Friday, July 20, 2007

Update to "The Fight at Neumarkt"


From the Seven Years' War Project wiki:

Sunday December 4 at 4:00 AM, Frederick marched from Parchwitz straight towards the Austrian camp. The vanguard consisted of ten battalions with 800 volunteers from the whole army at their head, all the foot jägers, all the freikorps, all the hussar regiments (to the exception of Werner Hussar Regiment), the dragoon regiments of Czettritz, Normann and Jung-Krockow, and a battery of 10 heavy 12-pdrs. The army followed in four columns by the right flank. The first column consisted of the cavalry of the right wing of the first and second line. The second column was composed of the infantry of the right wing of the first and second line. Their rearguard was formed of the three battalions of Ostenreich, Plötz and 1/Prinz Ferdinand, which covered the baggage. The third column consisted of the infantry of the left wing of the first and second line. The fourth column was formed of the cavalry of the left wing of the first and second line. Werner Hussars had the rearguard. The heavy artillery were divided into two brigades and moved behind the second and third columns. Frederick himself was in the vanguard, he planned to establish his quarters at Neumarkt (actual Sroda Slaska), a little town about 22 km from Parchwitz.

Early in the afternoon, while Frederick was only a few km from Neumarkt, he learned that there were 1,000 grenzers and hussars in this town, with the Austrian bakery at work there and engineer people marking out an Austrian camp. Therefore, before entering Neumarkt, Frederick sent a regiment to ride quietly round it on both sides and to seize a height he knew of. Once this height had been seized by his troops, Frederick bursted the barrier of Neumarkt with the hussars, volunteers and freikorps of the vanguard, and dashed in upon the 1,000 light troops, flinging them out in extreme hurry. The light troops then found the height occupied and their retreat cut off. Of the 1,000 light troops, 569 were taken prisoners and 120 slain. Better still, the Austrian bakery in Neumarkt delivered 80,000 bread-rations, prince Charles had exposed his bakery too far ahead of his army.

Meanwhile, fearing that Frederick would move on Striegau (actual Strzegom) to cut his line of communication with Bohemia, prince Charles had come across the Weistritz River (more commonly called Schweidnitz Water), leaving all his heavy guns at Breslau, and lay encamped that night in a long line perpendicular to Frederick's march, some 16 km ahead of him. Prince Charles had now learned with surprise how his bakery had been snapped up by the Prussians.

Sources Quoted:

Public domain sources:
Carlyle T., History of Friedrich II of Prussia vol. 18
Donnersmarck, Victor Amadaeus Henckel von, Militaerischer Nachlass, Karl Zabeler, 1858
Relation de la bataille de Leuthen, Vienna, January 1758, pp. 472-477
Relation de la bataille de Lissa, Berlin, January 1758, pp. 477-483
Tempelhoff, Fr., History of the Seven Years' War Vol. I pp. 121-147 & 176-188 & 190-, as translated by Colin Lindsay, Cadell, London, 1793

Other sources:
Cogswell, Neil, Journal of Horace St. Paul 1757: The Advance to Nismes, Seven Years War Association Journal Vol. XI No. 3 and Vol. XII No. 2
Fuller J. F. C., The Decisive Battles of the Western World, Granada Publishing Ltd, 1970, pp. 571-576

Discussion:

Note that after using one of his Hussar Regiments to seize the height behind the town that "Frederick bursted the barrier of Neumarkt with the hussars, volunteers and freikorps of the vanguard". This suggests to me that Fred at Neumarkt had considerably more forces at his disposal than just a couple of regiments of Hussars. Perhaps we ought to include 800 volunteer infantry and a company or two of Foot Jaeger in the Prussian OOB?

It makes their beating up of 1000 Croats and a couple of regiments of Austrian Hussars seem a little less a formidable acheivement, though.
The images at the start of this article are of Hussar regiments 2 and 4

4 comments:

Herzog Ignaz said...

Are you suggesting a Whig historian like Carlyle might have been less than completely even-handed in his reconstruction of events?

We are shocked--shocked!--I say!

Bloggerator said...

Speaking of Whigs, Herzog, may I congratulate you on your own?

The historiography of the period is not yet something I've started to look at and, so far as I am concerned, all historians are created equal!

Regards,

Greg

Fitz-Badger said...

Thanks for posting the link to the wiki (as well as all of the other excellent posts you make)! This will come in handy for furthering my (rueful lack of) education on the period. :-)

Fitz-Badger said...

Thanks for posting the link to the wiki (as well as all of the other excellent posts you make)! This will come in handy for furthering my (rueful lack of) education on the period. :-)