The morning of 17. February 1772 dawned cold and gray with a few inches of crunchy snow on the ground. As his men struggled to rekindle their campfires and gather their arms, General von Tschatschke surveyed the enemy formations across the valley to the north of Neu Sittangbad. He had the lingering thought that his work was cut out for him. What would they say in Krankenstadt if he failed to stop the Zichenauer horde here?
Meanwhile, at the far end of the valley, General Phillipe de Latte pulled on an especially fancy dark blue coat with copious gold braid and cackled ominously to himself. "This will be a walk in the woods" he remarked to his orderlies, who helped him into his riding boots before the three stood and left de Latte's pavilion, emerging optimistically into the cold early morning light.