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The Battle of Segesvármarker (Romanian: Sighişoara) took place on July 31 1849 between forces of the Hungarianmarker Transylvanian Army under the command of General Józef Bem and the Russianmarker V Corps under the Russian General Alexander Lüders.

Hungarian order of battle

After returning to Transylvania from a sally to Moldavia against Russian forces under command of General Ustrugov, Bem prepared an offensive against the Russian army group under General Grotenhjelm. He had to cancel this offensive because he got information that the Russian General Lüders, having captured Vöröstorony pass and the city of Nagyszebenmarker was marching to him. Bem knew that a battle against Lüders would be decisive for the campaign in Transylvania so he decided to concentrate his forces. He sent orders to Colonel Kemény, commander of the "Kolozsvármarker" division that the division was to go to Segesvármarker and support the main Hungarian forces in fight against Russian V corps. Remnants of 4 "Nagyszebenmarker" divisions and parts of the "Brassómarker" and "Háromszék" divisions were to concentrate in Székelykeresztúrmarker, which Bem occupied. The Group of Colonel Dobay had to go from Felsőrákos across Kőhalommarker to Székelykeresztúrmarker in order to support the army group. All of these forces under Bem's command added about 10 to 12,000 infantry and cavalry soldiers and more than 30 cannon. However, in the event Bem only had 6000 soldiers and 12 cannon on the field.

The right wing of the Hungarian army consisted of a battalion of infantry with 2 supporting cannons placed near the road from Udvarhely to Weisskirchenmarker. The Hungarian center included 8 cannons along with cavalry and 4 infantry formations. Two infantry battalions were positioned on the left wing, above the adduction of a stream crossing the road from Segesvármarker to Weisskirchen. Reserves were placed a kilometre from the front of the army.

Russian order of battle

Lüders had under his command about twelve thousand soldiers and thirty cannons. Because he was afraid that an attack by the Hungarian reinforcement would come from a side road to Marosvásárhelymarker, he defended against that with three rifle regiments from Zamość, 16 cannons, 5 sapper battalions, 4 squadrons of the Prince de Nassau ulan regiment, one division of horse artillery and a cossacks squadron. On the road to Udvarhely he placed a rifle regiment infantry from Lublinmarker, 5 rifle battalions, 12 cannons, another 4 squadrons of cavalry and 3 squadrons of cossacks, placing General Engelhardt in command of the group. On the way to Fogarasmarker he positioned a cossacks reconnaissance squadron of cossacks. The artillery park of the corps was placed on way to Medgyesmarker.

In addition of these forces, Lüders had the support of Austrian allies under General Dick. His group, consisting of six infantry battalion, some cossacks units, and 6-8 cannons, was ordered to join forces with V Corps. After getting intelligence at 8 a.m. that Hungarian forces had been seen from the road to Udvarhely, the commander of V Corps ordered his chief of staff (General Skariatin) to prepare to fight the column of General Essaułov. Skariatin moved his column to the stream which crosses the road from Segesvár to Weisskirchen. He placed 6 cannons, defended by an infantry battalion, on the right side of road. 2 more cannons were positioned on the road along with the second battalion. A third battalion established position to the right of the road at the edge of a forest covering Mount Waldenberg. Parts of the fifth battalion were stationed on the peak of that mountain. A left wing, slightly behind the center, was composed of cavalry, cossacks, and a few cannons.

Lüders kept 2 infantry battalions and some artillery in reserve.

After watching the Hungarians establish their positions, Lüders was certain that main attack would come from Marosvásárhelymarker. Because he was unsure about the likelihood of winning the battle, he ordered the removal of trains from Segesvármarker.


After 10 a.m. Bem began strong artillery fire on the main group of the Russian army and began to advance his left wing. During the fighting, a bullet mortally wounded Skariatin. Command passed to General Iwin. The fighting was fierce for about three hours. At about 2 p.m., Russian resistance on the right wing began to weaken. Iwin sent two companies of the first battalion to reinforce their position. The commander of V Corps ordered the reserve artillery and cavalry to attack the Hungarian right wing, on the other side of the field. Lüders, after getting information that Hungarian reinforcements from Marosvásárhelymarker had not appeared, sent formations to secure that road. After the arrival of the artillery battery and some cavalry units, General Iwin's cavalry begin to encircle the Hungarian right wing. After breaking the Hussars, the Russian cavalry moved around to the rear of Hungarian position. The Hungarians begin to retreat to Weisskirchen as their front collapsed, with the Russians following.

Meanwhile, the column of Colonel Dobanay was defeated by group of General Dick.


The Hungarian army took losses of about 1,200 dead and 500 captured. They lost eight cannons.

Sándor Petőfi, Hungarian revolutionist and poet, disappeared in the battle, and is supposed to have died in it.


Hungarian forces withdrew to Marosvásárhelymarker where they joined the "Kolozsvár" division, after which they continued to Nagyszebenmarker. There, Bem won his last victory on Hungarian soil against Russian General Hasford's group.


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