Battle of Peterswalde

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Coordinates: 50°47′13″N 13°58′43″E / 50.78694°N 13.97861°E / 50.78694; 13.97861

Prussian Bohemia Incursion
Part of the Third Silesian War (Seven Years' War)
Date14 April - 20 April 1759
(6 days)[1]

Prussian victory[2]

  • Austrian munition magazines and 200+ ships destroyed
  • Austrian military Summer campaign delayed
 Prussia Habsburg Monarchy Holy Roman Empire
Commanders and leaders
Prince Henry of Prussia[2]
Johann Dietrich von Hülsen
Johann Jakob von Wunsch
Feldmarshall Lieutenant Ernst Gideon von Laudon
General Reinhardt (POW)
Johann Friedrich Karl von Ostein[2]
Units involved
Prince Henry's vanguard I./Andlau Infanterie-Regiment
I.Battalion Königsegg Infanterie
Croatian soldiers
Hungarian foot
? 3,400+ men
Casualties and losses
Unknown ~3000 captured
3 guns

The Prussian Bohemia Incursion was a military campaign led by the Prince Henry of Prussia during the Third Silesian War (part of the Seven Years' War), to disrupt the Austrian military capacity by launching incursions against its military infrastructure in Bohemia.

The incursion[edit]

On April 14, Prince Henry of Prussia crossed the Erzgebirge (Ore Mountains) in two columns: Prince Henri's column: 13 bns, 20 sqns General Hülsen's column: 8 bns and 12 sqns

On April 15, Prince Henry's column entered into Bohemia at Peterswalde, now part of the Czech Republic, while Hülsen marched to Passberg. Peterswalde was the site of a Habsburg ammunition magazine. A column of Prince Henry of Prussia's advance guard, under command of Johann Jakob von Wunsch, attacked a position strongly held by Croatians of the Habsburg military. In the skirmish, the Croats were routed out of their positions. Wunsch ordered all the munitions destroyed; he also destroyed several ships that were stationed on the Elbe river. Wunsch's force stayed in the village overnight; the next day they were attacked by the imperial force of the Archbishop of Mainz; in the subsequent skirmish, Wunsch's Prussians took one officer and 22 men prisoner.[2][3] About 600 Grenzers and some Hungarian foot guarded a redoubt on an eminence beyond Peterswalde. Prince Henri's vanguard divided into two bodies, one proceeded to Aussig (present-day Ústí nad Labem), the other to Töpplitz (present-day Teplice); forcing the defenders to abandon their position. The magazine of Aussig was destroyed and about 200 boats on the Elbe burnt. Meanwhile, Hülsen found the pass of Passberg strongly guarded by General Reinhard (I./Andlau Infantry, 1 battalion of Königsegg Infantry, about 1,000 grenzers and hussars for a total of about 2,800 men). Hülsen led his cavalry around the Austrian positions and attacked them on the rear while his infantry launched a frontal attack. He drove the Austrians from their entrenchments, capturing the general, 51 officers and 2,000 men along with 3 colours, 2 standards and 3 guns. The remnants of Reinhard's force retreated to Trautenau (present-day Trutnov) where they joined Loudon.

On April 16, Prince Henri's vanguard returned to his column at Welmina (probably present-day Velemín). The magazines at Lobositz (present-day Lovosice), and Leitmeritz (present-day Litoměřice) were seized and the new bridge at Leitmeritz burnt. Prince Henri then marched from Leitmeritz to Budin (present-day Budyně nad Ohří) where he destroyed another magazine. The flames accidentally set the town on fire and did some damage. Meanwhile, General Hülsen marched on Saatz (present-day Žatec) but the Austrians had burnt their magazines there before he arrived. The Prussian destroyed several other magazines at Komotau (present-day Chomutov), Luckowitz, Liboschowitz (present-day Libochovice), Worwitzow, Postelberg (present-day Postoloprty) and Brüx (present-day Most). During these operations, field marshal Count Leopold Joseph von Daun was at Jermer (present-day Jaroměř). This raid considerably delayed his operations that summer.

On April 20, Prince Henri, having reached his objectives, ordered to retire with some 3,000 prisoners and reached Saxony three days later.[4][5]


  1. ^ Operations Plan dererjenigen Corps so von der Prinz Heinrichschen Armée, unter dem Gen: v. Hülsen, und Obr: Lieut. v. Wunsch, sich derer Oesterreichischen Magazins in Böhmen bemächtiget von 14. bis 20. April 1759.
  2. ^ a b c d Henry Lloyd. Geschichte des siebenjährigen Krieges in Deutschland. Berlin, 1787, vol. 3, p. 56.
  3. ^ Thomas Tegg, Chronology; or, The historian's companion: being an authentic register of events, from the earliest period to the present time, comprehending an epitome of universal history, with a copious list of the most eminent men in all ages of the world, p.39
  4. ^ A Complete History of the Present War, from its Commencement in 1756, to the End of the Campaign, 1760, London, 1761, pp. 365-366
  5. ^ Hotham, 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, p. 75-80