Open main menu
This page needs to be proofread.
714
SEVEN WEEKS' WAR


the capital, and had appointed the archduke Albert to command the whole army. The Army of the North, which had reached Olmiitz on the 10th of July, now received orders to move by road and rail towards Vienna, and this operation brought them right across the front of the II. Prussian army. The cavalry established contact on the 15th in the neighbourhood of Tobitschau and Rochetinitz (action of Tobitschau, July I5th), and the Austrians finding their intention discovered, and their men too demoralized by fear of the breech loader to risk a fresh battle, withdrew their troops and endeavoured to carry out their concentration by a wide circuit down the valley of the Waag and through Pressburg. Meanwhile the Prussian main army was pursuing its advance under very adverse circumstances. Their railway communication ended abruptly at the Austrian frontier; the roads were few and bad, the country sparsely cultivated and inhospitable, and the troops suffered severely. One third of the cavalry broke down on a march of 97 m. in five days, and the infantry, after marching 112 m. in ten days, had to have a two days' halt accorded them on the I7th. They were then i11 the district about Brtinn and Iglau, and on the 18th the royal headquarters reached Nikolsburg. News had now been received of the arrival of Austrian reinforcements by rail at the capital both from Hungary and Italy, and of the preparation of a strong line of provisional defences along the Florisdorf position directly in front of Vienna. Orderswere therefore issued during the 18th for the whole army to concentrate during the following days in the position held by the Austriéms around Vgagram ig 1809, and these orders were in process o execution w en on the 21st an armistice was a reed u on to commence at noon on the 22nd. The last light “gas thaf) of Baumenag near Pressburg on the 22nd; this was broken off at t e state time.

Longensalza.-In western Germany the Prussian forces, depleted tio the utmost to furnish troops for the Bohemian campaign, were opposed to the armies of Hanover and Bavaria and the 8th Federal wrap; (the last ctigsistrr/gg <;>f He(s1s1ans, Vgiirttembergekrs, Badenseri an 'assauers wi an us nan ivision rawn rom the neutra ize Federai fortresses), which were far superior in number. These minor enemies were, however, unready and their troops were mostly of indifferent quality. Hanover and Hesse-Cassel, which were nearest to Prussia agd th}erefore immegliately dangerous, Evere dealt with prompt y an wit out waitin or the decision in the main theatre of war. The 13th Prussian cIivision (v. Goeben) was at Minden, Manteuffel's troops from the Elbe duchies at Altona, v. Beyer's division (Federal fortress garrisons) at Wetzlar. On the 15th and 16th of June Beyer moved on Cassel, while the two other Prussian generals converged on Hanover. Both places were in Prussian hands efore the 20th. The Hessians retired upon Hanau to join the Sth Federal corps; only the Hanoverians remained in the north, and they too, tth;eaten1ecEl;b§ Beyer's z;§ llvan<éle% malgchle/Id fromvyiir point o concen ra iona 0 ingen sou war ort e am. it ro er support from Bavaria the Hanoverians could perhaps have egcaged intact; but the Bavarians considered that their allies (about 20,000) were strong enough by themselves to destroy whichever of the converging Prussian columns tried to bar their way, and actually the Hanoverian general v. Arentsehild won a notable success over the improvised Prussian and Coburg division of General v. Flies, which advanced from Gotha and barred the southward march of the Hanoverians at Langensalza. The battle of Langensalza (June 27th) showed that the risks Moltke deliberately accepted when he transferred so many of the western troops to the Bohemian frontier were by no nllieanshimaginary, fgrfv. Fliles, olutnurrabered lay D310 to one, sustaine a s arp reverse e ore the ot er co umns c ose in. But the strategical object of General Vogel v. F alckenstein, the Prussian commander-in-chief in the west, was achieved next day. By the morning of the 29th Manteuffel and Goeben lay north, v. Flies's column (backed by a fresh brigade) south of Langensalza, and Beyer ilpproached from Eisenagh. Whatevef' had been the prospects lo; tkI;'l€ Hanoverian army ve ays previous y, it was now surroun e twice its numbers, and on the 29th of June the capitulation osf Langensalza closed its long and honourable career. The Alain Campaign.jThe Prussian army, now called the “ Army of the Main, " of three divisions (one being unusually strong), had next to deal with the 7th (Bavarians) and 8th (other South Germans) Federal corps in the valley of the Main. These were nominally over 100,000 strong and were commanded by Prince Charles of Bavaria. The dorgrg dinbatailéilof tl? 8tl; Iclorps xsgntereséing. It(wasf comman e y rince exan er o esse; the 1st ivision in antr brigades, ! C§ 1V3.Il'y brigade, 6 batteries) carne from Wiiritembergsi the 2nd division (2 infantry and 1 cavalry brigades, 5 batteries) from Baden, the least anti-Prussian of all these states; the 3rd division (2 infantry and 1 cavalry brigades, 1 rifle battalion, 4 batteries) from Hesse-Darmstadt; the 4th division consisted of an Austrian brigade of 7 battalions (three of which were Italians), a Nassau brigade, and two batteries and some hussars of Hesse-Cassel. The remainder of the Hesse-Cassel troops, which had retired southward before Beyer's advance on Cassel, went to the Rhine valley about Mainz. The centre of the rayon of the 8th corps was Darmstadt, and the Bavarian line extended from Coburg to Gemiinden. It appears that Prince Charles wished to march via Jena and Gera into Prussia, as Napoleon had done sixty years before, but the scheme was negatived by the Austrian government, which exercised the supreme command of the allies. The Bavarians did, however, advance, and made for the Eisenach-Gotha region, where the Prussian-Hanoverian struggle was in progress. Meanwhile the 8th Federal corps advanced also, but actuated probably by political motives it took the general direction of Cassel, and between the two German corps a wide gap opened, of which Vogel v. Falckenstein was not slow to take advantage. On the day of Koniggratz the Prussians moved into position to attack the Bavarians, and on the 4th of July v. Goeben won the victory of Wiesenthal (near Dermbach). The 7th corps thereupon drew back to the Franconian Saale, the 8th to Frankfurt, and on the 7th of July the Prussian army was massed about Fulda between them. Vogel v. Falckenstein moved forward again on the 8th, and on the 10th the Bavarians were again defeated in a series of actions around Kissingen, Waldaschach and Hammelburg. Meanwhile Prince Alexander's motle corps began its advance from Frankfurt up the Main valley to join thie Bavarians, who had now retired on Schweinfurt. The army of the Main, however, had little difficulty in defeating the 8th corps at Laufach on the 13th and Aschaffenburg on the 14th of July. The Prussians occupied Frankfurt (16th). Vogel v. Falckenstein was now called to Bohemia, and v. Manteuffel was placed in command of the army of the Main for the final advance. The 7th and 8th corps now at last effected their junction about Wurzburg, whither the army of the Main marched from Frankfurt to meet them. The Federals advanced in their turn, the Bavarians on the right, the 8th on the left, and the opponents met in the valley of the Tauber., More partial actions, at Hundheim (23rd), Tauber Bischofsheim (24th), Gerchsheim (25th), Helmstadt (25th) and Rossbrunn (26th) ended in the retreat of the Germans to Würzburg and beyond; the a rmistice (Aug. 2nd) then put an end to operations. A Prussian reserve corps under the grand duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, formed at Leipzig, had meanwhile overrun eastern Bavaria up to Nuremberg.

This campaign presents the sharpest contrast to that of Bohemia. Small armies moving freely within a large theatre of war, the occupation of hostile territory as a primary object of operations, the absence of a decision-compelling spirit on either side, the hostile political “ view " over-riding the hostile “ feeling ”-all these conditions remind the student of those of 17th and 18th century warfare. But the improved organization, better communications and supplies, superior moral, and once again the breech-loader versus a standing target, which caused the Prussian successes, at least give us an opportunity of comparing the old and the new systems under similar conditions, and even thus the principle of the “armed nation " achieved the decision in a period of time which, for the old armies, was wholly insufficient.

The various treaties of Prague, Berlin and Vienna which followed the armistice secured the annexation by Prussia of Hanover, the Elbe duchies, the electorate of Hesse, Nassau and Frankfurt, the dissolution of the existing confederation and the creation of a new North German Confederation under the hegemony of Prussia, and the payment of war indemnities to Prussia (the Austrian share being £6,000,000). Venetia was ceded by Austria to Napoleon III. and by him to King Victor Emmanuel.-BIBLIOGRA

PHY.—Prussian General Staff, Der. Feldzug 1866 in Deutschland (Berlin, 1867; English translation, The War in Germany, 1866, War Office, London, 1872, new edition, 1907; French translation, La Campagne de 1866, Paris, 1868); Austrian Ofiicial (K.K. Generalstabsbureau fur Kriegsgeseh), Osterreichs K dmpg 1866 (Vienna, 1867; French translation, Les Lulies d'Autriche, russels, 1867); Friedjung, Der Kampf um die Vorherrschaft in Deutschld, (Stuttgart, 1899); H. M. Hozier, The Seven Weeks' War (1867; new edition, London, 1906); Antheil des k. solhsischen Armee-Corps am Feldzuge 1866 (Dresden, 1869); v. Willisen, Die Feldzuge 1859 ui 1866 (Berlin, 1868); Lettow-Vorbeck, Geschichte des Kriegesb. 1866 in Deutschland (Berlin, 1899); Moltkes Milildr-Korrespondenz 1866 (Berlin, 1896); H. Bonnal, Sadowa (Paris, 1901; English translation; London, 1907); G. J. R. Glunicke, The Campaign in Bohemia (London, 1907); A. Strobl, Trautenau (Vienna, 1901); 'Ki1hne, Kritische u. unkrilische Wanderungen uber d. Gefechtsfelder ée. (Berlin, 1870-1875); Jahns, Sehlac/it bei Koniggrdtz (Leipzig, 1876); v. Quistorp, Der grosse Kavalleriekampf bei Stresetilz (Koniggrdlz) (Berlin, 1897); Moltkes Feldzugsplan (Berlin, 1892); Uber die Verwendung der Kavallerie 1866 (Berlin, 1870); Dragomirov, Sehilderung des osterr.-preuss. Krieger 1866 (Berlin, 1868); V. Verdy du Vernois, I m Hauptquarliere des II. Armee 1866 (Berlin, 1900); Harbauer, Trautenau, Custozza, Lissa (Leipzig, 1907); Kovafik, F ZM von Benedek und der Krieg 1866 (see also article BENEDEK, LUDWIG, RITTER VON); Anon. V. Koniggrdtz bis an die Donau (Vienna, 1906); Duval, Vers Sadowa (Nancy, 1907)? Feldzugsburnal des Oberbefehishabers des VIII. Bundes-A.-K. (Leipzig, 1867)7; Bavarian General Staff, Antheil der k. bayer. Armee am Kriege 1866 (Munich, 1868); F. Hoenig, Die Enlscheidungskdmpfe des Mainfeldzuges (Berlin, 1895); F. Regensberg, Langensalza (Stuttgart, 1906); V. Goeben, Trejfen bei Kissingen and Gefecht bei Dermbach (Leipzig, 1870); H. Kunz, Feldzug der Mainarmee 1866 (Berlin, 1890); Schimmelpfennig, Die kurhessische Armee-Division (Melsungen, 1892); Antheil der badischen Feld-Div. 1866 (Lahr, 1867); Die Operationen des VIII. Bundes-A.-K. (Leipzig, 1868); v. d. Wengen, Gesch. d. K riegsereignisse zwischen Preussen u. Hannover 1866 (Gotha, 1885), and Gen. Vogel v. Falckenstein u. d. hannov. Feldzug (Gotha,

1887). (F. N. M.; C. F. A.)