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 struga/strigau 15 mai 1807

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franckT
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MessageSujet: struga/strigau 15 mai 1807   Mar 1 Aoû - 10:01

Meanwhile in Silesia Jerome Bonaparte sent Lefebvre-Desnouettes with battalion of Saxon infantry, and Bavarian troops (seven infantry companies, one squadron of chevauxlegers and 2 guns) against small Prussian corps under Major von Losthin. Major Losthin's forces consisted of 8 infantry companies (1,100-1,200 bayonets), squadron of hussars (80 sabers), squadron of dragoons (80 sabers), squadron of Bosniaks (80), and 4 guns. The Bavarians and Saxons met Losthin's force at Katy Wroclawskie (Kunt). The Saxons had no heart for fighting and after short combat threw their muskets down. The Prussians captured 2 Bavarian guns.

Defeated Lefebvre-Desnouettes unexpectedly met several uhlans on their way to Poland. He had learned that the uhlans just arrived from sunny Italy and were unaware of situation in Silesia. He sent Captain Fijalkowski to Legnica with orders to the regiment to mount up and come. Already at midnight the trumpeters sounded "on horse!" At first the half-asleep officers thought that there was a fire in the town. The regiment was ready in 7 minutes, making an excellent impression on Lefebvre Desnouettes. Unfortunately only 240-250 uhlans had horses and only these were taken by the Frenchman. They rode toward the village of Jawor (Jauer), then rested a little bit and continued with the night march.

In the morning the uhlans have encountered Losthin's force:

The Prussians, 1,400 men:
8 infantry companies (1,100-1,200 bayonets)
squadron of 6th Hussar Regiment (80 sabers)
squadron of 3rd Dragoon Regiment von Irving (80 sabers)
squadron of von Prittwitz's Bosniaks (80 lances)
4 guns + 2 captured Bavarian guns

Levebvre-Desnouettes and Mjr Swiderski with 240 men:
I Squadron of Vistula uhlans (80)
II Squadron of Vistula uhlans (80)
III Squadron of Vistula uhlans (80)

the Battle :

Lefebvre-Desnouettes ordered I and III Squadron to attack, while the II Squadron was to cut off the enemy. Losthin deployed 6 guns on his right, while the infantry was in closed column on the road. Losthin's cavalry moved forward, the brown-clad hussars led the attack. Behind were dragoons and in the tail rode the Bosniaks (uhlans).
Lefebvre-Desnouettes personally led the Poles. Behind him rode officers Swiderski, Fijalkowski, Stokowski and Schultz.
The uhlans, all veterans, at once crushed the Prussian cavalry. Losthin's infantry surrendered but when the the uhlans left them in pursuit of the cavalry some of the Prussians began firing at the backs of the Poles. The uhlans returned and finished their business. The infantrymen again surrendered and did it quite convincingly. The Prussian commander thanked his fast horse that his was able to escape. The Poles also freed 2 Saxon battalions who before had surrendered to the Prussians.

Aftermath
The uhlans had only several men wounded and killed. They brought captured Prussian infantry (30 officers and 800 privates), 4 guns and 4 ammunition wagons, in a triumphant entrance to the city. To the disgust of Lefebvre-Desnouettes, the Saxons and Bavarians joined the Poles in their parade march.

French, Polish and Prussian reports and sources:
The French counted the battles at Katy [Kunt] and at Struga [Strigau] as one and issued one report. The Prussians published an article about the two battles in Vertraute Briefen written by Werner (it was published in Wroclaw). Werner wrote that the moral strength of the uhlans - all 6-8-year service veterans, patriotic, were invincible for troops not equal to them.
In the French Archives, Jerome Bonaparte's papers (French Archives C³ 1), is an official report written by Jerome about the engagement at Struga. He wrote that 250 Polish uhlans commanded by Major Piotr Swiderski fought at Struga. They suffered 7 killed and 15 wounded (incl. Ltn. Schultz and Ltn. Fijalkowski). He also mentioned that although the regiment had 400 men, only 280 had horses and were able to participate in the combat.
In the papers of officer Jan Swiderski is a letter from Levebvre Desnouettes written on 15th May in Szczawno (on the day of battle) describing the battle at Struga (War Archives in Vincennes, Serie C³ 1. Correspondance du Roi Jérôme 1806-1813).

240 Uhlans Defeated 1.400 Prussians
Captured 4 Guns and 830 Prisoners. What a Face drunken
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