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Koniggratz (or Sadowa)

Battle Name : Koniggratz (or Sadowa)

Date(s) : 03 July 1866

Part of : Austro-Prussian "Seven Week" war ,

Outcome : A victory for Prussian Army over Austrian and Saxon Army

Type of battle : Land


von Moltke, commanding the Prussian forces, obtained good intelligence as to the movements of the Austrian and Saxon army and that they were concentrating on the Upper Elbe north of Koniggratz. He desired to finish the war by crushing his opponents so planned a complicated attack, with his First Army attacking directly east, the Army of the Elbe circling south to attack northwards, and the Second Army driving down the Elbe valley to seal the trap from the north.
At dawn, in dismal rain, the Prussian Elbe and First Armies attacked, but the telegraph to the Second Army had been damaged, so they failed to get the order to move. Confusion at the point of attack dulled it's effect, and the Austrians with a well-timed counter-attack halted the Prussian advance and the battle turned into a brutal slogging match. Von Benedek, the Austrian commander, could have put the Prussians into retreat if he had committed his cavalry at this point, but they remained in reserve. Finally a rider reached the Prussian Second Army with their orders and by early afternoon they arrived at the battle and tipped the balance. The Austrians were defeated but fell back in good order. A decisive factor in the battle was the Prussian use of the Dreyse bolt-action, breech-loading, 'Needle gun' rifle which gave them a much greater rate of fire over the Austrian's traditional, muzzle-loading musket.

Casualty figures

Prussian Army

Number engaged :

Casualties :
10,000 (4.55%)

Austrian and Saxon Army

Number engaged :

Casualties :
45,000 (20.93%)