woensdag 14 oktober 2009

Bohemia 1757, 22 – 28 April

On the evening of the 21st, Bevern’s Prussians were clearing the battlefield and setting up camp. Reports during the evening mentioned the Austrians were not encamped, but seen marching in the direction of Liebenau. Bevern would pursue the following morning, but did not want to spring the trap devised by Schwerin. According to plan, Konigseck, the old hare, would be caught near Tornau.

22 April, with the recall of O’Donnell’s brigade of Dragoons to Liebenau, the Austrians, under Konigseck, were now complete. With no serious opposition, other than Hussar patrols, Konigseck marched the army during the night. On the hills and woods above Liebenau, screen of Grenzers and Hussars would stoke the campfires giving an impression of Austrian presence.

Warned of a Prussian invasion, the local merchants of Tornau were busy moving the magazines to Jung Bunzlau and further to Prague, by boat or wagon. One day was allotted for this as the roads would be shared with the military train. Remaining supplies would be burned.

On the morning of the 23rd, with the main army marching on to Tornau, the rear guard destroyed remaining supplies and set fire to the bridges over the Iser.

Bevern, having been alerted by Malachowsky, galloped ahead to assess the situation at Liebenau. Even the chief of Engineers said it would impossible to repair the bridges. There were no boats. Marching through a narrow front from Friedland to Liebenau, the pontoon train was a day’s march away. Another day to bridge and cross the Iser, Bevern would miss the proposed meeting with Schwerin.

At Jung Bunzlau, Konigseck smiled as he had gained a day. The 24th was a day of rest for the army and a day’s labour for the contractors to moved supplies to Prague. Jung Bunzlau boasted a fine defensive position, orders from Prince Charles had dispelled any such ideas. All commands along the frontier were to assemble at Prague.

At Tornau later that morning, a perplexed Schwerin asked, “Where is Bevern”? Scouts had reported columns of smoke above Liebenau, but no Austrians. Schwerin could only chuckle. Orders were given to encamp and wait.

2 opmerkingen:

Capt Bill zei

Very nice report and photo! Thanks for sharing...

Timurilank zei

Capt Bill,

Thank you for taking the time to read it and for the compliment.