- Burkersdorf, Battle of
- (1866)Also known as the Battle of Soor, Burkersdorf was an engagement of the Austro-Prussian War. The Prussian invasion of Bohemia in June 1866 consisted of two prongs. The eastern prong, the Prussian Second Army under Crown Prince Frederick, advanced south and west from Saxony through the mountain passes. Because the Prussian army had to split up and use several passes, it meant that the Austrian North Army had the opportunity to defeat the Prussians in detail. One Prussian corps was able to establish itself at the Bohemian pass at Skalice, but another was driven back at Trautenau, the northernmost pass, on June 27 by General Ludwig Gablenz’s X Corps. Gablenz’s initiative left X Corps vulnerable to an attack on its right flank from the other Prussian bridgeheads, so he was ordered to retreat south the next day to Josephstadt and the main Austrian army. On the retreat, X Corps was nearly cut off at Burkersdorf by the Prussian Guard advancing west from Skalice. Austrian artillery helped blunt the Prussian attacks, but X Corps was forced to retire west instead of south. Any chance for the Austrians to stop the Prussians at the passes was lost.FURTHER READING:Showalter, Dennis. The Wars of German Unification. London: Arnold, 2004;Wawro, Geoffrey. The Austro-Prussian War. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1996.DAVID H. OLIVIER
Encyclopedia of the Age of Imperialism, 1800–1914. 2014.