1760 - French campaign in West Germany – Campaign till the combat of Korbach

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Hierarchical Path: Seven Years War (Main Page) >> Campaigns >> 1760 - French campaign in western Germany >> Opening of the campaign till the combat of Korbach

The campaign lasted from May to December 1760. This article describes the second phase of the campaign from April 29 to July 10, 1760.


The general situation at the beginning of the year, the last operations before taking winter-quarters and the sporadic operations while in winter-quarters are described in our article 1760 - French campaign in western Germany – Winter operations (January 1 to April 28, 1760).

The Opposing Armies

The Allied Army

The unusually long campaign of 1759 had severely depleted the ranks of the Allied army. Great Britain decided to reinforce its contingent operating in Germany. Initially only 3 dragoon rgts were supposed to leave for Germany. but gradually this force was increased to 10 bns, 15 sqns and 2 artillery coys. These reinforcements added to the 12,255 men already quartered in Germany would bring the British Contingent to 17 bns, 29 sqns and 3 artillery brigades for a total of 23,327 men. However, most of these reinforcements could not reach the army until June and July, and the 3 Guard bns, only at the end of August.

The British also paid for the creation of a "Légion Britannique" of 5 bns, each of 4 infantry coys and 1 dragoon sqn. They were recruited in Göttingen, Einbeck, Lemgo and Soest. At the beginning of June, the légion would already number 2,750 men. Several of them were German and Swiss deserters from the French Army or from the Saxon Contingent.

Duke Ferdinand also established a Pioneer Corps of 3 brigades, each of 50 men. These men were recruited in the mountainous region of Harz. Each brigade also had 3 wagons transporting portable bridges. The pioneers were accompanied by 50 hussars.

The death of Landgrave Wilhelm VIII of Hesse-Kassel on January 31, 1760, initially worried King Frederick and Duke Ferdinand. Even though the new Landgrave Friedrich II was a Prussian general, he was known to be inconstant and had converted to Catholicism, and his alliance seemed doubtful. Accordingly, Ferdinand deliberately distributed Hessian troops into small group for their winter-quarters, so that he could keep them under control in the midst of the other contingents. Furthermore, Great Britain increased its subsidies to the Hessian Contingent and King Frederick promoted the new landgrave in the Prussian Army despite his lack of experience.

Landgrave Friedrich II then began to reorganise his small army on the model of the Prussian Army. He also established the I. Bataillon Garde and 1 sqn of Garde du Corps. After negotiation with Great Britain, the Hessian Contingent operating with the Allied Army was increased by 3,392 men to reach a total of 22.404 men. Each of the 12 Hessian infantry rgts, which previously consisted of 950 men in 10 weak coys, received 200 additional men and was reorganised in 2 bns, each of 4 fusilier coys and 1 grenadier coy. As in the Prussian Army the 2 grenadier coys of each of the 12 regiment were converged to form 6 grenadier bns. A seventh converged grenadier bn was formed with the grenadier coys of the 4 garrison bns. Each coy of cavalry and dragoons received 10 additional men and the Leib-Regiment was renamed Gensdarmes Regiment. The Hussar Corps was increased to 4 sqns of 120 men each and 2 sqns of Mounted Jägers of 195 men each were established.

Hanover increased the number of his light troops: the Luckner Hussars were augmented to 4 sqns; and the Jäger Corps, to 3 brigades (each of 2 mounted coys and 2 foot coys). The Stockhausen Freikorps received 2 mounted coys. Altogether, the Hanoverian Contingent numbered 37,833 men.

The Duke of Brunswick, who had signed a new subsidies contract with Great Britain, added the II./Zastrow Infantry, which had previously been stationed in his duchy, the new grenadier bns, the Carabinier Regiment (3 sqns), the Roth Hussars and a new Jâger Corps to his contingent, which now totalled 9,505 men.

The Prussian Contingent for this campaign comprised only the Freibataillon Trümbach, 3 sqns of Ruesch Hussars and 2 sqns of Malachowski Hussars. Frederick had already recalled the 2 Prussian dragoon rgts, which had served with the Allies in 1759, to his own army.

At the beginning of June, Ferdinand was at the head of an army of 98 bns and 112 sqns for a total of 74,700 men. His artillery, excluding battalion guns, numbered 146 pieces. After the arrival of the British reinforcements on June 20, Ferdinand's Army numbered 80,000 men, excluding the artillery.

The French Army

The French field army was suffering from an increasingly acute shortage of money, which was impeding its operations. The Duc de Broglie had to use all his influence to convince the Court to supply the most necessary funds.

The regiments of the field army slowly received recruits, who had been assembled in Strasbourg and Hanau. Other regiments (including the 6 bns of the Gardes Françaises and Gardes Suisses) arrived from France to relieve the weakest units.

In May, the Duke of Württemberg retired his contingent from the French army and joined the Reichsarmee in Saxony.

By the end of May, the French army comprised 163 bns, 167 sqns and 5 artillery bns with a park of 150 artillery pieces.

Preparations for the campaign

On April 29, Ferdinand of Brunswick transferred his headquarters from Paderborn to Neuhaus. The same day, Saint-Germain quitted Frankfurt, where he had conversed with the Duc de Broglie, to assume command of the French Army of the Lower Rhine.

By May 2, M. de Saint-Germain was at Düsseldorf to take command of his army. At this date, the Allied Army was organised in 3 columns:

  1. the Hereditary Prince of Brunswick at Kassel to defend Hesse
  2. Ferdinand of Brunswick at Paderborn
  3. at Dülmen

The Allies had constituted large magazines at Münster, even transporting part of the magazines from Paderborn to this new location.

In May, the promised British reinforcement (6 regular battalions, 2 regiments of Highlanders) were shipped to the Weser instead of, as heretofore, to Emden, and seem to have been despatched with commendable promptitude.

On May 5, the British quartered in the Country of Osnabrück took the field.

On May 12, the last British division made its junction with the Allied Main Army near Paderborn. Altogether, the new British units sent to the continent consisted of:

On May 14, the Allied Army assembled at Paderborn marched towards Fritzlar.

On May 15, the Allied Main Army marched towards Hessen in 2 columns while another sizeable corps marched on Münster and Dülmen. The Allies were also working on the fortifications of Münster and Lippstadt. Informed of these manoeuvres, Saint-Germain advanced one of the 3 corps forming his army towards Kalkar. He also united the 2 remaining corps at Wesel and Düsseldorf.

On May 19, Luckner's cavalry corps (10,000 men) took position at Grossseelheim and Kleinseelheim on the Ohm and in several other villages between Marburg and Amöneberg. The Allies also constructed ovens in Ziegenhain and Fritzlar. The Allied Main Army encamped at Fritzlar. Broglie feared for Giessen.

On May 20, Ferdinand called the infantry of the Army of Hessen from its cantonments and posted the main body under his own command at Fritzlar where he established his headquarters. Meanwhile, General Spörcken's Corps was posted near Münster.

On May 21, Ferdinand reviewed the Allied Army. He then sent General Imhoff with a large detachment to Kirchhain on the Ohm on the right of his positions; and Gilsa to the left at Hersfeld on the Fulda. Allied light troops and some Prussian regiments had been detached to Korbach. The British headquarters of Lord Granby were at Fritzlar, and those of the Hereditary Prince and of the Prince of Holstein at Möllrich (either Obermöllrich or Niedermöllrich). The 1st (Royal) Dragoons, 2nd (The Queen's) Regiment of Dragoon Guards under Mostyn, 11th Ancram Dragoons and 200 men of the 15th Eliot's Light Horse; recently sent from Great Britain, arrived at the British camp. The same day, the Allied Army of Westphalia under General Spörcken left its quarters at Coesfeld in the Bishopric of Münster and marched towards Dülmen, deploying up to Hamm to observe Saint-Germain's Corps. It was Ferdinand's intention that, if the French advanced, Imhoff should call in the detachment from Hersfeld to Homberg, a little to the south of Kirchhain on a bend of the Ohm, where there was a position in which he could bar the way to a far superior force.

Meanwhile Broglie concentrated his cantonments towards Hanau and Frankfurt. He planned to invade Hessen-Kassel and then to conquer Hanover. To do so, he intended to operate against the Allied left with his main army while Saint-Germain with the Army of the Lower Rhine would penetrate into Westphalia. Accordingly, Broglie instructed Saint-Germain to assemble the left reserve and to feign an attack from Düsseldorf towards the Ruhr near Schwerte. He also orderer M. de Guerchy to take command of the main army, to cross the Rhine on May 26 at the latest and to march to Altenkirchen. At about this time, the Württemberger Contingent (about 9,000 men) quit the French service and marched for Swabia.

The Chasseurs de Fischer, which were now attached to Saint-Germain's Army, took position on its flank at Erbefeld (probably Elberfeld). Meanwhile Hesse-Kassel Hussars belonging to Spörcken's Corps had taken position at Dortmund.

Order of Battle
Detailed order of Broglie's Army on May 23 1760.

On May 23, Luckner set out from his camp near Kirchhain with 500 hussars and mounted jägers and 500 grenadiers and foot jägers to intercept French convoys between Giessen and Butzbach. By this date, all French troops (54 bns and 44 sqns) cantoned on the Lower Rhine had left their cantonments at Kleve, Wesel, Düsseldorf, Moers, Cologne, Gueldern, Roeremonde and Liège.

On May 24 in the morning; after marching by Buseck and Schiffenberg; Luckner reached the high road to Butzbach without meeting any convoy. He then resolved to attack the town itself defended by the Comte de Waldner at the head of 400 foot, 100 men from Caraman Dragons and 50 men from Bercheny Hussards. Luckner had just prepared for an attack on Butzbach when a party of 13 French hussars appeared near Lich. Most of them were captured but 2 managed to escape and to give alarm at Butzbach. Waldner sent another party of 17 hussars to confirm the presence of the Allied force. They were pursued by Allied hussars who entered into Butzbach on their trail. Waldner retired through another gate with the garrison and entered into the woods in the direction of Friedberg. The Allied hussars engaged a picquet of Caraman Dragons and captured 1 officer and 20 troopers. They then engaged a picquet of infantry and captured 25 men. Luckner then divided his force into 2 parties: the mounted jägers entered into the woods while the Brunswick Hussars pursued the retreating French units up to Friedberg, bringing back prisoners and 30 carriages. In this action Luckner lost 2 hussars killed and 5 wounded. He also destroyed a French magazine. Broglie immediately sent a reinforcement of 4 Swiss bns, 1 hussar rgt and 2 dragoon rgts under M. de Vaux from Friedberg towards Butzbach.

In the night of May 24 to 25, Bercheny Hussards harassed Luckner's Corps while it retired.

On May 25, Luckner was back to his camp at Kirchhain with 4 officers and 100 soldiers prisoners. By this date, part of Broglie's Army had left its cantonments and encamped. The French plan called for the main army to advance into Hesse while a corps of 20,000 men (also called right reserve) under Prince Xavier would operate on its right flank and a corps of about 28,000 men (also called left reserve) under Saint-Germain would take position in the County of Marck. Saint-Germain's left reserve consisted of 21 French bns (14,385 men), 10 Swiss bns (7,200 men), 2 artillery bns and militia (1,440 men), 30 cavalry sqns and 10 dragoon sqns (a total of 6,080 horse), the Chasseurs de Fischer (1,800 men), Volontaires de Flandre (900 men), and Chasseurs de Cambefort (150 men) for a total of 32,605 men. Prince Xavier's right reserve consisted of 19 bns, 20 sqns, Légion Royale, Volontaires du Hainaut, and Volontaires d'Austrasie. The same day, Prince Xavier with the right reserve advanced towards Lohr.

On May 26, M. de Guerchy's Corps (12 bns, 10 sqns) marched towards Cologne, closely followed by Chabo's Corps (9 bns, 12 sqns) who marched from Düsseldorf.

On May 27, Broglie stopped Guerchy's Corps at Hachenburg and Siegburg. Similarly, Prince Xavier's Corps was halted at Lohr.

On May 29, a party of Ruesch Black Hussars appeared near Fulda and M. d'Apchon, who occupied Johannisberg, retired. The hussars engaged a grenadier coy of Dauphin Infanterie, who was still in town, and captured it before retiring.

Around the end of May, French detachments advanced towards Giessen and Marburg. Furthermore, Saint-Germain with the Army of the Lower Rhine was posted at Kaiserwerth on the Rhine. An Allied corps under the command of Spörcken encamped opposite Saint-Germain at Dülmen.

On June 4, Saint-Germain concentrated his forces at Düsseldorf, Cologne and Andernach while Prince Xavier took position on the left bank of the Saale between Hammelburg and Gemünden. On this date, the French army, about 147,000 men strong, was deployed as follows:

  • Chabo (9 bns, 12 sqns) at Siegburg
  • de Guerchy (15 bns, 3 sqns) at Hachenburg
  • d'Aubigny (3 bns, 6 sqns) at Montabaur
  • Prince Camille (22 bns, 6 sqns) at Limburg
  • Vaux (6 Swiss bns, 4 sqns) at Butzbach and Friedberg
  • Traisnes (8 bns, 12 sqns) at Vilbel (present-day Bad Vilbel) on the Nidda
  • Mailly (2 bns, 28 sqns) at Kastel and Baden
  • Apremont (6 bns) at Höchst
  • Broglie (17 bns, 17 sqns) at Frankfurt and Rödelheim
  • Havré (13 bns, 6 sqns) at Hochstadt
  • Prince Xavier (19 bns, 22 sqns) at Lohr and Schlüchtern
  • Saint-Germain (33 bns, 38 sqns) on the left bank of the Rhine

In June, Great Britain sent 2 more regiments of cavalry (15th Eliot's Light Horse and 7th (Queen's Own) Dragoons to join its contingent operating with the Allied Army, making up a total of close on 10,000 men sent as reinforcement that very year.

On June 7, Broglie sent reinforcements to Prince Xavier in the County of Fulda. In response Ferdinand sent the Hereditary Prince with 4,000 men to reinforce Gilsa.

On June 9, the Hereditary Prince arrived at Schlitz.

On June 10, the Hereditary Prince, now at the head of 20,000 men, advanced on Fulda and 2 Allied sqns entered into the town. The Hereditary Prince encamped nearby and the French retired. The county was now free of French troops. The French division of M. de Lillebonne was at Steinau; Vogüé à Schlüchtern; Caraman at Obersotzbach, and Rougé at Birstein to protect the Kinzig Valley.

On June 11, the artillery of the Saxon Contingent and Navarre Brigade reached Gelnhausen while 2 French dragoon rgts took position between Gelnhausen and Büdigen and the Volontaires Étrangers (Volontaires d'Austrasie or Volontaires de Clermont-Prince) between Birstein and Wächtersbach. The same day, M. de Lillebonne sent 2 dragoon rgts and 3 bns to Steinau.

On June 12 and 13, Prince Xavier advanced to Aufenau near Salmünster.

By June 13, the Allied Main Army was encamped near Fritzlar. On the right of the French Main Army, a large French corps under Prince Xavier was encamped at Aufenau and another under M. de Saint-Pern at Gelnhausen. On the left of the French Main Army, Prince Camille was at Limburg and M. de Guerchy, previously at Hachenburg, had fallen back and made a junction with Prince Camille.

On June 14, Prince Xavier reached Schlüchtern. The Hereditary Prince retired from his camp near Fulda to Schlitz and M. de Caraman immediately occupied Fulda. The same day, Colonel Bülow at the head of the Hesse-Kassel Hussars and part of the Légion Britannique attacked the Chasseurs de Fischer between Emscher and the Ruhr, driving them out of their positions and capturing 50 men. Bülow also detached M. de Botlar over the Ruhr, the latter captured another 20 prisoners. In this affair, the Légion Britannique lost only 2 men and Fischer a total of 100 men.

On June 15, Bülow returned to Dortmund. Meanwhile, the 2nd (The Queen's) Regiment of Dragoon Guards joined the Allied Army at Fritzlar. The same day, Saint-Germain, who had assembled the Army of the Lower Rhine near Düsseldorf, sent d'Auvet's Division (Jenner Infanterie, Courten Infanterie, Lochmann Infanterie and I./Reding Infanterie (II./Reding was garrisoning Wesel)) to the right bank of the Rhine along with his 2 artillery brigades and 15 pontoons. Planta Infanterie and Royal Dragons were already at Ratingen and Mettmann.

French armies make a junction

On June 16, Saint-Germain sent Dauvet's Division towards the Ruhr. I./Reding Infanterie remained at Mettmann to escort a convoy. Meanwhile the rest of his army crossed the Rhine and marched in 2 columns to Kalkum where it encamped.

On June 17, the 5th Hodgson's Foot, 11th Bocland's Foot and 33rd Griffin's Foot arrived at the Allied camp at Fritzlar. Ferdinand then reviewed these regiments recently arrived from Great Britain and declared them to be in a most satisfactory condition The same day, d'Auvet's Division passed the Ruhr and encamped at Essen while the rest of Saint-Germain's Army passed the Ruhr and reached Mülheim. Meanwhile, a small division (Touraine brigade and Thianges Dragons, soon joined by Alsace Infanterie) under M. de Leyde reached Düsseldorf, on its way to join Saint-Germain.

On June 18, d'Auvet reached Wattenscheid and Saint-Germain encamped at Steele. Meanwhile, Broglie took his own troops out of their winter-quarters. The same day, the corps of the Hereditary Prince fought an engagement at Hosenfeld.

On June 19, d'Auvet's Division and Saint-Germain's Corps made a junction at Bochum and then advanced on Dortmund, forcing Spörcken to fall back to Hamm. The same day, Broglie's Main Army assembled at Friedberg.

On June 20, Saint-Germain encamped at Dortmund. From this centre it was open to Saint-Germain to advance either northward against Münster or eastward against Lippstadt; but it was tolerably evident that his real design was to join Broglie's Main Army and to operate against the right flank of the Allied Army of Hesse. The same day, the 8th King's Foot under Barrington, 24th Cornwallis' Foot and 50th Carr's Foot arrived at the Allied camp at Fritzlar. Still the same day, Saint-Germain's Corps marched to Lünen where Saint-Germain established his headquarters. Meanwhile, Broglie's Main Army marched to Hungen. Prince Xavier was still at Schlüchtern and sent forward Bercheny Hussards and the Volontaires du Hainaut to reconnoitre the movements of the Hereditary Prince. In the morning, Bercheny Hussards were attacked by Luckner's White Hussars. The dragoons of the Volontaires du Hainaut were sent to the rescue and together with Bercheny Hussards, they drove back Luckner's White Hussars, taking 50 prisoners. The same day, Prince Xavier with the right reserve left his position to move closer to the main body.

On June 21, Leyde's Division made a junction with Saint-Germain's Army. Meanwhile, the Chasseurs de Fischer had taken position at Brackel, the I./Reding Infanterie at Elberfeld and the Volontaires de Flandre at Schwerte to protect Saint-Germain's lines of communication. The same day, Broglie had assembled most of his own army betwenn Butzbach and Hungen and Prince Xavier reached Götzenhain.

On the night of June 21 to 22, Scheither's Corps arrived at Recklinghausen. The Chasseurs de Fischer were sent to Castrop to observe Scheiter while the Volontaires de Flandre reconnoitred the region between Schwerte and Iserlohn.

On June 22, the right reserve under Prince Xavier marched to Merlau near the source of the Ohm while Broglie marched to Grünberg, a little to the east of Giessen in Hesse, with his right in front of the town, his left towards the church of Wirberg, his grenadiers and chasseurs between Grünberg and Stangenrod, the Grenadiers de France and the Grenadiers Royaux near Nieder-Ohmen, and his cavalry in the neighbourhood of Queckborn. M. de Melfort advanced towards Homberg and observed the Allied camp behind Kirchhain near Langenstein. The same day at 2:00 a.m., Ferdinand sent Major Bauer's entire Pioneers Corps and Frei Hussars von Bauer from Wabern towards the bridge of Uttershausen where they waited for the arrival of Lieutenant-Colonel Watson's Corps.

On June 23 at 1:00 a.m., the “general march” was beaten in Ferdinand's camp and the Highlanders along with 3 grenadier bns (British Daulhat and Maxwell, and Hessian Buttlar) took position on the Heights of Uttershausen. At 1:30 a.m., “Assembly” was beaten and tents were struck and at 2:00 a.m. the march started towards Uttershausen with the 3 grenadier bns and the Highlanders under Lieutenant-Colonel Beckwith leading, followed by the quartermaster-general, the quartermasters and the pontoons. Each battalion marched by platoon. Watson along with Frei Hussars von Bauer formed the avant-garde at Uttershausen. That evening 6 British bns encamped on the Heights of Uttershausen. Still the same day, the Hereditary Prince, after fighting an engagement at Zielbach where he took some prisoners, fell back from Hersfeld with his detachment towards the Ohm. In the evening, Broglie, leaving the main body at Grünberg, advanced northwards with all his light troops, the Grenadiers de France, 12 bns, the Royal-Carabiniers and his dragoons towards Schweinsberg on the Ohm in very bad weather conditions.

Early on June 24, Broglie took position between Amöneburg and Homberg on the left bank of the Ohm. He then threw bridges across the Ohm and passed the river at Schweinsberg. The Allied garrison abandoned Homberg, closely followed up by French light troops under M. de Robecq, Royal-Nassau Hussards capturing prisoners and several wagons. The Légion Royale, supported by Du Roy Dragons and La Ferronnaye Dragons, attacked the rearguard and forced it to retire. Meanwhile, Broglie encamped in the neighbourhood of Schweinsberg and established his headquarters in the town. The same day, the Allied Main Army marched southwards from Uttershausen and encamped at Frielendorf to join Imhoff, with every intention of making Broglie fight them before he could further advance. To his infinite disgust, however, Ferdinand learned that Imhoff had abandoned the position entrusted to him at Homberg, and had ordered the whole of the advanced corps back to Kirchhain. Thus the most effective barrier in Hesse was opened to the French who sent forward light troops to take post at Dillenburg and Staufenberg.

By June 24, the French Army was deployed as follows:

  • main body (77 bns and 83 sqns) near Schweinsberg
  • Guerchy's Corps (13 bns, 6 sqns) at Weilburg
  • Chabo's Corps (7 bns, 10 sqns) at Hachenburg
  • Prince Xavier at Erbenhausen

On June 25, the rest of Broglie's Army passed the Ohm. After the passage of the Ohm, his army encamped at Schweinsberg and rested. Meanwhile, Broglie sent Prince Xavier forward to Kirtorf with the right reserve and instructed Saint-Germain to advance on Lippstadt. However, Saint-Germain considered that he was in no position to proceed. Indeed, the Hanoverian General Friedrich von Spörcken was still at Dülmen on his left flank with detachments at Haltern and Lünen. The same day, the Allied Main Army marched to Neustadt, intending to attack Broglie. Ferdinand also sent forward his advance guard to Allendorf (present-day Stadtallendorf).

On June 26, the Allied Main Army deployed in order of battle. At dawn, expecting to be attacked, Broglie sent his right wing towards Kirtorf to support Prince Xavier. Considering that the French Main Army was too well posted, Ferdinand retired from Neustadt.

On June 27, Ferdinand marched back to Ziegenhain (present-day Schwalmstadt) with the Allied Main Army and encamped on the heights between this town and Treysa with the Schwalme River in front of his positions and light troops detached at Wasenberg and in the woods in front of Neustadt, on the other bank of the Schwalme. The French vanguards, who had followed up the retreating Allied rearguard, encamped at Neustadt for the night. The same day, the Saxon Contingent under Prince Xavier reached Willingshausen. Broglie then sent M. de Nortman with light troops to reconnoitre the roads to Kassel.

On June 28, Broglie's Main Army followed up the retiring Allied Army and marched to Neustadt where Broglie established his headquarters. His lines extended left up to Speckswinkel. The same day, a French force blockaded the Castle of Dillenburg.

Broglie now intended to cut Ferdinand's communication with Lippstadt. Both armies then remained inactive for a few days, though not 2 hours' march apart, neither daring to attack the other, and each waiting for the other to make the next movement. Meanwhile Spörcken was at Lünen with the Allied Army of Westphalia to observe Saint-Germain's Corps still encamped at Dortmund.

On June 29, M. de Poyanne marched to Halsdorf to support M. de Nortman and to cover the blockade of Marburg by M. de Chabo. Broglie renewed his orders to Saint-Germain to march towards the Upper Ruhr by Soest, Rhüten, Brilon and Korbach. The same day, the Allies rearranged their positions, placing their right on the Heights of Treysa and their left at Schönborn. Imhoff`s Corps covered the right flank while the Hereditary Prince, just arrived from Fulda with his corps, did the same on the left flank.

In the night of June 29, to 30, the Allied garrison of Marburg surrendered to M. de Chabo leading the Irish brigade, the 400 men of the garrison and their commander, Major Puffendorf becoming prisoners of war. French forces were sent to lay siege to Dillenburg already blockaded since a few days.

On June 30, the British 3rd Regiment of Horse (Carabiniers) joined the Allied Army and the Allies fired a feu de joie to celebrate the raising of the siege of Québec by the French Army.

On July 1, Broglie was at Neustadt. Saint-Germain, who still disagreed with Broglie's plan asked to be relieved from his command. The same day, a body of 1,500 French cavalry attempted a coup de main on Fritzlar but Luckner prevented the attack, repelled them and pursued them as far as Freienhagen.

On July 2, the 88th Campbell's Highlanders along with 300 recruits for the 87th Keith's Highlanders, arriving from Great Britain, joined the Allied Army.

On July 3, Broglie detached M. de Closen with a considerable corps to Frankenberg/Eder and M. de Poyanne to Rosenthal and other smaller detachments towards Haina and Jesberg.

In the night of July 3 to 4, the Allies began entrenchments on the heights between Wasenberg and Schwalm overlooking Ziegenhain and occupied them with 5 bns.

Combat of Korbach

Map of the surroundings of Korbach.
Source: Kriege Friedrichs des Grossen, volume 12 by the German Grosser Generalstab

On July 4, as instructed by Broglie, Saint-Germain marched in 2 columns from Dortmund to Menden on the Ruhr to make a junction with the French Main Army. He also sent d'Auvet with 3 infantry brigades (Alsace, Jenner, Lochmann), I./Reding Infanterie, Thianges Dragons and the Chasseurs de Fischer to reconnoitre Arnsberg. Finally, Saint-Germain sent the Volontaires de Flandre from Schwerte towards Meschede and Freienohl. Broglie sent instructions to Saint-Germain for a junction of both armies at Korbach on July 10. The same day, Ferdinand detached Imhoff to Niederurff and Luckner to Wildungen (present-day Bad Wildungen).

On July 5, M. de Poyanne marched from Halsdorf to Frankenberg on the Eder where he made a junction with Nortman's detachment returning from Fritzlar. Meanwhile, Saint-Germain's left reserve marched to Arnsberg and formed on the left bank of the Ruhr. The same day, Ferdinand sent a large detachment across the Schwalme and the Hereditary Prince was sent to Riebelsdorf on his left.

On July 6, Saint-Germain's left reserve marched to Meschede. The Volontaires de Flandre moved forward to Brilon and La Tour-du-Pin Brigade marched from Arnsberg to Velmede (part of present-day Bestwig). Informed that an Allied detachment threatened Brilon, Saint-Germain resolved to delay his march for a couple of days and to send Touraine Brigade back from Freienohl to Arnsberg to rendez-vous with d'Auvet's Corps. M. de Vair attacked the Allied troops who had passed the Schalme but was repulsed. Furthermore, Luckner attacked and drove back M. de Vair at Frankenberg/Eder. The latter retired on Poyanne's positions at Rosenthal.

On July 7, M. de Roth was detached from the French Army with 2 infantry brigades and a body of cavalry to take post at Holzdorff (unidentified location).

In the night of July 7 to 8, with Saint-Germain's Corps at proximity, Broglie put his plan to pass the Eder at execution. At 2:00 a.m., orders were issued. At 8:00 a.m., the last units quitted Neustadt under heavy rain. The right flank of Broglie's Army was covered by Prince Xavier's right reserve, and detachments under MM. de Lillebonne, du Blaisel and the Prince de Robecq, under the overall command of M. de Stainville, formed the rearguard. The main army reached Frankenberg/Eder. Prince Xavier stopped at Rauschenberg. At midnight, Glaubitz left with Anhalt Brigade and Bercheny Hussards for Amöneburg to cover Marburg and the convoys coming from Giessen.

On July 8, Closen brigade marched to Rhadern being replaced at Sachsenberg by the corps of Poyanne and Roth to guard the defiles and débouchés in the plain of Korbach. General Glaubitz marched on Amöneburg at the head of the Anhalt Brigade to cover the convoys coming from Giessen. The same day, when Ferdinand was informed of Broglie's manoeuvres, he detached the Hereditary Prince with the vanguard and ordered Major-General von Luckner to occupy the heights of Sachsenhausen and Korbach to bar the outlet of the defile through which Broglie's Army must pass into the plain, and so to hinder his junction with Saint-Germain. At 3:00 p.m., Ferdinand quitted Treysa (part of present-day Schwalmstadt) followed by his main army. The French, however, had gained too long a start.

On July 9 in the morning, Ferdinand encamped at Braunau near Wildungen to stop the French advance, sending Kielmansegg on Frankenberg/Eder. Ferdinand then sent his advanced corps under the Hereditary Prince, recently reinforced by a British division under Major-General Griffin, to Sachsenhausen. The same day, Broglie pushed Closen on Sachsenhausen to observe the movements of the Allies and the area of Naumburg; Robeck to Frankenau and Wildungen. He finally ordered his army to pass the Eder at Frankenberg and recalled Prince Xavier to Frankenberg. Closen came to contact with Luckner's Corps. Broglie ordered to immediately dislodge Luckner and sent an infantry brigade along with the Corps des carabiniers de Monsieur le Comte de Provence to support Closen. However, the French could not mount an attack before nightfall. Meanwhile, the Army of the Lower Rhine (33 bns, 38 sqns) under Saint-Germain continued its advance towards Korbach. Having received formal order from Broglie to quicken pace, Saint-Germain marched with 2 brigades, finally reaching Brilon in the evening During this time, Closen's Brigade took position in the wood to the left of Korbach and Broglie personally led 6 brigades towards Korbach to support Saint-Germain's attack.

On July 10 at 2:00 a.m., Ferdinand resumed his march while the Hereditary Prince marched from Sachsenhausen towards Korbach. However, Saint-Germain, though he distressed his troops terribly by the speed of his march, succeeded in passing through the defile from the north and Broglie, hastening up from the south, found his troops forming in order of battle. The same day, on arriving at Korbach, the Hereditary Prince found a French corps under M. de Waldner already formed. Since this corps seemed to consist of only 10,000 foot and 17 sqns, the Hereditary Prince resolved to attack it. However, his attack was repulsed by superior French forces in the combat of Korbach. After their victory, the French encamped on the Heights of Korbach. Their reserve under Saint-Germain was at Canstein on their left and kept posts at Stadtberg (present-day Marsberg on the Diemel river). The light troops were encamped between this reserve and the French Main Army at Mühlhausen. The Gardes Françaises and Gardes Suisses, the Grenadiers de France and the Grenadiers Royaux were encamped at Berndorf. M. de Stainville's cavalry corps was at Frankenau. Meanwhile, the Allies encamped at Sachsenhausen with their left less than 3 km from the French right, separated by an almost impracticable hollow. Spörcken's Corps was encamped at Mengeringhausen and Twiste; with their light troops at Arolsen.


The other phases of the campaign are described in the following articles:

  • French offensive in Hesse (July 11 to September 21, 1760) describing the French offensive in Hesse and the battle of Warburg.
  • Allied offensive on the Lower Rhine (September 22 to October 22, 1760) describing the Allied attempt against Wesel, the French manoeuvres to relieve the fortress, the battle of Clostercamp and the Allied retreat.
  • End of the campaign (October 22 to December 31, 1760) describing the Allied defensive measures, the French maoeuvres and the Allied attempt against Göttingen.


This series of articles is a compilation of texts 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. 12 Landeshut und Liegnitz, Berlin, 1913, pp. 21-24
  • Anonymous: A Complete History of the Present War, from its Commencement in 1756, to the End of the Campaign, 1760, London, 1761, pp. 521-528, 531-534
  • Fortescue, J. W.: A History of the British Army, Vol. II, MacMillan, London, 1899, pp. 501-519
  • 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. 137-184
  • Jomini, baron de: Traité des grandes opérations militaires, Vol. 3, 2nd ed., Magimel, Paris, 1811, pp. 221-240
  • Pajol, Charles P. V.: Les Guerres sous Louis XV, vol. V, Paris, 1891, pp. 2-114


Christian Rogge for the order of march of the Allied Army on June 23 found in the archives of the Service Historique de l'Armée de Terre