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Battle of Trutnov
Part of Austro-Prussian War
Date June 27, 1866
Location Trutnov, Bohemia, modern day Czech Republic
Result Pyrrhic Austrian victory.
Belligerents
Kingdom of Prussia Prussia Austrian Empire Austria
Commanders
GFM Adolf von Bonin[1] GFM Gablenz[1]
Strength
I Corps, Cav. Reserve[1] X Corps[1]
Casualties and losses
1,338 4,787

The Battle of Trautenau (German: Schlacht bei Trautenau) or Battle of Trutnov was fought on on June 27, 1866 during the Austro-Prussian War. It ended in an Austrian victory over the Prussians but at a large cost.

Contents

Background

The Prussian Second Army invading Bohemia had to split up in order to negotiate the difficult passes of the Giant Mountains. As they emerged on the Bohemian side, they met Austrian forces. At Nachod the Austrians were soundly beaten, but on the same day, as Generalfeldmarschall Adolf von Bonin’s I Corps emerged from the passes it was caught in the open on its way through Trautenau towards Pilníkov, where it was hoped to link up with the First Army.

The battle

The battle opened with elements of the Prussian, 1st Division, under GL von Grossman, clearing the town of Trautenau and engaging the Austrian, 1st Brigade on the heights beyond. As the Prussians advanced up the slope, they found the hill staunchly defended by GM Mondl's 1st, Austrian Brigade. Therefore von Bonin, who had now arrived, ordered elements of the Prussian, 2nd Division, under GL von Clausewitz, to cross the river and outflank the Austrian position. After a considerable delay, caused by the terrain, they eventually managed to force Mondl off the hill overlooking Trautenau and the Aupa River, pushing them off to the south.[1]

At this point the fighting died down and thinking that the battle was over, von Bonin started to form columns again to continue the march south. Unfortunately for the Prussians, the arrival of GL Grivicic's 2nd, Austrian Brigade, and the news that the rest of the Austrian X Corps was on its way, had given fresh heart to the Austrians. Mondl's and Grivicic's 1st and 2nd Brigades renewed their attacks on the now disordered, disorganized and almost leaderless Prussian frontline. As the offensive progressed, they were joined by the last two elements of the Austrian X Corps. This proved to be too much for the 'skitish' Prussian commander who ordered a withdrawal.[1]

The Prussians made a desperate attempt to hold firm, as a stand had to be made on the Kapellenberg (the central of the three hills) to give time for the withdrawal to be safely executed. An assault by the newly arrived Austrian, 4th Brigade, under GM Wimpffen, failed to dislodge the Prussians from these hills. It was only with the intervention of the final brigade, GL Knebel's 3rd Austrian, that the Prussians were finally forced off of their positions on the Kapellenberg.[1]

Von Bonin decided to retreat before he was surrounded or cut off, so the whole Corps pulled back in a headlong retreat, with the Austrians hot on their heels. The Prussians withdrew through Trautenau, across the Aupa and spent that night in the same bivouac that they had occupied earlier that morning, before they had set out south.

Map

http://www-cgsc.army.mil/carl/download/csipubs/cannae/maps_41_60.pdf See Map 46 Courtesy of US Combined Arms Center

Aftermath

The Prussian rifles took a fearful toll – 5,000 Austrian casualties to the Prussian 1,200, yet, the Prussians had little reason to celebrate. First Corps had been utterly shattered and driven back by a single Austrian Corps. To make matters worse for the Prussians, the Chief of Staff, Leonhard Graf von Blumenthal, assumed that Bonin was still in contact with the enemy by the end of the day, and ordered the Corps of Guards to advance from the East on Trautenau, envisioning that this would outflank the Austrians. The Prussian Guard, alone and exposed, was now open to attack. It was left for the Austrians to pound before disposing of the rest of the Prussian Second Army, piecemeal, which erupted into the Battle of Bunkersdorf later that same day and spilt into the following.[3] This was precisely what the Austrian Intelligence Officer, Tegethoff, a relative of the Admiral and spectacular naval victor over the Italians, urged.

The Austrians had won their only victory in the "Prussian War of 1866", if it was somewhat costly. Fortunately for the Prussians, however, Austrian Field Marshal Ludwig von Benedek refused to change his prepared strategy, which was to advance straight at the Prussian First Army as fast as he could. This inflexibility, which always proved to be the Austrian Army's "Achilles' heel", was, again, the ultimate cause of Austria's complete defeat.

Bibliography

  • Battle of Trautenau, Wyre Forest Games Club [1]

External links

  • Battle of Trautenau [2]
  • Battle of Bunkersdorf [3]

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Battle of Trutnov
Part of Austro-Prussian War
Date June 27, 1866
Location Trutnov, Bohemia, modern day Czech Republic
Result Tactical Austrian victory[1]
Belligerents
File:Flag of Prussia (1803).gif Prussia Austria
Commanders and leaders
Crown Prince Friedrich Wilhelm

Adolf von Bonin[2]

Baron Ludwig von Gablenz[3]
Strength
I Corps, Cav. Reserve X Corps
Casualties and losses
1,338 4,787

The Battle of Trautenau (German: Schlacht bei Trautenau) or Battle of Trutnov was fought on June 27, 1866, during the Austro-Prussian War. It ended in an Austrian victory over the Prussians, but at a large cost.

Background

The Prussian Second Army invading Bohemia had to split up in order to negotiate the difficult passes of the Giant Mountains. As they emerged on the Bohemian side, they met Austrian forces. At Nachod the Austrians were soundly beaten, but on the same day, as Generalfeldmarschall Adolf von Bonin’s I Corps emerged from the passes it was caught in the open on its way through Trautenau towards Pilníkov, where it was hoped to link up with the First Army.

References

  1. ^ Laffin, John, Brassey's Dictionary of Battles, (Barnes & Noble Inc., 1995), 432.
  2. ^ Jaques, Tony, Dictionary of Battles And Sieges, Vol.3, (Greenwood Publishing Group, 2007), 1032.
  3. ^ Jaques,1032.


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