Battle of Soor

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Battle of Soor
Part of the War of the Austrian Succession
Friedrich & Karl.jpg
Frederick and Charles
Date 30 September 1745
Location Hajnice, Bohemia, modern day Czech Republic
Result Prussian victory
Belligerents
 Prussia Habsburg Monarchy Austria
 Saxony
Commanders and leaders

Kingdom of Prussia Frederick the Great

[1]
Habsburg Monarchy Charles of Lorraine
Strength
22,500[2] 40,200 [3]
Casualties and losses
856 killed
3,055 wounded or missing [3]
7,444 killed, wounded and missing [3]

The Battle of Soor (30 September 1745) was a battle between Frederick the Great's Prussian army and an Austro-Saxon army led by Prince Charles Alexander of Lorraine during the War of the Austrian Succession. The battle occurred in the vicinity of Soor also known as Hajnice, in the modern day Czech Republic. The battle started with a failed Austrian surprise attack on the outnumbered Prussians. Despite initial setbacks the Prussian army managed to defeat the Austrians, due to an unexpected attack from a reserve regiment that refused to follow Frederick's orders.[4]

Background[edit]

Three months after the battle of Hohenfriedberg, Frederick laid the "Camp of Staudenz", initially planning to return to Berlin, in order to inspect the building work on his new palace of Sans Souci. Having stripped off many detachments during his march through Bohemia, Frederick's numbers had been reduced to 22,500 men. Prince Charles then discovered that Frederick had failed to occupy the Graner-Koppe, a hill north of Burkersdorf (Střítež, Trutnov District, modern day Czech Republic) that dominated the landscape to the east and south. On 29 September, Charles attempted to flank the Prussian camp from the Königreich-Wald hills, and the following morning the Austrians took positions on the crucial Graner-Koppe hill. The 40,200-strong Austrian army intended to destroy the Prussians in a surprise attack.[3]

Battle[edit]

Prussian scouts soon detected the Austrian presence, and drummers and trumpeters sounded the general alarm as Prussians began preparing for battle. Austrian artillery proceeded to fire on the Prussian encampment, while the Prussian army marched into battle.[3]

Frederick ordered the cavalry to charge up the valley to the side of the hill in order to encircle the enemy. During the maneuver the cavalry came under artillery fire, suffering heavy casualties. Despite the initial setback the vanguard regiments of the Gens D’Armes and General Buddenbrock's cuirassiers managed to surprise the Austrian cavalry forcing it to flee. Coming under musket fire the Prussian cavalry withdrew into rear of the force.[3]

By the time of the cavalry retreat, Prussian grenadiers and the Anhalt infantry regiment began engaging the Austrian troops positioned on the hill. An Austrian counter attack, supported by artillery fire, dealt significant damage to the Prussian infantry causing it to fall back. The Prussians then launched a second assault consisting of Geist Grenadiers, Blanckensee, La Motte and other battle hardened regiments. The unwillingness of the Austrian artillery to risk firing at its own troops contributed to the fall of the summit.[3]

A number of Prussian regiments positioned south of Burkersdorf ignored orders to remain in the area and attempted to capture Burkersdorf. A bayonet charge led by Prince Ferdinand of Brunswick seized an Austrian battery, and the surprise attack led to the collapse of the Austrian line. Despite the lack of an organised pursuit many Austrian infantrymen were captured by the Prussian cavalry regiments.[3]

A total of 856 Prussians were killed, while the injured or missing amounted to 3,055. Austrian and Saxon troops suffered 7,444 dead, injured or missing.[3]

Order of Battle[edit]

Austrian – Saxon Army Order of Battle[edit]

Map of the Battle of Soor
  • Right Wing Cavalry Division:[5]
    • Kohary Dragoon Regiment
    • Palffy Cuirassier Regiment
    • Bretlach Cuirassier Regiment
    • Liechtenstein Dragoon Regiment
    • Hohenembs Cuirassier Regiment
    • St. Ignon Cuirassier Regiment
  • Right Wing Infantry Division:[5]
    • Hesse – Kassel Infantry Regiment
    • Damnitz Infantry Regiment
    • Baden – Baden Infantry Regiment
    • Kolowrat Infantry Regiment
    • J. Harrach Infantry Regiment
    • Niepperg Infantry Regiment
    • Waldeck Infantry Regiment
    • L.Daun Infantry Regiment
    • Grunne Infantry Regiment
    • Platz Infantry Regiment
    • Landlau Infantry Regiment
    • Croatian Battalion
  • Center Infantry Division:[5]
    • Marschal von Biberstein Infantry Regiment
    • Braunschweig – Wolfenbu"ttel Infantry Regiment
    • Bayreuth Infantry Regiment
    • Kokomesde de Vettes Infantry Regiment
    • Botta de Adorna Infantry Regiment
    • 3 Imperial Infantry Regiments
    • S. Guylay Infantry Regiment
    • U.Browne Infantry Regiment
  • Left Infantry Division:[5]
    • Kaiser Infantry Regiment
    • Karl von Lothringen Infantry Regiment
    • Livingstein Infantry Regiment
    • Wurmbrand Infantry Regiment
    • J. Harrach Infantry Regiment
    • 3 Grenadier Battalions
    • Converged Elite Company Regiment
  • Left Wing Cavalry Division:[5]
    • Bernes Cuirassier Regiment
    • Serbelloni Cuirassier Regiment

Prussian Army Order of Battle[edit]

  • 1st Guard Infantry Division:[1]
    • Fus/3rd Garde zu Fuss Regiment
    • Fus/lst Garde zu Fuss Regiment
    • Fus/2nd Garde zu Fuss Regiment
    • 3/Garde Fusiliers Regiment
    • l/Guard Jäger Battalion
    • 4/Guard Hussar Regiment
    • lst 4pdr Battery, Guard Artillery Regt, (6 guns)
    • lst Light Field Hospital
    • l/2 Corpsman Company
    • 2/,4/Guard Pioneer Battalion
    • 2nd Guard Brigade
    • l/,2/Guard Fusiliers
    • l/,2/2nd Garde zu Fuss Regiment
    • 2/Guard Jäger Battalion
    • lst 6pdr Battery, (6 guns)
    • (One) l/Guard Hussar Regiment
  • Reserve:[1]
    • lst Guard Brigade
    • l/,2/3rd Garde zu Fuss Regiment
    • l/lst Garde zu Fuss Regiment
    • 5th 4pdr Battery, (6 guns)
    • 4th l2pdr Battery, (6 guns)
    • (Two) 2/,3/Guard Hussar Regiments
  • Detached:[1]
    • l2th Co/2nd Garde zu Fuss (with divisional baggage)
    • 4th Co/Guard Fusiliers (escort to lst 6pdr Battery)
    • 2/lst Garde zu Fuss (including reserve artillery)
    • 3/,4/Guard Jäger Bn (with divisional baggage)
    • l/Guard Pioneer Battalion (with Pontoon Train)
    • 2nd Guard Infantry Division
    • l/,2/,Fus/Garde Grenadier Regiment
    • 4th 4pdr Battery, (6 guns)
    • l/,4/3rd Guard Uhlan Regiment
    • 3/Guard Pioneer Battalion
    • l/,2/,Fus/Garde Grenadier Regiment
    • Fus/lst Garde Grenadier Regiment
    • Fus/3rd Garde Grenadier Regiment
    • Guard Schützen Battalion
    • 3rd l2pdr Battery, (6 guns)

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "Prussian Army/ Battle of Soor" (PDF). Nafziger. Retrieved 8 December 2014. 
  2. ^ David Chandler, The Art of Warfare in the Age of Marlborough, p.306.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i "The Battle of Soor". British Battles. Retrieved 7 December 2014. 
  4. ^ "Soor". Memim Encyclopedia. Retrieved 8 December 2014. 
  5. ^ a b c d e "Austrian Army/ Battle of Soor" (PDF). Nafziger. Retrieved 8 December 2014. 

References[edit]

  • Asprey, Robert B.: "Frederick the Great: The Magnificent Enigma" Ticknor & Fields (1986). pp 333–338 ISBN 0-89919-352-8
  • Chandler, David: The Art of Warfare in the Age of Marlborough. Spellmount Limited, (1990). ISBN 0-946771-42-1
  • Duffy, Christopher: "The Army of Frederick the Great" The Emperor's Press (1996) pp 243–245. ISBN 1-883476-02-X
  • Duffy, Christopher: "Frederick the Great, A Military Life" Routledge (1985) pp 69–71 ISBN 0-415-00276-1