ページの画像
PDF
ePub
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

1st-3d Aug. 1760.

* Wednesday 30th July, Loudon’s Vanguard arrived at Bres' lau; next day Loudon himself;—and besieged Breslau very 'violently, according to his means, till the Sunday following. * Troops he has plenty, 40,000 odd, which he gives out for 50

or even 60,000; not to speak of Soltikof, “ with 75,000” (read * 45,000), striding on in a fierce and dreadful manner to meet

him here. “Better surrender to Christian Austrians, had not 'you?” Loudon's Artillery is not come up, it is only struggling

on from Glatz; Soltikof of his own has no Siege-Artillery; and 'Loudon judges that heavy-footed Soltikof, waited on by an 6 alert Prince Henri, is a problematic quantity in this enter‘prise. “Speedy oneself; speedy and fiery!" thinks Loudon : " by violence of speed, of bullying and bombardment, perhaps 6 we can still do it !” And Loudon tried all these things to a high stretch; but found in Tauentzien the wrong man.

'Thursday 31st, Loudon, who has two bridges over Oder, and the Town begirt all round, summons Tauentzien in an ' awful-sounding tone: “Consider, Sir: no defence possible; a 'trading Town, you ought not to attempt defence of it: surrender 'on fair terms, or I shall, which God forbid, be obliged to burn

you and it from the face of the world !” “Pooh, pooh," answers * Tauentzien, in brief polite terms; "you yourselves had no doubt ‘it was a Garrison, when we besieged you here, on the heel of 'Leuthen; had you? Go to!” — Fiery Loudon cannot try storm, the Town having Oder and a wet ditch round it. He gets his bombarding batteries forward, as the one chance he 'has, aided by bullying. And tomorrow,

'Friday, August 1st, sends, half officially, half in the friendly 'way, dreadful messages again : a warning to the Mayor of 'Breslau (which was not signed by Loudon), “Death and destruction, Sir, unless”—!-warning to the Mayor; and, by the ' same private half-official messenger, a new summons to Tauen'tzien: “Bombardment infallible; universal massacre by Croats; 'I will not spare the child in its mother's womb." "I am not ' with child,” said Tauentzien, “nor are my soldiers! What is

the use of such talk ?” And about 10 that night, Loudon does accordingly break out into all the fire of bombardment he is master of. Kindles the Town in various places, which were

VOL. VI.

[ocr errors]

3d Aug. 1760. quenched again by Tauentzien's arrangements; kindles especially the King's fine Dwelling-house (Palace they call it), and adjacent streets, not quenchable till Palace and they are much ruined. Will this make no impression ? Far too little.

Next morning, Loudon sends a private messenger of conciliatory tone: “Any terms your Excellency likes to name. Only spare me the general massacre, and child in the mother's womb!” From all which Tauentzien infers that you are probably short of ammunition; and that his outlooks are improving. That day he gets guns brought to bear on General ' Loudon's own quarter; blazes into Loudon's sitting-room, so that Loudon has to shift elsewhither. No bombardment ensues that night; nor next day anything but desultory cannonading, 6 and much noise and motion ;—and at night, Sunday 3d, everything falls quiet, and, to the glad amazement of everybody, Loudon has vanished.”

Loudon had no other shift left. This Sunday his Russians are still five days distant; alert Henri, on the contrary, is, in a sense, come to hand. Crossed the Katzbach River this day, the Vanguard of him did, at Parchwitz; and fell upon our Bakery; which has had to take the road. “Guard the Bakery, all hands there,” orders Loudon; “off to Striegau and the Hills with it;" -and is himself gone thither after it, leaving Breslau, , Henri and the Russians, to what fate may be in store for them. Henri has again made one of his winged marches, the deft creature, though the despondent; march of 90 miles in three days' (in the last three, from Glogau, 90;

· Tempelhof, iv. 90-100; Archenholtz, ii. 89-94 ; Hofbericht von der Belagerung von Breslau im August 1760 (in Seyfarth, Beylagen, ii. 688698); also in Helden-Geschichte, vi. 299-309 : in Anonymous of Hamburg (iv. 115-124), that is, in the Old Newspapers, extremely particular account, How 'not only the finest Horse in Breslau, and the finest House' (King's Palace), but the handsomest Man, and, alas, also the prettiest Girl' (poor Jungfer Müller, shattered by a bomb-shell on the streets), were destroyed in this short Siege,'-world-famous for the moment. Preuss, ï. 246.

[ocr errors]

3d Aug. 1760. in the whole, from Landsberg, above 200), “and has saved the State,' says Retzow. · Made no camping, merely * bivouacked; halting for a rest four or five hours here and there ;'3 and, on August 5th, is at Lissa (this side the field of Leuthen); making Breslau one of the gladdest of cities.

So that Soltikof, on arriving (village of Hundsfeld, August 8th), by the other side of the River, finds Henri's advanced guards entrenched over there, in Old Oder; no Russian able to get within five miles of Breslau,nor able to do more than cannonade in the distance, and ask with indignation, "Where are the siege-guns, then; where is General Loudon? Instead of Breslau capturable, and a sure Magazine for us, here is Henri, and nothing but steel to eat!” And the Soltikof risen into Russian rages, and the Montalembert sunk in difficulties: readers can imagine these. Indignant Soltikof, deaf to suasion, with this dangerous Henri in attendance, is gradually edging back; always rather back, with an eye to his provisions, and to certain bogs and woods he knows of. But we will leave the Soltikof. Henri end of the line, for the opposite end, which is more interesting.–To Friedrich, till he got to Silesia itself, these events are totally unknown. His cunctatory Henri, by this winged march, when the moment came, what a service has he done!

Tauentzien's behaviour, also, has been superlative at Breslau ; and was never forgotten by the King. A very brave man, testifies Lessing of him ; true to the death: “Had there come but three, to rally with the

King under a bush of the forest, Tauentzien would have been one.' Tauentzien was on the ramparts once,

• Retzow, ii. 230 (very vague); in Tempelhof (iv. 89, 90, 95-97) clear and specific account.

1st-7th Aug. 1760. in this Breslau pinch, giving orders; a bomb burst beside him, did not injure him. “Mark that place,” said Tauentzien; and clapt his hat on it, continuing his orders, till a more permanent mark were put. In that spot, as intended through the next thirty years, he now lies buried.

Friedrich on March, for the Third Time, to

rescue Silesia (August 1st-15th). August 1st, Friedrich crossed the Elbe at Zehren, in the Schieritz vicinity, as near Meissen as he could; but it had to be some six miles farther down, such the liabilities to Austrian disturbance. All are across that morning by 5 o'clock (began at 2); whence we double back eastward, and camp that night at Dallwitz,—are quietly asleep there, while Loudon's bombardment bursts out on Breslau, far away! At Dallwitz we rest next day, wait for our Bakeries and Baggages; and, Sunday August 3d, at 2 in the morning, set forth on the forlornest adventure in the world.

The arrangements of the March, foreseen and settled beforehand to the last item, are of a perfection beyond praise ;--as is still visible in the General Order, or summary

of directions given out; which, to this day, one reads with a kind of satisfaction like that derivable from the Forty-seventh of Euclid: clear to the meanest capacity, not a word wanting in it, not a word superfluous, solid as geometry. “The Army marches always in • Three Columns, left Column foremost: our First Line of Battle' (in case we have fighting) is this foremost

Column; Second Line is the Second Column; Reserve " is the Third. All Generals' chaises, money-wagons, and regimental Surgeons' wagons remain with their

* Militair-Lexikon, iv. 72-75; Lessing's Werke ; &c. &c.

6

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

1st-7th Aug. 1760. respective Battalions; as do the Heavy Batteries with the Brigades to which they belong. When the march ' is through woody country, the Cavalry regiments go in between the Battalions' (to be ready against Pandour operations and accidents).

With the First Column, the Ziethen Hussars and Free-Battalion Courbière have always the vanguard; Möhring Hussars and Free-Battalion Quintus' (speed to you, learned friend !) “the rearguard. With the * Second Column always the Dragoon regiments Nor'mann and Krockow have the vanguard ; Regiment

Czetteritz' (Dragoons, poor Czetteritz himself, with his lost Manuscript, is captive since February last) the

rearguard. With the Third Column always the Dragoon regiment Holstein as head, and the ditto Finkenstein to close the Column.'—“During every march, ' however, there are to be of the Second Column 2 Bat* talions joined with Column Third; so that the Third * Column consist of 10 Battalions, the Second of 6, while on march.

• Ahead of each Column go three Pontoon Wagons; * and daily are 50 work-people allowed them, who are 'immediately to lay Bridge, where it is necessary.

The rearguard of each Column takes up these Bridges ' again; brings them on, and returns them to the head of the Column, when the Army has got to camp.

In the Second Column are to be 500 wagons, and also in

the Third 500; so shared that each battalion gets an . equal number. The battalionsserve as specimen.

The March proceeded through the old Country; a little to left of the track in June past: Röder Water, Pulsnitz Water;

6

*

This may

• In Tempelhof (iv. 125, 126) the entire Piece.

« 前へ次へ »