Battle of Hühnerwasser

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Battle of Hühnerwasser
Part of the Austro-Prussian War
Date26 June 1866
Hühnerwasser, Bohemia
Result Prussian victory
 Prussia  Austria
Commanders and leaders
Kingdom of Prussia Karl Eberhard Herwarth von Bittenfeld, Theodor Alexander von Schoeler Austrian Empire Leopold Gondrecourt
1 brigade 1 brigade
Casualties and losses
7 killed
43 wounded
277 killed, wounded or captured

The Battle of Hühnerwasser was the first battle of the Austro-Prussian War. It was the first engagement in the opening days of the Königgrätz campaign, fought in Bohemia on 26 June 1866. It was fought between troops of the Prussian Elbe army under General Herwarth von Bittenfeld and troops from the Austrian I Corps, led by Leopold Gondrecourt.

Gondrecourt ordered troops from Count Leiningen's brigade[1] – a battalion of Slovak jäger and a battalion of Hungarian line infantry – to attack the Prussian outposts at Hühnerwasser and throw them back across the Iser. The attacking cavalry first made contact with an advanced Prussian post stationed between the trees, which alarmed the rest of Prussian general von Schöler's brigade, that consisted of four Infantry battalions, one Jäger battalions, five squadrons and 12 guns. Superior firepower of the Prussian Dreyse needle guns stopped the Austrian attacks.[2] Gondrecourt then recalled his troops and retreated towards Münchengratz. Prussian captain pursued the retreating Austrians. Near the Hühnerwasser town a concealed squadron of Nicolaus Hussars counterattacked the advancing Prussian detachment, which suffered substantial losses.

Only after securing the woods around noon, General Schöler was able to support the advanced troops at Hühnerwasser and defeated the Austrian Haugwitz battalion, which subsequently retreated. Prussian commander Herwarth arrived at the battlefield around 1.00 pm and organized the consolidation of the area. Austrian losses amounted to 277 and Prussian losses to 50 men.[3][1][4][5][6]


  1. ^ a b Barry 2009, p. 216.
  2. ^ Max Boot (19 October 2006). War Made New: Weapons, Warriors, and the Making of the Modern World. Penguin Publishing Group. pp. 192–. ISBN 978-1-101-21683-5.
  3. ^ Colonel Von Wright; M. Henry Hozier (4 April 2012). Campaign of 1866 in Germany - The Prussian Official History. Andrews UK Limited. pp. 2–. ISBN 978-1-78149-793-7.
  4. ^ David T. Zabecki Ph.D. (28 October 2014). Germany at War: 400 Years of Military History [4 volumes]: 400 Years of Military History. ABC-CLIO. pp. 599–. ISBN 978-1-59884-981-3.
  5. ^ "Combat of Huhnerwasser, 26 June 1866". History of war. Retrieved May 19, 2019.
  6. ^ Arthur L. Wagner (5 April 2018). The Campaign of Königgrätz. BoD – Books on Demand. pp. 24–. ISBN 978-3-7326-3943-4.


  • Barry, Q. (2009). The Road to Königgrätz: Helmuth von Moltke and the Austro-Prussian War 1866. Solihull: Helion. ISBN 978-1-906033-37-8.
  • Geoffrey Wawro, The Austro-Prussian War. Austria's war with Prussia and Italy in 1866 (New York 2007), p. 129-130.

Coordinates: 50°35′10″N 14°48′15″E / 50.586029°N 14.8041556°E / 50.586029; 14.8041556