The Battle of Liegnitz on August 15, 1760 saw Frederick the Great’s Prussian Army defeat the Austrian army under Ernst von Laudon.
The armies collided around the Prussian Silesian city of Liegnitz (Legnica). Frederick split his army in two, one part commanded by Field Marshal Zieten. Frederick heard the sound of skirmishing and thought Zieten was already fighting. He sent ten grenadiers’ battalions out of the woods to assist an attack that wasn’t happening. 5,000 were cut down in 30 minutes.
Laudon’s Austrian cavalry attacked the Prussian position in the early morning but were beaten back by General Zieten’s Hussars. An artillery duel emerged which was eventually won for the Prussians when a grenade hit an Austrian powder wagon. The Austrian infantry then proceeded to attack the Prussian line, but was met with concentrated artillery fire. A Prussian infantry counter-attack led by the Regiment Anhalt-Bernburg on the left forced the Austrians into retreat.
Shortly after dawn the major action was over but Prussian artillery fire continued to harass the Austrians. General Leopold von Daun arrived and, learning of Laudon’s defeat, decided not to attack despite his soldiers being fresh.