Setting the scene.
Following the departure of the Prussians before Prague, Prince Charles resumed command over all the Austrian forces. Despite the advice of Daun and others, Charles delayed the pursuit of Frederick to allow for victory celebrations. Yet still wary of Frederick’s presence, the Austrians “escorted” the Prussians out of Bohemia toward the Saxon border.
At the end of July, Charles marshaled his forces to pound Zittau and destroy much usable supplies. For unexplained reasons, Charles remained inert on the Saxon border; sole activity was to enlarge the entrenchments and direct light troops to harass Prussian movement around Lusatia. The Prussians ever alert for such raids nearly trapped Nádasdy and Beck on the 16th of August. Thereafter, the Austrians could not be enticed from the impregnable position around Zittau.
On the 31st of August, the Austrians learn of Frederick’s departure and Prince Charles gathers his war council to decide upon options; follow Frederick and pin him between the French and Reich’s armies or move against the Prussian holding force and take Silesia.
Note: Maria Theresa and the Hofkriegsrath sent Kaunitz to stir Prince Charles to action.
We have brought the reader now to the start of our campaign. Below is an overview of the Austrian strength gathered at Zittau. Nádasdy corps is not listed below but should account for a further 6-7,000 troops; mainly Hussars and Grenzers.
Commanding Officer: Herzog Karl von Lothringen
2nd In Command: Feldmarschal Graf L. Daun
Left Cavalry Wing: General der Kavallerie Graf Serbelloni 47 sqdns
Left Infantry Wing: Feldzeugmeister Baron Marschall 18 bns
Right Infantry Wing: Feldzeugmeister Baron Kheul 16 bns
Right Cavalry Wing: General der Kavallerie Graf Lucchese 42 sqdns
Left Cavalry Wing: General der Kavallerie Baron Gretlach 31 sqdns
Left Infantry Wing: Feldzeugmeister Baron Marschall 13 bns
Right Infantry Wing: Feldzeugmeister Baron Kheul 14 bns
Right Cavalry Wing: General der Kavallerie Fu"rst Esterhazy 24 sqdns
Left Cavalry Wing: General der Kavallerie Graf Stampach 20 sqdns
Division: Feldmarschal-lieutenant d'Arberg 5 bns
Division: Feldmarschal-lieutenant Graf Esterhazy 5 bns
Division: Feldmarschal-lieutenant Marquis de Clerici 5 bns
Division: Feldmarschal-lieutenant Baron Sincere 6 bns
Right Cavalry Wing: General der Kavallerie Graf Stampach 19 sqdns
183 squadrons, 82 battalions (27,450 + 61,500 = 88,950)
With odds approaching 3:1, one would expect this to be an easy campaign. If the reader wishes to follow the historical events, then I would recommend the Austrian Invasion of Silesia, 1757 under the campaign section of Kronoskaf.com.
Our goal as participants in this campaign is to play out the 14 week period and see how far we can conquer/defend Silesia before game’s end on 28 November. For the Austrians, this means beating the defending force, capturing the major depots of Schweidnitz, Breslau and a number of minor magazines and for the Prussians, they must deny the Austrians the key locations while remaining a viable force.
Next posting; Opening moves.