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Night battle by Podoli 1866

"Night fights at Podoli, a 1896 illustration


The Battle of Podol was a minor engagement in the opening days of the Königgratz campaign of the Austro-Prussian War in Bohemia on June 26 and June 27, 1866. The battle took place in modern day Svijany between troops from the Prussian First Army (Bose's 15th Brigade) and soldiers of the Austrian I Corps (Poschacher's "Iron" brigade).

The battleEdit

Bose's advance guard arrived near Podol in the evening of June 26, 1866. The Austrian commander Clam-Gallas met with his Saxon counterpart Prince Albert, and they decided that they had to plug the breech in their Iser line before Prussian reinforcements arrived. Holding Podol was important because of two strategic bridges over the Iser, which a further Prussian advance would need.

The battle started around 8 PM when elements of Ferdinand Poschacher's brigade encountered Prussian skirmishers. After driving them off, the brigade barricaded itself in the town. The Prussians returned them with three battalions of line infantry and engaged the Austrian in street fighting. The technological advantage of the Dreyse needle gun allowed the Prussians to drive off the Austrians and clear the town.

Another Prussian battalion crossed the river upstream and moved to attack the Austrians engaged in the town but stumbled across Poschacher's two reserve battalions. Clam-Gallas ordered these reserves to attack, but they were beaten off by the Prussians' superior firepower. However, after repulsing three attacks, the Prussians had exhausted their ammunition and retired over the river.

Having lost the town, Clam-Gallas admitted defeat and withdrew around 2 AM. His losses amounted to around 1,048 men, including over 600 prisoners. Prussian losses totaled about 100.

ReferencesEdit

  • Geoffrey Wawro, The Austro-Prussian War. Austria's war with Prussia and Italy in 1866 (New York 2007), p. 131-135.

Coordinates: 50°34′01″N 15°04′01″E / 50.567°N 15.067°E / 50.567; 15.067

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