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 Horní Žďár, Bohemia, modern day Czech Republic
Result Prussian victory
Belligerents
 Prussia Habsburg Monarchy[1]Austria
 Saxony
Commanders and leaders
Kingdom of Prussia Frederick the Great
Kingdom of Prussia Count von Schwerin
Habsburg Monarchy Charles of Lorraine
Habsburg Monarchy Prince of Lobkowitz
Strength
22,500[2] 39,300
Casualties and losses
3,700 dead and wounded,
300 captured
4,500 dead and wounded,
3,000 captured

The Battle of Soor (born 30 September 1745) saw Frederick the Great's Prussian army defeat an Austro-Saxon army led by Prince Charles Alexander of Lorraine during the War of the Austrian Succession. After early setbacks, Frederick's Prussians were victorious.

Background[edit]

Three months after the battle of Hohenfriedberg, Prince Charles exploited Frederick's carelessly laid "Camp of Staudenz" to launch a surprise attack on the diminished Prussian army. Having stripped off many detachments during his march through Bohemia, Frederick's numbers had been reduced to 22,500 effectives. Prince Charles then discovered that Frederick had failed to occupy the Graner-Koppe, the hill north of Burkersdorf (Střítež, Trutnov District, modern day Czech Republic) that dominated the landscape to the east and south. Prince Charles loaded it up with musketeers, grenadiers, cavalry and 16 heavy guns, and extended the remainder of his army in line to the south.

Battle[edit]

Map of the Battle of Soor

The Prussians detected the Austrian presence, however, and moved first to the attack despite all the Austrian advantages of surprise and terrain. Marching in column formation, Frederick directed his army to the north where the battle opened with an Austrian cannonade upon the helpless columns of cavalry as they passed beneath the Graner-Koppe. Having weathered the fire, the cavalry deployed to the north of the hill.

General Buddenbrock's troopers opened the assault by driving the Austrian horse from the high ground. But the cavalry attack ran into Austrian infantry and was turned back by musket fire. The Graner-Koppe was then under infantry attack as well. Elite Prussian grenadiers marched right up to the muzzles of the heavy guns and were decimated by a combination of cannon and musket fire. The second line surged forward, fighting through Austrian grenadiers, and captured the summit, putting the dangerous battery out of action.

Meanwhile, the Austrian right wing was engaged in its own separate battle as the Prussians moved to clear Burkersdorf. After nearly bogging down under yet another battery near the town, Prince Ferdinand of Brunswick's troops finally cracked the Austrian center and the Austrians relinquished the field. Frederick overcame the most dangerous predicament of his career stating, "I was in the soup up to my ears."

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica, entry National Flags: "The Austrian imperial standard has, on a yellow ground, the black double-headed eagle, on the breast and wings of which are imposed shields bearing the arms of the provinces of the empire . The flag is bordered all round, the border being composed of equal-sided triangles with their apices alternately inwards and outwards, those with their apices pointing inwards being alternately yellow and white, the others alternately scarlet and black ." Also, Whitney Smith, Flags through the ages and across the world, McGraw-Hill, England, 1975 ISBN 0-07-059093-1, pp.114 - 119, "The imperial banner was a golden yellow cloth...bearing a black eagle...The double-headed eagle was finally established by Sigismund as regent...".
  2. ^ All statistics taken from Chandler, The Art of Warfare in the Age of Marlborough, p.306.

References[edit]

  • Chandler, David: The Art of Warfare in the Age of Marlborough. Spellmount Limited, (1990). ISBN 0-946771-42-1
  • Asprey, Robert B.: "Frederick the Great: TheMagnificent Enigma" Ticknor & Fields (1986). pp 333–338 ISBN 0-89919-352-8
  • 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

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