formed a square with its baggage in the middle and retired towards Holitz in good order without losing a single man even though it was attacked by Saint-Ignon's Cavalry as well as by some cavalry units sent from Olmütz.
Meyer, preceded by the rest of the Markgraf Friedrich von Bayreuth Dragoons and pursued by the Austrian cavalry was forced to pass the dams near Holitz at the gallop. The Markgraf Friedrich von Bayreuth Dragoons fell into disarray and suffered important losses. The entire regiment was in danger of being captured when Frei-Infanterie von Rapin took position behind the dams and opened fire on the pursuing Austrian Cavalry, driving it back and allowing the dragoons to reach Holitz.
At the first alarm, Keith had sent 2 battalions and 5 squadrons across the March River to support Meyer's Corps. However, these reinforcements arrived too late to prevent Meyer's retreat. Nevertheless, upon their arrival, Saint-Ignon retired to Prerau. In this action, Markgraf Friedrich von Bayreuth Dragoons lost 150 men killed or wounded and 300 men taken prisoners.
|Order of Battle|
|The website Gallica of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France gives access to a plan of the camp of the Austrian army near Eiwanowitz in der Hanna|
The same day (June 17) Prince Moritz sent a detachment (Grenadier Battalion 35/36 Schenckendorff and Möhring Hussars) under Major-general von Saldern to reconnoitre the Austrian camp at Müglitz. Meanwhile, Daun marched to Eiwanowitz in der Hanna (present-day Ivanovice na Hané) where he made a junction with the Corps of the Marquis de Ville. Daun established a new camp in this very advantageous position with his right wing resting on the village of Eiwanowitz in der Hanna and covered by a marshy stream, and his left wing anchored on the village of Prödlitz (present-day Brodek u Prostějova). The latter village as well as all villages in front of Daun's positions were occupied by infantry detachments. The Saxon Lieutenant-general von Zeschwitz at the head of 2 Saxon Chevauxlegers regiments, the converged carabiniers and the Karlstädter Hussars was posted at Kojetein (present-day Kojetin). To cover the marches of the Austrian Main Army, General Loudon had taken position in the neighbourhood of Neuschloss; GdC Buccow at Konitz and General Emmerich Esterhazy at Ptin. Daun's movements had been so well screened by his light troops that Frederick learnt of them only once the Austrian Main Army had established itself at Eiwanowitz in der Hanna. When Frederick was informed that Margrave Karl had not been attacked, that the Austrian Main Army was now at Eiwanowitz in der Hanna and that Meyer had been attacked, he instructed Margrave Karl to take a new position on the left bank of the March River and to cut communications between Olmütz and Prerau. Margrave Karl (6 bns, 3 sqns) immediately marched from his camp at Mährisch Neustadt to Bauniowitz (probably Bohuňovice).
On June 18, Margrave Carl's Corps moved to Bistrowan. Frei-Infanterie le Noble and Frei-Infanterie de Salenmon evacuated Sternberg and retired on Holitz. Frederick also instructed Prince Moritz to leave his camp of Assmeritz with 10 bns, 15 sqns and 200 hussars and to make a junction with his own corps. Moritz established his new camp on the heights near Köllein (present-day Cholina) in front of Littau with his right wing on the hills and his left extending up to his headquarters a Köllein. Meanwhile, 3 bns under the command of Kreytzen joined Möhring Hussars at Klein-Senitz to cover the communications between the Prussian Main Army and the siege corps and to contain Loudon who was still posted at Konitz. Lieutenant-general von Retzow assumed command of all Prussian troops (10 bns, 15 sqns including 8 depleted sqns who had fought at Bistrowan) posted on the left bank of the March River. On this bank, the Prussians set the village of Klein-Wisternitz (probably Bistrowan) afire. Retzow's Corps was deployed as follows:
- at Mährisch Lodenitz (present-day Moravská Loděnice)
- at Groß Wisternitz
- at Bistrowan
- at Holitz
The same day, FZM von Marschall, commanding at Olmütz, asked Daun for the support of high ranking officers and experienced soldiers. Daun resolved to send him GFWM von Bülow at the head of 1366 men, along with Major von Stockhausen of the Ingenieur Corps and 2 officers, 2 corporals and 20 gunners of the artillery.
On June 20, Frederick reconnoitred Daun's camp. The same day, Bülow's reinforcement set off from Prerau, proceeding very cautiously and making a wide detour to avoid detection by the Prussian posts at Bistrowan and Groß Wisternitz and to reach Olmütz from the north-east.
On June 21, Frederick moved Prince Moritz's Corps to Schmirsitz on the left wing of his second line. The post of Kleinsenitz (present-day Senička), occupied only by Möhring Hussars (10 sqns), was reinforced by VI. "Standing" Grenadier Battalion (Rohr), I. "Standing" Grenadier Battalion (Wangenheim) and Grenadier Battalion 19/25 Heyden. This detachment was placed under the command of Major-general von Kreytzen and ordered to maintain communication with the field-hospital at Littau which was defended by a small detachment (I./Münchow Fusiliers and 200 men from Manteuffel Infantry) under Major von Wopersnow. Furthermore, Major-general von Wedel was posted in the Height of Hrad between Namiest and Laschkau to prevent Loudon's Corps to attack the Siege Corps. The field-treasury, the field-commissariat and supply services were located at Krönau and the bakery at Horka. The same day at 4:00 p.m., GFWM Saint-Ignon made a feint against Retzow's position to divert his attention thus allowing Bülow's reinforcement to march unnoticed towards Olmütz. The latter set off at 10:00 p.m. and marched by Aujest (present-day Dolní Újezd), Haslicht (present-day Varhošt), Habicht (present-day Jestřabi), Hombok (present-day Hlubočky) and Weska (present-day Véska). The same day, a large Prussian supply convoy left Cosel (present-day Kozle) and Neisse (present-day Nysa) under the command of Colonel Mosel. It was escorted by 8 bns, 3,000 recruits and convalescent organised into 4 bns and 1,100 cavalrymen. The convoy consisted of some 4,000 wagons among which 818 transported ammunition necessary for the continuation of the siege.
On June 22 at 5:00 a.m., Saint-Ignon's Corps appeared on the Heights of Groß Teinitz. Meanwhile, at daybreak, Bülow reached Olmütz. Uninformed of Bülow's manoeuvre, Field-marshal Keith sent reinforcements (Pannewitz (2 bns) and Herzog von Württemberg Dragoons (5 sqns)) to Retzow to contain Saint-Ignon. The latter, his mission accomplished, retired to Prerau at 10:00 a.m. When Frederick heard of Bülow's successful arrival in Olmütz, he sent Lieutenant-general von Zieten out of the camp of Schmirsitz at 1:00 p.m. at the head of a large detachment (Grenadier Battalion 47/G-VII Carlowitz, Grenadier Battalion 35/36 Schenckendorff, V. "Standing" Grenadier Battalion (Rath), Baron von Kyau Cuirassiers (5 sqns), Schmettau Cuirassiers (5 sqns), Zieten Hussars (300 men), Werner Hussars (300 men) and Puttkamer Hussars (300 men), Major-general Puttkamer commanding the infantry and Major-general Jung-Krokow the cavalry) to join Retzow for a reconnaissance in force of Saint-Ignon's camp. Indeed, the resistance of Olmütz was nearing its end, but one last convoy of ammunitions was necessary to finish the siege.
On June 23, the combined detachments of Retzow and Zieten took position on the heights facing Prerau. The Austrian positions located beyond this place were very strong and the village of Prerau itself was occupied by a few hundreds men of the Karlstädter-Lykaner Grenzer who also covered the marshy banks of the Beczwa and several ponds. In fact, Saint-Ignon had left only this small detachment of Karlstädter-Lykaner Grenzer in Prerau to lure the Prussians out of their own positions. Saint-Ignon had sent his baggage to Chropin (present-day Chropyně) and retired to heights near Bichnow (maybe Beniow, present-day Beňow) with his main corps, leaving an additional detachment of Karlstädter-Lykaner Grenzer in the Castle of Tobitschau (present-day Tovačov). However, the Prussians did not fall into his trap. The same day, a detachment of Austrian light troops under Colonel von Zobel made a vain attempt to capture the post of Littau. Its summon to surrender the post was rejected and, Major-general von Kreytzen's detachment approaching the post, the Austrian detachment retired.
On June 24, Zieten retired from the area of Prerau and distributed his corps in several smaller detachments:
- in Drosdein: V. "Standing" Grenadier Battalion (Rath)
- near Drosdein: Werner Hussars (300 men)
- between Drosdein and Samotischek (present-day Samotišky): Schmettau Cuirassiers (5 sqns)
- in Samotischek: Grenadier Battalion 47/G-VII Carlowitz
- between Samotischek and Towerz (present-day Tovéř): Baron von Kyau Cuirassiers (5 sqns) and Puttkamer Hussars (300 men)
- in Towerz: Grenadier Battalion 35/36 Schenckendorff
- from Towerz towards Hlusowitz (prsent-day Hlusovice): Zieten Hussars (300 men)
On June 25, Colonel Lanius vainly tried to seize the Prussian outpost of Sternberg defended by two battalions of Freikorps.
On June 26, Daun reconnoitred the Prussian camp at Schmirsitz. A skirmish took pace with Werner Hussars (probably 7 sqns) near Prossnitz (present-day Prostějov). The same day, the important convoy of supply destined to the Prussian besiegers set off as planned from Troppau under the command of Colonel von der Mosel. A convoy from Troppau to Olmütz usually took about six days. The convoy extended on 32 km. The escort went in three brigades: vanguard, middle, rear-guard, with sparse pickets intervening. The roads were utterly bad. This convoy consisted of:
- 4,000 wagons (including 818 wagons transporting ammunition and artillery supply)
- escort (12 bns)
By the end of the day, two thirds of the wagons of the convoy had reached Bautsch (present-day Budišov nad Budišovkou) while the rest had been delayed on the muddy road.
On June 27, Daun marched out of his camp on the Heights of Prödlitz in 8 columns as if he intended to offer battle to Frederick. Then, Daun established a new camp with his right wing at Klenowitz (present-day Klenovice na Hané) and his left wing and headquarters at Dobromielitz (present-day Dobromilice), in an attempt to convince Frederick that he would attack the Prussian left flank. Meanwhile GdC von Buccow's Corps (a few thousands light troops) was advancing to Ptin against the Prussian right flank. Frederick gave orders to Zieten to march to the support of the incoming convoy. Zieten immediately sent forward a detachment (Grenadier Battalion 35/36 Schenckendorff, 200 cuirassiers and 300 hussars) under Colonel von Werner and prepared to follow him the next day. Still the same day, Mosel made the day a rest-day to permit laggards to catch up with the Prussian convoy. About two-thirds of them managed to join the convoy again.
On Wednesday June 28 in the morning, Zieten's Corps (3 bns, 10 sqns, 900 hussars) lifted its camp between Boberitz (unidentified location) and Holitz, sent its baggage across the March River towards the Prussian headquarters at Schnoblin and marched towards the Sauberg (present-day probably currently: Jedová) and Giebau to support the convoy expected from Troppau. However, Daun had already given orders to Loudon (10,000 men: Starhemberg Infantry (1 bn), Kolowrat Infantry (2 bns), Alt-Wolfenbüttel Infantry (1 bn), Slavonisch-Gradiskaner Grenzer (600 men), Zweibrücken-Birkenfeld Dragoons and Nádasdy Hussars) to intercept the convoy. He had made a long deep bend far to westward and hillward from all the Prussian posted corps, advancing by Müglitz and Hof, to make a junction with Lanius' Corps and to await the Prussian convoy. Loudon reached Güntersdorf (present-day Huntířov u Dvoravé) in the morning and deployed his troops to intercept the Prussian convoy. Meanwhile, at 2:00 a.m., the convoy had set out from Bautsch. Mosel received instructions to make a junction with Zieten's Corps at Domstadl (present-day Domašov nad Bystřicí). The vanguard (3 bns, 3 sqns) had barely passed Nieder-Güntersdorf and the first wagons penetrated into the defile leading to this village when Loudon launched a first attack. He had posted his troops on four heights overlooking the road and had planted a battery. His cavalry had formed to the south of the road; and his Grenzers along with some infantry had hidden in the bushes bordering the road. When Mosel discovered Loudon posted ahead in the defiles, he halted his train. I./Jung-Kreytzen passed the defile, formed under a very lively artillery fire and held until the arrival of additional troops. II./Jung-Kreytzen along with the Grenadier Battalion 8/46 Alt-Billerbeck and the battalion of recruits and convalescent of Prinz Ferdinand von Preußen formed by the I./Jung-Kreytzen. The Austrian had established a battery which enfiladed the right flank held by Grenadier Battalion 8/46 Alt-Billerbeck. The latter dashed up into the woody heights and difficult grounds, stormed Loudon's guns, capturing 1 gun and 200 men. Meanwhile, Jung-Kreytzen and Prinz Ferdinand regiments did as well, pushing Loudon back on Bärn with a loss of some 500 men (2 officers and 51 men killed, 4 officers and 110 men wounded and 399 men taken prisoners or missing ) after a combat of 5 hours. Nevertheless, Loudon had taken 120 prisoners, 2,000 oxen and a few wagons loaded with gold and silver. Loudon would probably have struggled farther, but he knew that there would be a better chance again not many km ahead. London had studied this convoy and knew of Zieten coming from Olmütz and of Siskovics coming to him. During the combat, the Prussian convoy had become very disordered; many farmers driving the wagons had taken flight at the first musketry fire or turned back towards Troppau. Mosel reorganised his convoy but jumbled on all day and got to his appointed quarters: the village of Neudörfl, where he formed a wagenburg for the night. He then sent Adjutant Beville to bring the news of the skirmish to Frederick. At this location, Mosel made his junction with Werner's detachment. By then, Siskovics had passed the March River with another Austrian Corps and had been reinforced with Saint-Ignon's Corps before hiding in the woods near Altliebe (present-day Stará Libavá). Loudon concerted with Siskovics, called in all possible reinforcements and took his measures.
On Thursday morning June 29, half the wagons had not yet reached Neudorfl (present-day Nová Véska). On his arrival, Zieten took command of the entire force and gave orders to take a day of rest at Altliebe to wait for these lagging wagons. This additional delay allowed Loudon and Siskovics to prepare a new attack. Loudon would rush towards Domstadl to block the way to the convoy before it could enter less difficult terrain closer to Retzow's Corps; while Siskovics would take position in the woods near Seibersdorf (present-day Bělá) to attack the rear of the convoy. On the same day, Daun reconnoitred the neighbourhood of Dub and Tobitschau and around 9:00 a.m. appeared near Prossnitz as if he intended to attack in this area. Meanwhile Buccow made demonstrations against Zieten Hussars, occupying Kosteletz. Frederick, at the head of VI./Garrison Regiment Lattorf, which was guarding his headquarters at Schmirsitz, reinforced with battalions recalled from the left wing, advanced to observe Daun. Werner Hussars, supported by Jung-Platen Dragoons and Czettritz Dragoons, attacked the advancing Austrians and captured 60 prisoners. Daun then retired precipitously to his camp. Still the same day, Frederick was informed that a strong Austrian Corps had taken position near Tobitschau. He immediately sent Lieutenant-general von Seydlitz with a few hundreds dragoons and hussars to reconnoitre the area. In the evening, Beville arrived at Frederick's headquarters with the news that the escort of the convoy arriving from Silesia had successfully repulsed Loudon's attack at Nieder-Güntersdorf, halway between Bautsch and Domstadl, and that this escort was now trying to make a junction with Zieten's Corps. These good news caused much joy in the Prussian camp. However, during this very time, Loudon was taking position to stop the convoy, being reinforced by Colonel Lanius' (500 foot and 120 hussars) and Major Amelunken's (300 Grenzers) detachments.
On June 30, Daun remain quite idle, erecting only a few entrenchments in front of his camp at Dobromielitz and destroying a few bridges across the March River between Kremsier and Kojetein. Daun thus cleverly hid his true intentions for the following night to Frederick. Early on the same day, the Prussian convoy started its march from Altliebe. Meanwhile, Loudon and Siskovics attacked the Prussian convoy in the Combat of Domstadl and captured or destroyed most of it. In the evening, Jung-Krokow finally reached Bistrowan with what he had been able to salvage from the disaster.: out of 4,000 wagons, only 250 reached their destination.
During the night of June 30 to July 1, Daun left his camp at Dobromielitz in 3 columns, crossed the March River and, behind a screen of grenzer troops, marched rapidly towards Groß Teinitz, only 3 km from Olmütz.
The last phase of the campaign is described in the following article:
- From the Combat of Domstadl till the evacuation of Moravia by the Prussian Army (July 1 to August 10, 1758) describing the lifting of the siege of Olmütz, the retreat of the Prussian Army through Bohemia and the departure of Frederick for Brandenburg.
This article is mostly made of abridged and adapted excerpts from the following books which are now in the public domain:
- St.; E. v.: Zum Säcular-GedÇachtniss von 1758 – Der Felzug in Mähren oder die Belagerung und der Entsatz von Olmütz, Frankfurt am Main: Sauerländer's Verlag, 1858, pp. 8-180
- Jomini, Henri, Traité des grandes opérations militaires, 2ème édition, 2ème partie, Magimel, Paris: 1811, pp. 6-7, 66-135
- Carlyle T., History of Friedrich II of Prussia vol. 18
- Anonymous, A Complete History of the Present War, from its Commencement in 1756, to the End of the Campaign, 1760, London, 1761, pp. 260-265
- Archenholz, J. W., The History of the Seven Years War in Germany, translated by F. A. Catty, Francfort, 1843, pp. 148, 156, 171
- Vanicek, Fr.: Specialgeschichte der Militärgrenze aus Originalquellen und Quellenwerken geschöpft, Vol. II, Vienna: Kaiserlich-Königlichen Hof- und Staatsdruckerei, 1875, pp. 436-444
- Gorani, Joseph: Mémoires, Paris: Gallimard, 1944, pp. 82-101