Monday, August 3, 2015

Campaign Post Operations Report #8 - The tale of Marshal Ney

re-en actors from 2010
The tumultuous Battle of Berlin last saw Maréchal Ney, Prince of Moscow charging off towards the then opened gates of the city, opened so that some of the retreating Russian horse artillery might escape into the citadel and continue the defense of the city.

Ney was attacked by a force of cossacks and knocked from his horse by a saber blow to the head.  He was rescued by a force of grenadiers, though his horse was taken and his hat claimed as a prize by the cossacks who had thought him dead.

Not so!  As Ney quickly regained his composure, though such soaked in blood, he led the force of Grenadiers and Voltigeurs westward outside the city walls in hot pursuit of other Russian forces that were escaping from the battlefield.

These Russians were fleeing to a small access in the walls on the south-west side of the outer city, Ney and his band of elite Frenchmen were in hot pursuit.

The Russians threw 1/2 of their number at the pursuing French, who overcame the rearguard in only minutes as these tired stoic Russians had only powder of a couple of shots and no stomach for hand-to-hand.  Leaving some grenadiers to guard the Russians, Ney set off again in the near dark towards the, hopefully, still open access to the outer city of Berlin.

Upon arrival at the door, Ney was foiled ... the Russians had left another 20 men outside the door as they had been trapped outside the walls.  While they did not fight with the French, it was clear now that there was no way into the walls of the outer city.  Commandeering a tavern near the gate the Frenchmen then toasted one another on a great field victory in advance of what would likely become a siege.  Ney and the men drank the few remaining bottles and casks dry.

Ney could not be roused from his sleep on the morning of 21 August 1813 (fictional) and his head wound was not the only one suffered in the dark in clashes with cossacks and Russian foot.. as there were a number of torso wounds now bleeding into his already blood-soaked tunic.

The Voltigeurs and Grenadiers sent off messengers to get help at once for their stricken leader.

That day, information arrived in Napoleon Bonaparte's hands:


The outer city of Berlin has opened the gates and surrendered.   Only the garrisoned citadel on the north bank of the Spree at the city has given any resistance.  That resistance is formidable.  This is a Vauban fortification, the south works are gone - subsumed into the city, but the north side is fully positioned with 4 'points' of a 9 pointed Vauban fort still present.  Though artillery could be moved closer in the Konigsburg of south Berlin, there are plenty of Freikorps innsurrectio forces that have been taking shots at passing French forces, the city is not yet secured.



He has been found at an inn outside the south walls of the city, lots of gin and garlic.  He has a head wound and a sabre slash to the torso.  Has not regained consciousness since collapsing there early on the 20th.  There are calls for Doctor Larrey.  None outside of III Corps command and the grenadiers that cared for Ney know that he is still alive.


Bonaparte was to promote Prince Poniatowski to the  post of command of the Army of Berlin and keep the truth about Ney a secret.  While Larrey would manage to recover the Marshal, Bonaparte wanted to keep the morale effects limited and potentially be able to re-activate Ney as a surprise to the Allied armies and provide the sudden boost to morale that such a lightening bolt might bring.


The Orders sent out on the 21st from Imperial Headquarters were:

From Davout (8/7) to 30th Light Cav, XIII Corps (10/11) move to Parchim (9/12) and cut line of supply/communications to the enemy troops that are in and around Schwerin (8/9). Should any of the enemy move against you fall back towards Pritzwalk (10/14) and then towards Karstadt (11,11) where I will endeavour to bring the rest of my command to persue the enemy. If you have to fall back in the face of the enemy send me news by your fastest rider.

From Davout (8/7) to 9th Light Cav, V Cav Corps at Wismar (5/9) by the time you receive this despatch the lines of supply & communication to the enemy troops in Schwerin (8/9) will all have been cut by troops under my command. You are only to move from your present position if faced by superior force of enemy arms moving north from Schwerin. Under those circumstances fall back westwards towards Lubeck (5/5) and send me news by your fastest rider.

Remainder of Davout's command to remain at their present position; should the enemy move westwards against me I will issue further orders at the appropriate time.
Ornano's command - units of the Guard Light Cavalry - Ornano is keen to continue with the mission of capturing Prince John Charles, the traitor Bernadotte, 

Napoleon, at (14/24) sends ultimatum to FM Gen Lt Vegesak for him surrender himself and his troops forthwith to prevent any further bloodshed

Napoleon, at (14/24) sends orders to Flahault and the Young Guard (18/25) to proceed to Lubben via Teupitz

Napoleon, at (14/24) sends orders to Oudinout; Hold for as long as you can, without your force being badly damaged, then fall back towards Cottbus. The Young Guard Division together with the Guard Heavy Cavalry have been already been ordered there. I intend joining them at Cottbus together with the Imperial Guard, the Guard Light Cavalry and another Cavalry Corps. Please report your position and situation as a matter of urgency.

Napoleon, at (14/24) sends orders to Omano; continue your pursuit of Prince John Charles and bring him to me at the earliest opportunity. When you capture him or, if you are sure, he has fled back to Sweden then you are to bring the Light Cavalry of the Guard to join me at Cottbus.  Please report your position and situation as a matter of urgency.

Napoleon, at (14/24) sends orders to Poniatowski. Detail one of you Infantry regiments to escort the prisoners, from the Swedish division (actually the remnants that had retreated from VIII Corps), currently held at (14,24)(?).
Also I would wish that you order 1st Cavalry Corps, under Général de division Latour-Maubourg, to march to Lubben, via Teupitz, where they will then come under my direct command. 


A full day was expected across all the lines, from Berlin to the Bohemian pass at Marienberg and along the line of the Bobr.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Campaign Post Operations Report #7 - Napoleon Orders capture of Bernadotte

Crown Prince Charles John, aka: Bernadotte
The epic skirmish series of Cossack and Lancer battles had determined that the French would learn of the whereabouts of the commander of the Allied Army of the North, Crown Prince of Sweden, Charles John, who was formerly known as Imperial French Marshal Bernadotte.

This news was very nearly a coup for Napoleon, as his Guard Cavalry was in camp only 12 miles away.  Certainly close enough to make a dash and attempt at capture of this vital person.

With this information in hand, here are the orders as dictated by our Napoleon (Mike in UK):

Napoleon has issued the following orders at 21.30 on 20th.

Prince Poniatowski has been promoted to the rank of Marechal of France. he received his Baton at 21.00 today from Napoleon.

Further Prince Poniatowski is to take command of the Army of Berlin forthwith

Orders for the Imperial Guard, to be actioned at 03.00 on 21st

Napoleon, at (16,25), to move with Old Guard Infantry.
Guard Heavy Cavalry, at (16,25), to march to (14,24) via (15,25)
Old Guard Infantry, at (16,25), to force march to (14,24) via (15,25)
Young Guard Infantry, at (16,25), to march to (18,25)
Guard Light Cavalry, at (17,25), to march to (14,24) via (16,24) & (14,2)
An ADC to be created, he is to move with, and issue orders to the Young Guard

Marechal Oudinot's Orders

Oudinot, (at 27,36), to move to (
XII Corps, at (27,36), to fall back to Lohsa, (27,34)
II Cavalry Corps, at (27,36), to cover XII Corps withdrawal by remaining at (27,36): if the enemy moves to engage with II Cavalry then they are to retire in the direction of Lohsa (27,34)

Messenger to Bautzen with orders for troops there to hold

Baron Drouot's Orders

Drouot, at (30,32), to move to Bautzen (30,33)
II Cavalry, at (30,32), to move to Bautzen (30,33)
IV Cavalry, at(3,33), to move to Lobau (31,35); if contact with enemy then retire towards Bautzen

Marechal Davout's Orders

Davout, at (8,7), no movement order.
9th Light Cavalry, at (7,8), are detached from V Cavalry Corps and are to move to Weimar (5,9) via (6,8)
30th Light Cavalry, at (9,8), are detached from XIII Corps and are to move to (10,11) via (10,8), (11,9), (11,10), (11,11)
V Cavalry, at (7,8), no move orders; if enemy approach then fall back, maintaining distance between them.
XIII Corps, at (9,8), no move orders; if enemy approach then fall back, maintaining distance between them.
Now a series of battles would be touched off when these orders were combined with the Allied nations moves, resulting in this list of conflicts:

*Game Players for tabletop action proxy Battles:*

North to south:

BATTLE (x2 possible): Prussians are moving out from Potsdam - lots of them!  Faced by French (across a river) = David (Western Canada) over weekend of 15-16 June

BATTLE (x2 possible - or just a LONG table?): Rothenburg part II:  This time can the French conduct a withdrawal under fire from Russians? = James & Julian (Australia) over weekend of 22-23 June

BATTLE (x2 possible battles - or a mini campaign?): Marienberg - the main event?  Russians, Austrians, Prussians are all converged against French and Allied forces in the Bohemian pass ...  (big battle potential here!) = Co-ordinated battle work with David (Western Canada) and Jim (Eastern Canada) 14-23 June

BATTLE: Chemnitz - major skirmish with LOTS of Cossacks versus French horse with some foot in support ... = still open (though some current research shows that this may not be much of an entertaining game) ...


Then the critical item for the Allied Army of the North:

Charles John was still free as of nightfall on the 21at of August, his escort consisted of Schonen Carabinierregementet (4 sq) yet the situation was grim.

trapped along the coat of Pomerania, Charles John was desperate for any floating transport to permit him to escape
General Ornano was pursuing him with a substantial part of the Guard Light Cavalry, the Cossacks that were forming a part of his escort had deserted him at the edge of their first forced march attempt at Prenzlau.  Part of the Guard Light Cavalry had been dispatched to keep the Cossacks off the back of Ornano's remaining brigade that stayed in hot pursuit all night ...

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Campaign Post Operations Report #6 - Rothenberg and crossing the Bobr River II

21st of August 1813 (fictional) would prove to be the turning point on the Bobr River.

General de Kavallerie Blücher had a trap planned for the French army under Oudinot.

A copy of the dispatch (email):

With regards to Rothenburg.  The goal is to attack with everything possible from the South and the East at the same time.   Preferably cutting off routes of retreat if possible.  Orders for the battle commander.

Your priorities are as follows:
1.  Inflict as much damage on French forces as possible.
2.  Capture or kill Marshall Oudinot.
3.  You are not to retreat.  Death or Glory!

the overall picture sent to the tabletop organizing team in Australia

The resulting run-and-gun battle was played out by The Avon Napoleonic Fellowship and the After Action Report is in three parts:

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

Meanwhile, Berlin was under attack ... unknown to the Allied Supreme HQ with Tsar Alexander, Emperor Francis and King Fredrick William.

Prince Charles John was faced with the following data:

Berlin is completely invested now and cut off by the French forces.

Bulow is holding at Potsdam, the French are holding the opposite bank
of the Spree.

Corps besieging Magdeburg: Generalmajor von Hirschfeld  reports ready
to break off the siege and assist at Potsdam or otherwise.

In Mecklenberg, Davout has moved the French infantry to the south,
while a force of Cavalry has appeared in the north.

There was no way that the Russian cavalry would remain in Berlin at the citadel.  Their horses would become nothing more than rations within a week.  So Charles John had determined to move out with the cavalry before the complete encirclement of Berlin.

Prince Charles John collapsed into a short sleep in Eberswalde, to be
awoken during the night ... many patrols had not returned, one that
did claims to have seen a Colonel of Chasseur a Cheval - possibly of the
Imperial Guard?


Charles John next ordered:

Order to troops besieging Magdeburg to support and assist at Potsdam.
If they can attack from the rear so much the better.
Prince John will continue to retreat north if he is attacked to
stretch out the French. Any troops left in Berlin are order to do what
they can to damage and harass the French if they are able.

Aides asked of the Prince:
Did you want another Potsdam breakout to the south?

Anything with the Swedes in the west? 

To which the Prince replied:
Forgot about the Swedes. They are to retreat east as there is too big of a
French force to even delay it. They are to travel as fast as they can to
possibly meet up with Prince John in a couple of days if they can.
The troops at Potsdam will have to prevent the French from getting past them
easily. While keeping an eye out to the east for the enemy coming from the
battle at Berlin. I don't think I can do anymore seeing as the French has
superior forces everywhere. 

snapshot of the map for Charles John as of the 20th overnight
 The planned route of escape for Prince Charles John would have great impact on the progress of the Campaign, for the details about his whereabouts were going to face a skirmish contest that would see a whole new game set be invented and used again and again in this Campaign of Nations.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Campaign Post Operations Report #5 - Rothenberg and crossing the Bobr River

Very quickly in the campaign 20th of August 1813 (fictional) the Allied army under Blucher made the first of many attempts at forcing a crossing of the River Bobr.

Here listed are the forces for the first battle and the Allied orders:

Battle is in Hex 27,36, with the French on the west bank of the Bobr and the Russians advancing from the East.

Russian attackers: (ordered to cross the Bobr river in force)

General Intendent: von Ribbentrop = CIC

1st Cavalry Corps: Generallieutenant Baron Korff

Russian Cavalry Brigade
Brigade: Generalmajor Berdaeev

Tver Dragoon Regiment (2)
Kinbourn Dragoon Regiment (2)

Russian Cavalry Division
1st Chasseur à Cheval Division: Generalmajor Pantschulid

Tchernigov Chasseur à Cheval Regiment (3)
Sievesk Chasseur à Cheval Regiment (2)
Arasmass Chasseur à Cheval Regiment (2)

Light Troops: Generalmajor Grekov VIII
Brigade: Generalmajor Count de Witte
1st Ukrainian Cossack Regiment
2nd Ukrainian Cossack Regiment
3rd Ukrainian Cossack Regiment
1st Teptar Cossack Regiment
Zikilev Cossack Regiment
Isaeva #2 Cossack Regiment
Selivanov #2 Don Cossack Regiment
Kutainikov #8 Cossack Regiment

Russian Artillery
Reserve Artillery:

Position Battery #10
Light Battery #29
Pontoon Company #4   <-- YES you see that correctly there is a pontoon bridge available and may be deployed (if your table/rules allow - or make some up!)

75th Marine (or Ships) Equipage <-- fully set river craft could also deliver some horse companies (maybe a regiment?) in one go ... they would likely be in disorder as they landed but operable after the landings.

Pioneer Company Lt. Colonel Gebenera

Cavalry Corps: Generallieutenant Vassil'shikov

Russian Cavalry Division
3rd Dragoon Division:

Brigade: Generalmajor Pantschulid
Courland Dragoon Regiment (2)
Smolensk Dragoon Regiment (2)

++++++ Russian Troops listed below are present at the battle yet
the Bobr River

Russian Cavalry Division
2nd Hussar Division: Generalmajor Tschaplitz

Brigade: Colonel Vassil'shikov
Akhtyrsk Hussar Regiment (4)
Marioupol Hussar Regiment (4)
Brigade: Generalmajor Kaslovsky
Alexandria Hussar Regiment (4)
White Russia Hussar Regiment (4)
Horse Battery #18

Russian Cavalry Division
Light Troops: Generalmajor Karpov II

Semenschenko Cossack Regiment
Kutainikov #4 Cossack Regiment
Tcharnusubov #4 Cossack Regiment
Loukoffkin Cossack Regiment
Karpov #2 Cossack Regiment
4th Ukrainian Cossack Regiment
St. Petersburg Cossack Regiment
2nd Kalmuck Regiment
Popov #13 Cossack Regiment
Unknown Cossack Regiment

FRENCH Defenders:

XII Corps
Troop Strength: 9224
Commander-in-Chief: Maréchal Oudinot, Duke of Reggio  <-- Personally in command
Chief of Staff: Général de division Lejeune
Artillery Commander: Général de brigade Nourry
Commander of Engineers: Général de brigade Blein

French Infantry Division
13th Division: Général de division Pacthod
Troop Strength: 2336
1st Brigade: Général de brigade Bardet
4/1st Légère Regiment (19/471)
3/7th Line Regiment (21/340)
4/7th Line Regiment (19/296)
4/42nd Line Regiment (2/411)
2nd Brigade: Général de brigade Cacault
3/67th Line Regiment (21/537)
4/67th Line Regiment (20/449)
2/101st Line Regiment (20/520)
3/101st Line Regiment (17/538)
4/101st Line Regiment (18/403)
4/4th Foot Artillery (3/70)
(6-6pdrs & 2-24pdr howitzers)
20/4th Foot Artillery (4/77)
(6-6pdrs & 2-24pdr howitzers)
Det. 2/4th Principal Train Battalion (1/89)
Det. 3/7th Principal Train Battalion (1/77)

French Infantry Division
14th Division: Général de division Guilleminot

1st Brigade: Général de brigade Gruyere
2/18th Légère Regiment (24/445)
6/18th Légère Regiment (17/382)
1/156th Line Regiment (22/855)
2/156th Line Regiment (20/893)
3/156th Line Regiment (25/897)

2nd Brigade: Général de brigade Brun de Villeret
2/Illyrian Regiment (26/486)
3/52nd Line Regiment (17/512)
4/52nd Line Regiment (16/544)
1/137th Line Regiment (27/585)
2/137th Line Regiment (16/586)
3/137th Line Regiment (16/606)
2/4th Foot Artillery (3/92)
(6-6pdrs & 2-24pdr howitzers)
1/8th Foot Artillery (4/71)
(6-6pdrs & 2-24pdr howitzers)
Det. 1/9th (bis) Train Battalion (0/56)
Det. 4/3rd (bis) Train Battalion (0/19)
Det. 1/4th Principal Train Battalion (1/59)
Det. 5/7th Principal Train Battalion (3/37)

French Allied Infantry Division
29th Division: Generalleutenant Raglowich

1st Brigade: Generalmajor von Becker
2/3rd Bavarian Line (13/369)
2/4th Bavarian Line (10/387)
2/8th Bavarian Line (18/432)
Res/13th Bavarian Line (12/364)
1st Combined Jäger Battalion (14/452)

2nd Brigade: Generalmajor Maillot de la Treille
2/5th Bavarian Line (11/439)
2/7th Bavarian Line (18/606)
2/9th Bavarian Line (17/517)
2/10th Bavarian Line (20/645)
2nd Combined Jäger Battalion (16/419)
1st Bavarian Foot Battery "Bammler" (2/60)
(6-6pdrs & 2-7pdr howitzers)
2nd Bavarian Foot Battery "Weisshaupt" (2/60)
(6-6pdrs & 2-7pdr howitzers)
Bavarian Reserve Battery (2/280)
(6-12pdrs & 2-7pdr howitzers)
Bavarian Train Det. (6/190)

Corps Cavalry Division: Général de division Beaumont

French Allied Cavalry Brigade
29th Brigade: Général de brigade Wolff
1/,2/,3/,4/Westphalian Chevauleger-lancier Regiment
(35/482)(545 horses)
1/,2/,3/,4/Hessian Chevauleger Regiment (12/248)(283 horses)
Bavarian Combined Chevauleger Regiment (3)(16/394)(421 horses)

French Artillery
Reserve and Grand Park

1/4th Foot Artillery (1/73)
(6-12pdrs & 2-6" howitzers)
18/4th Foot Artillery (4/82)
(6-12pdrs & 2-6" howitzers)
3/5th Horse Artillery (3/90)
(4-6pdrs & 2-24pdr howitzers)
4/2nd Sapper Battalion (3/100)  <-- could be used to disrupt pontoons?
4/9th Sapper Battalion (3/92)
Det. 1/4th Principal Train Battalion (1/102)
Det. 2/4th Principal Train Battalion (0/89)
Det. 4/12th Principal Train Battalion (0/6)
Det. 1/3rd (bis) Train Battalion (0/11)
Det. 3/3rd (bis) Train Battalion (0/9)
Det. 3/7th (bis) Train Battalion (1/4)
Det. 4/7th (bis) Train Battalion (1/88)
Det. 5/7th (bis) Train Battalion (0/17)
1/7th Train d'Equipage (1/75)
2/7th Train d'Equipage (1/66)
3/7th Train d'Equipage (1/130)

II Cavalry Corps:

Commander-in-Chief: Général de division Sébastiani
Chief of Staff: Adjutant Commandant Lascours
Commander of Artillery: Colonel Colin

French Cavalry Division
2nd Light Cavalry Division: Général de division Roussel d'Hurbal

7th Light Cavalry Brigade: Général de brigade F.Gerard
Staff/4th Chevauléger-lancier Regiment (6/8/29/9)
1/4th Chevauléger-lancier Regiment (9/165/20/167)
2/4th Chevauléger-lancier Regiment (10/212/23/211)
3/4th Chevauléger-lancier Regiment (3/87/7/86)
Staff/5th Hussar Regiment (9/5/28/2)
1/5th Hussar Regiment (8/195/18/195)
2/5th Hussar Regiment (8/199/18/196)
3/5th Hussar Regiment (11/195/24/193)
Staff/9th Hussar Regiment (6/9/21/11)
1/9th Hussar Regiment (7/195/16/196)
2/9th Hussar Regiment (8/201/18/198)
3/9th Hussar Regiment (8/203/18/196)
4/9th Hussar Regiment (6/206/13/208)

8th Light Cavalry Brigade: Général de brigade Domanget
Staff/2nd Chevauléger-lancier Regiment (3/2/9/2)
1/2nd Chevauléger-lancier Regiment (9/183/10/179)
2/2nd Chevauléger-lancier Regiment (8/220/18/221)
Staff/11th Chasseur à Cheval Regiment (6/9/22/5)
1/11th Chasseur à Cheval Regiment (9/222/21/212)
2/11th Chasseur à Cheval Regiment (9/217/20/218)
Staff/12th Chasseur à Cheval Regiment (5/8/19/12)
1/12th Chasseur à Cheval Regiment (8/190/18/187)
2/12th Chasseur à Cheval Regiment (16/287/32/285)

French Cavalry Division
4th Light Cavalry Division: Général de division Exelmans

9th Light Cavalry Brigade: Général de brigade Maurin
Staff/6th Chevauléger-lancier Regiment (6/4/20/4)
1/6th Chevauléger-lancier Regiment (4/233/30/230)
2/6th Chevauléger-lancier Regiment (9/171/22/174)
Staff/4th Chasseur à Cheval Regiment (10/6/26/10)
1/4th Chasseur à Cheval Regiment (7/156/16/152)
2/4th Chasseur à Cheval Regiment (9/215/19/214)
Staff/7th Chasseur à Cheval Regiment (6/7/20/3)
1/7th Chasseur à Cheval Regiment (8/199/18/200)
2/7th Chasseur à Cheval Regiment (8/159/18/158)
3/7th Chasseur à Cheval Regiment (7/174/18/17)
1/20th Chasseur à Cheval Regiment (14/202/33/200)
2/20th Chasseur à Cheval Regiment (9/175/20/174)
3/20th Chasseur à Cheval Regiment (9/178/20/178)
4/20th Chasseur à Cheval Regiment (3/71/7/70)

10th Light Cavalry Brigade: Général de brigade Wathiez
Staff/11th Hussar Regiment (6/5/27/6)
1/11th Hussar Regiment (9/137/20/138)
2/11th Hussar Regiment (5/61/11/62)
Staff/23rd Chasseur à Cheval Regiment (9/5/22/4)
1/23rd Chasseur à Cheval Regiment (5/174/11/175)
2/23rd Chasseur à Cheval Regiment (7/143/15/136)
3/23rd Chasseur à Cheval Regiment (5/150/12/149)
4/23rd Chasseur à Cheval Regiment (6/152/14/150)
Staff/24th Chasseur à Cheval Regiment (7/6/30/6)
1/24th Chasseur à Cheval Regiment (4/104/9/100)
2/24th Chasseur à Cheval Regiment (4/83/8/82)
3/24th Chasseur à Cheval Regiment (5/80/7/78)
4/24th Chasseur à Cheval Regiment (3/76/3/74)

French Artillery
Artillery: Colin

7/1st Horse Artillery (2/103)
(4-6pdrs & 2-24pdr howitzers)
2/11th (bis) Train Battalion (1/62)
7/4th Horse Artillery (3/94)
(4-6pdrs & 2-24pdr howitzers)
3/13h (bis) Train Battalion (0/62)
8/6th Horse Artillery (3/84)
(4-6pdrs & 2-24pdr howitzers)
3/13th (bis) Train Battalion (1/71)
4/11th (bis) Train Battalion (0/57)
4/3rd Horse Artillery (3/88)
(4-6pdrs & 2-24pdr howitzers)
Det 8th Train Battalion (0/57)


The battle is being fought over the Bobr crossing near Rothenburg near 51 Degrees 45 minutes North; 14 Degrees 55 minutes East.  There is a small airport with a single landing strip and Non-Directional Beacon (NDB) having the same name.  The river forms the boundary between modern day Germany and Poland.

Mostly flat lightly wooded terrain with some 'meres' or lakes - though they are likely dry in August, possibly not more than muddy patches? - in the area.

The Bobr River will be the main defining feature.

Blucher has ordered the crossing in some haste ... my overall view is that the cavalry will take a mauling here ... only a great failure by the French will see the Russians successful in the crossing.  This is an opportunity to eliminate many Russian horse before they can become a problem later in the campaign.

The results of this battle can be found at Avon Napoleonic Fellowship

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Campaign Post Operations Report #4 - Allied Information

Allied Cavalry messenger

your intelligence services and spy networks report the following about the French Grande Armee:

Napoleon Bonaparte was seen in Leipzig, start of August.

Many supplies are concentrated in Dresden and Leipzig

The French army appears to have been organized under the following commands:

Maréchal Ney, Prince of Moscow, commanding the "Army of Berlin"
Maréchal Macdonald, Duke of Tarente commanding the "Army of Saxony"

and a Central army reserve, of unknown structure as little messenger activity has been intercepted - likely the Imperial Guard is located with this central army group.

Campaign Post Operations Report #3 - French : A cunning plan

French Campaign Map view as of 18 August 1813 (simulation #1)
David and James

I think it fair to say we do have a Cunning Plan for the campaign.

Your Commands are

James - as Maréchal Ney, Prince of Moscow, commanding the "Army of Berlin"

III Corps - Ney
I Corps - Vandamme
V Corps - Lauriston
VIII Corps - Poniatowski
XIV Corps - Saint-Cyr
27th Polish Division - Dombrowski
I Cavalry Corps - Latour-Maubourg

Your immediate objectives to bring to the battlefield, and defeat, the Army of the North who I suspect will be defending Berlin. As part of this you will need to raise the Prussian seige of Magdeburg should you think this is both necessary and easily undertaken.
In support of your endeavours  Maréchal Davout has been ordered to march from Hamburg, with XIII Corps (minus the Danish troops which will garrison Hamburg) and V Cavalry Corps, along the main road to Berlin, passing through Schwegin.
Should you think it necessary I can bring the Imperial Guard in on this operation. This will need/require a very quick fought victory in order that we can then support both Oudinot and Macdonald in the south and south-east of Saxony.

David - as Maréchal Macdonald, Duke of Tarente commanding the "Army of Saxony"

XI Corps - Maconald
IV Corps - Bertrand
II Corps - Victor
III Cavalry Corps - Ariighi

David yours, should you wish to accept it, may be "the Mision Impossible" OR should that read Impassable. I'd like you to make it as hard as possible for the Austrians to come through the mountain passes from Bohemia. This effort is to give the Army of Berlin & Ney sufficient time to close with and defeat the Allied "Army of the North"

  Maréchal Oudinot will be to your E/NE covering Bautzen and the Imperial Guard will be in the region around Luckau

The attached map shows their approximate positions. Would you please deploy your forces, as you see fit, in order to achieve your objectives given above.
If you choose to "break out" troops from their parent Corps please ensure that they remain / move in conjunction with their parent Corps and Commander.
Troops out of command will not necessarily move / comply with their latest received orders.

ADCs /Commanders -  to assist the Army commanders you have both been allocated 1 or 2 of these. Do you want any more???

Other troops available to us are: IX Corps under Augereau, which is forming; V Cavalry Corps (part) under Milhaud - bis - and 2 batteries of Young Guard Foot Batteries. All of these troops will appear on the map, arriving through the central Supply point on the western map edge.

Our forward Supply Depot will be at Leipzig; two Magazines are to be immediately established at Wittenberg and Dresden. These will be able to be maintained/supplied from two of the three Supply points (NOT the Hamburg one)

Our aims therefore,in brief, to break the Allied Coalition by first knocking Prussia and Sweden out before the the Russian and Austrian armies reach the battlefields of Saxony.

Your troops are loosely positioned in your area of operations.

After you have fully deployed your troops as you want them for the beginning of the campaign please return file to me and I will submit the "Master Map" file.

Any comments, observations and / or suggestions are most welcomed

Thanks guys and good luck


What are your thoughts of the plan?

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Campaign Post Operations Report #2 - Defection planning ...

Bavarian Allies of the French ... until they were not.
An important Campaign issue came up during the final stages of planning and troop deployment:

Mike (Bonaparte) asks:

What triggers the defection of French Allied contingents? Saxon and Bavarian spring to mind.

To which I answered:

The 'defection' issue is one of some significance, I was quick to point out that the handling of the Saxons in the Potsdam battle, during the play test, would have an impact on such considerations.

Basically if the French are loosing too much ground or too many men - likewise if they find themselves cornered, then the 'French allied troops' may have a chance of such defections.  The Bavarian case is something that I would consider an extreme - changing sides ON THE BATTLEFIELD is a very rare occurrence and should be handled as such.  Most certainly the 'change' happened overnight in a multi-day battle.

In all fairness I do also consider the departure from the coalition of allied armies also - there are conditions for the Swedes to bugger off, likewise for Prussians, less so for the Austrians and Russians; unless things are going bad for them - which if the Russians leave the coalition then 'peace' has broken out.

What are your thoughts or views of this potential?