1761 - French campaign in West Germany – Campaign till the battle of Vellinghausen

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Hierarchical Path: Seven Years War (Main Page) >> Campaigns >> 1761 - French campaign in West Germany >> 1761 - French campaign in West Germany – Campaign till the battle of Vellinghausen


The general situation after the Allied surprise attack against the French winter quarters in Hesse and the minor operations who took place before the opening of the campaign are described in our article Preliminary operations (April 20 to May 30, 1761).


Opening of the campaign

Order of Battle
Detailed order of battle of the French Lower-Rhine Army (Soubise's) on June 1 1761.

Since mid May, the French Army of the Lower Rhine had been assembling near Wesel and Düsseldorf while Broglie's army did the same near Kassel. The main Allied army concentrated near Schloß Neuhaus and Spörcken near Warburg.

On June 9, the French artillery, already assembled at Neuss, departed for Kaiserswerth. The same day, the Allied corps of General Luckner was at Einbeck.

By June 10, the maréchal de Soubise's army of the Lower-Rhine was completely assembled. Chevert's corps encamped at Düsseldorf. Meanwhile, The Maison du Roi advanced to the left bank of the Rhine. Soubise had his headquarters at Wesel. On the same day, the Hereditary Prince of Brunswick assembled his corps near Münster.

On June 11, Chevert's corps passed the Rhine and marched northwards to Broich on the left bank of the Ruhr. All the French cavalry and the Maison du Roi also passed the Rhine. Voyer's corps (14 bns, 14 sqns), previously encamped at Rees, passed the Rhine and established itself on the right bank.

On June 12, Chevert's corps was on the Ruhr while Voyer's corps reached Isselburg. Meanwhile, half of Soubise's army, under his personal command, passed the Rhine at Wesel and marched towards Möllen. Then marching by its left Voyer's corps took position at Drevenack near Wesel in front of the left of the first line of Soubise's corps. The same day, the main Allied army was deployed around Paderborn and Osnabrück; a British brigade was between Soest and Hamm; Luckner at Eimbeck; and Spörcken was at Warburg with 11,000 men on the Diemel to watch Broglie.

On June 13 at 5:00 AM, Soubise's entire army started a general movement. The force departing from Wesel (55 bns, 69 sqns, including the Maison du Roi) passed the Lippe in 4 columns. The leftmost column consisted of Voyer's corps augmented with 2 dragoon rgts, the Volontaires Étrangers de Clermont Prince and the rest of the Volontaires de l'armée. Soubise's army encamped with its left at Hiesfeld and its right in front of Holten. Meanwhile, Chevert's corps (31 bns, 18 sqns) passed the Ruhr in 2 columns and established itself at Essen.

On June 14, Chevert's corps reached Steele while Soubise's army, after passing the Emscher, sojourned at Essen with the Maison du Roi behind. Voyer's corps made a junction with Soubise's main army. Voyer was then detached with 2 dragoon rgts, the Volontaires Étrangers de Clermont Prince, the hussars and the Volontaires de l'armée upstream along the left bank of the Emscher to cover the left flank of the army.

On June 15, Chevert's corps reached Bochum while Soubise's army sojourned at Essen.

On June 16, Soubise's army marched to Wattenscheid (6 km west of Bochum) in 2 lines while the Maison du Roi took position in front of Essen and the Dragons Chasseurs de Conflans occupied Dortmund. The same day, during a raid under the walls of Göttingen, Luckner took 84 oxen. During this engagement the French lost 100 killed and wounded and 1 captain and 14 privates taken prisoners.

On June 17, Chevert appeared in front of Dortmund while Soubise's army established itself at Bochum and the Maison du Roi at Wattenscheid. Soubise then threw bridges across the Emscher to gain access to the heights above Dortmund. Voyer encamped at Grimberg on the Emscher. Conflans’ corps was at Castrop and all the light troops of the French Army of the Lower-Rhine at Dortmund. The entire army assembled near Dortmund. French convoys were lagging behind. The same day, Ferdinand of Brunswick started to concentrate his forces at Schloß Neuhaus near Paderborn. Still the same day, Major Scheiter crossed the Rhine at Bislich with 36 hussars and burnt the French magazines at Xanten. He then marched by Sonsbeck, Geldern and Straelen towards Roermond. Learning that an Austrian garrison occupied Roermond, Scheiter redirected his detachment towards Arcen where he burnt a great magazine of hay and straw. He then burnt another magazine at Gennep. During this raid, Scheiter took 16 prisoners before recrossing the Rhine at Loburg (unidentified location). The French vainly sent 150 dismounted cavalrymen (their horses suffering from glander) from Büderich and 200 foot from Wesel to intercept Scheiter.

On June 18, Soubise's entire army deployed in order of battle at Dortmund with a vanguard of 6 dragoon rgts, 2 cavalry brigades, 3 infantry brigades, Chamborant Hussards, the Volontaires Étrangers de Clermont Prince, Volontaires du Dauphiné, Dragons Chasseurs de Conflans and Volontaires de l'armée encamped on the left bank of the Emscher. During the evening, Soubise moved his headquarters from Langendreer to Marten closer to Dortmund. The same day, Ferdinand decided that it was time for him to initiate a campaign if he wanted to avoid the junction of the two French armies.

By June 19, Ferdinand of Brunswick had assembled most of the Allied army on the heights above Schloß Neuhaus. The same day, Chamborant Hussards engaged a party of Allied hussars while Soubise's army rested for a few days.

On June 20, Ferdinand sent the Hereditary Prince to Hamm and the British corps to take position between Hamm and Soest while the main Allied army continued to assemble at Schloß Neuhaus.

On June 21, the main Allied army marched from Schloß Neuhaus in 6 columns towards Geseke and Erwitte. Meanwhile, the Hereditary Prince had reached Hövel and Lieutenant-general Howard, Hamm.

On June 22, the main Allied army reached Geseke. The same day, Soubise marched from Marten to Brackel, while Voyer sent detachments to simultaneously attack Unna, Lünen and Kamen. M. de Turpin at the head of Volontaires de l'armée commanded by M. de Pedemont and the Volontaires Étrangers de Clermont Prince, supported by Talaru brigade stormed Lünen, capturing 300 prisoners. At Kamen, the Allies had enough time to retire in good order. Meanwhile, the army of the Lower-Rhine marched to the camp of Brackel while the Prince de Condé was sent on the heights of Dorstfeld with the vanguard and Fischer to Schwerte to cover the right and the convoys coming from Düsseldorf. Meanwhile, Broglie was assembling the Army of the Upper-Rhine.

On June 23 at 3:00 AM, the main Allied army decamped from Geseke and marched to Alt-Geseke near Lippstadt where Ferdinand established his headquarters. The same day, Soubise with the main army marched to Unna, a few km to eastward of Dortmund, where he established his headquarters and entrenched himself with his front to the east. The Prince de Condé was at Uelzen with the vanguard and Voyer at Kessebüren.

On June 24, the Prince de Condé marched to Fremerken (unidentified location) and Voyer to Ochsbusen (unidentified location). Conflans was sent to Arensberg (unidentified location) to support M. Dauset who was to take possession of the defile of Essen. The French plan of concentrating Broglie's and Soubise's army was now taking shape. The same day, the main Allied army marched to Soest where it made its junction with Howard’s corps. Ferdinand then placed Granby at the head of a separate corps who took post on the heights. Meanwhile, the Hereditary Prince marched through Hamm and distributed his corps (about 24,000 men) into 3 camps at Hamm, Paradiese and Soest. Spörcken remained at Warburg.

On June 25, Broglie assembled the army of the Upper-Rhine, a large part of it was stationed in the entrenched camp near Kassel. An Allied corps took position between Warburg and Dringenberg, facing Broglie. In the evening, the Allies posted at Warburg, cannonaded French troops entering into Wormeln and Germete. The same day, the Allies fired a feu de joye on account of the reduction of Belle-Isle.

By June 26, Broglie had completed the concentration of his army (50,000 men) at Kassel while Belzunce was at Westuffeln, Poyanne at Stadtberg and the Saxon contingent at Oberkaufungen. Spörcken gradually retired before the French army.

On June 27, the Hereditary Prince encamped at Kirch Dünkern (aka Kirch Denken).

On June 28, Soubise marched to Werl and Broglie to Brunen (probably Breuna), hoping to make a junction. The French unsuccessfully attacked the castle of Werl, defended by Major Raal at the head of 200 men. Meanwhile the prince de Croy took position at Westhofen to cover the communication with Wesel. Poyanne passed the Diemel, the Saxon contingent marched to Hohenkirchen; Chabot towards Trendelburg; and Belzunce to Marburg. The same day, Ferdinand reached Werl before Soubise. Meanwhile, the Hereditary Prince, who had left General Kielmansegg at Hamm, rejoined the main army at Sundern. Finally, Soubise repositioned his army with his right anchored on the heights along the Ruhr and his left by Unna. Furthermore, he ordered the construction of a redoubt containing 1 battalion in front of each brigade.

On June 29 at 5:00 AM, Broglie's army passed the Diemel, forcing Spörcken to abandon Warburg and to retreat. Broglie's army encamped at Scherfede; Belzunce and Chabot caught up with Spörcken's rearguard, who was retiring to Willebadessen towards Hameln, and took 300 prisoners and 10 pieces. Finally, Spörcken's rearguard made a junction with his corps (approx. 13 infantry rgts and 5 cavalry rgts). The same day, Ferdinand marched in 9 columns, including the 2 columns under the command of the Hereditary Prince, towards the French positions. Seeing this, the Prince the Condé retired towards the main French army with the reserve, constantly harassed during his retreat by the heads of the Allied columns. The Allies encamped within 2 km of Soubise's army between Unna and the Ruhr with their right at Lundern (probably Lünern), where the headquarters were established, and their left reaching behind the village of Kessebüren, burned by the French in their retreat. Nothing but a ravin separated the right of the Allies from the French left. Kielmansegg’s detachment took position at Kamen. Ferdinand intended to attack Soubise. However, the French army was so well posted that he changed his mind and resolved to turn its position instead. Still the same day, the light troops of General Luckner repassed the Weser and marched on Beverungen.

In the night of June 29 to 30, Spörcken retired on Driburg (present-day Bad Driburg) and Luckner on Nieheim.

On June 30, Chabot, who commanded the vanguard of the Broglie’s army, took possession of Trendelburg, sending detachments forward to Brakel and Bercheny to Höxter and Corvey. Broglie then advanced to Dalheim and Lichtenau while M. de Poyanne took possession of Stadtberg (present-day Marsberg on the Diemel river) and of the defile of Essentho. M. de Closen reached Fürstenberg while Prince Xavier arrived at Dringenberg with the Reserve. The same day, Allied light troops still held their ground at Holzminden.

On July 1, Prince Xavier detached small parties to pursue Spörcken. Some of these parties reached Nieheim while the main French army took position at Neuhaus with a corps on the right bank of the Lippe. Belzunce took position in front of Neuhaus; part of de Muy's force were at Niedertudorf to support Belzunce. Meanwhile Esterhazy took possession of Höxter, capturing a large oat magazine and 200 prisoners; Poyanne remained in Lichtenau with the Carabiniers and some infantry; the French heavy artillery guarded the defile of Kleinenberg. On the Lower Rhine, Soubise was still at Unna. The same day, Spörcken made a junction with Luckner's corps. At 11:00 PM, Ferdinand marched in 4 columns to Hamm, in an attempt to turn the left flank of the French army. However, bad weather delayed the artillery and Ferdinand abandoned his project. He nevertheless resumed his march behind the French positions.

On July 2, Ferdinand continued his march to Hamm while Soubise initially thought that he was marching to Lippstadt. Spörcken and Luckner retired to Blomberg. The same day, 10,000 French under the command of M. de Pedemont attacked the Allied piquets but they retired when they saw Granby arriving to their rescue with 4 bns. Meanwhile, Broglie marched to Paderborn while Prince Xavier marched to Erkeln with his reserve, pushing strong detachments on Anröchte and Rüthen to establish communication with Soubise.

In the morning of July 3, after 36 hours of continuous march, Ferdinand appeared in the plain of Dortmund behind Soubise's right wing, threatening Soubise's line of communication. The latter immediately abandoned his position and marched to Hemmerde. The Allies, too tired by their long march, could not follow. Meanwhile Major Scheiter with Ferdinand's left wing launched an attack against the positions of the Prince de Croy (18 bns and 8 sqns) at Schwerte and Westhofen on the Ruhr. The Allies forced all fords and surrounded de Croy's positions. A French detachment under M. de Wietenghoff held its position at the bridge until it ran out of ammunition. For one hour, M. de Morlière and the Prince de Croy maintained their positions. They were now surrounded by 5 Allied sqns. The French Royal-Piémont and des Salles cavalry regiments under M. de Fusée then launched several charges. Meanwhile, II./Bouillon Infanterie ran 4 km before charging the Allies at the point of the bayonet. Scheiter was finally driven back. The same day, Broglie encamped at Neuhaus; Belzunce was at Lippspringe (present-day Bad Lippspringe) and Poyanne at Lichtenau. Broglie was now threatening Ferdinand's communication with Bielefeld. When Soubise realised that Ferdinand was retreating towards the Lippe, he sent M. d'Apchon to harrass the retreating Allies along the Lippe between Hamm and Lünen. D'Apchon's detachment dislodged Allied troops occupying a few houses. The Volontaires de l'armée then pursued them across a bridge where they received a point blank volley. M. de Pedemont was killed and M. de Clamoussed wounded and captured.

Map of the Combat of Westhofen fought on July 3, 1761
Copyright: Dinos Antoniadis
Key to the map:
a French Corps under the command of the Prince de Croy, 2 bns, and 2 pickets from Vierzet Infanterie and 3 pickets of cavalry marching by way of Unna to cover the supplies and the magazines.
b Two pickets of Vierzet Infanterie under command of Colonel M. de Wietenghoff cover the bridge near Westhofen.
c The Hanoverian Corps under command of General Scheither, consisting of grenadiers, cavalry and jägers faces the French Corps.
d The Hanoverians attack the bridgehead and after a lively fight of half an hour, the French are obliged to leave the bridge.
e Hanoverian troops crossed the bridge.
f The three cavalry pickets from the regiments du Roi, Lusignan and de Salles, attack and repulse the Hanoverians.
g 160 men from the II./Bouillon Infanterie, march through the morass and counterattack, throwing the Hanoverian troops into disorder and obliging them to retire through the bridge.
h Retreat of the Hanoverians.
Order of Battle
Order of battle of the Allied army at the beginning of July 1761.

On July 4, at 1:00 AM, the Allied army marched towards Soubise’s strong camp. Soubise retired behind Werl. The main Allied army then marched back to Unna and encamped behind the mill of Schaffhausen. Soubise sent the Marquis de Vogüé forward with a strong vanguard and supported him with the Vaubécourt and Briqueville infantry brigades as well as with the Gardes brigade. Very early, Vogüé, supported by these brigades, was attacked by Allied light troops and then by the Allied vanguard with a strong artillery. Meanwhile, Soubise had reached the mill of Schafhausen where he stopped and deployed his army in the plain from Schafhausen up to Büderich near Werl, occupying the camp established there by the Allies a few days before. To prevent the Allied artillery to plant its batteries on the heights, MM. de Vaubécourt and de Briqueville were orderer to seize them. On his arrival M. de Vaubécourt found some Allied troops entrenching themselves at the mill and castle of Schafhausen. He immediately attacked them with the grenadiers and chasseurs of Touraine Infanterie, Gardes Lorraines, Vaubécourt Infanterie, Bretagne Infanterie, Briqueville Infanterie and Enghien Infanterie and drove them back. Meanwhile, Broglie's army halted for a day: his left vanguard under Closen remained at Wewelsburg on the Alme; his centre vanguard under Belzunce was at Sande on the Upper-Lippe.

On July 5, Spörcken was at Marienfeld. The same day, a small action took place at Hemmerde between Soubise and the Allies. Informed of Ferdinand's manoeuvre on Soest and of the attack on Soubise's rearguard, Broglie sent his vanguards (Closen and Belzunce) to Erwitte where he went personally. Meanwhile Poyanne marched from Lichtenau to Wewelsburg. The Volontaires d'Austrasie and the Volontaires de Schomberg reached Soest.

On July 6 at daybreak, Ferdinand advanced in 6 columns to attack Soubise but he found the latter’s positions near Werl too strong and he returned to his camp at Hemmerde. Spörcken reached Rheda. Broglie feared an attack and sent his vanguards (Belzunce and Closen) on Soest and ordered Poyanne to march to Erwitte with the Carabiniers, Royal Deux-Ponts Infanterie and 2 bns of grenadiers and chasseurs to mask Lippstadt. Broglie then marched personally towards Soest, reaching the place at 8:30 PM. In the evening, Soubise decamped.

On July 7, Soubise encamped at Soest where Broglie's vanguard made a junction with his army. The same day in the morning, Ferdinand marched to Hilbeck near Werl where he encamped: his right at the mouth of the Asse in the Salzbach. He was separated from the French army only by a rivulet.

On July 8, Spörcken arrived at Lippstadt while Ferdinand moved his camp closer to Illingen in the centre of his positions covered by the Salzbach stream. His left was between the Lippe and the Asse near the village of Vellinghausen. The same day, Broglie's main body made a junction with Soubise's army at Soest. The Saxon contingent and de Muy's corps were left behind at the camp of Paderborn. The joint strength of the two French armies, after deducting the detachments made from both of them, was just about 100,000 men. Ferdinand's force, after the arrival of Spörcken, who had made his way to him from the Diemel with all haste, amounted to no more than 60,000 men. Even with such odds against him, however, Ferdinand stood firm, refusing to cross to the north bank of the Lippe and abandon Lippstadt, as the French commanders had hoped. He was determined that they should fight him for Lippstadt; and they, knowing their adversary, were not too eager to hazard the venture.

On July 10, Ferdinand reorganised his camp:

  • his right at Hilbeck
  • his centre at Illingen
  • Granby at Vellinghausen
  • Spörcken (8,000 men) at Herzfeld on the left bank of the Lippe to watch Prince Xavier of Saxony, who lay with a corps in the vicinity of Paderborn.

Still on July 10, Broglie reconnoitred the area between Soest and the Lippe. He first visited Oestinghausen where he was joined by part of Closen's vanguard. Allied troops posted behind this village retired and then deployed in order of battle on a large heath enclosed within hedges near Hultrop. Their cavalry charged the Volontaires d'Austrasie who were closely following the retiring troops. The Volontaires d'Austrasie, after losing 60 men killed or wounded and 6 officers wounded, took refuge behind the hedges bordering the village where they were soon supported by the Volontaires de Saint-Victor. At the beginning of this action, the Maréchal de Broglie along with MM. de Poyanne, de Stainville, d'Egmont, the Comte de Lillebonne and the Comte de Broglie were not far behind the Volontaires d'Austrasie and they were forced to gallop to escape the Allied charge.

From July 11 to 14, the Allied and French armies faced each other without attempting any attack.

On July 11, Ferdinand moved his headquarters from Hilbeck to Haus-Hohenover on a bend in the Aase River, between Norddinker and Süddinker.

On July 12, the main Allied army marched to the left to get closer to Ferdinand’s headquarters. The same day, the French made another attempt to reconnoitre the British positions. The Volontaires de Saint-Victor captured several Highlanders. As Broglie was retiring after his reconnaissance, Ferdinand appeared on the heights with 14 bns and some cavalry. Broglie was inclined to attack the Allied positions the following day. He already had 15 bns and 12 sqns at Erwitte in addition to Guerchy's 5 infantry brigades and to de Vaux' 2 infantry brigades and heavy artillery. Three of Broglie's columns were also converging on Oestinghausen while de Muy remained at Paderborn with 3 infantry brigades, the Saxon contingent and some cavalry to oppose the Allies if they repassed the Lippe and moved upstream. After consulting Contades, Broglie resolved to launch an attack on the following day.

On July 13, Soubise initially marched forward but the planned French attack was postponed because the generals feared that Ferdinand would repass the Lippe. Indeed, early in the morning, Luckner had marched with Roth Hussars and Bauer Hussars towards Sande where the Comte de Chabot was encamped with the vanguard of the French Reserve (3 dragoon rgts, 1 hussar rgt, the Volontaires de Flandre and 2 foot rgts). Luckner then attacked the position. As soon as Prince Xavier was informed, he sent 2 bns to support Chabot who was forced to repass the Lippe. In this action the French lost 150 men made prisoners, the Du Roy regiment narrowly escaping. Luckner then retired to Stukenbrock (present-day Schloß Holte-Stukenbrock, approx. 20 km south-east of Bielefeld).

Battle of Vellinghausen

On July 14, Ferdinand was informed of the position of Soubise’s new camp which stretched towards the convent of Paradiese and Soest, its left reaching to the heights of Ruhne. Ferdinand then ordered the baggage back and sent reinforcements to the Hereditary Prince posted at the extremity of his right wing. Soubise reconnoitred in the direction of Scheidingen and the banks of the Bewer. After several days of deliberations, Broglie and Soubise had finally agreed on a plan of attack. Broglie would march by Oestinghausen to take position near Hultrop. The French plan called for Broglie's vanguard to launch 2 divisions against the posts of Nateln and Vellinghausen. Broglie's army should be reinforced by Condé's corps. Simultaneously, Soubise would advance from Erwitte on the Salzbach. This plan had the default to announce the intentions of the French generals much in advance. The same day, Captains Kampen and Engel were detached towards Kassel with 200 horse to destroy a French convoy of provisions. Captain Kampen attacked and ruined the posts of Westuffeln and Niedermeiser, destroying 200 empty wagons and ham-strung more than 300 horses; while Captain Engel broke to pieces all the carriages that were going to Kassel and ham-strung all the horses. In this raid, the Allies took 700 horses and spoiled 2,000 more.

On July 15 at 5:00 PM, Broglie set out from the camp of Erwitte, marched in 3 columns and encamped his army at Oslinghausen. These 3 columns consisted of:

  • the rightmost column consisting of the vanguard division under M. de Closen, charged of the attack on Vellinghausen
  • the centre consisting of the main body of the army under the Duc de Broglie, charged to support the attacks of the 2 other columns
  • the leftmost column consisting of the vanguard division under M. de Belzunce, charged of the attack of the castle of Nateln

On July 15 and 16, the two French generals fought a totally uncoordinated battle at Vellinghausen where they were separately repulsed by Ferdinand.

After their failure at Vellinghausen, Soubise and Broglie could not agree on a common strategy. The former wanting to keep the two armies united and Broglie preferring to divide them to launch a diversionary attack into Hanover by the right bank of the Weser.

On July 17, Broglie's army remained in the same positions on the left bank of the Ahse. At daybreak, Luckner, reinforced by troops sent by Spörcken, passed the Lippe and attacked Chabot at Neuhaus. Outnumbered, Chabot retired after a long and stubborn resistance on the road leading to Paderborn. Chabot was joined by the Reserve of Prince Xavier at a bridge to stop Luckner's advance. In this action, Luckner took 150 men prisoners. Meanwhile, Broglie's army had taken position at Oestinghausen and Soubise's at Paradies. The same day, Spörcken returned to his former camp at Herzfeld.

On July 18, Soubise took position behind Soest, occupying Soest with 8 bns under M. de Montbarrey; the Prince de Condé took position near the village of Lohne (unidentified location) covered by the Maison du Roi at Geseke; the Duc de Coigny (Chamborant Hussards, Volontaires de l'armée under M. de Sionville and Royal Dragons brigade) was posted in front of the left wing on the heights of Ruhne. Broglie repassed the Ahse and encamped at Erwitte, covering Paderborn with part of Prince Xavier's Reserve (1 light rgt. and 6 sqns). The same day, the main Allied army remained in its positions while Colonel Freytag marched from Einbeck to Langershausen (unidentified location) with 3 jäger brigades.

On July 19, Luckner abandoned Neuhaus in front of a large detachment sent by Broglie to retake the town. Meanwhile, Freytag detached Captains Engel and Kampen with 100 jägers from Langershausen towards Fulda to harass the French. At noon, this detachment passed the Werra at Alendorff and took position in a wood near Rotenburg an der Fulda. The same day in the afternoon, Broglie and Soubise held a meeting at Erwitte to determine their next manoeuvres. Soubise rallied to Broglie's plan. They thus resolved to divide their armies. Broglie would operate on the right wing along the Weser while Soubise would cover Hessen.

On July 20, Engel and Kampen intercepted 3 French commissaries and burnt some boats laden with flour and oats. Captain Engel then marched towards Hersfeld (present-day Bad Hersfeld) to burn the French magazines there. On his way, he met with 26 boats laden with flour, oats, balls, bombs and 240 barrels of gunpowder, which he threw into the Fulda and set fire to the boats. Engel even managed to force the gates of Hersfeld and to set fire to some of the magazines before being repulsed. Engel then rejoined Captain Kampen at Eimbach (probably Leimbach), bringing with him 1 lieutenant-colonel, 2 lieutenants and 14 privates.

Finally, on July 21, at 8:00 AM, Captains Engel and Kampen reached Eschwege. Meanwhile, Ferdinand’s headquarters were still at Hohenover; Broglie at Erwitte and Soubise at Haarstrang with his right to Soest. The same day at 7:30 PM, a force under Prince Henry of Brunswick (a dragoon detachment, Scheiter's corps, Freytag Jägers, a few sqns of Ruesch Hussars, some infantry and a few guns) attacked by surprise the positions of the Duc de Coigny (including Chamborant Hussards) on the heights of Ruhne. The latter retired to Oberense where he held his positions. The Chamborant Hussards launched vigourous charges and the Duc de Coigny finally drove back the Allies. Prince Albert Henry of Brunswick, third son of the reigning duke, was dangerously wounded in the neck during this engagement.

From July 21 to 23, Soubise's army sojourned at Recklinghausen.

On July 24, Rochambeau was sent to Arnsberg to take command of Boccard infantry brigade and Royal Pologne cavalry brigade and to escort a convoy to Kassel. Meanwhile, M. de Wurmser was detached to occupy Neheim with 1 infantry brigade and 1 cavalry brigade.

Order of Battle
Detailed order of battle of the reinforcement sent to Broglie under de Muy on July 25 1761.

On July 25, Soubise reinforced Broglie's army with de Muy's corps: 36 bns, 44 sqns, the Chamborant Hussards and 200 men of the III./Corps Royal de l'Artillerie - Pelleterie brigade with 24 pieces, for a total of 32,840 men.

On July 26, de Muy encamped between Altgeseke and Neugeseke. Meanwhile, Broglie's army passed the Alme in 6 columns and encamped at Salzkotten behind Paderborn, its right anchored to the wood and village of Bennhausen (Bennhausen), its left to the high road to Driburg. Stainville took position behind the village with the Emmer to his right. Prince Xavier was at Nieheim; Chabot at Steinheim; Closen at Lippspringe; Beauvau at Neuhaus; and Soupire passed the Ruhr and encamped at Herdringen between Arnsberg and Neheim. Once the passage of the Alme done, Rooth's corps, which had been left at Paderborn, decamped. On the Lower Rhine, Soubise broke up his camp and passed the Möhne at Deleck, Korbecke and Vellinghausen and then passed the Ruhr near Arnsberg before encamping at Herdringen.


The last phases of the campaign are described in the following article:

  • French first attempt against Hanover (July 27 to September 6, 1761) describing Broglie's march through Westphalia, Soubise's advance on Münster, Broglie's first advance into Hanover, and Ferdinand's counter-attack towards Münden.
  • French second attempt against Hanover (September 7 to October 5, 1761) describing Broglie's second advance into Hanover, Soubise's operations in East Frisia, and Ferdinand's counter-attack towards Kassel.
  • French and Allied last operations (October 6 to December 31, 1761) describing Prince Xavier's operations against Wolfenbüttel and Braunschweig, Ferdinand's offensive on Einbeck, and the winter-quarters of each army.


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

  • Fortescue, J. W.; A History of the British Army Vol. II, MacMillan, London, 1899, pp. 524-527, 531-534
  • Hotham (probably), The operations of the Allied Amy under the command of his Serene Highness Prince Ferdinand Duke of Brunswic and Luneberg beginning in the year 1757 and ending in the year 1762, London: T. Jefferies, 1764, pp. 203-240
  • Jomini, Henri, Traité des grandes opérations militaires, 2ème édition, 4ème partie, Magimel, Paris: 1811, pp. 2-78
  • Pajol, Charles P. V., Les Guerres sous Louis XV, vol. V, Paris, 1891, pp. 178-187 and 230-238