1757 Campaign – Battle of Munchenberg

The first battle of the campaign occurred near the small town of Munchenberg when the advancing Prussians under Schwerin engaged the Austrians under Konigsegg. The Prussians had a slight manpower edge and an enormous quality advantage. It was assumed that they would brush aside the Austrians with relative ease. However…

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Austrian deployment with their left guarded by the river & the town

Konigsegg, the Austrian commander, is not a very good general however of his three sub-commanders, two of them, Hadik commanding the cavalry and Lacy commanding the left half of the infantry were able generals. His third subordinate, Saint-Ignon with the right half of the infantry line, was steady but slow.

Schwerin advanced from the east with Keith & Manteuffel commanding the infantry and Kraig and Ascherleben the cavalry.

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Prussians beginning their advance

By midday the Prussian infantry had engaged the Austrian line while the larger Prussian cavalry charged the Austrian horse.

The Prussian infantry immediately began driving back the Austrians, although taking heavier losses than expected. The cavalry however was unexpectedly repulsed by the Austrian Cuirassiers which resulted in the destruction of the brigade of Hussars.

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For several hours the white coated defenders fought toe to toe with the advancing Prussians until it became obvious that they could not withstand much longer. They successfully withdrew their guns without loss however although their infantry losses were severe.

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The battle was decided when the Prussian cavalry overwhelmed their outnumbered opponents and were able to crash into the flank of the Austrian infantry line. The defenders morale failed and they streamed off in retreat down the road towards Jungbunzlau.

Losses were heavy on both sides although the lack of surviving Prussian light cavalry meant that there was no pursuit of the retreating Austrians.

Losses Prussian Austrian
Infantry 2 Musketeer brigades destroyed – (14SP total) 2 musketeer brigades destroyed, 1 brigade reduced 4 SP –  (16SP total)
Cavalry Hussars destroyed (they were depleted before the battle from march attrition), Dragoons down 3 SP – (6SP total) 1 cuirassier brigade destroyed – (7 SP total)
Artillery None None
Generals None Hadik killed

Overall the Austrian losses were slightly heavier, 23SP versus 20, however their overall larger army means that they can afford the loss better than the Prussians can.

 

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