Gross-Jägersdorf

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Gross-Jägersdorf

 

a settlement in what formerly was East Prussia, southwest of Insterburg (present-day Cher-niakhovsk), near which a battle took place between Russian troops (55,000) under Field Marshal S. F. Apraksin and Prussian troops (24,000) under Field Marshal H. von Lehwaldt on Aug. 19 (30), 1757, during the Seven Years’ War of 1756–63.

The Russian Army crossed the Prussian border on July 21 (Aug. 1), 1757, and took Insterburg on July 30 (Aug. 10). The Prussian forces were covering the road to Königsberg at a position near Wehlau. Apraksin decided to outflank this position from the south and crossed to the left bank of the Pregel River. Lehwaldt also crossed to the left bank of the Pregel and on August 19 (30) attacked the Russian forces by surprise. The Russian forces set out for Allenburg without having completed their march formation. The marshy, forested terrain prevented rapid deployment of the Russian Army, and its center (the Second Division of V. A. Lopukhin) was attacked by the superior enemy forces. Thanks to the courage of the soldiers and the initiative of individual commanding officers, the Russian forces repulsed the enemy attack. Entry of P. A. Rumiantsev’s brigade into the battle led to a turning point, and the battle ended with the defeat of the Prussians, who lost 5,000 men and 29 guns. The Russians lost 5,400 men. Lehwaldt retreated to the right bank of the Pregel, opening the road to Königsberg, but Apraksin did not take advantage of his victory. Having occupied Allenburg on August 25 (September 5), he withdrew toward Tilsit. In view of the unexpected death of the Empress Elizaveta Petrovna, Apraksin was acting in the interests of the court party, which favored the succession of Petr Fedorovich (an opponent of the war with Prussia) to the throne. As a result, the campaign of 1757 ended without a decisive result.