Kunersdorf, Battle of 1759
Kunersdorf, Battle of (1759)
a battle fought on August 1 (12) between the Russian and Austrian armies of Generalin-Chief P. S. Saltykov (41,000 Russians, 18,500 Austrians, and 248 guns) and the Prussian Army of King Frederick II (48,000 men and about 200 guns) near the village of Kunersdorf, east of Frankfurt an der Oder, during the Seven Years’ War of 1756–63.
The capture of Frankfurt by the Russian troops on July 20 (31) created a threat to Berlin. On July 30–31 (August 10–11) the Prussian Army crossed the Oder north of Frankfurt in order to strike at the rear of the Russian troops, who had already taken up positions on the crests of the Mühlberg, Grosser Spitz, and Judenberg heights. On August 1 (12) the Prussians attacked the Russian left wing and captured Mühlberg, but their attacks in the center on Grosser Spitz were repulsed. Then Frederick introduced the cavalry of General F. von Seydlitz into action on Grosser Spitz, but it suffered great losses and was not successful. The Russian troops struck a counterblow at Mühlberg and then, repulsing a new attack of Seydlitz’ cavalry, passed to a general offensive. The Prussian Army was completely routed and, having lost about 19,000 men and 172 guns, retreated in disorder. Many Prussian soldiers ran away, and Frederick was left with only about 3,000 men. The allied forces lost over 15,000 men. Prussia was on the verge of capitulation, but Austria, fearing the growing strength of Russia, did not manifest any aggressiveness, which enabled Frederick to raise new forces and continue the war.
REFERENCESMaslovskii, D. F. Russkaia armiia v Semiletnei voine, issues 1–3. Moscow, 1886–91.
Korobkov, N. M. Semiletniaia voina. Moscow, 1940.
D. V. PANKOV