Battle at Oschatz

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Battle at Oschatz
Part of: Seven Years War
date August 20, 1760
place near Oschatz / Saxony
output orderly retreat of the Prussians to Torgau
Parties to the conflict

Prussia KingdomKingdom of Prussia Prussia

Holy Roman Empire 1400Holy Roman Empire Holy Roman Empire


Gen. Lt. Johann Dietrich von Hülsen

Gen. Field m. Friedrich Michael von Zweibrücken
Gen. Christian Carl zu Stolberg-Gedern

Troop strength
12,000 31,000


2000 dead or wounded
39 officers and 1,178 men captive

The battle near Oschatz , also known as the battle at Dürrenberg , was a military clash in the Electorate of Saxony during the Seven Years' War between a corps of the Prussian army and the imperial army . It took place on August 20, 1760 north of Oschatz .


Already at the beginning of the war, Oschatz was occupied for the first time on September 5, 1756 by a Prussian detachment of 5,000 men who had belonged to the army group of the Duke of Braunschweig marching into Electoral Saxony via Halle an der Saale . In 1758 the city was briefly occupied by the imperial troops of General von Daun until the latter had to retreat to Dresden in late 1759 , whereupon Oschatz was reoccupied by the Prussians.

On July 29, 1760, a turning point occurred in the Saxon theater of war when King Friedrich II of Prussia broke off the siege of Dresden and initially withdrew with his army to Meissen . From there he finally started the march towards Silesia , leaving only one corps under Lieutenant General von Hülsen . The imperial field marshal Friedrich Michael von Zweibrücken intended to drive the Prussians completely out of Saxony, but remained with the imperial army under his command on the Plauen estate as long as the king's return to the Elbe was feared. On August 13, 1760, the numerically superior imperial family finally advanced via Wilsdruff against the right flank of the Prussians under Hülsen. He gave up his camp near Meißen on August 16 to retreat to Torgau , where he intended to unite with the Prussian occupation there.

Course of battle

During the persecution, the Imperial Reserve, led by General zu Stolberg , had withdrawn from the main army and had reached an exposed position near Oschatz , while Zweibrücken was still below Riesa . This has not escaped the Prussians, whereupon Hülsen, on the advice of Colonel von Kleist , turned around Strehla on August 18 to risk a nightly raid on the Stolberg reserve.

The surprise attack failed, however, when the Prussians approached Oschatz in the early hours of the morning at 3 a.m. on August 20 and saw the imperial forces advancing on the line of Wellerswalde , Zschöllau and the Schmorkauer Weinberg , standing in battle lineup. Hülsen canceled the attack in order to bring his corps into line between Strehla and the Leckwitz Dürrenberg . The following battle concentrated on the right Prussian wing on Dürrenberg, which was threatened by the imperial left on the opposite side and threatened to be outflanked on the flank. The people of Oschatz watched the fight on the Gorauer Flur (between Kleinragewitz and Schönnewitz , Liebschützberg municipality ), as they feared their city would burn down in the event of a defeat and withdrawal of the imperial family . Because Stolberg remained largely inactive with the imperial right wing, Hülsen was actually able to stabilize his threatened right flank with his left, but gained the upper hand through cleverly executed attacks by his cavalry squadrons and put the imperial to flee at seven o'clock.

Although the Prussians were able to claim the Dürrenberg and thus the field for themselves, the victory was also claimed by the imperial family, since Hülsen remained in an unfavorable position in view of the approaching Imperial Army under Zweibrücken and therefore resumed the orderly retreat to Torgau in the afternoon. The imperial family could therefore forego their own retreat and occupy his camp near Strehla, which is why Oschatz did not suffer any damage.

But the Prussians captured a cannon and three flags and captured almost 1200 men of the enemy, including Prince Friedrich August von Nassau-Usingen . On their march via Belgern to Torgau, they burned Zaußwitz and Leckwitz . Hülsen had learned of his king's victory in the Battle of Liegnitz during the battle . The Battle of Torgau followed on November 3, 1760 .


  • Henry Lloyd : History of the Seven Years' War in Germany between the King of Prussia and the Empress Queen with her allies ; translated and edited by Georg Friedrich von Tempelhoff , Volume 4, Berlin 1789, pp. 177–179.
  • Carl Samuel Hoffmann: Historical description of the city, the office and the diocese of Oschatz in older and more recent times. First part, fourth section, Oschatz 1813 (2nd edition 1872).
  • Max von Eelking: Correspondence between the Electoral Saxon Prime Minister, Count von Brühl, with the Saxon Lieutenant General Freiherr von Riedesel. Leipzig 1854, pp. 90-93.