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Battle of Pered
Part of the Hungarian Revolution of 1848
Peredi csata oroszok.jpg
Date 20–21 June 1849
Location around and in Pered Kingdom of Hungary
(now Tešedíkovo, Slovakia)
Result Austro-Russian victory
Belligerents
Flag of Hungarian Revolution of 1848 Hungarian Revolutionary Army Flag of the Habsburg Monarchy Austrian Empire
Flag of Russian Empire for private use (1914–1917) Russian Empire
Commanders and leaders
Flag of Hungarian Revolution of 1848 Artúr Görgei
Error in {{Hungarian Revolution of 1848 participant}}: Bad or missing parameter Leiningen
Flag of the Habsburg Monarchy Julius Jacob von Haynau
Error in {{Hungarian Revolution of 1848 participant}}: Bad or missing parameter Wohlgemuth
Error in {{Hungarian Revolution of 1848 participant}}: Bad or missing parameter Csorich
Error in {{Hungarian Revolution of 1848 participant}}: Bad or missing parameter Panyutyin
Strength
Total: 25,286/23,727 men
- II. corps: 8059/6500
- III. corps: 9395
- VIII. corps: 7832
113 cannons
Did not participated
I. corps: 7261 men
30 cannons[1]
Total: 39,500 men
- II. corps: 13,500[2]
- IV. (reserve) corps: 14,000
- Panyutyin division: 12,000[3]
172 cannons[4]
Casualties and losses
Total: 2878 men
- 126 dead
- 180 wounded
- 2572 missing and captured
7 cannons
Total: 668 men
- 131 dead
- 415 wounded
- 122 missing and captured
260 cannons[5]


The Battle of Pered, fought on 20–21 June 1849, was one of the battles which took place in the Summer Campaign of the Hungarian War of Independence from 1848 to 1849, fought between the Hungarian Revolutionary Army and the Habsburg Empire helped by Russian troops. The Hungarian army was led by General[6] Artúr Görgei, while the imperial army by Lieutenant field marshal Julius Jacob von Haynau. After a several preliminary minor battles of the Hungarian and Austrian troops along the Vág river, in which the attacking Hungarians could not achieve a success, Görgei took the command of his troops, and after receiving reinforcements, at 20 June, put his troops to attack again towards West. Although the II. Hungarian army corps occupied in heavy fights the village of Pered, the other two corps (the III. and the VIII.) were unsuccessful, and could not advance. The angered Görgei removed the commander of the III. corps, General Károly Knezić because of his inactivity, and Colonel Lajos Asbóth, the commander of the II. corps who, in contrast to Knezić, was the only commander who successfully accomplished his duties. While Knezić's place was taken by Colonel Károly Leiningen-Westerburg, who was a great choice, Asbóth's place was taken by Colonel József Kászonyi, who was an explicitly bad choice. Haynau, who in the first day of the battle was moving the bulk of his troops to cross the Danube in order to start an attack on its southern bank, sent three of his corps, which were still on the northern bank, to repel the Hungarian forces. The two Austrian (II., IV.) and one Russian (Panyutin's) corps started their attack at 21 June, and forced the Hungarians to retreat from Pered and Zsigárd, which forced Görgei to order his troops to retreat from the battlefield.

BackgroundEdit

Thanks to the victories of the Spring Campaign, the Hungarian Revolutionary Army liberated much of Hungary from the occupation of the numerically and technologically superior Habsburg armies and their, Serbian, Romanian and Croatian allies.[7] The Hungarian army of Transylvania, led by Lieutenant General Józef Bem even managed to chase out from the province the first Russian intervention troops (7000 soldiers), which entered there in the winter of 1849.[8] From the end of March the Austrian politicians and military leaders understood that the Habsburg Empire is incapable of crushing their revolution relying on their own strength.[9] So, basing on the Münchengrätz Agreements from 1833, according to which the Habsburg and Russian Empires and Prussia agreed to help each other if their sovereignty is threatened by a revolt or revolution, Austria decided to ask for Russian help against the Hungarian Revolution, although initially they were reluctant to do that, because they were conscious that this will cause them a big loss of prestige.[10] But the Hungarian victories of the Spring Campaign made the Habsburg government to make this unwanted step, and on 21 April, they made the official help request from Russia, followed by the letter of emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria to Tsar Nicholas I of Russia.[11] In result the Tsar decided to send 200,000 Russian soldiers to Hungary, putting another 80,000 in reserve, to enter Hungary if their presence would be needed.[12] Although the Hungarian Government led by Bertalan Szemere and Governor President Lajos Kossuth believed that the European nations would not allow Russian to intervene in Hungary, the European states and England agreed with a Russian intervention in order to crush the Hungarian revolution, thus Lord Palmerston replied to the question of the Russian ambassador about the reaction of England to a Russian intervention in Hungary, saying: Finish them quickly!, demanding that after they fulfilled their task to return in Russia immediately.[13] Although England worried about a Russian intervention in Hungary, its first concern was that the Russian Empire to not advance in the Balkans, and an important condition for this was a strong Habsburg Empire.[14] So, an independent Hungary could have been an impediment for England's world domination policy.

In the meanwhile, after the capture of Buda General György Klapka, as the deputy ministry of war, elaborated the plan for the Hungarian military actions for summer, called later the Summer Campaign. His plan was based on the inactivity of the main Hungarian army corps, stationed around the fortress of Komárom, in the case of a retreat, appointed as the concentration point of the Hungarian troops the Hungarian capitals (Buda and Pest) and Miskolc, which were facing the main imperial forces under the command of Lieutenant Field Marshal Julius Jacob von Haynau, while the Hungarian troops from Transylvania and Southern Hungary had to accomplish so heavy tasks that could be achieved only after relentless military actions in two months. In the plan made of Klapka, the Russian military intervention was only faintly mentioned without taking any measure against it.[15] This plan was rejected by many of the Hungarian commanders (Józef Bem, Lieutenant General Henryk Dembiński), who said that they would not obey to it.[16] The Hungarian commander-in-chief and War Minister General Artúr Görgei also protested against this plan, underlining that as the concentration point of the Hungarian troops instead of Miskolc, Komárom should be appointed, and because of the imminent threat of the Russian intervention, he saw that the only way still open to the Hungarian army was to deal a decisive blow to the main imperial army before the slowly moving Russian forces arrived. This would have forced Austria to enter talks, and offer some kind of settlement, with the Hungarians.[17]

Görgei planned to attack towards Pozsony and Vienna quickly, before the main Russian army started its attack on the Eastern and Northern front against Hungary. To this end he and his chief of the general staff, Lieutenant-Colonel József Bayer, created at end of May the Central Operational Bureau (Központi Hadműveleti Iroda), in order to coordinate the movements of the different units of the Hungarian main army corps gathered in the Western front.[18] Besides the troops which the Central Operational Bureau disposed (I., II., III. and parts of the VIII. corps), on the Western front was another army grouping to which the VII. corps from the Rába line, led by Ernő Poeltenberg (from 6 May Colonel, and from 7 June General),[19] and the garrison of Komárom (the VIII. corps) belonged, and this was led by Major General György Klapka, commander of the garrison of Komárom. Klapka refused to submit to the orders of chief of the general staff József Bayer, actioning independently.[20]

Görgey Artúr litográfia Barabás

Görgey Artúr litográfia Barabás

Ludwig von Wohlgemuth

Ludwig von Wohlgemuth

Görgei planned to attack as quickly as possible the Austrian troops on the Western Border of Hungary with the I., II., III. and parts of the VIII. corps, which were under the Central Operational Bureau's command, on the left Bank of the Danube, while the remainder of his troops had to protect the defensive line based on the Rába and Marcal rivers. Before the attack he hoped that the 12,000 soldiers led by Józef Bem, coming from the southern front and Transylvania, promised by Kossuth to arrive to join his forces (unfortunately Bem refused to come, saying that this will leave Transylvania defenseless against the imminent Russian invasion).[21] The Hungarian armies in the beginning of the Summer Campaign consisted of 150,000 soldiers, 464 field and 393 defensive (castle) cannons.[22]

Another problem of the Hungarian army was that many of the talented, experienced Hungarian generals, who helped in a decisive way the success of the Spring Campaign, were no more available (János Damjanich, who broke his leg; Lajos Aulich who became ill;[23] András Gáspár) who resigned from the Hungarian army because of political reasons[24]) and General Görgei was forced to put in their place other officers who were talented soldiers, but were not experienced as army corps leaders, many of them lacking of capacity of acting independently when it needed and they had no order to do so, but the military situation required this.[25] So, Görgei put General Károly Knezić in Damjanich's place to lead III. corps, Colonel Lajos Asbóth in Aulich's place to lead II. corps, General Ernő Poeltenberg in Gáspár's place.[26] General György Klapka who formerly was the commander of the I. corps, but who became temporary main commander of the main Hungarian army, called Hungarian Army of the Upper Danube (Feldunai Hadsereg),[27] taking the place of Görgei, who became War Minister, had to give his position at the head of his corps to General József Nagysándor.[28] These new corps commanders lacked the former generals talent, intuition and experience.[29] Görgei himself, because of now being War Minister, had to fulfill these two heavy tasks (ministry and high commandment of the army), could not focus in the same way on the military actions as he did in the Spring Campaign.[30]

At the start of the Summer Campaign the Hungarian army had the same problem as the imperial main armies had at the beginning of the Spring Campaign: its commanders had not much knowledge about the enemies distribution and where their main forces were stationing. The Hungarian intelligence failed to accomplish this important task.[31] The support from the southern front (around 12 000 men) did not arrived, despite Görgei's hopes, because with the arrival there of Feldzeugmeister Josip Jelačić's troops, in support to the Serbian rebels and Austrian troops stationed there, the military situation changed there in the favor of the imperials, so all the Hungarian troops were needed there.[32]

On the other hand, the Austro-Russian coalition prepared to attack Hungary with 358,000 soldiers and 1354 cannons (165,000 Austrians with 770 cannons and 193,000 Russians with 584 cannons).[33] While Russian and Austrian army groups, led by General Alexander von Lüders and General Eduard Clam-Gallas, prepared their attacks Transylvania from Bucovina, Wallachia and Moldavia, (53,000 soldiers and 133 cannons against 39,000 Hungarians, who were mainly fresh recruits without any war experience, and 107 cannons), the main Russian army under the leadership of Field Marshal Ivan Paskevich had to advance from the North (135,000 Russian soldiers and 448 cannons against 16,500 Hungarians with 49 cannons), the Austro-Croatian-Serbian troops led by Feldzeugmeister Josip Jelačić operated in Southern Hungary (53,000 soldiers with 401 cannons against 34,000 Hungarians and 249 cannons).[34] The numerical disadvantage of the Hungarian armies was augmented also that 13% of the Hungarian troops in Transylvania and Eastern Hungary were used in the sieges of different fortifications in imperial hands (Arad, Temesvár, Gyulafehérvár, Titel) (around 12,000 men), while others (8000 men) were garrisons in different fortifications, so they could not be used as moving forces against the invading Austro-Russian armies.[35]

From West the imperial troops which were preparing to attack Hungary were led by Lieutenant Field Marshal Haynau, the commander-in-chief of all the Habsburg forces outside Italy, were about 83,000 soldiers (71,000 Austrians and a 12,000-strong Russian army corps led by Lieutenant General Feodor Sergeyevich Panyutyin) and 336 cannons, against nearly 51,000 Hungarian soldiers (except a part of the garrison of the fortress of Komárom, the VIII. corps, which could not be moved out from the fortress to fight in open field) with 196 field and 244 defensive cannons used only in the fortifications, led by General Görgei.[36] This assured Haynau a huge superiority.

Banlaky-big hadtortpic 2112b

The military situation in the Western Front before and after the Battle of Pered. Red: Austrian and Russian troops. Black: Hungarians

Görgei's troops were positioned along the river Vág downwards to Komárom, and south of the Danube along the Rába's Eastern bank until Marcaltő.[37] The mining towns (Bakabánya, Besztercebánya, Bélabánya, Körmöcbánya, Libetbánya, Selmecbánya, Újbánya) were protected by a detachment of 2700 soldiers led by Ármin Görgei, to South to this, around Mocsonok, Ürmény and Komjáti were 1300 soldiers at Nyitra, to south the I. corps led by General József Nagysándor consisting of 7400 men, from here until Érsekújvár on the course of the Vág the 9200 soldiers of the III. corps led by General Károly Knezić were positioned, south to this until Komárom stationed the 8600 men of the II. corps led by Colonel Lajos Asbóth, in Csallóköz stood the 4000 men strong division of the VIII. corps which were defending Komárom under General György Klapka (later another 3400 soldiers left the fortress in order to support the field armies operations). This 4000 soldiers from Csallóköz assured the contact between the troops to North and to South from the Danube. South to the Danube, around Győr were the 9000 soldiers of the VII. corps under General Ernő Poeltenberg, and finally the Hungarian lines southernmost unit was the Kmety division consisting of 5100 men.[38] The concentration, in the opportunity of a battle of these troops was impossible, because of the great length of the front, consisting in totally 250 kilometers.[39]

The Austrian troops which faced the Hungarians in the Western, under the high command of Lieutenant Field Marshal Julius Jacob von Haynau were positioned as follows. On the right (Southern) bank of the Danube: the III. corps under the lead of Lieutenant General von Moltke was stationed around Sopron having 16,200 men,[40] the I. corps, under the command of General Franz Schlik, consisting of 21,900 soldiers[41] were around Moson, Magyaróvár, Öttevény, Kimle and Hédervár; on the left bank: the bulk of the 13,500 men big II. corps under Lieutenant General Anton Csorich was in Csallóköz, and its Pott-brigade stationed along the Vág river at Farkasd and Vágsellye, the reserve (IV.) corps under the lead of Lieutenant General Ludwig von Wohlgemuth consisted of 17,700 soldiers,[42] and had its headquarters at Nagyszombat, while its brigades were stationed at Szered, Vága and Galgóc. To these troops was sent in support by the high commander of the Russian forces, Marshall Ivan Paskevich the Russian division, consisting of 11,900 soldiers under the lead of Lieutenant General Feodor Sergeyevich Panyutyin, which was stationed first around Pozsony, than, because the Cholera epidemic, which broke out in that region, it was moved to Modor and Bazin.[43]

Görgei planned to start a Hungarian attack on the northern banks of Danube against the troops of Haynau. But at 13 June, the 15th Hungarian division commanded by Colonel György Kmety attacked on the southern Bank of the Danube, and defeated an Austrian half brigade led by Major General Franz Wyss in the Battle of Csorna.[44] This attack had to attract some of the imperial troops towards south, to make the task of the main Hungarian attack along the Vág river easier.[45] Haynau indeed sent order to his troops to move southwards and cross the Danube, but this was not given because of Kmety's victory impressed him, but because the imperial commander wanted to start the general offensive there towards Komárom.[46]

PreludeEdit

Görgei had at his disposition the following troops to attack the imperial army: the I., II., III. corps and a part of the VIII. corps, which were totally 32,907, or according to other sources 31,348 soldiers, with 143 batteries.[47] The plan was to attack along the Vág river, on a terrain fragmented with hills, woods, rivers, marshes, which did not made possible a quick advancement of the Hungarians, but prevented the enemy to use its numerical superiority, hoping also to force the Austrian troops south to the Danube, to stop their attack there towards Győr and Komárom.[48]
Error creating thumbnail: Invalid thumbnail parameters

Map of the region in which the Battles of Zsigárd and Pered took place

Banlaky-big hadtortpic 2113

Battle of Zsigárd on 16 June 1849

First the II. corps had to start the attack, crossing the Little Danube at Guta, than building a bridge across the river at Aszódpuszta, than advancing across the Little Danube and the Vág, to build two bridges on the latter at Farkasd and Negyed. After this the III. corps will cross too the Vág river advancing towards Galánta. The left wing of the attacking corps had to be covered by the Kosztolányi brigade of the VIII. corps. The I. corps had to show activity before Sempte and Szered divert the attention, thus preventing the imperial brigades to help their attacked comrades from South.[49] This plan was had many problems. The officers from the Central Operational Bureau which elaborated it, were not aware of the fact that between the Vág and the Little Danube, the terrain is very marshy, and because of this only the ramparts could be used to go from one village to another.[50] This made the task of the attacking army almost impossible to fulfill. The other problem of the plan was that it put all the responsibility of the success of the military actions on the II. corps "shoulders", because in the case of an unsuccessful attack of them against Királyrév and Zsigárd condemned the III. corps to inactivity.[51]

On 16 of June, the II. corps commanded by Colonel Lajos Asbóth started their attack, and occupied Zsigárd, Királyrév and Negyed, but than the imperial counterattack with superior troops forced them to retreat on their initial positions. One unit of the II. corps managed to build a bridge across the Vág at Negyed, and defended it against the enemy attacks.[52] This could have been an occasion to the III. corps led by General Károly Knezić to cross Vág and to try to fulfill their tasks according to the battle plan, but the Hungarian General refused to move, despite the demands of his officers.[53] The attack of the I. corps against the imperials entrenched on the Eastern banks of the Vág at Sempte resulted in a grave defeat. The Hungarian Kosztolányi division which was in Csallóköz advanced to Patas, where it took position.[54] So the Hungarian attack of 16 June ended mostly unsuccessful. Hearing this, Görgei decided to order another attack on 20 June.[55]

In the meanwhile at 19 June, Haynau ordered to his troops to cross the Danube for the general attack on the southern bank of the Danube against Győr, but in order to hide his plans, ordered to his troops which were still on the northern banks, to repulse the Hungarian attack on the Vág's valley.[56] So the II. corps together with the reserve (IV.) corps to occupy the banks of Vág, making a bridgehead at Sempte. In the same time he sent the Panyutyin division, from Szenc to Diószeg to support the reserve corps. On 18 June the Pott and the Theissing brigades of the II. corps received order to do a reconnaissance-in-force towards Alsószeli, than on 20 Wohlgemuth planned with these two brigades to advance towards Negyed and Királyrév, when the Hungarian attack started.[57] Lieutenant General Ludwig von Wohlgemuth was named the commandment of the Austro-Russian forces which faced Görgei's troops.[58] On 19 April that year Wohlgemuth suffered a severe defeat from the Hungarians in the Battle of Nagysalló, so at 21 June he could repair his former mistake.

BattleEdit

On 20 June Görgei, seeing the lack of success of his troops on 16 June, personally took the command of his troops, mostly following the same plans of war elaborated for the 16 June attack. Also a part of the VIII. corps (the garrison of Komárom) arrived in Csallóköz to support the attack.[59] The II. corps had to attack again Királyrév and Zsigárd, the III. corps had to support them after crossing the Vág at Negyed, following the II. corps towards Zsigárd. The I. corps under the lead of General József Nagysándor had to make demonstration movements before Sempte, and if the conditions allowed it, had to start a real attack. The detachment of Colonel Horváth had to watch the road towards Nyitra, to advance, and demonstrate towards Galgóc. Klapka with the detached units of the VIII. corps had to protect the bridge from Aszódpuszta, and to assure the retreat way of the II. corps.[60]

In the dawn of 20 June, covered by fog, the II. corps crossed the Danube branch, arriving undetected in the vicinity of Zsigárd at 5 o'clock am., than Colonel Lajos Asbóth, after waiting in vain 2 hours for the arrival of Görgei (who in the meanwhile discussed with Klapka at the Aszód bridge, about the necessity that the VIII. to start an attack in Csallóköz in the same time of the attack of the II. and III. corps in the Vág valley), fearing that the III. corps who according to the plan, had to advance from the direction of Negyed, will enter alone in the battle, ordered his troops to start the attack.[61] Asbóth's troops occupied Királyrév, and the 49th and 60th battalions Zsigárd, forcing the imperial Pott brigade, to retreat towards Pered. The imperial Theissing brigade tried to reoccupy Királyréve, but the Würtemberg Hussars repelled this attack.[62]

Peredi csata 1849 jún 20

Battle of Pered 20 June 1849

Alsonyarasdi harcok 1849 junius 20

Cavalry skirmish around Alsónyárasd during the battle of Pered at 20 June 1849

In the meanwhile Asbóth's troops followed the Pott brigade towards Pered. To defend the village, Wohlgemuth sent important forces, mainly artillery in aid of the Pott division. The harsh cannonade of the imperial artillery slowed down the Hungarian advancement, than repelled the Hussar attack too, which were sent to neutralize the cannons.[63] Asbóth personally took the head of his troops than after three failed assaults,[64] on the fourt attempt, with the 56th reserve battalion and the "Don Miguel" infantry regiment, and the attack from the flank of the Rakovszky-detachment, formed by the 48th battalion and Bocskay-infantry, which menaced the Pott and Herzinger brigades with encirclement, he managed to take Pered.[65] Unfortunately the III. corps led by General Károly Knezić were not moving to support Asbóth's troops, and only after Görgei sent them order to advance, started to march towards the battlefield, and this time too, Knezić ordered to some of his troops to cross in a place were the crossing conditions were not favorable, while they could have cross without problem on the bridge from Negyed, and because of this they arrived only at 2 o'clock in the afternoon, being too late to help Asbóth to continue the attack.[66] After the battle Knezić defended himself saying that Görgei's orders were not clear, and he did not knew which battle plan to follow: the battle plan from 16, or that from 20 June?[67] Thus Asbóth was forced to order to his troops to take position at Pered, Alsószeli and Deáki.[68][69]

The I. corps troops led by General József Nagysándor did not made almost anything except some weak demonstration movements before Sempte, than retreated to his initial positions.[70] In Csallóköz the detached troops from the VIII. corps, led by General Klapka advanced towards Vásárút, but they were defeated by the II. corps of Csorich at Nyárasd, and forced to retreat to defend the bridges at Aszódpuszta and Guta.[71]

Peredi hős Asbóth Lajos

Lajos Asbóth, the hero of the first day of the battle of Pered.

In the same time Görgei ordered to General Ernő Poeltemberg who was leading the VII. corps from the right bank of the Danube to prevent the imperial troops South to the Danube to send reinforcements to their comrades on the left bank of the Danube to Csallóköz, during the battle. The Hungarian General accomplished successfully his task, conducting a reconnaissance-in-force towards Moson and Hédervár.[72]

So ended the first day of the battle.

Görgei was so angered by the partial failure of that days military actions (although the Hungarian advancement, they could not breach the enemy lines, deciding the fate of the battle),[73] that he dismissed Knezić from the lead of the III. corps because of his passivity, but also Asbóth from the lead of the II. corps, although he was the only corps commander, who accomplished his tasks. Allegedly Görgei was angered of him because his troops suffered too many losses during their attack. In their place were put: Colonel József Kászonyi in the lead of the II. corps, and Colonel Károly Leiningen-Westerburg in the lead of the III. corps. While Leiningen will demonstrate to be an excellent choice, Kászonyi's appointment in the place of Asbóth, will show to be an unlucky choice.[74] To change the corps commanders in the middle of a battle, was also a bad decision, but maybe the worst thing was that he did not kept under a direct control and observation his corps commanders - especially the hesitating Knezić - in order to make them to move in the right moment to the battlefield.[75] He chose to be on the battlefield to encourage his soldiers and officers, task which he accomplished with great success, turning many times the tides of the battle with his presence, personal example and words of encouragement.[76]

Görgei planned to attack in the next day to advance with the III. corps towards Galánta via Vágsellye, while the II. corps protects its side by moving towards Alsószeli and Deáki. But already in the night of 20 June he learned that the enemy troops commanded by Wohlgemuth will attack, and the Panyutyin-division was also sent to help the IV. and the II. corps. So he understood that the relative balance of forces between the two armies (20,000 Hungarians with 80 cannons against 25,000 Austrians with 96 cannons) was about to be upset by the arrival of 12,000 Russians.[77] So Görgei ordered Klapka to hold with any costs the bridge from Aszódpuszta, and József Nagysándor to force the crossing, with his troops, of the Vág river at Szered. The II. and III. corps had to wait the Austro-Russian attack and to repel it. The key of the Hungarian success was the arrival in time of the I. corps of Nagysándor, after accomplishing his initial tasks, to help the other two corps.[78] Görgei believed that if Nagysándor's I. corps would make a successful attack, pushing the enemy back and cross the Vág river at Sempte, this would enable the counterattack of the II. and III. Hungarian corps, and the enemy instead of concentrating to capture the bridges from Aszódpuszta and Negyed to cut the retreat root of the Hungarians, will have to fight against the Hungarian attack from front, which with the help of Nagysándor's arriving troops, can threaten to encircle the main Austro-Russian troops north from Pered. So the only choice of Wohlgemuth would be the retreat, which would lead to the accomplishment of the Hungarian plans and to the victory.[79] Görgei found also useful that his troops in the next day had to fight with Russian troops too, because they could so measure the tsarists real battle value.[80]

On the other side Haynau knew that if in the next day his troops will achieve a victory against the Hungarians, he will make Görgei to believe that he is preparing his main attack on the northern banks of the Danube. This is why he ordered to the IV. (reserve) corps to start a counterattack against the Hungarian troops in the next day.[81] Csorich's II. corps and Panyutyin's division were appointed to sustain the attack of the reserve corps.[82] Wohlgemuth ordered to his troops stationed at Sempte and Szered, to destroy the bridge between the two villages, and to come to help his main troops. The Panyutyin division was placed on the left flank of Wohlgemuth's IV. (reserve) corps.[83] Wohlgemuth's main goal was to cut the retreat route of the Hungarians, and therefore units of his troops occupied the village of Királyrév, through which the main Hungarian forces could return to the bridge from Aszódpuszta.[84]

Banlaky-big hadtortpic 2114

Situation in the battle of Pered at 21 June, before the Austro-Russian attack: black: Hungarians, gray: Austro-Russians

On 21 June, the attack was started by the Austro-Russian troops at 10 o'clock in the morning, being successful in pushing back the Hungarian troops from Felsőszeli, Alsószeli and Deáki to Pered. The two battalions of the Hungarian II. corps retreated from the attack of the imperial right wing from Alsószeli to Királyrév.[85] The main body of the imperials deployed at Deáki.[86] Initially the right wing of the imperials threatened the Hungarian left wing with encirclement, but the stepwise positioning of the cavalry, and the Honvéd troops from Királyrév, prevented this.[87] Wohlgemuth ordered a harsh cannonade from the center and left wing, while one of the two columns of the right wing started an assault against Királyrév, while the other waited outside the range of the Hungarian artillery.[88] The Hungarians responded to the imperial cannonade with shootings, and with the attack of the III. corps, with the goal to hinder the enemy artillery fire from the center against the II. corps.[89] But despite the successful advancement of the III. corps, the II. corps seemed to crumble in the heavy enemy fire. Seeing this, Wohlgemuth ordered his troops from the center to attack, while the left wing did not advanced. This caused the turning of the front line from the initial East-West direction to Northeast-Northwest, which was disadvantageous to the Hungarians.[90] Seeing this, Görgei ordered to the smaller part of the cavalry division of the III. corps to attack the enemy cavalry from the right of the attacking Austrian center, followed by the greater part of it with the cavalry battery. In the same time the cavalry division of the II. corps had to attack the imperial column from the extreme right wing of the enemy troops, which were menacing the Hungarian left wing. He hoped with this to determine the enemy center to retreat, and the isolation of those who advanced towards Királyrév.[91]

But in this right moment, Görgei learned that the enemy just took Királyrév. This happened when he sent the orders to his cavalries to attack, and during the strong advancement of his right wing.[92] Because of this he went personally with two infantry battalions and two cannons of the Hungarian II. corps to take back the village. Görgei wanted also to see if it is any enemy troops coming from the direction of Csallóköz. After he saw that his troops will not be attacked from there - because Klapka managed to hold the position there, he returned to the main battlefield, letting the two infantry battalions which he had led to Királyrév to continue the assault on the village.[93] When he was returning, he saw that the attack of the cavalry of the III. corps on the right wing failed, and they were retreating, he understood that his plan of turning back the front line in the original position did not succeeded. Now he wanted to obtain this goal ordering the retreat of the infantry of the III. corps.[94] He wanted that his troops to resist in Pered until the hoped arrival of Nagysándor's I. corps, which could decide the outcome of the battle in the favor of the Hungarians. He hoped to hold the village with the help of the III. corps of Leiningen, who retreated towards there. But when görgei arrived to Pered, saw that Colonel Kászonyi already ordered the retreat of the II. corps, and in the village he found only the cavalry of the III. corps. Görgei had no choice, than to position the III. and II. corps infantries behind Pered in order to hold themselves there.[95] To hold their new front line successfully, Görgei ordered that Leiningen's III. corps cavalry division and four battalions to stop the advancement of the imperial cavalry from the right side of the enemy center, and the cavalry of the II. division which previously were held back by the Russian infantry division, to attack the enemy troops advancing from the extreme right wing of Wohlgemuth's army, in order to ease the tasks of the II. corps infantry and the III. corps cavalry. He also ordered, that if the III. corps would be pushed back, it can retreat only to Zsigárd, where they should take the artillery of the II. corps, which retreated there because their shortage of ammunition, and to hold there until Királyrév is recaptured. Colonel Kászonyi with the II. corps had to defend the III. corps left from an encirclement and to keep the contact with the troops from Királyrév. If this village would be reoccupied, than the two Hungarian corps had to start another offensive, helped by the troops from Királyrév.[96] This was Görgei's new plan.

In order to accomplish this heavy tasks, Görgei went again to Királyrév to hurry its occupation. He saw here that the cause of the lack of success of his troops is, that many of the soldiers and even some officers, instead of fighting, hid themselves in the corn-field near by. He disciplined them, than sent them to join the attack, and finally, with the help of the artillery, they managed to take Királyrév, and to start the crossing of the bridge from Aszódpuszta. After this Görgei sent order to Leiningen to Zsigárd that the III. corps immediately to start the advancement. But in the meanwhile the II. corps was forced by Austrian and Russian troops to retreat from Pered to Királyrév, and the news coming from Leiningen weren't good either, the III. corps got around from right by a strong enemy column, so he had to order the retreat from Zsigárd towards Farkasd. Hearing these news, Görgei understood that he had lost the right banks of the Vág river and with this the battle.[97][98]

One of the causes of the defeat was that General József Nagysándor, who had the task to cross the Vág at Szered in order to hold the Austrian units there, did not observed that these enemy units left that place and joined Wohlgemuth's main troops, to support the attack in the main front. He remained on his position, despite the fact that even Görgei ordered him to cross the now undefended Vág river, and attack from side and behind the enemy troops, which could have brought the victory to Hungarians.[99] Do to the inactivity of Nagysándor the numerically much superior Austro-Russian troops managed to chase the Hungarian troops from the positions they occupied the day before. Görgei had no choice that to order the Hungarian retreat.[100] He sent Leiningen a messenger with the order to continue its retreat, crossing the Vág river, but he held Királyrév for a while, until the units of lieutenant-colonel Rakovszky which were pursuing the enemy troops chased out of the village turned back. Until this happened, Colonel Kászonyi, with the cavalry battery of the II. corps attacked the enemy troops which were moving towards Királyrév. After all detached troops arrived, Görgei ordered the retreat of the II. corps too, towards the bridge of Aszódpuszta.[101]

During the battle day of 21 June, the detached units of the VIII. Hungarian corps, under the lead of General György Klapka, stationed in Csallóköz, were attacked by the enemy at Aszód, with the purpose of destroying the bridge across the Danube from Érsekújvár, and to prevent the retreat of the II. corps from the right banks of the Vág, but Klapka resisted, and after the arrival and crossing of the retreating Hungarian troops, he ordered the destruction of the bridge.[102] The III. corps crossed at Negyed, the I. at Aszódpuszta, than at Guta.[103]

AftermathEdit

The Hungarian historian Róbert Hermann writes in one of his studies, that during the battles around Zsigárd and Pered between 16–21 June, General Artúr Görgei committed one of his few great mistakes of his military career: the Hungarian main commander chose at 16 June not to command directly from the battlefield the actions of his new, inexperienced corps commanders, who because of this failed to coordinate their actions, and were defeated, with this letting the opportunity to win the battle to slip. Later he apologized himself writing that he wanted to put his new army corps commanders to the proof,[104] but the importance of this battle for the future of the Hungarian revolutionary state was too high for such a risk. In the Spring campaign, when the commanders of the corps were the very talented and experienced Damjanich and Klapka, Görgei was every time nearby, but now when the new commanders were first time commanding an army corps, and when their tasks were far more difficult than in the former corps commanders had in the Spring Campaign, Görgei did not supported them.[105] Another mistake of Görgei was the replacement of Colonel Lajos Asbóth, the most successful army corps commander of the first day of the Battle of Pered, 20 June with Colonel József Kászonyi, whose performance eased the task of the enemy forces to win the battle.[106] But during the battle of Pered Görgei showed a great efficiency as high commander, turning several times the fate of the battle by reorganizing his retreating troops and putting them to attack again.[107] But he could not be in every place in the same time to hold the battle together, while his chief of the general staff, Colonel József Bayer did not shown up to help him, remaining in his bureau.[108]

The majority of the Hungarian corps commanders (Knezić, Nagysándor, Kászonyi, and also the experienced Klapka) failed to do their best to help their troops to win the victory. They showed incapacity of cooperation, and this affected also their subordinate officers, who seeing this, and their failures, lost their morale.[109] Another problem that affected the Hungarian troops was the shortage of ammunition, which persisted since the Battle of Isaszeg, despite that the commanders demanded many times continuously from the Hungarian government to send them the much needed ammunition.[110] But not only the Hungarian Government was guilty for that (because the deficiencies in the transport, and its organization), but because of the running out of their stocks and resources. At the end of May 1849, the gunpowder production completely stopped, and the Hungarian army was forced to use the 900 kg reserves from the fort of Pétervárad. The situation wasn't better concerning the bayonets, steel for swords, and other weapons and supplies. Because of this they had not enough weapons to give to the newly conscripted rookies.[111] The Hungarian military industry, weapon, ammunition production started to be built only a year before, and that, because of the problems which usually occur at the start of everything new, corroborated with the lack of experience of the workers and their leading staff, wasn't enough to produce the ammunition and armament needed for a, since a year ongoing war.[112] Besides of this, the continuous changing in the front line, the occupation the enemy forces, of the cities in which the ammunition and weapon manufactures were working, or were the weapon and armament depots were, or only if these places were threaten to be occupied by the nearing troops, caused them to stop temporary or permanently. For example, right when György Lahner finished the building of a gunpowder manufacture and a cannon foundry at Nagyvárad, in the summer of 1849, the town started to be threaten by the nearing of the Russian troops, and because of this the production did not started[113]

From the enemy generals while Wohlgemuth and Panyutyin acted with great will and energy, Csorich was not very active. Also the Austro-Russian brigade commanders fulfilled their duties with great efficiency.[114]

Although the battle was not a very serious blow to the Hungarian army and their strategical positions, the Hungarians did not lost their military initiative completely, but the moral effect of the two lost battles (Zsigárd at 16 June, and Pered at 20–21 June) had a paralyzing effect on their morale, while the imperials who in the Spring campaign lost every battle started again to believe in victory.[115] But the imperials could have been not achieve this victory without the involvement in the battle of Panyutyin's Russian troops.[116]

After this battle, do to the inefficiency of their reconnaissance, the Hungarians could not learn about Haynau's plans to attack on the southern banks of the Danube, so he could continue to move his troops on the other side of the great river,[117] to start an attack towards the Hungarian troops at Győr, than to advance towards Komárom and the Hungarian capitals (Buda and Pest).

NotesEdit

  1. Hermann 2004, pp. 285.
  2. Hermann 2001, pp. 323.
  3. Hermann 2001, pp. 328.
  4. Hermann 2004, pp. 285.
  5. Hermann 2004, pp. 285.
  6. Bóna 1987, pp. 203.
  7. Hermann 2001, pp. 314.
  8. Hermann 2001, pp. 257.
  9. Hermann 2001, pp. 315.
  10. Hermann 2001, pp. 315.
  11. Hermann 2001, pp. 315.
  12. Hermann 2001, pp. 315–316.
  13. Hermann 2001, pp. 316.
  14. Hermann 2001, pp. 316.
  15. Hermann 2001, pp. 316.
  16. Hermann 2001, pp. 316.
  17. Hermann 2001, pp. 317.
  18. Hermann 2001, pp. 322.
  19. Bóna 1987, pp. 268.
  20. Hermann 2004, pp. 272.
  21. Hermann 2001, pp. 316–317.
  22. Hermann 2001, pp. 318.
  23. Bóna 1987, pp. 96.
  24. Bóna 1987, pp. 157.
  25. Hermann 2001, pp. 325.
  26. Hermann 2001, pp. 325.
  27. Bóna 1987, pp. 202.
  28. Hermann 2001, pp. 325.
  29. Hermann 2001, pp. 325.
  30. Hermann 2001, pp. 325.
  31. Hermann 2001, pp. 325.
  32. Hermann 2001, pp. 325.
  33. Hermann 2001, pp. 318.
  34. Hermann 2001, pp. 318.
  35. Hermann 2001, pp. 318–319.
  36. Hermann 2001, pp. 318.
  37. Hermann 2001, pp. 325.
  38. Hermann 2001, pp. 325–326.
  39. Hermann 2004, pp. 280.
  40. Hermann 2001, pp. 323.
  41. Hermann 2001, pp. 323.
  42. Hermann 2001, pp. 323.
  43. Hermann 2004, pp. 280.
  44. Hermann 2004, pp. 270–276.
  45. Hermann 2004, pp. 273.
  46. Hermann 2004, pp. 273.
  47. Hermann 2004, pp. 285.
  48. Hermann 2001, pp. 326.
  49. Hermann 2001, pp. 326.
  50. Hermann 2001, pp. 326.
  51. Hermann 2001, pp. 326.
  52. Hermann 2001, pp. 326.
  53. Hermann 2001, pp. 326.
  54. Hermann 2001, pp. 326.
  55. Hermann 2001, pp. 326.
  56. Hermann 2004, pp. 281.
  57. Hermann 2004, pp. 281.
  58. Hermann 2004, pp. 281.
  59. Hermann 2004, pp. 281.
  60. Pusztaszeri 1984, pp. 458.
  61. Pusztaszeri 1984, pp. 458.
  62. Pusztaszeri 1984, pp. 458–459.
  63. Pusztaszeri 1984, pp. 459.
  64. Hermann 2004, pp. 281.
  65. Pusztaszeri 1984, pp. 459.
  66. Pusztaszeri 1984, pp. 459–460.
  67. Pusztaszeri 1984, pp. 460.
  68. Hermann 2004, pp. 281.
  69. Pusztaszeri 1984, pp. 459.
  70. Hermann 2004, pp. 281.
  71. Hermann 2004, pp. 281.
  72. Hermann 2004, pp. 282.
  73. Pusztaszeri 1984, pp. 464.
  74. Hermann 2004, pp. 281.
  75. Pusztaszeri 1984, pp. 461–462.
  76. Pusztaszeri 1984, pp. 462–463.
  77. Pusztaszeri 1984, pp. 466.
  78. Hermann 2004, pp. 282.
  79. Pusztaszeri 1984, pp. 467–468.
  80. Pusztaszeri 1984, pp. 467.
  81. Hermann 2004, pp. 281.
  82. Hermann 2004, pp. 281.
  83. Hermann 2004, pp. 282.
  84. Hermann 2004, pp. 282.
  85. Pusztaszeri 1984, pp. 468.
  86. Pusztaszeri 1984, pp. 468.
  87. Pusztaszeri 1984, pp. 468.
  88. Pusztaszeri 1984, pp. 468.
  89. Pusztaszeri 1984, pp. 468.
  90. Pusztaszeri 1984, pp. 468–469.
  91. Pusztaszeri 1984, pp. 469.
  92. Hermann 2004, pp. 282.
  93. Pusztaszeri 1984, pp. 469.
  94. Pusztaszeri 1984, pp. 469.
  95. Pusztaszeri 1984, pp. 469–470.
  96. Pusztaszeri 1984, pp. 470–471.
  97. Pusztaszeri 1984, pp. 470–471.
  98. Hermann 2004, pp. 282.
  99. Hermann 2004, pp. 282.
  100. Hermann 2004, pp. 282.
  101. Pusztaszeri 1984, pp. 472.
  102. Pusztaszeri 1984, pp. 472.
  103. Hermann 2004, pp. 282.
  104. Hermann 1993, pp. 16.
  105. Hermann 1993, pp. 16.
  106. Hermann 2004, pp. 281.
  107. Hermann 1993, pp. 15.
  108. Pusztaszeri 1984, pp. 473.
  109. Pusztaszeri 1984, pp. 473.
  110. Pusztaszeri 1984, pp. 473.
  111. Pusztaszeri 1984, pp. 473–474.
  112. Hermann 2004, pp. 55–57.
  113. Pusztaszeri 1984, pp. 473.
  114. Hermann 2004, pp. 282.
  115. Hermann 2004, pp. 282–283.
  116. Hermann 1993, pp. 13.
  117. Hermann 2004, pp. 282–283.

SourcesEdit

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  • Hermann, Róbert (2001) (in Hungarian). Az 1848–1849-es szabadságharc hadtörténete ("Military History of the Hungarian War of Independence of 1848–1849"). Budapest: Korona Kiadó. pp. 424. ISBN 963-9376-21-3. 
  • Hermann, Róbert (2004) (in Hungarian). Az 1848–1849-es szabadságharc nagy csatái ("Great battles of the Hungarian War of Independence of 1848–1849"). Budapest: Zrínyi. pp. 408. ISBN 963-327-367-6. 
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  • Hermann, Róbert (2013) (in Hungarian). Nagy csaták. 16. A magyar függetlenségi háború ("Great Battles. 16. The Hungarian Freedom War"). Budapest: Duna Könyvklub. pp. 88. ISBN 978-615-5129-00-1. 
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