1701. The Campaign of 1701 started actual with Peace talks as Saxony, after the seperate Peace of Denmark with Sweden and the defeat of Russia, stood alone against the mighty Enemy Charles XII. But the Talks failed again so Saxony opened up the war again but without confidence, without the right earnest and without the needed means. King August II. and his Army were in a dire position as the chances for satisfactory war result were thin. To Counsel the further moves in the coming Campaign the allied Monarchs, Tsar Peter and King August, met in March 1701 at Birsen in Lithuania.
In April 1701 the Saxon Troops marched from their Winterquarters in the fortified Lines along the Düna form Kokenhausen to the water mouth. The Line was instead of her strong fortifications to long and so not able to withstand an enemy who moves against it in force as the time would show.
At the start of the Campaign 1701 there were the following troops available along the Düna:
Infantry - The weak Polish Crownguard, 2 Regiments German Garde, Regiment Königin, Regiment Kurprinz, Regiment Egedy*, Regiment Thielau, Regiment Sacken, Regiment Steinau.
Cavalry - Kürassiere Leibregiment, Königin, Kurprinz and Steinau
Dragoons Leibregiment, Kurprinz, Milkau, Golz, Stammer.
* the Regiments would from now on be named after their Commanders with exception of those who had princly Persons or Fieldmarshals as Chiefs
Charles XII. moved from Dorpat with 30.000 men against the Düna forward where the hostilities were opened on June 9th at Ronneburg and on June 21st at Reuenmühlen.
On July 3rd a Russian Auxiliary Corps under General Count Repnin arrived with 12.716 men and 32 Cannons near Kokenhausen.
19. July 1701 Battle at the Düna.
Gen. v. Patkul, the real Commander of the Saxon forward Lines, had without reason to much trust into the toughness of the Fortification alongside the Düna. As such the Saxon lines were broken in the first attempt of the Swedes who forced a crossing over the Düne north of Riga on July 19th 1701 by daybreak.
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/c ... C_1701.jpg
Fieldmarshal v. Steinau who arrived on the scene quite early sent immediate order to all close stationed troops to converge here but couldn't stop the Swedes because of the swamplike terrain all arround which prevented the Saxon Cavalry to play their role. After a 2 hour fight and because of the growing superiority of the Swedes he ordered the withdrawel of the Saxon on the left side of the Düna while drawing all troops to him out of the defensive works as of the forward and rearward Lines. In full marching order but exhausted and deprimed the Saxon Troops together with parts of the Russians arrived at Thomsdorf-Brochwitz, 2 Miles (15km) and camped there to rest. It were only 4.400 Saxon engagded in the Battle, the Infantry Regiment Königin, Kurprinz and Thielau and 4 Kürassier Regiments whilst the Swedish had 20.000 men deployed for battle. The Saxon lost about 1000 men, the swedish only 500, also most of the baggadge train has fallen into swedish hands.
Within the following days the Retreat got first led sout than east. On July 28th the Russian parted from the Saxons and moved to Dünaburg while the Saxons moved into the direction of Kowno where they arrived on August 5th 1701. Because of the bad shape of the Saxon Army and the problems that were caused by the Polish lands King August II. decided to remove all Saxon Forces from the Polish soil and tranfer them back to Saxony where the arrived on Sept. 25th in Guben.
To be continued.
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