1758 - Russian invasion of Brandenburg

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The campaign lasted from July to October 1758

Introduction

For the campaign of 1758, the Russians had assembled a very powerful army consisting of 20 cavalry regiments, 32 infantry regiments, 4 grenadier regiments, 14,000 Cossacks and 2,000 Kalmyks, 70 howitzers, 6 mortars and 166 guns of various calibres. Furthermore, Empress Elizabeth Petrovna ordered the creation of an Observation Corps of 5 brigades of 4 battalions each. The effective strength of this Russian army was about 70,000 men.

Order of Battle
Detailed order of battle of Dohna’s Prussian Army around mid-May 1758.

Detailed order of battle of Bevern’s Prussian Army around mid-May 1758.

From January to June, the Russian army progressively proceeded to the invasion of East Prussia and then advanced into neutral Poland in a position allowing it to invade Eastern Pomerania, Brandenburg, or Silesia. Fermor, the commander-in-chief of the Russian army, finally decided to invade Brandenburg.

By mid-May, the Prussians had two forces operating in Pomerania: Dohna’s Army (approx. 18,600 men) in Western Pomerania and Bevern’s troops (approx. 8,500 men) posted at Stettin (present-day Szczecin).

Description

On July 1

  • Russians
    • The main army arrived at Posen (present-day Poznań) on the Warthe (present-day Warta). With Posen, Fermor had a good place of arms and good locations for his magazines during his operations in Brandenburg.
    • General Rumyantsev was posted at Schneidemühl (present-day Pila) with his corps.

The Russians advance towards Brandenburg

On July 3, a Prussian corps under the command of Dohna, coming from Stralsund, arrived at Bentzin.

On July 5, Resanov took position at Marienwerder (present-day Kwidzyn) to cover the magazines and to guard the passage of the Vistula.

On July 6

  • Prussians
    • Major-General von Platen was still near Köslin (present-day Koszalin). When the latter heard that the Swedes were recruiting on the territory of Danzig (present-day Gdansk), he sent First-Lieutenant du Fay with 60 hussars into this region. Du Fay managed to capture a Swedish officer along with his recruiting party and 50 recruits.
    • Dohna’s Army 20 bns and 35 sqns encamped at Schwedt. Ignoring where the Russians intended to attack, Dohna decided to send detachments under Kanitz and Ruesch in the general direction of Landsberg (present-day Gorzów Wielkopolski) on the Warthe.

Rumyantsev’s Division was soon reinforced with the horse grenadier sqns and dragoon sqns and with 500 Horvat Hussars who had recently rejoined the main army at Posen.

On July 7

  • Prussians
    • Dohna sent his vanguard under Lieutenant-General von Kanitz from Schwedt towards Cüstrin (present-day Kostrzyn nad Odrą) and ordered Platen to effect the junction with his army in the direction of Stargard and Soldin (present-day Mysliborz).
    • Platen, as ordered by Dohna, marched from Köslin by Belgard (present-day Bialogard), Schivelbein (present-day Świdwin), Labes (present-day Lobez) and Daber (present-day Dobra) to rejoin the main army. He sent 200 dragoons and 140 hussars forward to Schwedt.

On July 8

  • Russians
    • A courier sent by Field Marshal Daun from Moravia informed Fermor of the destruction of a Prussian convoy in the Combat of Domstadl and of the raising of the Siege of Olmütz. Fermor should now expect Frederick’s intervention in Brandenburg. Accordingly, he instructed Browne to hasten his march with the Observation Corps, sending him additional horses for his artillery and train. Browne replied that his corps could not reach Posen before the end of July. For his part, Fermor, judging that there were now insufficient fodder for his horses in the area of Posen, decided to march with the main army towards Frankfurt an der Oder by Meseritz (present-day Miedzyrzecz).
    • Rumyantsev sent Major-General Demiku with a strong cavalry detachment (approx. 2,000 men) from Wronke (present-day Wronki) to capture the small Fortress of Driesen (present-day Drezdenko). The occupation of this fortress was important for the Russians because it was the only place in the region where they could easily pass the Netze (present-day Noteć River). Furthermore, Driesen offered a good base for operations in this region.

On July 9

  • Russians
    • Rumyantsev received 2 additional unicorns.
  • Prussians
    • Major von Dittmannsdorff arrived at Landsberg with his garrison battalion to load supplies stored in the magazines on carriages and ships to transfer them to Cüstrin.

When the magistrates of Cüstrin heard of the presence of Russian light cavalry at Liebenau (present-day Lubrza), Meseritz, Königswalde (present-day Lubniewice) and Schwerin (present-day Skwierzyna), they turned to Colonel Count Hordt to obtain his support. Hordt sent 1 bn of Frei-Infanterie von Hordt with one 3-pdr gun under Lieutenant-Colonel von Goltz to Zielenzig (present-day Sulecin), along with a number of Land Hussars and Knobelsdorff’s hussar detachment. Hordt had thus deprived himself of almost half of his forces, including his best hussars, while he was facing Rumyantsev’s strong cavalry division.

In the afternoon of July 10, Demiku’s detachment appeared to the south of Driesen and vainly summoned Hordt to surrender. Demiku then bombarded Driesen with his light pieces. An intermittent artillery duel lasted until the next morning causing very little losses.

On July 11

  • Russians
    • In the morning, the attempt of the Russian to cross the Netze near the fortress to encircle Driesen failed because of the depth of the water and the fire of the garrison. Demiku considered that he could not storm the fortress with his small detachment and retired to Zirke (present-day Sieraków). He did not try to cross the Netze farther from Driesen.
  • Prussians
    • Dohna quit his camp of Schwedt.
    • In Bohemia, Frederick’s column, which was retreating from Moravia, reached the region of Königgrätz (present-day Hradec Králové/CZ) where it would remain until July 25. Daun was facing him in an advantageous position and believed that Frederick would continue his march towards Silesia.
Prussian and Russian manoeuvres in Brandenburg in July and August 1758.
 
Source: Kriege Friedrichs des Grossen, volume III by the German Grosser Generalstab
 
Courtesy: Tony Flores

On July 12

  • Russians
    • Fermor set off from Posen with with his 1st and 2nd divisions and marched to Starzyny.
    • Major Karabanov reported that he had made an incursion into Silesia with 250 Don Cossacks and retreated in front of a superior Prussian force (600 foot and 150 hussars), losing 13 men killed and 1 wounded. Reinforcements were sent to Karabanov.
  • Prussians
    • Kanitz was encamped near Seelow and Platen near Massow (present-day Maszewo).

On July 13

  • Austrians
    • Empress Maria Theresa approved Daun’s plan proposing to penetrate into Lusatia by Zittau instead of following Frederick’s Army in Silesia. Daun would leave an Austrian corps on the Silesian frontier and advance in the general direction of Frankfurt an der Oder. FML de Ville was already operating in Silesia with an Austrian corps (approx. 11,000 men). If ever Frederick chose to advance in Lusatia, Daun planned to follow him to catch the Prussians between the Russian and Austrian armies.
  • Russians
    • The main army had a resting day.
    • Dissatisfied with the results obtained by Demiku, Rumyantsev sent a strong new detachment (6 horse grenadier sqns, 3 dragoon sqns, 2 unicorns accompanied by Cossacks and hussars) under Brigadier Yeropkin by Zirke towards Driesen. Yeropkin’s light troops under Colonel Krasnotshokov reached Hammer (present-day Karwin near Drezdenko).
  • Prussians
    • Hordt was informed by reliable spies that the Russians would advance on Driesen the next day with a considerable force and resume the bombardment of the fortress. They would also send cavalry across the Netze through the fords at Trebitsch (present-day Trzebicz) and Bellitz (maybe Stare Bielice) to cut the line of retreat of the garrison. Considering the weak defensive works of the fortress and the insufficiency of provisions, artillery pieces (only 3 battalion guns) and ammunition, Hordt decided to evacuate the small fortress and to retreat to Friedeberg (present-day Strzelce Krajenskie).
    • Informed of the situation at Driesen, Dohna detached Major-General von Ruesch from his vanguard with Grenadier Battalion Lossow, Grenadier Battalion Petersdorff and 600 horse towards Landsberg. The rest of Kanitz’s vanguard (Below Infantry, Rautter Infantry, 400 horse) should follow on July 15 to cover the retreat of Hordt and Ruesch.
    • Platen rested his troops near Massow.

On July 14

  • Prussians
    • At daybreak, Hordt set off from Driesen.
    • Platen’s Corps marched from Massow to Stargard where he learned of the evacuation of Driesen and of Hordt’s retreat to Friedeberg. Platen decided to march to Friedeberg, but instead of rushing to the aid of Hordt, who was seriously threatened and for the time being entirely on his own, he remained at Stargard even though he had only covered 19 km that day and his cavalry could still march farther.
    • General Ruesch set off from Seelow and marched towards Landsberg.
  • Russians
    • Fermor reached Jankowice with the main army and encamped in two lines with the town in front of his left flank.
    • In the afternoon, Yeropkin arrived at Hammer with his regular cavalry. There he was informed of the retreat of the garrison of Driesen and of its exact strength. He immediately sent his light cavalry to pursue the Prussian garrison. In the evening, he entered into Driesen where he was soon joined by another detachment of Cossacks and hussars under Colonel Goritsh. This detachment had crossed the Netze above Driesen and reconnoitred along the Drage (present-day Drawa River).
    • Late in the evening, Goritsh launched a raid against Friedeberg. Yeropkin learned from incoming deserters that the reinforcements expected by Hordt were still far away.

On July 15

  • Engagement
    • At daybreak, Hordt sent his hussars and 1 coy of Frei-Infanterie von Hordt under Captain von Chambaud to reconnoitre in the direction of Driesen. They were suddenly surrounded by Cossacks east of Hohenkarzig and captured. However, one hussar managed to escape and galloped in the direction of Friedeberg.
    • Around 6h00 a.m., the hussar arrived at Friedeberg and informed Hordt of the engagement at Hohenkarzig (present-day Gardzko). However, he did not know the final outcome of this engagement. Hordt immediately posted detachments at the outskirts of Friedeberg to cover the town against attacks from the Cossacks. He then took position with the rest of his detachment (some 1,000 men) on a height about 1 km east of of Friedeberg, hoping that Chambaud’s party would soon rejoin them.
    • Hordt positions were immediately encircled by Russian light troops who cut his line of retreat towards Landsberg. Hordt was convinced that regular Russian troops closely followed the light troops. Accordingly, he remained in his positions on the height.
    • Around noon, Yeropkin arrived in front of Hordt’s positions with his horse grenadiers, dragoons and artillery pieces. As these new troops deployed for attack, the Austrians forming part of Frei-Infanterie von Hordt started to desert to the Russians.
    • Hodt formed his remaining troops in square and started his retreat. With difficulty, he managed to ward off the repeated attacks of the Cossacks and hussars. However, Yeropkin did not support his light troops with his regular cavalry and his artillery pieces. This saved Hordt’s detachment from total annihilation. Hordt could also thank his brave Land companies for their stubbornness, because most of Frei-Infanterie von Hordt deserted to the Russians during the combat.
    • As darkness fell, the Russians abandoned the pursuit.
    • The Russians assembled at Friedeberg and plundered the town. They then retired to Driesen.
  • Russians
    • The main army advanced to Biten (unidentified location) where it encamped with the village behind its left flank.
  • Prussians
    • Dohna’s main body was at Eberswalde.
    • Platen advanced from Stargard to Dölitz (present-day Dolice).
    • In the evening, Ruesch arrived at Landsberg with his detachment.

During the night of July 15 to 16, Hordt’s exhausted detachment finally met the troops of General Ruesch, a few km northeast of Landsberg. Altogether, they took refuge in Landsberg. In the engagements of Hohenkarzig and Friedeberg, Hordt had lost in killed and wounded 66 men of the Land militia, 17 invalids, 29 Land hussars and 75 men of Frei-Infanterie von Hordt. Furthermore, more than 700 men of Frei-Infanterie von Hordt had deserted to the enemy. In addition, 1 officer was killed, 2 wounded and 7 captured. Overall, he had lost some 900 men. The Russians suffered only minor losses.

On July 16

  • Prussians
    • Platen reached Bernstein (present-day Pełczyce).
    • Ruesch waited at Landsberg for the arrival of Kanitz’s vanguard while the invalids and the Land Hussars were sent back to Cüstrin.

On July 18, Fermor’s Army reached Pinne (present-day Pniewy) and encamped there, building five flèches in front of the camp. Part of Rumyantsev’s light troops effected a junction with the army at Pinne and were used to make forward reconnaissances. In this town, Fermor was informed of the capture of Driesen and of the combat near Friedeberg. He decided to throw a strong garrison (a few hundreds men with 5 artillery pieces) into Driesen and to use it as a base for his operations.

On July 19, Major Engelhard brought 740 Prussian prisoners and deserters (including 400 men who had deserted from Frei-Infanterie von Hordt) at the Russian headquarters.

On July 20

  • Russians
    • Lieutenant-General Rumyantsev was instructed to supply the garrison of Driesen from the magazine at Wronke and to send Brigadier Yeropkin's detachment across the Netze River. Yeropkin took position on the Berda River and reconnoitred the area.
  • Prussians
    • Belling’s detachment (3 sqns of Belling Hussars and 1 sqn of Szekely Hussars), arriving from Saxony, reached Crossen (present-day Krosno Odrzańskie).
    • Dohna arrived at Gusow with his main force. There, he was informed that the Russians were planning to advance upon Frankfurt an der Oder. Dohna immediately recalled Kanitz from Landsberg and sent Malachowski Hussars and Belling’s detachment to Frankfurt an der Oder.

On July 21

  • Russians
    • The main army marched to Linde (present-day Linia) and encamped in front of the village.
    • Brigadier Stoyanov was detached to Meseritz with the Serbskiy Hussars to reinforce a Russian detachment of dragoons and Cossacks under Maslov, covering the magazine that was forming there.
    • Orders were sent to Browne to hasten the march of the Observation Corps from Posen to Paradies Kloster (present-day Gościkowo) and to collect supply for one month on the frontiers of Brandenburg.
    • In Silesia, Lieutenant-Colonel Tockeli’s detachment (2 hussar sqns, 400 Cossacks), who had been sent by Fermor to reinforce Karabanov when he had been informed of the engagement of Zaborowo, effected a junction with Karabanov’s detachment. Together, these detachments advanced on Guhrau (present-day Góra) where they skirmished with Burgsdorff’s detachment for an hour before retiring.
  • Prussians
    • Dohna's Army reached the Heights of Lebus on the left bank of the Oder.

On July 22

  • Engagement
    • There was an engagement between Prussian and Russian hussars north of Schwerin.
  • Russians
    • The Observation Corps arrived at Posen.

On July 23

  • Russians
    • The main army marched to Betsche (present-day Pszczew) where it encamped.
    • Fermor ordered Rumyantsev to send all his hussars to Schwerin to reconnoitre towards Meseritz and along the frontier of Brandenburg.

On July 24

  • Russians
    • Fermor held a council of war at his headquarters which was also attended by General Browne. The Conference in St. Petersburg had advised Fermor to send the Observation Corps, reinforced by 8,000 men of the main army, against Glogau (present-day Glogow). After the capture of Glogau, this force should penetrate farther into Silesia. Fermor had received intelligence that Dohna’s Army and Kanitz’s and Platen’s detachments were now assembled near Cüstrin and Landsberg. It was also known that Frederick was marching towards Königgrätz with a column of his army while Keith advanced towards Silesia with another. Furthermore, a reinforcement of 4,000 men sent by Prince Heinrich should join Dohna’s Army in a few days. Finally, Hamilton had informed Fermor that he would advance only up to Anklam with his Swedish army. The War council expected Dohna’s and Frederick’s forces to effect a junction of the left bank of the Oder to prevent the Russians from crossing the river. If the Prussians did not manage to effect this junction in time, the Russian generals expected that they would let the Russians cross the river, then cut them off from their line of retreat and attack them from two sides. In such a situation the war council estimated that it was inadvisable to split the Russian army (36,000 foot in the main army and 12,000 foot in the Observation Corps) in two distinct operational forces. The Austrian military envoy agreed with this view of the situation. The war council finally concluded that the entire army should march towards Frankfurt an der Oder. Upon arrival, the army would entrench itself in strong positions, summoned the city to surrender and, if necessary, bombard it. Future operations after the capture of Frankfurt an der Oder were not yet clearly defined. Saint-André, the Austrian envoy, urged Fermor to cross the Oder at Frankfurt and to take position on the left bank. However, Fermor wanted to have the agreement of his government before undertaking such an action. Nevertheless, he promised to keep an eye on Berlin with strong forces. Fermor did not know if he would have sufficient provisions to feed his army during the month of August. He had already lost a great number of horses because of lack of provisions.
    • In Silesia, the force under Lieutenant-Colonel Tockeli and Major Karabanov surprised the suburbs of Glogau and alarmed the garrison.
  • Prussians
    • Dohna's Army encamped in the district of Lebus, a few km north of Frankfurt an der Oder.


On July 25 and 26, the Russian army marched towards Meseritz where Fermor wanted to wait for the arrival of the Observation Corps.

On July 26

  • Russians
    • The Russians erected 7 redoubts to protect their camp at Meseritz.
    • Rumyantsev’s Cavalry Division set off from Wronke.

On July 27, Fermor was informed of the departure of Kanitz’s detachment from Landsberg and of its march through Cüstrin towards Frankfurt an der Oder. Fermor threw 500 cavalrymen and 200 foot with 4 artillery pieces into Landsberg.

On July 28

  • Russians
    • Rumyantsev’s Cavalry Division reached Schwerin. Fermor then recalled most of the light cavalry to the main army.
    • The Observation Corps reached Tirschtiegel (present-day Trzciel). However, its wagons and its artillery could not follow the troops as they advanced on sandy tracks under a pouring rain.
    • Fermor received a letter from the Austrian Chancellor Kaunitz at his headquarters near Meseritz, inviting the Russian commander to collaborate with Daun and suggesting to involve the Swedes in the general plan of operation.
  • Prussians
    • Kanitz made a junction with Dohna at the camp near Lebus. Dohna's Corps was further reinforced by 7 bns from Zieten's Corps stationed in Silesia and by 10 sqns from the Prussian Army of Saxony.

On July 30

  • Russians
    • Fermor held a council of war to discuss in depth the Austrian proposal. Fermor informed his generals that a corps of 12,000 men was on its way to reinforce Dohna’s Army posted near Frankfurt an der Oder, bringing his army to a strength of 36,000 men (in fact only 23,600 men). Thus Dohna would be strong enough to make the passage of the Oder very difficult. In fact, because of his supply problems, Fermor did not consider to cross the Oder and advance into the poor region of Mark. Fermor even thought that the army should not continue its march towards Frankfurt an der Oder because his provisions could not last beyond August 12. Furthermore, the horses of the artillery and train urgently needed rest and better feed while the provisions of the region were already exhausted. Fermor mentioned that it was necessary to leave the region and to march towards Silesia or Pomerania. He thought that Pomerania and the nearby Neumark offered better possibility to build magazine for his army. Furthermore, the capture of Colberg (present-day Kołobrzeg) would allow to transport supplies by sea; and its new position would allow the Russian army to support the Swedes. The council of war finally decided to follow Fermor’s advice and to march to the region of Schwedt, Cüstrin and Landsberg. Outposts would secure the vicinity of Cüstrin, Stettin and Schwedt. Magazines would be established in Soldin and Stargard with the assistance of local authorities and Colberg would be taken to open the sea route for supplies. Wagons would transport supplies from Colberg and Marienwerder by Stargard to the army. Even Danzig would be compelled to deliver provisions in case of emergency. In the fodder rich Eastern Pomerania, the exhausted horses would soon recover, so that the Russian army could confidently resume operations at the end of August or at the beginning of September. Accordingly:
      • on August 1, Rumyantsev’s Cavalry Division would advance from Schwerin to Sonnenburg (present-day Slonsk) where it would wait for the arrival of the Observation Corps in the vicinity
      • on August 2, Fermor’s main army would set off from Meseritz and advance towards Sonnenburg, screened by light troops; then it would take the direction of Landsberg
      • on August 6, the Observation Corps would set off from Paradies but would not march directly to effect a junction with Rumyantsev’s Division, initially advancing towards Sternberg (present-day Torzym) to confuse the Prussians
  • Prussians
    • To stop Fermor's advance, Dohna ordered Major-General Malachowski to cross the Oder at Frankfurt and to advance to Reppen (present-day Rzepin) with the remnants of Frei-Infanterie von Hordt and all available hussars. Malachowski posted his infantry at Reppen and the main body of hussars at Drossen (present-day Osno Lubuskie), and detached an outpost of 100 hussars to Sternberg.

On July 31

  • Russians
    • The Russians were busy baking bread and biscuits.
    • General Browne detached a body of light troops to collect some 2,000 horses on the frontiers of Brandenburg and Silesia.
    • The Moldavskiy Hussars and 3 pulks of Cossacks were sent to General Browne to be used in outposts.
  • Prussians
    • Dohna marched from Lebus with his army and encamped at Frankfurt an der Oder.

The decisions of the War Council and its reasons were communicated to the Conference, to Daun and to Kaunitz. The Conference in St. Petersburg agreed with these but emphasized that it was imperative to weaken Dohna's Army as much as possible to support the operations of the Austrians.

For his part Lieutenant-General Count Hamilton did nothing to ease the junction of his Swedish army with the Russians.

At the beginning of August, Tockeli and Karabanov evacuated Silesia and rejoined the Observation Corps.

On August 1

  • Russians
    • Quartermaster-General Stoffeln was sent forward from Meseritz with a large body of light troops and 300 dragoons to dislodge the Prussians from Lagow and Zielenzig.
  • Prussians
    • The Prussians were driven out of Sternberg which was occupied by Russian light troops.

On August 2

  • Russians
    • Stoffeln took possession of Lagow. He left a garrison in Lagow before resuming his advance to Zielenzig. The 200 Prussian hussars posted at Zielenzig evacuated the village before Stoffeln’s arrival. Stoffeln pursued them up to Reppen before returning to Zielenzig where he learned from the inhabitants that a force of approx. 5,500 Prussian infantry and light cavalry was posted at Kunersdorf (probably Kosobudz or Kunowice).
    • Fermor quit his camp at Meseritz and encamped near Königswalde in Brandenburg. Fermor's Army then consisted of 28 rgts of infantry with some light troops.
    • Rumyantsev’s entire Cavalry Division marched from Schwerin to Hammer where Fermor, informed of the presence of a Prussian force at Kunersdorf, ordered it to halt.
  • Prussians
    • Manteuffel reinforced the Prussian detachment at Reppen with Schorlemmer Dragoons (5 sqns) and Plettenberg Dragoons (5 sqns) under Lieutenant-General Marschall. He also marched towards Reppen at the head of 3 bns.

On August 3

  • Russians
    • Rumyantsev detached a party of light troops from his corps towards Köslin to reconnoitre the garrison of Colberg.
    • Fermor sent Brigadier Stoyanov with with 1,000 hussars, 100 grenadiers and 300 Cossacks by Sternberg and Reppen to reconnoitre in the direction of Kunersdorf on the right bank of the Oder. **Fermor also sent 200 Cossacks under Colonel Bulatzell towards Drossen and Sonnenburg. They then formed a chain of outposts from Zielenzig, Sternberg and Lagow up to Paradies to mask the movement of his army.
    • Prince Karl of Saxony and his retinue arrived at the Russian headquarters to participate in the ongoing campaign.
  • Prussians
    • Manteuffel and his 3 bns arrived at Reppen.
    • 7 bns under Major-Generals Kurssell and Dierecke arrived in the Prussian camp. They were part of the Prussian units which had previously been stationed in the area of Landeshut (present-day Kamienna Gora) and Glatz (present-day Klodzko) in Silesia. Frederick had detached this corps to the neighbourhood of Glogau when he had heard of the advance of the Russians towards Brandenburg. When the corps was ordered to join Dohna's Army, only the Grenadier Battalion 38/43 Burgsdorf was left behind at Glogau.
    • The Prinz von Preußen Cuirassiers and the Markgraf Friedrich Cuirassiers arrived in the camp at Frankfurt from Prince Heinrich's Army of Saxony.

On the night of August 3, a Prussian force, consisting of 1 grenadier bn and 600 hussars and dragoons, and 3 guns under the command of Ruesch, marched from Cüstrin towards Landsberg.

On August 4

  • Russians
    • Fermor led his army to the north bank of the Warthe.
    • Major-General Dietz's Infantry Brigade along with 500 light cavalry moved forward by Hammer towards Landsberg followed by the heavy baggage.
    • Lieutenant-Colonel Ashikov was also ordered to transport all available provisions from Posen to Landsberg.
  • Prussians
    • Ruesch, learning that the Russian detachment defending Landsberg was stronger than he had anticipated, retired to Soldin.
  • Engagement
    • In the night, Major-General Malachowski marched from Reppen with the Prussian hussars followed by 4 bns under Major-General Dierecke, hoping to surprise Stoyanov's detachment at Sternberg. Meanwhile, Stoyanov endeavoured a similar attempt on the Prussian camp at Reppen. The two vanguards clashed at Potschen (unidentified location). After a brief skirmish, Malachowski retired to Reppen and Stoyanov retired on the main army.

On August 5

  • Russians
    • Dietz's force reached Hammer and reported that the Prussian General Ruesch had taken position in the woods to the north-west of Landsberg where he seemed to be waiting for reinforcements.
    • General Browne being sick, Lieutenant-General Tchernishev assumed command of the Observation Corps which reached Paradies, three days later than anticipated, heavy rain having delayed the train. To help this struggling corps, Fermor sent 1 hussar rgt and 3 Cossack rgts in a raid on the borders of Silesia and Brandenburg to bring back 1,500 horses to replace the exhausted artillery and train horses of the Observation Corps. This raid further delayed the planned operations.
    • Fermor held a council of war where it was decided to speed up movement. The cavalry division should advance from Hammer towards Königswalde to cover the main army and mask its movements; while the Observation Corps would return in two columns by Schwerin and Birnbaum (present-day Międzychód) to Driesen and then march by Friedeberg to Landsberg where it would effect a junction with the main army. Fermor had already taken disposition to establish a magazine in Landsberg where supply collected in the region would be assembled.

Browne had warned Fermor of the importance of seizing Colberg immediately, as Russian troops arriving in Eastern Pomerania would soon suffer from a shortage of food that would not put a stop to all further operations, but would also force the Russians into an inglorious retreat. Browne suggested to detach 500 grenadiers and 4 artillery pieces from Resanov’s Corps stationed on the Vistula, to transport these troops aboard wagons and to storm Colberg which had only a small garrison.

On August 6

  • Russians
    • General Dietz reached Landsberg.
    • The Observation Corps marched from Paradies through Birnbaum to Schwerin on the Warthe River where it encamped.
    • Colonel Dalke at Posen was instructed to transfer the sick to Landsberg.
    • Colonel Bulatzell returned from his reconnaissance in the area of Sonnenburg, without meeting any Prussian unit.
    • Rumyantsev's Cavalry Division arrived at the camp of Königswalde.
  • Prussians
    • Lieutenant-General Marschall remitted his command at Reppen to Manteuffel.
    • Dohna's main corps encamped to the right of Frankfurt an der Oder.

On August 7

  • Russians
    • The main army (21 rgts of infantry) marched to the village of Altensorge (present-day Glinik). All light cavalry and 1 infantry brigade were sent forward to support the cavalry division at Königswalde.
    • Rumyantsev's Cavalry remained at Königswalde.
    • Major-General Dietz reported that he had crossed the Warthe at Landsberg with his brigade, the park of artillery and the heavy baggage. He also reported that Ruesch’s detachment had returned to Cüstrin.

On August 8

  • Russians
    • The main army marched to Landsberg and encamped along the Warthe while the baggage of the 2nd Division and of the cavalry were moved across the river.
    • Rumyantsev sent out 3 small detachments to Drossen, Sternberg and Sonnenburg to reconnoitre the Prussian positions.

On August 9

  • Russians
    • Rumyantsev's detachments returned, informing him that the Prussians were still occupying Reppen.
    • Rumyantsev’s Cavalry Division set off from Königswalde and marched to Altensorge.
    • The 1st Brigade of the 1st Russian Division crossed the Warthe to cover the baggage and to support Dietz.

On August 10

  • Russians
    • The 1st Division crossed the Warthe at Landsberg.
    • Rumyantsev's Cavalry marched from Altensorge to Landsberg. Rumyantsev left part of his cavalry on the south bank of the Warthe and resumed his march to cover the advance of the Observation Corps.
    • Major-General Stoffeln with the Chuguevski Cossacks and some hussars took possession of Soldin.
    • Colonel Bilau was sent to reinforce Stoffeln with 500 grenadiers and dragoons. Stoffeln then sent reconnaissance parties towards Cüstrin, Stettin and Schwedt.
  • Tchernishev was instructed to march from Schwerin to Landsberg with his Observation Corps.
  • Prussians

On August 11

  • Russians
    • Fermor’s 2nd Division passed the Warthe. Both divisions encamped on the heights north-west of Landsberg.
    • Stoffeln's reconnaissance parties reported a Prussian outpost of 2 sqns of dragoons between Soldin and Cüstrin.
    • The Observation Corps marched from Paradies in a single column, contrary to orders. It had previously sent forward several detachments (including Karabanov’s detachment which had returned from Silesia) at Zielenzig, Sternberg, Schwiebus (present-day Świebodzin) and Züllichau (present-day Sulechów) to cover its march.
  • Prussians
    • Frederick's Corps marched from Landeshut to Rohnstock (present-day Roztoka).

Between August 12 and 16, Fermor finally took dispositions for the capture of Colberg. He ordered Resanov to advance on Colberg from the Vistula with part of his corps (Sibyrskiy Infantry, Nevskiy Infantry, Belozerskiy Infantry, 30 field pieces, 30 hussars and 300 Cossacks). The fleet would also participate in the enterprise.

On August 12

  • Russians
    • Fermor marched to Friedrichsburg (unidentified location) with the 1st Division (17 infantry rgts, 2 dragoon rgts and 1 hussar rgt). The Russians were informed that Stargard was defended by Major Grumbkau with 1 infantry bn and some hussars; that Colberg was well supplied with guns and ammunition and garrisoned by 3 bns; and that the garrison of Stettin consisted of 10,000 men, mainly militia, and a few sqns of the recently raised Pomeranian Provincial Hussars von Natzmer.
  • Prussians
    • Frederick's Corps marched from Rohnstock to Liegnitz.
    • In the night, Manteuffel tried to surprise a Russian detachment at Königswalde but the latter retired in time. The Prussian vanguard encamped at Zielenzig.

On August 13

  • Russians
    • The 1st Division reached Gross-Kammin (present-day Kamień Wielki). In the afternoon, Fermor, escorted by a few hundreds Cossacks and 2 hussar rgts reconnoitred the vicinity of Cüstrin. In the suburbs, the Cossacks engaged Prussian hussars, threw them back and reached the bridges leading to Cüstrin over the arm of the Warthe but the fire of the artillery of the fortress stopped them. In the suburbs, Fermor learned from a reliable source that there were about 2,000 men in the fortress, and that Frederick was expected shortly with a sizable force. In the evening, the reconnaissance party returned to Gross-Kammin.
    • Stoffeln reported that one of his reconnaissance party had advanced close to Schwedt and seen that the bridge over the Oder had been destroyed.
    • Another party reported that 500 Prussian militia were stationed in Colberg while 50 hussars and 40 Bosniaks were posted at Köslin.
    • Rumyantsev was ordered to march from Landsberg through Soldin to Stargard with the cavalry.
    • Resanov was instructed to march from Marienwereder to Stolp (present-day Słupsk).
  • Prussians
    • Malachowski was detached with 1 bn and 500 horse to reconnoitre the neighbourhood of Landsberg and skirmished with some Russian light troops.
    • Dohna sent Colonel Schack with 4 bns to reinforce Cüstrin.
    • Frederick's Corps marched from Liegnitz to Groß Heinzendorf (present-day Jędrzychów).

Meanwhile, Fermor had reorganized his army, distributing the former cavalry division among other divisions and creating a 3rd Division which he placed under the command of Rumyantsev. Fermor also made preparations for the establishment of magazines in Pomerania and Neumark. He also sent reconnaissance parties towards Stettin, Schwedt and Cüstrin.

On August 14

  • Russians
    • The 1st Division remained at Gross-Kammin to bake bread while the 2nd Division joined this corps in its camp. It was decided to invest the Fortress of Cüstrin from the east bank of the Warthe while Stoffeln with a strong detachment would make himself master of the suburbs.
    • The Observation Corps reached Schwerin. It was charged to cover the Warthe between Cüstrin and Birnbaum to prevent an advance of the Prussian from the south.
    • Rumyantsev’s Division was charged to cover Stettin and to occupy Eastern Pomerania. He marched from Landsberg by Soldin and Pyritz (present-day Pyrzyce) towards Stargard to control the Oder between Stettin and Schwedt. He also had to establish magazines in Stargard and Soldin. Once at Stargard, he had been instructed to establish communication with Lieutenant-General Resanov’s force. Rumyantsev would reinforce Resanov with 2 infantry rgts and some field artillery; and Resanov would advance on Colberg in an attempt to take the place by surprise.
  • Prussians
    • When Dohna was informed that advanced parties of the Russian Army had been seen in front of Cüstrin, he detached Lieutenant-General Schorlemmer with 4 bns and 16 sqns to observe them. Schorlemmer arrived at Cüstrin in the evening.
    • Manteuffel's Corps was ordered to rejoin the main army at Frankfurt. Accordingly, he quit Zielenzig and retired to Reppen.
    • Frederick's Corps took a day rest at Groß Heinzendorf.

In the following days, Fermor received reports that Dohna’s Army still stood near Frankfurt an der Oder; that Schwedt was occupied only by a small infantry detachment; and that 1 bn and a few hussars were occupying Stargard. In Stettin, there was o force of 10,000 Prussian foot, mainly militia with a few sqns of Land Hussars. Another reconnaissance party reported that Colberg was occupied by only 500 militia but had a good artillery.

Siege of Cüstrin

Asseburg Infantry on fast march from Moravia to Cüstrin in August 1758 - Source: Carl Röchling, 1895

On August 15

  • Russians
    • Fermor began the Siege of Cüstrin, burning most of the town during this first day.
  • Prussians
    • Dohna marched from Frankfurt towards Cüstrin while Manteuffel was retiring upon Frankfurt according to the orders that he had previously received.
    • Frederick's Corps marched from Groß Heinzendorf to Dalke (unidentified location).

On August 16

  • Russians
    • The bombardment of Cüstrin continued.
    • The Observation Corps marched from Schwerin to Landsberg and replaced the garrison of Landsberg, Friedeberg and Driesen who rejoined the main army.
  • Prussians
    • In the morning, Dohna encamped at Reitwein where he was joined by Manteuffel's detachment.
    • Frederick's Corps marched from Dalke to Deutsch-Wartenberg (present-day Otyń).

On August 17

  • Prussians
    • Dohna took position between Manschnow and Gorgast. A bridge was thrown on the river to establish communication with Cüstrin and its garrison was reinforced with 3 bns.
    • Frederick's Corps marched from Deutsch-Wartenberg to Plothe (present-day Płoty).

On August 18

  • Russians
    • The siege of Cüstrin continued.
  • Prussians
    • Frederick's Corps marched from Plothe to Crossen.

On August 19

  • Prussians
    • Frederick's Corps marched from Crossen to Ziebingen (present-day Cybinka) where the whole corps encamped except Asseburg Infantry which remained in the village to protect the headquarters.

On Sunday August 20

  • Prussians
    • Cüstrin continued to resist.
    • Frederick’s Army (15,000 strong) reached the City of Frankfurt an der Oder and the king took lodgings in the house of a clergyman widow. His infantry cantoned in the town while the cavalry encamped in front of the Lebus Gate. At Frankfurt, Frederick was observed to go often out of doors to listen to the noise of the Russian guns firing upon some 32 km away.


Frederick comes to the rescue

Frederick visits the ruins of Cüstrin in August 1758 - Source: Carl Röchling, 1895

On August 21

    • Prussians
    • Early in the morning, leaving his corps behind at Frankfurt, Frederick visited General Dohna at his camp at Gorgast, just outside Cüstrin. Dohna had been keeping a watch on the Russians, although unable to interfere with their proceedings. The king had a profound contempt for the Russians, in spite of the warning of Keith, who had served with them, that they were far better soldiers than they appeared to be; and he anticipated a very easy victory over them.

On Tuesday, August 22

  • Russians
    • After much delays, Resanov’s detachment finally set off from Marienwerder and marched towards Colberg.
  • Prussians
    • At 5:00 a.m., Frederick's own army joined forces with Dohna's at Manschnow.
    • Prince Moritz arrived with his corps which had left Landeshut in Silesia on August 11 and marched by Liegnitz, Crossen and Ziebingen.
    • The Prussian Army at the camp of Gorgast now counted 37,000 men. Frederick had no doubt that he would be able to beat the Russian army positioned around Cüstrin. He then sent Manteuffel with the vanguard closer to the Oder in front of Schaumburg. Manteuffel cannonaded a Russian redoubt, as if intending to ford the Oder River there. Meanwhile, Frederick had also detached Kanitz with Prinz Moritz Infantry (2 bns), Graf zu Dohna Infantry (2 bns) and 200 hussars at Wriezen to bring back the small boats stored there. Frederick then reconnoitred the Russian positions from the banks of the Oder.
    • At 7:00 p.m., Frederick assembled his generals and gave them instructions for the crossing of the Oder.
    • At 10:00 p.m., Frederick marched with all the infantry and hussars in two columns along the Oder towards Güstebiese (present-day Gozdowice). Manteuffel joined the army on its march.

On August 23

  • Prussians
    • At daybreak, Frederick’s Army was near Güstebiese where Kanitz joined it with the boats. No Russian troops could be seen in the village or on the heights behind it.
    • At 8:15 a.m., the construction of the bridge began and lasted three hours. Meanwhile the infantry of the vanguard had crossed the Oder aboard large boats to establish a bridgehead. Frederick crossed first with Grenadier Battalion 1/23 Wedell and deployed them on the heights. Then came a squadron of Zieten Hussars.
    • At noon, the main army began to cross the river with Ruesch Hussars and Malachowski Hussars in the van, followed by the infantry, the train of artillery, the cuirassiers and dragoons.
    • The Prussian Army completed the crossing of the Oder, resumed its march and finally encamped with its right wing at Zellin (probably Czelin) and its left wing at Klossow (present-day Klosow).
    • Prussian hussars brought in a dozen or two of Cossacks and Frederick had his first sight of Russian soldiery, by no means a favourable one.
    • All baggage was left on the left bank of the Oder and Frei-Infanterie von Hordt was assigned to the guard of the bridge.
  • Russians
    • When Fermor learned that Frederick had crossed the Oder and cut his line of communication with Rumyantsev's cavalry corps (12,000 men) camped downstream at Schwedt; he gave order to General Browne, who was just arriving from Landsberg with the Observation Corps to hasten and to make a junction with his own corps. Fermor then lifted the Siege of Cüstrin and detached his baggage and artillery train to Klein-Kammin (probably Kamien Maly) escorted by 4,000 grenadiers and 4 guns who formed a wagenburg to protect the baggage.

Battle of Zorndorf

On August 24

  • Russians
    • The Conference sent orders to Admiral Michovkov to sail to the vicinity of Colberg on the coasts of Eastern Pomerania with his squadron and to act according to Fermor’s instructions. However, these orders were not executed.
    • The main army deployed in front of the villages of Quartschen (present-day Chwarszczany) and Zorndorf (present-day Sarbinowo) with it right covered by the Mietzel River (present-day Myśla River) and its left anchored on the woods of Drewitz (present-day Drzewice).
    • At 2:00 p.m., Browne made a junction with Fermor's Corps and deployed his corps en potence on the flank facing Quartschen. His corps consisted of 1 grenadier "legion", 4 infantry "legions", 8 infantry regiments, 3 pulks of Cossacks, 5 sqns of hussars, 9 sqns of horse grenadiers and 6 sqns of cuirassiers.
    • Fermor expected the Prussian attack in the area of Kutzdorf (present-day Gudzisz) but when he realised that Frederick's Army was deployed beyond its right flank, he redeployed his own army while Browne's Corps moved closer to Wilkersdorf (present-day Krześniczka).
  • Prussians
    • Frederick’s Army rested during the morning.
    • At 1:00 p.m. the vanguard started its march followed by the army in 2 columns at 3:00 p.m. The first column advanced along the Furstenfeld Woods while the second marched by the Neudammer Mühle (unidentified location) covered by the Mietzel. Frederick spent the night in a mill. The vanguard first re-established the bridge on the Mietzel then encamped along the river bank. Grenadier Battalion 1/23 Wedell along with Forcade Infantry occupied Darmietzel (present-day Dargomyśl).

During the night, Fermor reorganised his positions once more, moving his best regiments from his first line to his second, since it was this line which was now facing the Prussians. He disposed his army in a large square on the Heights of Quartschen. The cavalry and the baggage were placed inside this hollow square. Only Cossacks were left outside the square.

On August 25

  • Engagement
    • At 3:30 a.m., the Prussian Army started its march. The infantry crossed the Mietzel on the mill bridge and the cavalry on the bridge of Kersten (unidentified location). Baggage and pack horses were escorted to Neudamm (present-day Dębno). After the crossing of the river, the Prussian Army broke the bridges and resumed its advance in 3 columns: the infantry formed the first and second lines and the cavalry the third. It marched towards Batzlow (present-day Bogusław) and turned right as it debouched from the woods. The bloody Battle of Zorndorf was ferociously contested between both armies and ended in a stalemate: the Prussian Army occupied the battlefield but the Russian Army was encamped nearby.
  • Russians
    • Resanov’s detachment reached Langenau near Danzig, on its way to Colberg. In the following days it resumed its march by Oliva (present-day Oliwa), Schmechau (present-day Wejherowo) and Lanz (present-day Łęczyce) towards Lauenburg (present-day Lębork), avoiding Danzig. But it was already too late to take advantage of the situation.

On August 26 at daybreak, the Russians reorganised their lines with their right towards Zorndorf and their left behind the small Valley of Quartschen. Frederick then advanced his left wing, including most of his cavalry, towards this small valley and extended his right up to Wilkersdorf. Everything then came to a standstill until 11:00 a.m. The Russians then retired closer to the woods. Around noon, after receiving its baggage, the Prussian Army encamped on the battlefield. It lacked ammunition and the cavalry was too exhausted to launch another attack.

During the night of August 26 to 27, the Russians marched towards the wagenburg previously established at Klein-Kammin. At 2:00 a.m., Cossacks attacked the Prussian advanced posts to screen the movement of the Russian Main Army.

On August 27 at daybreak, when Frederick realised that the Russians had left their position, he ordered his cavalry to pursue them and the rest of his army to march and to support the cavalry. The Russians planted a battery on the heights near Wilkersdorf and cannonaded the Prussian cavalry. The Russians resumed their retreat to their wagenburg near Klein-Kammin, protected by many small redoubts and much artillery. The Prussians then took position nearby at Tamsel (present-day Dąbroszyn) to the west of the wagenburg. General Bredow was detached with 2 Prussian rgts towards Batzlow to prevent the Cossacks from plundering the battlefield. The same day, the Prussian Major-General Gablenz was detached to Damm with 4 bns and a party of hussars to strike a blow in the rear of the Russians. Towards evening, Wied Fusiliers, who had been left behind in Cüstrin, escorted a supply of bread and ammunition to the Prussian Army. Meanwhile, Zieten Hussars were detached to Lower Lusatia to prevent the incursions of Austrian light troops under Loudon.

The Russians remained unmolested at Klein-Kammin for four days.

On August 28, the Prince of Brunswick was detached to Lower Lusatia to counter Austrian light troops with 6 bns: Wied Fusiliers, Kurssell Fusiliers and Frei-Infanterie von Hordt.

Operations come to a standstill

On September 1

  • Prussians
    • Frederick took position at Blumenberg (present-day Mościce). The Prussian cuirassiers had been left behind at the camp of Tamsel.
  • Russians
    • The army marched in two columns to Landsberg.

On September 2

  • Prussians
    • Manteuffel was detached from the army with 10 bns and 20 sqns (Ruesch Hussars and Malachowski Hussars) to follow the Russians. Manteuffel marched through Mossin (present-day Mosina) and Tornow (present-day Tarnówek) and posted his corps in the woods near Hohenwalde (present-day Wysoka).
    • Frederick was informed that Marshal Daun had invaded Saxony and was probably advancing on Dresden. He left for Saxony the same afternoon with the corps that he had brought out from Silesia (15 bns and 38 sqns). The rest of the Prussian Army (21 bns and 35 sqns) was placed under the command of Dohna to observe Fermor.

On September 4

  • Prussians
    • At daybreak Manteuffel was attacked by a detachment of Cossacks and hussars which were repulsed.
    • Dohna detached 1 bn and 100 dragoons to Soldin to seize forage that the Russians had collected there.

On September 6

  • Russians
    • The most severely wounded Russian soldiers were sent off to Marienwerder.
    • A detachment of Russian light cavalry renewed the attack on Manteuffel's vanguard and was repulsed once more.
  • Prussians
    • Manteuffel resolved to take a new position on a height between Liebenau and Ratzdorf (present-day Racław).
Prussian and Russian manoeuvres in Brandenburg in September 1758.
 
Source: Kriege Friedrichs des Grossen, volume III by the German Grosser Generalstab
 
Courtesy: Tony Flores

On September 10, some thousands Cossacks attacked Manteuffel's outposts and managed to penetrate up to the chain of camp guards before being stopped by Prussian hussars. The Cossacks retired around 9:00 a.m.

On September 11, Rumyantsev's Corps made a junction with the main army at Landsberg and encamped on the left bank of the Warthe. Rumyantsev's Corps consisted of:

With the arrival of Rumyantsev, the Russian Army now counted about 38,000 men. In the afternoon, Manteuffel received intelligence that a Russian corps would attack him the following day. Accordingly, at 9:00 p.m., Manteuffel retired to Blumenberg where he joined Dohna's main force.

On September 12, a Russian corps advanced on Ratzdorf but returned to Landsberg when it realised that Manteuffel had already retired from this position.

On September 13, 2 Prussian bns were detached to Soldin to escort a convoy of provisions and the heavy baggage of the army arriving from Stettin to Blumenberg.

On September 14

  • Prussians
    • The Prussian convoy reached Blumenberg.
  • Russians
    • Fermor rearranged his positions around Landsberg.

On September 15

  • Prussians
    • Dohna retreated from Blumenberg to Cüstrin where he passed the Oder. He then encamped near Manschnow. He had made this movement to get closer to the Swedish Army who seemed to threaten Berlin.
    • During the evening, Dohna received orders from Frederick instructing him to send Plettenberg Dragoons to Berlin where they would join Wedel who was advancing against the Swedes. For his part, Dohna was instructed to observe the Russian Army.
  • Russians
    • Fermor immediately sent a detachment of Cossacks and grenadiers under Colonel Buccow to Soldin to collect forage and provisions.

On September 16, according to orders, the Plettenberg Dragoons were detached to Berlin while Dohna occupied his former position at Blumenberg, establishing outposts in the passes in the Mossin Wood and near Vietz (present-day Witnica).

On September 18

  • Russians
    • Fermor held a council of war where it was decided to make movement to resupply the Russian Army.
  • Prussians
    • Dohna sent Manteuffel at the head of 3 bns and the Malachowski Hussars to dislodge Buccow's Russians from Soldin.

During the night of September 18 to 19, Manteuffel marched through Neudamm to Soldin. After reconnoitring the Russian positions there, he abandoned his project and returned to Blumenberg, leaving 2 bns and Malachowski Hussars at Neudamm on his way back.

On September 19, the Russian vanguard marched to Marwitz (present-day Marwice).

On September 20, Fermor quit his camp at Landsberg with the Russian main army, leaving a small garrison. He marched to the village of Kartzig (present-day Karsko). The first line of the right wing consisted of 5 cuirassier rgts and 3 legions of the Observation Corps; the second of 3 horse grenadier rgts, 2 dragoon rgts and 2 legions. The first line of the left wing counted 16 infantry rgts; the second 12 infantry rgts. The hussars and Cossacks covered the rear of the camp. Artillery, grouped in 3 batteries, covered the front of the army.

On September 21, the Russian main army marched to Dicko (unidentified location).

On September 22, the Russian Main Army marched to Pyritz where it encamped with its right flank extending to the road leading to Stargard.

On September 24, the Russian Major-General Dietz marched to Passkrug (unidentified location) with his brigade.

On September 25

  • Russians
    • Major-General Palmbach's Brigade was detached to Passkrug while Dietz took possession of Stargard, seizing lots of provisions.
  • Prussians
    • Dohna was finally informed of the march of the Russian Army from Landsberg which had been successfully screened by 1,000 grenadiers and 400 Cossacks left behind at Landsberg. Immediately, Dohna ordered Major-General Wobersnow to cut off the Russian detachment left at Landsberg. At 4:00 p.m., Wobersnow quit Blumenberg with Lehwaldt Infantry (2 bns), Rautter Infantry (only 1 bn), Schorlemmer Dragoons (10 sqns) and 200 hussars.

On September 26

  • Prussians
    • Around 2:00 a.m., Wobersnow arrived at the village of Schönefeld (unidentified location), 2 km from Landsberg. He intended to simultaneously attack the two gates on this side of the Warthe River and to send Frei-Infanterie von Hordt (which had returned after escorting Frederick up to Lubben (unidentified location)) on the other side of the Warthe. At daybreak, Wobersnow appeared in front of Landsberg. All went according to Wobersnow's plan. The Russians, seeing the two gates blocked by the Prussians, attempted to retire towards Poland. The Prussians immediately entered into Landsberg and followed up the retiring Russians. However, Hordt had not yet reached his assigned position and the Russians retired, burning the bridge over the Warthe after passing it. After the capture of Landsberg, the battalion of Rautter Infantry was stationed there while Hordt occupied the suburb on the other side of the Warthe.
    • Around midnight, Wobersnow's Corps marched to rejoin Dohna's Army.
  • Russians
    • The main army marched to Prilow (unidentified location).

On September 27

  • Prussians
    • The Prussian Army marched to Neudamm where it was joined by Wobersnow's Corps during the afternoon.
    • The Prussian vanguard under Manteuffel advanced up to Wustewitz (present-day Ostrowiec).
  • Russians
    • During the evening the Russian detachment who had escaped from Landsberg joined the Russian main army.

On September 28, Palmbach's Brigade began its march to Colberg to undertake the siege of that fortress.

On September 29, Dohna's Army arrived at Soldin.

On September 30, the Russian main army marched to Stargard, leaving Rumyantsev's Corps at Passkrug.

On October 2, the Prussian Army marched to Lippehne (present-day Lipiany) while its vanguard under Manteuffel advanced on Pyritz where the Russians had left a small garrison.

On October 3

  • Engagement
    • In the morning, Manteuffel reached Pyritz and surprised the Russian garrison, capturing 46 prisoners. The rest of the Russian garrison managed to retire to Passkrug where its artillery covered its retreat and stopped the pursuing Prussian troops.
  • Prussians
    • Dohna's Army reached Pyritz where it encamped.
    • Manteuffel took position on the height near Grossrisch (unidentified location) .
    • Hordt was detached to Kolbatz (present-day Kołbacz) with his unit to cover the line of communication with Stettin.

Siege of Colberg

On October 3, a Russian Corps (about 15,000 men) under the command of Palmbach laid Siege to Colberg which was defended by a small garrison of 2 Invalid bns (some 700 men) under the command of Major Heyden.

The siege lasted till November 1 when Palmbach retired to join the Russian main army retreating towards Poland.

Russians slowly retire

From October 4, daily skirmishes took place between Fermor's troops and Prussian light troops.

On October 5

  • Engagement
    • A small Prussian detachment was surprised at Berlinchen (probably Barlinek), the Russians capturing a cornet and 20 hussars.
  • Russians
    • Major-General Lubomirski was detached to Passkrug with 4,000 infantry and some light troops to strengthen the defence of the pass.

On October 8

  • Russians
    • Fermor sent Colonel Yakoblev with 2 rgts and 2 howitzers to reinforce Palmbach at Colberg.
    • Part of the heavy baggage of the Russian main army was sent to Kallies (present-day Kalisz Pomorski).

On October 12, the Russians captured 6 hussars and 60 men of Frei-Infanterie von Hordt.

On October 15, 2 Russian rgts of Resanov's Corps joined Fermor while the Russians abandoned the pass of Passkrug.

On October 16, the Russian main army marched to Zachan (present-day Suchan). Prussian light troops attacked the Russian rearguards but were repulsed.

On October 18, the Russian main army marched to Reetz (present-day Recz). Artillery was deployed in batteries and flèches to cover the camp.

On October 21, the Russian main army marched to Springfeld (unidentified location).

On October 22

  • Russians
    • The main army marched to Dramburg (present-day Drawsko Pomorskie).
  • Prussians
    • The vanguard under Manteuffel marched to Stargrad.

On October 23

  • Prussians
    • Dohna followed with his army to Stargard, detaching Kleist with Kreytzen Fusiliers and 200 hussars back to Landsberg to check an incursion of the Cossacks.
    • Hordt was detached with Frei-Infanterie von Hordt and 300 hussars to Dolitz (unidentified location) on the road that the Russian army had taken.

On October 24

On October 25, Dohna detached Wobersnow with 5 bns (Moritz 2 bns, Kanitz 2 bns and Grenadier Battalion 2/Gar.2 Nesse 1 bn) and 9 sqns (Alt-Platen Dragoons 5 sqns and 400 hussars) towards Colberg. They marched from Stargard to Massow.

On October 29, Fermor, ignoring the exact situation at Colberg, sent Martuinov with a reinforcement of 5 infantry regiments.

On October 30, Colonel Irrman of the Russian engineers reconnoitred the neighbourhood of Labes. The same day, Fermor was informed of the raising of the Siege of Colberg.

On October 31, Fermor ordered Martuinov to return to the army with his corps.

On November 1, Fermor sent off the prisoners.

On November 2, a courier arrived in the Russian camp from St. Petersburg with the order for the army to go into winter-quarters.

On November 3, the Russian main army retired to Poland and encamped at Tempelburg (present-day Czaplinek). Palmbach's Corps rejoined the army in this camp.

On November 8, the Russian army began its march to its winter-quarters. It moved in 3 columns. Fermor personally commanded the first column which marched to Hochstadt (unidentified location).

On November 9, Fermor's column marched to Crone (unidentified location).

On November 10, Fermor's column marched to Schneidemühl.

Order of Battle
Detailed order of battle of the Russian Army in its winter-quarters in November 1758.

On November 13, the Russian army divided up into small detachments, each marching to its assigned winter-quarters.

On November 22, the Russian garrison retired out of Driesen into Poland. Brandenburg and Pomerania were now free of any Russian troops.

References

This article is mostly made of abridged and adapted excerpts from the following books which are now in the public domain:

  • Grosser Generalstab Kriegsgeschichtliche Abteilung II: Die Kriege Friedrichs des Grossen, Part 3 Der siebenjährige Krieg 1756-1763
    • Vol. 7 Olmütz und Crefeld, Berlin, 1909, p. 199
    • Vol. 8 Zorndorf und Hochkirch, Berlin, 1910, pp. 31-54
  • Tielke, J. G.: An Account of some of the most Remarkable Events of the War between the Prussians, Austrians and Russians from 1756 to 1763, Vol. 2, Walter, London, 1788, pp. 87-260
  • Jomini, Henri: Traité des grandes opérations militaires, 2ème édition, 2ème partie, Magimel, Paris: 1811, pp. 140-167, 232, 252-253, 262-264
  • 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. 317-318

Other sources

Duffy, Christopher: various articles on the Russian army, Seven Years War Association Journal Vol. X No. 2

Acknowledgements

Alessandro Colaiacomo for the excerpts of his article on the battle of Zorndorf describing the various manoeuvres which took place between the arrival of Frederick and the battle