Combat of Hoyerswerda, 28 May 1813

The combat of Hoyerswerda (27 May 1813) was a French victory that encouraged Marshal Oudinot to advance towards Berlin, after a Prussian attack on his positions was repulsed (War of Liberation).

After the battle of Bautzen (20-21 May 1813) Marshal Oudinot's XII Corps (16,000 men) was given the task of watching Bülow's  mixed corps of 30,000 Prussians and Russians, who had been operating to the north of the main campaign area, covering the approaches to Berlin.

Freidrich Wilhelm Graf Bülow von Dennewitz
Freidrich Wilhelm
Graf Bülow
von Dennewitz

By the evening of 27 May Oudinot reached Hoyerswerda, about twenty miles to the north of Bautzen. On the same day Bülow approached from the west, having left 9,000 men to watch the French garrison at Wittemberg on the Elbe.

On 28 May Bülow attacked along both sides of the Black Elster, the river than runs from south-north through Hoyerswerda (with the old town on the west bank).

Despite his superior numbers, Bülow's attack failed, and he was forced to retreat north to Cotbus. He positioned one division at Guben, ten miles to the north-east of Cotbus, another at Drebkau, four miles to the south-west of Cottbus and a third at Juterbogk (possibly Juterbog, some fifty miles to the west, in which case this would be the division that had been watching Wittemberg). When Oudinot renewed his advance, Bülow retreated further, to Luckau, about twenty miles to the west of Cottbus and half way to Jüterbog.

On 6 June Oudinot attacked Bülow at Luckau. After some initial French success, the Prussians counterattacked and by the end of the day Oudinot was forced to retreat. He chose to move south-west, towards the French forces on the Elbe, and by the time he discovered that an armistice had been agreed ending the fighting, he was at Ubigau, near Dresden.   

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (17 April 2017), Combat of Hoyerswerda, 28 May , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/combat_hoyerswerda.html

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