1760 - Austro-Russian campaign in Silesia

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The campaign lasted from March to October 1760


Prelude to the Campaign

Order of Battle
Detailed order of battle of the Prussian forces operating in Silesia in mid-January.

In mid-January 1760, General of Infantry de la Motte-Fouqué, who commanded the Prussian forces in Silesia, set off from Leobschütz (present-day Głubczyce/PL) with 6 bns and 8 sqns of his corps and took position in the vicinity of Löwenberg (present-day Lwówek Śląski). Major-General von der Goltz assumed command of the 5 bns and 7 sqns left in Upper Silesia. Major-General von Schenckendorf covered the border near Landeshut (present-day Kamienna Góra) and Hirschberg (present-day Jelenia Góra/PL) with 11 bns and 9 sqns.

On January 14 1760, Schmettau’s Corps advanced from Lauban (present-day Luban/PL) and Greiffenberg (present-day Gryfów Śląski/PL) to Görlitz. This corps had been reinforced to 13 bns and 25 sqns by reinforcements sent by Fouqué and Goltz.

For the campaign of 1760, Austria and Russia agreed upon a concentration on the Oder. Feldzeugmeister Loudon had for the first time a separate command: the Army of Silesia counting 50,000 men. He would operate jointly with Count Saltykov at the head of 40,000 Russians. Loudon's objective was the conquest of Silesia. For this campaign, because of his former successes, FML Drašković was placed at the head of his own corps who counted approximately 8,000 men. Meanwhile, Field-Marshal Daun with an army of 100,000 men would fix Frederick II in Saxony and would follow him if ever he marched to the rescue of Silesia.

During this time, Fouqué in his headquarters at Landeshut, was the Prussian general in charge of the Silesian frontier. He commanded some 13,000 men. Fouqué occupied a ring of fortified hills around Landeshut, with lot of well positioned batteries. Furthermore, the Prussians had some 4 or 6,000 men, under Lieutenant-general Goltz, guarding the Jagerndorf-Troppau border. Goltz's positions stretched by Neisse (present-day Nysa) far eastward through the hills to Moravia. Goltz himself was in Neustadt, northward of Jagerndorf while a detachment under General Le Grand was posted at Leobschutz. Finally, Prince Henri was at the head of the 40,000 men of the “Army of the Oder” which was waiting to face the Russian Army when it would arrive on the theatre of operation.

After denouncing the breach of armistice which he had negotiated, Loudon, cantoned along the Moravian side of the border, assembled 32,000 foot and horse. He intended a stroke against Goltz.

Contest about Landeshut

On March 13, Fouqué ordered a general muster for March 15. He then summoned Goltz who instantly ordered all his troops to assemble at Steinau and Oberglogau.

On March 14, Goltz, who had left his winter quarters, assembled his corps at Oberglogau.

On Saturday March 15 at 5:00 a.m., Goltz finally started his march towards Neisse under a very wet weather. His main force was Manteuffel Infantry, transporting a considerable stock of baggage-wagons. Furthermore, a company of dragoons formed part of the escort. Goltz's party was about 2,000 men in all. Loudon, with about 5,000 horse (4 regiments) was waiting for Goltz near Neustadt. Loudon invited Goltz to surrender by the latter disregarded his offer. Loudon followed up Goltz's force till a fifth regiment joined him at Buchelsdorf where he blocked the highway. Loudon invited Goltz to surrender a second time and Goltz refused once more. Manteuffel Infantry formed square round its baggage. Loudon's 5,000 cavalrymen charged but were stopped about ten paces short by an intense musket fire. They wheeled back and charged again a second and a third time to no avail. Manteuffel Infantry then took the road again. Loudon tried again and again, probably six times, to attack the Prussian detachment between Siebenhufen and Steinau. Goltz lost only 18 wagons and some country carts. Near Steinau, Loudon gave it up as desperate and went his way. His loss was 300 killed and 500 wounded while Manteuffel Infantry had lost 35 killed and above 100 left wounded or prisoners.

On May 1, 5 Grenzer bns left the camp of Hotzenplotz to join Loudon's Army assembling at Königgrätz (present-day Hradec Králové).

On May 18, Prince Henri's Army took position in a line of cantonments along the Bober (present-day Bóbr River) and the Oder up to the Baltic sea, with its main concentration between Lovenberg and Sagan, linking his right with Fouqué's positions in the area of Landeshut. Meanwhile, Loudon had retired into Bohemia, leaving Drašković in Upper-Silesia and Wolfersdorf at Trautenau (present-day Trutnov) in front of Landeshut.

At the end of May, Loudon assembled his army at Rothkosteletz (present-day Červený Kostelec).

On May 29, Loudon quit Rothkosteletz and broke in upon Silesia, a long way to eastward of Fouqué.

Order of Battle
Detailed order of battle of the Austrian forces operating in Silesia in early June.

On May 31, Loudon encamped at Frankenstein (present-day Zabkowice Slaskie) while Drašković occupied Weidenau (present-day Vidnava) and Wolfersdorf marched to Deutsch Prausnitz (present-day Německá Brusnice).

Upon which, fearing for Schweidnitz (present-day Swidnica) and even Breslau (present-day Wroclaw), Fouqué abandoned his strong position at Landeshut, leaving there a considerable magazine, and hastened down into the plain to manoeuvre upon Loudon. He cantoned near Freyberg and reported the situation to Frederick and Prince Henri, requesting reinforcements.

On June 4, having received no reinforcements, Fouqué retired to Würben (present-day Wierzbna) near Schweidnitz.

On June 5, closely following up Fouqué, Loudon marched in two columns to Nimptsch (present-day Niemcza) and Reichenbach (present-day Dzierżoniów).

On June 6, Fouqué retired to Romenau to cover Breslau. His retreat gave the opportunity to the Austrians to blockade Glatz (present-day Kłodzko) and to occupy Landeshut with 3 Grenzer bns under the command of Jahnus and Gaisruck. About 600 men were posted on the Buchberg.

Map of the manoeuvres who led to the Battle of Landeshut.
Source: Kriege Friedrichs des Grossen, volume 12 by the German Grosser Generalstab

On June 7, Loudon invested Glatz. The same day, Fouqué learned that Loudon had begun the blockade of Glatz.

On June 11, Frederick sent order to Fouqué to recapture Landeshut.

On June 16, Fouqué received the order sent by Frederick 5 days earlier. Leaving Major-general Zieten with a detachment of 7 bns and 2 sqns on the Ziskenberg near Furstenstein (or Frauenstein) to maintain his line of communication with Schweidnitz, Fouqué marched in 2 columns. The same day, Prince Henri assembled his Prussian Army near Frankfurt-an-der-Oder.

On the morning of June 17, Fouqué reached Hartmansdorf and Forste where he learned that the Austrians still had 5 rgts at Friedland. He resolved to attack Landeshut immediately. After a feeble resistance, the Austrians Corps of Gaisruck and Jahnus retired from the heights of Landeshut towards those of Reichennersdorf. Fouqué asked Zieten to send him a reinforcement of 3 bns and reoccupied his former post.

During the night of June 17 to 18, Loudon launched a surprise attack on Glatz but was repulsed, suffering heavy losses. As soon as he was informed of Fouqué's movements, Loudon resolved to attack him at Landeshut. Indeed, he fully realised that he would not be able to lay siege to Glatz with Fouqué's Corps posing a serious threat on his communications. Accordingly, Loudon marched with his reserve to Schwartzwald and recalled most of his corps which was besieging Glatz, leaving only a small force of 5,000 men (Salm Infantry, 1 bn of Starhemberg Infantry, 1 grenadier battalion, Karlstädter-Szluiner Grenzer, Anspach Cuirassiers, 3 sqns of Modena Cuirassiers, 3 sqns of Erzherzog Joseph Dragoons and 3 sqns of Althann Dragoons) under General Unruh to blockade the fortress.

On June 18, the Austrian corps stationed at Friedland made a junction with Loudon's Army. The same day, Fouqué set diligently to repair his works. He was obliged to divide his force (16 bns and 14 sqns for a total of about 12,000 men) into several detachments to occupy the entire position:

  • on the Heights of Blasdorf: 4 bns in 2 lines
  • on the Heights of Reichennersdorf: 2 bns and 5 sqns on the plateau
  • on the Galgenberg: 3 bns including 1 bn in reserve
  • on the Richerberg: 2 bns and 2 sqns
  • on the Burgerg: 2 coys
  • on the Buchberg: 2 bns and 5 sqns
  • on the Mummelberg: 2 bns and 2 sqns
  • in Landeshut: 3 coys
  • in the suburb of Landeshut: Frei-Infanterie Lüderitz (1 bn)

General Nauendorf took position at Forste and on the Ziegenbruck with the Austrian vanguard while General Wolfersdorf occupied Nimchefskyberg and the bridge at Faulebruck, and Jahnus stayed at Reichennersdof. Finally, Beck, who was stationed at Friedberg on the Queiss, received instruction to march to Schmidberg by Hirschberg.

Fouqué informed Frederick of his critical situation, mentioning that he could not endeavour any action against these Austrian corps without exposing Landeshut. Prince Henri with about 40,000 men was at 3 days march from Fouqué's Corps. Nevertheless, Frederick instructed Fouqué to hold Landeshut unsupported.

On June 19, Prince Henri marched to Landsberg (present-day Gorzow Wielkopolski) on the Warthe (present-day Warta). His main army consisted of 30 bns and 46 sqns while another corps (7 bns and 20 sqns) under Forcade de Biaix had been detached to protect Pomerania, taking position at Dramburg (present-day Drawsko Pomorskie).

On June 21, the troops arriving from Glatz made a junction with Loudon at Schwartzwald. He was now at the head of 42 bns, 40 grenadier coys and 75 sqns.

On Monday June 23 at 1:45 a.m., Loudon, with 31,000 horse and foot, launched an attack on Fouqué's position during the Battle of Landeshut. After a fierce resistance, Fouqué was forced to surrender. Only 1,500 Prussians escaped. All the Prussian camp with artillery and baggage fell into Loudon's hands. The gate of Silesia was now open and Loudon could consider taking Glatz.

When he was informed of the disaster of Landeshut, Zieten quitted the Ziskenberg and retired on Breslau, instructing the Prussian troops who had escaped from the Austrian trap to join him there.

Capture of Glatz by the Austrians

From June 23, after the virtual annihilation of Fouqué's Corps at Landeshut, Loudon could concentrate on his planned Siege of Glatz.

On June 26, Daun, informed of Loudon's success at Landeshut sent General di Stampa from his Grand Army to reinforce the Austrian Army of Silesia. He also instructed Loudon to encamp at Landeshut and to manoeuvre in support of his own army to prevent any movement of Frederick against Silesia, thus delaying any vigorous action against Glatz.

On July 5, Loudon was encamping near Lahn (present-day Wleń) on the Bober (present-day Bóbr river) to intercept communications between Frederick's Army and Breslau (present-day Wrocław). There, he was informed that Daun was at Bautzen and Frederick in full march towards Silesia.

On July 7, Loudon marched to Goldberg (present-day Złotoryja).

In the night of July 7 to 8, Loudon marched from Goldberg to Hohkrich (unidentified location) some 8 km from Liegnitz (present-day Legnica), fearing that Frederick could arrive there ahead of him.

On July 8, Daun encamped at Ottendorf (present-day Ocice) and Loudon went there to have a conference with him and they resolved to lay siege to Glatz.

When Frederick abandoned his design of marching into Silesia and moved against Dresden, Loudon ordered the siege artillery from Olmütz to besiege Glatz. His main corps remained at Hohkirch near Liegnitz to cover the siege while he sent 12 bns and 5 sqns under the command of General Harsch to reinforce the blockading force and to put siege to the fortress. Siege works were placed under the responsibility of FZM Ferdinand Amadeus Count Harsch. This led to frictions between Drašković and him.

On July 12, Prince Henri began to pass the Warthe.

On July 14, Prince Henri encamped at Gleißen (present-day Glisno) and extended his lines to protect the country from Russian raids.

On July 16, the Austrian siege artillery arrived from Olmütz.

By July 17, Saltykov had completely concentrated his army at Posen (present-day Poznań). This Russian Army consisted of 60,000 regulars and 7,000 cossacks.

On July 20, Saltykov sent Tchernichev with his vanguard to Winkowitz (unidentified location).

On the night of July 20 to 21, the Austrians started the Siege of Glatz, opening the first parallel in front of the place. The siege lasted till July 26 when Loudon's forces stormed the fortress. Thus, Glatz, one of the two southern keys of Silesia was now in Austrian hands. Neisse, the other key fortress was still under Prussian control. Loudon then made preparations to march on Breslau which had been left uncovered by Frederick and Prince Henri.

Siege of Breslau

On July 26, the day of the surrender of Glatz, Prince Henri was still at Gleißen. He planned to keep the Russians from Frankfurt-an-der-Oder and to cover Glogau (present-day Głogów) to prevent a Siege of Breslau. Meanwhile, Count Saltykov was anxious about his depots at Siradin (unidentified location) and Kalisch (present-day Kalisz) and considered how to get it carted out in case of an advance by Prince Henri. Saltykov finally decided to besiege Glogau. But Saint Petersburg rather ordered to besiege Breslau. Therefore, on July 26, Saltykov started from Posen in 3 columns with 45,000 men, faster than usual, and marched southward to Moschin (present-day Moszinna). His vanguard under Tchernichev remained at Winkowitz. He planned to rendezvous with Loudon under the walls of Breslau. Saltykov had no siege-artillery. Meanwhile, after the surrender of Glatz, Loudon sent General Drašković towards Breslau to lay siege to the town and ordered General Nauendorf to march from Neumarkt (present-day Środa Śląska) to Lissa (present-day Wrocław-Leśnica). He intended to make his junction with Saltykov's Russian Army at Breslau. The same day, Prince Henri finally resolved to abandon his positions at Gleißen and to march towards Glogau. His first march brought him to Starpel (unidentified location). He then instructed the detached corps to follow him and sent Werner to Meseritz (present-day Międzyrzecz).

On July 28, the Russian Army encamped at Dahlow (present-day Dalewo) while its vanguard advanced to Korkow (unidentified location). The same day, Goltz's Prussian Corps marched from Paradies (present-day Gościkowo) to Riedschutz (or Reitseutz, unidentified location, maybe Rzeczyca).

On July 29, Prince Henri's entire army was assembled at Padligar (unidentified location) where it stayed for 2 days.

On July 30, Loudon appeared in front of Breslau. The Siege of Breslau lasted from July 30 to August 3. During this period, Loudon repeatedly summoned Tauentzien to surrender the town but the latter refused. However, when the Russian Army unexpectedly halted to rest for a few days and that he realised that his army would face Prince Henri's one alone, Loudon resolved to abandon the siege and to retire.

Upon his arrival at Glogau, Prince Henri learned that Breslau was being besieged and immediately decided to make forced marches to relieve the town.

On August 3, Prince Henri arrived at Parchwitz (present-day Prochowice), forcing an Austrian advanced force of 2,000 men to retire.

On August 4, Loudon repassed the Oder and encamped at Kanth (unidentified location) behind the Schweidnitzwasser. The same day, Saltykov finally marched from Kobylin and encamped at Militsch (present-day Milicz) where he was informed that Loudon had raised the siege of Breslau.

In the night of August 4 to 5, Prince Henri marched to Neumarkt and detached Werner with 1 bn and 15 sqns towards Kanth. Werner unexpectedly clashed with the Austrian Corps of General Caramelli at Romolkawitz (unidentified location). During the ensuing engagement, the Austrian lost most of the Erzherzog Joseph Dragoons. Werner then halted at Lissa where he was soon joined by Prince Henri.

On August 5, Saltykov marched from Militsch to Kolcharka (unidentified location).

On August 6, Prince Henri encamped under the guns of Breslau. The same day, Loudon retired to Sacwitz (unidentified location). Still the same day, Saltykov reached Gossweigeldorf (unidentified location) some 8 km from Breslau. Tchernichev advanced to Leubus (present-day Lubiąż) with the vanguard. Finding no bridge to cross the Oder and receiving no information about Loudon's Army, Tchernichev retired to Auras (present-day Uraz).

On August 7, Loudon continued his retreat, reaching Striegau (present-day Strzegom).

On August 8, Saltykov finally arrived at Hundsfeld (present-day Psie Pole) in the Breslau Country, on the opposite side of the Oder. He found Prince Henri advanced guard (5 bns, 15 sqns) entrenched there under the command of General Platen. No Russian was able to get within 8 km of Breslau. Saltykov, not finding any Austrian force in the area, gradually retired.

Prussian Main Army enter Silesia

On Thursday August 7, after a fierce 160 km march from Saxony with some 2,000 heavy wagons, Frederick reached Bunzlau (present-day Bolesławiec) on the Silesian frontier. He was coming to the relief of his endangered Province of Silesia.

On August 8, Frederick's Army rested around Bunzlau. Frederick was aware that Daun held Striegau as an outpost and was personally at Schmottseifen (present-day Pławna Dolna). Frederick thus planned to advance quickly on Jauer (present-day Jawor) and to seize it before Daun had time to react. However, Frederick ignored that Loudon, and also Beck with a smaller detachment, occupied the Heights of Goldberg. He thought that Loudon was besieging Neisse. In fact, Loudon lay ready to the east while Daun and Lacy were on the south and west of his positions. Daun, fearing a junction of the Prussian armies of King Frederick and Prince Henri, recalled Loudon who marched to Seichau (present-day Sichów) the same day. Loudon also asked Saltykov to throw a bridge on the Oder at Leubus to allow him to establish communications with Tchernichev and the Russian vanguard.

On August 9, Frederick, with his three columns left Bunzlau at 3:00 a.m. and at 5:00 p.m., after a long march, arrived in sight of the Katzbach Valley, with the little town of Goldberg some km to his right. Jauer was now only 26 km away. But reconnaissance showed that Lacy was strongly positioned on the hills of Goldberg while Daun was visible across the Katzbach (present-day Kaczawa river). Jauer now seemed an impossibility. Frederick's Army still had bread for only eight days and the next Prussian magazines were at Schweidnitz and Breslau. Frederick decided to march on Liegnitz and to cross the Katzbach there, or farther down at Parchwitz (present-day Prochowice). For this purpose, he turned left, reached Kroitsch (present-day Krotoszyce) and encamped there for the night. Daun encamped with his right at Goldberg linked with Brentano's Corps who extended up to Conradsberg (unidentified location); Loudon encamped with his right at Arnoldshof (unidentified location) and his left at Conradsberg; Lacy encamped at Löwenberg. Still the same day, Saltykov marched to Kunzendorf (present-day Golędzinów) near Auras. He then re-established a bridge at Leubus, threw two additional bridges on the Oder near Auras, and detached Plemenikov's Corps on the left bank to prevent any movement of Prince Henri to make a junction with the Army of Frederick. When Prince Henri heard of these manoeuvres, he sent Goltz, Platen and Thadden to follow Saltykov's rearguard. These 3 Prussian detachments took position behind the Weida river.

On Sunday August 10, Loudon marched to Greibnig (present-day Grzybiany). Daun passed the Wurthende-Neisse and encamped between Wahlstatt (present-day Legnickie Pole) and Hohkirch (unidentified location). He wanted to prevent Frederick from crossing the Katzbach. Meanwhile Loudon covered the area between Jeschkendorf (present-day Jaśkowice Legnickie) and Koischwitz (present-day Koskowice); Nauendorf the heights of Parchwitz; and Beck beyond (unidentified location). At 5:00 a.m., Frederick got on march in 4 columns down the left bank of the Katzbach, straight for Liegnitz. Lacy's light troops harassed the rear of the Prussian Army. Frederick encamped on the heights overlooking Liegnitz. He found that Loudon and Daun were already lining the right bank, three or 6 km upstream and 11 km downstream. Crossing the Katzbach looked plainly impossible to Frederick. Ignoring that Lacy's Corps was posted between Seichau and Goldberg, Frederich then resolved to turn the Austrian left to re-establish his communications with Schweidnitz. Accordingly, at 11:00 p.m., he got on march again.

On August 11 at daybreak, when Frederick arrived in the vicinity of Hohendorf (unidentified location) with his vanguard, he was informed of Lacy's positions at Prausnitz (present-day Prusice) and effectively saw this corps extending from Goldberg on the Katzbach to Niedergrain (unidentified location). This was the only Austrian corps who could now oppose his advance on Jauer. Frederick ordered to his columns to turn right to outflank Lacy's left wing by Goldberg. However, by the time the Prussians reached Goldberg, Lacy had already retired south-eastward to Kolbnitz (unidentified location) near Jauer. Frederick then passed the Katzbach under artillery fire. However, Prussian baggage were lagging 5 hours behind. While Frederick was waiting for his baggage, Daun, Lacy and Loudon had time to block the road to Jauer again. Frederick encamped at Seichau, a village surrounded on all sides by heights on several of which, in the evening, the Austrians took camp. Meanwhile, Major-General Johann Albrecht von Bülow took position on the heights of Prausnitz with 9 bns and 13 sqns to cover the defile in case Frederick would be forced to retreat. Daun was now encamped at Peterwitz (present-day Piotrowice), Lacy at Kolbnitz, Beck at Buschmühle (unidentified location) and Ried at Weinberg (unidentified location) while Loudon replaced Daun on his previous camp on the Neisse.

The same day (August 11), hearing that the Austrians outnumbered Frederick 3 to 1 and were still procrastinating, Saltykov grew very impatient. He threatened Daun to retire into the Trebnitz (present-day Trzebnica) Country. After negotiations, Saltykov consented to wait another day or two. He pushed out a considerable Russian division of 24,000 men, under Tchernichev, towards Auras on the Oder to watch Frederick's movements.

On August 12, fearing for Landeshut, Daun instructed Lacy to march towards this town. Ignoring Lacy's movement and with the road to Schweidnitz blocked, Frederick planned to advance, round by Pömbsen (unidentified location, maybe Pomocne), towards Landeshut. He sent people out reconnoitring the hill-roads. However, at about 8:00 a.m., Frederick heard that Austrians in strength were coming between him and Goldberg to enclose him in this bad position of Seichau. Frederick struck his tents, recalled Bülow and ranked his army ready for a battle. Meanwhile, the reconnaissance reported that the hill-roads were absolutely impassable for baggage. Towards sunset, General Bülow, with the second line (second column of march), was sent out towards Goldberg, to take hold of the passage of the Katzbach. Then from 8:00 p.m. till August 13 at noon, the army recrossed the Katzbach and marched to Liegnitz for the second time. The same day, Prince Henri passed the Oder with his entire and encamped north of Breslau with his right at Mahlen (present-day Malin) and his left at Hünern (present-day Psary).

On August 13, Loudon visited Saltykov at his camp and convinced him to reinforce Tchernichev's Corps.

Frederick then remained in Liegnitz till late on August 14. Daun was now in the Jauer region, some 13 km south. Lacy was about Goldberg, some 13 km southwest. Loudon was between Jeschkendorf and Koischwitz, north-eastward, somewhat closer to Frederick with the Katzbach intervening. The 24,000 Russians of Tchernichev were to rear of Loudon, crossing the Oder at Auras.

Battle of Liegnitz

Map of the situation on August 14, before the Battle of Landeshut.
Source: Kriege Friedrichs des Grossen, volume 12 by the German Grosser Generalstab

Liegnitz was a square, handsome, brick-built town of about 7,000 people. The Katzbach and the Schwartzwasser joined there, forming the north rim of Liegnitz. Beyond Liegnitz and the Schwartzwasser, north-westward, opposite to the Prussian positions, rose other heights called Pfaffendorf.

On August 14, Saltykov finally crossed the Oder and encamped at Grossbresa (unidentified location) on the road from Auras to Lissa. The same day, Frederick's camp extended from the village of Schimmelwitz (unidentified location), fronting the Katzbach for about 3 km, north-eastward, to his headquarters in Liegnitz suburb. Daun was on his right and rearward, now within 4 to 8 km. Loudon was to his left and frontward, 7 or 8 km away, the Katzbach separating Frederick and him. Lacy lay from Goldberg north-eastward, to within 7 or 8 km rearward. Three Austrian armies totalling 90,000 men (not counting Tchernichev and his 24,000 Russians) watched a Prussian army of 30,000 men. Frederick decided to reach Glogau. He rode with his generals through Liegnitz, across the Schwartzwasser, to the Pfaffendorf Heights where he explained them his plan. They then returned to camp. At the end of the afternoon, an Austrian deserter warned the Prussians that an attack was planned for that night. From about 8:00 p.m., Frederick's Army got on march in several columns while peasants, hussars and drummers were left behind to keep the Prussian camp alive. About the same time, Loudon was also leaving his camp at Jeschkendorf with orders to seize the Heights of Pfaffendorf. He expected to intercept the Prussian baggage. It was about 11:00 p.m. when Daun's Grenzers discovered that Frederick's camp was now empty. The Austrians did not know where Frederick had repositioned his army.

Frederick, the night before the Battle of Liegnitz - Source: Carl Röchling, 1895

On August 15, in the pre-dawn darkness, Loudon's strong detachment unexpectedly encountered the Prussian army near the towns of Panten (Pątnów Legnicki) and Bienowitz (unidentified location). During the encounter Battle of Liegnitz which ensued, Frederick managed to punch a hole through the net that Daun had drawn up around him. Frederick rested four hours on the battlefield. Meanwhile, the wounded, Austrian as well as Prussian, were placed in the empty meal-wagons. The more slightly wounded were set on horseback, double in possible cases. More than 100 meal-wagons were destroyed, their teams being needed for drawing the 82 captured guns. With the Austrian Main Army still blocking the road from Liegnitz to Breslau and a large Russian Corps at Grossbresa, Frederick had to move swiftly. Accordingly, at about 9:00 a.m. Frederick got on march again, with 6 bns and 30 sqns, marching eastward to Parchwitz where he passed the Katzbach, taking position on the neighbouring heights. Margrave Karl was following up closely with the left wing of Frederick's Army. The right wing under Zieten followed during the evening. The Prussian Army brought with them their 6,000 prisoners, new gun-teams, sick-wagon teams and trophies. Frederick now had only two days' bread left. The Austrian General Nauendorf retired from Parchwitz to Möttig (present-day Motyczyn). Daun should have marched to intercept Frederick without loss of a moment. But he calculated Frederick would probably spend the day on the battlefield. The same day (August 15), Frederick wrote a letter intended to be captured by the Russians. In this letter, he informed Prince Henri of his victory and instructed him to make a junction with his own army for a combined attack on the Russian Army. When Tchernichev intercepted the letter, he instantly recrossed the Oder with his 24,000 men at Auras and burnt his bridge.

Junction of the Prussian Armies

Early on August 16, still ignoring the result of his stratagem, Frederick marched in 3 columns from Parchwitz towards Breslau without any interference from the Austrian Army. Frederick marched with the right column consisting of the left wing of the army. This column covered the march on the Austrian side. The centre column, preceded by a strong vanguard, escorted the prisoners and the wounded. The left column, under the command of the Duke of Holstein-Gottorp, consisted mainly of cavalry supported by a few battalions. This column covered the march on the Russian side. Zieten formed the rearguard with the right wing of the army. Later the same morning, Daun sent out Löwenstein's and Beck's Corps towards Neumarkt to make a junction with Tchernichev's Corps. Loudon was supposed to follow closely while Daun would skirt Frederick's Army. However, all these measures came too late. Frederick's vanguard had already chased Nauendorf from Möttig. Prussian hussars encountered scouts belonging to Beck's Corps and drove them back. This Austrian corps then appeared on the Heights of Kummernick (present-day Komorniki) with Daun's Main Army following in several columns some 4 km behind. Frederick was now in a delicate situation with no supply left, a large Austrian Army on his heels and potentially a Russian Army blocking his access to Breslau. He reconnoitered the area around Neumarkt and soon discovered, to his great relief, that the Russians had retired to the opposite bank of the Oder. Frederick established communication with Prince Henri at Breslau, encamped his army at Neumarkt and sent General Krockow with the vanguard and the prisoners up to Borne (present-day Zrodla). Daun realising that he had failed to prevent the junction of the two Prussian Army retired to Striegau. The same day, Saltykov left his camp of Obernigk (present-day Oborniki Śląskie) and marched to Peterwitz (present-day Piotrkowice) to get closer to Prince's Henri right flank and to have a better communication with the town of Militsch.

On August 17, the Austrian Main Army marched in 3 columns to Konradswaldau (present-day Mroviny). It took position at Hohenposeritz (present-day Posarzysko) with the Carabiniers Corps on the Pitschenberg and Löwenstein's Corps on the Heights of Würben. Loudon replaced the main army at Striegau and Lacy went to Kratzkau (present-day Kraskow), Brentano on the Zoptenberg, Beck at Buckau (unidentified location) and Ried at Arnsdorf (present-day Milikowice).

On August 18, Saltykov took post behind bogs and bushy grounds near Militsch.

On August 19, Prince Henri followed up the Russian Army and encamped near Trebnitz. The same day, Frederick quitted Neumarkt passed the Schweidnitz River and encamped at Hermannsdorf (present-day Jerzmanowo), his headquarters at the Castle of Hermannsdorf, within 11 km of Breslau. He rested his army there for two weeks. A bridge was thrown on the Oder at Auras to establish communication with the Army of Prince Henri.

On August 24, Saltykov marched westward to Trachenberg (present-day Żmigród), slowly progressing towards Glogau.

On August 27, believing that Saltykov was retreating to Poland, Frederick recalled Prince Henri, leaving only Goltz with 12,000 men (17 bns, 33 sqns) to watch the Russian Army. Prince Henri having health problem was then replaced by Forcade. Goltz marched to Sophiental (unidentified location) to cover Glogau. During his march, his rearguard was attacked by cossacks near Gimmel (present-day Gmina Jemielno) who dispersed it and took several hundreds prisoners.

On August 28, Saltykov marched further west to Herrnstadt (present-day Wasosz). Goltz passed the Oder at Köben (present-day Chobienia) and encamped near Glogau. For his part, Daun intended to besiege Schweidnitz, the necessary artillery being prepared at Glatz under the direction of M. de Gribeauval.

On August 29, Forcade crossed the Oder with 24 bns and 38 sqns at Pannewitz (unidentified location) and joined Frederick's Army.

Frederick relieves Schweidnitz

Together with Forcade, Frederick now had 50,000 men (60 bns, 116 sqns). Frederick reorganised his army as follows:

  • vanguard: 10 grenadier bns
  • 1st line: 15 bns and 48 sqns
  • 2nd line: 16 bns and 50 sqns
  • Reserve: 9 bns and 18 sqns

N.B.: each brigade had a battery of 10 pieces, exceptionally the vanguard had a battery of 10 pieces of horse artillery.

Daun, Lacy and Loudon still hung about in the Breslau-Parchwitz region and seemed to be aiming at Schweidnitz. They put in place a powerful chain of army-posts, isolating Schweidnitz and uniting Daun and Loudon.

On August 30, Frederick marched in 4 columns, his vanguard reinforced with 45 sqns of the second line. He advanced towards the highway from Breslau to Schweidnitz. As his vanguard approached Albertsdorf (unidentified location), Frederick realised that the Austrians were completely blocking the way. He gave orders to his columns to turn left in the direction of Grunau (unidentified location) and Knigwitz (unidentified location) where they encamped: the infantry in two lines and the cavalry forming the third. Frederick ordered to pitch tents. However, at 7:00 p.m., he marched again. By 10:00 p.m., his vanguard occupied the heights of Langenseifersdorf (unidentified location).

On August 31 at daybreak, the main body of Frederick's Army reached the Heights of Langenseifersdorf. The same day, Daun retired to the Heights of Bogendorf behind Schweidnitz. Frederick then marched to Költschen (present-day Kiełczyn), sending his vanguard to Endersdorf (present-day Jędrzejowice). He had managed to break through the Austrian army-posts and to get Schweidnitz under his protective hand again. Daun soon abandoned his plan to lay siege to Schweidnitz and concentrated his attention on the protection of the Bohemian frontier.

On September 1, Frederick marched to Pulzen (unidentified location).

For about five weeks, Frederick followed the Austrians up with continual changes of position, wrestling this way with Daun, Lacy and Loudon in the hill-country between Schweidnitz and Glatz. Daun, had his back on Glatz, Frederick on Schweidnitz. Daun was now lacking provisions which were far away in Bohemia and the roads grew daily more insecure.

On September 11, after endless prevarications about various joint plans of operation, Fermor, who had temporarily replaced Saltykov at the head of the Russian Army, finally made his mind for the plan proposed by Montalembert, the French ambassador, calling for a concentration at Frankfurt-an-der-Oder and then a rapid advance on Berlin with a strong corps. Accordingly, the Russian Army left Herrnstadt and marched to Guhrau (present-day Góra Śląska). The same day, ignoring this design, Frederick tried to turn Daun's left to reach Landeshut, marching to Bolkenhain (present-day Bolkow). This forced all Austrian corps to take new positions with Loudon at Alt Reichenau (Stare Bogaczowice), blocking his way. Frederick encamped on the heights near Alt Reichenau. The Austrians and Prussians then remained in these positions until September 16.

On September 13, Fermor quitted Guhrau and marched towards Carolath (actuel Siedlisko).

On September 17, Frederick left the neighbourhood of Alt Reichenau and made a new attempt to turn the Austrian positions, this time on their right wing. He marched by Hohenfriedberg (present-day Dobromierz) but Daun sent d'Ayasassa to occupy the Heights of Kunzendorf (present-day Mokrzeszów), preventing once more Frederick's designs. Despite some brief engagements, Frederick had to abandon his plan and marched to Hohengiesdorf (probably present-day Grochotów) thus threatening Daun's communications with Glatz.

From September 18, Frederick and Daun sat looking into one another's faces.

On September 19, while Daun and Frederick confronted each other around Schweidnitz, Fermor reached Carolath. He was now only 43 km from Frankfurt-an-der-Oder and 130 km from Berlin.

When Daun was informed of Fermor's final decision, he resolved to send Lacy with 15,000 to march across Lusatia and to make a junction with the Russian Army.

On September 24, Frederick shot out a detachment of 4,000 men towards Neisse. Daun thought that the detachment was making for Moravia. He thus pushed a small detachment into Moravia.

On September 29, Daun pushed off another bigger detachment of 15,000 men under Lacy. Once out of sight of Frederick, Lacy whirled, at a rapid pace, into the opposite direction. Its real destination being Berlin.

It took a while before Frederick realized that Berlin was under attack. However, when he heard about it, he sent orders to Wied, now commanding Goltz's Corps, to throw 6 bns into Breslau to reinforce the garrison and to join him at Schweidnitz with all his cavalry.

On October 7 at 3:00 a.m., Frederick left Silesia in a hurry to relieve Berlin. He assembled his army near Schweidnitz and encamped at Bunzelwitz (present-day Bolesławice), pushing his vanguard (10 grenadier bns and 25 sqns under Zieten) to Striegau. Daun left Loudon behind in Silesia and marched towards Saxony.

On October 8, Frederick reached Brochelshof (unidentified location) while Daun marched to Lauterbach (present-day Jastrowiec) and Loudon remained in the area of Kunzendorf (present-day Mokrzeszów).

On October 9, Frederick marched to Konradsdorf (present-day Konradowka) near Haynau (present-day Chojnow). The same day, Daun marched to Schönewald (unidentified location) and Wiesenthal (present-day Bystrzyca) in front of Lahn (present-day Wleń).

On October 10, Frederick marched to Primkenau (present-day Przemków). The same day, Daun passed the Bober River, and reached Neulande (unidentified location) near Löwenberg (present-day Lwówek Śląski).

On October 11, Frederick marched to Sagan while Daun sojourned at Neulande.

On October 12, Daun marched to Longau (unidentified location) on the Queiss.

On October 13, Frederick reached Sommerfeld (present-day Lubsko). The same day, Daun marched to Penzig (present-day Piensk) behind the Neisse.

On October 14, Frederick planned to advance against the Russian Main Army to cut the retreat of the advanced corps occupying Berlin. However, when he learned that the Austro-Russians had evacuated the city, he rather marched to Guben (present-day Gubin) on the border of Brandenburg. The same day, Daun marched to Ullersdorf in Saxony.

The armies of Daun and Frederick then penetrated into Saxony (for details of their manoeuvres, see 1760 - Austrian campaign in Saxony).

On October 19, Frederick detached Goltz with 16 bns and 38 sqns from Lübben in Brandenburg to relieve Kosel (present-day Koźle) in Silesia which was threatened by Loudon.

From October 21 to 27, Loudon tried hard on Kosel, storming twice very fiercely.

On October 25, Goltz arrived in the region of Glogau with 20,000 men. Loudon, informed of his approach, bombarded Kosel.

On October 30, Loudon lifted the siege of Kosel and retired into Glatz County.

In mid November, Loudon evacuated Silesia and took his winter-quarters.


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

  • Anonymous: A Complete History of the Present War, from its Commencement in 1756, to the End of the Campaign, 1760, London, 1761, pp. 511-513, 516-521, 543
  • Carlyle, T.: History of Friedrich II of Prussia, vol. 20
  • Jomini, baron de: Traité des grandes opérations militaires, Vol. 3, 2nd ed., Magimel, Paris, 1811, pp. 222-223, 245-250, 255-256, 271-281, 286-295, 302-308, 311-323, 339-342, 366
  • Grosser Generalstab Kriegsgeschichtliche Abteilung II: Die Kriege Friedrichs des Grossen, Part 3 Der siebenjährige Krieg 1756-1763, Vol. 11 Minden und Maxen, Berlin, 1912, pp. 238-239, 241
  • Vanicek, Fr.: Specialgeschichte der Militärgrenze aus Originalquellen und Quellenwerken geschöpft, Vol. II, Vienna: Kaiserlich-Königlichen Hof- und Staatsdruckerei, 1875, pp. 481-486
  • Wengen, F. von: Geschichte des k. k. österreichischen 13. Dragoner-Regimentes Prinz Eugen von Savoyen, Brandeis 1879

Other sources

Müller, Fritz: 1998 Frederick the Great Battlefield Tour, Seven Years War Association Journal Vol. X No. 3