1704-06-13 – Battle of Raab

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Hierarchical Path: War of the Spanish Succession (Main Page) >> Battles and Encounters >> 1704-06-13 – Battle of Raab

Imperialist victory

Introduction

At the beginning of June 1704, a Kuruc army under Count Sándor Károlyi reached the vicinity of Vienna. It set fire to neighbouring villages and plundered the Imperial hunting lodge at Simmering, before retiring.

Field Marshal Heister, who was operating near Komorn (present-day Komárom/HU) with an Imperialist corps (1,600 foot, 2,000 horse), received calls for help from Vienna.

On 12 June, FM Heister, who was retiring towards the Leitha River (aka Lajta River), reached Gyirmót near Raab (present-day Györ/HU), where he encamped. His army was soon harassed by some Kuruc light cavalry and Heister ordered to dig entrenchments. Meanwhile, Count Simon Forgách reached Pápa with approx. 2,000 foot, 5,400 horse, intending to oppose Heister’s retreat. Forgách did not expect an attack and calmly awaited the return of Karolyi’s Corps (approx. 4,000 men), which had just reached Rábapatona, about 10 km from his own camp at Györszemere.

On the night of 12 to 13 June, FM Heister held a council of war, where it was decided to attack Forgách’s Army before the arrival of Karolyi’s Corps. He sent his baggage to Raab and prepared to attack at dawn.

N. B.: this engagement is also known as the “Battle of Koroncó.”

Map

Combat of Raab (aka Koroncó)
 
Copyright: Dinos Antoniadis

Description of Events

On 13 June after midnight, the Imperialist troops were formed in order of battle. The infantry was in the first line, with the Grenzer rgts forming the right wing; the cavalry formed the second line. The 10 artillery pieces were divided among both wings. Croatian and Serb militia formed the vanguard. The ammunition wagons were placed between the two lines and the light cavalry deployed on the wings. The army then advanced towards Nádaslak.

Around 5:00 a.m., the Croatians and the Serbs militia of the vanguard attacked Kuruc outposts near Koroncó. The Kurucs were surprised because they expected the arrival of Karolyi’s vanguard and were driven out of the village.

As the Imperialists approached, Forgách quickly deployed his army in order of battle. The Kuruc cavalry formed a long front to the right of their camp, probably in the direction of Szemere (probably Győrszemere) while the Kuruc infantry assembled behind a knoll to the north of Szarkavár (unidentified location). Forgách’s plan was to attack Heister’s right wing and rear with 7,000 cavalrymen.

The Hungarian cavalry immediately advanced and swarmed around the Imperialist troops, who halted and tried to make front on all sides.

When the Kuruc cavalry came within 1,000 m., the Imperialist artillery, led by Colonel von Weiler, opened a lively fire against them. They replied with musketry fire. This duel lasted for some 90 minutes.

The Kurucs threw a large cavalry formation against the Grenzer militia of the Imperialist right wing, who had taken cover behind a height.

At this moment FM Heister launched the Schlick Dragoons, who were posted in his second line under Colonel Stadlmayer, against the left flank of the Kuruc cavalry, pushing them back against the marshy banks of the Raab River.

Shortly afterwards, the rest of the Imperialist cavalry of the second line attacked and the first line advanced.

The Kuruc cavalry fled the field and the Kuruc infantry remained isolated. It was nearly annihilated by Heister’s cavalry and infantry as they crossed the swamp south of Koroncó.

Around 3:00 p.m., Heister let his cavalry pursue the Kurucs, while the infantry crossed the swamp and assembled near Szarkavár.

Forgách’s Army was in full retreat southwards, when Károlyi crossed the Raab (aka Rába River) with 3,000 horse. Upon reaching the battlefield, they killed a few Imperialists plunderers but quickly escaped back to Árpás, where they re-crossed the Raab.

In the evening, the Imperialist cavalry returned from the pursuit and FM Heister encamped near Gyirmót.

Outcome

In this action, the Kurucs lost around 3,000 men, 28 flags and 6 guns. For their part, the Imperialists lost 300 men.

Forgách’s defeated army retreated towards Pápa and Sárvár.

Despite his victory, FM Heister resumed his retreat towards Wieselburg (present-day Moson/HU).

Order of Battle

Imperialist Order of Battle

Commander-in-chief: Field Marshal Count Sigbert Heister seconded by Colonel Ronow and Colonel Viard

Summary: approx. 3,250 foot and 2,800 horse with 10 artillery pieces

Infantry

Cavalry

Artillery (12 guns) under Colonel Weiler

Kuruc Order of Battle

Commanders-in-chief: Field Marshal Simon Forgách, seconded by Antal Esterházy as cavalry commander

Summary: approx. 17,500 men, most of them cavalry, but only 3.000 Veteran Haiduks. The Transdanubia soldiers had no battle experiences and served in Rákóczi’s Army since only a few months. Forgách had only 6 guns badly positioned on a slope far from Heister’s positions.

References

Abtheilung für Kriegsgeschichte des k. k. Kriegs-Archives: Feldzüge des Prinzen Eugen von Savoyen, Series 1, Vol. 6, Vienna 1879, pp. 160-162

Bánlaky, József: A magyar nemzet hadtörténelme (oszk.hu)

Wikipedia – Battle of Koroncó

Sell, Fritz von: Meklenburgische Truppen im dänischen Dienste

Acknowledgements

Harald Skala for additional info on the engagement