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Battle of Langensalza, 27 June 1866

Battle of Langensalza, 27 June 1866

Battle of Langensalza, 27 June 1866

The battle of Langensalza (27 June 1866) was the only significant Prussian setback during the campaign against their German enemies during the Austro-Prussian War of 1866, but despite their victory the Hanoverians were forced to surrender two days later.

At the start of the war the Prussians allocated three divisions to the fight against their German opponents. This force, under General von Falckenstein, would have been outnumbered if all of their German opponents had been able to unite, but the three main German forces were just as badly divided as the Prussians. In the south were the Bavarians and the 8th Federal Corps, while in the north was the army of the kingdom of Hanover, under General von Arentschild, but with King George V of Hanover present.

At the start of the war the Hanoverian army concentrated at Gottingen, just over 50 miles to the south of the city of Hanover. They found themselves faced by all three of Falckenstein's divisions. The 13th Division was nearest, and it occupied Hanover on 17 June. Manteuffel's division was approaching from Holstein in the north. Finally Beyer's Division was approaching from the west, and by 19 June was at Cassel. This meant that the Hanoverians had to abandon their first plan, which was to advance through Cassel on their way towards Frankfurt and a union with the Bavarian and Federal forces. Instead they chose to head south, towards Eisenach. As the Hanoverians moved south, Falckenstein ordered his units to concentrate on Göttingen. This gave the Hanoverians time to move south, and by 22-23 June they had reached Langensalza, three quarters of the way to their target. At this point their movement rather ground to a halt. The Prussians had very few troops in front of them - only small detachments at Eisenach and Gotha, and Falckenstein repeatedly ignored orders to use the rail network to reinforce both places.

On 24 June the Hanoverians attacked towards Eisenach. They were probably on the brink of success when news reached the Hanoverian commander on the spot, General Bülow, that peace talks were proceeding well and hostilities should be avoided. A truce was agreed, to last until the following morning. Finally Falckenstein realised the urgency of the situation, and by the time the truce expired there were ten Prussian battalions at Eisenach. A detachment of five battles from Manteuffel's division, commanded by General Flies, was on its way to Gotha, where it arrived on the afternoon of 25 June.

The peace negotiations continued on, hampered by interventions from Moltke in Berlin, often based on out-of-date or incorrect information. On the night of 25-26 June a Hanoverian foraging part was detected at Mühlhausen. This was misreported as a major Hanoverian force, and Moltke assumed that the Hanoverians were retreating north. Falckenstein was sent a direct order to attack the Hanoverians, but he decided that this was based on false information and ignored it. When no attack came on 26 June that order was repeated. Once against Falckenstein decided to ignore it, but General Flies at Gotha didn't know this. He decided to obey the order, and on 27 June advanced north from Gotha towards the Hanoverian position at Langensalza where he expected to find no more than a rearguard of a retreating army.

The Hanoverians were in a strong defensive position on the north bank of the River Unstrut. They had outposts on the south bank of the river, including in Langensalza. Their main force was spread out between the villages of Thamsbrück, Merxleben and Nagelstadt, all on the north bank of the river, and all with a river bridge. The main bridge was in the centre of the line, at Merxleben. Arentschild put Bülow's brigade on his right (at Thamsbrück), Vaux's brigade in the centre (at Merxleben) and Bothmer's brigade on his left (towards Nagelstadt). Knesebeck's brigade was in reserve. The Hanoverians had around 19,000 men available.

The Prussians had around 9,000 men available for the attack. General Flies ordered his men to occupy Langensalza, and the Jüdenhugel, a hill just to the north-east of the town. This gave them a good position for their artillery, overlooking the Hanoverian guns on lower hills north of the river, and the Prussians began a punishing artillery bombardment. The Hanoverians responded by moving Knesebeck's brigade to the front. At this crucial moment Flies was struck down by heat stroke. He was unconscious for the next hour, leaving his force without direction.

The same wasn't true on the Hanoverian side. Arentschild realised that he had a chance to defeat the outnumbered Prussians, and ordered a general attack across the river. The attack began on the Hanoverian right, where Bülow and Knesebeck were able to cross the river and push back the Prussian left. However on the Hanoverian left General Bothmer's first attempt to cross the river was repulsed. He refused to attempt to cross a second time.

The final Hanoverian attack came in the centre. Vaux's brigade, supported by two battalions sent by Knesebeck, pushed across the river and captured Kallenberg's Mill, near the southern end of the bridge.

By this point Flies had regained consciousness, and he decided to order a retreat. The Prussians ended the day back at Warza, just to the north of their starting point at Gotha. The Prussians lost 170 dead, 643 wounded, 33 missing and according to the Hanoverians 907 prisoners, a total of 1,800 casualties. The Hanoverians lost 1,429 killed and wounded, a reflection of their role as attackers, and the power of the Prussia needle gun.

The Hanoverian victory at Langensalza didn't change the overall situation. The Prussians were now concentrating against them, and most of Falckenstein's men were now blocking the Hanoverian's road south to their allies. On the day after the battle the Hanoverian officers told the king that the army was surrounded, short of food and ammunition and in need of rest, and advising him to surrender. Initial negotiations were with Falckenstein, but on 29 June Manteuffel arrived with better terms sent from Berlin. The Hanoverians accepted these terms, and on 29 June signed the capitulation. After the war King George V of Hanover abdicated and his kingdom became part of Prussia.

With the Hanoverians out of the fight Falckenstein was free to move south to deal with the Bavarians and the 8th Federal Corps.

Medaile Langensalza (1866)

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Medaile Langensalza
Langensalza Medal
Datum udělení
Date of Issue
Celkem : 0

Hannoverská commemorative medal for the battle of Langensalzy
Langensalza-Medaille (Kriegsdenkmünze 1866)

Commander of the Hanoverian army was lieutenant general Alexander von Arentschild. The army had a total of:

20 battalions of infantry
24 eskadron drive
41 works
The total number of soldiers in the field is placed in the number of 16-17 000 men.

Medal founded by the last hannoverský king George In. as a reminder, the members of the hanover troops, that got a great victory in the battle of Langensalzy 27. July 1866 over the prussian corps led by major general Fliesem. Units of the hanoverian army, however, even here they had to in the end before the prussian outright surrender.

Description of the decoration:

The head of George the king of Hanover looking to the right. Around the copy:

At the bottom is the name of the author (medal designer JAUNER). The edges of the medal are mutually increased.

In the middle of the medal's plain inscription:
LANGENSALZA / 27. JUNI / 1866.

The inscription is surrounded by a laurel wreath of "Victory".

In the upper part of the medal is a relatively weak handle, with hanging ring. Typical hannoverská ribbon white-yellow-white-yellow-white (see picture).

Václav Měřička: Memorial decorations from the War in 1866. Prague, 1966.

1866 - Langensalza, Lissa, Koeniggraetz

I’m glad I was finally able to finish this because I squeezed it between everything else.
In my last post, I showed some sketches for this little project.

Sooo, well, how many times can I show up with the war of 1866? Infinitely many times it seems.
This here shows a little overview over some main battles of the German War/ Austro-Prussian/ Seven Weeks’ War/ Brothers War of 1866, also called Second Unification War and Third Italian War of Independence.
I wanted to incorporate comic elements and illustrations, like a Graphic Novel.
The panels in the top row feature the Battle of Langensalza, the panel beneath shows the Battle of Lissa and the panel at the bottom shows the Battle of Königgrätz. I used of course references for the ships and canons.
Drawn & painted with watercolours, coloured pencils, liners and white ink.

Here’s, as always, a way too long description for this conflict:

How the conflict came to be:
Prussia wanted to expand and receive the supremacy over the German Confederation (established after the Napoleonic Wars in 1815). The decision was imminent whether there should be a "small Germany" without Austria or a "greater Germany" with Austria (German question) Bismarck favoured the "small" solution.
Before: German-Danish War of 1864 (Prussia and Austria won the duchies Schleswig and Holstein from Denmark). Prussia won France's neutrality while Austria had many financial problems and was isolated in Europe. On the 8th of April 1866, Prussia made also an alliance with Italy that claimed Veneto from Austria. Then Prussia sparked the conflict by marching into Holstein on the 9th of June 1866 under the pretext that Austria did not administrate the duchy correctly.
While Prussia was allied with some of the German states and the free cities of Hamburg, Bremen and Lübeck as well as with the Kingdom of Italy, Austria was allied with the Kingdoms of Bavaria, Saxony, Württemberg and Hanover as well as other German states.

The course of the war:
- On the 24th and 26th of June, Austria fought successfully against Italy in Custoza (Veneto) and then unsuccessfully against Prussia in Bohemia.
- 27th of June: Battle of Langensalza (Thuringia) the Kingdom of Hanover was allied with Austria, but mostly neutral and did not expect a battle. But the Prussians did not expect to encounter the completely mobilized and fully armed Hanoverian army (19,000 men) that was assembled to perform summer exercises. The Hanoverians marched south towards Langensalza to meet with allied Bavarian troops, but the allies didn’t reach each other in time. The greater part of the Prussian troops marched towards the capital of Hanover while 9,000 men encountered the Hanoverians near Langensalza. Though the Prussian army was better equipped, it was a hot summer day, the Hanoverians had more than twice as much soldiers and the Prussian general Flies disregarded general Moltke's instructions and attacked frontally. The larger Hanoverian army drove the Prussians back and saw victory. Though it was a tactical victory, the other Prussian forces that had marched towards the city of Hanover met with them and soon outnumbered them. The Hanoverians were pinned down against the Harz Mountains and further away from the Bavarian allies. So Hanover capitulated on the 29th of June 1866. The stubbornness of Hanover’s king in the peace talks in September and Prussians' will to link their western and eastern territories through Hanover led to the downgrading of the Kingdom of Hanover to a Prussian province.
While the loss in the actual battle weakened the Prussians, it was an important step on the way towards victory against Austria. The allied troops couldn’t meet up and unite which would have been a decisive strike against Prussia. This way, Austria lost valuable troops and allies.
- 27th-29th of June: Multiple battles in Bohemia in which the Prussians defeated the Austrians.
- 3rd of July: Battle of Königgrätz/Sadowa (near Sadowa, Bohemia) decisive battle of the Prussian army against the Austrian and Saxon one. The united Prussian troops were led by King Wilhelm and slightly larger than the Austrian ones (221,000 vs. 215,000).
The Prussian troops were parted in three armies the Elbarmee and the 1st Army engaged first the Austrian army. These actions brought many casualties but no ground-breaking movement on either side, divisions on both sides were stuck in the forests, so that the 2nd Prussian Army marched towards the Austrian army's flank and occupied the hill of Chlum, a decisive position from where the artillery could engage the Austrians. Because the whole Austrian army was about to be encircled by the Prussians, the Austrians retreated.
- 20th of July: Battle of Lissa (Adriatic Sea near the Dalmatian island Lissa), Austria's fleet fighting against Italy's the Italian fleet was numerically superior. It was the first major sea battle between ironclad battleships and one of the last ones that involved the tactic of ramming. The Italians didn't sink any Austrian ship but lost two themselves and therefore more men.
Pictured: The Austrian ironclad SMS Erzherzog Ferdinand Max that rammed and sank the Italian ironclad Re d’Italia. Because the Italian commanders could not agree with each other and quarrelled, some Italian ships didn't even engage the enemy. The Austrians under commander Tegetthoff however split up the ships of the enemy and destroyed the isolated ones.
-22nd-26th of July: The last battles of the war in Bavaria and Slovakia.

The peace treaties were signed on the 26th of July (preliminary peace treaty), the 23rd of August and the 3rd of October.
Even though Italy won no major battle against Austria, the kingdom got Veneto after Austria's decisive defeat in the battle of Königgrätz. It was passed to France in the war to be given to Italy afterwards. The German Confederation was abolished, multiple German states and cities were annexed by Prussia and the North German Confederation was created. Austria was weakened by the war and inner political turmoil which resulted in the Austro-Hungarian Compromise and the establishment of the Dual Monarchy of Austria-Hungary in 1867.
Other parts of the former German Confederation like the Kingdoms of Bavaria and Saxony that fought on Austria's side became part of the new Confederation without being annexed (Saxony) or had to pay some money and lost some small territories (Bavaria). More importantly, they allied with Prussia to help in the next war: France had hoped to gain some western German territories in the War of 1866, but it was over before anything could be done. It was the beginning of a conflict that would result in the Franco-Prussian War in 1870 and the establishment of the German Empire in Versailles in January 1871.

Prussia had many advantages in the War of 1866 like using railways to carry war material and soldiers faster and easier from point A to B (the success of this was evident in the American Civil War), the Dreyse needle gun (in German called "Zündnadelgewehr"), a breech-loading rifle with a rate of fire of about 10-12 rounds per minute that allowed faster action and was superior to the Austrians' (and the Austrians' allies’) carbines and also the weight-lighter C64 field gun (in German called "4-Pfünder-Feldkanone C/64") that had a weight of four pounds while the Austrians and allies used the six pound C/61 and C/64. It was more mobile and therefore used in a faster way.
Austria however was confronted with many problems within its military. The policy of saving money in the years before the war resulted in missing material and (experienced) leading staff.

Timeline for an Austrian victory in the Bruderkrieg (for a hoi4 mod, link to discord and subreddit in the comments!)

Note: After this point, the battles are totally fictional and based off a map I’m reading, the campaign will more or less be divided into 3 fronts/theaters for the next ¾ year: Saxony/Bohemia (green, between Austria and Prussia), Silesia(black, Austria against both Prussia and an pro-Prussian Silesian revolt), and Lombardy-Venetia (blue, between Austria and Italy) Political events are red

25 July 1866: Siege of Mantua begins (Austrian besieger)

26 July 1866: Battle of Lauban, Austrian victory

August 1866: Austrian advance into Silesia

26 August 1866: Siege of Dresden (Austrian besieger) begins (Dresden having fallen to the Prussians previously)

5 September 1866: Battle of Freystadt, Prussian Victory

10 September 1866: Liegnitz revolts against Austrian occupation, declares for Prussia

12 September 1866: Liegnitz revolt sparks general uprising against Austria in Central Silesia

19 September 1866: Italians push to relieve Mantua

21 September 1866: Battle of Luzzara, stalemate with heavy casualties on both sides

25 September 1866: Silesian revolutionaries fail to capture Oppeln

31 September 1866: Battle of Asola, Italian victory

2 October 1866: Siege of Mantua relieved

4 October 1866: Dresden surrenders

6 October 1866: Prussians reinvade Bohemia to distract Austrians from supporting Army of Silesia

10 October 1866: Battle of Kladno, inconclusive

11 October 1866: Battle of Frankenstein, Austrian victory(over Prusso-Silesian forces)

19 October 1866: Battle of Bernklau, Austrian victory

21 October 1866: Napoleon III with support from British PM Lord Stanley prepare a Conference in Dunkirk to end the war, Austria and Italy declare willingness to participate, Prussia follows suit 2 days later

26-30 October 1866: Battle of the Hohenwald, Prussian retreat through woods harassed by Austrian Grenzers, overconfident Austrian forces ambushed by Prussians, Prussian victory but morale decreases on both sides

27 October 1866: Garibaldi, having escaped earlier in October, leads his Hunters of the Alps into Sudtirol

31 October 1866: Battle of Rovereto, Italian victory

1 November 1866: Ceasefire called on Saxony and Silesia fronts until November 15 to hold the Conference, Lombardy front signs separate ceasefire on the 3rd

4 November 1866: Conference of Dunkirk opens with Napoleon and the Brits as mediators, Russia attends

5 November 1866: Russia issues support for Prussia and demands general recognition of the demise of the German Confederation, Austria states that they will never accept this, Lord Stanley proposes status quo ante bellum, Italy rejects this emboldened by Rovereto, Bismarck attempts to court Napoleon III’s support

6 November 1866: Napoleon III agrees that Austria will not leave the German Confederation but proposes a Venetian buffer state aligned with Italy, Austria states that their empire is sovereign and will not accept territorial losses, side talks begin between Austrian FM Graf (Count) von Mensdorff and Lord Stanley’s government

7 November 1866: Bismarck states that the Prussian government’s position demands either Austrian expulsion from GC AND a Venetian buffer state OR Venice joining Italy and minor North German states acknowledging Prussian sovereignty, outraging the British who are committed to Hanoverian independence, Austrian foreign minister responds by saying that they will allow small border principalities to join Prussia “if they were persuaded to agree” but refusing to talk about Hanover, Saxony, Bavaria, Baden-Wurttemberg, and Hesse, as well as autonomy for Venice WITHIN the Empire

8 November 1866: The First Compromise is offered by Napoleon III, with independence for Venice as a neutral states and Prussian annexation of a few small German states excluding the ones specifically named by Austria, Mensdorff complains that Venetian independence would destroy the Austrian Empire, Prussia demands at least one of the so called “Critical States” as well as a series of laws that would in effect make Venice an Italian puppet, Italy agrees.

9 November 1866: Lord Stanley modifies the First Compromise so that the annexed state is Hesse (the smallest) and the Emperor of Austria exercises ceremonial control over the Venetian government (making Venice effectively neutral and independent but technically still in the Empire), Mensdorff announces his willingness to accept this in exchange for “limited” compensation, hinting at the fortress of Udine, which is part of Venice, remaining under direct Austrian control. This is the Second Compromise. Italian PM Ricasoli decries the Udine Clause as destroying the independence of Venice, since without Udine Austria could annex mainland Venice without Venice being able to effectively resist. Representatives of the Critical States arrive from the German Confederation and offer an alternative: Venice will retain Udine, but a member of the House of Hesse will be Duke of Venice, this is the Third Compromise. Mensdorff says he needs to check with the Emperor, Ricasoli initially says it will accept if Austria pays a small sum for damages to Mantua, but under pressure from Bismarck, changes his mind and demands an equal voice to Austria in Venice. Napoleon III agrees to this modified Third Compromise, but Mensdorff argues with support from Stanley that this will compromise Austrian sovereignty.

10 November 1866: Mensdorff says that unless the modified Third Compromise is agreed to by Prussia and Italy, it will not extend the ceasefire. Stanley and Napoleon III demand Mensdorff agree to a week extension to the ceasefire, Mensdorff says he lacks the authority to do so, the Emperor incredulously argues that he’s the Foreign Minister, of all people, he can’t make that excuse. Bismarck gleefully supports the extension of the ceasefire and proposes the Fourth Compromise, which supports the Italian line demanding an equal say in Venice. Napoleon III agrees, and Stanley says that he needs to consider it but that he agrees in principle, Mensdorff says that given that Austria “has the capacity to win by strength if need be” they will not accept this, Stanley asks what the point of diplomacy and the Congress of Vienna is if not to avoid war by Great Power settlement.

11 November 1866: Napoleon III announces his last gambit: he called American representatives to help decide the matter. Unbeknownst to the other parties, the Americans are not unbiased because Napoleon agreed to withdraw from Mexico in exchange for American support for his plan. The Americans, hoping to find a better deal, ask the European Great Powers to resolve the Mexican situation and since everyone wants the Americans to back them up, everyone, including Napoleon III, agrees that France should withdraw. When the Americans study the situation, they’re shocked that Austria, winning, is being forced to make concessions, and endorse the Third Compromise, outraging Napoleon III, who secretly threatens them to not withdraw from Mexico. After threatening war, the Americans walk back in and reveal Napoleon III’s plans, discrediting his influence at the conference as well as the Fourth Compromise.

12 November 1866: Franco-American relations are severed, while Russia and America begin negotiations over Alaska since neither of them have anything better to do. While Stanley is still desperately trying to salvage a compromise, both sides are even less willing to back the neutrals due to Napoleon’s double dealing. After increasingly tense and fierce negotiations, Austria declares that due to the mediators betraying their neutrality, they have no more business at the conference, and Mensdorff and co walk out. Bismarck decries Austrian aggression and non-cooperation and himself walks out, followed by Ricasoli.

13 November 1866: Stanley, unable to salvage the situation, ends the Conference of Dunkirk. The legitimacy of the Congress System is in doubt, but more immediately, Austria informs the Prusso-Italian Alliance that they will resume combat as soon as the ceasefire ends. Prussia and Italy do the same.

16 November 1866: Italian offensive into Veneto region begins

17 November 1866: Pause on Saxony front due to both sides diverting strength to Silesian campaign

18 November 1866: Austrians besiege Liegnitz

19-21 November 1866: First Battle of Vicenza, inconclusive but bloody, Austrian defenses hold

25-29 November 1866: Second Battle of Vicenza, Italian victory after Garibaldi’s clutch morale boosting

26 November 1866: First relief attempt on Liegnitz begins

30 November 1866: Depleted Italian army marches on Venice, picking up eager recruits in the name of Risorgimento

1 October 1866: Prussians move around Liegnitz but are intercepted at Strehlen, though they win the ensuing battle

2 October 1866: Austrian army split between defense of Venice and counterattack, Venice invested

4 October 1866: Austrians withdraw from Siege of Liegnitz, technically making relief successful, but Battle of Waldenburg is Austrian victory against the relief force

5 October 1866: Austria counterattacks, Battle of Pordenone, Austrian victory

6 October 1866: Austria resumes the siege of Liegnitz

7 October 1866: Battle of Treviso, decisive Austrian victory, 15,000 Italians besieged in Chiogga

10 October 1866: Third Battle of Vicenza, Austrian victory

13 October 1866: Austria besieges Brescia, breakout attempt from Chiogga

14 October 1866: 10,000 Italians led by Garibaldi escape Chiogga and withdraw to Rovigo, the remaining survivors surrender to Austria

15 October 1866: Battle of Luben, Austrian victory against Silesian attempt to relieve Liegnitz

16-17 October 1866: Battle of Rovigo, Pyrrhic Austrian victory as the Austrians take 2 times Italian losses despite a 3:1 numerical advantage, Italians withdraw towards Ravenna

20 October 1866: Italy institutes conscription

21 October 1866: Battle of Sluknov, skirmish between the two armies, is inconclusive

22 October 1866: Winter ends the year’s campaign season with Austria besieging Brescia and Liegnitz and the Italian army reeling from its recent defeats

4 Feb 1867: The campaign season resumes

5 Feb 1867: Austrians plan invasion of Southern Saxony, with goal being control of all lands south of Chemnitz by mid-March

6 Feb 1867: While the Siege of Brescia was rather loose in winter because the Austrians didn’t want to spend winter in the Alps, it is reinvested by the Austrians

7 Feb 1867: Second attempt to relieve Liegnitz begins with First Battle of Bunzlau, inconclusive

8 Feb 1867: Garibaldi, having planned an audacious campaign to relieve Brescia and rout the Austrian armies in the Alps, goes on the attack, crossing the Alps at Premana undetected

10 Feb 1867: Prussians try again, dislodge Austrians at Second Bunzlau

11 Feb 1867: Bavarian-Saxon victory at Falkenstein

11 Feb 1867: After an astounding march through the Alps, Garibaldi arrives at Vestone, cutting supply to the besieging army

12 Feb 1867: Battle of Vestone, Italian victory, as the Austrian army attempts to attack into the choke point between Lake Iseo and several rivers against well-defended positions

13 Feb 1867: Austrian forces, unable to dislodge Garibaldi from Vestone, has to go northwest around Lake Iseo

14 Feb 1867: The Prussians move almost all the army to Zwickau to fight the Bavarian-Saxon forces, Austria easily storms Chemnitz

16 Feb 1867: Italian regular army surprised and pushed back from Bergamo by Austrians

18 Feb 1867: Brescia officially relieved by Garibaldi, who famously says Obeddisco! when asked by the King of Italy to link up with his army (this actually happened irl just not in this situation), Austrians restore supply lines by capturing Gazzaniga

19 Feb 1867: Pleasantly surprised by the easy capture of the fortress of Chemnitz, the Austrians plan an attack on Dresden, however these plans are put on hold after the Bavarian-Saxon army is defeated at First Battle of Reichenbach

19 Feb 1867: With Prussian failures to break the siege lines, Liegnitz surrenders with 12,000 Prusso-Silesian soldiers (Prussian officers are kept prisoner while all Silesian officers above Lieutenant rank are summarily shot)

19 Feb 1867: Pressured by Garibaldi’s highly mobile and elite Hunters of the Alps and the Italian regular army, augmented by conscripts, Austrian forces withdraw towards defensible positions at Esine between Lake Iseo and the Alps, to avoid being flanked and/or overrun

20-24 Feb 1867: Battle of Esine: Garibaldi’s initial flanking attack at Bienno fails, as does the regular army’s first attack on the heights, the next day sees Prussian equipped Italian regulars annihilate an Austrian cavalry charge, leading to a renewed assault on the 22nd that pushes the Austrians from their first line, the Italians are unable to seize the second line over the next 2 days and both sides encamp on the heights of Esine, Italian leaning stalemate

21 Feb 1867: Reinforced by the Austrians, the Bundarmee (German Federal Army, so called because many states contributed to it) defeats the Prussians at Second Reichenbach

22 Feb 1867: Prussians break through, besiege Liegnitz

25 Feb 1867: In a farcical event, 4,000 Austrian troops get lost and march around the wrong edge of Lake Garda, arrive at Brescia, and finding it undefended since its garrison had been stripped to fight at Esine, just take it

26 Feb 1867: With Silesian enthusiasm declining, the Prussian and Silesian armies split, with the Prussians withdrawing to Bunzlau and the Silesians to Breslau, ending the Second Siege of Liegnitz, a stalemate ensues

26 Feb 1867: Italians, learning that their line of retreat southwest has been cut, rapidly retreat west towards Bergamo, Austrians don’t pursue, believing it to be a trap

28 Feb 1867: Garibaldi attempts to surprise and storm Brescia but fails with severe losses, forced to retreat to Verolanuova by main Austrian army

1 Mar 1867: Battle of Freiburg sees a decisive victory for Austria and the death of Prussian Feldmarschall Karl Bittenfeld

2 Mar 1867: Austrians, hoping to cut the Piacenza-Milan railway (the main supply road for Milan and thus the regular army), march on the Lodi junction, brushing off Garibaldi’s force at Offlaga

5 Mar 1867: Austrians besiege Lodi, Garibaldi positions himself 10 miles southwest of Lodi while the King’s army are 20 miles north along the Piacenza-Milan railway

6-11 Mar 1867: Skirmishing tactics take a toll on numbers and morale in the Austrian army

8 Mar 1867: Austrians invest Dresden and a revolt there expels the Prussian garrison and opens the gates

12 Mar 1867: Reinforced from Milan and Piacenza, an all out assault is launched by the Italian armies on the Austrian position outnumbered, the Austrians are forced back but rally and counterattack, escaping total rout

14 Mar 1867: Both depleted from Esine and Lodi, the Italian and Austrian armies encamp and rest at Lodi and Crema respectively, ending the February Campaign (a.k.a the Brescia Campaign)

15 Mar 1867: New Prussian army defeats Austrian advance force at Radeburg

17 Mar 1867: New Prussian army annihilated at Weixdorf, Prussian ability to continue to war for extended period of time in doubt

20 Mar 1867: Remnants of the new army and the former army (the one that lost at Freiburg) gather at Colditz and resist the Austrian vanguard at First Colditz

22 Mar 1867: Second Colditz sees the Prussians execute a successful retreat that earns Crown Prince Frederick plaudits from even the Austrian commanders, but is nevertheless a defeat leaving the road to Leipzig open

23 Mar 1867: Both sides use propaganda alluding to the famous Battle of the Nations, claiming credit for the victory and demanding a new coalition help them defend this sacred ground against the aggressor (aka their opponent)

25 Mar 1867: Siege of Leipzig begins

25 Mar-28 May 1867: Sporadic relief attempts fail as the siege progresses, Prussia unable to muster the strength to challenge the swelling Austrian ranks

3 Apr 1867: Italians withdraw from Mantua after Austrian advance on Piacenza

6 Apr 1867: Reinforcements from Mantua mean that the Austrian advance is checked at Battle of Pizzighettone, but also means that Mantua falls to Austrians on the 7th

9 Apr 1867: Battle of Mirandola (southwest of Mantua), Austrian victory

14 Apr 1867: Crown Prince Frederick sent to Silesia to launch one last offensive to hopefully regain the economically and military vital territory

15 Apr 1867: Austrians secure the eastern approaches to Milan

16 Apr 1867: Battle of Namslau, Prussian victory

18 Apr 1867: Garibaldi ambushes and defeats main Austrian army at Balsamo

20 Apr 1867: Frederick occupies Oppeln

22 Apr 1867: Austrians defeated at Cosel

23 Apr 1867: Battle of Troppau, decisive Austrian victory (there was 350 K Austrians against just 240 K Prussians)

24 Apr 1867: Garibaldi mounts successful defense at First Pioltello, this is remembered as the last Prusso-Austrian victory of the war

26 Apr 1867: Frederick, having withdrawn skilfully again, tells Moltke, Bismarck, and his father “Der krieg ist verloren”

28 Apr 1867: Battle of Misagia, Italian regulars defeated

29 Apr 1867: Proclamation of Troppau issued, offering total amnesty for all Silesian rebels except 30, who are allowed to go into exile, who surrender by May 10

30 Apr-10 May 1867: Mass surrenders deliver Silesia into Austrian control, Prussians retreat to Glogau, last rebel city

1 May 1867: Austrians bypass Milan to the north in order to destroy the regular army while Garibaldi is defending the approaches to Milan

2 May 1867: Regulars escape Austrian pressure at Bollate, Garibaldi shifts northwards

3-4 May 1867: Regulars caught at Legnano, Garibaldi arrives and covers the regular’s retreat, but still Austrian victory

6 May 1867: Garibaldi caught at Rozzano and defeated decisively

9 May 1867: With regulars retreating across the Ticino River and Garibaldi retreating towards Lodi, Austrians besiege Milan

10 May 1867: Garibaldi issues the Lodi Proclamation, calling on the Milanese to rise and fulfill their duty to Italy and to the King

18-21 May 1867: Final major battle of the war: Garibaldi links up with main army at Pavia, Austrian army decides to hit them before they march on Milan, Battle of Pavia begins, Garibaldi almost turns the Austrian flank but Austrian artillery shuts him down, Royal forces unable to hold back the strong Austrian forces and forced to retreat slowly, 21 May sees the Italians withdraw from Pavia, though Milan did receive supplies. Total casualties are >100,000 men, it is by far the bloodiest battle of the war and a decisive Austrian victory

29 May 1867: Leipzig surrenders

1 Jun 1867: Prussian army in Saxony signs armistice

8 Jun 1867: Prussian army in Glogau signs armistice

13 Jun 1867: With Milan about to surrender, Armistice of Milan proposed and accepted by Garibaldi on the 15th

16 Jun 1867: Conference of Coblenz called to end the war

17 Jun 1867: Bismarck, defeated, offers the cession of Silesia and Garibaldi is forced by the King to offer the cession of Lombardy

18 Jun 1867: Austria, to pretend to be the good guys, offers a small payment to the defeated parties to make it look like they were just “purchasing” the land

20 Jun 1867: Treaty of Coblenz signed, Garibaldi shoots himself to the horror of liberals and radicals across Europe, Emperor Franz Joseph gives a speech and promises that all soldiers who served - including hundreds of thousands of minority soldiers - will be allowed to vote in the diet no matter their class for the rest of their lives, and he is at the height of his popularity. German nationalists bemoan the treaty as a national humiliation, and over the years they will drift into the radical Volkisch societies. Before committing suicide, Garibaldi had made top-secret preparations to form a resistance in Lombardy, this will take the name of Young Italy to reflect the spirit of Mazzini and will kill Empress Elizabeth eventually. France and Britain are stunned and France is somewhat afraid, but there is little to do for the moment. The war is over.

The Seven Weeks War 1866

The Seven Weeks War (also called the Austro-Prussian War) was a war between Prussia and its German Confederation allies (including Mecklenburg-Schwerin) and Italy on the one side and Austria and its German Confederation allies (including Baden, Bavaria, Hanover, Hesse, Elector of Hesse Saxony, and Wurttemberg) on the other. To overcome Austrian dominance of the German Confederation and to unite the German states under Prussia hegemony, Otto von Bismarck, the Prussian chancellor, ignored the objections of King Wilhelm I and provoked war with Austria. The actual pretext found by Bismarck was a dispute over the administration of the duchies of Schleswig and Holstein, which Austria and Prussia had won from Denmark in 1864 and had since held jointly. Diplomatic exchanges began in January 1866 and military preparations a little later, but hostilities did not actually break out until the middle of June after Prussia occupied Holstein on June 6th. A majority vote by members of the German Confederation in favor of the Austrian call for military mobilization on June 14th led to Prussia repudiating the legitimacy of the German Confederation as it existed, and war on June 15, 1866. Italy declared war on June 20th.

The Six Weeks War was fought in two related but operationally separate campaigns. By the alliance with Italy, Bismarck contrived to divert part of the Austrian forces to the south. Austrian force of arms enjoyed success in Venetia with a decisive defeat of a larger Italian army at the Battle of Custozza on June 24th the defeat so unsettled Italian military leaders that, despite the Italian numerical superiority, they fell back and spent a month reorganizing the army. At sea, the Battle of Lissa an Austrian fleet defeated a larger Italian force on July 20th.

In the north, however, the modernized Prussian army proved superior to those of Austria and its German Confederation allies. Prussian armies advanced into Bohemia and successively defeated Austrian armies in several encounters: Trautenau, Nachod, Skalitz, Soor, and Gitschin. The decisive battle was fought at Koniggratz (also call the Battle of Sadowa) on July 3rd where a combined Austrian and Saxon army was completely defeated by the Prussians. Meanwhile, a smaller Prussian force, known as the Army of the Main (River), dealt with the armies of Hanover and other German Confederation states that had sided with Austria Hanover managed to hand Prussia its only defeat in battle during the war (at Langensalza, June 27th to 29th) but ultimately surrendered to the overwhelming Prussian forces as did the rest of the Austrian allies.

Preliminary peace talks began shortly after Battle of Koniggratz, with Emperor Napoleon III as mediator. A five day truce began on July 22nd and preliminary peace was signed on July 26th a truce extension and a formal armistice followed on August 2nd. The Treaty of Prague was signed on August 23, 1866, formally ending the Seven Weeks War. By the terms of the treaty, Austria was excluded from German affairs, Prussia annexed Schleswig-Holstein, Hanover, Hesse, Nassau, and Frankfurt, and the German Confederation was replaced by the Prussian dominated North German Confederation (to include all the German states north of the Main River) the option of forming a southern German confederation, possibly under Austrian domination, was not ruled out by the treaty. Despite military victories over Italy, Austria was pressured by France and Prussia to cede Venetia to Italy (Treaty of Vienna). Forced out of Italy and northern German, Austria then reorganized its remaining territories as the Austro-Hungarian Empire in 1868.

Published by 26soldiersoftin

Hello I'm Mark Mr MIN, Man of TIN. Based in S.W. Britain, I'm a lifelong collector of "tiny men" and old toy soldiers, whether tin, lead or childhood vintage 1960s and 1970s plastic figures. I randomly collect all scales and periods and "imagi-nations" as well as lead civilians, farm and zoo animals. I enjoy the paint possibilities of cheap poundstore plastic figures as much as the patina of vintage metal figures. Befuddled by the maths of complex boardgames and wargames, I prefer the small scale skirmish simplicity of very early Donald Featherstone rules. To relax, I usually play solo games, often using hex boards. Gaming takes second place to making or convert my own gaming figures from polymer clay (Fimo), home-cast metal figures of many scales or plastic paint conversions. I also collect and game with vintage Peter Laing 15mm metal figures, wishing like many others that I had bought more in the 1980s . View all posts by 26soldiersoftin

The Order of Brothers of the German House of Saint Mary in Jerusalem (official names: Ordo domus Sanctæ Mariæ Theutonicorum Hierosolymitanorum, Orden der Brüder vom Deutschen Haus der Heiligen Maria in Jerusalem), commonly the Teutonic Order (Deutscher Orden, Deutschherrenorden or Deutschritterorden), is a Catholic religious order founded as a military order c. 1190 in Acre, Kingdom of Jerusalem.

The Left (Die Linke), also commonly referred to as the Left Party (die Linkspartei), is a democratic socialist political party in Germany.

Austro-Prussian War

The Austro-Prussian War lasted only seven weeks and was fought for the purpose of reducing Austrian influence over the northern German states. Since the rise of the Hapsburgs in the 16th century, Austria had been a leading power among German-speaking states and she dominated the German confederation. Prussia was ambitious for power and territory but her plans were frustrated by the southern Empire. Otto von Bismarck was the mastermind of Prussian statecraft, and it was his design to create an alliance of Northern German states that Prussia could dominate, but this would involve breaking up the existing confederation and forming a new one without Austria. The politics, however, were extremely difficult. Prussia needed to avoid being seen as overly aggressive so it could draw independent German duchies into its sphere of influence. At the same time the Prussians needed to prevent any of the major powers of Europe from coming to the aid of Austria. Generating the desired outcome from a war with Austria depended as much on diplomacy as it did on military victories.

The events leading up to the Austro-Prussian war make sense when one understands that their whole purpose was to alienate Austria from its northern European allies and provoke them into declaring war. Following the Schleswig-Holstein War , Prussia had generously given Austria control of Holstein, knowing there were ongoing disputes about how the newly independent province should be governed. Instead of remaining neutral, Prussia intervened on the side of Holstein and then interfered with Austria's preferred method of resolving the dispute diplomatically. At the same time she made secret alliances with Italy and France and did everything possible to prepare for war while provoking Austria. Prussia's outstanding generals, led by Helmuth von Moltke , prepared for every contingency, and acquired the most modern available weapons for their troops.

As soon as Austria declared war Prussia's allies in Northern Italy, led by Victor Emmanuel II , attacked Venetia in the south, forcing Austria to divide her forces. At the same time, Prussia moved quickly to prevent Austria from getting any help from the north. Most of the states in the German confederation supported Austria but before they could mobilize their armies, Prussia's forces cut them off. Having tied up Austria's forces in the south and cut off the possibility of any other assistance, Prussia moved most of its forces to Bohemia to prepare for a showdown. The Austrian general was not eager for battle, and encouraged a negotiated solution, but the Emperor insisted he take a stand, so at Koniggratz, two armies of over 250,000 met in a titanic battle. Austria held on for most of the morning, but when Prussian reinforcements arrived at mid-day, the Austrian effort collapsed with a loss of over 30,000 men.

Instead of pressing for additional territory, Prussia chose to negotiate a treaty after the victory at Koniggratz. This was because Bismarck wanted Austria as an ally in the long term and did not want to inflict lasting damage. His dream was to create a German Empire in the north under Prussian control, leaving Austria as master of the south. According to the terms of the Peace of Prague, Prussia annexed Schleswig-Holstein, Hannover, and several other duchies the German confederation was dissolved and replaced by a Northern confederation and Austria was forced to cede control of her Venetian territory to Italy. These terms decreased Austria's prestige among the German states, but left most of her empire intact.

In one blow, Prussia had made herself one of the dominant states in Europe. And France, the country who could have prevented this turn of events by making an alliance with Austria, had much to regret. Napoleon III suddenly recognized the threat a United Germany could pose, but it was too late, and no country would suffer more than France for his failure.


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  1. ↑"Dle rakouskeho vojenskeho kalendare. "Světozor (8): 80. August 30, 1867. <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. ↑ Rudolf Winziers (April 17, 2001). "Unification War 1866". Royal Bavarian 5th Infantry. Archived from the original on 7 February 2009 . Retrieved 2009-03-19 . Unknown parameter |deadurl= ignored (help) <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles> [dead link]
  3. The Situation of Germany. (PDF) - The New York Times, July 1, 1866
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  5. ↑ Charles Ingrao, The Habsburg Monarchy, 1618-1815 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000) pp. 229–30.
  6. ↑Wawro 2003, p.㺐.
  7. ↑Balfour 1964, pp.㻃-68.
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  9. ↑Hollyday 1970, p.㺤.
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Watch the video: Battle of Königgrätz 1866 - Austro-Prussian War DOCUMENTARY (January 2022).